Skip to comments.Pope Leo XIII on True Liberty by MICHAEL DAVIES
Posted on 11/18/2009 11:16:39 AM PST by stfassisi
IN his encyclical letter Libertas, Pope Leo XIII warns that there are certain so-called liberties which modern society takes for granted that every man possesses as a right. These are the liberties "which the followers of liberalism so eagerly advocate and proclaim." (The terms freedom and liberty will be considered synonymous for the purposes of this article; the Latin word libertas is expressed by either, depending on the translator.)
The essence of liberalism is that the individual human being has the right to decide for himself the norms by which he will regulate his life. He has the right to be his own arbiter as to what is right and what is wrong; he is under no obligation to subject himself to any external authority. In the liberal sense, liberty of conscience is the right of an individual to think and believe whatever he wants, even in religion and morality: to express his views publicly and to persuade others to adopt them, using word of mouth, the public press or any other means. He has the right to choose any religion or to have no religion; this is a natural right. The only limitation to be placed upon him is that he should refrain from causing a breach of public order. Even the most extreme liberal would hardly accept that someone who believed that men with blue eyes ought to be executed should be allowed to put this belief into practice. But papal teaching distinguishes between mere public order and the common or public good. An obscene or blasphemous play might not provoke a riot, and hence would not disturb public order; but it could hardly be supposed that permitting it would promote the public good.
Pope Leo XIII teaches that "many cling so obstinately to their own opinion in this matter as to imagine these modern liberties, cankered as they are, to be the greatest glory of our age, and the very basis of civil life, without which no perfect government can be conceived." Sadly, it must be conceded that since Pope Leo wrote these words in 1888, the errors he condemned have become so generally accepted within the liberal-dominated ethos of Western society that they are considered acceptable, or even admirable, by most Catholics. It would be hard to find a bishop in the English-speaking world today who would give wholehearted endorsement to the teaching of Libertas.
St. Thomas Aquinas explains:
God left man in the hand of his own counsel, not as though it were lawful for him to do whatever he will, but because, unlike irrational creatures, he is not compelled by natural necessity to do what he ought to do, but is left the free choice proceeding from his own counsel.
Similarly, Pope Leo teaches that: While other animate creatures follow their senses, seeking good and avoiding evil only by instinct, man has reason to guide him in each and every act of his life.
The Pope shows that liberty can be exercised only by those who have the gift of reason-----i.e., Angels and men. He defines reason as 'the faculty of choosing means fitted for the end proposed; for he is master of his actions who can choose one thing out of many."
He then explains that "freedom of choice is a property of the will, or rather it is identical with the will in so far as it has in its action the faculty of choice."
The will always chooses what it considers to be good or useful. The act of the will, the choice, is based upon a judgment made by the intellect, i.e., an act of reason. Judgment is "an act of of reason, not of the will." We frequently lack the will power to implement what our judgment tells us is the right course of action.
Freedom is exercised legitimately only when man conforms his will to that of God. He has no natural right to prefer his own counsel to that of his Creator, even though physically and psychologically he is able to do so. A crucial distinction must be made here in discussing the nature of free will. This is the distinction between being physically and psychologically able (free) to choose evil, and having a natural right to choose evil. In the language of liberalism, to say that a man is free to do something means that he has a right to do it, subject to the requirements of public order.
"Nothing more foolish can be uttered or conceived," teaches Pope Leo, "than the notion that because man is free by nature, he is therefore exempt from law."
The primary law to which every man has the duty to submit is the eternal or natural law, the law of nature implanted in our hearts by our Creator as part of human nature. This natural law, the Pope explains, "is written and engraved in the mind of every man; and this is nothing but our reason, commanding us to do right and forbidding sin . . . The law of nature is the same thing as the eternal law, implanted in rational creatures, and inclining them to their right action and end; and can be nothing else but the eternal reason of God, the Creator and Ruler of all the world."
What applies to the individual applies no less to civil society. Those invested with the power to govern derive their authority not from the people who elected them, in the case of a democracy, but from God. Legislators have no right to enact civil laws which conflict with the natural law, even if a majority of the people wish them to do so. All authority in church, state and the family derives from God, as Our Lord pointed out to Pontius Pilate. Pope Leo condemns "the doctrine of the supremacy of the greater number, and that all right and all duty reside in the majority." Thus, the Church accepts democracy if, by this term, it is meant that those who govern are selected by a vote based on a limited or universal suffrage. The Church condemns democracy in the sense that those who govern do so not as delegates of God, but as delegates of the people who elected them; and that they are bound to legislate in accordance with the wishes of the majority. "It is not of itself wrong to prefer a democratic form of government," writes Pope Leo, "if only the Catholic doctrine be maintained as to the origin and exercise of power." Under no circumstances can any civil government have the right to permit such an abomination as abortion, which is manifestly contrary to the eternal law of God. The Pope's teaching on this point is very clear, and he adds that where a government enacts legislation contrary to the natural law we are bound not to obey it:
It is manifest that the eternal law of God is the sole standard and rule of human liberty, not only in each individual man, but also in the community and civil society which men constitute when united. Therefore, the true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he please, for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the state; but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law. . . . The binding force of the human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applicants of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law . . . Where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest while obeying man we become disobedient to God.
The faculties of reason and will are not perfect. 1 Pope Leo notes that "it is possible, as is often seen, that the reason should propose something which is not really good, but which has the appearance of good, and that the will should choose accordingly." This is a most important distinction. Man can err, culpably or inculpably. When the reason errs, and leads the will with it into an erroneous choice, what it has chosen is simply a mirage, the appearance of a good. The choice of error is a proof of the existence of free will, but not a valid exercise of the faculty. It is a corruption or an abuse. Pope Leo writes:
The pursuit of what has a false appearance of good, though a proof of our freedom, just as a disease is a proof of our vitality, implies a defect in human liberty. . . . It abuses its freedom of choice and corrupts its very essence.
A man who chooses what is objectively evil is making himself not free but the slave of sin (Jn. 8:34). The ultimate consequence of a culpable choice of evil can be eternal damnation. Pope Leo warns:
The manner in which such dignity is exercised is of the greatest moment, inasmuch as on the use that is made of liberty the highest good and greatest evil alike depend. Man, indeed, is free to obey his reason, to seek moral good and to strive unswervingly after his last end. Yet he is free also to turn aside to all other things; and in pursuing the empty semblance of good, to disturb rightful order and fall headlong into the destruction which he has voluntarily chosen. Man is obliged to do all in his power to exercise the faculty of reason correctly, to exercise his judgment in accordance with right reason, bearing in mind that in moral and religious matters his decisions must affect his last end. Pope Leo explains:
The reason prescribes to the will what it should seek after or shun, in order to the eventual attainment of man's last end, for the sake of which all his actions ought to be performed. This ordination of reason is called law. In man's free will, therefore, or in the moral necessity of our voluntary acts being in accordance with reason, lies the very root of the necessity of law.
When a man exercises his liberty in accordance with the law of God he renders his Creator homage which is due to Him in strict justice and also follows the only path by which he can be saved. He does not abdicate his dignity, he asserts it. When he chooses evil he abuses and profanes his most sacred possession. Psalm 118, the Beati immaculati, provides an inspired commentary on the correct exercise of human freedom:
Set before me for a law the way of Thy justifications, O Lord: And I will always seek after it. Give me understanding, and I will search Thy law: And I will keep it with my whole heart.
Needless to say, the unaided human reason could never ensure that salvation was assured. To maintain this position is to fall into the heresy of Pelagianism. It is with the aid of God's grace that the individual is enabled to exercise his freedom in accordance with the law of God and thus to attain salvation. The effects of Original Sin rule out the possibility of the unaided human reason leading men to salvation without the aid of grace. In his allocution Singulari Quadam (1854) Pope Pius IX warned that:
Such clients, or rather devotees, of human reason, who set it up as their unerring teaching and promise themselves every success under its guidance, have surely forgotten what a deep and severe wound was inflicted on human nature through the sin of our first parents; for darkness has clouded the mind and the will has been made prone to evil . . . Since it is certain that the light of reason has been dimmed and that the human race has fallen miserably from its former state of justice and innocence because of Original Sin, which is communicated to all the descendants of Adam, can anyone think that reason by itself is sufficient for the attainment of truth? If one is to avoid slipping and falling in the midst of such dangers and in the face of such weakness, dare he deny that Divine religion and heavenly grace are necessary for salvation?
Pope Leo stresses the role of grace as the most important aid for the correct use of the reason and the will:
The first and most excellent of these is the power of His Divine grace, whereby the mind can be enlightened and the will wholesomely invigorated and moved to the constant pursuit of moral good, so that the use of our inborn liberty becomes at once less difficult and less dangerous.
In order to promote freedom of conscience in its correct sense, Pope Leo teaches that the state should not ensure that "everyone may, as he chooses, worship God nor not" but that every man in the state may follow the will of God and, from a consciousness of duty and free from every obstacle, obey His commands. This indeed, is true liberty, a liberty worthy of the sons of God, which nobly maintains the dignity of man, and is stronger than all violence or wrong-----a liberty which the Church has always maintained and held most dear.
Freedom of conscience is not, then, a natural right if it is taken as meaning that man has a right to choose error. But although an individual has no natural right to choose error he does possess a right not to be coerced into choosing truth in the internal forum of his private life. Pope Leo XIII taught in his encyclical Immortale Dei:
The Church is wont to take earnest heed that no one shall be forced to embrace the Catholic faith against his will, for, as St. Augustine wisely reminds us, "Man cannot believe otherwise than of his own free will."
The application of this principle in practice is best shown by the tolerance and protection extended by the popes to the Jews. 2 It must be admitted frankly that during the history of the Church this principle has sometimes been violated, but where any attempt to force individuals to accept the Catholic faith has occurred it has been a violation of true Catholic teaching.
Justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the state to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness-----namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. ---------------------------------------------------------
But in a Catholic state the government has the right to prevent the propagation of heresy in public life. A distinction must be made between coercing a man into professing the truth, and preventing him from undermining the common good by spreading error in public and undermining the faith of the Catholic citizens. Thus in Catholic states such as Spain or Malta, before Vatican II, while sects such as Jehovah's Witnesses were left free to practice their religion in private, they were prevented by law from going from door to door in an attempt to persuade Catholics to abandon the true religion. Pope Leo explains:
Justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the state to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness-----namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. Since, then, the profession of religion is necessary in the state, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic states, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engraven upon it.
The consensus of papal teaching for the last three centuries is that a Catholic state has the right to restrict the external expression of heresy. But the popes also teach that a Catholic state is not obliged to invoke this right. The common good might often be harmed more by attempting to repress public heresy than by allowing it. Where the repression of public heresy would harm the common good by, for example, causing widespread civil unrest
According to Vatican II, everyone has the right to express his religious opinion in public as long as it does not cause a breach of public order. It seems impossible to reconcile this teaching with that of the popes from the preceding three hundred years, because what a human being professes as a right cannot be the object of toleration. The popes did not teach that what Jews and heretics believed, and the manner in which they worshipped in private, could be tolerated. They accepted that in the internal forum freedom from coercion is a right. But in the external forum, the public expression of heresy within a predominantly Catholic state could only be the object of toleration. It could not, therefore, be a right.
Pope Leo XIII himself sums up the teaching of his profound encyclical, Libertas:
And now to reduce for clearness' sake to its principal heads all that has been set forth with its immediate conclusions,the summing up is this briefly: that man, by a necessity of his nature, is wholly subject to the most faithful and ever-enduring power of God; and that as a consequence any liberty except that which consists in submission to God and in subjection to His will, is unintelligible. To deny the existence of this authority in God, or to refuse to submit to it, means to act not as a free man, but as one who treasonably abuses his liberty; and in such a disposition of mind the chief and deadly vice of liberalism essentially exists.
1. Wherever a choice is involved, the intellect or reason makes a judgment based on the information available to it, and the will then chooses whether or not to act upon this judgment. This is the case with any choice, whether or not a moral dimension is involved. Thus a veterinary surgeon could advise the owner of a dog that the animal was suffering from an illness which caused it considerable discomfort, and that the animal should be destroyed. The owner's judgment might well concur with that of the vet, but the choice made by his will might be to ignore the vet's advice, as he could not bear to be parted from his pet. In this case the will is failing to act properly upon a sound judgment of the reasoning faculty.
Often the will acts upon what it believes to be a correct judgment of the reason, but the intellect or reason leads the will into error, as it is based on incorrect, insufficient or erroneously interpreted information-----e.g., many sincere Protestants reject the Catholic Church because they honestly believe Her teaching to be contrary to the Gospel.
In the first example the will was at fault; in the second the intellect or reason was responsible for leading the will into a wrong choice.
From the word of the late Blessed Bishop Fulton Sheen...
“Liberalism defines freedom as the right to do whatever you please, and that is the way freedom is understood by 90% of young Americans .... If freedom means that, it means anarchy.”- Bishop Fulton Sheen
Encyclical of Pope John XXIII, On Establishing Universal Peace In Truth, Justice, Charity, And Liberty, April 11, 1963
“Man’s personal dignity requires besides that he enjoy freedom and be able to make up his own mind when he acts.
In his association with his fellows, therefore, there is every reason why his recognition of rights, observance of duties, and many-sided collaboration with other men, should be primarily a matter of his own personal decision.
Each man should act on his own initiative, conviction, and sense of responsibility, not under the constant pressure of external coercion or enticement.
There is nothing human about a society that is welded together by force.
Far from encouraging, as it should, the attainment of man’s progress and perfection, it is merely an obstacle to his freedom.”
“Hence, a regime which governs solely or mainly by means of threats and intimidation or promises of reward, provides men with no effective incentive to work for the common good.
And even if it did, it would certainly be offensive to the dignity of free and rational human beings.”
“Consequently, laws and decrees passed in contravention of the moral order, and hence of the divine will, can have no binding force in conscience, since ‘it is right to obey God rather than men.’”
May God bless you as we approach the season of Advent.
In that admirable work, he stated, among other things:
Still it must be confessed that the number of the enemies of the cross of Christ has in these last days increased exceedingly, who are striving, by arts, entirely new and full of subtlety, to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, if they can, to overthrow utterly Christ's kingdom itself. Wherefore We may no longer be silent, lest We should seem to fail in Our most sacred duty, and lest the kindness that, in the hope of wiser counsels, We have hitherto shown them, should be attributed to forgetfulness of Our office.
Gravity of the Situation
2. That We make no delay in this matter is rendered necessary especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church's open enemies; they lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and feared, in her very bosom and heart, and are the more mischievous, the less conspicuously they appear. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, nay, and this is far more lamentable, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, feigning a love for the Church, lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious daring, they reduce to a simple, mere man.
3. Though they express astonishment themselves, no one can justly be surprised that We number such men among the enemies of the Church, if, leaving out of consideration the internal disposition of soul, of which God alone is the judge, he is acquainted with their tenets, their manner of speech, their conduct. Nor indeed will he err in accounting them the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church. For as We have said, they put their designs for her ruin into operation not from without but from within; hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain, the more intimate is their knowledge of her. Moreover they lay the axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fires. And having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to disseminate poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt. Further, none is more skilful, none more astute than they, in the employment of a thousand noxious arts; for they double the parts of rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they easily lead the unwary into error; and since audacity is their chief characteristic, there is no conclusion of any kind from which they shrink or which they do not thrust forward with pertinacity and assurance. To this must be added the fact, which indeed is well calculated to deceive souls, that they lead a life of the greatest activity, of assiduous and ardent application to every branch of learning, and that they possess, as a rule, a reputation for the strictest morality. Finally, and this almost destroys all hope of cure, their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds, that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy.
Once indeed We had hopes of recalling them to a better sense, and to this end we first of all showed them kindness as Our children, then we treated them with severity, and at last We have had recourse, though with great reluctance, to public reproof. But you know, Venerable Brethren, how fruitless has been Our action. They bowed their head for a moment, but it was soon uplifted more arrogantly than ever. If it were a matter which concerned them alone, We might perhaps have overlooked it: but the security of the Catholic name is at stake. Wherefore, as to maintain it longer would be a crime, We must now break silence, in order to expose before the whole Church in their true colours those men who have assumed this bad disguise.
Both Leo XIII and Pio X recognized the influence of liberalism in the destruction of society. For example, in Libertas, Leo XIII stated,
15. What naturalists or rationalists aim at in philosophy, that the supporters of liberalism, carrying out the principles laid down by naturalism, are attempting in the domain of morality and politics. The fundamental doctrine of rationalism is the supremacy of the human reason, which, refusing due submission to the divine and eternal reason, proclaims its own independence, and constitutes itself the supreme principle and source and judge of truth. Hence, these followers of liberalism deny the existence of any divine authority to which obedience is due, and proclaim that every man is the law to himself; from which arises that ethical system which they style independent morality, and which, under the guise of liberty, exonerates man from any obedience to the commands of God, and substitutes a boundless license. The end of all this it is not difficult to foresee, especially when society is in question. For, when once man is firmly persuaded that he is subject to no one, it follows that the efficient cause of the unity of civil society is not to be sought in any principle external to man, or superior to him, but simply in the free will of individuals; that the authority in the State comes from the people only; and that, just as every man's individual reason is his only rule of life, so the collective reason of the community should be the supreme guide in the management of all public affairs. Hence the doctrine of the supremacy of the greater number, and that all right and all duty reside in the majority. But, from what has been said, it is clear that all this is in contradiction to reason. To refuse any bond of union between man and civil society, on the one hand, and God the Creator and consequently the supreme Law-giver, on the other, is plainly repugnant to the nature, not only of man, but of all created things; for, of necessity, all effects must in some proper way be connected with their cause; and it belongs to the perfection of every nature to contain itself within that sphere and grade which the order of nature has assigned to it, namely, that the lower should be subject and obedient to the higher.
Pio X said in Pascendi Dominici Gregis,
10. Therefore the religious sentiment, which through the agency of vital immanence emerges from the lurking places of the subconsciousness, is the germ of all religion, and the explanation of everything that has been or ever will be in any religion. The sentiment, which was at first only rudimentary and almost formless, gradually matured, under the influence of that mysterious principle from which it originated, with the progress of human life, of which, as has been said, it is a form. This, then, is the origin of all religion, even supernatural religion; it is only a development of this religious sentiment. Nor is the Catholic religion an exception; it is quite on a level with the rest; for it was engendered, by the process of vital immanence, in the consciousness of Christ, who was a man of the choicest nature, whose like has never been, nor will be. - Those who hear these audacious, these sacrilegious assertions, are simply shocked! And yet, Venerable Brethren, these are not merely the foolish babblings of infidels. There are many Catholics, yea, and priests too, who say these things openly; and they boast that they are going to reform the Church by these ravings! There is no question now of the old error, by which a sort of right to the supernatural order was claimed for the human nature. We have gone far beyond that: we have reached the point when it is affirmed that our most holy religion, in the man Christ as in us, emanated from nature spontaneously and entirely. Than this there is surely nothing more destructive of the whole supernatural order. Wherefore the Vatican Council most justly decreed: "If anyone says that man cannot be raised by God to a knowledge and perfection which surpasses nature, but that he can and should, by his own efforts and by a constant development, attain finally to the possession of all truth and good, let him be anathema" (De Revel., can. 3).
Both of these two seminal documents attack the same issue: liberalism. Leo XIII looks in the more general direction, while Pio X aims like a laser beam at its destructive influence within the Church.
Small wonder that neither of these documents are rarely, if ever, discussed from the Ambo. You should check (unless you are in a very traditional parish) to see if your clergy, both priests and deacons, have read either of these documents. I would wager that few, if any, have.
bookmark for later read
Thank you for that awesome link to “liberalism is a sin”. I started reading it and it’s right on target!
“”We most continue to expose modern American “conservatism” for the Liberalism it truly is.””
It was modern from the start as you well know,dear friend -I know people who are brainwashed into believing the entire US constitution is divine without any flaw.There is some good in it,not as much as some seem to think though
A few excerpts from the fine article by Thomas A. Droleskey
“The belief that it would be possible for men of differing beliefs to pursue the common good without reference to the authority of the Catholic Church as the ultimate arbiter of the natural law is false. Ironically, this belief is what is common to the Calvinists who landed at Plymouth Rock and to the Freemasons of the lodges of the eighteenth century. As Pope Leo XIII noted in Immortale Dei, religious indifferentism leads to the triumph of atheism in every aspect of a nations life. And a country that relies on a written document as the sole basis of governmental legitimacy and the propriety of public policy will travel all too naturally down the path of social chaos, expedited by the forces of positivism and deconstructionism. That is why the country is so divided at present.
The United States is divided into many different camps. Essentially, however, there are those who have been catechized and evangelized by the spirit of religious indifferentism, cultural pluralism, legal positivism, moral relativism, and the whole gamut of statist policies into believing that we are the masters of our own destiny. The majoritarianism of John Locke and the general will of Jean-Jacques Rousseau have created an atmosphere in which the average person has come to believe that morality is determined at the ballot box or by those who serve in the institutions of civil governance. The very people who reject out of hand the possibility of the infallibility of the Successor of St. Peter accept uncritically the passing fads of political correctness put forth by the scions of our popular culture. The very people who say they do not believe in creedal religion accept secularism as the civil religion of our day, and resent anyone and everyone who dares to speak in denominational terms. Thus, promoters of contraception and abortion and sodomy and state control of education and all manner of statist and redistributionist programs are seen as the defenders of truth. Those who represent any threat to this state of things, no matter how shallow or insincere the threat may be, are seen as enemies of the people.
Added into this mix is the fact that many Catholics continue to support the pro-abortion Democratic Party most reflexively. Viewing the Church as an illegitimate interloper in matters of public policy and electoral politics, many Catholics see nothing wrong with voting for candidates who promote the mystical destruction of our Lord in the womb under cover of law. They incant all manner of slogans that are supposed to put an end to rational thought. Permitting sentimentality and emotion to triumph over rational thought and the truths of our holy faith, these Catholics are frequently reaffirmed in their attachment to a pro-abortion political party by their pastors, men who themselves are at war with the Church both doctrinally and liturgically. It is a matter of great urgency for all believing Catholics, both priests and laity alike, to catechize these people, which is one of the principal reasons I wrote Christ in the Voting Booth, which I continue to believe can be of service to help pro-abortion Catholics to understand the Faith and to act in concert with the truths our Lord revealed to the Apostles and entrusted through them to the care of His Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately, however, a great many pro-life Catholics also suspend rational thought in order to place their trust in electoral politics. Rejecting the belief that the Faith can be used in our civil discourse, these good people believe that anyone who is said to be a lesser evil than some other candidate must be preferred in the voting booth, eschewing all candidates of conscience as actual obstacles to the advancement of the culture of life. What these good people fail to realize, however, is that their misplaced (and constantly betrayed) trust in careerist politicians continues to retard, not advance, the very goals they think can be promoted by their belief in so-called pragmatism and incrementalism”
“”You should check (unless you are in a very traditional parish) to see if your clergy, both priests and deacons, have read either of these documents. I would wager that few, if any, have.””
I have sent information with many excerpts to some of them in my Diocese,but priests are very busy with so many other things because they are spread so very thin.
There are a few who actually preach this topic and they get all sorts of complaints from the congregation unfortunately