OTTAWA, Ontario, March 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A research centre at St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, a Catholic university with a pontifical charter, will host a keynote next week by the head of Amnesty International Canada – a group denounced by bishops and pro-life groups after taking up the campaign for abortion in recent years.
Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada, will speak Wednesday at an event launching the university’s Conflict Research Centre. The talk is entitled ‘Resolving and Preventing Conflict: The ‘Rights’ Way’.
In June 2010, Neve specifically called for abortion in the Canadian government’s G8 maternal health initiative on the basis of “human rights.”
“The government’s unequivocal statement that the maternal health initiative will not include funding for abortion services is deeply disappointing and fails to ground the initiative in a clear human rights framework,” he said.
Although Amnesty International (AI) was founded to defend those imprisoned for political crimes, they made the highly controversial decision in 2007 to add the legalization of abortion to their list of “human rights” demanded of foreign countries.
In 2009, this led them to launch an international campaign against Nicaragua, calling the country’s legal protections for children in the womb a “great horror,” “cruel,” and “cynical.”
The same year, they called on Mexico to force doctors to commit abortions on rape victims.
In the fall of 2010, they demanded the legalization of abortion throughout Latin America. “The penalization of abortion denies to pregnant women and children the medical attention they need,” the organization wrote in a press release.
Given that AI was founded by a lay Catholic, and has often been supported by the Church, their turn to abortion advocacy has prompted loud denunciations from Catholic leaders throughout the world, including the national bishops’ conferences in Canada and the U.S.
In 2006, after LifeSiteNews revealed that AI was mulling the change, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops decried the impending policy change, saying AI’s abortion advocacy “would make it difficult for Catholics to continue supporting the work of Amnesty International.”
The next year, Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, went further. “I believe that, if in fact Amnesty International persists in this course of action, individuals and Catholic organizations must withdraw their support, because, in deciding to promote abortion rights, AI has betrayed its mission.”
LifeSiteNews did not hear back from St. Paul’s by press time.
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