Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton, Ontario, is pictured in a 2016 photo. Bishop Crosby, who is also president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the government's new overseas abortion policy "a reprehensible example of Western cultural imperialism." (CNS photo/Art Babych)
TORONTO (CNS) -- In a biting letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the president of the Canadian bishops' conference called the government's new overseas abortion policy "a reprehensible example of Western cultural imperialism."
In a separate letter to Trudeau, Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto expressed "deep concern and disappointment" and called it "arrogant for powerful, wealthy nations to dictate what priorities developing countries should embrace."
Cardinal Collins and Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton, Ontario, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, were responding to a March 8 announcement that the government would "invest" $650 million (US$483 million) over three years to provide abortion and other services in the developing world.
In addition to funding abortions and other sexual health initiatives, Canadian money will now be earmarked to support foreign advocacy organizations working to make abortion legal in nations that currently ban the practice.
Bishop Crosby's letter cited a Globe and Mail article that revealed a major part of the funding would be directed toward removing "judicial and legal barriers to the fulfillment of sexual and reproductive health and rights." The article cited a federal official who confirmed that "these barriers include the anti-abortion laws in many countries."