Canada archbishop returns gov't award in protest
Thursday, September 11, 2008
SAINTE-ANNE-DE-BEAUPRE, Quebec — The archbishop of Montreal announced Thursday he is returning Canada's most prestigious award because an abortion doctor received the same honor.
Archbishop Jean-Claude Turcotte said that he hoped opposition voices like his would prompt officials reverse their July decision to give Dr. Henry Morgentaler the Order of Canada.
Morgentaler led a successful campaign to overturn Canada's anti-abortion laws on Jan. 28, 1988, making Canada the only western democracy at the time with no criminal sanctions against abortion.
Turcotte, who received the honor in 1996, said he had to relinquish the honor because his silence could be misinterpreted.
Turcotte told reporters he felt obliged to reaffirm his convictions regarding the "respect for human life, from conception to death."
Morgentaler, a Polish-born physician who survived the infamous Dachau concentration camp, quit his family practice in Montreal in 1968 to open his first abortion clinic in defiance of the laws of the day. He was arrested several times and spent months in jail.
Archbishop Turcotte sets a wonderful example and I am very proud of him.
God bless all the bishops who are both speaking up and setting correct examples for the faithful, and demonstrating their integrity to the unbelieving observers! That is much more important than whether or not the Canadians would change their mind about honoring an abortion doctor. Ironic they do not honor him for being a Dachau survivor..