Letters & Op-Eds 2015

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 condoms or birth control, or provide or refer people for abortion care, which limits the care they deliver to many people in need, including gay men, sex workers, drug users or anyone who needs H.I.V. prevention.

The double tragedy is that through U.S.A.I.D., our taxpayer money is actually funding these Catholic charities, which behave in such a discriminatory way. The Catholic social justice tradition says we are morally obligated to care for the poor and vulnerable. If Francis is serious about “a church for the poor,” he needs to change how Catholic charities work in Africa and the developing world.

Tessa Maulhardt, Washington

The writer is an international program senior associate at Catholics for Choice.

This letter was originally published by the New York Times.


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