.- On December 9th, Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory will deliver the annual Rerum Novarum lecture for the Melbourne Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace. The problem? He publicly favors abortion.
Many members of Australia’s pro-life community think the Stanhope is an inappropriate choice for a speaker at a Catholic event due to his vocally pro-abortion stance.
Jeremy Stuparich, Executive Director of the ACT Right to Life Association agrees.
He told CNA that “Mr. Stanhope's Government has indeed removed almost all restrictions on abortion from the statute books in the Australian Capital Territory…and established a bill of rights that specifically excludes unborn children.”
He added that Stanhope “personally voted in favor of these measures.”
Many bishops in the U.S. have taken measures to remove vocally pro-abortion politicians from speaking engagements at Catholic events. This has been met with both praise and anger from various groups.
In addition to his role as Chief Minister, Mr. Stanhope is the ACT’s Attorney General and Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
He has publicly lauded his “commitment to human rights and civil liberties,” saying, “I hold these values very, very dearly.”
His December 9th lecture is entitled “Now, more than ever, a national bill of rights.”