Letters & Op-Eds - 2013

RH Reality Check How the Bishops’ Directives Derail Medical Decisions at Catholic Hospitals

  On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of Michigan announced they had filed a lawsuit against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) “on behalf of a pregnant woman who miscarried and was denied appropriate medical treatment because the only hospital in her county is required to abide by religious directives.” […]

Jon O'Brien

New York Times Catholics and Abortion

Contrary to an activist in New Mexico quoted in your article, we do have considerable knowledge about what Catholics think when it comes to abortion. You quote the activist, Pat Davis, as saying, “There’s not a model anywhere in the country to help us figure out whether a Catholic Hispanic woman thinks that an abortion […]

Jon O'Brien

SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE Church, Catholics don’t always think alike

Despite what our bishops might have you believe, Catholics stopped looking to the pope and other members of the hierarchy to provide us with leadership on matters related to reproductive health care, sexuality and women’s autonomy a very long time ago. Many Catholics remain hopeful that Pope Francis will translate his hints about a more […]

Jon O'Brien

Washington Post - Acts of Faith At the United Nations, the Vatican is church and state. That needs to change.

The world seems to have fallen in love with Pope Francis and, given the interview with La Civilta Cattolica recently, that is understandable. Everyone is pinning their hopes for change on this pope. Catholics are hopeful that the hierarchy will join the rest of us in respecting each person’s conscience, especially on decisions about sexuality and reproductive […]

Jon O'Brien

Washington Post - Acts of Faith Pope Francis Is Lots of Hope, Very Little Change

Catholics desperately want change in our church, and Pope Francis is being heralded in Time magazine and on almost every major network and newspaper as the one who will deliver it. But before we pronounce him the patron saint of reform, we should step back and take a critical look at whether his gestures indicate […]

Jon O'Brien

New York Times The Catholic Church and Contraception

It’s clear that Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York does not like the requirement that health care insurance should cover contraception (“Archdiocese Pays for Health Plan That Covers Birth Control,” news article, May 27). It is equally clear that contraceptive coverage can be part of insurance for employees of Catholic institutions with no harm […]

Sara Morello

Huffington Post Exit Stage Left: Cardinal O’Malley’s Fit of Pique

Boston’s Cardinal Seán O’Malley has withdrawn from the Boston College graduation rather than share the stage with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. He follows the lead of a few of his brother bishops like John D’Arcy, who did the same when President Obama was invited to Notre Dame’s graduation in 2009. Then, as now, it may be surprising that […]

Jon O'Brien

Albany Times Union Respect women’s autonomy

Gov. Andrew Cuomo designated women’s equality as one of his top legislative priorities. There should be nothing controversial about promoting equal pay, fighting domestic violence and human trafficking, or affirming that a woman should be able to make her own reproductive health decisions. Yet the governor’s action has sparked a furious response from the New […]

Jon O'Brien

Alternet Will Pope Francis End Vatican’s Obstructive Role at U.N.?

As Pope Francis settles into his new role, he has a perfect opportunity to remold the Vatican’s relationship with the rest of the world. A great place to start would be at the United Nations, where the Vatican, through an entity known as the Holy See, has special powers granted to no other religious institution. […]

Jon O'Brien

Abortion in Ireland

SIR – Ireland is in the thrall of an abortion debate that should have been resolved 20 years ago (“Still restrictive”, February 2nd). Tolerating the open secret that thousands of women must travel abroad for abortions is unconscionable. The majority of the electorate support some loosening of the abortion law and many are willing to […]

Jon O'Brien

New York Times Birth Control and Religious Freedom

To the Editor: Your editorial missed the mark on a number of issues. At stake was not just whether religiously affiliated organizations would be exempt. Many, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, wanted any employer who provided insurance to have the ability to opt out. The so-called Taco Bell exemption that the bishops […]

Jon O'Brien

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL Roe v. Wade’s ideals are Rhode Island’s

As we welcome the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, of Jan. 22, 1973, and begin the 2013 legislative session in Rhode Island, it appears that the more things have changed, the more things have stayed the same. During the late 1980s, when I, a Catholic, was a Rhode Island Democratic state representative, […]

Neil A. Corkery

Irish Times The abortion debate

Sir, – Paddy Agnew’s reference to tilting at windmills is apt, as it appears that the Vatican still operates as if it were 1604, when Cervantes coined that phrase (Opinion, January 11th). But times have changed, whether the Vatican likes it or not. The Vatican has been losing battle after battle in Ireland. Despite its […]

Jon O'Brien
Catholics for Choice