Canada is leaving religion behind, statistics tell us. My life certainly bears out those numbers, particularly as they relate to young people. I know very few friends who attend Catholic church, and dozens and dozens of others who are Catholic in name only—resigned to their inherited faith, but by no means enthusiastic. When Benedict XVI announced yesterday he would resign as Pope at the end of the month, I didn’t talk about it at all outside of work. My truly secular existence sat in stark relief to the global reaction—and even the Canadian reaction.
Yesterday, as I so boldly predicted, news networks talked about the pope, and his potential Canadian successor, all day. Look at this morning’s four national newspapers. You’ll find they all put the news above the fold (see links below for the proof). Combined, they published 25 stories, op-eds and editorials that dissect most angles of Benedict XVI’s exit from the papacy. These newspapers know their audiences are older Canadians who skew towards more religious, or at least more concerned about the affairs of the Vatican City. That’s fine, obviously. But I know at lunch today, as I eat a sandwich with a friend, we’ll talk about a thousand things before we talk about the Pope. Among them might be CBC News’ top story this morning: North Korea’s third nuclear test.
What’s above the fold this morning?
The Globe and Mail leads with potential successors to Pope Benedict XVI, including Canadian Marc Cardinal Ouellet. The National Post fronts Ouellet’s potential rise to pontiff. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the “good precedent” set by Benedict XVI’s resignation. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the play-by-play of Benedict XVI’s resignation. iPolitics fronts proposed changes to charity tax rules that could encourage donors to increase contributions. CBC.ca leads with North Korea’s third nuclear missile test. National Newswatch showcases .
Stories that will be (mostly) missed
|1. Competitiveness. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce warns that while the feds have recognized a skilled labour shortage, it remains a top barrier to competitiveness.||2. Domestic terror. Canada’s top spy told a Senate committee that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is more worried about domestic terrorism now than five years ago.|
|3. Right-to-die. For fear of becoming dependent on others, a 91-year-old Vancouver woman took a lethal dose of barbiturates and died. She long advocated for right-to-die legislation.||4. Senate cameras. Canada’s Red Chamber is moving to install of webcams to monitor its proceedings, a move to open up the Senate lauded by its opposition leader, James Cowan.|