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WASHINGTON (May 10, 2000) -- Galveston-Houston Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U. S. Catholic Conference, issued the following statement on the status of the organization "Catholics for a Free Choice":
"For a number of years, a group calling itself Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) has been publicly supporting abortion while claiming it speaks as an authentic Catholic voice. That claim is false. In fact, the group's activity is directed to rejection and distortion of Catholic teaching about the respect and protection due to defenseless unborn human life.
"On a number of occasions the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) has stated publicly that CFFC is not a Catholic organization, does not speak for the Catholic Church, and in fact promotes positions contrary to the teaching of the Church as articulated by the Holy See and the NCCB.
"CFFC is, practically speaking, an arm of the abortion lobby in the United States and throughout the world. It is an advocacy group dedicated to supporting abortion. It is funded by a number of powerful and wealthy private foundations, mostly American, to promote abortion as a method of population control. This position is contrary to existing United Nations policy and the laws and policies of most nations of the world.
"In its latest campaign, CFFC has undertaken a concentrated public relations effort to end the official presence and silence the moral voice of the Holy See at the United Nations as a Permanent Observer. The public relations effort has ridiculed the Holy See in language reminiscent of other episodes of anti-Catholic bigotry that the Catholic Church has endured in the past.
"As the Catholic Bishops of the United States have stated for many years, the use of the name Catholic as a platform for promoting the taking of innocent human life and ridiculing the Church is offensive not only to Catholics, but to all who expect honesty and forthrightness in public discourse. We state once again with the strongest emphasis: `Because of its opposition to the human rights of some of the most defenseless members of the human race, and because its purposes and activities deliberately contradict essential teachings of the Catholic faith,....Catholics for a Free Choice merits no recognition or support as a Catholic organization" (Administrative Committee, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1993)."
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