Protestors target Melbourne Rerum Novarum lecture
Right to Life activists have criticised the Melbourne Archdiocesan Commission for Justice, Development and Peace, for organising a lecture on Friday that will be delivered by ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope, who supports abortion rights.
The Catholic News Agency website in the US reports that many members of Australia's pro-life community consider Stanhope 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, said: "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 favour of these measures."
Many bishops in the US 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 9 December lecture is entitled "Now, more than ever, a national bill of rights."
Australian pro-life groups protest pro-abortion speaker at Catholic justice event (Catholic News Agency 5/12/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Melbourne Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace | Rerum Novarum Lecture (PDF)
Abortion is crime against society, says Pope Benedict (Catholic News Service 5/12/05)
Study shows each abortion may take the life of the child and mother (Respect Life Office, Archdiocese of Perth 30/11/05)
6 Dec 2005