The bishops said they are “dismayed” by the appointment of Dr. Henry Morgentaler to the group, which aims to “recognize outstanding achievement and service in various fields of human endeavor.”
“We believe that linking this award to a procedure as harmful as abortion constitutes a serious error which undermines the significance of the Order of Canada,” the bishops said in a statement Wednesday.
They added: “On the governor-general’s Web site, it is written that “The Order of Canada’s motto is ‘desiderantes meliorem patriam’ — they ‘desire a better country.’ Far from improving our country, Morgentaler’s actions continue to create controversy and division in our nation.
“In the name of freedom of choice, he has encouraged the development of a culture of death and has thus attacked the most vulnerable, the unborn.
“Awarding such a decoration in this context discredits the Order of Canada. It amounts to an inadmissible affront to the numerous Canadians who dedicate their lives to the protection of the most vulnerable, especially the unborn.”
The bishops urge authorities to “reconsider this nomination and not to award this distinction to Morgentaler.”
The doctor is widely recognized as the one responsible for the legalization of abortion in Canada.