Brendan: There’s so much to deconstruct about Canada’s recent federal election, but from a Catholic perspective there’s a big question that has emerged in my mind and I want to pose it to you: Is Canadian politics suspicious of Catholics?
We are an independent, non-partisan organization devoted to the formation of all Catholics, and others of good will, for full civic participation in accordance with the social teachings of the Catholic Church. We want to bring Gospel values to the center of public discourse.
As Catholics, we believe our vote is an act of moral vision—a gift to our community. We must discern our votes prayerfully and thoughtfully, through the lens of Catholic social teaching. Not sure where to start? Try comparing the parties’ platforms here.
Through its social teachings, the Church has provided guidance for the building of just societies in a very wide variety of forms. Forms of governance, economic structures, international relations, and mechanisms for empowering each individual to have a voice and to seek truth in their own way are all addressed, so that whatever the global and contemporary context, we are not left to grope or wander in the dark.
The 2019 Federal Election will take place on or before October 21st. We are working to get Catholic voters to the polls, and to ensure they’re prepared when they get there. Look here for the ways we can help, and to volunteer!
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On Monday, the leaders of the federal parties faced each other in the only English-language television debate of the election. Re-watch the debate below from CBC’s YouTube page.
Federal Election Debate from a Catholic Perspective originally broadcasted on Thursday, October 3, 2019.
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church contemplates and outlines the rights and duties of a number of social institutions, and implies the purposes and utility of others. In the Church’s framework, both the roles and numbers of
M: If you’re okay with it, Brendan, I’d like to go one more round on the topic of saints for Catholic citizens. There’s one in particular I’d like to mention. He’s possibly a special one for Catholic Conscience: Saint John
One of the greatest spiritual tools afforded to us as Catholics in our journey towards God is the inspiration offered by the lives of saints. The saints are not just close to God in a special way, and people we
Twice a month, Matthew Marquardt and Brendan Steven get together over breakfast and talk about what it means to be a Christian citizen. These are their Conscience Conversations. Want to join the conversation? Want to learn more about Catholic social teaching, and how you can serve your community as an active Christian citizen? Reach out to us: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Political parties and civic engagement matter. The visions for society that parties support have an enormous effect on nations, particularly when they take up the reins of power. How do we, as citizens, engage with parties, and help shape those visions? How can engaged citizens make a difference in the political process?
UN 2019 Emissions Gap Report
CARE FOR CREATION. For the first time, an annual UN study shows signs of hope as well as dire warnings in the deepening climate emergency. This year's Emissions Gap Report, which tracks global progress in meeting internationally-agreed emissions standers, the UN describes the current outlook as "bleak." "Countries collectively failed to stop the growth in global GHG emissions," the UN says, "meaning that deeper and faster cuts are now required."
However, the report also offers some glimmers of hope: "behind the grim headlines, a more differentiated message emerges from the ten-year summary. A number of encouraging developments have taken place and the political focus on the climate crisis is growing in several countries, with voters and protestors, particularly youth, making it clear that it is their number one issue. In addition, the technologies for rapid and cost-effective emission reductions have improved
Pope Francis has repeatedly warned us that climate change an emergency faced by all humanity, and that failure to act now may well have "catastrophic" consequences.
With Pope Francis, let us pray for ourselves, that individually and collectively we might become better stewards of the vineyard entrusted to us by the Master:
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace...
Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father’s love
and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!
Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined
to everything that is.
God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
Amen.Source: United Nations Environment Programme - November 27, 2019
Full article at: https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2019
Federal Election Guide: the Economy
Our partnership with the Catholic Register continues with Catholic reflections on the economy. The Church takes a clear position on the economy: it should serve people by providing the means to maintain a continuous search for God — especially in a search for God in our families and in each other. In the Pope’s vision, the economy “favours the integral development of the world’s peoples, a just distribution of the Earth’s resources, the guarantee of dignified labour and the encouragement of private initiative and local enterprise.”
Canada’s economy brings both blessings and challenges. Most Canadians have access to the necessities of life — food, clothing, basic education, transportation and housing, and perhaps a bit more. Yet many Canadians go without nutritious food, a roof over their heads, opportunities to dignified employment and more. For many, it is difficult to find stable, full-time employment capable of supporting a satisfying family life. This is particularly true for young couples, many of whom struggle to participate in the economic life of society and to share in the hope for a brighter future.Source: The Catholic Register - October 15, 2019
Full article at: https://www.catholicregister.org/item/30286-federal-election-a-catholic-guide#economy
Federal Election Guide: Foreign Relations
Our partnership with the Catholic Register continues, with reflections on the Canada's role in the global community. Pope Francis has advocated for international co-operation, particularly between wealthy countries such as Canada and countries struggling with issues like poverty, climate change, corruption and economic abuse by their own governments and multinational corporations. He has also warned against the resurgence of isolationist nationalism.
A nation “cannot be regarded as absolute and an island,” he said. “It cannot provide its people with the common good” while meeting “the great contemporary challenges of climate change, new slavery and peace.”Source: The Catholic Register - October 11, 2019
Full article at: https://www.catholicregister.org/item/30286-federal-election-a-catholic-guide#foreign-policy
Our 2019 Toronto Downtown Region All-Candidates' Meeting
Many thanks to the Green Party's Dean Maher, who was the only one the 11 invited candidates from four parties that managed to join us at St Peter's Church for our 2019 Downtown Toronto Regional All-Candidates' meeting.
We were sorry to have missed those who sent regrets, and disappointed in those campaigns that declined to respond to us. We had a good turnout from all three ridings, and an excellent and informative conversation with Mr Maher, who explained both his personal values and those of his party. We also talked about the very common problem faced by principled voters whose values are not completely supported by any of the parties' or candidates' platforms, and the different means and options for deciding one's vote.
We also touched upon the importance of candidates taking time to engage with potential constituents, including the importance of such meetings as a factor in deciding one's vote.
Given the importance of meetings between local representatives and their potential constituents, we intend to continue hosting meetings during future elections, and invite all candidates, all parties, and all voters of good will to consider joining us on those occasions. Like so many candidates in past elections, Mr Maher expressed great pleasure at the pleasant respectfulness of our interactions, even on issues in which his party is not entirely in line with the Church.Source: Catholic Conscience - October 10, 2019
Full article at: https://www.facebook.com/CatholicConscience.org
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