Press Releases 2015

Catholics Call on Pope Francis to Open Crèche at the Vatican

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Today, in light of Pope Francis’ comments that he believes “not having children is a selfish choice,” Catholics for Choice suggests that the pope, cardinals, bishops and priests that make up the citizens of Vatican City consider opening and running childcare facilities for the women in the world to give the hierarchy some hands-on experience.

Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice said, “Considering the irresponsible and downright dangerous positions put forward by Francis and his brother bishops in relation to contraception, it only seems fair that the bishops should experience the joys and pressures of raising a family. While Pope Francis has made gestures in relation to the LGBT community and has spoken eloquently about the world’s poor, his continued comments about women suggest he has a severe blind spot.

“Only last week, when speaking about an Italian parishioner who had seven births by Cesarean and was on her eighth pregnancy, Francis admonished her in a way that suggests he is not aware of the struggles that Catholic couples face.

“That Pope Francis can laud Humanae Vitae—a famously flawed and universally rejected teaching of the Catholic hierarchy against birth control—signals that he appears not to understand that Catholics use contraception and responsibly plan their children the world over, when they can do so. The war on contraception by Catholic bishops is a tragedy that Pope Francis and the Catholic hierarchy need to address. On every continent, the Catholic hierarchy has tried to prevent Catholics and non-Catholics alike from gaining access to birth control. Why do they attack no-cost contraception as part of the Affordable Care Act in the United States? Why the attacks on postcoital contraception in Latin America? Why fight for 15 years against the reproductive health law in the Philippines? Why undermine the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV in Africa? These are policies that hurt the poor and vulnerable most of all.

“The bishops’ interference in public policy is not that of a compassionate church, and it especially hurts those who are poorest. In the Global North, Catholics have resoundly rejected the policies of the hierarchy on this question. The tragedy is that the bishops try to use politicians as a means to deny poor people access to contraception and the ability to control the number and spacing of their children.”

For a complete history of the Vatican’s relationship to contraception, read Truth & Consequence.

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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.