How Does the Pope “Force” Me to Have Children?

pope francis, pope, papal, papacy

pope francis, pope, papal, papacy

According to Cosmopolitan magazine, “feminist” activist Gloria Steinem said the following about Pope Francis:

I had this thought that we should have this massive education campaign pointing out that the Pope and all of the other patriarchal religions that dictate to women in this way, accusing them of global warming. Because the human load on this earth is the biggest cause of global warming, and that is because of forcing women to have children they would not on their own choose to have … I’m glad the Pope spoke out about global warming and it was very helpful, but does he know he’s causing it? (emphasis mine)

I’m sure those of you still reading (since I’m sure several heads imploded at this statement) are as confused as I am.

How, exactly, does Pope Francis or the Church “force” me to have children? If I want contraception, there are three stores within a mile of my house that sell condoms and/or have pharmacies that dispense the Pill. That doesn’t include the Wal-Mart less than three miles away, where I can purchase hormonal contraceptives at $10 for a 90-day supply. Heck, if my contraceptives failed and I wanted to get an abortion, I could do that too. I don’t have to ask the Church’s permission first. I don’t have Swiss Guards standing at my door and following me around whenever I leave the house, making sure I don’t buy contraceptives or get an abortion. (If they did follow me around, that’d be pretty sweet – maybe I could rope them into housework or babysitting!)

So please, explain. How is the Pope accomplishing this astonishing act of mind control on me and “forcing” me to have children? I’ve never seen him in my bedroom. Sadly, I’ve never even met him. Yet Ms. Steinem believes that he, from six thousand miles away, is controlling my reproductive practices. How does he accomplish this? I’ve yet to have anyone explain this to me. I keep asking liberals who make this claim to describe exactly how it is accomplished, but they always ignore my question and just keep insisting that it’s happening. It’s baffling.

Does the Church teach that contraceptives are intrinsically immoral? Yes. But the Church does not force me to be a Catholic, and the Church does not force me to adhere to Her teachings. I do so of my own free will.

I wasn’t always a Catholic, and I knew full well what I was getting into when I became one. I choose, of my own free will, to be a Catholic. I choose, of my own free will, to adhere to those teachings. I make that choice again and again every single day. Because I have free will, I could choose not to follow the teachings of the Church. I could even call myself Catholic, go to Mass every single week, take the Eucharist every single week, and still refuse to follow Church teaching the other six days and twenty-three hours of the week. The Church doesn’t have Thought Police standing in the narthex of every Catholic Church, waiting to pounce on those who aren’t really practicing Catholics.

We have people who commit adultery yet call themselves Catholic. We have people who support same-sex marriage yet call themselves Catholic. We have people who celebrate abortion yet call themselves Catholic.

The Church proposes, not imposes. She offers us her moral teachings but we have to choose whether or not to follow them. And if we choose not to follow them yet still claim to be Catholic, we’ll have to answer to God someday – but we usually won’t get much much pushback in this temporal realm. In this age of moral relativism, people seem to easily accept the cognitive dissonance of claiming to be Catholic while simultaneously denying the teachings of the Church.

Granted, the “98% of Catholic women use contraception” statistic has been proven false, but there’s still an abysmally high number of women who self-identify as Catholic that also use contraception. If the Church is trying to “control” women with Her teachings on contraception, She’s failing pretty miserably. So why keep making that claim in the face of such overwhelming evidence to the contrary?

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30 thoughts on “How Does the Pope “Force” Me to Have Children?”

  1. What I find disgusting about Steinem’s comment is it implies that children are a curse, something to be gotten rid of if “contracted” but best avoided if at all possible. It also completely denigrates womanhood.

    The article is correct: as humans have free will, we can use it for good or evil. As a woman I find it extremely offensive that liberals think I’m incapable of saying no, keeping my pants zipped, or that I think an innocent person should die for my stupidity.

  2. This article is incredibly American, with an American (i.e. Protestant) view of religious choice and religious freedom. Not all countries have a secular government or the strong tradition of separation of Church and state that the United States has.

    You are free to buy contraceptives because you live in a country where the government does not care what the Catholic Church thinks, not because the Church values freedom of choice or of conscience. In other countries, including the Phillippines and Ireland, the Catholic Church actively lobbies against contraceptive access.

    1. Of course the article is American in perspective. The original comments made were from an American (Gloria Steinman) published by the editor of the American-edition of Cosmopolitan, which is a magazine founded in America. Each of the comments listed involved American culture including Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Roe v Wade. So isn’t it appropriate to address the comments from an American perspective as well?

    2. The Pope doesn’t force YOU, personally, to have children.

      But this is because you live in a wealthy country that is run by people who don’t listen to the Catholic Church. In other countries, the Catholic position on contraception would make it considerably more difficult for someone to choose to limit their family size. Not everybody has “a Wal-Mart less than three miles away, where I can purchase hormonal contraceptives at $10 for a 90-day supply.” Your freedom is in spite of Church teaching, not because of it.

  3. Your church advocates for laws that ban abortion and birth control. Such laws are in place in Poland, Ireland, and most tragically El Salvador, where women go to prison for miscarriages.

    And please, don’t use the Inquisition excuse that the church doesn’t enforce those laws. The church wanted those laws, advocates passionately for such laws and supports them when they are enacted. The church cannot then turn around avoid responsibility for their effect. In negligence law there is a doctrine called “foreseeability,” which states that a person is responsible for any damage caused by a condition that they knew or should have known is dangerous. Unwanted children and the deaths of women from illegal abortions is the easily foreseeable result of laws punishing women for wanting to control their own fertility.

    1. KarenJo12: Women do not go to prison for miscarriages…that’s simply sensationalism. Controlling one’s own fertility is not the same as controlling the life of another human being by permitting that human being to be killed through abortion. A truly just & compassionate society will respect & protect the lives of both the mother & her child, for both are equal in dignity & deserving of our protection.

    2. You can be sent to prison in a lot of places for miscarrying if the prosecution can prove that the mother purposefully, willingly, or negligently caused the death of her baby. Men have been sent to prison too for harming women who lost their babies as a result of their beatings, shootings or other harm done. The article in your link conveniently leaves out the grounds for prosecution in the three cases mentioned. I’m with Patricia. This is irresponsible sensationalism.

    3. Do you have any idea all the ordinary activities that could negligently cause a miscarriage, especially an early one? Drinking coffee, horseback riding, being overweight, underweight, engaging in vigorous exercise or being sedentary, falling, taking aspirin, breastfeeding . . . the list is extremely long. Should women be prisoners of our houses because we might be pregnant?

    4. You can put that straw man away. The prosecution would have to prove that a woman could have known or should have known that her actions caused the death of her baby. To give all pregnant women a pass regarding how they carry out their pregnancies allows for the careless destruction of human lives. Horseback riding and other strenuous activities, even air travel are contraindicated in the later stages of pregnancy. A prudent woman would seek medical advice all throughout any pregnancy and follow it carefully.

    5. Elizabeth Majoros Kovacs

      excuse me Karen, you have no ideal what your talking about, first of all it is NOT the Churches law ,IT IS GODS LAW.second,unwanted baby;s, what about the couples that have to go to other country’s to adopt , because ours don;t have enough, think about that, so in you book it is ok to MURDER .What if your mom had on abortion???, think about all your love ones would not be here.

    6. This addressed nothing in my comment. The Catholic hierarchy advocates for laws that punish women and only women for controlling our fertility. Do you agree with those laws or not?

    7. Elizabeth Majoros Kovacs

      where did your fertility come from Karen?????????????????????? from GOD DID AT NOT .?????????you are so out of at Karen

    8. “Controlling fertitlity.” That’s just it. The women seeking abortions FAILED to “control their fertility” so they seek to murder the life that they created. Sex is a gift that is given to us by God for the purpose of creating new life. Natural law dictates that the sex act’s origin and purpose is procreation. The fact that it also pleasurable should not be ignored, but that pleasure is a couple’s reward for abiding within a godly life. There is no point in bashing the Catholic Church on this. We have our religious tenets and we are called to live them according to our faith.

  4. Thanks. There is a lot of mindless patter that gets repeated endlessly surrounding this and other hot-button issues. The following is slightly off topic but I would just like to add that there is an answer to another vexing question we often hear, “Just who do you think is going to take care of all the unwanted children?”
    Answer: “We are!” Show me one time when the church ever refused to accept an unwanted child. We will care for our fellow human beings with whatever it takes. Thanks again.

    1. “”Just who do you think is going to take care of all the unwanted children?”
      Answer: “We are!” Show me one time when the church ever refused to accept an unwanted child. We will care for our fellow human beings with whatever it takes.” That is sooo untrue….

      “In the U.S. 397,122 children are living without permanent families in the foster care system. 101,666 of these children are eligible for adoption, but nearly 32% of these children will wait over three years in foster care before being adopted. Source: AFCARS Report, No. 20.

    2. The foster system (and the adoption system in general) is clogged with red tape. There are plenty of foster parents who would gladly adopt, but can’t. There are far more parents willing to adopt than there are children waiting for adoption.

    3. The reason that so many children are available for adoption is not red tape…the red tape insures that the adoptive environment is safe, healthy and responsible and this requires many hours of reference checks and home visits…I know having adopted twice. The major reason for the problem of the “unadoptablies” is because they are severely physically disabled, mentally and behaviorally impaired, ethnically and racially different from prospective adoptive parents. All too often, people look for the somewhat perfect child.

    4. So should we send you out to visit these children so that you can tell them that they would have been better off dead? Do you think they are ready to admit that? I don’t know about you but I believe in hope which springs from faith.

    5. I pointed out there not ALL children are taken care of by the church. I pointed out that there is a reason for the red tape of adoption because of a need to insure the safety of healthy environment for the adoptees. I pointed out the reason that these kids are not chosen for adoption. I have adopted two disabled kids, so I know. In that vein your comment is repulsive and makes no sense. Adoption of these kids does not rest upon hope or faith…it depends upon action which springs from unconditional love. I am a big advocate of adoption of those kids who are not perfect. Again you comment makes little sense.

    6. I am very sorry that I offended you. I was trying to make a point but a little too snarky I guess. My comment was made to illustrate the absurdity of killing unborn children simply because they may be less than perfect or unwanted by their birth mothers. I just cannot see any validity in destroying an unborn child. I was actually trying to startle and it worked but my comment also insulted you. It is just that I was trying to bring these pro choice arguments to their logical conclusion. What I hear when people say that deformed children should not be born is that they literally would be better off dead. And yes, that is disgusting and repulsive but I am not the pro choice advocate here. I am precisely trying to illustrate how ugly rude and offensive the idea of killing children is. If you agree that killing is wrong then I should assume that you are pro life like me.

  5. So please, explain. How is the Pope accomplishing this astonishing act of mind control on me and “forcing” me to have children?
    –JoAnna Wahlund

    You must accept on blind faith the feminist belief that men have great power over weak female minds. Really, that’s what feminism’s Gloria Leader–and other true believer feminists–believe. They rarely admit it but that article of their faith is implicit in so much that feminists say and do. Just look around you and you’ll see examples popping out at you from feminists everywhere.

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