Canada proclaims annual day honoring Pope John Paul II amidst secularist opposition

by Steve Weatherbe  |  published on January 8, 2015

Despite the opposition of atheist groups and the reservations of a minority of Liberal and New Democratic MPs and senators, Canada has passed legislation making April 2 Pope John Paul II Day.

First introduced in the House of Commons in 2011 by Toronto-area Conservative MP Wladyslaw Lizon, the law’s preamble lauds the long-serving pope and newly-minted saint for his “vital role in promoting international understanding and peace,” his inspiration of youth, his visits to Canada, especially for World Youth Day in 2002, and his leadership in the struggle “to end communism in Eastern Europe.”

“I was there in Poland,” Lizon told LifeSiteNews, “for Pope John Paul’s first visit. He gave everyone a boost of energy. We came away with the conviction that something can be changed. That people did have power.”

Lizon, a mining engineer who immigrated from Poland in 1988, a one-time president of the Canadian Polish Congress, and a founding member of Tribute to Liberty, the organization building a national monument in Ottawa honoring the victims of communism in the world, called his bill’s proclamation a “proud but very emotional moment.”

He added, “Pope John Paul II presented a valuable message of courage, a defense of freedom and profound statements of hope and commitment to all people.”

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