Where should Catholics stand on the Women’s March?
Catholics have been torn about the Women’s March. Some have given full-fledged support and others have shown complete opposition towards the march. In order to understand how we should think about the Women’s March, we need to take a step back. Let’s examine what the ends, or the goals, that the march is trying to achieve.
Many people claim that this was a protest against our newly-elected president. Most certainly, it was. If this was the only reason for the Women’s March’s existence, then there would be no problem with the stance of the Women’s March. Per the Women’s March website, this is not only what the march is about as seen in the unity principles: ending violence, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights and environmental justice.
The most important issue with the unity principles is reproductive rights. This includes “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people.” The Women’s March organizers demonstrated their stance by pulling the pro-life group, New Wave Feminists, from being a sponsor.
The audience reading probably already knows the Catholic Church does not support abortion. Some may say that Catholics can believe whatever they like so long that they do not force their morals on others. This is not an issue of opinion, though. It’s either true that those in the womb are persons with human dignity, or it’s not. We can examine this later, but those who disagree must at least expect the Church to have integrity and stand for what it believes. By that account, Catholics cannot be united in this march. This march was not neutral but opposed to the Church on the issues of abortion and birth control.
Most certainly, all the good that this march does stand for cannot be achieved without the dignity of the human person being recognized at all points of life. All the principles of Catholic Social Teaching are dependent on this dignity: the family, right to private property, the common good, subsidiarity, solidarity and workers’ rights and care for the poor. Much of what the Women’s March was fighting misses its mark because it did not uphold the dignity of all.
Catholics should not have participated in the march. Those who did march for the dignity of women were most likely well-intentioned. There is not a doubt, though, that some who oppose the pro-life stance are willing to twist the faithful’s intentions to meet their own ends.
Catholics should have still been present, though, to give mercy to those who need it. Catholics should have been merciful by instructing those who are ignorant of what the Church teaches, especially on the dignity and the vocation of women and the dignity of the human person. Trent Horn’s experience in his article, “Sharing the Faith at a Gay-Pride Parade,” can be used as a model for this dialogue.
To Catholics who do not trust President Trump, continue to not put your trust in princes. Remember though, truth does not need to be forfeited to express this and the Women’s March forfeits the truth of human dignity. We cannot accept that, and we must be willing to dialogue about this truth.