What Catholics Really Believe About Choice

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Religious and faith communities are speaking out about their broad range of increasingly progressive beliefs about reproductive health, rights, and justice, including our newest Strong Families member, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Rather than let the dominant narrative of “Christian values” or “The Religious Right” determine how a diverse group is seen, these communities are defining themselves. For many, however, many still view those of the Catholic faith as one of the “last strongholds” that remains unwavering.

However, Catholics for Choice recently released a film that challenges the conventional wisdom about what the Catholic Church teaches on a range of social issues related to sex and sexuality. As they describe below:
“The Secret History of Sex, Choice and Catholics”, a new documentary-style film, produced by Catholics for Choice, sets the record straight about Catholic social teaching on issues related to sex and sexuality. In the wake of a bruising campaign season, during which Catholic bishops politicized the pulpit and tried to drown out the voices of Catholics who disagree with them, this film offers a straightforward explanation of what Catholic social teaching really is on the controversial issues that drive the news cycle and it’s not simply the dictates of the US bishops.

Contrary to popular opinion, there is more to Catholics’ beliefs than what the hierarchy espouses, said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. We put together this film with some of the top theologians in the world to get at the heart of Catholic teaching: that people become Catholics through their baptism and are given both a free will and a conscience to make important decisions. We hope that anyone seeking to discuss what Catholics think, how they vote or, most importantly, what Catholics believe, will consider this film.
We must all continue to challenge the conventional wisdom that we were raised and socialized to believe about ourselves and others. The complexity of the issues we approach and the groups involved are often much more nuanced than we are led to believe. Pausing to consider the many perspectives on what appear to be clear-cut issues will only strengthen our ability to continue identifying cross-sector commonalities and building alliances across our differences.

Catholics for Choice (CFC) was founded in 1973 to serve as a voice for Catholics who believe that the Catholic tradition supports a woman’s moral and legal right to follow her conscience in matters of sexuality and reproductive health.