A call to Catholic Action: Speak out against assisted suicide

The archdiocese of Toronto has called for action in response to the government of Canada's request for input on the expansion of Socially-Assisted Suicide (SAD) in Canada. The teachings of the Church are clear that human life is sacred from conception to natural death. It's important that Catholics and others who have a concern for the complete dedication of our lives to our Creator speak up.

According to a Quebec court, the current statutory limits to SAD are too restrictive, and the government must make the process more broadly available or the law will be struck down - at least in Quebec. In addition to the threshold question how certain a recipient’s natural death might be in order to qualify or assistance, the government is also seeking guidance for other ways of expanding availability, including:

• So-called "mature minors" — people under age 18 considered by doctors to be capable of directing their own care.
• Cases involving "advanced requests" — where a patient stipulates they would like their life to end at a later time when they are no longer competent to give consent.
• And people who wish to end their lives solely because of mental illness.

“During the fall election campaign,” CBC notes, “Justin Trudeau committed to changing the law.”

The teachings of the Church are clear: human life is sacred, from conception to natural death. “First in the list of human rights acknowledged by the Church is the right to life, from conception to its natural end, which is the condition for the exercise of all other rights and, in particular, implies the illicitness of every form of procured abortion and of euthanasia.” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Sect. 155).

Moreover, the 5th Commandment, “Thou shall not kill” should also be borne in mind. If our purpose in life is to find our way back to God, using all of the gifts God has entrusted to us, then it behooves us to make use of every moment we are granted for that purpose, and not to either give up ourselves or to deprive others of the opportunity.

And as Christ explained to us in Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew, we will be judged as nations on how we cared for those on the margins. We as individuals, are responsible for the actions of our nation.

It’s time to consider the Gospels and the Commandments, to reflect on the dignity and meaning of life, and speak out to help the Government make wise choices, for the good of people.

Let us pray:

Mother of the most gentle Shepherd, help us, as individuals and as a great nation, to consider the value of God-granted life and the gifts each of us has to share, from the time we are conceived until God calls us home naturally, in order to help us on our journey back to God. Help us to care for one another lovingly along the entire way, and to learn to bear the pain of loss and illness in a spirit of sacrifice for those less fortunate than we.

Seat of Wisdom, guide us, please.


Source: Government of Canada - January 14, 2020
Full article at: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cons/ad-am/index.html

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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!


Source: United Nations Environment Programme - November 27, 2019
Full article at: https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2019

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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

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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

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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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Federal Election Guide: The Environment

Our partnership with the Catholic Register continues, with reflections on the environment. Radical change” is needed, Pope Francis said, in order “to save our common home” and “to avoid perpetrating a brutal act of injustice towards the poor and future generations.” A culture of materialism and consumerism has led to lifestyles in the industrialized world that are unsustainable and “can only precipitate catastrophes.”

Source: The Catholic Register - September 26, 2019
Full article at: https://www.catholicregister.org/item/30286-federal-election-a-catholic-guide

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Federal Election Guide: Good Citizenship

Catholic Conscience is proud to partner with The Catholic Register to present perspectives on issues of interest to Catholic voters in the lead-up to Canada's federal election. "Political strategists often talk about so-called ballot questions — the questions voters ask themselves as they cast their votes. For Catholics, our ballot questions should be: Is my vote contributing to the enrichment of God-given dignity and justice for every Canadian? Am I casting a vote for a candidate who has displayed the virtues of humility, integrity and respect for the dignity of all, a candidate who will enable and encourage the pursuit of the truth which ultimately is God?”

Source: The Catholic Register - September 19, 2019
Full article at: https://www.catholicregister.org/item/30286-federal-election-a-catholic-guide

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Federal Election Debate: from a Catholic Perspective

We are excited to share that the Archdiocese of Toronto will be hosting a federal election debate on October 3rd, so that Canada’s Catholic community can hear directly from the political parties about issues of deep concern to Catholics.

This is a great opportunity for the Catholic community to make our voices heard in politics. We are so excited to be there! We are proud to have played a small role in this idea and look forward to the world seeing how engaged and diverse our community is.

We hope to see you on October 3rd! (Free) Tickets will be available starting September 3rd. And stay tuned for details about our Catholic Action election program, which we will be running over the course of the federal election—supporting Catholics as they fulfill their duty to vote and engage in political action.

Source: Office of Communications of the Archdiocese of Toronto - August 20, 2019
Full article at: http://www.archtoronto.org/election

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Pope calls faithful to pray, participate actively in politics (CNA)

“A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of himself, so that those who govern can govern... Politics, according to the Social Doctrine of the Church, is one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good,” he explained. “I cannot wash my hands, eh? We all have to give something!”

Source: Catholic News Agency - August 10, 2019
Full article at: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-calls-faithful-to-pray-participate-actively-in-politics?fbclid=IwAR1l6ombzGXIn5q44IzxxcOwiea91NVBvEiymWrTytv-6eBQ1OUEhnxow9k

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The benefits of fighting climate change

CARE FOR CREATION. Last month Pope Francis warned a Vatican summit on climate change that time is running out, and decisive action is needed on climate change. Climate change, he warned, "threatens the very future of the human family." The linked CBC news item points out that aside from ensuring that future generations have a place to call home, acting now on climate change might bring even more benefits.

Source: CBC News - July 10, 2019
Full article at: https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/climate-change-mitigation-co-benefits-1.5205552

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