Catholic Archbishop Returns Order of Canada Medal Over Pro-Abortion Award
by Steven Ertelt
September 11, 2008
Montreal, Canada (LifeNews.com) — The Catholic Archbishop of Montreal, Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, has returned his Order of Canada medal because he’s upset the group that bestows the honor recently awarded abortion practitioner Henry Morgentaler. Turcotte had hoped the Morgentaler award would be revoked.
Morgentaler is the infamous Canadian abortion practitioner whose founded the first abortion center in Montreal in 1968 and eventually forced the nation to allow abortions.
He’s subsequently filed lawsuits to make Canadians pay for abortions with their tax dollars.
Turcotte said Thursday he hoped the national outrage over Morgentaler getting the award would prompt officials with the Order of Canada to revoke the award. Since that hasn’t happened, he said he is returning his medal because it’s worth has been compromised.
He said he doesn’t want to be perceived as supporting Morgentaler’s award by not returning the one he received in 1996.
He said he must stand up for his convictions concerning the "respect for human life, from conception to death."
"I had accepted this honor on behalf of all those who, because of their faith in Jesus Christ, work in the social domain to serve the most disadvantaged of our society," he wrote in a statement.
"I must admit that I had hoped that, in light of the large number of protests, the Consultative Council for the Order of Canada would revise its decision," the Catholic leader added. "Because it has not done so up to now and because silence on my part might be misinterpreted, I feel obliged in conscience to reaffirm my convictions regarding the respect for human life, from conception to death."
"We are not the masters of human life; it rests in the hands of God," he said.
The archbishop joined numerous Canadians who have returned their medals.
The family of Alphonse Gerwing returned the award along with Gilbert Finn, who served as New Brunswick’s lieutenant-governor from 1987 to 1994.
And officials with the Madonna House returned the medal that Catherine Doherty, founder of the charity and who is under study for sainthood in the Catholic Church, received.
In July, more than 1,000 people participated in a protest in front of the Governor General’s residence to object to the Order of Canada award going to the abortion practitioner.
A poll of Canadian residents found 55.8% of Canadians oppose Morgentaler getting the honor.
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