Toronto, ON – In a recent Advent homily offered by His Excellency, Bishop Ivan Camillieri, he reflected on the liturgical calendar, which has brought us to this season of preparation and anticipation.  He reminded his listeners that we should not see it as a mere repetition of previous years.  He used the image of an upward spiral, that while we return to the readings of Advent, and soon the Christmas passages for December 25, we should always be striving for a higher understanding, a more devoted engagement, and a better approach to each of the Church’s seasons.

His message was delivered in the midst of the downward spiral of our culture, where the Church is unfairly savaged by a culture of victims, where violence is all around, and where life itself is downgraded by offering assisted killing to more people, including those with mental health issues or infants.

We find a Light in the Darkness!  I quote from a Christmas poem from my friend, Brian Hogan:

Born today,                                                 Born today,

Could you conceive it?                              This novel invention

Peace on Earth,                                          Versus convention

Would you believe it?                               And all contention;

But, given the dearth,                                Protecting the weak

On earth, some unstable,                          And turning of cheek

Should we not, quick,                                Supporting the meek;

Return to the cradle                                  Assuring we seek,

Where hope was birthed,                         What sustains, and remains sure certain

Love liberally ladled.                                  Withal the call, of that final curtain.

                In Mary, and Joseph, and Only Son,

                This Gifted Way was firm begun

                Against consuming grind and race

                May we now, quick, embrace the Grace

                For yes, it continues, even today,

                Where people stand, and say, and sway,

                Against all fear, and fraud, and wrath,

                Boosting a helping and healing path.

                Does not that kindly cradle teach

                How to really rock our reach?

The CCRL in 2022

The League called on its supporters and friends and all Catholics in Canada to pray not only for successful engagement with our Indigenous brothers and sisters in Christ, but for true advancement of reconciliation between the Church and Indigenous peoples who suffered in residential schools or through their legacy.

The CCRL widely commented on the Statistics Canada study on police reported violent crime in Canada, revealing that the largest increase in targeted crime occurred against Catholics, with a 260 percent increase between 2020 and 2021. Mainstream media had reported the overall 27 percent increase, but the most staggering of all increases, the 260 percent rise in anti-Catholic hate crimes, was ignored.

The League continues to update our Church Attacks Database, accessible from cataloguing attacks against Catholic churches in Canada ranging from the breaking of stained-glass windows, to acts of desecration and church burnings. The CCRL is providing Canada’s only nationwide database that tracks and records attacks against our churches and other Catholic properties. We also will maintain a record of arrests and convictions from such attacks. We will follow through to make sure that law enforcement responds with vigor to this alarming trend in anti-Catholic violence.

The CCRL was the first to report that charges against Jesuit priest Fr. Anthony Van Hee, 87, for purportedly breaching the “bubble zone” outside of the Morgentaler Clinic in downtown Ottawa were dropped by the Ontario Crown, in the Ontario Court of Justice over four years from the original charges.

Fr. Van Hee is a previous winner (2019) of the CCRL’s Archbishop Adam Exner Award for recognition of Catholic witness in public life.

League President and General Counsel Phil Horgan has been acting on behalf of Fr. Van Hee and the CCRL in the constitutional challenge to the Safe Access to Abortion Services Act, which is ongoing, and will soon be argued in Ontario Superior Court. Horgan referred to this as, “a first victory in what we hope will be a vindication for Fr. Van Hee, and for believers in free speech and expression, especially when it comes to expressing dissent on matters in the public interest.”

We appeal to any of you who are able to send a donation to the CCRL by clicking here or by mailing a cheque to the CCRL at 2305 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M6S 1P1, or by calling the office at (416) 466-8244 or 1-844-722-CCRL.

About the CCRL

Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. The CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization with a large nationwide membership base. The CCRL is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.

To donate to the CCRL, please click here.

For further information:

Christian Domenic Elia, PhD
CCRL Executive Director