Cardinal urges Trudeau to drop pro-choice requirement

The Liberal leader has said the party won’t accept new candidates who are not pro-choice on abortion

The Roman Catholic archbishop of Toronto is asking Justin Trudeau to reconsider his decision to bar would-be Liberal candidates who do not endorse the party policy on abortion.

Cardinal Thomas Collins wrote to the Liberal leader Wednesday to say he is deeply concerned about the controversy.

Collins said he understands the need for party discipline, but questions whether that discipline can extend to matters of conscience.

“Political leaders surely have the right to insist on party unity and discipline in political matters which are within the legitimate scope of their authority,” Collins wrote.

“But that political authority is not limitless: it does not extend to matters of conscience and religious faith. It does not govern all aspects of life.”

Trudeau has said the party won’t accept new candidates who are not pro-choice on abortion, although sitting MPs will be allowed to run even if they oppose the practice.

“As a party, we are steadfast in our belief … that it is not for any government to legislate what a woman chooses to do with her body, and that is the bottom line there,” Trudeau said last week.

“I have made it clear that future candidates need to be completely understanding that they will be expected to vote pro-choice on any bills.”

In his letter, the cardinal reminded Trudeau—who was raised in the Catholic faith of his famous father—that the patron saint of politicians, Thomas More, was executed for following his conscience against the political authority of his day.

Collins pointedly mentioned that there are two million Catholics in his diocese. He said he encourages them to get involved in politics as both voters and candidates.

“It is not right that they be excluded by any party for being faithful to their conscience.”




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Cardinal urges Trudeau to drop pro-choice requirement

  1. “It is not for any government to legislate what a woman chooses to do with her body, ”

    It’s not for any religion to do so either….

    Time to tax the churches.

    • Sure. As soon as we tax other charities, or cancel the huge refund for contributing to political parties.

    • Oh, and BTW – on the other thread (comments now closed or I’d address this there) you said:

      “AHAHAHAHAHAHA…..so you do it again!

      We don’t HAVE a law on abortion, Bram.

      And there has been nothing involving ‘humanness’ in the law….”

      I wasn’t talking about an abortion law. I was talking about s. 223(1) of the Criminal Code:

      “223. (1) A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother, whether or not

      (a) it has breathed;

      (b) it has an independent circulation; or

      (c) the navel string is severed.”

      Point, set and match. AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      • Um….I think everyone in the country is aware of the difference in being born and not born. You are human…..as in species…..all the time.

        “a human being within the meaning of this Act” is a little different.

        Good thing you’re not trying to make a living as a lawyer.

        PS As to taxes….they get a benefit because of the separation of church and state. The state stays out of church business, and the church stays out of state business.

        If the church is going to interfere in the business of the state…..then they pay taxes.

        Simple concept.

        • The law is what I’m arguing… your lack of reading comprehension is leading you astray again. Go back and read what I said; under Canadian law, one’s humanness is dependent on which side of the uterine wall one is on – NOT on the degree of development. My argument has consistently been that this should be changed so that, once a given stage of development is reached (say 35 weeks, or whatever the medical community now deems as high probability of survival of a premature birth) that basic legal rights should kick in regardless of geography.

          You yourself pointed out that there are negligible late-term abortions, so this shouldn’t be an issue for even the most radical pro-lifers – but it would be very easy to specifically include an exemption for medical practitioners acting in the best interest of their patient (covering late-term abortions).

          Good thing YOU aren’t trying to make a living as a lawyer.

          As to the tax thing: Churches are exempt because they do a lot of charitable work. (One time they were about the ONLY charities.) I know you don’t like to acknowledge anything good that religion does, but that’s reality. Deal with it.

        • Gave a longer answer but Macleans ate it. Have asked them to restore it. Meantime…

          The definition of when one LEGALLY becomes a human being and the rights that accrue as a result IS what I have been discussing all along. I’ll assume you are only PLAYING dumb.

          Nice to see you say “You are human…..as in species…..all the time.” You have vehemently denied this on many occasions.

          • No one knows what you’re discussing….including you.

            Meanwhile the Cardinal needs to keep his beak out of secular affairs. Maybe he should go help the pope baptize martians.

            The ‘you’ wasn’t personal. Your species remains unknown.

          • I keep telling you, Em – remedial reading courses will work wonders for you. Time you give it a try.

          • You’re the one who raised the taxes issue – and made a false assertion. I corrected your error and pointed out that the church is not the only charitable institution that involves itself in politics. How is that wandering off on another topic?

            (Answer: it isn’t – which means that, once again, you are trying to dodge because you have no real response.)

          • The cardinal needs to keep out of politics….or pay taxes.

            It is irrelevant to this topic what others do, you are simply playing mulberry bush again.

        • As to taxes: Please provide proof for your assertion that tax-exempt status is due to some special deal about separation of church and state.

          Churches are exempt because they do charitable work – quite a lot of it, in fact. Once, they were about the only ones in the charity game.

          Since you think religious institutions should stay out of politics, you were in agreement with the way Harper went after environmentalist charities who opposed the western pipelines?

          • If you want to wander off on another topic do it with someone else…..I’m discussing this topic.

            The cardinal needs to keep out of politics….or pay taxes.

          • Nice try, Em, but I’m completely on point.

            You said churches are exempt because of some separation of church and state agreement that exists solely in your mind; I challenged you on that.

            You said churches should pay taxes if they engage in politics – I pointed out an analogous situation where the Harper government tried to rein in charities who, in their opinion, were being too political. A situation where I’m 99% sure you were on the side of the charities. Proving your hypocrisy on this issue.

            What’s NOT on point?

      • Apparently you don’t want to discuss the topic…..fine, ciao.

        Anyone else?

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