By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

OTTAWA, May 2, 2009 ( – Michaëlle Jean officially accepted the resignations from the Order of Canada of Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, astronomer René Racine and pianist Jacqueline Richard, the Governor-General's office announced Monday.

The three were among nine Canadians who returned their medals in protest over the appointment of abortionist Henry Morgentaler to the Order in the summer of 2008 for “his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations.”

Archbishop of Montreal, Cardinal Turcotte, returned his award last September, adding his voice to the outrage expressed by many thousands of Canadians that Canada's highest civilian honor was being awarded to the man who was not only personally responsible for the elimination of Canada's abortion law, but also for the death of over 100,000 unborn Canadians.

“I'm worried about how we treat life, from conception to death,” Cardinal Turcotte said. “I decided to take a stance that clearly reflects my convictions.”

“As a result, I wish to declare that I am renouncing the title of Officer of the Order of Canada, bestowed upon me in 1996, and that I am returning the insignia that was given to me.”

Pianist and conductor Jacqueline Richard, who received the award in 2004, referred to Morgentaler's appointment in her letter of resignation, and cited Blessed Mother Teresa's strong condemnation of abortion, when she announced her intention to return her award last year.

Mother Teresa said, “What is taking place in America is a war against the child. And if we accept that the mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”

“The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts – a child – as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters.”

The six other recipients of the Order of Canada who returned their awards in protest are Alphonse Gerwing, Former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick Gilbert Finn, Monsignor A.J. Goski, Madonna House foundress Catherine Doherty, Father Lucien Larre and Frank Chauvin.

See coverage of the Morgentaler Order of Canada Controversy:


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