The debate over the meaning of religious freedom is more protracted than ever. The Catholic bishops and their allies continue to assert their objections to contraceptive coverage, marriage equality and equal protections for LGBTQ individuals. This will continue to be a key issue as the 2016 election heats up, and we’ve seen this debate being exported to Europe in large part by Vatican officials. Recognizing the need to discuss this at the international level, Catholics for Choice co-convened a forum at the European Parliament to discuss the real meaning of religious freedom with members of the European Parliament, journalists and civil society leaders.
“Can Faith and Freedom Co-exist?” a new film produced by Catholics for Choice on behalf of the Global Interfaith and Secular Alliance, answers the pressing questions about religious freedom, secularism and extremism we raised at the European Parliament.
The film showcases members of the European Parliament, journalists and civil society leaders articulating our vision for a society that defends real religious liberty—freedom of conscience for individuals rather than institutions. The issues articulated in the film are just as pressing and salient in the United States where the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) seek to impose their beliefs upon both Catholics and everyone else in society.
“Time and time again, a very conservative interpretation of religion has been used to influence public policy as arguments against people having their full human rights,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “
We invite you to watch the movie, share it and foster discussion with your network. Religious freedom properly belongs to each individual and we must all work to safeguard it.