Pope Benedict announced 22 new Cardinals, including Archbishop Dolan of New York (the surprise was simply how quickly he became a Cardinal, but I’m thrilled at his elevation). But I wanted to highlight one of the other newly named Cardinals, Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto. Fr. Arne singled him out at Mass today, because he’d actually been in the CIC bookstore yesterday, while the nuncio was trying to find him to tell him the news.
As Archbishop of Toronto, Collins was confronted with an ugly situation: the Canadian government awarded its highest honor, the Order of Canada, upon an abortionist, Dr. Henry Morgentaler. Abp. Collins’s response was at once forceful and graceful:
Canada’s highest honour has been debased. Henry Morgentaler has been awarded the Order of Canada. We are all diminished.A community’s worth is measured by the way it treats the most vulnerable, and no one is more vulnerable than in the first nine months of life’s journey. No person may presume to judge the soul of Henry Morgentaler, but it cannot be denied that the effect of his life’s work has been a deadly assault upon the most helpless amongst us.
Canada glories in the names of Banting and Best, and the other medical heroes who selflessly brought healing where there was disease and suffering. Now it honours with the Order of Canada a medical man who has brought not healing, but the destruction of the defenseless and immeasurable grief. This award must not stand.I earnestly appeal to all who are tempted to resort to an abortionist, or are pressured to do so by those around them. I urge you to contact organizations such as Birthright, and others who will support you and love you and your precious child. Contact your parish. We are here for you. I pledge to you the support of the Catholic Church. Look to our archdiocesan website at www.archtoronto.org for information concerning places where you may find loving help.For those who have had an abortion, and bear within your heart the fearful grief, I urge you to contact us, to find love and support in your anguish, and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to find the gift of inner peace.I ask the faithful of the Archdiocese of Toronto, and all people of good will, to protest this act of dishonour. Write, phone, or e-mail the Governor General, the Prime Minister, and your Member of Parliament. Ask that this action be revoked.This coming Sunday will be a day of special prayer in the Archdiocese of Toronto, for an end to the evil of abortion. I have asked that the following prayer be inserted in the Prayer of the Faithful in all the churches of the archdiocese:“That the scourge of abortion be lifted from our land, that those who promote it may be brought to a change of heart, that all who are tempted to abortion may be lovingly helped to protect the precious gift of life, and that all who have experienced an abortion may be comforted with the healing gift of love.”
Amen, your Eminence!
Might I also suggest the perfect way to celebrate Archbishop Thomas Collins elevation to the College of Cardinals?