I'm a news and politics geek and like to be aware of things, especially trends, with what's happening around me. One of the black holes in the news media is our neighbor to the north, the Dominion of Canada (the country that was created in 1867 so that its prairies and mountains wouldn't become part of the U.S.).
When I was growing up, good old dependable Canada was there in a pinch in World War I and II, but was not known for much of anything else. When Pierre Trudeau came along as Prime Minister, something akin to the excitement felt about JFK trickled across the border and we occasionally would think about Canada. Then the Quebec French started to think about freedom and I even subscribed to McLean's, the Canadian "Newsweek" for a time.
But in the past ten years, Canadian governmental officials seem to have subscribed to every liberal fad that has come down the pike, to the point where expressing one's faith, any faith, is often considered a crime today. What would have caused the "We're-minding-our-business-ehh" Canadians, who are over 40% Catholic, to go off the rails?
Well, Father John Corapi, the 21st century's answer to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, and "the Roto-Rooter of My Soul", tipped me off this morning on one of his dozen or so weekly media broadcasts.
It seems that two months after Pope Paul VI issued his Humanae Vitae Encyclical in 1968 that clearly stated that artificial contraception was a grievously deadly sin, the Canadian Bishops who were meeting in Winnipeg, Manitoba almost unanimously approved "The Winnipeg Statement", that rejected the Pope's encyclical and authorized Canadians to follow their conscience with respect to birth control.
"Although many Episcopal Conferences published statements regarding Humanae Vitae, it is the Canadian Bishops' statement which has been the subject of the most controversy, as it is generally seen by both supporters and opponents as a loophole whereby Catholics may feel permitted to use birth control. Central to the debate is the role and importance of personal religious freedom of conscience." [Source]
This "freedom of conscience" that Canadian bishops gave their parishioners in the Winnipeg Statement also permits them to support any other secular or modernistic program. Now I understand. Pray for Canada!