Letters & Op-Eds - 2015

New York Times Catholic Charities and the Pope

Re “The pope’s failure in Africa,” (Opinion, Dec. 2): Paul Vallely misses an important point regarding Pope Francis’s silence on L.G.B.T. issues during his recent trip to Africa. Related is the pope’s failure to address the refusal of Catholic charities to provide critical reproductive healthcare in their development aid. Catholic service providers refuse to distribute […]

Hamilton and Griffin on Rights Catholics for Choice, A Prescription for Discrimination: Catholic Healthcare and the Ethical and Religious Directives

Do you want the Catholic bishops controlling what kind of birth control you use or telling you what medical procedures you can have? I daresay no one does, but this is exactly what’s happening at Catholic hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the United States. Catholic health systems are already the nation’s largest group of […]

Glenn Northern

The Hill - Congress Blog Pope Francis’ Speech Isn’t the Time to Score Political Points

Like most Catholics here in the United States, I’m excited for Pope Francis’ visit and looking forward to his address to Congress. But two potential images from his address trouble me. One is the idea of Catholics and journalists alike sitting around and playing a drinking game, taking a shot every time Francis says a […]

Jon O'Brien

TIME The Catholic Case for Abortion Rights

Growing up in the Republic of Ireland, I knew that abortion in my Catholic country was a very serious issue. Traveling around the world as I have—Poland, Portugal, Philippines or even to Philadelphia—I can see that the Catholic hierarchy has often over-invested in its concerns with the pelvic zone, and particularly abortion. Despite a massive […]

Jon O'Brien

New York Times Parsing Pope Francis’ Words on Abortion

Jill Filipovic gets my religion wrong when she says Pope Francis’ recent actions are evidence of some underhanded anti-abortion strategy (“The Pope’s Unforgiving Message,” Op-Ed, Sept. 11). For the majority of Catholic women who choose abortion, there is absolutely no question of sin. Following your conscience, whether it leads you to birth control, in vitro […]

Jon O'Brien

Catholic Men Play Role in Pregnancy

Despite what Pope Francis has said, I do not believe that Catholic women will be lining up to ask for forgiveness for having an abortion. A long time ago, Catholic women understood that they can make moral and ethical decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. They know that they can, in good conscience, disagree […]

Jon O'Brien

Los Angeles Times Pope Francis’ Abortion Letter Was Mostly for Bishops, Not Lay Catholics

To  the editor: I think you have missed the real point of the Pope Francis letter on abortion with the conclusion that it does not change much in Roman Catholic teaching or practice. (Pope’s decree on abortion may signal change in tone, not practice,” Sept. 1) Catholic women the world over have abortions, use birth control and access […]

Jon O'Brien

Hamilton and Griffin on Rights Catholics for Choice Update: Bishops Use Fortnight for Freedom to Lobby for the Right to Discriminate

The so-called Fortnight for Freedom is an annual campaign organized by the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), ostensibly to promote religious liberty. It uses an auspicious feast day to start—on the church’s calendar, June 21 marks when two martyrs who suffered political persecution, St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, were killed under Henry […]

Glenn Northern

Huffington Post Planned Parenthood Attack Campaign: Not Letting the Facts Get in the Way of Your Story

The trick of a carnival huckster is to distract you with the right hand so you don’t see what the left hand is doing. The firestorm over the latest attack on healthcare provider Planned Parenthood is a classic example of how you can manufacture outlandish claims hidden by a mirage of genuine care and concern. […]

Jon O'Brien

Argus Leader Are Catholic bishops practicing discrimination?

Bishop Swain’s remark that “we don’t judge anyone … judgment is to be left to God” is bogus (“Bishop: ‘We do not judge anyone,’” June 30). As the bishops continue their so-called “Fortnight for Freedom,” it’s clear that their idea of religious freedom is the freedom to discriminate against anyone who disagrees with them. Bishops […]

Jon O'Brien

Crux A March for Discrimination

I love a good parade. There’s something about the pageantry, the grandeur, and the joy that lifts up a community and all the people within it. Perhaps I’m bitten by nostalgia when I remember my parents’ stories about the Corpus Christi parades back in Ireland in the 1940s and 50s. Thousands wound their way through […]

Jon O'Brien

Crux A march for discrimination

I love a good parade. There’s something about the pageantry, the grandeur, and the joy that lifts up a community and all the people within it. Perhaps I’m bitten by nostalgia when I remember my parents’ stories about the Corpus Christi parades back in Ireland in the 1940s and 50s. Thousands wound their way through […]

Jon O'Brien

Baltimore Sun Freedom of and from religion

On Sunday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will kick off its usual lackluster campaign called the Fortnight for Freedom in Baltimore. This defense of religious liberty campaign is about as disingenuous an effort as any carnival huckster could conjure. In true Orwellian style, the bishops beg for the freedom to discriminate against others while […]

Jon O'Brien and Barry Lynn

The Hill You say rights, I say discrimination

As an African-American Catholic, I think it is frankly offensive that Thomas W. Burnford compares laws that denied fundamental rights to African-Americans in the 1950s and ’60s to today’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA) and Human Rights Amendment Act (HRAA), which provide protection from discrimination for people in the District of Columbia (“New District laws […]

Glenn Northern

Washington Post What Catholics really believe

Donald Wuerl and John Garvey’s April 19 Local Opinions commentary, “Disagreement is not discrimination,” missed the point on what real religious liberty is — and it did not reflect the values of the vast majority ofCatholic voters. Seventy million Catholics make up the Catholic Church in the United States, and there are just 300 bishops. While the […]

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Don’t misinterpret lay Catholic opinion

Jim Galloway’s article, “The Catholic absence in this year’s religious liberty fight” (Political Insider, March 18), misinterprets on which side the majority of Catholics are fighting. We overwhelmingly reject the use of religion as a tool for discrimination; 86 percent of Catholic voters disapprove of a guidance counselor refusing to help a gay student. Similarly, […]

The Hill - Congress Blog The hard truth about reproductive health under Obama

There’s no doubt that the election and reelection of Barack Obama will always and rightfully be remembered as groundbreaking, historical wins. However, for those who support women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, his presidency has also been a profoundly disappointing one. From the early days of the Obama presidency, it was painfully obvious to […]

Jon O'Brien
Catholics for Choice