Sunday, July 27, 2008

Catholics Asked to Tell Their Bishops to End Ban on Contraception

It has been 40 years since Pope Paul VI made a decision that plunged the Catholic Church back into Medieval times concerning the lives and health of women.

According to
Catholics For Choice, "... a decision was announced that has had a catastrophic impact on the poor and powerless around the world. On July 25, 1968, Pope Paul VI slammed the door on the hopes of the vast majority of Catholics and confirmed a complete prohibition on modern methods of contraception. The papal encyclical Humanae Vitae was a defining moment in modern church history and continues to be a source of great conflict and division in the church. It is a little-known fact that before Humanae Vitae was released the hand-picked Vatican Birth Control Commission voted overwhelmingly to recommend that the church rescind its ban on artificial contraception. However, the pope rejected that recommendation and today, the rupture that Humanae Vitae caused between the Vatican and lay Catholics remains."

Join Catholics For Choice is calling for a ban on this unfortunate policy.

“It is well known that Catholics, particularly those in the global north, have ignored this ban. It is time for them to speak out and say enough is enough. We need Catholics to pick up the telephone or send an e-mail to their local bishop saying that it is time to change church policy. Less-privileged people—who often only have access to health care through Catholic-run facilities or live in countries where the Catholic hierarchy has considerable influence over public policy—are dying as a result of the ban,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice.

"...Today polls show that Catholics, at least in the West, dissent from the teaching on birth control, often by majorities exceeding 80 percent. And that ... "it will also continue to be the most widely flouted injunction of the church at the level of practice," writes John L. Allen Jr., the senior correspondent for The National Catholic Reporter in today's The New York Times.

Sadly, there is a brutal double standard inherent in that reality - while Catholics in developed nations openly flaunt the policy due to ready access to health care, women in developing nations are enslaved by the policy and suffer dire consequences at its hands.

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