Pro-life flag flies in Rutland
Sep 25, 2012 / 12:00 pm
Not since the late Pope John Paul VI issued an unprecedented encyclical in 1968 has the birth control debate been hotter.
But the debate has heated up in Kelowna with the recent actions of pro-lifers in Kelowna and, specifically, the City of Kelowna’s bold move to officially proclaim Protect Human Life Week in the city, which runs Sept. 24-30.
Heritage Christian School, a Pentecostal denomination in Rutland, is the sole Kelowna Christian school to fly the Kelowna Right to Life Society’s (KRLS) pro-life flag this week after the Catholic school council backed out, citing concerns over threats the KRLS reportedly received in late August.
“We are just trying to be true to our beliefs,” says Paul Kelly, Heritage Christian School principal, “that all human life has value…regardless of age, infirmity, or location inside or outside of the womb.”
Kelly says he respects the decision of the Kelowna Catholic School Council not to fly the pro-life flag at its schools in Kelowna.
“Perhaps it is not a popular stand with some people. I guess who we are as a school and our Christian identity means, at times, we will take stands that are unpopular. But that does not make them wrong. It’s always a good thing when you ask people to respect human life. It can lead to some good discussion about our humanity. And that is also always a good thing."
The Catholic Church’s Humanae Vitae, issued July 25, 1968 following years of debates between American Catholics and the eugenics lobby, declares a prohibition of all forms of artificial contraception and re-affirms the Bible’s teaching on marriage and parenthood.
“The Church’s teachings are very clear about the sanctity of life at all of its stages,” says Beverly Pulyk, superintendent of Kelowna Catholic Independent School Council.
She adds that although Catholic schools will not fly the flag, they will find other ways to get their pro-life message across.
After pressure from opposition, the City of Kelowna relinquished its plan to fly the pro-life flag at City Hall but maintained the proclamation. The City no longer flies any flags of special interest groups.
During pro-life week, pro-choice demonstrators will hold rallies in front of City Hall in Kelowna during lunch hour. Meanwhile, pro-life demonstrators will protest in front of Kelowna General Hospital this week.
At a Right to Life Society celebration march in Mission Creek Park Saturday, two pro-choice demonstrators attended, placards in hands.
Kelowna city councilor and Deputy Mayor Gail Given was on hand at the celebration, Walk For Life, to announce the City’s proclamation, to the dismay of abortion activists who have requested that Mayor Walter Gray rescind the proclamation, but to no avail.
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