Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church

Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church

Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church

Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church

Synopsis

Good Catholics tells the story of the remarkable individuals who have engaged in a nearly fifty-year struggle to assert the moral legitimacy of a pro-choice position in the Catholic Church, as well as the concurrent efforts of the Catholic hierarchy to suppress abortion dissent and to translate Catholic doctrine on sexuality into law. Miller recounts a dramatic but largely untold history of protest and persecution, which demonstrates the profound and surprising influence that the conflict over abortion in the Catholic Church has had not only on the church but also on the very fabric of U.S. politics. Good Catholics addresses many of today's hot-button questions about the separation of church and state, including what concessions society should make in public policy to matters of religious doctrine, such as the Catholic ban on contraception.

Good Catholics is a Gold Medalist (Women's Issues) in the 2015 IPPY awards, an award presented by the Independent Publishers Book Association to recognize excellence in independent book publishing.

Excerpt

Everything you need to know about the Catholic Church and women can be ascertained from the front doors of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. There, six notable American Catholics are immortalized in statues set in the massive bronze doors of the entryway. St. Joseph and St. Patrick occupy the uppermost niches; the martyred Jesuit Isaac Jogues resides in the middle left panel. The three remaining statues occupying the middle right panel and the lowermost reaches of the door are of women. There is Kateri Tekakwiyha, a Mohawk-Algonquian convert to Catholicism who is best known for taking a vow of chastity and dying a virgin at age twentyfour. There is Elizabeth Ann Seton, the founder of the Sisters of Charity, who is famous for being the first native-born American saint. And there is Mother Cabrini, an Italian nun known for her charity work among poor Italian immigrants. All three are now recognized by the church as saints for their various works and purported miracles, although neither Seton nor Tekakwiyha was a saint when the doors were dedicated in 1949.

Virgin, saint, and nun. This is how the Catholic Church sees the ideal woman: chaste, selfless, dedicated to serving others. And positioned decidedly below men in the hierarchy of the sexes. Pope John Paul II was a huge proponent of this idealized view of women, and it has permeated . . .

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