Thursday, September 19, 2013


It has come to our attention that a program by Sr. Kieran Sawyer is being considered for a religious education curriculum in some local Guam parishes. Upon learning of Sr. Sawyer's invitation to speak at the Catholic Men's Conference in 2013, an Esperansa Project member prepared the following letter. We decided not to release the letter publicly, but did send our concerns to some of the conference organizers. Given the news that her curriculum is being considered for the education of our Catholic children, we decided to post the letter, with some modifications, here. Sr. Sawyer may personally be a good and holy religious sister. We simply disagree with her presentation of Catholic morality as detailed below.


January 2013


We recently learned that the Archdiocese of Agana has invited Sr. Kieran Sawyer to speak at the 2013 Catholic Men's Conference. We find Sr. Sawyer's views on sex troubling, especially as found in her book Sex and the Teenager: Choices and Decisions.

As pro-life Catholics who have worked long and hard to reduce the incidence of abortion here on Guam (one abortion every 1.2 days and 1 out of 10 pregnancies end in abortion), we find Sr. Sawyer’s teaching – as expressed in Sex and the Teenager – very disturbing.  This is what Sr. Sawyer’s teaches in respect to the moral responsibilities and obligations of Catholics in respect to abortion.   

As an individual Catholic Christian and as an American citizen, you must take a personal stance on both the legality and the morality of abortion. This will require much serious prayer and reflection on your part. It is good to do the praying and thinking now and before you and/or someone you love are thrown into the kind of crisis situation Sandy and her friends had to deal with.

Sawyer, Sex and the Teenager: Choices and Decisions, [Directors Manual], 1990, p. 55. (emphasis added). 

Sr. Sawyer instructs Catholic teenagers to take “a personal stance” regarding abortion, NOT a stance against abortion.  We are very familiar with this type of language.  It is designed to grant moral permission to Catholics to adopt a position in support of abortion; and is frequently employed by Catholic religious and self-styled “Catholic” organizations which support abortion.

We think that it is fair to suggest that Sr. Sawyer would never employ similar language in respect to slavery.  She would never explain that it “will require much serious prayer and reflection on your part” in order to determine the moral rightness or wrongness of sex trafficking.  She would, quite rightly, never invite a reader to even brook the possibility of supporting something that she regarded as an inherent moral wrong.  Rather, she would (again, rightly so) condemn it.  

So, what does this mean in terms of her view of abortion?  We believe the answer is obvious: she does not believe that abortion is an intrinsic moral evil (as the Church teaches).  As such, she is unwilling to condemn it and, indeed, allows that it is morally permissible for Catholics to remain Catholic, yet personally support abortion.

It is very disappointing that Sr. Sawyer harbors these views.  Much worse, however, is the fact that Sr. Sawyer uses her prominent position within the Church, and the moral authority that it grants her, in a way which can mislead the Catholic faithful, especially the youth, to support abortion or at least believe its moral rightness is a personal decision. IT IS NOT!

If the Church is right and abortion is in fact an “intrinsic evil,” what then does this mean for Sr. Sawyer and her teachings regarding abortion?  For our part, we believe Sr. Sawyer’s instruction to the Catholic faithful in respect to abortion – as reflected in Sex and the Teenager – is misleading and very possibly, dangerous.       

Unless Sr. Sawyer has fundamentally (and publicly) changed her views regarding abortion since the publication of Sex and the Teenager, we do not think she should be permitted to speak at the 2013 Catholic Men’s Conference.  Attendants would be far better served to stay home than to be misled to believe that support for abortion – which kills well over one million unborn children per year in the U.S. – is permissible within the framework of Catholic morality.

The Esperansa Project


  1. I don't understand how this is not a bigger issue. Who decided to bring Sr. Sawyer to Guam? She's a notorious pro-abort. Don't we have enough pro-abort nuns on Guam (among the Sisters of Mercy) already?

  2. That is an awfully familiar name. Was she also a speaker at last years men's conference?

  3. Catholic Morality I do not think so . We cant kill babies in the mother womb that is unjustifiable for the poor child murdered by approved authorities if this topic comes to Guam I am willing to oppose this topic for the Catholic Church.