(Urgent - Please contact your MP and ask them to vote for Roxanne's Law. The vote will take place on December 15, 2010. Find your MP here.)
Fr. Tom Lynch and Fr. John Lemire of Priests for Life Canada (PFLC), conducted a one-hour interview with Rod Bruinooge about Roxanne's Law, which aired on Tuesday, Dec. 7.
Priests for Life gave a strong endorsement of Roxanne's Law (Bill C-510) and referenced Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins' strong support for the bill. They urged all Catholics to support this bill.
Excerpts below from the Priests for Life Canada radio interview with MP Rod Bruinooge on Roxanne’s Law that aired December 7, 2010
44:18 Fr. Tom Lynch - One of the things we need to look at is, there has been some controversy within some of the prolife movement in terms of whether pro-lifers, and in terms of our own audience today, Catholics, can be able to support this bill. Speaking as a moral theologian, I would say that this bill makes very good sense. We have the situation where de facto there is a law that allows abortion in Canada even though of course there is no law, but that’s what’s happened with the Supreme Court again and again restricting any possibility of bringing in a law to directly and counter and criminalize abortion.
44:57 And so I would say categorically, as a professor of moral theology, that it is a good and right thing to be able to support this proposal, Roxanne’s Law, because it seeks to be able, in a small way, to restrict the evil that is being done in our society by allowing the killing of the preborn. We are not able at this juncture to be having a law that would criminalize abortion. And so therefore, as John Paul II said in 1995, in the Gospel of Life, it is not only legitimate, and prudent, but it is a necessary and good thing to restrict abortion or any laws that would allow abortion in any way we can, to try to be able to restrict that evil.
45:42 And he especially and particularly commended legislators to be able to try to put forward initiatives that would in any way try to restrict abortion. I think there are some mistaken commentators that have said about this, and other private members bills in the past, that because they didn’t tackle abortion head-on, they were illegitimate. And I would say categorically that’s wrong. I can’t find any, any Catholic theologian that would back up that view.
46:13 And I’m happy to be able to tell our listeners that the Archbishop of Toronto, Archbishop Tom Collins, spoke to the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus I think just last night or the night before and categorically said that Catholics could support this bill. And as a major teacher of the Church, and as I think an incredibly articulate and informed spokesperson for the Catholic Church, I think we would be wise to follow that direction and to say that this is something that we can prudently, morally, and conscientiously support and encourage. And I think that’s important to put out there because sometimes there is confusion in that regard. But we have to be very clear about it and very direct and say that anything that can work to be able to bring about a discussion on behalf of the preborn, to bring about a discussion on the situation of abortion in our country, and hopefully, God willing, to be able to bring about even a limited protection for the preborn, and especially, in this instance, particular instance, for mothers who are facing distressed pregnancies, is a good and laudable initiative.
47:22 So I think we need to be very clear on that, and it’s good to see that the key spokesperson for the English Church, the English Canadian Church, has said that pretty loud and clearly. So I think that is a very necessary thing to be able to lay there.
47:38 Fr. John Lemire - And I think in addition to that, Fr. Tom, I certainly agree with everything that you say about the understanding of Evangelium Vitae and how our late Holy Father Pope John Paul the Great certainly has given us great wisdom and guidance in this. And not only do we see support in Catholic circles for this bill with the support of Priests for Life Canada who came on very early on, the Archbishop as you said recently to the pro-life caucus. But we’ve also seen support that’s been coming from the Catholic Organization for Life and the Family (the arm of the Bishops), as well as even outside of Catholic circles from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. So there certainly is very strong support and recognition that this is an important piece of pro-life legislation that all pro-lifers need to support and to work to see that it gets enacted into law.
49:03 Rod Bruinooge - I just really appreciate all of the voices in the Roman Catholic Church of Canada that have been supportive of Roxanne’s Law. It was a real pleasure not only meeting yourself, Fr. Tom, but also just meeting with Archbishop Tom Collins over the years, but more recently this week and having him say that not only can Catholics support this bill but that they should. It’s just a really nice support that we received from him. And I’m hoping that people from all viewpoints, all political backgrounds in Canada can begin to understand how important it is to empower pregnant women in our country because our mothers are really the key to our future in Canada. And being a parent I know that it’s just such an important thing to be able to not only love your children, but see them grow up. And I know that the mothers that want to see through their pregnancy deserve to have this additional protection.
50:16 Fr. Tom – Now I’d like to thank you very much, Rod, for taking this initiative, to be able to put forward this bill. Having worked with Parliamentarians and having actually worked in Parliament for a short time many years ago, I’d like to impress upon our listeners what it means to be able to take this opportunity, as you said early on in the program, to put forward a private members bill.
50:40 - And we want you to know that we stand squarely behind you in this effort, and we’ll do whatever we can in the short time that’s left to encourage not just our listeners, but everyone we can to contact their MP and to ask where their MP stands on this bill, and to ask that they support it. We see no reason for anyone to oppose this bill which has as its only and definite intention to empower women against being coerced into having an abortion.
51:06 As Catholics we feel that we can support it in good conscience, and to echo Archbishop Collins which is always a good thing, that we have a moral imperative to support it as well. We’d like to encourage all pastors across Canada to speak to their congregations in the weekend that’s left to encourage them to contact their MP. We can’t express how important this legislation is. I know we are only dealing in a small way with the issue of abortion, but it is one more way that we can be able to bring about that culture of life, and it’s incredibly important to take those opportunities as they are brought before us. It’s not often we have them. So you know, carpe diem, you know. Let us seize the day.
51:45 Thank you very much for that Rod. I know you’re busy and I appreciate very much that you’ve taken the time to speak to our listeners today to really explain to them why it is so important it is that Roxanne’s Law be able to be supported. And you know, we hope and pray, God, that it will be put into legislative action as well.
52:05 Rod – thank you so much Fr. Tom for giving me this opportunity to speak to your listeners.
52:08 Fr. Tom – God bless.