Toronto, Canada, Jan 26, 2018 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Interreligious leaders from across Canada came together Thursday to sign a statement urging the national government to respect their freedom of conscience by changing controversial new requirements to qualify for federal funding of youth summer jobs.
“The changes to the Canada Summer Jobs guidelines and application not only violate the fundamental freedoms of faith-based organizations, they also significantly impact the broader communities served by their programs, often the most vulnerable in Canadian Society,” reads the interreligious statement signed Jan. 25 by 87 religious leaders, organizations, and institutions.
Signatories included representatives of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches, as well as the Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim communities of Canada.
Federal funding requirements for the Canada Summer Jobs program were added Dec. 19, 2017 stipulating that “both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada,” including “reproductive rights,” or the right to abortion access.
“An organization that has the explicit purpose of restricting women’s rights by removing rights to abortion and the rights of women to control their own bodies is not in line with where we are as a government, and quite frankly, where we are as a society,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he discussed the Canada Summer Jobs program Jan. 10.
Trudeau continued, “Women have fought for generations for the right to control their own bodies, to be able to choose for themselves what to do with their bodies … There are organizations that couch themselves in freedom of speech and freedom of conscience … when those beliefs lead to actions aimed to restrict a women’s right on what to do with her body, that’s where we draw the line.”
Read more at Catholic World Report.