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In church's dreams, Vatican II never happened
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | April 13, 2005 | ANDREW GREELEY

Posted on 04/15/2005 4:34:46 PM PDT by Grey Ghost II

In church's dreams, Vatican II never happened

April 13, 2005

BY ANDREW GREELEY

The American TV networks spent huge sums of money and sent scores of people to Rome last week. Characteristically, they spent little time or energy on research and hence provided weak and stereotypical journalism, limited to questions about married priests, female priests, gays and sexual abuse. They missed completely the most critical issue for the church in the 21st century -- Vatican Council II and the changes it created.

Many, if not most, of the cardinal electors would tell you that the council was an incident, a bump in the road. The council fathers wrote some useful documents. There was misguided enthusiasm after the council, but Pope John Paul II sternly reimposed order on the church. The council is interesting mainly now as a historical matter.

Leaders lost their nerve

They could not be more wrong. The council was a revolutionary event that had a profound impact on Catholics who lived through it and indirectly on their children, who have barely heard about it. It's still the green dragon lurking in the Sistine Chapel even if the electors can't quite see it.

The model of unchanging Catholicism in response to the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution assumed that the church would not change, should not change, could not change. Suddenly the laity and lower clergy experienced changes in liturgy, in Scripture interpretation, in theories of religious liberty, in attitudes toward other Christians and Jews, in trust of the modern world. The structures -- patterns of behavior and supporting motivations -- that had supported the church for several centuries collapsed.

The council fathers may not have foreseen this collapse, but they did vote for the changes (in overwhelming numbers) and hence the documents themselves and the action of the fathers (presumably in Catholic theology guided by the Holy Spirit) were responsible for the destabilization.

It was, as it seemed then, a new spring for the church, now flexible, joyful and confidently open to the world. However, the ferment frightened some of the leaders who lost their nerve and responded the only way they knew how -- repression. They issued new orders without any serious attempt to explain the reasons for them. They silenced some theologians. They appointed reactionary bishops, who were not always the brightest or most humane. They investigated seminaries. Their mood changed from optimism to grim warnings and solemn denunciations. The church, for a few years a bright light on the mountaintop, had once again become an embattled fortress afraid of the modern world.

House of cards collapsed

The leaders confidently expected that the laity would do what they were told. They could not have been more wrong, nor their strategy more counterproductive. The laity and the lower clergy for the most part simply ignored them and went about creating new structures in which Catholics would affiliate with the church on their own terms. Resignations from the priesthood and the collapse of priestly vocations began only after the desperate attempts to slow down change turned the mood of the council years sour. The present crisis of the credibility of church leadership arose precisely from mistaken attempts to reassert the old leadership style. The problem is not so much the council as restorationist attempts to undo it.

To be fair, no one realized how potentially frail was the so-called confident church of 1950, both in America and around the world. A push from a handful of conciliar documents and the whole house of cards collapsed. For many leaders who had known the seeming serenity of the pre-conciliar church, it was unthinkable that the structures had disappeared overnight and with them their own credibility. So they fell back on them to prevent a disappearance that had already occurred.

The restorationist style continues here in Rome, though it should be clear that it doesn't work. Despite the late pope's efforts to reassert the church's traditional sexual ethic, acceptance of it has declined everywhere.

Few willing to admit truth

In the pre-conclave atmosphere, it is necessary to pretend that this is not true. Or if there is a bit of truth in it, the proper response of the new pope should be yet tougher repression, more vigorous restoration. Almost no one is willing to admit even to themselves that the leadership strategy since 1970 has caused most of the problems in the church -- the decline of vocations and church attendance and the alienation of the young.

Vatican II is the dragon in their midst that they cannot see and they wish would go away. Unfortunately they have not, will not learn that you cannot repeal an ecumenical council and cancel its effects.


TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: andrewgreeley; conclave; newpope; vaticanii
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1 posted on 04/15/2005 4:34:46 PM PDT by Grey Ghost II
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To: Robert Drobot; rogator; royalcello; Scupoli; Slyfox; Snuffington; Solson; sontaran_army; ...

Andrew Greeley of all people.


2 posted on 04/15/2005 4:39:11 PM PDT by Grey Ghost II
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To: Grey Ghost II
The leaders confidently expected that the laity would do what they were told. They could not have been more wrong, nor their strategy more counterproductive. The laity and the lower clergy for the most part simply ignored them and went about creating new structures in which Catholics would affiliate with the church on their own terms.

What "Father" Greeley and his ilk (the dying leftovers of '60s dissent) fail to realize is that the laity have indeed become more outspoken and organized since Vatican II, and what they are promoting is doctrinal orthodoxy and moral clarity. The dissident laity are the ones who have basically abandoned the Church; they trot out their Catholicism at election time, to explain what marvelously independent thinkers they are. But the ones who are still in the pews are the future of the Catholic Church, and it is a bright future, looking nothing whatever like the favorite of the Greeley-ites, the ECUSA. For one thing, it is much, much younger.

3 posted on 04/15/2005 4:41:22 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: Grey Ghost II
The only thing worse than a lefty with an agenda, is a lefty with an agenda who also lacks intelligence. What perfect example of a perfectly useful idiot.

If it's ok with you, I think I'll post this on Angelqueen.

4 posted on 04/15/2005 4:48:59 PM PDT by AAABEST (Kyrie eleison - Christe eleison )
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To: Grey Ghost II

Greeley is delusional.


5 posted on 04/15/2005 4:49:26 PM PDT by nickcarraway (I'm Only Alive, Because a Judge Hasn't Ruled I Should Die...)
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To: Grey Ghost II

Color me stupid, but I didn't understand one WHIT of what "Father" Greeley was saying. I think I KNOW what he thinks, but his writing wasn;t at all clear to me.....must be the novelist in him.


6 posted on 04/15/2005 4:51:25 PM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion: The Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Grey Ghost II

These are dreams all right, but they're Greeley's.


7 posted on 04/15/2005 5:03:08 PM PDT by gbcdoj (In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33)
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To: Grey Ghost II
you cannot repeal an ecumenical council and cancel its effects

But the last Ecumenical Council was in 787 AD.

We need another.

I think Josef Cardinal Ratzinger is prepared to call one, if he is chosen.

8 posted on 04/15/2005 5:03:47 PM PDT by Jim Noble (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God)
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To: Grey Ghost II
Unfortunately they have not, will not learn that you cannot repeal an ecumenical council and cancel its effects

I don't want to get into the other issues --- but Vatican II was, by definition, not and Ecumenical Council. No council will be ecumenical until the Church of the East and the West meet as One.

9 posted on 04/15/2005 5:22:18 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodox is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50
No council will be ecumenical until the Church of the East and the West meet as One.

And, in the meantime, I can understand the reluctance of the Orthodox to jump into Rome's ecumenical cesspool. Y'all take your time, maybe Rome will come to its senses, due to your stance.

Church of the Holy Apostles Anglican/Roman Catholic Congregation of Hampton Roads

Established on All Saints Day, 1977, in Norfolk, Virginia, at the request of Bishop Walter Sullivan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond and Bishop David Rose of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. Services Services are held each week at 10:00 a.m. There are two altars in the worship space. Roman Catholics are invited to receive from the Roman Catholic priest; all other Baptized Christians in good standing with their own church are invited to receive from the Episcopal priest. Christian Formation for all ages is held from September 20 until May at 11:00 a.m.

10 posted on 04/15/2005 6:12:27 PM PDT by Grey Ghost II
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To: madprof98
But the ones who are still in the pews are the future of the Catholic Church, and it is a bright future, looking nothing whatever like the favorite of the Greeley-ites, the ECUSA. For one thing, it is much, much younger.

And none of those younger families follow Humanae Vitae, they're OK with married priests, and even with women priests. They are NOT promoting "moral clarity," or "doctrinal orthodoxy," at least not of the Vatican variety.

You need to get out more. Weekly Mass Catholics couldn't care less who the Pope is, or what he says. They look to their pastor and bishop for leadership and direction.

11 posted on 04/15/2005 6:37:12 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: Grey Ghost II
And what did Vatican II get us? I moved to the suburbs (unrelated to Vatican II) and guitar masses, and tambourines, and people who were very impressed with their ability to sing folk songs during a Catholic Mass.

The climax came when our parish installed a horse trough (purchased from Farm and Fleet) to do immersion baptisms to folk songs. That was the end of the line for me. I told my wife that I could not attend Mass at "Our Lady of Mr. Ed" and haven't set foot in that church since.

Love the religion, but the church surrounding it needs a lot of work.

12 posted on 04/15/2005 6:44:25 PM PDT by Bernard (Memory is the second thing to go. I forget what goes first.)
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To: Grey Ghost II
The council was a revolutionary event that had a profound impact on Catholics who lived through it and indirectly on their children, who have barely heard about it. It's still the green dragon lurking in the Sistine Chapel even if the electors can't quite see it.

The model of unchanging Catholicism in response to the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution assumed that the church would not change, should not change, could not change. Suddenly the laity and lower clergy experienced changes in liturgy, in Scripture interpretation, in theories of religious liberty, in attitudes toward other Christians and Jews, in trust of the modern world. The structures -- patterns of behavior and supporting motivations -- that had supported the church for several centuries collapsed.

Say what you will about Greeley, at least he is an honest liberal.

13 posted on 04/15/2005 6:44:46 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: sinkspur
And none of those younger families follow Humanae Vitae

What should we do about it?

14 posted on 04/15/2005 6:44:50 PM PDT by gbcdoj (In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33)
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To: sinkspur
Weekly Mass Catholics

Who are your other Catholics? The Christmas/Easter ones?

15 posted on 04/15/2005 6:49:54 PM PDT by Grey Ghost II
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To: sinkspur

"Weekly Mass Catholics couldn't care less who the Pope is, or what he says. They look to their pastor and bishop for leadership and direction."

Then aren't these folks, therefore, de facto Presbyterians and Episcopalians?
Why not merge denominations and make it official?

Considering the record of most of our bishops, I have some bridges I would like to sell these folks.


16 posted on 04/15/2005 6:52:15 PM PDT by rogator
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To: gbcdoj
What should we do about it?

The hierarchy should find out why these Catholic couples simply ignore Church teaching on contraception. Instead of berating them, telling them they're going to hell if they don't do what the Pope says, we need to talk with them.

Perhaps it would also be a good thing to find out why a significant number of clergy don't accept the teaching either.

17 posted on 04/15/2005 7:00:53 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: sinkspur
Weekly Mass Catholics couldn't care less who the Pope is, or what he says.

Sounds like the Church is dead where you are. But not everywhere. My point (which you missed, probably intentionally) is that the most vibrant lay movements in the Catholic Church today are all conservative. The pro-life movement is just one example. The laity, increasingly the younger laity, are pushing the clergy to take stronger positions on the issue.

Couldn't care less who the pope is? The geriatric set who read America and Commonweal and NCR can only wish that were true of younger Catholics.

18 posted on 04/15/2005 7:01:04 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: Grey Ghost II; Canticle_of_Deborah
Despite the late pope's efforts to reassert the church's traditional sexual ethic, acceptance of it has declined everywhere.

Oh well, if most people don't accept it, they should just change the doctrine to what people will accept./sarcasm

19 posted on 04/15/2005 7:03:56 PM PDT by murphE (Never miss an opportunity to kiss the hand of a holy priest.)
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To: sinkspur

That is a very diplomatic post.


20 posted on 04/15/2005 7:06:10 PM PDT by Torie (Constrain rogue state courts; repeal your state constitution)
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To: madprof98

Ask "younger Catholics" what they think of contraception, and if they intend to use it.


21 posted on 04/15/2005 7:08:10 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: madprof98

I don't see any evidence in the polls of this theologically conservative resurgance among younger Catholics. In fact, at least in the US, I tend to recall the opposite.


22 posted on 04/15/2005 7:08:20 PM PDT by Torie (Constrain rogue state courts; repeal your state constitution)
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To: murphE
Oh well, if most people don't accept it, they should just change the doctrine to what people will accept.

Actually, those people really hope and pray the next pope will change doctrine. I can understand their enthusiasm in light of the actions of the post-conciliar popes.

23 posted on 04/15/2005 7:08:52 PM PDT by Grey Ghost II
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To: sinkspur; gbcdoj
The hierarchy should find out why these Catholic couples simply ignore Church teaching on contraception.

Because it's hard to live a faithful Catholic life, the narrow gate and all, and it's impossible to live it without the grace of Our Lord.

Instead of berating them, telling them they're going to hell if they don't do what the Pope says,

Oh yeah like that happens.

Perhaps it would also be a good thing to find out why a significant number of clergy don't accept the teaching either.

That's easy, they've lost their faith or they never really had it to begin with. They're apostate.

24 posted on 04/15/2005 7:10:30 PM PDT by murphE (Never miss an opportunity to kiss the hand of a holy priest.)
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To: Torie
We've endured 37 years of Catholic couples who pay no attention to the Church's teaching on family planning. The Pope reiterates the teaching, and even more Catholic couples ignore it.

The Church has its head in the sand on this issue. The tepid response of Rome to the sexual abuse scandal further compromised the Church's moral voice to Catholics.

25 posted on 04/15/2005 7:12:48 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: Torie
I don't see any evidence in the polls of this theologically conservative resurgance among younger Catholics. In fact, at least in the US, I tend to recall the opposite.

I have seen at least one that support for Church doctrine on contraception is up 1-2% among younger Catholics.

26 posted on 04/15/2005 7:13:27 PM PDT by gbcdoj (In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33)
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To: sinkspur
Ask "younger Catholics" what they think of contraception, and if they intend to use it.

Why? Do they have a vote?

27 posted on 04/15/2005 7:13:33 PM PDT by Grey Ghost II
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To: gbcdoj
Make that I have seen at least one report that support for Church doctrine on contraception is up 1-2% among younger Catholics.
28 posted on 04/15/2005 7:14:01 PM PDT by gbcdoj (In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33)
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To: Torie
I don't see any evidence in the polls of this theologically conservative resurgance among younger Catholics. In fact, at least in the US, I tend to recall the opposite.

You recall correctly.

If the younger Catholics are the future of the Church, they'll be a lot more liberal morally than their parents.

29 posted on 04/15/2005 7:15:18 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: sinkspur
Perhaps it would also be a good thing to find out why a significant number of clergy don't accept the teaching either.

I think you missed my question on the other thread, so I'll pose it again here. I remember you said before that you do accept the conclusion of HV, but you do not accept its arguments. So what is the reason that you accept it? Perhaps we can use it on the dissenters ;)

30 posted on 04/15/2005 7:16:20 PM PDT by gbcdoj (In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33)
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To: sinkspur
Ask "younger Catholics" what they think of contraception, and if they intend to use it.

You tell me where the difference is. The younger Catholics, young families in my chapel in their 20's and early 30's have 5, 6, and 7 kids.

31 posted on 04/15/2005 7:16:22 PM PDT by murphE (Never miss an opportunity to kiss the hand of a holy priest.)
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To: Grey Ghost II
Do they have a vote?

The Church is one source that young people look to for guidance. In many cases, it's not the first place they turn.

32 posted on 04/15/2005 7:17:22 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: Torie
This is interesting. We have Sinkspur, who campaigns incessantly for changes in Church law so he can get ordained, and now you, who constantly put in a good word for abortion . . . both of you now claiming that you can't imagine where anybody got the idea that young Catholics are taking their faith seriously. You two need to follow some of the discussions on that conservative forum called FREE REPUBLIC.
33 posted on 04/15/2005 7:18:07 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: murphE

There are a lot of families like that at the parish I attend...those with big families almost always take their church much more seriously...and we have a whole bunch of them here.


34 posted on 04/15/2005 7:19:52 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: sinkspur
The Church is one source that young people look to for guidance. In many cases, it's not the first place they turn.

Better hope they change the rules so you can be a priest, Sinkspur. You already sound like Father Greeley . . . or maybe it's Father Drinan.

35 posted on 04/15/2005 7:20:25 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: gbcdoj
I accept Humanae Vitae because I am told to accept it.
36 posted on 04/15/2005 7:20:56 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: murphE

I suppose one question to pose, is what should be the mission of your Church? Is it to try to reach into and enhance the spiritual and human lives of the bulk of its flock, and expose them to the tools and message which will tend to assist them to be better and happier persons while on this moral coil, as a more enobling precursor to the heaven in which your Church believes, inspired by the example of the essential Christ, or to become a much more exclusive club, with the bar set so high, that it becomes more like the Marines, where only a few "good men" need apply, with the rest encouraged to take a hike? It is a choice for each to make, and that choice I think animates much of what divides around here when it comes to matters of your Church. The grand thing is that each are free to choose.


37 posted on 04/15/2005 7:21:30 PM PDT by Torie (Constrain rogue state courts; repeal your state constitution)
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To: murphE

Instead of jumping to conclusions about why Catholic couples use contraception (as you did), I am suggesting we ask them and let them answer.


38 posted on 04/15/2005 7:22:48 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: sinkspur

Didn't you say on the other thread that no "rational human beings" would accept HV based on the argument from authority?


39 posted on 04/15/2005 7:23:34 PM PDT by gbcdoj (In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33)
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To: madprof98

Free Republic is no more representative of young Catholics than it is about the opinions of Republicans.


40 posted on 04/15/2005 7:24:23 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: sinkspur

UH, the "Free Republic" in the post cited is LINK that goes to an article posted and discussed here. The article is from The New York Times (next to NCR, the kind of source you rely on for the truth about your faith). Try clinking on that link.


41 posted on 04/15/2005 7:26:58 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: madprof98
I don't put in "good words" about abortion on this forum, although I think it should be legal in the first trimester, and think it is close to murder in the third trimester and should be illegal in the third trimester, and think Roe was and is a legal disgrace, and should be overturned. As to the balance, I was referring to polls. On that I was a mere conduit, imparting my impression of them. If you have contrary evidence, just post it.

On some matters, I am pretty "liberal." You just missed the mark. And for your information, Sinkspur is somewhat more conservative than I am, in general. I don't know why he gets all the heat.

42 posted on 04/15/2005 7:27:47 PM PDT by Torie (Constrain rogue state courts; repeal your state constitution)
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To: Grey Ghost II

Vatican II never happened? I wish...


43 posted on 04/15/2005 7:28:19 PM PDT by kjvail (Judica me Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta)
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To: gbcdoj
Didn't you say on the other thread that no "rational human beings" would accept HV based on the argument from authority?

I don't recall saying exactly that. I don't accept the arguments of Humanae Vitae. I tell Catholics what I am supposed to tell them as a representative of the Church. But I don't defend Humanae Vitae or the Church's teaching on contraception, because I can't do it.

The Church says that couples may regulate the size of their families. That means that couples may purposely engage in sexual intercourse with the express intention and physical means to avoid conception.

The method (NFP or non-abortafacient contraception) is secondary.

44 posted on 04/15/2005 7:30:56 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: Torie
And for your information, Sinkspur is somewhat more conservative than I am, in general. I don't know why he gets all the heat.

Both of you are hostile to the discipline and teachings of the Catholic Church. Your opinions on it are therefore worth about as much as the opinion of The New York Times.

45 posted on 04/15/2005 7:31:18 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: sinkspur
In many cases, it's not the first place they turn.

I can understand why, especially if they live in Dallas - Fort Worth.

46 posted on 04/15/2005 7:31:47 PM PDT by Grey Ghost II
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To: kjvail
Vatican II never happened? I wish...

Me too.

47 posted on 04/15/2005 7:33:42 PM PDT by Grey Ghost II
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To: madprof98
Your opinions on it are therefore worth about as much as the opinion of The New York Times.

As to myself, I suspect my opinions are "worth" much less. As many have correctly pointed out, what I think about the doings in the Catholic Church is close to irrelevant. I post them because this is a discussion forum.

48 posted on 04/15/2005 7:34:24 PM PDT by Torie (Constrain rogue state courts; repeal your state constitution)
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To: sinkspur
The Church says that couples may regulate the size of their families. That means that couples may purposely engage in sexual intercourse with the express intention and physical means to avoid conception.

Ah, but that is the entire difference, according to HV: "In the former the married couple rightly use a faculty provided them by nature. In the latter they obstruct the natural development of the generative process."

You may be interested in this article, which was posted here on FR before. It makes a pretty convincing case for a real distinction between NFP and non-abortifacient contraception. (Emphasis original:)

In other words, the Pope's condemnation applies exclusively to conjugal acts carried out during what the spouses understand to be the wife's fertile period, but which they deliberately pervert (whether by 'withdrawal', condoms, pills, or any other technique) so as to deprive them of that fertility.

49 posted on 04/15/2005 7:36:25 PM PDT by gbcdoj (In the world you shall have distress. But have confidence. I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33)
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To: sinkspur

###"Instead of berating them, telling them they're going to hell if they don't do what the Pope says, we need to talk with them."###

I have not heard a priest say anyone is going to hell since the last mission I went to 50 years ago.

We start one this Sunday and I hope I hear the statement again.

One of the reasons the laity is lax is because they have been taught that God is all loving and merciful but the laity never hears that God is a just God.

It is why confession lines have 10 people and 300 recieve the Eucharist the next morning. To them they do not sin and besides God forgives me.


50 posted on 04/15/2005 7:37:06 PM PDT by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed.)
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