The headmaster of Sydney's St Aloysius College, Fr. Chris Middleton has confirmed that his school will cut its ties with Amnesty International because of its policy that promotes abortion in some cases.
In a press release, Fr. Middleton said that he believes that his school’s resignation is one of many to come. “This [Amnesty’s policy change] means that the College and many other schools, I believe, will no longer support Amnesty groups.”
According to Fr. Middleton, Amnesty International has crossed a line that cannot be crossed. “[T]his policy explicitly excludes some of the most vulnerable members of society – the ‘unborn human’ – from its campaigns for human rights. To my mind this goes right to the core of Amnesty as a human rights organisation and as a body that gives primacy to conscience.”
Although Amnesty has abandoned protecting the unborn, St. Aloysius College will not. The students and faculty previously involved in Amnesty will form a new group called the Benenson Society, after Amnesty's British Catholic founder Peter Benenson.
The Benenson Society will allow the students to continue to be involved in “the promotion of human rights through the raising of awareness of violations of these rights and through lobbying of governments for prisoners of conscience, the end of torture and the death penalty, and the rights of all to basic freedoms.”
Fr. Middleton also mentioned that “the society will not be a specifically religious or Catholic body, and will maintain a policy of neutrality on abortion.”
The new society may participate in future individual Amnesty campaigns and work with organizations such as Consistent Life, a network of over 200 organizations that oppose war, abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia, poverty and the death penalty.