The New Zealand Catholic bishops have today expressed concern at the decision of Auckland University’s Student Association (AUSA) to disaffiliate a ProLife Club. “The Catholic Church has learned through dark periods in our own history that banning free-thinking and persecuting those with different views is a shameful and retrograde step for society.” Said Bishop Patrick Dunn, NZCBC President.
According to news reports, some 2,700 AUSA members participated in a vote asking members whether or not the Union should disaffiliate the ProLife Club and ban any other clubs of similar thinking. 1609 voted in favor of the ban and 1,034 voted against the ban which, if ratified, would place restrictions on the ability of the group to operate at the University. ( http://thewireless.co.nz/articles/ausa-cuts-ties-with-prolife-auckland ) AUSA has a total membership of around 15,000.
“A student led group dedicated to advocating on ethical issues surrounding abortion and the welfare and support of women should be a welcome addition to the campus life at any University,” Said Bishop Dunn.
“New Zealand is a multi-faith, multi-cultural, multi-race community and our universities ought to have the capacity to engage in meaningful dialogue on ethical and conscience issues.”
Bishop Dunn went on to say, “I call on all Auckland University students who are committed to human rights and the protection of freedom of thought, conscience and religion to encourage their representative body to reconsider this narrow-minded and regressive step.”
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