Catholic School in Canada Officially Ends Ties With Amnesty International

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 13, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 13,

Sault Ste. Marie, Canada ( — A Catholic school in Canada has officially ended its ties with Amnesty International over the human rights group’s decision to endorse abortion. The Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board had been waiting to hear back from Catholic leaders in Canada when it found out AI would go elsewhere.

John Stadnyk, director of education with the district, had previously said he was considering disbanding the AI group at the school but wanted input from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The school board now considers the matter closed as Amnesty International has said it will no longer use St. Basil Secondary School for its meetings.

The board was ready to vote on the issue of kicking the group off school grounds but Stadnyk said AI told members it would find a new location.

“The Board appreciates that the local chapter respected the position their parent organization put the Board in and dealt with the situation quickly and to the satisfaction of all parties," he told SooNews.

“We rarely, if ever, see such an instance where an organization using school board facilities holds a position that doesn’t follow the main tenets of our faith," he added.

Board Chair Marchy Bruni also talked with the Canadian news service about the ordeal.

“While we support Amnesty International’s goal of preventing human rights abuses, as a Catholic education system that affirms the sacredness of life and respect for all creation, we cannot support their decision to approve of abortion," Bruni said.

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 in favor of abortion in cases of sexual abuse.

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.

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 he doesn’t know if they will reach a decision about responding to Amnesty.

Related web sites:
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops –