Monday, June 29, 2009

The verdict on CCODP is in

The verdict on CCODP is in, and it’s “not guilty, sort of.”

A Canadian bishops committee looking into allegations the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace helped fund groups promoting abortion has issued its report, and it takes a pretty gentle approach on CCODP, while saying there’s room for improvement.

It also says there’s room for improvement from the group that raised the allegations in the first place, LifeSite News.

LifeSite produced numerous evidence of CCODP funding going to groups that support abortion in Mexico and several other countries.

So the CCCB put together a committee of inquiry headed up by Archbishop Currie of St. John’s and Grand Falls, and Bishop Lapierre of Saint-Hyacinthe. It investigated allegations against five Mexican organizations.

The report was finalized June 18, and today it was made public.

In short, it found no evidence that CCODP funded pro-abortion projects in Mexico.

It did call the five groups that did receive funding “imprudent” for signing onto a human rights document that “contains several orientations not in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church.” It also called on CCODP to be “more vigilant” in its choice of partners and requests for financial assistance.

No word, because it wasn’t part of the committee’s mandate, on the alleged pro-abortion and pro-contraception CCODP partners in East Timor, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Togo, Benin, Brazil, Haiti, Peru and Guinea, Bolivia or Peru, where the bishops of that country formally asked the bishops of Canada to stop funding pro-abortion groups there through CCODP.

Presumably this will be a topic of discussion when the bishops of Canada meet at their plenary meeting this fall.

Watch next week’s B.C. Catholic for full coverage.
The archbishop has now received the pallium, which is the symbol of his authority as archbishop. Congratulations, Archbishop Miller!

Here’s a little blurb about the pallium written by his fellow Basilian, Father Thomas Rosica, CSB:

According to a well-established custom, on the day dedicated to the memory of the Apostles Peter and Paul, the Successor of Peter confers the pallium on the Metropolitan Archbishops appointed during the past year, as a sign of communion with the See of Peter.

The pallium is a small circular band in the form of a stole, marked with six crosses. It is woven of white wool from the shearing of lambs blessed every year on January 21, the feast of St Agnes. The pallium expresses the authority which, in communion with the Church of Rome, the Metropolitan acquires by law in his own Ecclesiastical Province.

This pallium rite dates to the early centuries of the Christian era and offers two meanings for our reflection. First is the special relationship of the Metropolitan Archbishops with the Successor of Peter and with Peter himself. It is from the Apostle's tomb that the pallium receives its power as a symbol: those who wear it must remind themselves and others of the intimate and profound bond with Peter and his mission. This should take place in all circumstances of life, from teaching to pastoral guidance, from the celebration of the sacraments to dialogue with the community. The new Archbishops are called to take a leading role in building up the Church's unity, which is expressed in the profession of the one faith and in fraternal charity. The sign of the Archbishop's authority is not a scepter or crown, but a circular stole made of lamb's wool, evoke the image that he is, first of all, a shepherd who leads by love.

Second, the conferral of the pallium emphasizes the important aspect of the lamb which offered the wool used for making the pallium. The pallium symbolizes the Lamb of God who took upon himself the sins of the world and gave himself in ransom for humanity. As Lamb and Shepherd, Christ continues to watch over his flock and entrusts it to the care of those who sacramentally represent him. The whiteness of its wool is a call to innocence of life, and with its series of six crosses it reminds us of daily fidelity to the Lord, to the point of martyrdom if necessary. Those who wear the pallium must therefore live an extraordinary and constant communion with the Lord, marked by purity of intention and action and by generosity of service and witness.

Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.
C.E.O., Salt and Light Catholic Television Network, Canada
Consultor, Pontifical Council for Social Communication

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ancient Quarry Discovered In Israel

This is neat. Reuters is reporting that an ancient quarry has been discovered in Israel.

They are calling it “the largest underground quarry in the Holy Land, dating back to the time of Jesus and containing Christian symbols etched into the walls.”
Sounds pretty exciting to me. I love seeing ancient graffiti!

Iranians are connected despite media ban

The Iranian “uprising” (for lack of a better word, for now, as I think it will be an insurrection soon) is not ending and it has partly to do with technology. Everyone in the country is connected, even with the media ban. Using Twitter, SMS messages, and cell phone video, the word is also getting out to the rest of the world.

Here is a neat little “Iran Crisis Live” blog, provided by the Guardian, which is informative, if nothing else, and updates every minute. (And you can go back and read previously archived days.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oldest student ever to graduate from St. Pat’s

At 85, Bill Young is the oldest student ever to graduate from St. Patrick’s Regional Secondary, which also happens to be Vancouver’s oldest Catholic school. On June 13, Young received an honorary diploma from St. Pat’s principal John Bevacqua while a big group of excited relatives looked on. Read in next week’s B.C. Catholic why Young’s diploma was such a long time coming and what advice he gave to the Class of 2009.

Iranian people aren't giving in

I was watching the news last night and it looks likes the Iranian people aren't giving in to the government goon-squads, despite all the murder and violence.

I spent some time in Iran at the end of 2007 and the youth in that country were busting. I’m not surprised Iran is having it’s biggest bouts of civil unrest since the revolution in 1979. It’s been 30 years of totalitarian theocracy and rank and file Iranians have had enough. The amount of people who told me they wanted out when I was there are too numerous to count. But what a beautiful country and what a group of beautiful, hospitable people.

Here are some links to catch-up on the low-down:
With a full-blown media-gag in place, journalists are being arrested, including one Canadian.

And with this massive media crackdown, the only images getting out are from "Citizen" journalists - Iranians on the ground in the thick of a living nightmare.

Bloomberg's reporting that yesterday's latest protest was quashed before it began.

And this could be the face of a new Persian revolution. Her name was Neda and she was reportedly shot by the Basjid Militia, but
nothing can be confirmed because of the media gag. Whatever the case, the video is causing a world-wide outcry.
Story here

Grannies in handcuffs

The downtown eastside must be all cleaned up and gang violence eliminated from Metro Vancouver, because police are now cracking down on the next threat to tranquillity in the Best Place on Earth: raging grannies.

Von DehnThe similarities between Sissy Von Dehn and Betty Krawczyk are striking. Both are grey-haired B.C. protesters, non-violent, and out to warn the world about the damage being done to God’s creation.

Both have been arrested, and both were recently hoping for sympathetic supreme court appeals that might lift some of the restrictions from their right to protest. Both were disappointed when courts recently ruled otherwise:

Krawczyk is an environmentalist who has been getting arrested and imprisoned since the early ‘90s for defying court orders related to logging and highway developments. Her media coverage is expansive and generally sympathetic. Last month the B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal of her conviction for protesting highway construction at West Vancouver's Eagleridge Bluffs.

Von Dehn is a pro-lifer and a representative of Nurses for Life who on Fridays goes to the Everywoman’s abortion clinic at Commercial and Broadway. Like Krawczyk, she was hoping for a favourable Supreme Court appeal, this one for fellow protester Donald Spratt, who was challenging his jail sentence for protesting outside the same clinic in 1998. The Supreme Court of Canada rejected the appeal the day before police arrested her and two others outside the clinic.

The difference is that police were turning a blind eye to Von Dehn until Thursday’s Supreme Court decision. The next day, she, Spratt, and a journalist were handcuffed by Vancouver Police in the gag-law zone around the abortion clinic. See story.

As coffee drinkers at the adjacent Starbucks patio sipped their cappuccinos, police took the three offenders away. One of them was a working journalist whose camera was confiscated. The journalist was released but not before officers inspected the images on his camera. Guess arresting officers didn’t get this memo.

On the other hand, maybe police have just decided to implement an arrest-first, ask-questions-later policy, which seemingly conforms to the new policy.

What’s intriguing is that pro-lifers like Von Dehn have been down there at the clinic every Friday and were never arrested before. In fact, The B.C. Catholic reported last year how police assured protesters that simply handing out information about the gag-zone is not against the law. Vancouver Police have never demanded to see our photos of those protests, but after last week’s events, perhaps we should expect a visit.

We’re also looking forward to the sympathetic media coverage of this latest handcuffed granny.

Blast from the Past

From the 80's when newspapers first dabbled with the idea of an electronic edition. Amazing and amusing look back....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Police handcuffed a grandmother, a father, and a journalist for being in the bubble

The irony couldn't be plainer. On Father's Day weekend, Vancouver Police handcuffed a grandmother, a father, and a journalist for being in the, let's call it what it is: a gag law zone.

In his message for Pro-Life Sunday, released in The B.C. Catholic the same day the arrests were being made, Archbishop Miller said, "Catholics become more effective in our witness to life when we appreciate that every human life is a 'wonder' created by God, when we preach respect and mercy, and when we pray and fast."

That witnessing led to pro-lifers being arrested Friday. Read Archbishop Miller's full statement here.

See full BC Catholic story here.

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