Speaking about the Canadian government’s attempt to impose an ideological test on organisations wishing to receive funding from Canada’s summer jobs programme, Archbishop of Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins told Vatican News: “I think a lot of Canadians” – including people of different faith traditions and even non-believers – “are appalled by this heavy-handed, dictatorial approach that the government has taken for no reason at all.” The programme provides funding to organisations – in­cluding small businesses and not-for-profit organisations, as well as charitable organisations – that hire students during the summer months.

The Canadian government is expecting faith-based and charitable organisations, as well as small business, to say they believe in abortion and other controversial issues.

Mgr Collins described this as a very troubling situation.

Need for decent wages

His Beatitude Sviatoslav, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, said: “When we talk about decent wages, we primarily rely on the concept of the dignity of a human person. We understand that a salary is not only to assure some of one’s basic needs, but also to feel one’s own dignity. A person should know that society and his employer treat him with due respect. After all, everyone needs the necessary conditions for the development of their gifts and talents, spiritual and cultural level.

“The State must respect those who give salaries, who develop businesses which create jobs for its citizens. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the relationship bet­ween an honest employer, an honest worker and an honest State that duly respects both the first and the second is not yet regulated.”

Young people’s fears

In a message for the 33rd World Youth Day, Pope Francis said: “Young people, what are your fears? What worries you most deeply?

“An ‘underlying’ fear many of you have is that of not being loved, well-liked or accepted for who you are. Today, there are many young people who feel the need to be different from who they really are, in an attempt to adapt to an often artificial and unattainable standard.

“They continuously ‘photo-shop’ their images, hiding behind masks and false identities, almost becoming fake selves. Many are obsessed by receiving as many ‘likes’ as possible. Multiple fears emerge from this sense of inadequacy.

“Others fear they will not find emo­tional security and that they will remain alone. Many, faced with the uncertainty of work, fear not being able to find a satisfactory profession or to fulfil their dreams.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)


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