Four pro-life leaders, including the president of two national organizations, Alliance for Life and Campaign Life Coalition, have rejected the opinion of R.C. Archbishop Marcel Gervais that the pro-life movement has become “tragically divisive and angry.” (See Interim, June 1992, pp 18, 19 for the text of Archbishop’s May 3 address.)

Archbishop Gervais is the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) in Ottawa.

The pro-life leaders’ response was printed in the Catholic Register of Toronto, in its July 25 edition. It reads as follows:

“As presidents of the major pro-life groups across Canada, we regret that this is the impression which has been conveyed to the Canadian Bishops. In fact, for a number of years now, there has been excellent co-operation and communication among our groups. We see a great need for work on a variety of fronts including service, education, political action, advocacy, direct action and religious formation. We do recognize that there are different strategies and we don’t always agree on which should take priority, but we do have great respect for the work of each organization and we network extensively with each other. Different people are called to do different work in the pro-life movement and it is all valuable.

“Most of our groups are non-sectarian in nature and make efforts to work with leaders of all denominations which hold the position that innocent human life must be protected from the moment of conception to the time of natural death.

“Whatever differences we have had in the past, and whatever hurts have been experienced by people holding different positions on strategy, it is all behind us. We look forward to working actively and in harmony with the new Ad hoc Committee Concerning Respect for Life Issues. In turn, we trust that the Canadian bishops will recognize our expertise and knowledge gained over 20 years of focusing our energies on spreading the pro-life message across this great country.”

Marilyn Bergeron,
Alliance for Life

James Hughes,
Campaign Life Coalition

Sr. Lucille Durocher,
Human Life International

June Scandiffio,
Toronto Right to Life

Archbishop Gervais made his charge about the pro-life movement being “divisive and angry” at the Human Life International (HLI) conference in Ottawa last May. HLI is a Catholic pro-life organization which also serves non-Catholics. Its headquarters are in the United States.