[The following is a statement released by the Colorado Catholic bishops through the Colorado Catholic Conference on Oct. 23.]
DENVER.Recently an organization called Catholics for Choice launched a state-wide media campaign against Amendment 67 riddled with inaccurate facts and statistics, which must be corrected, since it misrepresents the truth and what the Church believes and teaches.
Before responding to the claims made by Catholics for Choice, it should be noted that this group does not speak for the Catholic Church. This is quickly revealed by the group's assumption that the Church in Colorado supports Amendment 67, when in fact it has maintained a neutral stance. This distance is further demonstrated by the claim that there are five bishops in Colorado, when there are only three active bishops.
When it comes to statistics, Catholics for Choice only chooses those findings that agree with their dissent from Church teaching. They claim that only 14% of Catholics believe that abortion is morally wrong, but well-established research consistently shows that over half of all American Catholics believe that abortion is morally wrong (Pew Research Center).
The group also erroneously claims that the Colorado bishops' stance against abortion "is anathema to our Catholic traditions." Nothing could be further from the truth. Colorado's bishops, like all Catholic bishops for 2,000 years, have steadfastly proclaimed that respect for all human life at every stage is foundational to the Catholic faith. Abortion from the earliest tradition of the Church has been considered immoral.
In regards to the claim that 99% of Catholic women use birth control, this statistic has routinely been proven to be false. One need not look further than the Washington Post's fact checker Glenn Kessler who stated, "The journalistic shorthand has been that '98 percent of American Catholic women have used contraception in their lifetimes.' But that is incorrect, according to the research" (Washington Post).
It is our hope that one day Catholics for Choice will take the time to acquaint themselves with basic Catholic teachings, and acknowledge the truth of the Catholic faith, and not choose to undermine her teachings with false and inaccurate information and ads that only work to mislead the public. Upholding the sacred dignity of all human life is the duty of every member of society and this duty must be taken seriously in order to ensure that we are a part of a culture that affirms the right to life, especially for the most vulnerable among us.
The Colorado Catholic Conference, united voice of the three Catholic dioceses in Colorado, speaks on public policy issues. Basing its mission on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as particularly expressed in Catholic social teaching and the consistent life ethic, the Conference acts cooperatively in order to insure a dignified and productive life for people of all ages and ethnic groups.
The conference represents Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs, and Bishop Stephen J. Berg of Pueblo.