by Steven Ertelt
November 17, 2005
Montreal, Canada (LifeNews.com) — Priests at Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal are canceling a national pro-life event slated to be held there because of threats from pro-abortion advocates. They said they couldn’t ensure the security and safety of those attending.
Campaign Life Coalition and Life Canada are the primary sponsors of the Canadian National Pro-Life Conference which was expected to draw as many as 300 people.
But the Holy Cross Fathers, the Catholic order that operates the oratory, posted an announcement on their web site saying they would have to pull out of the three day event.
"In the past three days, we have been informed that protests on our grounds are being planned against the 2005 pro-life conference," Rector Jean-Pierre Aumont said in the message.
"We have come to the conclusion that we cannot guarantee the safety of people on the grounds of Saint Joseph’s Oratory during this event," he added.
However, pro-life advocates are upset by the news and Luc Gagnon of Campaigne Quebec Vie told the CBC the move was cowardly.
Gagnon told CBC News that he can’t understand why the Catholic Church, which takes a strong pro-life position is afraid of some opposition. Yesterday, the Pope called pro-life advocates "courageous" for standing up for their convictions.
Gagnon says the pro-life event will continue as planned and participants are advised to go to the oratory to find out the alternate location, which will not be publicized.
Police officials have said they would be able to provide adequate protection at the Catholic site and there is no word on what kind of threats the oratory received.
According to the CBC, MPs Stockwell Day of the Conservatives and Dan McTeague of the Liberals are among the scheduled speakers.