In the News - 2015

BuzzFeed Catholic Hospitals Sued For Refusing Emergency Care To Pregnant Women

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday announced that it is suing Trinity Health Corporation, which operates 80 hospitals nationwide, for refusing to provide pregnant women suffering from life-threatening emergency complications with abortions. Trinity Health hospitals have “repeatedly and systematically failed to provide women suffering pregnancy complications with the emergency care” required under federal law, […]

Azeen Ghorayshi

US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT Outsiders Keep the Faith

There’s a rainbow pride flag on the altar of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in the nation’s capital, which on Sunday evenings hosts Catholic worshippers. The priest is married and has two daughters and four grandchildren. The mostly male congregation receives communion along with their male partners. And everyone celebrates God and the Catholic faith that […]

Susan Milligan

Washington Times Pope Lectures Obama on Religious Liberty

Pope Francis called for American leadership Wednesday in combating climate change, embracing immigrants and caring for the poor, using his unparalleled pulpit to sound solidarity with President Obama on a host of issues — but the pontiff also poked theWhite House on religious liberty, and insisted pro-life and family causes were at the center of his visit. […]

Ben Wolfgang and Dave Boyer

The Guardian Obama and the Pope Defend ‘Religious Liberty’ – But Where and for Whom?

Pope Francis made an impassioned defence of religious freedom at the White House on Wednesday in remarks that were swiftly interpreted as a warning shot over demands for exemptions from the law on the grounds of faith. The issue of “religious liberty” has become a flashpoint between the Obama administration and faith campaigners, focused on rejections of same-sex marriage […]

Harriet Sherwood

MSNBC American Catholics on the Pope’s Arrival

Thomas Roberts speaks to American members of the Catholic church about what they would say to the Pope if they could meet him during his first U.S. trip. This video originally appeared on MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts.

MSNBC A Question of Faith

A group of American Catholics discuss the Pope’s first visit to America, and how they feel about the current versus the previous pope. Then Villanova Student Correspondent Nicole O’Donnell joins Thomas Roberts with her analysis. This video originally appeared on MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts.

National Journal The Pre-Pope Campaign

In late Au­gust, a few weeks be­fore Pope Fran­cis’s much-an­ti­cip­ated vis­it to the United States, Luther­an pas­tor Dav­id Beck­mann went to Rome to of­fer the pontiff some ad­vice. In­side the walls of the Vat­ic­an’s Apostol­ic Palace, a tower­ing struc­ture that con­tains the Sis­tine Chapel, Beck­mann, who heads up the Chris­ti­an anti-hun­ger or­gan­iz­a­tion Bread for the World, […]

Clare Foran

Hamilton and Griffin on Rights Catholics for Choice: So, What Should the Pope Tell Congress?

It’s hard to imagine that in 1960, John F. Kennedy had to defend being Catholic by expressing his unerring belief in separation of church and state. People feared he would be influenced by the pope and loyal to the Vatican rather than the Constitution. “I believe in an America where the separation of church and […]

Glenn Northern

Reuters Pope Francis Sets Gentle Tone in Divorce Debate

Catholics in America are preparing to welcome Pope Francis, a pontiff who has quickly distinguished himself from his predecessors with his compassionate tone on divorce – a thorny subject that has driven many faithful Catholics away from the Church. Pavithra George reports.,br /> This video originally appeared on Reuters.

The Guardian Pope Francis’s Abortion Pardon ‘A Great Gift’ for Catholics in Boston

Sunshine spilled through the stained-glass windows of St Mary’s chapel at Boston College, on what was a particularly warm summer’s day. It was cool and serene inside the chapel, where nearly two dozen people, including a campus security guard and a handful of students, assembled for a midday service. The organ sounded and the parishioners rose as […]

Lauren Gambino

ABC News Australia Pope Francis Grants Catholic Priests Discretion to Forgive Women Who Have Undergone Abortion

Catholic priests will soon be allowed to forgive women who have had an abortion and the doctors who procured it. Abortion remains a sin in Catholic Church doctrine, though Pope Francis says many women who sought an abortion did so because they ‘believed they had no other option’. He is giving priests discretion to forgive […]

Boston Globe Women Welcome Pope’s Remarks on Abortion

When Catherine Adair heard Pope Francis’ announcement Tuesday that all priests can now formally absolve women who have had abortions, she said that tears of gratitude ran down her face. It has been more than a quarter-century since Adair, then an unwed 20-year-old, had an abortion because she felt she had no choice. “The pope […]

Bella English and Cristela Guerra

NPR/ Religion During Holy Year, Priests Permitted To Forgive Women Who Had Abortions

Pope Francis announced that priests will be able to offer absolution to women who’ve had an abortion. The policy, in place for a year, is part of a Holy Year of Mercy that starts in December. Transcript  RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: We’re starting this hour with reaction to the announcement by Pope Francis that priests may […]

Jennifer Ludden

The Guardian The Pope’s Abortion ‘Forgiveness’ is Good Politics, but Changes Nothing for Women

Pope Francis’s pastoral letter for the Year of Mercy, indicating that priestsmay absolve those who procure abortions, does nothing to change Catholic church policy with regards to how abortion is viewed. Current canonical law states that abortion is a grave sin, resulting in “automatic” excommunication. It also doesn’t change very much when it comes to the mechanics […]

Anthea Butler

ThinkProgress The Pope Just Changed How Women Can Be Forgiven For Abortions. Here’s What That Means.

Pope Francis has announced a sweeping expansion for how women who have abortions can be forgiven, a step towards creating a more welcoming church — that still condemns abortion. On Tuesday, the Vatican issued a letter in seven languages detailing instructions for how the Catholic Church will engage in the Year of Jubilee, a celebration of forgiveness […]

Jack Jenkins

Fusion Pope Francis Offers ‘Forgiveness’ for Abortion, Maybe Throws Shade at Bishops

On Tuesday, the Vatican released a letter from Pope Francis outlining his approach to the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, a year-long Catholic celebration emphasizing a message of forgiveness, even for what the church considers the most serious of sins. Among them: abortion. According to church canon, having an abortion is grounds for automatic excommunication. The punishment is […]

Katie McDonough

Irish Examiner Priests Welcome Pope’s Letter to Forgive Abortion

In the letter published by the Vatican yesterday, Pope Francis said that from December 8 to November 26 next year, the Holy Year, which has a theme of mercy, all priests would be able to grant forgiveness on abortion. It marks a break from the Vatican’s position on the issue up to now and was […]

Noel Baker

Refinery 29 Pope Allows Local Priests To Forgive Women Who Have Had Abortions

Pope Francis declared on Tuesday that women who have had abortions can confess and be forgiven by their local parish priests during the Catholic Church’s “Year of Mercy.” The unprecedented announcement, published on the Vatican’s website, allows a woman with a “contrite heart” to confess and be forgiven by her local parish priest for having an […]

Kaelyn Forde

USA TODAY Pope Francis to Allow Priests to Forgive Abortion

Pope Francis, who has defined his short tenure by taking on the most controversial issues from gay marriage to climate change, waded for the first time into one of the thorniest topics of his papacy Tuesday when he said priests can forgive the “sin of abortion” for women who are sorry about it. In a letter published by the Vatican, […]

John Bacon

Reuters Pope to allow all priests to forgive abortion during Holy Year

Pope Francis will give all priests discretion during the Roman Catholic Church’s Holy Year to formally forgive women who have had abortions — the Argentine pontiff’s latest move towards a more open and inclusive church. In Church teaching, abortion is such a grave sin that those who procure or perform it incur an automatic excommunication, […]

Isla Binnie And Philip Pullella

Christian Science Monitor Abortion Edict: Pope Francis Stresses Mercy Amid Culture Clashes

Pope Francis asserted his global papal authority on Tuesday, authorizing Roman Catholic priests around the world to offer reconciliation and forgiveness to women who have had abortions. The move represents another example of what has become a hallmark of Francis’ papacy: promoting a more pastoral tone amid the culture-clashing issues of same-sex relationships, the status […]

Harry Bruinius

THE WASHINGTON POST Pope Francis Emphasizes Forgiveness for Women Who Have Abortions

Pope Francis announced Tuesday he was opening a special, temporary “mercy” window to make it easier for women who have abortions and confess to get back into the full good graces of the Roman Catholic Church. The move set off immediate debate over whether Francis had actually changed church practice or had said something symbolic — and what […]

Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Washington Times Obama Urged to Re-Interpret Helms Amendment for Foreign Abortions

Some 81 House Democrats have urged President Obama to tell agencies that the Helms amendment does not ban all U.S. foreign aid-related abortions, but permits those in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is endangered. “In light of your recent trip to Ethiopia and Kenya, we ask that you take […]

Cheryl Wetzstein

Washington Times Obama urged to re-interpret Helms amendment for foreign abortions

Some 81 House Democrats have urged President Obama to tell agencies that the Helms amendment does not ban all U.S. foreign aid-related abortions, but permits those in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is endangered. “In light of your recent trip to Ethiopia and Kenya, we ask that you take […]

Cheryl Wetzstein

Religion Dispatches Planned Parenthood Gets Religious Support

A total of 56 faith-based groups have sent a letter to members of the Senate voicing their support for Planned Parenthood and urging them to reject efforts to defund the organization: We represent millions of people of faith committed to ensuring women’s health and moral autonomy. We are deeply troubled by the latest deplorable attacks […]

Patricia Miller

Washington Times Pope Francis Calls for Acceptance of Divorced, Remarried Catholics

Pope Francis perked up ears again Wednesday when he advised church leadership to do more to “take care” of and have “open doors” for Catholics whose marriages have failed, prompting the latest round of speculation — both hopeful and worrying — that he may loosen the church’s ancient rules on divorce and remarriage. Although the pope acknowledged […]

Cheryl Wetzstein

Washington Times Pope Francis calls for acceptance of divorced, remarried Catholics

Pope Francis perked up ears again Wednesday when he advised church leadership to do more to “take care” of and have “open doors” for Catholics whose marriages have failed, prompting the latest round of speculation — both hopeful and worrying — that he may loosen the church’s ancient rules on divorce and remarriage. Although the pope acknowledged […]

Cheryl Wetzstein

Religion Dispatches Will the Pope’s Woman Problem Alienate Young Catholics?

Calling Pope Francis their “holy conundrum,” Catholic scholars, theologians, activists and religious convened in Chicago on Saturday at a forum titled “Women in the Catholic Church: What Francis Needs to Know.” [Full disclosure: I moderated a panel on the church and sex.] The participants, many of them long-time social justice activists, were generally grateful for Francis’ strong language on economic inequality […]

Patricia Miller

The Standard Kenyan billboard critical of Obama’s stance on abortion ‘censored’ ahead of his important visit to the nation

A Catholic pro-choice group has said their billboard, critical of Barack Obama’s stance on abortion, has been taken down by the Kenyan government ahead of his important visit to the country. The US-based group, Catholics for Choice, claim that “agents of the Kenyan government” had removed one of their billboards in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi […]

Doug Bolton

The Daily Beast Kenya Takes Down a Billboard Pleading With Obama to Help Rape Victims

As President Obama lands in Kenya, the government there has made sure he won’t be confronted with demands for a change to U.S. law about abortions. But he should be. Ahead of President Obama’s trip to Kenya and Ethiopia, a billboard addressed to the American president was put up on Nairobi’s Chiromo Road along the […]

Barbie Latza Nadeau

CAJ News Africa Catholics, Obama in collision course ahead of Kenya trip

A Christian organisation has alleged agents of the Kenyan government tore down a billboard expressing concern about the Helms Amendment, an American policy that it believes puts the health, welfare and lives of Kenyan women at risk. The action comes ahead of the United States President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya. The billboard on Chiromo […]

Maria Macharia

THE STAR Catholics for Choice says Obama billboard in Westlands pulled down

An international organisation has said one of its billboards has been pulled down by the government ahead of President Obama’s visit on Friday. Catholic for Choice said the government “without explanation” pulled down a billboard the organisation had placed legally on Chiromo road. The billboard which was also sponsored by a local organisation, Reproductive Health […]

Lydia Matata

National Catholic Reporter Forum to discuss Pope Francis’ ‘blind spot’ on women

On Saturday, a group of scholars and activists will convene at Chicago Theological Seminary to discuss, “Women in the Catholic Church: What Francis Needs to Know.” According to the forum’s website, “it is an optimistic time for the Catholic Church, especially in anticipation of Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the United States in September. There is […]

Jamie Manson

The Daily Beast Kenya Takes Down a Billboard Pleading With Obama to Help Rape Victims

As President Obama lands in Kenya, the government there has made sure he won’t be confronted with demands for a change to U.S. law about abortions. But he should be. Ahead of President Obama’s trip to Kenya and Ethiopia, a billboard addressed to the American president was put up on Nairobi’s Chiromo Road along the […]

Barbie Latza Nadeau

Feminist Majority Foundation - Feminist Newswire 70 Organizations Are Urging the President to Fund Abortion Care Abroad

The Feminist Majority and over 70 other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) released a letter to President Obama yesterday that calls on him to reinterpret the Helms Amendment and meet with the people running women’s health programs in Africa on an upcoming trip to the continent. Currently, the Helms Amendment is wrongly interpreted as an all-out ban on abortion funding. Because of […]

Crux Do Catholic millennials buy the US bishops’ religious freedom argument?

In an era when 99 percent of Catholic women have used a modern method of birth control, and marriage equality is legal nationwide, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is still pushing its hardline view on issues of sex, sexuality, and reproductive choice. The bishops say it’s a matter of religious freedom. But […]

Jen Girdish

The Standard America’s bitter war over abortion rights highlighted as sting video ‘shows pro-choice doctor offering body parts of dead foetuses’

A video has emerged of two actors posing as representatives of a human biologics company allegedly being offered foetal body parts over a business lunch with a senior director of a not-for-profit family planning NGO. In the video, Deborah Nucatola, a senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, can be heard discussing the best […]

Michael Segalov

Religion DispatchesCAJ News Africa Conservative Catholics Try To Domesticate Laudato Si

Conservative Catholics are working overtime to downplay the radical nature of Laudato si, the pope’s encyclical that offers a sweeping condemnation of the free-market, libertarian Catholicism that has largely overtaken the institutional church in the US. In its weekly email newsletter, the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, which is one of the more conservative in the country, distills […]

Ms. Magazine Organizations Urge the President to Reinterpret Helms Amendment and Aid Nigerian Refugees

Catholics for Choice in partnership with the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) launched a campaign last week in response to more than 200 girls raped and impregnated by Boko Haram members, urging President Obama to reinterpret the Helms Amendment to include abortion care. Over 400 women and children who were kidnapped by Boko […]

New York Times Religious Leaders Urge U.S. to Fund Abortions for Rape Victims in Conflicts Abroad

A starkly worded ad began appearing this week at bus stops near the White House. Next to a silhouette of President Obama’s back reads the words: “Don’t walk away from women and girls raped in conflict. Act now.” A coalition of religious and human rights leaders on Thursday followed up the advertisement with demands that Mr. […]

Refinery 29 Are Catholic Charities Denying Care To The Most Vulnerable Girls?

Last summer, thousands of children poured across the Southern border of the United States, alone, scared, and desperate to escape violence, conflict, and crushing poverty in their home countries in Central America. This year, a fight is brewing over what happens to migrant children once they’re in the U.S., and whether agencies tasked with caring for […]

Bustle Paraguay Denies Pregnant 10-Year-Old An Abortion & The Tragic Case Exposes The Country’s Draconian Anti-Abortion Policies

Government health officials in Paraguay have denied a pregnant 10-year-old girl, whose mother says she was raped by her stepfather, an abortion, further placing the nation’s draconian anti-abortion laws under international scrutiny. The request for an abortion was made by the girl’s mother, whom Reuters reported has made appeals to officials in the past about alleged […]

MSNBC GOP moves to block anti-discrimination law protecting reproductive choice

Shaela Evenson had taught sixth, seventh and eighth-grade literature and physical education at a Catholic school in Butte, Montana, for almost ten years when she was called into the superintendent’s office. Someone had sent an anonymous letter informing the superintendent and the local bishop that Evenson, who is not Catholic, was pregnant and unmarried. In […]

Roll Call Norton Warns GOP: Don’t Tread on D.C.

For the first time in more than two decades, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is set to take up a resolution aimed at blocking a D.C. bill Tuesday, to the chagrin of the District’s congressional delegate. At issue is the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act the D.C. Council approved in January, which aims to prohibit workplace […]

Bridget Bowman

Le Soir Jon O’Brien: «Le Pape parle pour lui-même, pas pour 99% des catholiques!»

Le président du lobby international « Catholics For Choice » était à Bruxelles la semaine dernière pour participer à un colloque sur les 25 ans de la loi dépénalisant l’IVG. Catholics For choice a été créé aux USA dans les années 70, lorsque les évêques ont annoncé qu’ils allaient combattre la loi qui venait d’autoriser l’avortement. Trois femmes […]

Salon How the Catholic Church broke Congress

The Hyde Amendment is back. From holding up Loretta Lynch’s confirmation as Attorney General and a bill to help victims of sex trafficking to threatening to blow up a carefully calibrated bipartisan agreement on a number of important health policy fixes, it seems there’s no end to the trouble caused by this amendment from hell. It’s no […]

RH Reality Check Pope Francis’ Remarks About Birth Control ‘Methods’ Offend Pro-Choice Catholics

Pope Francis, on his way home from his visit to the Philippines this week, raised eyebrows when he said that Catholics don’t have to have so many children: “Some think, excuse me if I use the word, that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits, but no.” While his off-the-cuff comments may […]

RTE Pope defends ban on artificial contraception

Pope Francis has defended the Catholic Church’s ban on artificial contraception but said this does not mean Christians should have large, unplanned families. The Pontiff said he supported responsible parenting and cited population experts who say three children per family is the number required to sustain the population. However, a dissenting organisation, Catholics for Choice has accused […]

Salon Cool pope still isn’t cool with birth control. Most Catholics think that’s uncool

Pope Francis the cool pope is cool with Catholic women having small families, but he’s not cool with letting them use birth control to do it. Francis told reporters on Monday that Catholics don’t need to “be like rabbits” when it comes to sex, instead urging what he called “responsible parenthood.” He went on to […]

New York Times Pope Amuses and Insults With Remark on Parenting

Over the past two years, the world has become accustomed to Pope Francis’ folksy manner. Indeed, with his homespun anecdotes and off-the-cuff quips, the pope at times comes off more like a plainspoken uncle than the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. But with his latest choice of words — he said this […]

Salon The Pope Francis revolution: Inside the catastrophic collapse of the Catholic right

For years they struck fear in the hearts of progressive Catholic candidates. They could, and did, help destroy presidential campaigns. The media took them seriously, reporting on their pronouncements as representative of a significant bloc of conservative Catholics. They were not legion; but they were powerful. They were the Christian right’s smaller, more shadowy counterpart: […]

LGBTQ Nation Waking the sleeping beast of religious liberty

Something remarkable happened in the run up to the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Hobby Lobby vs. Burwell. A movement was born. A potentially historic movement that does not yet know its name — but which may yet bring the light of hope to a darkening political landscape. The Supreme Court ultimately threw out historic […]

Catholics for Choice