Winnipeg Statement Continuing Its Infamous Legacy

LONDON, December 5, 2008 ( – The chief ethicist for the diocese of London in Ontario Canada recently admitted to in an interview that St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital in London has been performing “early induction” procedures in cases of diagnosed lethal fetal anomalies for twenty years, under his ethical direction. While Fr. Michael Prieur attempted to justify “early induction” for lethal fetal anomaly as not being abortion, the procedure has been condemned as illicit by the US Bishops’ Doctrinal Committee and called “direct abortion” by the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC).In an “early induction” the mother is induced into labor at a point so early in the pregnancy that even a healthy child would be unable to live outside the womb without specialized intensive care; under such circumstances, a severely disabled child will likely not live more than minutes.At St. Joseph’s “early induction” is used only when the diagnosed fetal disabilities are deemed so severe that the child will likely die within a few months, days or even hours of being born. The St. Joseph’s policy on the matter states: “An early induction may be permitted after viability for a proportionate reason which can include grave physical, psychological or psychiatric considerations.” Psychological justification for inducing labor in such cases is to spare the mother the pain of carrying to term a child that is likely to die shortly after birth anyway.  Pro-life groups and church teaching on the issue, however, consider abortions of such children through early induction to be the same as regular abortion (the unjust killing of an unborn child), but with an added discrimination against those with a handicap.
One of the most extreme cases of lethal fetal anomaly is anencephaly – a congenital anomaly characterized by failure of development of the cerebral hemispheres and overlying skull and scalp, exposing the brain stem.  Most infants who have anencephaly do not survive for more than a few days after birth.  Nevertheless, the Catholic Church does not permit abortion of such infants.  A 1996 document on Anencephaly by the Committee on Doctrine of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops explains: “It can never be morally justified directly to cause the death of an innocent person no matter the age or condition of that person.”
In addition to being the chief ethicist at the hospital, Fr. Michael Prieur is a professor of Moral and Sacramental Theology at St. Peter’s Seminary, a position he’s held for over thirty-five years.  He is widely known as one of the nation’s foremost defenders of the Winnipeg Statement, a controversial statement of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops which many have deemed a dissent from Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae….


Fr. Prieur explained the procedure, saying, “Routinely, when we get them we would meet with ten to fifteen people to make sure of the diagnosis and the prognosis. We always pray. Because this is a very difficult area – what’s called a conflict area.  So we always pray. And then the decision is made to have an early induction.”
Fr. Prieur insisted that such procedures were not abortion. “Now it’s not called abortion.  We’re not killing the baby. We’re bringing the baby out and allowing the baby to die.  That’s a very important distinction,” he told  When removed from the womb at 21 weeks gestation, however, even a healthy baby could not survive without highly specialized intensive care treatments.


This is the same priest who has defended the Winnipeg Statement for the past 40 years.  Are we surprised that he’s been giving this kind of advice on abortion?  Not really. The only people that seemed to be surprised are the bishops. Now, that is no surprise, we must admit. 

And then we wonder why abortion is the untouchable sacrament of Canadian society.

Why this man remains the chief ethicist of a Catholic hospital only demonstrates the thorough rot in Catholic moral teaching in this country.

The bishops of Canada want us to move on from The Winnipeg Statement. You know, like, “look to the future” and “don’t dwell on the past”.   That’s a fancy way of saying that they would prefer not to deal with the problems that the Winnipeg Statement has caused and continues to cause. 

Those problems will continue to bubble up all over the place unless the Winnipeg Statementis exorcised from our Church, and everyone from our “chief ethicists” to our “chief theologians” and everyone in between is made aware of the horrendous mistake the Winnipeg Statement was.

So far, the Bishops are not interested in the Confession of Sin.  They’re more interested in the Cover-Up of Sin – the Sin of the Winnipeg Statement.

But the children of today are not having any part of it. The Good Book says: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Eph.5:11)

By their hand, they gave us the Winnipeg Statement. So by their hand, they must revoke it.

It’s all very simple, your Graces: 

1. Face the sin.

2. Repent of the treachery of the Winnipeg Statement.

3. And then clean house.

In that order.

Otherwise, we shall continue to reap the fruit of the rebellion which was planted 40 years ago on Canadian soil.

Just how much more scandal the Faithful will have to endure is a question that God only knows.

2 thoughts on “Winnipeg Statement Continuing Its Infamous Legacy

  1. The so-called faithful are really not all faithful. If they all were we would not be having this discussion. If the church believed Roman Catholic scientist Michael J. Behe and the Bible they would discard their faith in this fairytale called Darwinism. The theory of Charles Darwin is not a good life philosophy to base all of life and law on. This is just one worldview and one that has harmed those created in the image of God throughout it’s history. Why are the so-called faithful afraid to tell the truth about this? Perhaps if their own families were effected by the racism of Darwinism they might see it for what it is. What kind of world would it be if Darwinian Humanist Atheist Relativism were true, as it is taught in the textbooks of the Academy? It would be a world in which nothing could be proven wrong, nothing is considered evil or good, nothing worthy of praise or blame. It would be a world in which justice and fairness are meaningless concepts, in which there would be no accountability, no possibility of moral improvement, no moral discourse, and no tolerance for the church. Darwinism produces this kind of world where the Bible is replaced by Darwinian Humanist Atheism in the Academy, and thus throughout society. In the guise of separation of Church and State the Darwinian Humanist Atheists in the Academy have separated Christianity from Western society. The Church and State were already separated, but they wanted to separate Chistianity from our culture and replace it the Darwinian life philosophy. Our Christmas songs, stories and life philosophy were once giving thanks to Christ on the media at Christmas, but now the atheists rule the academy and thus the culture, because we all go to school. Noel !

  2. The Winnipeg Statement has to be recalled. The pastoral letter, “Liberating Potential” is good, but it is pastorally naive and does not address the error of the WS. Noteably it does not address the error of the WS which states “whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience”. Further it does not state that one act of contraception is a grave sin.

    Regarding contraception, the bishops do not once the use the word evil in regards to the contraceptive act. They do not use the word sin. This is not consistant with John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. (eg. TOB 123:7; “Such a violation of the inner order of conjugal communion, a communion plunges its roots into the very order of the person, constitutes the essential evil of the contracpetive act”) or Humanae vitae or the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In the entire TOB, in fact, the word evil is used 62 times and the word sin is used 179 times).

    Noteable as well, “Liberating Potential” omits the truth that the sacrament of Penance is an “infallible and dispensable” (along with the Holy Eucharist and prayer) in helping “to form the Christian spirituality of conjugal and familial life”. (See Man and Women He Created Them: Theology of the Body 126:5, translation Michael Waldstein). The sacrament of Penance, which is a purification of the conscience is not mentioned once in the entire pastoral letter.

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