Toronto, December 19, 2012
Pro-choice politician Justin Trudeau is to appear at a Sudbury Catholic school event this week to discuss the youth leadership program Katimavik. He is scheduled to appear on Friday, December 21 at St. Charles College.
Sudbury Catholic Trustee Estelle Scappatura stated to the Sudbury Northern Life newspaper on December 18 that she opposed Trudeau’s appearance at the school: "it's against the dogma of our church to be pro-abortion. That's just what I'm trying to protect -- the teachings of our church." P.A.F.E. congratulates this Trustee for speaking out according to her conscience.
A statement released by Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie supported Justin’s talk to students. P.A.F.E. President, Teresa Pierre says that local residents can’t understand why the Church hasn’t supported Trustee Scappatura and cancelled Trudeau’s appearance, since it puts parents in an impossible position: “How can we tell our children that they must obey the church's teachings on marriage and the family when the church itself lionizes and brings into its schools people such as Justin Trudeau who publicly criticize those teachings? What message does it send to Trustees who are trying to act as faithful stewards for the schools?”
Protests are currently underway in Sudbury to protest Trudeau's appearance and the Bishop’s statement.
P.A.F.E. gave several reasons why the appearance should be cancelled. The Pope has stated that politicians who are pro-choice not be given communion. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated in 2004 (Catholics in Political Life) that Catholic institutions should not give pro-choice politicians a platform: "the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. levels of the church in Rome and the US have stated that the Church should not appear to support pro-choice politicians. The Canadian hierarchy is bound by the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (s. 2287) not to give scandal to the faithful. For the bishops not to insist - as the US church has done - that pro-choice politicians not be supported by church institutions and organizations has disheartened and scandalized residents of Sudbury and the wider church in Ontario.
P.A.F.E. hopes that the bishop’s office will reconsider supporting the Trudeau event.