By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ever Heard of This?

Recently I was appointed by the CCCB to the board of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF). On Saturday I participated in my first meeting, during which some of the staff told of recent Canadian Catholic events they attended and at which they had made available a number of COLF's publications. They reported that many present at these gatherings were surprised to learn of the existence of COLF. I was surprised at their surprise!!! COLF has been in operation for many years, and does extraordinarily good work in support of the cause of life and family. It was a shock to me, to say the least, that people involved in the life and ministry of the Church in Canada had not heard about it. If the reader of this blog post is among those who have not yet learned about COLF, allow me to introduce you to this wonderful organization.

The Catholic Organization for Life and Family is co-founded and co-funded by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Knights of Columbus. Its mission is to "to build a culture of life and a civilization of love by promoting respect for human life and dignity and the essential role of the family." From this mission statement it is clear that COLF focuses upon those issues which are foundational to the common good: life and family. Thank God it does, because these very same issues are viewed by many as not foundational but peripheral to society's concern.

Key to the accomplishment of its mandate is education. Issues are complex and we need help today to navigate through them so as to see the truth clearly. To this end COLF has over the years produced some beautiful documents inspired by the inherent dignity of the human being and pertaining to issues that flow from it: the right to life of the unborn, the full understanding of Christian marriage, the beauty and mission of the family, and so on.

Of grave concern to COLF and to all of us currently is the issue of the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. In point of fact, a bill to enable such legalization is presently before the legislative assembly of Quebec. As I wrote in an earlier post, the push for this legalization relies heavily on a deliberate confusion of terminology, aimed at covering over the fact that we are speaking here of killing fellow human beings. COLF has resources available to clarify the teaching of the Church and to help people understand her terminology and make appropriate distinctions.

I invite you to become familiar with COLF and its work and make use of its publications. It is a terrific resource! Check out its website at