Andrew Bennett

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

Bio last updated January 26th, 2022.

Andrew Bennett

Articles by Andrew Bennett

  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • Privileged Conversation

    North American politics are consumed by new variations on the old debate about privilege, and consequent inequality and oppression. Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland and Andrew Bennett, program director for Cardus Law, sat down in Ottawa’s Moscow Tea Room to hash out the meaning of the words.

    Andrew Bennett: Another part of the current challenge we face around this denigration of privilege, or assuming that someone who's privileged is not worth engaging in discussion with on certain issues, comes back to again that central reality of our Christian faith : an understanding of human dignit...

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  • Believing in Cities

    In this final text from the Cardus’ What Makes a Good City forum, Andrew Bennett for reviving the spirit of urbi et orbi – the city and the world – by which religious traditions have made beauty and comfort integral to our urban lives.

    What does a city look like that encourages and facilitates public displays of faith for all communities? What does a city look like when, instead of restricting building of places of worship, it actually encourages the Hasidic Jewish community on a festival like Simchat Torah, when they're celebrati...

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  • City On A Hill

    The Cardus Ottawa office stands juxtaposed between the political temples of Parliament Hill and the soup kitchens of Lower Town. In this place where two sides of the city meet, Andrew Bennett sees signs of human dignity in the message of a homeless man.

    The bells of St-François d-Assise in Hintonburg answer this call: “May your souls be saved!” In the mystery of salvation there is both call and response, there is a seeking and a finding, and there is a meaning to suffering as it becomes absorbed in the wood of the Cross –a public scandal then and s...

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  • To Differ Without Deferring

    Addressing the Our Whole Society interfaith conference at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Cardus’ Andrew Bennett argues genuine pluralism ensures freedom to differ without any obligation to defer.

    How then does religious freedom reveal human dignity? Freedom of religion relates directly to the metaphysical need of every human being to freely contemplate and adhere to beliefs that answer these questions: “Who am I? Who am I in relationship to you? Who am I in relationship to the country and wo...

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  • Cardus Law: You, Me, Community

    With the release of a new research paper this week exploring relations between law, faith and government, and with planning underway for launch of a new religious freedom institute later this year, Cardus Law Program Director Andrew Bennett took time to catch up with Convivium.ca publisher Peter Stockland and discuss the critical balance between individual and institutional faith rights. 

    Professor Scharffs tries to anchor the whole understanding of religious freedom within the Western tradition, within the legal tradition, looking both at how do we understand freedom of religion as a core human right historically and also, given a lot of the present questions around jurisdictions, a...

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  • Murders and Meaning

    In the wake of the homicidal attack on a mosque in suburban Quebec City at the end of January, Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland spoke with Cardus’ Andrew Bennett, Canada’s former ambassador for religious freedom, about the cultural signs such violence illuminates. Bennett is blunt: Canada has a religion problem. 

    There’s a distinction that needs to be made and we need to continually reinforce the idea that people of deep religious faith have a place within our society, they have a role to play within our society and they need to be able to practice their faith openly, express their faith publicly, otherwise ...

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  • Defending a Foundational Freedom

    Andrew Bennett, Canada’s former Ambassador for Religious Freedom and now Cardus Senior Fellow, argues for the need to recognise the foundational nature of freedom of religion and conscience in our society and its link to our common life.  

    Through Cardus Law, we look forward to continuing our work with faith communities, religious freedom advocates, the academic community, public institutions, and our fellow citizens to affirm the importance of religious freedom In early December 2016, Cardus Law assembled an august group of academic ...

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  • Acts of Faith in Canada

    Last May, Canada’s former ambassador for religious freedom, Andrew Bennett, addressed the launch of Cardus’ Ottawa hub for Faith in Canada 150. The initiative brings to the national capital the presence of an interfaith movement to celebrate Canada’s religious traditions – past, present and future.

    Let us, especially many of us as Christians who in the past have embraced the myth of the exclusively private space for religion, re-emerge now into the light of the public square and there encounter our fellow citizens and the image and likeness of God within them We must recall and reaffirm the ce...

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  • Acquiring a Faith Literacy

    In advancing religious freedom as a central element of Canadian foreign policy it is important that we as Canadians have an awareness of the role that religion plays in societies around the world Bennett: The importance of training diplomats has been recognized by a number of countries including Can...

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  • "My Faith is Me"

    Completing his second year as Canada's Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Andrew Bennett tells Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland he couldn't do the job without the religious faith he brings to daily life

    One question that I get asked quite often is, "In religious freedom, how can you go ahead and defend the rights of different religious organizations that may have a prejudicial view against people with a same-sex orientation?" My response is always the same: It is perfectly justifiable from the pers...

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