Catholics Say NO to Circumcision

press release – 2/28/05


A group of concerned Catholics in the United States created the outreach organization Catholics Against Circumcision last month to educate Catholics and others about Catholic teaching on circumcision. Their goal is to enlighten parents, hospitals, and Church officials to the moral, emotional, and physical harm of circumcising baby boys.

According to founder and director Petrina Fadel, “Many Catholics in the U.S. are unaware that infant circumcision goes counter to the Catholic Catechism teaching on “Respect for bodily integrity.” The Catechism teaches that non-therapeutic amputations performed on innocent persons go against the moral law.”

Popes, Bishops, and other prominent Catholics have spoken out against circumcision throughout the centuries. Numerous passages in the New Testament teach that circumcision is not required or advised for Christians. Infant circumcision causes severe pain and trauma, and results in a life long loss of an integral part of the penis. Unfortunately, many Catholic parents in the U.S. are unaware of this information.

“It is time for Catholic hospitals in the U.S. to comply with the Catechism teaching on ‘Respect for bodily integrity,'” says Fadel. “Profits or cultural norms should never cloud the moral judgment of Catholics and those in charge at Catholic hospitals. It is time to end this practice and that of female circumcision in other countries, and for all children, including boys, to be protected.”

Fadel has spent the past several years educating others about a surgery that is not practiced by Catholics in most of the rest of the world. She has published articles emphasizing the immorality of non-therapeutic circumcisions performed in U.S. Catholic hospitals in “The American Journal of Bioethics” and “The Linacre Quarterly.” She has also contacted hundreds of U.S. Catholic bishops and U.S. Catholic hospitals urging them to stop non-therapeutic circumcisions at Catholic facilities in this country.

Circumcision is not recommended by any medical organization in the world. Neonatal circumcisions are unnecessary. Genital cutting of girls is illegal in many countries, including the United States.