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Anti-choice group wants 'heretic' Justin Trudeau banned from speaking

A national group dedicated to eliminating all abortion in Canada has called for a Catholic school in Sudbury, Ontario to cancel a scheduled speech on Dec. 21 by Liberal Party leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau because of his support for abortion and same sex marriage.

Campaign Life Catholics, a sub-group within the Campaign Life Coalition, a national anti-choice on abortion organization, had already staged demonstrations outside the Sudbury Catholic School Board offices today.

In an interview with The Tyee, Jack Fonseca, spokesperson for Campaign Life Catholics, said the local Sudbury anti-abortion activists would renew their protests at the school board Thursday and at St. Charles College, the planned site of the Trudeau speech, on Friday. Fonseca said Trudeau was a "public heretic" and "favours killing babies."

In a statement released Dec. 18, the president of Campaign Life Catholics, Suresh Dominic, said "Trudeau's virulent opposition to key Catholic moral teachings on abortion and homosexual 'marriage,' while deceptively calling himself a faithful Catholic, make it grossly inappropriate for the school to give him a platform," Dominic is helping organize the protest at the school board to pressure trustees to cancel the event.

"The Board may be inviting spiritual harm to children who, seeing Justin's anti-Christian witness, may come to believe that it is acceptable for a Catholic to support the grave sins of abortion and homosexual 'marriage," Dominic said.

But the Bishop of Sault Ste Marie, Jean-Louis Plouffe, has issued a statement supporting Mr. Trudeau's appearance at the Sudbury school, according to the Sudbury Star. And one local Catholic school board trustee, Estelle Scappatura, earlier quoted as supporting the call to ban Trudeau's appearance, has retracted that position in light of her Bishop's statement.

Campaign Life Catholic spokesman Fonseca is not persuaded, and continues to demand that Trudeau's appearance be cancelled.

"I think the Bishop has been misinformed when he says that Trudeau is not estranged from the Church," Fonseca said.

"Canon law holds that supporting abortion is a grave sin, and any Catholic politician who does so is banned from receiving communion. Mr. Trudeau is at war with the Church and its teachings. We will continue our protest. Even if we do not succeed in getting the speaking engagement cancelled, we will have warned students that Trudeau favors killing babies."

Kate Monfette, a media spokeswoman for Trudeau's campaign to win the Liberal Party leadership, said she was not aware of any other protests against her candidate appearing at Catholic schools.

"I don't anticipate abortion being an issue in the leadership campaign," Monfette said. "The Liberal Party is united in its support for women's choice."

Monfette declined to comment on Fonseca calling Trudeau a "public heretic."

Tom Sandborn covers health policy and labour issues for The Tyee. He welcomes your feedback and story tips at [email protected]

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