The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops(CCCB) has concluded its annual Plenary Assembly without coming to a decision concerning the human rights organization Amnesty International's new policy supporting abortion.
Outgoing conference president Andre Gaumond, Archbishop of Sherbrooke, examined the contradiction in the new policy. "This is a movement that defends the rights of the oppressed as well as freedom of conscience and expression. What a paradox that the smallest of human beings, unborn children, are now being put at risk by those who should be their defenders," he said.
Archbishop Gaumond stated that the CCCB had unsuccessfully appealed to Amnesty International leaders to reverse the decision. The issue has been referred to the CCCB Permanent Council to decide how the conference should respond to the issue. A decision is expected in late November.
Catholics have worked with Amnesty International since its very beginning forty-six years ago. Amnesty International was founded by a Catholic convert, Peter Benenson. It has campaigned against torture, capital punishment, and other human rights violations.
In the past, Amnesty International had described abortion as "outside its mandate." A recent international convention in Mexico City added campaigning for legalized abortion to the organization's mission.