Catholic Group Returns Order of Canada Medals Over Abortion Practitioners Award

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 8, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Group Returns Order of Canada Medals Over Abortion Practitioner’s Award

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 8
, 2008

Toronto, Canada ( — A Catholic group in Canada is returning the Order of Canada medals awarded to two priests because the Society that issued them recently awarded abortion practitioner Henry Morgentaler. The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate says it is returning medals given to two priests.

The medals went to Father Anthony Sylla of Edmonton in 1971 for his work as a missionary and Father Michael Smith of Toronto in 1979 for helping war refugees.

A Canadian Press report indicates the group says it was astonished and outraged that the medal would go to the man who forced Canada to allow abortions and who has done thousands of abortions with his own hands.

The group says the honor and integrity of the medals was tarnished when Morgentaler received one.

Morgentaler received the medal in October when the Governor General’s office, which bestows the award, held a ceremony in Quebec City.
The office applauded Morgentaler in a press release for having "a major impact on Canadian public policy" and putting himself "at risk in his determined drive to increase health-care options for Canadian women."

Several other pro-life Catholics have returned their medals in protest, including Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, the Catholic archbishop of Montreal.

In September, the Canadian Judicial Council dismissed a complaint that pro-life advocates filed in response to the award. The complaint centered on Canada Supreme Court Justice Beverley McLachlin, who had defended her role in overseeing the award.

Charles McVety, president of the Canadian Family Action Coalition, said the chief justice should no longer sit on the Order of Canada panel because some award recipients, like Morgentaler, are involved in legal disputes that will eventually come before the court.

At the end of July, KLRVU surveyed Canadians and learned that a clear majority oppose giving Morgentaler the award.

The poll included 13,324 respondents when the firm conducted it from July 17-21.

The random telephone poll of Canadian households found 55.8% of Canadians oppose the awarding of the medal to the man who helped usher in unlimited abortions in Canada paid for at taxpayer expense.

The poll found opposition to the award across the provinces.

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