Andrew Bennett

The Rev. Dr. Andrew P.W. Bennett is Program Director, Religious Freedom and Faith Community Engagement. He is an ordained deacon in the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in the Eparchy (Diocese) of Toronto and Eastern Canada.

Bio last updated July 16th, 2021.

Andrew Bennett

Articles by Andrew Bennett

  • London Murders Wound Us All

    The killing of a Muslim family in the southwestern Ontario city demands empathy for the victims, but also renewed commitment to freedom of faith, Father Deacon Andrew Bennett writes.

    Motivated by their faith, Ismaili Civic has corralled the efforts of its volunteers to create partnerships with seventy organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Kids Help Phone, the United Way, and the Terry Fox Foundation How much room do we make in our hearts and minds for public expressions...

    Read more...

  • Conversion Therapy Bill Off Target

    The Liberal government’s Bill C-6 aims so wide that it threatens freedom rather than criminalizing abuse, Cardus’ Father Deacon Andrew Bennett argues.

    Genuine pastoral accompaniment is informed by the free will of the person seeking guidance and by the parent, pastor, priest, rabbi, imam, or counselor acting as a guide as the person navigates their beliefs and how they shape their life Let’s remember that our fundamental freedoms are grounded in t...

    Read more...

  • Le Québec théâtre d’un conflit de symboles

    En ce jour de la Fête nationale, mieux connue sous le nom de Fête de la Saint Jean-Baptiste, les Québécois Maxime Huot Couture et Beryl Wajsman font part au révérend Andrew Bennett, directeur de l’Institut sur la liberté religieuse Cardus, de leurs impressions concernant la loi provinciale adoptée il y a un an en vue de déterminer qui peut porter en public des vêtements religieux et selon quelles modalités ils peuvent être portés.

    Mais la vraie question est de savoir comment l’interdiction du port de symboles religieux imposée à la plupart des fonctionnaires peut promouvoir le bien commun? Si la réponse est qu’elle promeut la laïcité de l’État, d’accord! Mais comment la laïcité de l’État promeut-elle le bien commun? Comment a...

    Read more...

  • Les défis à venir concernant l’interdiction par le Québec des symboles religieux

    Il y a un an, l’Assemblée nationale du Québec a précipitamment adopté une loi limitant le port de turbans, de hijabs, de croix et d’autres symboles spirituels dans l’espace public. Robert Leckey, doyen de la Faculté de droit de l’Université McGill, explique au révérend Andrew Bennett que le combat juridique ne fait que commencer.

    AB: Dans quelle mesure croyez-vous que cela puisse constituer la réponse de gens qui sont culturellement catholiques lorsqu’ils sont placés devant d’autres communautés plus profondément religieuses? Si on parle des Juifs hassidim ou de musulmans ou d’autres groupes qui sont plus visiblement religieu...

    Read more...

  • Sounding Out Quebec’s Clash of Symbols

    On today’s Fête Nationale, also known as Fête de la St-Jean-Baptiste, Quebecers Maxime Huot Couture and Beryl Wajsman give Rev. Andrew Bennett, director of the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute, their take on province’s one-year-old law controlling how and by whom religious garb can be worn in public.

    Beryl framed it around the role of religion within the public square and how cultural and religious differences should be accommodated within Quebec culture and Quebec society  Are we seeing in Quebec, and generally within Canada, a contraction of the public square for people of faith to not simply ...

    Read more...

  • Challenges Ahead for Quebec's Ban on Religious Symbols

    One year ago, Quebec's National Assembly hurriedly passed legislation limiting public wearing of turbans, hijabs, crosses and other spiritual markers. Robert Leckey, Dean of the Faculty of Law at McGill University tells Cardus’ Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett the legal fight has just begun.  

    AB: How much do you think that might be a response from people who are culturally Catholic looking at these other communities that are more deeply religious? If we speak about Hasidic Jews, if we talk about Muslims or others who were more visibly religious in the province, is there maybe a sense amo...

    Read more...

  • Dignity That Illuminates Community

    Convivium Editor Peter Stockland talks with Rev. Deacon Andrew Bennett, director of the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute, about regaining the light of shared humanity in this time of pandemic and racial protest.

    But we also have to recognize that as a human community, we fail a lot of the time to recognize the dignity of all people PS: Where will those new voices of community come from in a time when we all seem so fragmented from each other? Black Lives Matter no longer trusts that the communities outside ...

    Read more...

  • Corona of Thorns

    The model of Christ’s solitary suffering on the Cross can bring us through COVID-19  isolation to renewed love of community, writes Cardus' Andrew Bennett.

    To live a solitary life, to eschew regular human contact to grow in holiness through strict asceticism and unceasing prayer requires a level of kenosis, of self-emptying of which few of us are capable or for that matter called to embrace I have always desired and lived a communal life, and even as a...

    Read more...

  • Speaking the Truth in Love

    In the life of late Polish priest, Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko, Cardus’ Andrew Bennett finds a rigorous dedication to truth and religious freedom.

    Jerzy had begun to offer on the last Sunday of each month ‘Masses for the Fatherland’ during which he would preach sermons on human dignity, human freedom, and on solidarity which for him signified the struggle by the Polish people to restore human dignity The election of Karol Wojtyla, Cardinal Arc...

    Read more...

  • Putting the Human Back in Dignity

    In a just-released paper, the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute seeks to kickstart a Canada-wide conversation on the real meaning of human dignity. CRFI’s Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett and researcher Aaron Neil talked with Convivium’s Rebecca Darwent about why it’s urgently needed.

    How human dignity relates to religious freedom, how it relates to other fundamental freedoms, so we can seek to build again this common life, and see how public faith and the freedom to live out that public faith is so fundamental to building up that life But what role does human dignity have? How d...

    Read more...

  • The Truth No State Can Abolish

    In an address to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops this week, Fr. Deacon Andrew Bennett says that true religious freedom for Christians is the unyielding proclamation of Christ.

    This is a fallacy on the one hand because it denies the historical reality of the religious life of human beings, which from time immemorial has been lived in the public square These martyrs and confessors are faithful women and men who stand for truth in the face of falsehood and who champion human...

    Read more...

  • Faith For Our Future

    Last week, Cardus Religious Freedom Institute launched its newest project, Faith in the Future. Convivium's Peter Stockland sits down with program director Andrew Bennett and researcher Aaron Neil to discuss the team's aspirations and plans as it kicks off.

    I think it points to an opportunity to advance the broader mandate of what we're doing at the institute, to re-present to people the importance of public faith and the importance of religious freedom and what better way to do that then through these young leaders of faith who want to live that out I...

    Read more...

  • Encountering Online Hatred

    Andrew Bennett, director of the Cardus Institute for Religious Freedom, told the House of Commons Standing Committee and Human Rights today legal sanctions to combat “diabolical” internet hatred must be matched by a social “climate of encounter” based on every Canadian’s inherent dignity as a child of God.

    So, what then is at the root of online hate? How do we attack the source of this hate while at the same time employing sufficient measures through the criminal justice system to thwart it? In our Internet age, we are seeing the breakdown of genuine human community where we are less and less in each ...

    Read more...

  • In Veritate Vincit

    Today's stunning resignation of Treasury Board President Jane Philpott over the SNC Lavalin scandal – the second cabinet resignation from the same portfolio in less than  two months – proves truth will out even in politics. And as Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett argues, it also proves there can only be one truth no matter how many political tales are being told.  

    To be sure it is a very different case from Russian-occupied Ukraine, but the fundamental issue is the same: what is truth? For two weeks the Prime Minister, the Clerk of the Privy Council, and other senior officials have maintained publicly, often with the most obscurantist language, that nothing u...

    Read more...

  • Keeping Interfaith Conversation Honest

    Fr. Dcn. Andrew Bennett, director of the Cardus Institute for Religious Freedom, and Chris Stackaruk, co-founder of Neighborly Faith, examine the way ignorance of religious traditions risks hostile division while the wrong kind of understanding feeds the error that all believers are fundamentally the same.

    That's a real tragedy, because it alienates people of real traditional faith who say, "I do not want to live in a lowest common denominator sort of association with people of difference, where we say, 'We're all human all the time And what I found was that not a lot of work was being done to help la...

    Read more...

  • Welcome to Year Zero

    By removing a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, the City of Victoria has gone down the perilous path of erasing history rather than learning from it, Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett argues. What next? Renaming Montreal’s Trudeau airport because the former PM formally called for assimilation of Indigenous Canadians?

    In the interest of righting a genuine and grave historic wrong – the suffering of our Indigenous peoples ­– the historical hubris of our present Canadian age is distorting history yet again We must and openly and publicly discuss their failures, but also their great achievements: the Canadian Pacifi...

    Read more...

  • Canada Missing in Action on Religious Freedom

    Top cabinet ministers from more than 80 countries are in Washington D.C. today planning global action against religious persecution. Rev. Andrew Bennett, Director of the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute, is there and tells Convivium he’s hearing widespread disappointment over Canada’s absentee leadership on the critical issue.

    They’ve invited various countries to represent themselves at the foreign minister level for an intensive couple of days of conversation about how we do more than just talk about defending religious freedom They have embedded in the statute different mechanisms within the State Department, and there'...

    Read more...

  • Religion, Freedom, Citizenship

    In early May, Cardus hosted launch events in Ottawa for its Religious Freedom Institute. Father Deacon Andrew Bennett, CRFI’s director, spoke with Convivium's Peter Stockland about the kickoff and what’s to come for the new institute.

    AB: We're here to speak on behalf of, and to support in whatever way we can, all faith communities, and people of no particular religious faith who desire to speak in the public square about what they believe, to live out that public freedom What I saw here in Ottawa was just a tremendous sense of e...

    Read more...

  • Calling For True Pluralism

    Convivium returns to the testimonies of Convivium’s editor-in-chief and two regular contributors whose statements were highlighted in this week's Commons Heritage Committee report on a motion to combat religious discrimination.

    Father Raymond de Souza as well as Cardus Law program director Andrew Bennett and Ottawa writer Don Hutchinson were all cited in the report, which produced 30 recommendations for the government, the last one being the designation of a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia to mark th...

    Read more...

  • Will the State Hug Me When I Die?

    Father Deacon Andrew Bennett, director of the Cardus law program, argues Canadians of religious faith must be left free to choose what procedures their healthcare institutions provide. 

    Then why does the power of choice not extend to Canadians who want to choose not to make such choices? Why can they not choose faith-consistent healthcare that rejects abortion, euthanasia, and the fluidity of gender, and instead offers care that recognizes what true dignity and true compassion is: ...

    Read more...

  • Living A Different Answer

    Father Deacon Andrew Bennett, director of Cardus Law, celebrates Christmas with hundreds of Millennials  who respond to old holiday questions with a new zeal for Truth

    May the students of CCO, and those other young people of whatever faith who live their faith openly and with authenticity and integrity, be a witness to us as we build our common life I am that religious fundamentalist, and glory to God on high for that! The second half of my Christmas break, or the...

    Read more...

  • Lessons in Political Cooperation

    Cardus Law Program Director Dr. Andrew Bennett reflects on the way the House of Commons justice committee dealt with Bill C-51. 

    Then Liberal, Conservative, and NDP MPs responded to the testimony by making a significant change to a government bill – a rare enough instance of putting partisanship aside, in this case, to buttress religious freedom in Canada by preserving Section 176 of the Criminal Code It means that both gover...

    Read more...

  • Enriched By Difference

    The following is the testimony that Cardus Senior Fellow Andrew Bennett delivered this afternoon before the Standing Committee of the House of Commons on Canadian Heritage as it studies Motion-103 on combating Islamophobia.

    In championing human dignity, we must not only recognize but also respect that we believe different things, and that we hold different views on what is most important in human life Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, the advancement of human flourishing and the associated commitment to plural...

    Read more...