Raising Women’s Voices

The Vatican’s statements on bioethics

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on December 16, 2008

On Friday, the Vatican released a document condemning artificial fertilisation, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning and drugs which block pregnancy from taking hold.  Stating that all human life is sacred at every stage, the Vatican opposes use of the “morning after” pill, which blocks the action of certain hormones to prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine wall, categorizing such a practice as “within the sin of abortion.”

Don’t worry though, ladies, because the document goes on to clarify:

“There are those who say that the moral teaching of the Church contains too many prohibitions. In reality, however, her teaching is based on the recognition and promotion of all the gifts which the Creator has bestowed on man: such as life, knowledge, freedom and love,” it said.

Mmm, yes, freedom.  I certainly trust my freedoms in the hands of an institution that only months ago reasserted a ban on female priests, excommunicating women who attempted to become priests as well as those who helped perform, or were complicit in, their ordination.

“I ask you now prayerfully to allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with the wisdom and understanding that will enable you to accept it,” Bishop Anthony M. Pilla [of Cleveland] said of the teaching. He insisted, as has the Pope on many occasions, that the limitation of priesthood to men is not meant to diminish the equality or dignity of women.

These are the kinds of decisions that are made when women aren’t at the table to make their voices heard.  And some will say that this is a different ballgame, that this is not about government and policy, but something more than that which discussion of politics cannot touch.  But it remains that, regardless of who or what their beliefs are in the name of, these are men making decisions about the rights and nonrights of other people.

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