Tuesday, September 29, 2020

"Contraceptives are the greatest life-saving, poverty-ending, women-empowering innovation ever." Jamie L. Manson, Human Rights Is Equal Rights in the RC Church and in the World, Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

 "Contraceptives are the greatest life-saving, poverty-ending, 

women-empowering innovation ever." Jamie L. Manson


My Response: I appreciate Jamie Manson's reflection that makes  a direct connection between the institutional church's ban on women's ordination and poverty, violence, abuse and injustice toward women in society. The hierarchy's oppression of women violates the human rights and God given call of women to live as spiritual equals in every area of life. Until the institutional Roman Catholic Church changes its teachings, women will continue to be treated as second class citizens in the world. The full equality of women must encompass equal rights and equal rites!  Human Rights is Equal Rights!  Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, https://arcwp.org

Unsplash; Sash Freemind
Jamie L. Manson NCR Article

..."In those pieces on women's equality, I made a direct connection to the ways in which the church's teachings on women reinforce women's disproportionate suffering from starvation, violence, poverty and lack of education. "How will women ever see true equality when the hierarchy teaches that even God believes that a woman's body is inadequate and invalid when it comes to possessing certain forms of power?" I asked then. I won't ever stop asking.

I've also kept a close watch on the U.S. bishops' unfolding exploitation of the concept of religious liberty, beginning in 2012 when they attempted to block the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act — and succeeded to an unfortunate degree. Their wins keep mounting in the courts, thanks to the Becket Fund and its avatar, the Little Sisters of the Poor.

I have continued to speak out against the church's ban on all artificial contraception, even though many colleagues have told me "that ship has sailed" because Catholics have rejected the teaching. My columns on the sufferings of the people of the Philippines demonstrate that this ban has life-or-death consequences. Filipino bishops spent 15 years on the courts trying to block the Reproductive Health Act, which only exacerbated sickness, poverty and environmental destruction in the country.

My research and writing on the Philippines transformed my priorities as an activist and helped me see more clearly that, around the world, untold numbers of women and other vulnerable people have suffered serious health consequences and even death as a direct result of not having access to contraception, abortion and sexual education. Too often, the denial of these services is a direct result of Catholic doctrine and the policies of Catholic health services.

I have discussed this often in my column, but in recent years this reality has disturbed my inner peace to the point that I feel called to dedicate all of my energy and my gifts to fighting back on these issues specifically.

This weekend's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court makes my new work at Catholics for Choice particularly urgent. Barrett is staunchly anti-abortion and a member of a charismatic Catholic movement that requires strict gender roles, like the submission of a wife to her husband as her "head." Even though the majority of Catholics in the U.S. believe that abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances and 68% believe Roe v. Wade should not be overturned, few are willing to speak publicly about it. The anti-abortion movement has created such an all-consuming atmosphere of taboo and shame around the issue that they have effectively silenced Catholics who support abortion rights.

But there are far more of us than there are of them, and I hope in my new work I can help create space for Catholics to be educated about the nuances and to empower them to speak honestly and without fear of retribution. This issue alone is the reason we may have another Trump presidency. We have to take the risks of having these crucial conversations and standing together against the global oppression of women..."

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