Welcome Pope Francis: The Catholic Church Needs a Change in Culture

Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:39pm EDT

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WASHINGTON,  March 13, 2013  /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "We welcome Pope
Francis," said Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, "and look forward
to hearing about his priorities in the coming days. We do not expect very many
changes, but sincerely hope that the culture will change to better reflect the
needs of the church and of Catholics. As Cardinal Bergoglio, he was outspoken
against the recent liberalization of Argentinian laws on abortion, stating
flatly that 'abortion is never a solution.' But this is no surprise, as he and
his fellow electors were all appointed by his two conservative predecessors,
Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II.  

"We recall with fondness Pope John XXIII, who confronted the troubles of his day
by convening the Second Vatican Council 'to open the windows of the church to
let in some fresh air.' Pope Francis needs to go even farther and throw open the
Vatican's doors to shed some light on a bureaucracy that has allowed the
management of the Vatican Bank and the sexual abuse crisis to get completely out
of hand. Facing this reality, and the other problems within the church, requires
leadership, and leadership is something different than simply referring back to
the established Vatican playbook. This is where we could use a pastoral pope,
one who recognizes that the main role of the hierarchy is not to become enmeshed
in politics but to focus on developing relationships within and outside the
Catholic community.  

"We call on Pope Francis to recognize that he is now the head of a very diverse
church, one that includes Catholics who use contraception, who have or provide
abortions, who seek fertility treatments, who engage in sexual relationships
outside of marriage or with people of the same sex, as well as people who are
living with HIV & AIDS. These Catholics are absolute traditionalists in that
they live according to their consciences and by virtue of their faith every day.
A leader of our church who affirms rather than denies the lived wisdom of the
faithful would be well within the Catholic tradition as well."

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are
based on justice, reflect a commitment to women's well-being and respect and
affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.

SOURCE  Catholics for Choice

David J. Nolan, +1-202-986-6093

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