Cardinal Wary of Amnesty International’s Move

SINGAPORE, JUNE 22, 2006 ( Amnesty International will be discredited if it promotes abortion worldwide, says a Vatican official.

Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the pontifical councils for Justice and Peace and for Migrants and Travelers, made that point in an interview with Reuters during a visit to Singapore.

London-based Amnesty International has begun consulting its 2 million members on whether it should drop its neutral stance on abortion and start pushing countries to repeal laws that make abortion a crime.

“I have great esteem for Amnesty but doing this, they cut off their hands,” Cardinal Martino said Wednesday. “I hope they don’t do this because if they do, they are disqualified as defenders of human rights.”

Sources present for that interview told ZENIT that the cardinal also stated that the embryo has to be regarded as a human person entitled to all the rights of any human being.

The cardinal is on a three-day visit to Singapore as part of celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the Southeast Asian city-state and the Holy See.