Amnesty Looses U.S. Bishops' Support. Prelates Say Rights Work Must Favor Life
WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 24, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops condemned Amnesty International's recent decision to support abortion, and said that it will only work with organizations that promote the right to life from conception to natural death.
The bishops also urged the organization to reverse its policy, which they said "undermines Amnesty's longstanding moral credibility and unnecessarily diverts its mission."
Their position was outlined in statement sent Thursday from Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"In promoting abortion," said Bishop Skylstad, "Amnesty divides its own members -- many of whom are Catholics and others who defend the rights of unborn children -- and jeopardizes its support by people in many nations, cultures and religions who share a consistent commitment to all human rights."
The bishop said that while the "essential work of protecting human life and promoting human dignity must carry on ... we will seek to do so in authentic ways, working most closely with organizations who do not oppose the fundamental right to life from conception to natural death."
"True commitment to women's rights," he continued, "puts us in solidarity with women and their unborn children. It does not pit one against the other but calls us to advocate on behalf of both."
Bishop Skylstad added: "We call upon Amnesty International once again to act in accord with its noblest principles, reconsider its error, and reverse its policy on abortion."