Catholic film censor to re-examine its role

By Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News OTTAWA – A Quebec organization founded by the Canadian bishops more than 50 years ago to censor films will be re-examining its mission under a new CEO. The Communications et Société board of directors has appointed Msgr. Pierre Murray, a priest of the Montreal archdiocese, to run the organization that has evolved significantly since its early days before the Second Vatican Council. Catholic Register article...

Declaration on the Authority of Parents and Guardians in the Education of their Children

Supplement The following documents are cited in the Declaration of the Authority of Parents and Guardians in the Education of their Children. For ease of reference, extracts from these documents follow. Consult the full text of the original documents on line. ● Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960) ○ (Full text on line) ● Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) ○ (Full text on line) ● Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (1981) ○ (Full text on line) ● Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1959) ○ (Full text on line) ● International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) ○ (Full text on line) ● International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) ○ (Full text on line) ● Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) ○ (Full text on line) Download pdf version of the Supplement Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960) Article 2 When permitted in a State, the following situations shall not be deemed to constitute discrimination, within the meaning of article 1 of this Convention: ( b ) The establishment or maintenance, for religious or linguistic reasons, of separate educational systems or institutions offering an education which is in keeping with the wishes of the pupil’s parents or legal guardians, if participation in such systems or attendance at such institutions is optional and if the education provided conforms to such standards as may be laid down or approved by the competent authorities, in particular for education of the same level; Article 5 1. The States Parties to this Convention agree...

The Laity and Political Affairs

The lay faithful 1 are fully members of the Church and citizens of this country. We are citizens by birth or naturalization, and Christians by rebirth through baptism. Our citizenship brings with it ties to the larger community and the obligation to contribute to its progress and the solution of its problems,2 while through Baptism and Confirmation we are appointed by the Lord to share in the mission of the Church.3 This mission is both secular and spiritual, reflecting the distinctive natures of citizenship and Christianity.4 The principal duty of the laity is to reveal Christ to others,5 helping one another to greater holiness of life even in our secular activities, so that the world may be filled with His spirit.6 While clergy and religious share this obligation, secular duties and activities belong properly (though not exclusively) to the laity.7 Our special vocation is to bloom where we are planted “in the midst of the world and of secular affairs”8 so that the Gospel can take deep root “in the mentality, life and work” of the nation.”9 Especially by the example of lives “resplendent in faith, hope and charity,”10 we are to bring Christ and His Church to places and circumstances where only we can go, and make fruitful vineyards where only we can labour:11 in our families, workplaces and communities, and in political affairs.12 Beginning with practical things, we must become truly proficient in our chosen fields of work and in key secular disciplines, contributing our labour and skills to the development of a humane and fruitful civil culture that will ensure the just distribution of goods and social...

The Church and Politics

The Church?s mission is religious, not political, economic or social.1 However, her religious mission is not limited to spreading the gospel, but includes the renewal and improvement of the whole world.2 The religious mission of the Church motivates political activity, providing “the source of commitment, direction, and vigour to establish and consolidate the community of men according to the law of God.”3 This does not bring something foreign to political life. Non-religious people are motivated by various non-religious beliefs, such as a belief in the dignity of man, the role of religion in society, and the purpose and limits of law. These people act on their beliefs when they become involved in politics. They attempt to maintain or reform existing institutions to reflect their beliefs about how to structure society and the state to serve the common good. Religious believers do exactly the same thing, though they draw their motivation and ideas from different sources. To forbid citizens to express and to act upon their beliefs in politics is a plain impossibility. To forbid only religious believers to express and act upon their beliefs in politics is plain bigotry.4 The proper approach, especially in a democratic state, is to encourage all citizens to work for the common good in public life, whether they are motivated by religious or non-religious beliefs. Acting independently and in different ways, the Church and the political community serve the common good:5 the good that “embraces the sum total of all those conditions of social life which enable individuals, families, and organizations to achieve complete and efficacious fulfilment.”6 Catholics should set an example by their...

The Clergy and Politics

Considering clergy 1 in general, political activity is not their responsibility, but that of the laity.2 Consistent with this, Canon Law not only commands clergy to acknowledge and promote the mission of the laity in the world,3 but forbids clergy to assume public office.4 Granted: clerics may, with the permission of their superiors, play an active role in political parties or trade unions in order to defend the rights of the Church or to promote the common good.5 However, this kind of activity is clearly exceptional, justified only when the laity is unable to act effectively without direct clerical assistance. Such circumstances have existed and continue to exist from time to time in different places, but they do not now exist in Canada. Bishops 6 do not exceed their authority or competence simply by commenting upon political issues. Faith and morals are a bishop?s proper and primary concern. But marriage, divorce, pornography, abortion and euthanasia are all moral issues which are the subject of intense political debate; so is the just distribution of earthly goods. The Church has not only the right but the duty “to pass moral judgements even in matters relating to politics whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it.”7 Neither of these concepts can be narrowly defined. Among the fundamental rights which popes and bishops have defended, for example, one finds private property, life, health, religious freedom, the right to form unions, the right to a just wage and decent hours of work, and the right to be free of excessive taxation.8 The goal is to help shape public policy...