CCCB issues appeal for mercy, compassion and justice in the Middle East and throughout the world

The Executive Committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has issued an appeal “for mercy, compassion and justice in the Middle East and throughout the world”. The text was approved at the Executive’s meeting earlier this week on August 25, 2014. In its message, the Executive states: “As followers of the Crucified One, we recognize particularly in the Middle East the sufferings of our own brothers and sisters in faith. Moved by their pains and afflictions, we make their cause our own. We are united with them in solidarity and faith.” Read More cccb-logo-black-and-white[1]

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Rally on Parliament Hill – 6th of September

We pray for the gift of peace and courage: That the Holy Spirit inspire Canadians and the international community to protect all those affected or threatened by violence in the Middle East, to be with them in solidarity and concern, and to offer them assistance and aid.”

A rally in support of persecuted Christian Iraqis is being planned for Parliament Hill on Saturday, September 6th from 1 pm to 3 pm. Archbishop Prendergast will be participating in the rally and will speak on the Hill, along with Father Niaz Toma – an Iraqi Chaldean Catholic priest who has strong ties with the Iraqi Canadian Community. You are encouraged to attend this event and to please help get the word out to the faithful in our parish and our own families, friends, and communities about this event.

Also if you haven’t already, you can help further by supporting one of these three Canadian Catholic agencies in their fundraising efforts for the suffering people of the Middle East. These are CNEWA Canada (, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (, and Aid to the Church in Need – Canada ( As well, please urge your Member of Parliament to encourage the Government of Canada to do even more for the Middle East — by providing Canadian emergency and reconstruction assistance, by making it easier for our country to accept refugees, by participating in international efforts to foster justice and peace in the region, and by insisting on respect for freedom of conscience and religion, as well as respect for the rights of minorities.

Let us be united in solidarity and unceasing prayer for peace in Iraq, Gaza, Israel and Syria, as well as throughout the Middle East.


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How can we respond to the situation in the Middle East?

All of us, together with Pope Francis, are following with deep concern the dramatic news reports coming from Iraq, Gaza and Syria. Defenseless populations, including our Christian brothers and sisters, flee from their homes, in urgent need for protection, food, shelter and medical assistance. In solidarity with their sufferings, and in communion with the whole Church, let us, in the words of the Holy Father, “raise up with one voice a ceaseless prayer, imploring the Holy Spirit to send the gift of peace” to the Middle East.

Each parish in our diocese is invited for the coming weeks to include in the prayers of the faithful the following intention: That the Holy Spirit inspire Canadians and the international community to protect all those affected or threatened by violence in the Middle East, to be with them in solidarity and concern, and to offer them assistance and aid.

You are also encouraged to join with Christians and others in urging your Member of Parliament to encourage the Government of Canada to do even more for the Middle East — by providing Canadian emergency and reconstruction assistance, by making it easier for our country to accept refugees, by participating in international efforts to foster justice and peace in the region, and by insisting on respect for freedom of conscience and religion, as well as respect for the rights of minorities.

Three Canadian Catholic agencies are fundraising for the suffering people of the Middle East. These are the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, CNEWA Canada, and Aid to the Church in Need – Canada. Catholics are encouraged if possible to support all three agencies in their work. We wish to particularly highlight the good work of CNEWA in response to the recent crisis and encourage the faithful to support its charitable appeal.

Further information on the situation in the Middle East is regularly provided by Caritas Internationalis, which is the Church’s international network of over 160 national Catholic charities, serving poor people, of all faiths, all over the world. Up-to-date reports on the Middle East are provided on its website in English, at; in French, at

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Statement by the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue

August 12, 2014

The whole world has witnessed with incredulity what is now called the “Restoration of the Caliphate,” which had been abolished on October 29, 1923 by Kamal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey. Opposition to this “restoration” by the majority of religious institutions and Muslim politicians has not prevented the “Islamic State” jihadists from committing and continuing to commit unspeakable criminal acts.

This Pontifical Council, together with all those engaged in interreligious dialogue, followers of all religions, and all men and women of good will, can only unambiguously denounce and condemn these practices which bring shame on humanity:

  • The massacre of people on the sole basis of their religious affiliation;
  • The despicable practice of beheading, crucifying and hanging bodies in public places;
  • The choice imposed on Christians and Yezidis between conversion to Islam, payment of a tax (jizya) or forced exile;
  • The forced expulsion of tens of thousands of people, including children, elderly, pregnant women and the sick;
  • The abduction of girls and women belonging to the Yezidi and Christian communities as spoils of war (sabaya);
  • The imposition of the barbaric practice of infibulation;
  • The destruction of places of worship and Christian and Muslim burial places;
  • The forced occupation or desecration of churches and monasteries;
  • The removal of crucifixes and other Christian religious symbols as well as those of other religious communities;
  • The destruction of a priceless Christian religious and cultural heritage;
  • Indiscriminate violence aimed at terrorizing people to force them to surrender or flee.

No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarity. This constitutes an extremely serious offense to humanity and to God who is the Creator, as Pope Francis has often reminded us. We cannot forget, however, that Christians and Muslims have lived together – it is true with ups and downs – over the centuries, building a culture of peaceful coexistence and civilization of which they are proud. Moreover, it is on this basis that, in recent years, dialogue between Christians and Muslims has continued and intensified.

The dramatic plight of Christians, Yezidis and other religious communities and ethnic minorities in Iraq requires a clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims, as well as those engaged in interreligious dialogue and all people of good will. All must be unanimous in condemning unequivocally these crimes and in denouncing the use of religion to justify them. If not, what credibility will religions, their followers and their leaders have? What credibility can the interreligious dialogue that we have patiently pursued over recent years have?

Religious leaders are also called to exercise their influence with the authorities to end these crimes, to punish those who commit them and to reestablish the rule of law throughout the land, ensuring the return home of those who have been displaced. While recalling the need for an ethical management of human societies, these same religious leaders must not fail to stress that the support, funding and arming of terrorism is morally reprehensible.
That said, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is grateful to all those who have already raised their voices to denounce terrorism, especially that which uses religion to justify it.

Let us therefore unite our voices with that of Pope Francis: “May the God of peace stir up in each one of us a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated by violence. Violence is defeated by peace.”

Working translation issued by the Pontifical Council from the original French text

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A conference on Unity and Revival.  Be fearlessly open to the works of the Holy Spirit, says Pope Francis. Recently he brought together 7 Evangelical leaders to dine, pray and share vision for practical unity in Christ among Catholics and Evangelicals.

Some of those leaders will come to Ottawa on August 28-31 at the Delta Hotel.  Key-note speakers will be: Bishop Christian Reisbeck CC, Matteo Calisi, John Arnott and Bruno Ierullo.

You are invited to be apart of this new wave of unity and revival.

The Cost is $50. For more information and to register online, visit or contact Fr. Bob Poole at 613-744-8974.


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Example letter to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

Dear Parishioners,

With regards to the CPSO consultation, we invite you to consider expressing your concerns about a possible policy revision that would infringe on physicians’ freedom of conscience. A letter has been composed and you can either collect a copy along with the bulletin or find it on our parish website: A local Catholic physician has recommended that such a letter be sent to the e-mail addresses listed below.

Please personalize this letter with your own signature and address and send it to these email addresses asking them to please protect physicians’ freedom of conscience as they did publically in 2008:

- College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario: AND – The Ontario Medical Association: ;;

This letter could also be mailed to the following address: College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario 80 College Street Toronto, Ontario  M5G 2E2

This is a very serious matter requiring our urgent attention. Finally, as a reminder we are inviting people to do the following: Vote Yes on the poll



To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing concerning the CPSO’s Human Rights Code policy review, in particular as it pertains to a physician’s right to decline non-emergency care that does not conform to his or her moral and/or religious beliefs. It is imperative that the CPSO retain this fundamental safeguard to a physician’s right to act according to his or her conscience. Conscience-protection guidelines are vital to a physician’s mental and emotional well-being and thereby contribute to a well-functioning and vibrant health care system. As Dr. Margaret Somerville, the founding director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University said recently, “Do you really want to be treated by a doctor who doesn’t care if he thinks that he’s doing something unconscionable or unethical or immoral?”

Again the point needs to be emphasized that we are speaking of non-emergency care and not health-care services where a patient’s life is at risk. For example, except in very limited circumstances birth control is not health care, because it is acting against something that is actually functioning in a healthy manner – a person’s reproduction and fertility. Therefore, in the vast majority of cases birth control is about peoples’ lifestyle choices and not health care. Physicians should not be required by force of law to comply with someone else’s lifestyle choices.

Certainly a physician’s beliefs about what is, or is not, good medicine will sometimes inconvenience a patient. But what would be the consequences of forcing doctors to abandon their professional judgment and violate their conscience in order to cater to patients’ wishes? If individual doctors don’t have the right to reach their own conclusions as to what is good medicine in these non-emergency care situations we embark on a slippery slope where physicians will progressively be forced to cater to their patients’ demands.  This is not about good medical practices but about availability of non-emergency services that impose morality on all physicians, to the point where doctors need to violate their own conscience in order to serve their patients.

Our physicians’ freedom of conscience may cause some inconveniences, but their freedom cannot be usurped by the purported “right” of patients to access all medical services from any physician of their choosing.



Signed and Dated (and your address)

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College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) Human Rights Code Policy Review

Doctors in Ontario currently have the right to decline to provide non-emergency care that does not conform to their own moral and/or religious beliefs.  This allows them to opt out of non-emergency care referrals, such as abortions, emergency contraception and other medical care that violates their own conscience.

The CPSO is now reviewing their Human Rights Code policy; the new policy will provide guidelines for physicians practicing medicine in Ontario. There is pressure on the CPSO to include language in their policy that would require doctors to provide services or refer for services which run counter to their personal beliefs.

Given the possibility of grave implications of any change in the current policy of the CPSO regarding the Conscience Rights of Medical Practitioners, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops in Ontario is encouraging the Christian faithful to let their voices be heard.

The CPSO is accepting feedback on their website until August 5th at:

We strongly encourage you to provide feedback using one of the methods the CPSO suggests and support the right of doctors to follow their own moral and/or religious beliefs in their medical practice.

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The Feast of Corpus Christi

Feast of Corpus Christi 2014

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Next weekend on Sunday June 22 we will be celebrating our parish feast day, ‘The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ’.

  • The 9:00a.m. & 11:00a.m. Masses will be combined into one mass at 10:00a.m. with BISHOP CHRISTIAN RIESBECK PRESIDING.
  • Directly following Mass there will be an outdoor procession of the Eucharist around the block which our Church presides.
  • Concluding with our annual Parish B.B.Q. at Corpus Christi school. There will be food and drinks for everyone with games and activities for the children.

We encourage you to bring the whole family along and to please invite a friend! See inside the bulletin for more details on how you can volunteer to help make this a joyful celebration.

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A message for LIFE

Being in Communion with the Catholic Church on Moral Issues

The position of the Catholic Church in favour of life at all stages is clear and unchanging. A person who takes a position in contradiction to the teaching of the Catholic Church on the value and dignity of human life from the moment of conception to the moment of a natural death, and persists in this belief, is not in communion with the Church’s values and teaching, which we believe faithfully transmit for today the teachings of Christ.

In his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel, no 213), Pope Francis explains the link between protection of the unborn and every other human right:

“Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual”   (John Paul II, Christifideles laici, no 461).

One may not dissent from these core teachings on life issues and be considered a Catholic in good standing. This is a very serious matter requiring of each Catholic, prayer, reflection to inform one’s conscience, and openness to embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness.


+Terrence Prendergast, S.J.

Archbishop of Ottawa


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Faith Studies

The next round of Faith studies is beginning May 13th.  If you have taken the first study Discovery, then you can take any of the subsequent studies being offered!  If you haven’t already signed up and received a phone call, you can sign up at the back of the Church or contact the office.  The studies will begin Tuesday, May 13th at 7:15pm.  This will be the last round of studies being offered until September.

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