Sept. 19, 2016
Press Conference to Be Held at Catholic University Sept. 20
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) On Tuesday, Sept 20, Catholic scholars will release a statement with more than 400 signatories that strongly supports the Church's teaching on human sexuality, as articulated in the 1968 papal encyclical Humanae Vitae .
The statement, "Affirmation of the Catholic Church's Teaching on the Gift of Sexuality," rejects recent calls for this teaching to be changed. Notable Catholic scholars signing the statement include:
They note that "[s]cholarly support for the Church's teachings on the gift of sexuality, on marriage, and on contraception has burgeoned in recent decades. Moreover, institutes and programs supporting that teaching have been established all over the world. Even some secular feminists and secular programs have begun to acknowledge the harms of contraception." The Church's constant and consistent teaching on human sexuality, as expressed in Humanae Vitae , has been reaffirmed in every pontificate since its release, most recently by Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia .
The statement will be presented at a press conference co-hosted by The Catholic Women's Forum of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and The Catholic University of America. It will be available online at CatholicContraceptionStatement.com on Sept. 20.
The conference coincides with the release of an opposing statement by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research, titled " On the Ethics of Using Contraceptives ," which urges the Catholic Church to change its teaching and issue an "official magisterial document [that] should revoke the absolute ban on the use of 'artificial' contraceptives, and allow the use of modern non-abortifacient contraceptives for both prophylactic and family planning purposes."
Press conference panelists will include:
They will discuss the statement and provide analysis of the claims made in the Wijngaard Statement, and the implications for the Church and for international organizations like the United Nations.
"We cannot pretend that it is still 1968 or ignore the harm done by the sexual revolution," notes Grabowski. "Unfortunately, the Wijngaards statement fails to acknowledge the vindication of the teaching of Blessed Paul VI over the last 48 years by the sciences, the social sciences, and its further elaboration by the teaching of St. John Paul II and its support from Pope Francis."
"The Wijngaards statement is old news, with recycled arguments that didn't work in 1968 and don't work now," says Hasson. "There's tremendous energy and enthusiasm among Catholic women today, particularly young women, for a sexual ethic that respects who they are - and for family planning methods, such as fertility-awareness based methods, that benefit their health, relationships, and faith." Catholic women's organizations, such as the National Council of Catholic Women and ENDOW, have announced their strong support for the "Affirmation" of Catholic teaching on sexuality.
The press conference will be held Sept. 20 at noon EST in O'Connell Hall's Heritage Hall at The Catholic University of America and will be live streamed on Facebook. For more information, follow Catholic University. MEDIA : Journalists who wish to cover this event MUST notify the Office of Marketing and Communications by Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 202-319-5600.
ABOUT: The Catholic University of America is the national university of the Catholic Church and the only higher education institution founded by the U.S. bishops. Established in 1887 as a papally chartered graduate and research center, the University comprises 12 schools and 22 research facilities and is home to 3,480 undergraduate and 3,041 graduate students.
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