TUESDAY     February 15, 2000    vol. 11, no. 32    SECTION THREE

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SECTION THREE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Canada to host World Youth Day in 2002
  • Canada in danger of caving to gay agenda with more corrosive legislature
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC

  • WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

    More than One Million Expected for Closing Mass

        TORONTO, FEB 13 (ZENIT).- The city of Toronto is beginning preparations for the Pope's visit in July, 2002, when the 17th World Youth Day is to be held there. According to reports in the Toronto Star, John Paul II is expected to say Mass for an estimated 1 million people at the closing of the event.

        Mayor Mel Lastman described the Pope as "the superstar of superstars -- one of the most loved men in the world." The mayor's office has been working with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops for the past two years in order to bring the event to Toronto.

        Nonetheless, the Vatican has not made an official public confirmation of the selection. This is expected to come at the end of the Jubilee World Youth Day in Rome.

        Toronto has a very international population, representing 169 different countries of origin and 100 languages. Organizers predict that this will help the young visitors from around the world to feel welcome.

        Fr. Thomas Rosica, national director of the event, stated that "World Youth Days forges bonds, breaks down cultural and geographic barriers and unleashes a tremendous potential for doing good. Our goal isn't to leave behind monuments but living reminders of this beautiful gathering.''

        The youth will be involved in some sort of public service project for the poor of Toronto during the five days they are there. "It's a Catholic event, but it encompasses the goodwill and desires of all young people,'' Fr. Rosica said. "Young people cut through the difficulties and nonsense of an adult and skeptical world.''

        The event is tentatively scheduled for July 22-28, 2002. On the 27th, there will be a prayer vigil with the Holy Father, while the closing Mass will take place on the 28th. Downsview, the likely site of the Mass, can accomodate more than a million people.

        Dennis Mills, appointed by the Prime Minister as papal commissioner of the event, stressed the intangible benefits the visit will have on Toronto. "The presence of the [Pope] in Toronto will prick the conscience and reinvigorate the values of caring and sharing. In 1984 when the Holy Father was here, he made an impact." ZE00021321

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        OTTAWA (CWNews.com) - Canada's Justice Minister on Friday introduced new legislation that would give the same benefits to same-sex couples as enjoyed by common-law couples, but without giving them the legal status of marriage.

        Justice Minister Anne McLellan's bill proposes changes to about 60 laws, essentially declaring homosexual and lesbian partnerships to have the same legal status as common-law couples, including pension benefits and income tax regulations, among others. McLellan said it represented "the modernization of both benefits and obligations." She said the Supreme Court made it "very clear ... that we have to ensure equal treatment between common-law same-sex and opposite-sex relations."

        McLellan said the definition of marriage is "very clear" in Canadian law. "Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. There is absolutely no confusion about that."

        Reform Party legislator Eric Lowther said there were weaknesses in the legislation. Under the bill, qualifying for benefits is "contingent upon private physical intimacy. There must be a conjugal type of relationship," he said. "That excludes a lot of people that might otherwise qualify (but) don't have a sexual relationship," he said. How would officials know whether "roommates are just roommates or people (in) a conjugal relationship?" The government should not be asking people "what's your private sex life," in order for them to qualify for benefits, Lowther said.

         For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and the Dossiers, features and Daily Dispatches from ZENIT International News Agency CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC, but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

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    February 15, 2000     volume 11, no. 32
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