Notes & Quotes

Catholic Feminist Looks at Sex

AMERICA, Nov. 27—University of Pennsylvania doctoral candidate and self-described feminist Jennifer Popiel had this to say about the effects of artificial contraception and abortion on women's liberation:

“We must not make things that are convenient into the moral equivalent of things that are central to our bodily integrity or give us the ability to be secure in our own bodies. Contraception and abortion are both designed to avoid the consequences of sexual activity. Though modern advertising would likely lead us to a different conclusion, sexual activity is not a right, nor is it necessary in order to lead a rich and full life. To presume otherwise is to ignore the great capacity of humanity to produce, to nurture, to love in non-sexual ways. It is also to ignore the value of sacrifice and control.

“Though sex is enjoyable and greatly desired, it is not acceptable, even in our permissive society, to give in to all sexual urges. Why then is it assumed that one should be free to give in to sexual urges without regard to reproductive consequences? In all of the rhetoric about controlling one's destiny, controlling one's body, controlling one's life, we have lost sight of the fact that self-control is also a very powerful thing.”

House Nixes Catholic Chaplain

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Dec. 2—Following a secret ballot, Jesuit Father Timothy O‘Brien was the leading candidate to become the House of Representatives’ new chaplain, according to members of a committee responsible for filling the post, the Times reported.

The eventual selection of Presbyterian Rev. Charles Parker Wright resulted in bitterness among some Catholic House members.

Said the Times, “In the rancorous aftermath, several Democrats said they thought House leaders were trying to placate the religious right or were uncomfortable with naming a Catholic priest.”

As the Times article was being prepared, Republican Reps. Rick Lazio of New York and Chris Smith of New Jersey called a reporter to say that House leaders “had never shown any bias [against] Catholics.” The House has never had a Catholic chaplain.