Cardiff Uni’s Catholic Chaplaincy say pro-choice motion would violate their right to choice
The Anglican and Methodist society has hit back
Cardiff University's Catholic Chaplaincy has published an open letter to the Catholic Society urging their attendance at the SU AGM tonight.
The letter, written by the university's Catholic chaplain Father Sebastian Jones, states that the motion would "violate the individual's right to choice in the debate".
They say that the motion discriminates against the Catholic community and 'silences lawful dissent', arguing that no Catholic could remain a member of an organisation with a pro-choice stance and that it would risk their excommunication from the church.
Open letter to CATHSOC concerning motion being pushed forward through the SU at this upcoming AGM Meeting on Thursday – 21st Nov 2019. It is crucial that as many of us attend this meeting as possible to protect freedom of expression and conscience within the union. pic.twitter.com/cGeM7tSrRA
— cardiff_cathsoc (@CardiffCathSoc) November 20, 2019
The chaplaincy calls for the Catholic society to resign its membership of the guild of societies if the motion passes, comparing their situation to that of an anti-Nazi student campaigner who was executed in wartime Germany.
They say the motion would risk harm to the reputations of members of the pro-life society and risk threats and abuse direct at people with pro-life views.
Cardiff University's Anglican and Methodist society have published a counter-statement announcing that they will be voting for the motion.
They say that while they are a safe space for differing opinions, this does not apply if these opinions restrict or affect the rights of others.
They argue a pro-choice stance allows personal feelings while 'safeguarding against a dangerous mentality which takes away the right to choose'.
The motion does not state that the pro-life society should not be allowed to be affiliated with the SU. However, it does state that the VP societies should be responsible for ensuring societies should not "spread misinformation about abortion and pregnancy nor participate in activities against SU policy."
The student who proposed the motion, Isadora Sinha, told the Cardiff Tab:
"This motion does not restrict what socialites can form/do nor what views students may hold. Thus, the motion certainly does not restrict freedom of speech. Those that think it does should carefully read the motion. It is there to provide a supportive and inclusive environment for all students no matter their views, to give medically accurate facts and to take the stance of accepting fundamental human rights."