There's nothing here yet
By Guest Nicole
Un grupo de testigos de Jehová realizó lo que podría considerarse como uno de los secuestros más extraños hasta el momento, y es que privaron de la libertad a sus vecinos asegurando que se encontraban huyendo del fin del mundo, de acuerdo con reportes policiales de Alberta, en Canadá.
Jacqueline Schaffter, juez de la corte provincial argumento que los tres detenidos, dos mujeres y un hombre que hasta el momento no han sido identificados, sufren de un extraño trastorno psicótico el cual hasta el momento no ha sido revelado y por el que deberán llevar un tratamiento para evitar hacerse daño a si mismos o a terceros.
El extraño secuestro ocurrió en el mes de noviembre del año 2017 cuando cinco personas entre ellas dos menores de edad, fueron obligados a abandonar su hogar y abordar una camioneta junto a los testigos de Jehová, cuatro de los cuales se encontraban completamente desnudos.
El hombre y su familia lograron escapar y ayudaron a las autoridades a dar con los sospechosos quienes de inmediato fueron arrestados.
Al declararse culpables por los delitos de secuestro y confinamiento ilegal, los detenidos recibieron como sentencia un año de servicio comunitario y dos de libertad condicional, además de tener que someterse a un tratamiento de consejería.
By Guest Nicole
Paramedics say one person is dead after two small planes collided in mid-air over Ottawa‘s west end just after 10 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Ottawa police said that one of the aircraft crashed into a field near McGee Side Road just east of the 417 in Carp in rural west Ottawa. A spokesperson for Ottawa paramedics said an occupant of that plane was pronounced dead on the scene.
The other aircraft was redirected to Ottawa International Airport and landed safely, sustaining only minor damage. No injuries were reported aboard that plane.
It’s not known how many people were aboard each aircraft, or how exactly the collision occurred.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating
Read more: https://globalnews.ca/news/4628657/ottawa-aircraft-collision-midair/
By Guest Nicole
The Supreme Court of Canada Thursday heard arguments in a fight over a church’s “shunning” practice, and said it would release a ruling later, but the congregation involved and several other groups argued that the justices had no right to even take part in the fight.
The fight is between Randy Wall, a real estate agent, and the Highwood congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Calgary.
Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant, court records said. He pursued a church appeals process, unsuccessfully, then went to court because he said the church’s “shunning,” that is, practice of not associating with him in any way, hurt his business.
He explained his two occasions of drunkenness related to “the previous expulsion by the congregation of his 15-year-old daughter.”
A lower court opinion explained, “Even though the daughter was a dependent child living at home, it was a mandatory church edict that the entire family shun aspects of their relationship with her. The respondent said the edicts of the church pressured the family to evict their daughter from the family home. This led to … much distress in the family.”
The “much distress” eventually resulted in his drunkenness, Wall said.
See the WND Superstore’s collection of Bibles, including the stunning 1599 Geneva Bible.
Wall submitted to the court arguments that about half his client base, members of various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, then refused to conduct business with him. He alleged the “disfellowship had an economic impact on the respondent.”
During high court arguments Thursday, the congregation asked the justices to say that congregations are immune to such claims in the judicial system.
The lower courts had ruled that the courts could play a role in determining if, and when, such circumstances rise to the level of violating civil rights or injuring a “disfellowshipped” party.
The rulings from the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeals said Wall’s case was subject to secular court jurisdiction.
A multitude of religious and political organizations joined with the congregation in arguing that the Canada’s courts should not be involved.
The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms said in a filing, “The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind. For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
Previous case law has confirmed the ability of religious or private voluntary groups to govern themselves and dictate who can be a member.
But previously rulings also reveal there is room for the court system to intervene when the question is one of property or civil rights.
The Association for Reformed Political Action, described the case as having “profound implications for the separation of church and state.”
Its position is that the court should keep hands off the argument.
“Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” said a statement from Andre Schutten, a spokesman for the group. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
John Sikkema, staff lawyer for ARPA, said, “The issue in this appeal is jurisdiction. A state actor, including a court, must never go beyond its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court must consider what kind of authority the courts can or cannot legitimately claim. We argue that the civil government and churches each have limited and distinct spheres of authority. This basic distinction between civil and spiritual jurisdiction is a source of freedom and religious pluralism and a guard against civic totalism.”
He continued, “Should the judiciary have the authority to decide who gets to become or remain a church member? Does the judiciary have the authority to decide who does or does not get to participate in the sacraments? Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere. Here we need separation of church and state.”
The Alberta Court of Appeal, however, suggested the fight was about more than ecclesiastical rules.
“Because Jehovah’s Witnesses shun disfellowshipped members, his wife, other children and other Jehovah’s Witnesses were compelled to shun him,” that lower court decision said. “The respondent asked the appeal committee to consider the mental and emotional distress he and his family were under as a result of his duaghter’s disfellowship.”
The church committee concluded he was “not sufficiently repentant.”
The ruling said “the only basis for establishing jurisdiction over a decision of the church is when the complaint involves property and civil rights,” and that is what Wall alleged.
“Accordingly, a court has jurisdiction to review the decision of a religious organization when a breach of the rules of natural justice is alleged.”
By Bible Speaks
RARE VIDEO OF STEVE: Last night in parts of Canada, dogs started barking at the midnight sky. The canines were responding to a bright purple ribbon of light--also known as "STEVE." The apparition, which occurred during a G1-class geomagnetic storm, was so long-lasting that at least one onlooker had time to capture rare video of the phenomenon. This is a still frame from a video of STEVE captured on April 10th by Matthew Wheeler of Robson Valley BC Canada. .
Romans 1:20. #OurCreatorJehovahGod?
Sobrevivientes de abuso sexual alegan encubrimiento por parte de los testigos de Jehová por no reportar asaltosBy Guest Nicole
Christian es el demandante representativo en una demanda colectiva de $66 millones que se ha entablado contra los Testigos de Jehová en CanadÃ¡. Es en nombre de Ã©l y de otros sobrevivientes de abuso sexual infantil, quienes acusan a la secta de proteger a los depredadores sexuales de la justicia.
La demanda, que aÃºn no ha sido certificada por el tribunal, es simplemente la Ãºltima en lo que se ha convertido en una creciente presiÃ³n internacional sobre la secta religiosa para cambiar la doctrina que los crÃticos dicen que protege a los pedÃ³filos.
Se llama la Regla de los Dos Testigos. Al citar las Escrituras, los testigos de JehovÃ¡ requieren que haya al menos dos testigos de actos de abuso sexual infantil antes de que se pueda tomar alguna medida contra presuntos abusadores sexuales, a menos que haya una confesiÃ³n.
A travÃ©s de una investigaciÃ³n que se extiende desde CanadÃ¡, EE. UU., Inglaterra y Australia, el programa W5 expone cÃ³mo la organizaciÃ³n desalentÃ³ las acusaciones de agresiÃ³n sexual de ser denunciadas a la policÃa.
TambiÃ©n revela que los Testigos de JehovÃ¡ mantienen una base de datos secreta, documentando cada alegato de abuso sexual contra miembros que alguna vez se haya realizado.
By Bible Speaks
CANADA STUDIES THE BEHAVIOR AFTER THE DENUNCIATION OF A POLITICS AGAINST JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES.
For this, they will consult with Jehovah's ExWitnesses.
The press article says:
This is the report of the medical examiner Luc Malouin the death of Eloise Dupuis, a young Jehovah's Witness died a week after giving birth and who had refused a blood transfusion, causing the member of Taschereau to act.
The letter sent to the Vice-president of the Commission of Institutions, the member of the Parliament for Verchères StÃ©phane Bergeron, specifically mentions members of sects who are in emergency medical situations, especially women.
Although the Liberal Party has a majority in the Institutions Committee, Ms. Maltais hopes that she can convince the majority of the members to study the matter in a parliamentary committee. "Jehovah's Witnesses, former Jehovah's Witnesses, representatives of hospitals and public health could testify, the idea is to understand, because forensic reports will always say that all the rules have been respected. free and voluntary consent when a person has been in a cult for years and is under pressure, "says Maltais.
Published last week, the coroner's report indicated that Malouin is independent and without undue influence how her religious community Eloise Dupuis had rejected a blood transfusion in October 2016. The 27-year-old resident of San Marguerite, Beauce died in the HÃ´tel-Dieu de LÃ©vis a week later.
By Srecko Sostar
Newcastle Herald senior journalist, Joanne McCarthy.
Catholic, Anglican, Uniting and some others with WT-JW in the same pot. This prove how JW are not so different as religion/organization who claim to be only true and only one religion with highest moral standards above all others.
Catholic church and JW looking at child molestation as a sin, moral failure. According to recommendation they need to change that view on issue. GB changed many past "truths" and replaced "firmly bible based teachings"Â with "new teachings" giving same explanation - this new teachings is also "firmly established on Bible" :))). Will they change "two witness rule" in cases of child molestation? Until now they said "firmly" NO. Â But future can/might give "new clarification" on this matter :)) And all members will see that new instructions as "proper food in proper time". hehe
"Jehovah's Witnesses accused of failing to adopt abuse inquiry recommendations"
PostedÂ Fri 10 Mar 2017,Â Â http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/jehovahs-witnesses-accused-of-failing-to-adopt/8343354Â Â
By Srecko Sostar
On June 23, 2016, San Diego, California, Superior Court Judge Richard Strauss grew tired of the Watchtower Society fighting his order to produce a 1997 letter sent to all elders worldwide, and decided to sanction the religion with a fine of $4000 per day until the Watchtower complied with that order.
Today is November 12 2017. Quick mathematical say that this Company payed almost $2 000 000 until today. Imagine how many ice creams children in JW congregations would be able to enjoy after Sunday meetings in KH, with this fund. Imagine how many poor bro and sis in congregations worldwide would be helped and receive some comfort for daily life.
But as Bible say: Proverbs 22:2 -"The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both." 28:6 - "Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich."
Source: JW Victims.org
By Guest Nicole
Barry W. Bussey: Last week, the Supreme Court was asked to do something courts never do: review the solely religious decision of a church
On November 2, the Supreme Court of Canada was asked to do something Canadian courts never do: review the solely religious decision of a church community. Until now, the courts have recoiled from getting involved in religious disputes—and for good reason.
The case involves Randy Wall, who was dismissed from a Jehovah’s Witness church for failing to repent of his religious offences: getting drunk on two occasions and verbally abusing his wife. Wall’s appeal to another church entity was unsuccessful. He then appealed to a court of law by means of “judicial review,” on the grounds that the church had denied him a proper hearing.
In Canadian law, in a process known as “judicial review,” a person can ask a court to “review” (i.e. hear) whether the decision of a “public actor” (such as a government licensing agency) was unfairly decided. Courts rarely review decisions of “private actors” (such as a church); they generally do so only if a private actor’s decision engages property or civil rights. In Wall’s case, the court had to determine whether the Jehovah’s Witness church’s decision involved property or contractual rights, which would then enable the court to review the church’s decision.
"The church argued it was a private religious body, not a public body"
The church argued it was a private religious body, not a public body, and that its decision did not affect Wall’s property or contractual rights. It also argued that its disciplinary procedure was a religious process involving prayer and scripture reading aimed at reconciling the relationship between Wall and the church. The lower courts both held that religious decisions can be reviewed by courts to determine whether a church gave a fair hearing, even if no property or contractual rights were engaged. However, both courts were also of the view that property rights were an issue in the case. The Supreme Court of Canada must now decide whether those courts were right. The Supreme Court reserved judgment after last week’s hearing; we can expect its decision early in the new year.
Courts like to “fix things.” They naturally want to find resolutions to disputes; this is what they exist to do. However, courts have historically avoided getting involved in religious cases, recognizing that they lack the expertise and authority to settle religious disagreements. They handle legal cases, such as contractual disputes, but not religious cases that raise metaphysical truths, such as the definition of God.
Wall argued his case did involve a “property right,” because his dismissal from his church meant the church members were no longer willing to do business with him. As a real estate agent, 50 per cent of his clientele were Jehovah’s Witnesses. His business folded from the loss of their support. He says there is a direct line of causation between his loss of church membership and business loss. It’s likely the case that one caused the other, but that doesn’t mean Wall’s claim is a legally enforceable property right.
"A church member is not required to patronize the business of a former church member"
The reality is, Wall chose to limit his business to Jehovah’s Witnesses and took a personal risk in doing so. The church did not tell him to do so, and certainly there is no known legal principle that says a church is responsible for the economic losses that might flow from a loss of membership. A church member is not required to patronize the business of a former member. In the same way, we would not expect a former husband to maintain business with his ex-wife’s family.
At last week’s hearing, Wall’s legal counsel tried to persuade the court that, if there are no grounds under Canadian law for the court to interfere in purely religious matters, the court should then consider adopting U.K. law, which does allow this type of review. “Good luck!” Justice Rosalie Abella quipped, prompting everyone to burst into laughter.
That exchange suggested the court was not persuaded that it is time to change the law to allow courts to get tangled up in reviewing decisions of religious bodies. That would be a good thing, as courts don’t have the moral or legal authority or doctrinal expertise to decide such matters.
This hearing occurred around the time of the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. If we have learned anything since then, it’s that the law does not need to apply to every nook and cranny of our lives – especially our religious affairs.
Barry W. Bussey is Director Legal Affairs at the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. He blogs at lawandreligion.org
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
The judicial committee of a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses asked the Supreme Court of Canada today to rule that Canadian courts do not have the authority to review the expulsion of one of their members — arguing that judicial review by the courts should not extend to decisions by private and voluntary associations that have no effect on the public at large.
The Highwood Congregation, located in northwest Calgary, brought its appeal to Ottawa after Randy Wall took the congregation to court for expelling him from the church. The congregation’s judicial committee “disfellowshipped” Wall in the spring of 2014 after his family reported to the group’s elders that he had been drunk on two occasions and was verbally and emotionally abusing them — and after determining he was not “not sufficiently repentant” for those actions.
After three internal and unsuccessful appeals, Wall applied for judicial review of the congregation’s decision-making process, insisting it was flawed and that the congregation’s judicial committee had “breached the principles of natural justice and the duty to be fair.” Both the Court of Queen’s Bench and Court of Appeal in Alberta declared that it is within the jurisdiction of the superior court to review Wall’s case.
The congregation’s appeal of those two rulings, heard by the Supreme Court Thursday morning, has attracted a lot of attention from legal experts and religious communities across the country. Echoing the congregation’s plea today in the packed Ottawa courtroom were 12 religious, political and civil liberties groups — all of them unanimous in arguing the top court should not interfere in the membership decisions of religious bodies.
The consequences of such interference, they said, would be detrimental to the self-determination of religious groups.
“It (would) fundamentally alter our nation and not for the better,” counsel for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms said in court.
“The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind,” the group wrote in its written submission to the Supreme Court. “For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
This question of jurisdiction is one that has been explored and decided on by the courts — including the Supreme Court of Canada — in the past. Case law shows the top court has recognized the the autonomous ability of religious and private voluntary associations to govern their own affairs and dictate who can and cannot be a member of a congregation.
The courts have determined, however, there is room to intervene in specific cases when a membership decision turns on property or civil rights — or is of “sufficient importance to deserve the intervention of the court.”
Wall — who does not dispute the allegations against him that formed the basis of the congregation’s decision to kick him out — argues his case meets those requirements because his “disfellowship” caused him to lose business clients, suffer “significant economic harm” and experience fraught family relations.
In return, the congregation argues that neither Wall’s property rights, nor his civil rights, were affected by their decision. Justice Russell Brown also remarked during the hearing that “one does not have a justiciable right to earn a living.”
The congregation also argued that it did not ask or force its members to boycott Wall’s business — but people choose to do so in line with their religious convictions. Counsel for the congregation also said that “the door is not closed” to Wall and he can be reinstated in the congregation in the future.
More generally, the congregation argued that it would be inappropriate for the courts to review the internal decision-making processes of religious groups because those processes are ecclesiastical.
In a news release, the Association for Reformed Political Action — one of the 12 intervening groups — said the case before the Supreme Court has “profound implications for the separation of church and state” and it believes the court should maintain a hands-off approach to membership decision-making by religious groups.
“Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” the association’s director of law and policy, André Schutten, wrote in the statement. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
The Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association took a slightly more nuanced position, arguing in its factum that “there will inevitably be cases where judicial intervention in the decisions of religious groups is ‘warranted'” but courts “should intervene … only in the rare case where required by a prevailing public interest.”
Thursday’s hearing was heard by all nine justices on the Supreme Court bench. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said the court will reserve its decision after today’s hearing.
Overflow seating was set up in the front hall of the Supreme Court to accommodate all the people who came to see the hearing live.
By Guest Nicole
TORONTO.- La demanda acusa a la organización religiosa de tener reglas y políticas que protegen a los que abusan sexualmente de menores y ponen a los niños en riesgo.
“La política y el protocolo de la organización para hacer frente a las denuncias de abuso sexual está gravemente dañada y resulta en más daño a las víctimas de abuso sexual y en alegatos legítimos de abuso sexual que no se denuncian”, dice el documento.
“Esta es una cuestión que la comunidad en general debe preocuparse, y no sólo los testigos de Jehová”, dijo Tricia Franginha. Agrega que sus primeros 14 años de vida como Testigo de Jehová fueron llenos con abuso sexual.
“Como resultado de los procedimientos, cuando se presentan acusaciones de abuso, a estos delincuentes sexuales se les dejan en libertad”, dice Franginha. “Como la mayoría de la gente sabe acerca de los testigos de Jehová, es que ellos son los que vienen a su puerta los sábados por la mañana, cuando sus hijos están en casa y por lo que saben, esa persona ha ofendido más de una vez”.
Todavía ninguna de las acusaciones en esta demanda ha sido probada en el Tribunal Superior de Ontario. Un portavoz de los Testigos de Jehová dijo que mientras la demanda ha sido presentada, la organización aún no la ha recibido oficialmente, por lo que no pueden comentar los detalles.
“Los Testigos de Jehová aborrecen el abuso infantil y nunca protegerían a ningún perpetrador”, fue la explicación el portavoz Mattieu Rozon. La organización también dice que los ancianos de la congregación cumplen con las leyes de reportes de abuso infantil.
Franginha dijo que cuando ella fue a buscar ayuda, fue callada.
“Cuando tenía alrededor de los 12 años, me dijeron que debía tner dos testigos y que tenía que respetar a mis padres – callarme y no hablar de ello”, explicó.
La necesidad de que dos testigos corroboren las denuncias de abuso es señalada en la demanda. Las personas que han sido abusadas sexualmente deben presentar dos testigos creíbles de su abuso, explica Franginha, quien añade que los testigos deben ser otros Testigos de Jehová en buen estado en la iglesia.
“Esto, obviamente, nunca sucede”. “La naturaleza misma del crimen es que es secreto”.
La demanda también alega que la policía no es llamada cuando las acusaciones de abuso sexual salen a la superficie y en su lugar son manejadas por los veteranos de la iglesia dentro del Salón del Reino.
“Es nuestra información, basándonos en personas que nos contactaron, que los sistemas que tienen no protegen contra el abuso sucedido, y cuando se hacen denuncias, se toman medidas inadecuadas para asegurar que la queja llegue a las autoridades apropiadas” dice Bryan McPhadden, ayudante de McPhadden Samac Tuovi, que representa a las víctimas.
Las víctimas buscan $20 millones por daños por abuso sexual y mental perpetradas por personas mayores, $20 millones por no proteger a los niños y otros $20 millones por incumplimiento del deber de cuidado.
La demanda se espera que tome años para abrirse paso a través de los tribunales.
Si usted cree que califica para unirse a la demanda colectiva, puede comunicarse con los abogados en www.mcst.ca.
By Guest Nicole
A group of alleged sexual abuse survivors from across the country have filed a $66-million class action lawsuit against the Jehovah’s Witness, CityNews has learned.
The suit accuses the religious organization of having rules and policies that protect child sex abusers and put children at risk.
“The organization’s policy and protocol for dealing with allegations of sexual abuse is seriously flawed, and results in further harm to victims of sexual abuse and results in legitimate allegations of sexual abuse going unreported,” it alleges.
“This is an issue that the wider community should be concerned with, and not just Jehovah’s Witnesses,” says Tricia Franginha. She says her first 14 years of life as a Jehovah’s Witness were filed with sexual abuse.
“As a result of their procedures, when abuse allegations come forward, these sexual offenders are left at large,” Franginha says. “As most people know about Jehovah’s Witnesses, they are the ones who come to your door on Saturday mornings, when your kids are home, and for all you know, that person has offended more than once.”
None of the allegations in this the suit have been tested in Ontario Superior Court. A spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witness says that while the suit has been filed, the organization hasn’t officially received it yet, so they can’t comment on the details.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and would never shield any perpetrator,” says spokesperson Mattieu Rozon. The organization also says congregation elders comply with child abuse reporting laws.
Franginha says that when she went for help, she was shut down.
“When I was around 12, I was told that I didn’t have two witnesses and I needed to respect my parents – not to talk about it,” she says.
The need to have two witnesses corroborate allegations of abuse is singled out in the suit. People who have been sexually abused must present two credible witnesses to their abuse, explains Franginha, who adds that the eyewitnesses must be other Jehovah’s Witnesses in good standing in the church.
“This, obviously, never happens,” she says. “The very nature of the crime is that it’s secret.”
The suit also alleges that police are not called when allegations surface and instead they’re handled by church elders inside Kingdom Hall.
“It is our information, based on people who contacted us, that the systems in place don’t guard against [abuse] happening, and when allegations are made, inadequate measures are in place to ensure that the complaint reaches the proper authorities,” says Bryan McPhadden, laywer at McPhadden Samac Tuovi, which is representing the victims.
The victims are seeking $20 million for damages from sexual and mental abuse by elders, $20 million for failing to protect children, and another $20 million for breach of duty of care.
The lawsuit is expected to take years to wind its way through the courts. If you believe you qualify to join the class action suit, you can reach out at www.mcst.ca.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is finishing up the third round of NAFTA negotiations alongside counterparts from Mexico and Canada.
They’re talking cars. Right now, a law known as the “rules of origin” states that for a car produced in NAFTA countries, 62.5% of its total value must originate in those countries. BUT there aren’t any country-specific mandates. Expect the U.S., which feels like it’s getting stiffed in vehicle manufacturing, to demand a minimum level of U.S.-made parts.
Shariah and rules that govern religious practices in other faiths are not to be feared, spiritual leaders sayBy Guest Nicole
Recourse to secular courts
Religious laws apply to a believer's spiritual life. They don't trump Canada's Criminal Code, civil law orÂ other statutes.Â
Sometimes, secular courts are even called upon to judge whetherÂ a faith-based decision is fair.
On Nov. 2, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear from anÂ Alberta man appealingÂ aÂ decision made by aÂ Jehovah's Witnesses' judicial committee.
Elders disfellowshipped Â— or expelled Â— Randy Wall when they decided the Calgary manÂ was not sufficiently repentant for two drunken incidents where he allegedly verbally abused his wife.
This decision by elders of the congregation required Wall's wife and children to shun him. Wall, a real estate agent,Â alleges the shunning caused him to lose a large number of Jehovah's Witnesses clients. Courts are sometimes are asked to judge the fairness of a religious rule or decision. The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear the case of a Jehovah's Witness who was expelled for alleged verbal abuse of his wife. (Chris Wattie/Canadian Press)
In 2007,Â Canada's top court ruled in favour of a womanÂ who took action against her ex-husband for refusing to grant her a religious Jewish divorce, known as aÂ get.
"The consequences to women deprived of aÂ getÂ and loyal to their faith are severe," Justice Rosalie Abella wrote.
"They may not remarry within their faith, even though civilly divorced. If they do remarry, children from a second civil marriage are considered illegitimate and restricted from practising their religion."
Full article:Â http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/shariah-religion-islamophobia-1.4295453
By Guest Nicole
Un juez ha autorizado a un hospital de Montreal a realizar transfusiones de sangre para tratar a una adolescente de 14 años con cÃ¡ncer, a pesar de su rechazo porque es testigo de JehovÃ¡.
Al permitir las transfusiones, el tribunal dictaminÃ³ que es lÃcito proteger a los niÃ±os, a veces "contra sÃ mismos", cuando sus decisiones pueden ser fatales.
Bajo la ley de Quebec, los menores de 14 aÃ±os pueden rechazar ciertos servicios de salud. Sin embargo, si los padres del niÃ±o o un hospital -en este caso, el Centro Universitario de Salud McGill- quieren administrar esos servicios, pueden solicitar el permiso de un juez.
El juez de la Corte Superior, Lukasz Granosik, dijo en su decisiÃ³n que la adolescente es "una chica brillante y articulada" que tiene mucho Ã©xito en la escuela y tiene una "madurez mÃ¡s allÃ¡ de su edad biolÃ³gica", pero que aÃºn no estaba madura para decidir, y estaba bajo la presiÃ³n de sus padres que tambiÃ©n son testigos de JehovÃ¡.
Granosik tambiÃ©n seÃ±alÃ³ que la niÃ±a hablÃ³ de la muerte con "renuncia", a pesar de tener un 97 por ciento de posibilidades de recuperaciÃ³n si se sometiÃ³ a tratamiento.
En junio de 2017, descubriÃ³ que tenÃa linfoma de Hodgkin, una forma de cÃ¡ncer, y tuvo que comenzar la quimioterapia.
Este tratamiento, sin embargo, a menudo requiere transfusiones de sangre. Sin ella, la paciente podrÃa morir o sufrir un daÃ±o neurolÃ³gico irreversible, dijo su mÃ©dico.
Los Testigos de JehovÃ¡ no aceptan transfusiones de sangre.
La decisiÃ³n del juez Granosik fue rendida el 1 de septiembre.
By Guest Nicole
A judge has authorized a Montreal hospital to perform blood transfusions to treat a 14-year-old teen with cancer, despite her refusal because she is a Jehovah's Witness.
By allowing transfusions, the court ruled that it is lawful to protect children, sometimes "against themselves," when their decisions can be fatal.
Under Quebec law, minors over the age of 14 can refuse certain health services. However, if the child’s parents or a hospital--in this case, the McGill University Health Centre--wants to administer those services, they can seek a judge’s permission.
Superior Court Judge Lukasz Granosik said in his decision that the teen is "a brilliant, articulate girl" who is very successful at school and has a "maturity beyond her biological age," but that she was not yet mature enough to decide for herself, and was under pressure from her parents who are also Jehovah's Witnesses.
Granosik also noted the girl spoke of death with "resignation," despite having a 97 percent chance of recovery if she underwent treatment.
In June 2017, she found out she had Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer, and had to begin chemotherapy.
This treatment, however, often requires blood transfusions. Without it, the patient could die or suffer irreversible neurological damage, her doctor said.
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions.
Judge Granosik’s decision was rendered on Sept. 1.
- With a report from The Canadian Press
By Bible Speaks
A judge orders a 14-Year-old witness to be baptized with blood.
A judge from Quebec has decided that a 14-Year-old Jehovah's witness who has cancer must undergo blood transfusions, despite his express desire not to receive them.
The Adolescent, who is not named, learned in June that she has hodgkin's lymphoma, a rare form of cancer affecting white blood cells. He has an excellent survival rate, if it's early.
Treatment involves chemotherapy, which often requires blood transfusions. But as Jehovah's witness, the faith of the girl states that it is against God's desires to consume or be transfused with any blood.
The girl, who had just turned 14 at the time of her diagnosis, refused to accept any transfusion.
Under the québec law, children under the age of 14 may reject certain health services. However, if the parents of the child or a hospital want to administer these services, they may request the permission of a judge.
In his decision issued earlier this month, judge lukasz granosik noted that the girl had embraced his religion at an early age and was baptized at 12 years of his own agreement.
McGill University Health Center, where the girl was being treated, argued that the girl was not mature enough to make those decisions and was under the pressure of her parents to refuse transfusions.
In his judgement, granosik noted that the girl was brilliant and expressive, but also said he was talking about death "almost with resignation".
Noting that the law is designed to protect children even from themselves, he ordered the girl to submit to any blood transfusion necessary to save his life
The girl's Hematologist-oncologist says that the girl's prognosis with full treatment is excellent, with 97 percent of recovery possibilities.
The hospital has promised to use blood transfusions only if the child's life is in danger, and use other methods to avoid transfusions when possible.
No update on the current adolescent health status is known.
The Quebec court requests the adoption of a collective demand for sexual abuse against Jehovah's WitnessesBy Bible Speaks
The Quebec court requests the adoption of a collective demand for sexual abuse against Jehovah's witnesses
A trial proposes to accuse the leadership of the religious organization in Canada and the United States to protect alleged abusers
The lawsuit is looking for $ 250.000 per plaintiff for moral and punitive damages.
Radio-Canada says that, if approved by the court, collective action will be the first of its kind against Jehovah's witnesses, a religious movement that is already the subject of several individual trials in the United States.
It is now up to the québec high court to determine whether the application is sufficiently substantiated to authorize collective action.
By Guest Nicole
Quebec provincial police are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by two members of a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Mont-Laurier in the Laurentians, Radio-CanadaÂ’s investigative programÂ EnquÃªteÂ has learned.
Both men have been sanctioned through the churchÂ’s internal disciplinary process for dealing with allegations of child abuse, but congregation elders did not share their findings with civil authorities.
One of the men being investigated, Michel Courtemanche, who has been expelled from the congregation, was acquitted of charges of sexual assault and indecent assault in 1996.
However, the SÃ»retÃ© du QuÃ©bec has renewed its investigation of Courtemanche and has begun investigating another man, former congregation elder Georges Leclerc, based on new evidence from at least seven alleged victims.
Leclerc has been stripped of his status as an elder, but he has not been arrested or charged, and he refused to speak withÂ EnquÃªte.
Courtemanche has not been arrested or charged as a result of the new investigation and denies the allegations against him. In an interview withÂ EnquÃªte, he pointed to his 1996 acquittal.
Â“My answer is there was a judgment on this based on very precise facts, and I was acquitted,Â” he said.
At least 7 potential victims, police say
EnquÃªteÂ spoke with PÃ©nÃ©lope Herbert, the woman whose allegations of repeated sexual assaults starting when she was just 10 led to CourtemancheÂ’s 1996 trial. Â
Carolle Poudrier, now in her mid-40s, also toldÂ EnquÃªteÂ of alleged sexual contact by Courtemanche, over a period of months when she was 11.
In the case of Herbert, she said the assaults continued until she was 17 Â— even after her family moved from Mont-Laurier.
Â“He would come to our house to say hello and would sleep over,Â” Herbert, now 42, toldÂ EnquÃªte. Â“Those nights, he would come to my room. WeÂ’re talking total rape, those nights.Â”
Carolle Poudrier told EnquÃªte of alleged sexual contact by Michel Courtemanche, over a period of months when she was 11. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
EnquÃªteÂ has learned the SQ has interviewed more than 40 people, of whom seven have been identified as potential victims of either Courtemanche or Leclerc.
Four of the seven, including Herbert and Poudrier, have now filed formal complaints with police. SQ spokesperson Martine Asselin toldÂ EnquÃªteÂ theyÂ’re now seeking other possible victims and witnesses.
Â“WeÂ’re looking to identify other potential victims who perhaps feel theyÂ’re alone and arenÂ’t ready to talk,Â” Asselin said.
Â“They should know that investigators are ready to meet with them and witnesses.Â”
Both men were friends
According toÂ EnquÃªte, Leclerc and Courtemanche were friends around the time HerbertÂ’s parents lodged an internal complaint with the congregation about the alleged assaults on their daughter.
Leclerc was, as a congregation elder, a senior member of the congregation who is responsible for providing religious guidance and ruling on disciplinary matters.
EnquÃªteÂ said LeclercÂ allegedly did not speak to Herbert to learn the details of her complaint, as required by JehovahÂ’s Witness protocols in such matters.
Courtemanche was later reprimanded and allowed to remain in the congregation.
Georges Leclerc and Michel Courtemanche were friends around the time PÃ©nÃ©lope HerbertÂ’s parents lodged an internal complaint with the congregation, according to EnquÃªte. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
Disillusioned with how the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses had handled her complaint, Herbert took her allegations to police in 1995.
Courtemanche remained a JehovahÂ’s Witness after his acquittal but was expelled in 2014,Â EnquÃªteÂ found, after two other women filed internal complaints alleging he had assaulted them as minors.
Leclerc remains with the Mont-Laurier congregation, butÂ EnquÃªteÂ says he was stripped of his elder duties after at least three women filed complaints internally with the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses, alleging he had assaulted them when they were minors.
Police, youth protection notÂ notified of allegations
According toÂ EnquÃªte, the first time police investigated HerbertÂ’s allegations against Courtemanche in the mid-1990s, they were not aware Carolle PoudrierÂ’s parents had also alleged Courtemanche had assaulted their daughter.
PoudrierÂ’s parents were members of a congregation in Terrebonne, just north of Montreal, and had filed their complaint there Â—Â not with CourtemancheÂ’s congregation in Mont-Laurier.
Poudrier alleged that Courtemanche, who was working for her dad, would make her sit on his lap so he could caress and tickle her, which made her uneasy. A few months later, he kissed her twice.
Â“He asked me if IÂ’d ever kissed anyone, and he put his tongue in my mouth. I found that disgusting,Â” Poudrier toldÂ EnquÃªte.
After she told her parents and they complained, Poudrier was made to recount what happened to a congregational elder in the presence of her father.
Carolle Poudrier told what happened to a congregational elder in the presence of her father. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
Â“I was really stressed talking about sexual matters with a man I didnÂ’t know, in front of my father. It was embarrassing,Â” Poudrier said.
She said the elder thanked her for telling him what had happened and said that Â“he was there to take care of it.Â”
In a lawyerÂ’s letter to Radio-Canada,Â the elder in question, John MacEwan, said he knew PoudrierÂ’s family but denied meeting with them concerning allegations against Courtemanche.
When asked byÂ EnquÃªteÂ if the Terrebonne congregation had shared the complaint against Courtemanche with his Mont-Laurier congregation, MacEwan refused to answer.
Neither police nor youth protection authorities were ever notified of the alleged assaults on Poudrier.
The JehovahÂ’s Witnesses leadership, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, has given preference to internal judicial procedures and protocols for dealing with matters such as child abuse.
Carolle PoudrierÂ’s father, left, had worked with Michel Courtemanche, right. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
Â“In some jurisdictions, individuals who learn of an allegation of child abuse may be obligated by law to report the allegation to the secular authorities,Â” an internal memo to elders from 2016 reads.
Â“In all cases, the victim and her parents have the absolute right to report an allegation to the authorities.Â”
When it comes to sharing information with outside authorities, however, the leadership has insisted on maintaining confidentiality, citing privacy and the ecclesiastical privilege conferred by confessions.
EnquÃªteÂ found there are as many as 30 steps a JehovahÂ’s Witness must take before that person is allowed to testify in court or furnish civil authorities with church documents, when it comes to matters of child abuse.
Â“When you study the process, you realize itÂ’s really a process for avoiding, a system for protecting the reputation of the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses,Â” Â said Marilou LagacÃ©, a former Witness interviewed byÂ EnquÃªte.
New instructions regarding allegations of child sexual abuse
A recent royal commission in Australia found the JehovahÂ’s Witness church there had recorded allegations of child sexual abuse against 1,006 members over a 60-year period. Not one allegation had been reported to authorities outside the church.
With pressure mounting in the wake of that royal commission and other allegations of sexual abuse of children in its ranks, on Sept. 1, the Watchtower Society issued new instructions regarding allegations of child sexual abuse.
Those instructions recognize child sexual abuse as a crime and assert that members should be Â“clearly informed that they have the rightÂ” to report an allegation of abuse to police.
Â“The congregationÂ’s handling of an accusation of child sexual abuse is not intended to replace the secular authorityÂ’s handling of the matter,Â” the Sept. 1 letter reads.
Â“Therefore, the victim, her parents, or anyone else who reports such an allegation to the elders should be clearly informed that they have the right to report the matter to the secular authorities.
Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.Â”
By Bible Speaks
Have you attended the 2017 Don't Give Up convention yet? How many people attended? My convention was held in June, and was tied into the Special Convention in Toronto, where we had the privilege of listening to Brother Herd give a talk all 3 days! ?
~ Tap on Link to Video MP4 ___
Video by @hcastrojr -
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
By Bible Speaks
Ontario, Canada, robots to operate cancer in Jehovah's witnesses.
The patient, a 70-Year-old high risk of prostate cancer, was a Jehovah's witness.
His religion was one of the reasons why he decided to undergo surgery in st. Joseph's healthcare in Hamilton, home to a robot named da Vinci, whose firm metal hands can remove a prostate with little risk of blood transfusions prohibited by man's faith.
On a recent afternoon, the patient remained unconscious on an operating table while surgeon bobby shayegan and his team threw a camera and three surgical instruments controlled through small incisions in his abdomen.
Dr... Shayegan settled in front of a three-dimensional screen, joined the two joysticks who controlled the tools inside his patient's pelvis and proceeded to cut, cauterize and sew until he released the man's prostate, pulling it out through one of the original incisions.
There was no blood.
" that was routine said Dr. Shayegan later, holding the gland the size of a plum tree that he and the robot had withdrawn together. Very routine.
This is how nine out of every 10 prostatectomy take place in the United States. Robot-assisted surgery is not the path of the future there - it is the path of now.
By The Librarian
Over 2,500 people from the far corners of northwestern BC, to as far south as 100 Mile House came to Prince George this weekend for the annual Jehovah’s Witnesses Convention.
With evacuation orders issued in central parts of the province, 130 families (a total of 306 people) who attended the convention are now unable to return home.
“We have an agreement with the CN Centre for a number of days where we rent the facilities, and it includes the grounds. We rent the stampede grounds and the parking lots,” says Dale Johnson, the Chairman of the Disaster Relief Committee at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “After our convention was over, we asked permission from the City and CN Centre if they would mind if these refugees- these people who have been displaced– could stay for a few extra days. The City was kind enough to allow them to stay parked.”
5 local congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses are looking after the needs of evacuees. They are providing sewage, water, food and anything else that is required on-site.
More trailers have been brought in from the Prince George Jehovah’s Witnesses. Families in the local congregations have also taken in evacuees.
Johnson says the community has been great. “The CN Centre, they’ve allowed us to stay. They have offered us the use of their facilities there. We had a contract with them and so they have been very kind to allow us continue that contract for our use only. The City has been great. We have had some of the local politicians come and check on our folks to give them direction as to where to go to register. They have offered food at no cost. We think about the fire fighters; local folks that sometimes aren’t appreciated, but we have been given such clear direction from these people that we feel really secure and looked after.”
Now all that’s left to do is wait.”Our friends are concerned and our families are a little bit stressed, but they are getting the emotional and spiritual help that they need on a daily basis,” says Johnson. “We have made visits to almost every family over there. They are playing the waiting game. There’s rumors floating around, but as the information comes in from the authorities that’s what we pass on so people don’t get upset. They are happy, they are content and looked after.”
A disaster administrative centre for the group has also been set up at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on 15 Avenue.
By Guest Nicole
Mr. Wall was a member of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, in Alberta, Canada. He was dis-fellowshipped by a Judicial Committee of elders because he was not sufficiently repentant for two incidents of drunkenness, one of which included verbal abuse of his wife. He was shunned by the congregation. As a real estate agent, he lost congregation members and other Jehovah’s Witnesses as clients. He appealed to internal church authorities for reconsideration but failed. Then he decided to go to the regular law courts for compensation for his alleged mistreatment by the church. Justice Wilson of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta ruled that the Court had jurisdiction to hear Mr. Wall’s application for judicial review. The Church lost its appeal at the Alberta Court of Appeal and has now appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Alberta Court of Appeal (ABCA) decision raises a number of questions that have to be resolved. Generally speaking, courts have been loathed to get involved in church disputes. Courts have no expertise in dealing with theological matters that are often the underlying cause of why members of a church are asked (or told) to leave. Imagine a court discussing topics like the proper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity; or the process of salvation. Such matters are not part of the law school curriculum. The point is, a court is incompetent in dealing with religious disputes.
The majority of the ABCA decided that the courts have jurisdiction over procedural matters – basically ensuring that the parties were treated fairly. In law, we call it issues of “natural justice.” That is to say, the law protects people in organisations to the extent that the organisations own internal rules of procedure were properly followed. There is a reasonable argument to be made for that position. However, a church is not a public body that should be subject to judicial review.
The ABCA was also of the view that a church could be sued for the economic loss a member incurred as a result of expulsion. This is new ground for Canadian law – new ground for any law of a western democracy. Membership in a religious community is voluntary. No one is forced to stay. If a person is no longer willing to abide by the teachings then they are free to go and make their way elsewhere. If that person limited his business to only those within the church community and subsequently finds that none of his former co-religionists will do business with him that is not the congregation’s responsibility. He took that risk himself when he so limited his business.
Religious communities have been immune from litigation of former members who were asked to leave. Membership in a religious community is privilege not a right. Allowing courts the jurisdiction to hear judicial review applications of such matters will entangle the court unnecessarily in the internal affairs of religion. If a court is granted the right to hear such a review it is then able to grant orders of relief against the religious community for making religious decisions about membership. The law has no business there.
The SCC is scheduled to hold its hearing on November 2, 2017.
Case name: Re: Wall v. Judicial Committee of the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 2016 ABCA 255 (37273) (Wall Case)
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