Statement from Catholics for Choice on the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican Council
This morning in Rome, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the International We Are Church Movement and the European Church on the Move Network organized a press conference to give “witness to and hope for a church ever more free and human, built on communities of baptized Christians deeply committed to ministry in the church and justice in the world.”
Catholics for Choice issued the following statement to mark the event:
On the anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, we Catholics rightly celebrate the church’s aggiornamento. But at the same time, we see the need for an examination of conscience and of our church’s actions over these last 50 years. The Council called us to be the light of the world, to share in each other’s joys and sorrows and to show profound respect for the dignity of human persons.
Unfortunately, over the last five decades, the leadership of our church has consistently failed to recognize the wisdom of women, to celebrate their leadership, to understand their sacrifice and to recognize their inherent dignity and equality. Too often, the message has been that women must not be allowed to make moral decisions about their own lives; these decisions are blocked by unjust laws and dishonest policies that deny women information about and access to healthcare services that could save their lives. The continued suppression of women’s rights, especially rights related to reproductive healthcare, has been actively furthered by some powerful clergy and has resulted in sickness and death for too many women, especially among the poor and marginalized in developing countries.
Fifty years hence, we hope that Catholics will look back to this time as one that saw a new aggiornamento, one that recognizes the value and dignity of all women and celebrates their right and ability to make moral, conscience-based decisions about whether and when to have children.