The incoming Archbishop of Milwaukee, Jerome Listecki, has responded to a campaign by “Young Catholics for Choice” to promote use of contraception and abortion among Catholic youth.
Using media advertising the group is, says the Archbishop-Designate, “attempting to convey the message that Catholics can disregard Church teaching regarding contraception, abortion and human sexuality in general and remain Catholics in good standing.” However, “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
“While people can call themselves whatever they want, it is my duty as a bishop to state clearly and unequivocally that by professing and disseminating views in grave contradiction to Catholic teaching, members of organizations like ‘Young Catholics for Choice’ in fact disown their Catholic heritage, tragically distancing themselves from that communion with the Church to which they are called,” added the archbishop.
Using language first employed by Catholic dissenters to Humanae Vitae, YCFC calls on Catholics to use an “informed conscience” to decide to use birth control and the morning-after-pill, also called “emergency contraception.”
Their ad campaign states: “Young Catholics are having sex. We are using contraception and condoms. We are having abortions. We are bisexual, gay, lesbian, straight and transgender. And none of this makes us any less Catholic than conservative Catholics who speak out against us.
“The truth is, they don’t represent what the majority of Catholics – especially those of us in our 20s and 30s – think about sex. It comes down to Catholic teaching on conscience. Basically, every individual has the right and responsibility to follow his or her own conscience – and respect others’ right to do the same. With conscience and respect, good Catholic sex is not only possible, it’s already happening. ”
The group, claiming to be a youth wing of “Catholics for Choice,” admits that it’s mandate is to “take action to counter the bishops’ impact both in the United States and around the world. ”
Archbishop Listecki concluded his statement calling for prayers for the YCFC members. “We pray that they may reconcile their position which is contrary to the Catholic Faith they claim to profess.”