Press Releases 2013

2013 Rosemary Radford Ruether Award Presented to CDD-Perú for Advancing Prochoice Catholicism

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Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, presented the 2013 Rosemary Radford Ruether Award to Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir – Perú (CDD-Perú) in Lima last night.

Catholics for Choice established the Rosemary Radford Ruether Award in 2010 in honor of the prominent feminist theologian, who was a member of the Catholics for Choice board of directors for many years. It is presented to an organization or an individual who makes a distinguished contribution to advancing prochoice Catholicism.

“Founded only a few short years ago in 2009, CDD-Perú has become an outstanding leader and advocate in the Peruvian feminist movement,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “The organization is committed to a free, fair and just society, in which everybody’s human rights are respected—particularly their sexual and reproductive rights. We have seen how the staff and volunteer supporters of CDD-Perú have worked tirelessly, spoken fearlessly and stayed strong in their commitment to speak truth to power on behalf of ordinary women and men of their country.”

O’Brien continued, “CDD-Perú’s goals come from deep reflections about how the hierarchy of the Catholic church controls choices and public policies on sexual and reproductive rights. Catholic feminist theology is imbued in all of their endeavors as they work towards goals firmly grounded in our faith to lift up freedom of conscience in society and religion. They are an inspiration for Catholics everywhere.”
The award was presented by Jon O’Brien to Kelly Cieza, president of CDD-Perú.

“Receiving the Rosemary Radford Ruether Award bolsters our sense of conviction as Catholic feminists who came together four years ago with the purpose of speaking out publicly and carrying the flag for equality, equity, freedom of conscience and the right to decide,” Cieza said.

“This award encourages us to remain firm in our commitment to bring about important changes in support of sexual and reproductive rights, as well as strengthening the secular nature of the state so that women may freely choose what happens to our bodies and in our lives,” she continued. “The award also motivates us to continue building a Catholic church that is more inclusive, just, democratic and diverse, and one that reflects the lives and needs of women.”

Few people have made their mark on modern Catholicism as decisively as feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether. From her early days in the Civil Rights movement in the United States to her groundbreaking critique of the Catholic hierarchy’s patriarchy and re-envisioning of Christian theology, Ruether has made unique contributions to progressive Catholicism.

A trailblazer throughout her career, Ruether is the author of 48 books and more than 600 articles on feminism, the Bible and Christianity. Her influential book Sexism and God Talk, among many other major works, helped usher in modern Christian feminism.

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Catholics for Choice established the Rosemary Radford Ruether Award in 2010 in honor of longtime board member and feminist theologian, Rosemary Radford Ruether. The award is presented from time to time to an organization or individual who makes a distinguished contribution to advancing prochoice Catholicism.

CDD-Perú is part of the Latin American Network of Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, which includes organizations in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua and Paraguay.

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to women's well-being and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.