Canadian Conference: Social Justice Includes Right to Life of Unborn

TORONTO ( – With Catholic social justice agencies in Canada having alienated pro-lifers with support for last year's pro-abortion World March of Women and similar ventures, an upcoming September 29 conference in Toronto “Building the Culture of Love: A Rediscovery of Catholic Social Justice” has sparked interest. The conference is sponsored by the Catholic lay group Witness and will be addressed by, among others, Joseph Campbell, associate editor of Catholic Insight magazine.

Mr. Campbell spoke to LifeSite about his upcoming talk on Catholic social

teaching. He said, as it is practiced in public in Canada, “much of Catholic social justice, in my view, is not in accord with the principles of Catholic social justice as spelled out by the recent popes.” He noted that the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) had supported the pro-abortion World March of Women and that thus he had stopped donating to the group, which represents the official social justice arm of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Within the current social justice groups in Canada, “there is a flirtation with liberation theology and the Marxist analysis which it embodies,” said Mr. Campbell. “There is an embrace of the welfare state which is opposed to key principles of social justice – subsidiarity and solidarity.” He explained that with subsidiarity, aid should be given by the nearest and most intimate groups connected to the needy – ideally family, rather than relying on the state as a first resort. And solidarity emphasizes concern for the common good over individualistic concerns.

Rather than alienate the pro-life movement, authentic social justice, says Mr. Campbell, sees the right to life of the unborn as foundational, since the social justice movement is founded on loving God and neighbour. Indeed, the current pope, John Paul II, concurs with that analysis.

For more information on the Witness conference contact Witness at (416) 604-9886, or via e-mail at:

(This update courtesy of LifeSite News.)

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