ILS Prof. Timothy Matovina quoted in The Hill story on Latinx Catholics and Reproductive Rights

Author: Oliver Ortega

Theology Professor and ILS faculty affiliate Timothy Matovina was quoted in a story on Latinx Catholics and abortion by the Washington D.C.-based political news outlet, The Hill.

Reporters Alex Gangitano and Rafael Bernal portray the reaction from Democratic legislators and others to a now-defunct proposal floated at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to deny politicians Holy Communion for supporting abortion.

The article then explains differing beliefs on the topic between older and younger people of Latin American descent, as well as between those who are more recent immigrants to the U.S. versus those who have lived here longer.

Late last week, the Conference of Catholic Bishops retreated from the potential policy following a public outcry and signs of internal dissension. The move received substantial media attention due to the fact that President Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic, was seen as one of its prime targets.

He's only the second practicing Catholic elected to the White House, after John F. Kennedy in 1960, and some Church leaders have expressed concern over Biden's lack of adherence to church mandates on abortion and other issues.


The section quoting Matovina, who previously served as co-director of the Institute for Latino Studies, starts off as follows:

According to a 2019 Public Religion Research Institute survey, Hispanics are the only race or ethnicity where a majority of the population believes abortion should be made illegal in more cases than it currently is, or in all cases.

Still, opposition to abortion is more prevalent among Protestant Hispanics than among Catholic Hispanics, according to the survey.

It also found that a majority of Generation Z Hispanic Catholics support the legality of abortion, showing changing attitudes over time among Hispanic communities.

“Among younger generations, the longer people spend in this country, the more support there is for abortion and other kinds of issues that tend to fall more on the Democratic side of the political spectrum. While in general Latinos are more firmly aligned with Catholic teaching, that tends to diminish the longer they are in the United States,” said Timothy Matovina, Latino and theology expert at the University of Notre Dame.

Read More at The Hill