Press Releases 2003

Catholics for a Free Choice says Vatican Document Defies History and Science

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Catholics for a Free Choice today said a new Vatican lexicon is reminiscent of an era in which the Catholic church fought against advances in science. The lexicon, prepared by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, covers topics such as sexuality, condoms, abortion, birth control and genetic manipulation.

“Early reports regarding the contents of the Lexicon On Ambiguous and Colloquial Terms About Family Life and Ethical Questions give new and disturbing meaning to what has become a Vatican crusade against reason and science in the modern world,” said Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice. “This document is a throwback to the days when church leaders disregarded scientific advances and ignored the human suffering caused by abstract and absolute application of so-called principles and values in the face of human tragedy and need.”

Kissling said the Vatican should affirm the value of people’s lives rather than advance the idea that some lives and lifestyles are superior to others.

“Church leaders claim to foster a culture of life, yet the lexicon contributes to a culture of death when it condemns the use of condoms to prevent the transmission of AIDS,” said Kissling. “This document resorts to long-rejected pseudo-psychology in characterizing homosexuality as an ‘unresolved psychological conflict’ and claims that nations that approve of gay marriages are filled with people with ‘profoundly disordered minds.’ Authors of the lexicon should consult any standard dictionary for definitions of abuse, cruelty, obsession and hatred??which are the major characteristics displayed by those who promulgate this lexicon,” Kissling said.

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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.