10 February 2014
Hon Murray McCully,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Dear Mr Mc Cully
United Nations Attack on Religious Freedom
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child recently presented its sixteen page report on the periodic review of the Catholic Church.
Our Society is concerned about this report which is a flagrant and egregious attack on the religious freedom of the Catholic Church, her right and obligation to uphold the dignity of the human person and an attack on religious freedom guaranteed by the Declaration of Human Rights which proclaims in Article 18 the right to freedom of religion.
Right to Life recognizes that the Catholic Church is at the forefront worldwide in upholding the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the human person. The Catholic Church is not at liberty to change its teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality which are based on the law of God. This is an attack on the religious freedom of every citizen. It is not the prerogative of the United Nations to dictate to Churches what they teach, nor to dictate what we believe.
The United Nations Committee has asked the Catholic Church to amend Canon law to provide for the circumstances when abortion is permitted. It has also asked the Church overcome all the barriers and taboos surrounding adolescent sexuality that hinder their access to sexual and reproductive information including family planning and contraception.
It is alarming that a United Nations Committee that exists to protect the rights of the child both before and after birth should make a report supporting the killing of children before birth and the undermining of the dignity and welfare of the child after birth with information about contraception and encouragement of sexual activity outside of marriage.
Why is the Committee failing to uphold the Convention’s objective to defend the right to life of the unborn? Why is the Committee silent at the starvation, torture and killing of children in Syria and the denial of education for girls in Afghanistan and other Islamic countries?
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is an important founding document that New Zealand has signed. It is important for the welfare of children, that the Committee is faithful in upholding the true objectives of the Convention and not imposing an alien agenda. I would be grateful if you would advise me what action you can take to express concern to the Committee on this unfortunate and inappropriate report which is a threat to the right to life of the unborn and to religious freedom everywhere and to desist in their attack on the Catholic Church.
Thank you for all that you are doing to promote a just society and international cooperation.