Essayists say church teachings have given them 'true freedom' as women
Published: October 22, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Helen Alvare, former U.S. bishops' pro-life spokeswoman, is the co-author and editor of a new book, "Breaking Through, Catholic Women Speak for Themselves," the idea for which came about, she said, from pages of notes she's been jotting down for the past 15 years. However, the concept officially took off when the recently coined and politically charged phrase, "war on women" entered into the American lexicon, used by some to characterize opposition to a federal mandate requiring most religious employers to provide free coverage of contraceptives for employees. "It forced me to make a response," said Alvare, who with several of her co-contributors recently talked about the book at the Catholic Information Center in downtown Washington. "This is a book that tries to be the intersection of faith and reason." The recent claims about "war on women" fail to acknowledge Catholic women who value religious liberty, said Alvare, who is a law professor at George Mason University Law School. Along with her co-authors and 36,000 women, Alvare signed an open letter she and fellow book contributor Kim Daniels wrote to the Obama administration, saying religious freedom must be preserved not only for private worship, but also for public expression. In her remarks Oct. 5 and in a similar presentation at the National Press Club Oct. 16, Alvare said the book, "Breaking Through, Catholic Women Speak for Themselves," grew out of a women's movement, Women Speak for Themselves, established to defend religious freedom and to put forth a more thoughtful and complete vision of women's freedom.
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