Martino embroiled in new controversy (14/6/2007)

The Roman Catholic Cardinal who delights in providing official platforms for US lobbying for GM crops, looks favourably on climate change skepticism, and even claims Man cannot be "considered a disturbing element" within nature, now has his sights set on undermining the world's leading human rights organisation. For more on Martino: http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=7880


Cardinal: Catholics shouldn't fund Amnesty International
NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press, 14 June 2007

VATICAN CITY -- A Vatican cardinal said Wednesday that Roman Catholics shouldn't contribute to Amnesty International because the group adopted a new policy calling for access to abortion services for women under certain circumstances

The human rights organization reversed its longtime neutral stance on abortion in April and adopted a policy urging governments to ensure access to abortion services for women in the case of rape, incest or when pregnancy represents a risk to the mother's life or a grave risk to her health.

Cardinal Renato Martino, who heads the Vatican's justice and peace department, criticized the policy, saying it represented a betrayal of Amnesty's goals of ensuring human rights around the world.

"The inevitable consequence of this decision, according to the cardinal, will be the suspension of any financing to Amnesty on the part of Catholic organizations and also individual Catholics," according to a statement from Martino's office

In a statement, Amnesty said it had never received any financing from the Vatican or from official Roman Catholic organizations.

Martino, who was the Vatican's U.N. envoy for 16 years, often makes headlines with his pronouncements on issues of the day: He has expressed support for genetically modified foods, saying they could help feed the world's hungry; and he has backed scientists who question the gravity of climate change.

The statement from Martino's office was carried by the official Vatican Radio. However, the statement on the Vatican Radio Web site omitted a key phrase from the original in which Martino says even individual Catholics should withhold financing for Amnesty.

A Martino spokesman said he didn't know why Vatican Radio had omitted the section, but insisted that the cardinal fully meant that individual Catholics should suspend donations to the group.

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