faith | service | social justice

Communiqué #05 – Social Justice

Dec 13, 2023 | By Position, By Year, Communiques, In the News, Media, News Releases, Social Justice, Social Justice

Glenda Carson, National Chairperson of Social Justice, December 13, 2023

FOR: Chairpersons of Social Justice at All Levels (new structure) and Chairpersons of Education and Health and Community Life at All Levels (old structure)


Greetings, sisters in the League!

Check out a new resource! There is now a designated Indigenous Resources webpage on the national website. It is found under the Resource section and reflects the visionary work of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of a national ad hoc committee put together last term with the approval of the national executive/board. To quote from the resource document, Walking Together With Indigenous Catholic Women, “Members of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada are in a perfect position to be leaders in enhancing Indigenous relationships within the church and society because of the large membership of Catholic women, structure as an organization and focus on connectedness… The need for action is critical and central to the League, from the definition of what the League is as an organization to the perspective of the dignity of human persons and respect for diverse cultures.” A permanent subcommittee under social justice will be struck in February 2024 to make recommendations to the national chairperson of social justice on the content of the designated webpage and other Indigenous-specific initiatives from a national perspective.

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD): A February 2023 poll indicated that only 31% of Canadians support mental illness as a sole criterion for MAiD. A more recent poll in September supports that two in five persons have faced barriers to receiving the mental health treatment they sought and would be more likely to seek MAiD because of this. Women and young Canadian adults aged 18-34 face the most obstacles. Bill C-314 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying),would have removed mental illness from the criteria in October. Unfortunately, the bill was defeated by a narrow margin of 167 members of parliament opposing it and 150 supporting it. It remains essential to keep encouraging legislators to revoke the legislation supporting mental illness as part of the criteria and to work to protect the needs of those most vulnerable in society so that MAiD is not the only option for them. Members have requested assistance with postcard campaigns for the various aspects of concern for MAiD. In response, postcards have been created and are available on the national website.

Laudate Deum: As I write this communiqué, we are amid the most recent United Nation’s climate change summit, COP 28. In step with the summit, Pope Francis’ most recent apostolic exhortation, Laudate Deum, is an urgent call to respond to the significant crisis the world is experiencing with climate change. He warns that because of the inadequacy of response, “The world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point… We will feel its effects in the areas of healthcare, sources of employment, access to resources, housing, forced migrations, etc.” I encourage all members to reflect on this crucial writing by the Holy Father and explore actions to take to ease the crisis engulfing this precious planet and the life it supports.

Coming up in January: Below are some national and international commemorative dates of note. Others may be found on the social justice calendar on the national website and other Catholic social justice websites.

January 1: World Day of Peace

January 15: Martin Luther King Day

January 18–25: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 22: Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of the Unborn Children

January 27: International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

January 29: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia

It sometimes seems that the never-ending violence, crisis and suffering in the world become more profound every day. This can erode confidence in the future and create a sense of darkness and hopelessness. But through the Advent message of the love of God, members can come to appreciate that they have the power to rise to their challenges and truly see the beauty and potential for good in the world. Members are called to take strong steps forward as individuals, as Christians, as women and sisters, to contemplate all messages of change wisely and to lead towards just action through faith, prayer and love for each other.

I pray that you may experience the gift of faith, the blessing of hope, and the peace of Christ’s love this Christmas and always.

Your sister in the League,

Glenda Carson

National Chairperson of Social Justice