Declaration by Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, Archbishop of Montréal

    I am returning my Order of Canada insignia.

    MONTREAL, Sept. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - On May 9th 1996, the office of the
Governor-General of the time, Mr. Roméo Leblanc, announced that I had been
named to the Order of Canada. I had accepted this honour on behalf of all
those who, because of their faith in Jesus Christ, work in the social domain
to serve the most disadvantaged of our society.
    I have the greatest respect for the Order of Canada. It is meant to
recognize the contribution of persons who help to bring about the progress of
our society and who are concerned about the future of our world. Until
recently, I sincerely believed that the Order of Canada was bestowed upon
persons about whom there was a consensus.
    I was away when the Governor-General, Madame Michaelle Jean, announced
the nomination of Dr. Henry Morgentaler to the Order of Canada. This
announcement generated a great deal of criticism on the part of those who do
not share Dr. Morgentaler's views regarding the respect for human life.
    I must admit that I had hoped that, in light of the large number of
protests, the Consultative Council for the Order of Canada would revise its
decision. Because it has not done so up to now and because silence on my part
might be misinterpreted, I feel obliged in conscience to reaffirm my
convictions regarding the respect for human life, from conception to death. We
are not the masters of human life; it rests in the hands of God.
    As a result, I wish to declare that I am renouncing the title of Officer
of the Order of Canada, bestowed upon me in 1996, and that I am returning the
insignia that was given to me.

    September 11th 2008

    Cardinal Turcotte is currently in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré where the
members of the Assembly of the Catholic Bishops of Québec are gathered. He
could give certain interviews between now and September 12th at noon. Please
contact Madame Rolande Parrot, responsible for communications at the Assembly
of the Catholic Bishops of Québec: 418-827-3781

For further information:

For further information: Lucie Martineau, (514) 925-4304

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Archdiocese of Montreal

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