OCCB LogoTORONTO, January 9, 2006 ( – A message from the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops (OCCB) sent to all dioceses in the province with instructions to be used prior to the federal election notes a list of “issues pertaining to human life that should be addressed during the federal election campaign.” The statement says that the “teaching of the Church on life and family moves us to bring these matters before the candidates.” It urges Catholics to “compare the responses of candidates” to the issues.

The issues of importance and their explanations as outlined by the OCCB statement are:

Abortion is always morally wrong. Euphemisms such as “pro-choice” do not change that fact. As a society we should be doing everything to support the life of every child that is conceived. Children should be our first priority.

  Marriage is the union of a man and a woman, dedicated to their mutual support and the creation of a family. We must continue to bear witness to this truth.

  The family is the cornerstone of society. Therefore, governments should have in place policies which support families through the tax system, through education, counselling and the support services needed to make it possible for families to thrive.

Artificial Reproductive Technologies
  All techniques which create human embryos, including in vitro fertilization, separate the procreative and unitive dimensions of marriage. They are, therefore, morally wrong.

Embryonic Stem-cell Research
  Embryonic stem-cell research is based on the killing of an embryo and is, therefore, wrong. Stem-cell research, with cells from other sources, is encouraged and has been successful.

Human Cloning
  In cloning, embryos are created specifically to collect their stem cells for experimental purposes, which kills the embryo. Cloned embryos are also used as direct subjects in experimentation, which is in itself an assault on their human dignity. They are also destroyed in the process.

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
  Human beings should not take life, which is a gift from God. It is clear that a holy and dignified death is provided by proper spiritual and physical care, medication as needed and loving attention.