Monday, September 30, 2013

"An End to the Holy See's Privilege?"

This letter was published in the current issue of Conscience, the quarterly journal of Catholics for Choice (Vol. XXXIV - No.3 , 2013) ----

"In 1984 I was among the plaintiffs who challenged President Ronald Reagan's decision to extend US diplomatic recognition to the Holy See, elevating one faith over all others in violation of the separation of church and state. In Joanne Omang's excellent article, 'Playing Hardball against Women's Rights', (Vol. XXXIV, No. 2), she rightly states that the Holy See's permanent observer status at the UN privileges one religious body over all others -- especially when the Holy See uses (misuses?) that position to block international efforts to advance women's and children's rights. Pope Francis should change the Holy See's position at the UN to match that of other faith and nongovernmental groups.

"Incidentally, Bennett Elliott's informative review of Eric Berkowitz book, Sex and Punishment, from the same issue, reminded me of a lecture I attended more than 50 years ago with Dr Alfred Kinsey at his Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University. During the informal gathering Kinsey let it be known that the institute boasted the largest library in the world on all matters sexual, except for one even larger -- the Vatican's. He asserted that the church had tried to amass information about sexual behavior as a first step towards deciding what to condemn as sinful and what regulations to make.

"Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty, Silver Spring, MD"

Catholics for Choice and its journal Conscience cannot be praised too highly. The current issue contains a remarkable collection of "Essays from around the world" -- literally from all over North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia -- titled "Why I Am Prochoice". For well over 30 years this organization and journal have been in the forefront of the struggle to defend and advance women's rights of conscience.

Edd Doerr

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