U.S. Bishops formally disown pro-choice lobby group

Forget about Catholics for Free Choice—it’s a contradiction in terms.

Catholic bishops from the U.S. have put an end to any pretensions Catholics for Free Choice might have to speak as a Catholic organization. They say the pro-abortion group can “in no way speak for the Catholic Church’s 59 million members in the United States.

“Because of its opposition to the human rights of some of the most defenceless member of the human race, and because its purposes and activities deliberately contradict essential teachings of the Catholic faith, we state once again that Catholics for a Free Choice merits no recognition or support as a Catholic organization,” a statement from the U.S. bishops says.

The group often has a public presence at rallies and political gatherings across the U.S. and is purported to be Catholic, although not aligned with the official Catholic Church. It was present at World Youth Day in Denver and was presenting itself as just another group within the Church. The media gives them huge publicity even though there is no demonstrated support for the group.

The U.S. bishops say the group is “associated with the pro-abortion lobby in Washington” and is funded mainly by “secular organizations supporting legal abortions in this country and abroad.”

They say there is “no room for dissent by a Catholic from the Church’s moral teaching that direct abortion is a grave wrong.”

Catholics for Free Choice say that they work “in coalition with pro-choice groups.” They say the group “Makes no claim to speak for the institutional church, rather we claim quite rightly that positions we take reflect the view of many, often the majority, of Catholics even when these views are at odds with the view of the hierarchy.”

They say the bishops’ statement does not “render us any less Catholic nor does it make our work less worthwhile.”