Monday, July 13, 2020

Little Sisters Victory in Supreme Court Setback for Catholic Women and Primacy of Conscience in Family Planning by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, Letter to Editor in Sarasota Herald Tribune, July 13, 2020

In response to the Supreme Court ruling that permits the Little Sisters of the Poor to exclude birth control coverage from their insurance policies, the public needs to know that millions of churchgoing Catholics ignore the Catholic Church’s teaching against birth control; they follow their consciences and receive sacraments.
Pope Paul VI issued this controversial teaching in 1968 in opposition to the recommendations of the majority of the Pontifical Commission, which favored use of artificial contraceptives for family planning.
Paul VI feared undermining church authority. As both priests and people rose up in opposition, this is exactly what happened.
The real question is, how can a supposedly pro-life institutional church refuse to support the most effective means of avoiding unwanted pregnancies?
The Roman Catholic Church consists of the entire membership, 1.3 billion people, not just the hierarchy alone. All the baptized, including women, are spiritual equals through whom the spirit speaks.
The Catholic Church teaches that there can never be a spiritual authority outside of us that violates the voice of conscience within us.
The Little Sisters victory is a setback for women who follow their consciences in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Bridget Mary Meehan, Sarasota

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