Italy Catholic Bishop Next to Question Amnesty International on Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 18, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Italy Catholic Bishop Next to Question Amnesty International on Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 18,

Rome Italy ( — Another leading Catholic official is speaking up against the new position Amnesty International has taken promoting abortion for women victimized by sexual abuse and seeking to reverse pro-life laws. Monsignor Angelo Bagnasco publicly scolded the human rights group following a meeting with other Italian Catholic leaders.

Bagnasco, the president of the Conference of Italian Bishops, told the French Press Agency, that the group now has inconsistent positions promoting human rights in some cases and not in others.

"These are departures that warn us further of the dangerous erosion afflicting human conscience," he said.

He criticized the group’s "astounding inclusion, among recognized human rights, of the choice of abortion, even though only in the case of violence against women."

A representative of the international group responded to the comments saying that Monsignor Bagnasco is misrepresenting the group’s stance and claiming it doesn’t back abortion as a human right.

"This grossly misrepresents AI’s policy on sexual and reproductive rights," said Suzanne Trimel, director of media relations, told the Associated Press.

"The particular right AI is working to protect is the right of all women to be free of any form of coercion, discrimination or violence as they make and put into effect informed decisions regarding the regulation of their fertility," Trimel said.

"International law is silent on the question of when life begins and Amnesty International takes no position on this question," the group says.

Several Catholic leaders have spoken up against the new policy and a senior British bishop, the Right Reverend Michael Evans of East Anglia, resigned his membership in the group.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, quit the group as well.

In June, Cardinal Renato Martino, a leading Vatican official, said Catholics should stop donating money to Amnesty International and should boycott the group because of its pro-abortion views.