Abortive politics


Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte is a man of honour and principle, and it would be nice to think it was because of this that one of the brightest lights of Canadian Catholicism – a man who helped install the current pope, no less – renounced his Order of Canada membership yesterday. Cardinal Turcotte was incensed that the same honour was given to abortion enabler Henry Morgentaler, and in returning his badge he stood fast to his beliefs and those of the church he represents.


Here’s the thing, though, Your Eminence: news of Morgentaler’s Order of Canada membership came nearly three months ago. Mind you, those were the dog days of summer, when the current election was just a bad smell in the air, and when your resignation from the Order would have been but one piece to chuck into the week-long newspaper-and-pundit grist resulting from Morgentaler’s appointment. (Yes, I know, you were on vacation then. Newsflash: They have phones at Rideau Hall. Methinks you probably would have got through.)

Surely His Eminence did this because he has a legitimate opposition to abortion. Surely yesterday’s announcement wasn’t a ham-fisted attempt by a powerful non-elected official to foist the abortion debate onto the current political campaign. Surely not, because that might explain why people are cynical about the church these days. God forbid.


Abortive politics

  1. Yah but … problem is, Cardinal Turcotte is not a conservative cleric. He has probably voted Liberal since he was of legal voting age. He once called himself “the Cardinal of the Quiet Revolution” – hardly a strong proponent of his own church’s teaching. This may be an attempt to prove his bona fides to the Vatican, which sees him as a failed appointment and a weak link.

  2. or buckling under internal pressure as parishiners return from summery holidays.

  3. Or how about just “who cares?”

  4. “Who cares when he did it?”

    Spot on. Maybe Cardinal Turcotte wanted to try and inject religion into the national debate, and since we live in a democracy, that’s entirely his right.

    I think it’s refreshing to hear people speak out against infanticide since in Canada we seem to have an unwritten agreement to not talk about how Canadians murder 100,000 vulnerable babies a year.

  5. Doesn’t the number of pro-life/anti-choice recipients of the Order Of Canada, some of whom have returned their honour in protest, in fact disprove their assertion that Morgantaler’s award is unconscionable and out of bounds? If the GG can hand out awards for pro-lifers who do good works in the community and for human rights, why can’t the GG do the same for a pro-choice recipient? Morgantaler’s main contribution to the abortion debate was to expose the hypocrisy of one class of women (wealthy and the connected) having access to therapeutic abortions in Canada while another class (poor and not connected) did not. It’s gutless politicians who have failed to reform Canada’s abortion laws.

  6. jwl: Did you know that every month a woman isn’t pregnant, she sends a potential life literally down the drain? My god, think of all the babies women are killing every year.. and don’t even talk to me about how many babies men kill.

    Fertilized only? 1/3rd to 1/2 of all fertilized eggs fail to implant. Holy crap! Somebody throw nature in jail! All those little humans just gone! Oh the humanity!!

    Please. Nobody has any right to live off my bloodstream. Nobody has any right to live off of a woman’s bloodstream.

  7. T. Thwim

    Nobody has the right to murder.

  8. T. Thwim,

    And millions of fully grown humans die of natural causes every year. Do we arrest Mother Nature for murder?

  9. jwl: And nobody has the right to force me to keep someone else alive.

  10. TT wants to abandon taxpayer-funded medicare? Who knew?
    Or maybe TT isn’t a taxpayer…

  11. @madeyoulook 10.25 – link for that?

    As for His Eminence,

    “I won’t hide that I was hoping the protests might lead the people running the Order of Canada to review their position.”

    Shades of Alexandre_Ledru-Rollin (“There go my people, I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.”)

  12. @Mark Dowling:

    Links disappear into a Word Press black hole. I suggest you search:
    Philippe de Maupeou
    …in Google News.

    Funny (hmm, not ha-ha) that Turcotte has more sympathy towards a fetus than towards a living breathing girl.

  13. @myl – thanks… and as someone brought up RC – holy crap. Ryan Sparrow should seek to be ordained as the consequences of failure seem to be tempered with a lot more mercy than the theocracy he currently serves.

  14. madeyoulook, I think the Catholic hierarchy are anti-abortion for different reasons than most pro-lifers, and actually for different reasons than most pro-life Catholics.

    The whole reason the Catholic Church is against abortion in the first place is that the unbaptised go straight to hell.

    But in order to boost support for this position, they’ve nourished the sentimental anti-abortion view, which is that fetuses are wonderful little human beings.

    Hence the apparent absurdity of denouncing rape victims and promoting sex criminals. The latter can always get away with a few eons in purgatory, but the soul of the globule must be saved at all costs.

    Such is appplied theology.

  15. Well, Jack, you (figuratively) can keep your applied theology.

  16. So he did to get some publicity….

    He also had to think about this, the pros ans cons, and I am sure he wanted not to be seen that this was a knee jerk reaction. I may just add that his award was for his work in the community and not for his Pro-Life policy and advocacy. Mr. Morgentaler award was strictly for his abortion crusade.

  17. The Catholic church is not in the habit of rushing their reactions and decisions, particularly when the lives of millions of tiny Canadians are at stake.

    I suspect reaction to the symbolic ‘knighting’ of abortion in Canada is still unfolding, however slowly.

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