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Catholics and the Magisterium in Dialogue

Canadian Catholic Bishops Speak Out Against Violence In the Fight Against Abortion.

STATEMENT BY THE CANADIAN CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS (CCCB) IN RESPONSE TO THE CALL BY THE CANADIAN ABORTION RIGHTS ACTION LEAGUE (CARAL) FOR A MORATORIUM ON PROTESTS OUTSIDE ABORTION CLINICS

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) reiterates in the clearest and strongest possible terms that violence against abortion clinic staff betrays the cause of life. There is no moral justification whatsoever for any deliberate and wanton disregard of human life. Violence is contrary to the most basic pro- life principle that human life is to be respected at all stages of development.

It is unfair to blame the millions of people who are pro- life for the reprehensible acts of a few individuals. This approach is an unseemly attempt to take advantage of a terrible tragedy by discrediting the pro-life movement and silencing public discussion of the realities of abortion.

Vigils or protests outside abortion clinics can be an important public witness against abortion. The CCCB supports protests that are prayerful, peaceful and respectful of human dignity and the sanctity of human life. As recently as November 9, 1994 we said "Human life is a most precious gift of God's love and goodness. It must be preserved and respected at all stages of development. Violence completely contradicts the goals of the pro-life movement, which are to protect human life from its most fragile beginnings and to promote human dignity."

Canada, unlike most countries in the western world, does not provide legal protection for the unborn child. We call  upon Parliament to remedy this unjust situation which puts unborn children completely at risk. We also call upon governments at all levels as well as local church communities, to address the social and economic factors that have teen identified as contributing to abortion.

We encourage the efforts of those who offer practical assistance to women and families faced with difficult pregnancies and renew our support for those who are working to transform  attitudes and structures to make our society truly hospitable to life.

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