Toronto, ON December 23, 2023 – The Vatican announced this week the possibility of a “blessing” for couples in a same sex relationship. The document has added to the confusion of priests and the faithful on what is meant by a “blessing”, and in what instances it can be applied.
The expansion of recognition and acceptance of transgender and other sexual orientations continues, with curriculum demands, imposition of pronouns, raising of so-called Progress flags, and continued demands for funding.
In other news, we have witnessed an alarming spread of troubling developments. Here are some examples:
- the current expected expansion of physician assisted killing to those suffering from mental illness, to commence on March 17, 2024 after a one year delay;
- statistics show that more than 57,000 Canadians have accessed euthanasia since its legal introduction in 2016 through 2023. A previous expansion of eligibility in 2021 removed the requirement that a patient be suffering from a terminal illness. Roughly 4.5 per cent of all deaths in Canada are now delivered by medical personnel;
- another two churches were recently burned to the ground due to arson, raising the total to at least 85 such instances of arson or vandalism of church properties since 2021. A motion to condemn such acts of vandalism was not allowed to proceed in a Parliamentary committee on October 24, 2023;
- an increasing number of incidents of antisemitism in protests in Canada arising from the situation in the middle east;
- demands from public authorities to deny Christ in hall rentals or other public use of facilities, even if the event is organized for a Christmas dinner function;
The CCRL is involved in several court challenges for which we have provided support through advocacy and other assistance.
Days for Life Obtains Injunction Against a Woman Seeking to Sabotage its Efforts
On behalf of 40 Days for Life, an injunction was obtained on March 1, 2022, restraining the efforts of a woman in Cambridge/Kitchener, seeking to sabotage its online operations by posting TikTok videos on how to submit false sign-ups, make false purchases, and other efforts to sabotage online activities of the organization. That injunction was recently overturned on an appeal this past November. However, that decision is now being appealed to the next level of appellate court.
In the meantime, the same woman brought an application to strike the entire proceeding (an anti-SLAPP motion, alleging that 40 Days was engaged in strategic litigation to oppose public participation). 40 Days was successful in having that motion dismissed in 2022. That decision was appealed for which a hearing was held in July, 2023. A decision is pending.
Ontario Drops Charges Against Fr. Van Hee; Ontario Bubble Zone Challenge to be Heard in 2024
In the category of good news, the Ontario Crown dropped charges of breaches of the Safe Access to Abortion Services “bubble zone” legislation, against Jesuit priest Fr. Tony Van Hee, on October 28, 2022, four years after he was first charged. His ongoing constitutional challenge remains outstanding in the Superior Court.
The law prevents any protest or counselling within 50 metres of an abortion clinic. Fr. Van Hee was charged in 2018 for engaging in a silent, prayerful protest, while displaying a sign promoting free speech. No words were spoken. But the authorities nevertheless arrested him, owing to his mere presence across the street from the Morgentaler clinic in Ottawa.
In Advent, we are presented with the scriptural passages of needing to be alert, to reflect on the voice in the wilderness, and to be reminded of the “yes” offered by Our Lady to the angel’s announcement of good news. There is no suggestion that hardship or suffering will be avoided, but that the birth of Our Saviour will lead to our redemption and ultimate joy.
May we continue to find hope and peace, as we accept the coming of Christ. May He find a place in our hearts, and may we reflect that joy to others.
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 PO Box 84505, RPO Bloor West, Toronto, ON, M6S 4Z7, or by calling the office at (416) 466-8244.
About the CCRL
Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) (www.ccrl.ca) 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.
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