Douglas Farrow, Professor of Christian Thought and Kennedy Smith Chair of Catholic Studies, McGill University.
Canadian prof: Justin Trudeau’s ‘doctrine of double truth’ leads to suppression of freedom
A McGill University professor said that Justin Trudeau’s pronouncements supporting abortion while at the same time describing himself as “very religious, very Catholic,” are an example of a “doctrine of double truth” that leads to suppression of freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.
Justin Trudeau’s views indicate “something can be fundamentally wrong according to sound religion, but fundamentally right according to sound politics,” said Douglas Farrow, Professor of Christian Thought and Kennedy Smith Chair of Catholic Studies, in a lecture delivered on October 29 as part of the CREOR Lecture Series on Religion, Secularity, Toleration at McGill’s Birks Heritage Chapel. [Full Text]
If tone and body language are at all reliable indicators, within the coming year, Canada’s Supreme Court will strike down current laws against assisted suicide.
The justices hearing the Carter case on Oct. 15 gave no visual or audible signs of sympathy to the federal government’s argument that the laws ruled constitutional in the 1993 Rodriguez case should still be deemed constitutional 20 years later.
By contrast, those on the bench appeared eagerly engaged by the position of opposing counsel that Criminal Code prohibitions against counselling suicide and assisting suicide violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Rosalie Abella were particularly active in querying the “blanket prohibition” of the current law, and its contribution to the “suffering” of those who want help to kill themselves.
All those who assert with certainty how any of this will translate are, of course, themselves unreliable. No one outside of the court itself will know before we all do. But the tableau last week at least gave credibility to the “what ifs” of Canada suddenly opening the legal door to assisted suicide. . . [Full text]
In a column published in The Independent, Ann Furedi, CEO of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, argues that the existing English abortion law should be scrapped because abortion is simply another form of birth control.
Today, abortion is understood to be a fact of life. We expect to plan our families using the contraception that is freely available cost-free on the NHS. But we know that contraception is not infallible, and nor are we. We draw comfort from knowing that abortion is available as a back up to our chosen method of birth control. The existing laws are not fit for purpose – and the way abortion is provided today begs a simple question: why have a law at all?
This is consistent with earlier statements she has made. In 2010 she told New Zealanders that abortion is required as a part of family planning programmes because contraception is not always effective. She noted that abortion rates do not drop when more effective means of contraception are available because women are no longer willing to tolerate the consequences of contraceptive failure.[TVNZ]
Furedi’s comments indicate that pressure to provide abortion is likely to increase even where contraception is readily available, thus increasing potential for conflicts of conscience among health care workers who do not wish to be involved with the procedure. They also demonstrate a categorical refusal to acknowledge a critical factual distinction: that preventing the conception of an infant by contraception is not the same as killing an infant by abortion. This distinction central to the reasoning of health care workers and others who refuse to participate in abortion, though they may have no objection to contraception.
Selections from oral submissions
Supreme Court of Canada, 15 October, 2014
The Catholic Civil Rights League, Faith and Freedom Alliance and the Protection of Conscience Project were jointly granted intervener status in Carter by the Supreme Court of Canada. The joint factum voiced concern that legalization of physician assisted suicide and euthanasia would likely adversely affect physicians and health care workers who object to the procedures for reasons of conscience. The factum was supplemented by an oral submission.
Links to annotated selections from the oral submissions relevant to freedom of conscience are provided below. In each case, readers can access the Supreme Court webcast through the linked image. Time stamps are cited to allow the relevant section of the webcast to be located. On the Supreme Court website, use “full screen” view when dragging the slider button to the desired time stamp.
Joseph Arvay, Q.C. (Counsel for the Appellants)
Jean-Yves Bernard (Counsel for the Attorney General of Quebec)
Harry Underwood (Counsel for the Canadian Medical Association)
Robert W. Staley (Counsel for the Catholic Civil Rights League, Faith and Freedom Alliance, and Protection of Conscience Project)
LifeSite News Staff
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is unwilling to take up the issue of babies who are born alive and left to die or killed after an unsuccessful late-term abortion.
Reports from medical workers suggest that many of children born alive during botched abortions are “evacuated” along with hospital waste or left to die in another hospital room or in a storeroom, despite signs of life. Others receive lethal injections or are smothered.
Documents furnished to LifeSiteNews show that a written question from a Spanish member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe submitted to the Committee at the beginning of this year will receive no answer, because the ministers could not reach consensus about what should happen in such an instance. [Full text]