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Lutherans denounce Morgentaler recognition

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

WINNIPEG—In a strongly worded statement, Rev. Dr. Ralph Mayan, president of Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) called awarding the country's highest honour, the Order of Canada, to Dr. Henry Morgentaler an "insult to Canada and all who respect the sanctity of life."

He noted that the country presented the same award to Senator Romeo D'Allaire for his efforts to save the lives of thousands in Rwanda amidst a genocide but noted ironically that "the one whose life's work has resulted in deaths of hundreds of thousands of unborn children is given the same recognition."

Revoking an Order of Canada award is not without precedent. Hockey entrepreneur Alan Eagleson's award was revoked and currently there is talk of the same action for Conrad Black. "Dr. Morgentaler has not yet received the award, and so we believe the committee responsible should reconsider its decision," President Mayan added.

The president also noted that the Order of Canada recognizes and celebrates "those whose exemplary efforts reflect the value of life for Canadians and peoples of the world."

Lutheran Church–Canada holds a strong pro-life position based on the teachings of the Bible. In 2002 it encouraged the formation of a Lutheran-based agency to provide information on life issues to LCC congregations. So far, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency has refused to grant the organization non-profit charitable status.

Winnipeg-based Lutheran Church–Canada was established in 1988 and has almost 320 congregations from Nova Scotia to B.C. and more than 75,000 members.

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