Letter to Fr Michael Czerny – a British Jesuit online journal


In Toronto in 2006 during the World AIDS Conference, I was a volunteer at the booth of “Catholics for Choice”, a dynamic international;NGO with affiliates in 15 countries.

We were offering to surprised and delighted delegates, many from Africa, our magazine,”Conscience”,our lively posters and information and a petition in support of our mission :to shape and advance sexual and reproductive
ethics that are based on justice. reflect a commitment to women’s well-being, and respect and affirm the capacity of women and men to make moral decisions about their lives.

I recognized Fr Czerny passing by, and I moved to introduce myself, a Canadian Catholic with many years’ experience in development (Tanzania and Jamaica) His reaction was to turn away without engaging the issues or the materials.

So I was not surprised by this piece, but ultimately desparing of the attitudes of churchmen who hold fast to dangerous and outmoded ideas of sexual morality, in the face of widepread and preventable suffering and death.

None of us thinks that condoms are a single solution to the pandemic,.but all credible health workers believe they are a part of reducing the harm.

As one who has critiqued and resisted “Humanae Vitae”, for forty years, having organized my first public protest in Dorval, PQ in 1968,I think I could have hoped for a more enlightened and independent analysis than Fr Czerny’s, and a more liberating one ,too.

Has he really spent time in the slums of Nairobi? Has he followed United Nations Conferences on women? Does he realize the impact that retrogressive theology has on women’s lives?

The most exciting and promising theological work these days is done by eco- feminists,many Catholic. I invite Fr Czerny to consult this work,

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