Catholic Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto, Canada criticized pro-abortion Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week for demanding that groups seeking government funds support abortion on demand.
Collins told Vatican News that Trudeau’s government has taken a “heavy-handed, dictatorial approach” to pushing its liberal ideology on Canadians.
Specifically, late last year, the government began requiring groups to affirm their support of abortion on demand before applying for grants for the Canadian Summer Jobs program. The move prompted a massive outcry from religious leaders across the country, but Trudeau and his administrators largely have ignored it.
“I think a lot of Canadians are appalled by this heavy-handed, dictatorial approach that has been taken by the government, for no reason at all,” Collins said. “I mean, why are they doing this? I just find it astonishing.”
Many Catholic churches and other religious groups have refused to participate this year, leading to concerns about a lack of jobs this summer and reduced services from charities that traditionally employed students to help immigrants and refugees, low-income families and children.
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“No government has the right to have an ideology test on anyone,” Collins said. “That just isn’t fair.”
The archbishop, however, clarified that the Catholic Church does not want to quarrel with Trudeau and said it was important for the government and faith-based organizations to work hand-in-hand. Collins also noted that the government will not likely change its stand and will keep on pushing liberal agendas but the Catholic community will also continue to voice out its opposition.
In January, Collins and 87 religious leaders of different faiths signed a joint statement to oppose this summer grant policy.
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Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders signed the letter. Sikh and Hindu religious leaders also have spoken out against the pro-abortion push. Religious leaders recently asked the government for an accommodation to protect their religious freedom and conscience rights, according to the Catholic Register.
“We didn’t start this controversy,” Collins said. “We’re trying to be co-operative, but we cannot check off the box [that says] I believe in abortion and a couple of other things, because we don’t believe it.”
Canadian taxpayers pay about $200 million a year to support the youth-based program, which provides funding for businesses and non-profits to offer temporary summer jobs to youth ages 15 to 30. It is a way the government encourages young people to get hands-on training before entering the workforce full-time.
In the past, both pro-life and pro-abortion organizations have received grants to offer jobs to young adults. However, pro-abortion political leaders cut off grants to groups that will not bow to the altar of abortion on demand.