NCCW president says women 'reawakening' to how much church needs them
Published: May 17, 2012
MELBOURNE, Fla. (CNS) -- The president of the National Council of Catholic Women said she sees "a reawakening of women now that they're seeing how much our church needs us," especially with regard to efforts to protect religious freedom. Women are "stepping forward and speaking about our values. Unfortunately, for so long women thought they should not be speaking on these issues," said Judy Powers. "For Catholic women, we would prefer to speak for something -- for life, for our values, for marriage, as opposed to speaking against. We prefer to be a force for God's love," she added. Powers made the comments in an interview for Catholic News Service while she was in Melbourne for the recent convention of the Orlando Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. Regarding threats to religious freedom, she referred to those laid out in a 12-page document titled "Our First, Most Cherished Liberty," which was released April 12 by the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. Cited first in the document was the Department of Health and Human Services' mandate that most health plans must include contraception, sterilization and some abortion-inducing drugs free of charge, even if the employer is morally opposed to such services. "Now is the time to stand with the bishops against the HHS ruling and for the protection of marriage, parental notification laws and the points of the Religious Liberty document," continued Powers, who is from the Diocese of Palm Beach. She urged women to "find out who their legislators are and communicate with them"; read the U.S. bishops' "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" document, available online at www.faithfulcitizenship.org, to be informed voters going to the polls in November; and to participate in the "fortnight for freedom" June 21-July 4, a campaign in support of religious freedom called for by the ad hoc committee.
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