Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, comments in his blog on the Catholic Church’s concern for women and children.
Cardinal Dolan gives several powerful real-life examples, in Ethiopia, India, New York, and a prison in the U.S., of how the Church is directly helping women and children. Bottom line:
When it comes to the health of women, their babies, and their children, the Catholic Church is there, the most effective private provider of such care anywhere around.
He also comments:
…if you want to see creative, daring, lifegiving healthcare for women and their children, look at what the Church is doing.
I might add–what the Church is doing is life-affirming for women and girls throughout the world, especially in the poorest countries and for the most marginalized of women and girls. The Church won’t give them contraceptives, sterilize them, and encourage abortions, as our government seems bent on doing. Instead, the Church offers life, and improvement, and education, and love.
And now understand why Catholics rightly bristle when politicians and commentators characterize the Church as backwards and insensitive when it comes to women’s health. Yes, the PR experts advise them that this tactic is a proven ploy to take the attention off the current urgent issue of religious freedom. The marketers advise them that, if they can reduce the issue to one of contraception, stereotyping the Church as opposed to women’s rights, they have a chance of clouding the towering issue of the First Freedom.
Cardinal Dolan sums up:
But the Church should not be the ones on the defensive here. We’re on the offensive when it comes to women’s health, education, and welfare, here at home, and throughout the world. We hardly need lectures on this issue from senators.
We just want to be left alone to live out the imperatives of our faith to serve, teach, heal, feed, and care for others. We cherish this, our earthly home, America, for its enshrined freedom to do so. Those really concerned about women’s health would be better off defending the Church’s freedom to continue its work.
Please read the Cardinal’s entire blog post.