Catholic Women Voice Opposition to UN Convention


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ROME, NOV. 24, 2009 ( Representatives of Catholic women's organizations from 25 countries have informed the secretary-general of the United Nations that they do not support the international body's convention against the discrimination of women.

Karen Hurley, the president of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations (WUCWO), stated this in a letter sent Monday to Ban Ki-Moon at the close of the union's meeting of the board, which took place Nov. 14-18 in Rome.

While the letter urged the international body to "take concrete actions to protect women and children, innocent victims of violence," it noted that it does not support the U.N's Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Hurley explained: "CEDAW is being misused as a tool to promote violence [against] women and girls, mothers and babies, in the form of legal access to abortion on demand to put pressure on countries worldwide to legalize and fund abortion, promote contraception, medically assisted reproduction for same sex unions and other immoral acts in defiance of God's natural law."

She added that WUCWO "challenges and will expose ambiguous language especially related to such topics as 'gender, reproductive health, choice, or rights.'"

"We urge you," Hurley continued, "to make decisions to take concrete action in order to eradicate violence perpetrated upon women at all ages and stages of life, and to promote full respect for the dignity of women."

"There must be a global increase in the respect for the dignity with which women have been endowed by their Creator," she affirmed.

Benedict XVI

The meeting of WUCWO concluded with participation in Benedict XVI's Wednesday general audience.

A press release from the union reported that its president and secretary general were able to greet the Pope after the audience. The Pontiff was "gracious and affirming" and remarked that the organization is doing "such good work."

During the meeting, board members discussed plans for the union's upcoming centenary assembly, which will be held Oct. 5-11, 2010 in the Holy Land and will focus on the theme, "You will be my witnesses" (Acts 1-8).

The participants held meetings at the Vatican's Secretariat of State and the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Their gathering focused on the theme, "Human Development: Working for Peace and Justice."

Conference speakers included Legionary Father Thomas Williams, theology professor at Regina Apostolorum University, who spoke about conscience, a theme on which he has written various books, and Monsignor Carlos Antonio Simon Vazquez, under-secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, who addressed the board about the agendas in the United Nations that undermine God's laws.