Tag Archive: canada

I am a human being

A new website project has been launched by Campaign Life Coalition: http://www.iamahumanbeing.ca/.

The CLC newsletter explains that

This important educational tool has been created to support Stephen Woodworth’s private member’s motion (M-312), which seeks to establish a special committee to re-examine Section 223 of Canada’s Criminal Code which states that a child only becomes a human being once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb. Woodworth has called for a full  examination of medical and scientific facts by a committee of parliamentarians and a discussion about how these facts impact our modern understanding of human rights.

Check it out here: http://www.iamahumanbeing.ca/


Abortion debate in Canada

Following below is a press release from Priests for Life Canada:

February 2, 2012

Priests for Life Canada

Applauds Canadian MPs

Though Prime Minister Harper has clearly indicated that he has no intention of reopening the debate on abortion, not all Canadians, including Members of Parliament from various party affiliations, agree that there should be “no public debate” on this most important human rights issue of our day. They recognize that a situation that allows the legal killing of over 100,000 unborn Canadian children each year should and must be debated.

“As more and more Canadians come to know that legal recognition of the unborn child is non-existent in Canada, and that the unborn child can be legally aborted at any time throughout the nine-months of pregnancy, it is unthinkable that we would not be open to discussing the issue of abortion”, says Fr. Thomas Lynch, National Director of Priests for Life Canada. He further states that, “Though Priests for Life Canada does not involve itself in political agendas, the morality of the issue means that we must speak out. We applaud those Members of Parliament who are speaking out on behalf of the many Canadians who “do want the debate”, and we thank them for bravely stepping forth to encourage public discussion on this issue. We encourage and support more MPs to do the same”.


For further information regarding this press release, please contact:

Priests for Life Canada

P.O. Box 31, Pembroke, Ontario




Please pray that this momentum will grow.



St Paul's Basilica, Toronto

I recently had a few days in Toronto, and in my wanderings I discovered a little bit of Australian history.

Outside the basilica of St Paul [see photos of inside the basilica here], not far from the centre of Toronto, is the grave of Revd Timothy O’Mahony DD.  As I read the plaque I was intrigued to see that the tomb was of an early bishop of Australia.

Here is a picture of his grave:

Bishop Timothy O'Mahony's grave


and the plaque beside it:


The first bishop of Armidale

On the website of the Archdiocese of Toronto we find this information [with my emphases]:

Timothy O’Mahony was born in Cork County, Ireland on November 1, 1825. He began his clerical studies in Cork and completed them in Rome where he was ordained priest on March 24, 1849. Fr. O’Mahony served in various rural parishes in the Diocese of Cork before being appointed to St. Finbar Cathedral in Cork. He was appointed first Bishop of Armidale, Australia, and was consecrated November 30, 1869 in St. Finbar’s by Bp. William Delany of Cork.

Bishop O’Mahony resigned his See in August of 1877 and returned to Europe. In 1879 on Archbishop John J. Lynch’s ad limina visit to Rome, Bishop O’Mahony became acquainted with him. In a Papal Brief dated November 14, 1879 he was appointed Titular Bishop of Eudocia and Auxiliary to Archbishop Lynch. Upon his arrival in Toronto Bishop O’Mahony took charge of St. Paul’s Parish. Realizing that the church was inadequate for the congregation he started a weekly collection for a new building. This was completed in 1889 and dedicated on December 22 of that same year. Bishop O’Mahony also performed various episcopal duties and was of great assistance to Archbishop Lynch. In 1887 he even acted as the Administrator of the Diocese of Hamilton during the prolonged absence of Bishop James Carberry.

After a long and painful illness, Bishop O’Mahony died on September 8, 1892. He was interred in a brick vault at the south-east corner of St. Paul’s Church.

When I first saw Bishop O’Mahony’s grave in Toronto, and discovered that he had been bishop of Armidale, I suspected that there must be “some story” here.  There certainly is, and the following information can be found at the Australian Dictionary of Biography [my emphases]:

Timothy O’Mahony (1825-1892), Catholic bishop, was born on 17 November 1825 at Rathard, Aherla, County Cork, Ireland. He was educated for the priesthood at the Irish College in Rome with his cousins James and Matthew Quinn [James Quinn was the first bishop of Brisbane – really the bishop of Queensland]. Ordained in 1849, he returned to Cork next year and became director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, involving himself in the education of the poor. He was consecrated bishop of Armidale on 30 November 1869 and attended the Vatican Council where he revealed strong papalist tendencies.

O’Mahony arrived at Sydney in 1871 and took possession of his see on 23 March. Friendly, hospitable and a bright conversationalist, he was preferred by Archbishop Roger Vaughan to the other bishops. Finding a paucity of amenities, he started to provide suitable buildings in Armidale and made a visitation of his vast diocese. Involved in colonial church politics, he signed with his fellow Irish suffragans in 1873 a post-factum objection to Vaughan as Archbishop John Bede Polding‘s co-adjutor. Next year Vaughan referred to Propaganda serious charges against O’Mahony that had become widespread among the clergy and laity in the north. His jovial habits were interpreted as intemperance and a claim against him by a young woman about the paternity of her child became public knowledge. Later this charge was withdrawn and the author of the blackmail, a priest whom O’Mahony had trusted, was named. Edward Butler said that O’Mahony’s indiscreet actions made him tremble to take the matter to court. However, ill-advised steps to control the rumours brought about the ‘Armidale scandal’.

Vaughan was told by Rome to investigate the charges and was accused of bias in his selection of witnesses by Bishop James Quinn of Brisbane. Afraid for the prestige of the Irish bishops and scenting a conspiracy against them, Quinn sent Father George Dillon to Armidale to get evidence to clear O’Mahony from the charge of being ‘a perpetual drunkard’ and mounted a violent counter-attack in Australia and the Irish College. Quinn argued that the credibility of the anti-O’Mahony witnesses could be destroyed and that a conspiracy had been formed to get the bishop to compromise himself, but Rome accepted Vaughan’s 1875 report in which he found the main charge unproven but recommended that O’Mahony resign and go to Rome.

Once such serious charges, whether true or false, had been made, O’Mahony had no choice but to resign with the burden of proving his own innocence. He submitted in 1878 and was appointed auxiliary bishop of Toronto, Canada. He died there on 8 September 1892 and was buried in a vault in St Paul’s Church where he had been pastor.

The tenth bishop of Armidale

A fairly sad story to explain how the Irish priest ended up Auxiliary Bishop in Toronto, Canada, via the Diocese of Armidale, Australia.

It was, really, a timely coincidence to visit the resting place of the first bishop of Armidale, because that See is now preparing for the episcopal ordination of its tenth bishop.  Wagga Wagga priest, Fr Michael Kennedy, will be ordained bishop in the cathedral of Armidale on 9 February 2012.  We pray for him that he’ll have a fruitful ministry in Armidale, and in light of the above, we pray especially that he’ll have a less-complicated time than his predecessor.


National Adoption Awareness Month

The following is taken from the bulletin of Notre Dame Cathedral, Ottawa:

LifeCanada, a national association of educational pro-life groups is encouraging you to help raise awareness about choices in infant domestic adoption.  Less than 2% of single Canadian women facing an unplanned pregnancy will choose adoption while 15,000 couples are waiting to adopt in Ontario alone.  LifeCanada has launched a national multi-media campaign on adoption.  Info: 1-866-780-5433.  lifecanada@bellnet.ca. 

PREGNANT? THOUGHT OF ADOPTION? If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and would like info and resources on the subject of adoption, visit www.AdoptioninCanada.ca or call 1-800-395-4357.  You are not alone.  Adoption in Canada is a project of LifeCanada.


Students of St Paul University, Ottawa, have formed a pro-life group, with the approval of the St Paul University Student Association (SPUSA).  Saint Paul Students for Life will have its first official function by welcoming Stephanie Gray, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform, who will speak on “Abortion and Intellectual Honesty.”  This will take place on Thursday 10 November 2011, 7pm-9pm, in Room 103 of St Paul University, Main Street, Ottawa.  All are invited and welcome!

Members of the Saint Paul Students for Life already make a weekly visit each Friday afternoon to the abortuary on Bank Street, Ottawa.  There, we pray the rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet, remembering and standing in loving solidarity with the children who are killed there daily, and praying for the conversion of all involved in the abortion industry, and for mercy and healing for those who suffer as a result of abortion.  [Each Friday we meet at 1pm at the front door of the Deschatelets Residence, next door to St Paul University, and drive from there to Bank Street].

One of the aims of several of us is to support pro-life activities in Ottawa.  Ottawa is blessed in this regard by the leadership of its archbishop, Terrence Prendergast SJ.  The archbishop was prominent, along with several other Canadian bishops at the March for Life in Ottawa earlier in 2011.  On the morning of the March for Life, Archbishop Prendergast celebrated Mass in Ottawa’s Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, which was filled to overflowing with those about to join the March for Life activities on Parliament Hill and through the streets of the capital.

Also this year, at a time when many of us were dismayed at people with connections to pro-abortion groups being welcomed as guest speakers at Catholic functions, Archbishop Prendergast took decisive action and cancelled the speaking engagements of the head of one organisation because he judged its activities to be “incompatible with the Church’s defence of the right to life from conception to natural death.”  (See story here.)  At the time, the Archbishop posted an excellent statement on the Ottawa Archdiocesan website stating clearly the pro-life position of the diocese.  Unfortunately this excellent statement seems to have been discarded in the recent make-over of the diocesan website.

Congratulations and well done to those who have made Saint Paul Students for Life a reality.  We are pleased to be its inaugural members.  And for those of you in Ottawa, we hope to see you on November 10 for our first public function.

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

Our residence celebrated Thanksgiving tonight with a festive supper.  I wish I’d taken my camera down because the turkey was GI-NORMOUS!  It was also delicious.  Eric, the chef, said it had been cooking since 10.30am this morning.  I wouldn’t have liked to have encountered that bird when it was still alive: I’m sure it would’ve put up a good fight!  We get a holiday tomorrow, so that will give us extra time to study for Tuesday’s exam!

May we live with grateful hearts every day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The following is from the website of the Catholic Organisation for Life and Family, Canada.



07 October 2011
COLF asks Prime Minister Harper to redirect
the $6 000 000 promised to Planned Parenthood

In a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, dated October 4, 2011, the President of the Board of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) expressed his consternation with the conservative government’s decision to finance the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) through a grant from CIDA.

“IPPF works aggressively to dismantle abortion laws in countries where abortion is prohibited and to have abortion recognized as a universal human “right”, says Bishop Gerald Wiesner, O.M.I.  It would be naïve, therefore, to think that Canadian tax dollars will not be used by IPPF to promote abortion in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Sudan, and Tanzania… under the guise of “education”.

”COLF reminds Prime Minister Harper that “abortion destroys lives” and invites him to be attentive to the thousands of post-abortive women who are now speaking out about their suffering.

Since “IPPF does not meet the criteria” of the Muskoka Maternal/Child Health Initiative, Bishop Wiesner invites the Canadian Government to “redirect this six million dollar grant to organizations which truly respect the life and dignity of women and children, at every stage.

COLF is co-sponsored by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus. It promotes respect for human life and dignity, and the essential role of the family.

Please see below for the complete text of the letter.
For more information :
Michèle Boulva
Catholic Organization for Life and Family
(613) 241-9461, ext.141

October 4, 2011

The Right Honorable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2

RE: Funding of the International Planned Parenthood Federation

Dear Prime Minister,

In a letter dated February 2, 2010, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) applauded the efforts of your government to provide international leadership in the field of maternal and infant health care. We were heartened when we learned that the terms of the Muskoka Maternal/Child Health Initiative excluded the funding of abortion.

It was, therefore, with dismay that we learned recently that the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)—the world’s largest abortion provider and promoter—is to receive $6 million through a grant from CIDA over the next three years to fund “education programs” in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Sudan, and Tanzania.

The International Planned Parenthood Federation defines access to safe abortion as an “intrinsic part of maternal health.” IPPF works aggressively to dismantle abortion laws in countries where abortion is prohibited and to have abortion recognized as a universal human “right.”  It would be naïve, therefore, to think that Canadian tax dollars will not be used by IPPF to promote abortion in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Sudan, and Tanzania. Under the guise of “education,” this money will be used to advance IPPF’s fallacious claim that access to abortion is necessary in order to prevent maternal deaths and to promote women’s health.

The fact is that abortion destroys lives. Thousands of women who have been hurt by abortion are speaking out today, hoping to help others avoid the physical, emotional, and psychological suffering they have endured. Their message is clear: they made the wrong choice. Children are not the only victims of the abortion mentality; mothers and fathers are also victims of the abortion culture. Attached, you will find COLF’s message on the occasion of the 2005 March for Life entitled “Free Choice or Freedom of Choice?”, which precisely focuses on post-abortion trauma.

Simply put, IPPF does not meet the criteria of your maternal and child health care initiative. Surely it is not too late to redirect this six million dollar grant to organizations which truly respect the life and dignity of women and children, at every stage.


† The Most Reverend Gerald Wiesner, O.M.I.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
and Bishop of Prince George