Henry Morgentaler delivered the opening address at the annual convention of the Humanist Association of Canada at the University of Guelph on June 23. He used the opportunity to blame the Catholic Church for Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s murder of millions of Jews.

“Had the Church not persecuted Jews for centuries,” said Morgentaler, “Hitler could never have mastered the public support to perpetrate his Second World War Holocaust.”

He referred to Catholicism as a “culture of death,” and called for the taxation of all churches and religious institutions.

As fellow humanists circulated a petition to get the Vatican thrown out of the United Nations, Morgentaler rejoiced over the decline in Catholic numbers and dismissed the latest encyclical (which condemns abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide) as ignoring reality.

Although his comments centred more on the Catholic Church, he also warned Canadians to be on guard against fundamentalist religions which “threaten read access to health care in their drive to take from women the right to make decisions regarding their bodies.”