Canada Pro-Life Catholics Seek Bishops’ Ruling on Amnesty International

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 4, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Pro-Life Catholics Seek Bishops’ Ruling on Amnesty International Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 4,

Sault Ste. Marie, Canada ( — The Catholic bishops in Canada meet in October and pro-life advocates there hope they will issue a strong decision about how to respond to Amnesty International. The human rights group has upset pro-life advocates worldwide by adopting a pro-abortion position.

Following the decision, a top Vatican spokesman called for a boycott and Catholic bishops in the UK resigned their membership with the group.

Local groups in Australia and other nations have disbanded and seen churches and Catholic schools withdraw their support.

John Stadnyk, director of education with Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board in Sault Ste. Marie says he wants to disband the Amnesty International group there but wants instructions from the Catholic bishops first.

"We’re not disbanding the group yet," he told the Sault Star. "Before I make a decision I’m going to make sure that I consult with all the appropriate sources."

"What we’re waiting for is some direction from the Catholic bishops on this," he added. "There’s probably issues that need to be discussed by our church leadership, probably our trustees group, our directors group."

The nation’s bishops have not yet released a statement on how local Catholic groups should respond to Amnesty’s decision. But it condemned any possible pro-abortion policy last year, before it was adopted.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, last July, said it would "find it most regrettable" if Amnesty promoted abortion.

"Such a change in policy would be considered by the Catholic bishops of Canada to be a step backwards for an organization that has done such outstanding work in defending human life and the rights of the most vulnerable," the statement said.

"The change in policy would make it difficult for Catholics to continue supporting the work of Amnesty International," it added.

The 90 Canadian Catholic bishops meets in October and Sylvain Salvas, director of communications, said she doesn’t know if they will reach a decision about responding to Amnesty.

Related web sites:
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops –