- March 31 - Catholics for a Free Choice today released a groundbreaking
publication on the rights of Catholics, "Catholics and Abortion:
Notes on Canon Law." This is the first in a series of publications
in which CFFC aims to educate Catholics on what the body of church
law known as canon law says about issues such as abortion, divorce
and remarriage. The publication was written by CFFC senior associate
and canon lawyer Sara Morello.
it comes to canon law and abortion, the right wing extremists
often claim to be experts," said Frances Kissling, president
of Catholics for a Free Choice. "However, their interpretation
of canon law is flawed and often intentionally distorted,"
said Kissling. "For example, unsubstantiated claims are
made that prochoice Catholics are heretics whose beliefs make
them subject to excommunication," she said.
said specific examples of this distortion includes recent attacks
on prochoice legislators, including such influential lawmakers
as California Gov. Gray Davis, Sen. Edward Kennedy and the late
President John F. Kennedy, which suggested that their votes
put them at risk for excommunication or denial of the sacraments.
The failure of the church hierarchy to reveal the truth about
church law and abortion prompted CFFC to produce this publication,
the church hierarchy has done little to set the record straight
or to distance themselves from those who misinterpret church
law for their own purposes, we offer this publication to explain
what church law really says about abortion," Kissling said.
said this work, an effort to enlighten prochoice Catholics about
their rights, presents fundamental concepts about canon law
in general and about its provisions regarding abortion in particular.
This work, however, is equally valuable to non-Catholics wanting
to understand some of the heated discussion about these issues.
respect the church's law," said Kissling. "We respect,
too, the law's emphasis on the protection of people's rights.
We hope that this publication provides a deeper understanding
of the law as well as provide guidance for Catholics who are
concerned about making wise personal choices within the framework
of church law."
can be viewed and ordered from the CFFC website http://www.catholicsforchoice.org)