Can Catholics be pro-choice?
A controversial meeting held at Planned Parenthood in Collier County on Thursday night. It’s sparking debate and outrage among some inside the Catholic Church.
Nearly 3,000 families practice their faith at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Naples.
Father John Ludden is the Pastor there.
“What is your first reaction when you see this flyer?” I asked Fr. John.
“I think it’s very discouraging because people are confused when they see this, ” said Fr. John.
Father John is talking about an invitation to a workshop at Planned Parenthood.
The group “Catholics for Choice” invites you to learn the truth about Catholic teachings saying abortion and birth control can be moral choices despite what other Catholics believe.
“Is it possible to be Catholic and pro-choice?” I asked.
“It is not possible to be Catholic and pro-choice, it’s a contradiction in terms,” said Fr. John.
The Catholic Diocese of Venice echoing that stance urging this group to stop promoting ideas they know are contrary to the Catholic faith.
The President of Catholics for Choice defending what his group believes saying you can be both Catholic and pro-choice.
“We need Catholics to understand that the majority of those of us in the church actually have a very different view about sex and sexuality then the higher hierarchy do,” said Jon O’Brien, President of Catholics for Choice.
The group disagrees with the Vatican on matters related to sex, marriage and family life.
“The Diocese of Venice sees abortion as a grave moral disorder, but you’re saying it can be a moral choice?” I asked O’Brien.
“Yes,” he said.
The group says they believe that Catholic teachings on conscience mean you must follow your heart.
“A woman who is faced with a very difficult decision to have an abortion that women is following her conscience,” said O’Brien.
Fr. John says sometimes our conscience can be erroneous because if it goes against God deep in somebody’s heart their conscience can be erroneous, can be an error.
“Whenever we start to water down what we believe, we are not left with anything solid. Our church teachings are very clear, always open to the dignity of life,” added Fr. John.
The Catholic Diocese of Venice in Florida sent out the following statement regarding this meeting saying, “In our diocese, it is sad to say, there is an attempt to distort Catholic teaching to advance a particular agenda that is offensive to Catholics and like-minded people of good will. So-called “Catholics for Choice” seeks to mislead the public by displaying advertisements about an upcoming workshop.”
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights also echoing the Diocese of Venice. The organization says the central message of Catholics for choice —“you can be pro-choice and Catholic” —carries as much credibility as saying you can be progenocide and Catholic.
This article originally appeared on Fox 4 Florida.