Dereliction of duty and its consequences on legislation.

What Would Sir Alan Sugar Say? The Bishops of E & W

On Catholic Exchange, Judie brown has a very interesting piece about the relationship between contraception and legalisation of homosexuality. She has the following arguments:

1) Contraception links sex to pleasure and thus opens the way for pleasure irrespective of his finality. Therefore, contraception is at the root of the increase of acceptance of homosexuality.
2) That most Catholic couples in the US use contraceptives doesn’t make their use less wrong; it merely exposes the inability of the clergy to convey Catholic values.
3) We might have had a different situation today, if the Church has preached the Truth about homosexuality (and contraception) instead of shutting up.

On 1) This is very profound. Homosexuality is a perversion, not a weakness and people don’t become perverts because you don’t insist on the way to have intercourse in the proper way. Still, it can be argued that the reduction of sex to pleasure has led to a higher acceptance of all those who see in sex only a way of seeking pleasure. This mentality will in itself not cause an increase in homosexuality, but probably an increase in its acceptance. The decline of the taboo of homosexuality (sins crying to heaven for vengeance? What’s this?) has certainly also played a massive role.

On 2) I found the remark absolutely spot on. It is time to repeat again and again that the Bishops must start doing their job again. Here in Blighty, I can’t name a single Bishop who wouldn’t deserve immediate dismissal. In the US the situation is probably better, but one wonders how much (one answers: not much).

On 3) I think the lady really hits the bull’s eye. Contraception is not unavoidable. Abortion is not unavoidable. Mickey Mouse “marriages” are not unavoidable. They have all come to pass because the Clergy were sleeping or more probably, cowardly looking for ways of being popular. That so many people nowadays see as “normal” what Christianity (and not only Christianity: ask the pre-Christian Romans!) always saw as a grave perversion says it all about the scale of the dereliction of duty from the Western clergy. Note that where the Clergy do their work, this problem is virtually non-existent (Africa, Asia).

The bottom line is that at the beginning of everything is Bishops doing their job and taking care that their priests do the same. Sound teaching attacks the secular mentality in all its mistakes and allows a more complete view of Christian Doctrine and of one’s own life, which in turn better equips Christians for the right reaction to secular challenges.
If the proper thinking about contraception had been hammered in the head of the faithful since Humanae Vitae, we would probably not be here today talking about Proposition 8.


Posted on August 30, 2010, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I remember as a young teen growing up in the late 60s and early 70s in the American Mid-west my mother and aunts still of child-bearing age all a-twitter about “the pill”. They seemed befuddled that Pope Paul VI came out against it as it was glorified in the popular culture, although I don’t think any of them embraced it. There was no pastoral explanation of why the pill was an evil to be avoided, no classes for married couples, etc. I then had female cousins and sisters who embraced contraception wholly and made it part of their life-styles. Nary a sermon was spoken for the next 40 years guiding young men and women in this matter. In Catholic high school I was warned about what pre-marital sex might result in, but there was never an explanation of the proper approach one should take to courtship and marriage. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Friends contracepted, friends aborted and it was a totally hedonistic approach to sex among many of my Catholic friends, who by the way, continued to attend Mass every Sunday and considered themselves faithful Catholics. To this day I have married Catholic friends who continue to take the pill though they are perimenopausal (and childless), and are regular communicants.

    Later in life, through study and prayer, I’ve adopted the teachings of the Church and understand their wisdom. I have tried to convey this wisdom to the newest generation of nieces and nephews now getting married, but am considered an abberation. The attitude is, we’re not ready for kids. Others in this cohort, who also consider themselves Catholic, have embraced IVF, donor sperm, etc. The world has gone mad.

    • Redvelvette,
      whilst I am younger than you and grew up in a rather stricter society, I can say that my experience is largely the same. Many people then wondered at school what’s the use of a priest. One couldn’t disagree much, as there wasn’t much separating this priest from the rest of the population besides sober clothing and a consecration he never cared to explain or defend.
      This crisis has been a crisi of the clergy. Entirely home baked. The fact that many people like you and me came to close contact with the Truth on their own force, unaided by any priest (and possibly discouraged, if said priests had known our intentions… ) says a lot about the tireless effort of the Holy Ghost and the great power of attraction the Church still has.


  2. I remember being dismayed by the Church’s continuing condemnation of contraception, particularly of “the pill”. I reluctantly accept the teaching on contraception, more easily now that I am well past child-bearing age, but I still find it hard to justify to others. I think that the publication of Humanae Vitae was one of the factors why so many people left the Church in the seventies and eighties.

    Some of us were able to “cheat”by telling the doctor that we were Catholics and therefore wanted to use the “rhythm method” of birth control but our cycles were irregular so what could he do to rectify that irregularity?Of course, his remedy was to prescribe the pill, which we could then take with a clear conscience! Or could we?

    • Misericordia,
      if one was cheating of course he (well, she) could not. But I do not understand the logic of taking the pill in order to use………. the rythm method which only makes sense if one doesn’t.

      As for the “difficult” teaching of the Church, I found that a very good thing to do is to pray the Holy Ghost every day that one may get the right understanding. In the end, we’ll always need grace to live the life we want to live so why not ask for it to be able to understand why we should want to live that life in the first place.

      Personally, I found that what happened in my case is that my entire way of seeing the world shifted from my previous, seculary-minded mentality to a different, authentically Catholic thinking. Therefore, what seemed to me to be difficult to accept became very easy to accept once I had the perception that I was just looking at things from the wrong perspective and conversely, things which seemed to be rather excusable human weakness to me before seem grave failings now.

      We do not understand because we feel we should do it. This will never create understanding, though it may create obedience.
      We understand because we get to look at things in the right way. After that everything comes natural and there can be no other solution then the one the Church wants.


  3. I shall try to follow your advice, Mundabor!

    In fact, there are very few of the Church’s teachings that I do not accept or understand(apart from the whole of Vatican II!) and for those with which I have difficulty, I have to resort to simple obedience.

    As a Catholic, I am frequently required to defend the Church. It is much easier to hold one’s ground from a position of complete understanding, than merely from blind obedience. It is rather like parents telling their children “because I say so” even though we may have resolved never to use that phrase, and children quickly detect that you are arguing from a weak standpoint!

    • Misericordia,
      personally (in dealing with friends and relatives) I have found these arguments to be very useful

      1) I talk to them of the errors I myself subscribed to and why I don’t do it anymore; this makes clear that I am not on a point scoring exercise.
      2) I make clear that I accept all the truth, *because it is the Truth* and if it’s difficult I pray more. This makes clear that it is not my particular version of Catholicism.
      3) I say it very clear and very hard. This is in my eyes to only way to force people to *really think*.
      4) I do not expects a changing process to start immediately. The next chance wil come at the next crisis (disease; loss of job; bereavement; trouble of any kind). If the message has been conveyed strongly, it will be remembered.

      In my personal experience gentle advice doesn’t lead anywhere, nor does any work not bearing the mark of absolute commitment. Look at where V II “gentle advice” has led us to…
      Be a diamond. Beautiful, but hard. They’ll remember it when the time comes.


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