The Archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins, has received an “overwhelmingly positive” reaction to his letter confronting Justin Trudeau, the Liberal party leader, over his insistence that all new Liberal candidates be “resolutely pro-choice.”
According to LifeSiteNews, Cardinal Collins expressed his deep concern with Trudeau's stand in a letter earlier this month, noting that had Pope Francis chosen a different vocation he would himself be denied the opportunity to run as a Liberal.
Neil MacCarthy, communications director for the Archdiocese of Toronto, told the Catholic Register that the huge reaction was “overwhelmingly positive, from both within and outside of the Catholic community.”
“We’ve had hundreds of people comment both through our office and on social media on this issue,” he said. “"I think it's safe to say we haven't seen this type of response in recent history." The post containing the text of the cardinal's letter on the Archdiocese's Facebook page has been viewed over 100,000 times.
In an interview with the Register, Cardinal Collins said he was grateful for the support and found it interesting that even people who disagree with him on abortion agreed with his letter to Trudeau, which defended conscience rights.
"I think that is bad for the country, bad for a party and unjustifiable as an intrusion into the rights of citizens," Collins said. "There has always been a tradition in Parliament to have free votes on matters of conscience."
Collins said he finds it remarkable that people who consider themselves "free-thinking" are imposing their personal views with "absolute stringency."
"(S)urely it's better to have people who are not all programmed to think the way the leader thinks. People see that this level of control at such a detailed level in a person's life is not justifiable” he said.
The Toronto archbishop's letter was in response to an instruction by Trudeau that future Liberal candidates must "vote pro-choice on any bills." Trudeau said new candidates will be screened on their abortion views and only those who are "resolutely pro-choice" will be permitted to stand in elections as Liberal candidates.