The Quebec Coalition for Life petition, which has been in circulation for some months, has now been signed by over a quarter of a million people. Plans are to present it to the Quebec Assembly in March.
An intensive effort is now under way to collect as many more signatures as possible in the remaining weeks. Some areas have responded magnificently to the signature drive. Particularly good were the Gatineau area and the Beauce. Other rural and small town areas were also good depending on the level of pro-life activity in the area.
Most disappointing of all has been the response from Catholic parishes in the Montreal area. Of the over 400 parishes in Montreal, only 32 have supported the campaign and, of that number, 10 were Anglophone parishes (out of the approximately 40 Anglophone parishes in the city).
In other words, the response from Francophone parishes – after two appeals for support – has been 5.5 per cent. The reason given by some pastors for their lack of support is that “the Church should not be involved in politics.”
The response from other faiths has been much more encouraging. Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, whose numbers are fewer and whose congregations are smaller, have so far collected over 9,000 signatures. Over 800 congregations have participated in the campaign.