Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

NDU Prof: “The immorality of birth control is no longer a teaching of the Catholic Church.” (CC)
Cardinal Newman Society ^ | March 12, 2012

Posted on 03/13/2012 4:24:23 PM PDT by NYer

A philosophy professor at the University of Notre Dame has declared in the New York Times that the bishops no longer decide morality in the Church and that “the immorality of birth control is no longer a teaching of the Catholic Church.”

Gary Gutting, Endowed Chair in Philosophy, argued that the will of many Catholics who choose to use contraceptives is paramount to the teaching of the bishops.

…haven’t the members of the Catholic Church recognized their bishops as having full and sole authority to determine the teachings of the Church? By no means. There was, perhaps, a time when the vast majority of Catholics accepted the bishops as having an absolute right to define theological and ethical doctrines. Those days, if they ever existed, are long gone. Most Catholics — meaning, to be more precise, people who were raised Catholic or converted as adults and continue to take church teachings and practices seriously — now reserve the right to reject doctrines insisted on by their bishops and to interpret in their own way the doctrines that they do accept. This is above all true in matters of sexual morality, especially birth control, where the majority of Catholics have concluded that the teachings of the bishops do not apply to them. Such “reservations” are an essential constraint on the authority of the bishops.

The bishops and the minority of Catholics who support their full authority have tried to marginalize Catholics who do not accept the bishops as absolute arbiters of doctrine. They speak of “cafeteria Catholics” or merely “cultural Catholics,” and imply that the only “real Catholics” are those who accept their teachings entirely. But this marginalization begs the question I’m raising about the proper source of the judgment that the bishops have divine authority. Since, as I’ve argued, members of the church are themselves this source, it is not for the bishops but for the faithful to decide the nature and extent of episcopal authority. The bishops truly are, as they so often say, “servants of the servants of the Lord.”

It may be objected that, regardless of what individual Catholics think, the bishops in fact exercise effective control over the church. This is true in many respects, but only to the extent that members of the church accept their authority. Stalin’s alleged query about papal authority (“How many divisions does the Pope have?”) expresses more than just cynical realpolitik. The authority of the Catholic bishops is enforceable morally but not militarily or politically. It resides entirely in the fact that people freely accept it.

The mistake of the Obama administration — and of almost everyone debating its decision — was to accept the bishops’ claim that their position on birth control expresses an authoritative “teaching of the church.” (Of course, the administration may be right in thinking that the bishops need placating because they can cause them considerable political trouble.) The bishops’ claim to authority in this matter has been undermined because Catholics have decisively rejected it. The immorality of birth control is no longer a teaching of the Catholic Church. Pope Paul VI meant his 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae,” to settle the issue in the manner of the famous tag, “Roma locuta est, causa finita est.” In fact the issue has been settled by the voice of the Catholic people.

Gutting’s argument would seem to have Jesus telling Peter, “upon this poll I will build my Church.”

Gutting teaches courses to first year Philosophy students at Notre Dame and includes the writings of radical philosopher Peter Singer.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: education; ndu; usccb

1 posted on 03/13/2012 4:24:30 PM PDT by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
CATHOLIC CAUCUS THREAD

Pitchforks at the ready ... let's march on NDU and ensure this professor is removed from his post, tenure or otherwise.

2 posted on 03/13/2012 4:26:13 PM PDT by NYer (He who hides in his heart the remembrance of wrongs is like a man who feeds a snake on his chest. St)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer; Salvation; wagglebee; little jeremiah; don-o; Mrs. Don-o; Scotswife; Tax-chick
Thanks, NYer.

*PING*

3 posted on 03/13/2012 4:26:36 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Not too surprising since Notre Dame has had nothing to do with the Roman Catholic Church for many years now.
4 posted on 03/13/2012 4:27:11 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I am really shocked, who hires these professors? Is this guy even Catholic?


5 posted on 03/13/2012 4:29:09 PM PDT by dila813
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

“Gutting” — what an appropriate word for what he is trying to do to Catholic doctrine.

If you don’t agree with RCC doctrine, just quit the Church and identify yourself for what you are: a Protestant.

It isn’t complex at all.


6 posted on 03/13/2012 4:31:20 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Spoiler Alert! The secret to Terra Nova: THEY ARE ALL DEAD!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grey_whiskers; NYer

I was thinking it was North Dakota University, but Indiana is an awfully long walk, too, especially packing a baby ...


7 posted on 03/13/2012 4:33:16 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Oh, good Lord. Pat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Most Catholics — meaning, to be more precise, people who were raised Catholic or converted as adults and continue to take church teachings and practices seriously — now reserve the right to reject doctrines insisted on by their bishops and to interpret in their own way the doctrines that they do accept.

As someone who converted as an adult I respond, dude, what are you smoking? If I wanted to be my own authority I would have remained an Episcopalian.

8 posted on 03/13/2012 4:47:56 PM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

...better hurry, cuz they have pitchforks, too.


9 posted on 03/13/2012 4:59:34 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Nuke the bastards.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Why do Catholic Universities permit amoral idiots to teach in their schools? If they went back to Western culture ethics and ways - even on a secular basis, they would show up the loser humanist pig pens in everything.


10 posted on 03/13/2012 5:06:34 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: NYer

Why do Catholic Universities permit amoral idiots to teach in their schools? If they went back to Western culture ethics and ways - even on a secular basis, they would show up the loser humanist pig pens in everything.


12 posted on 03/13/2012 5:10:23 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

It would be even worse should we hear news that some bishops tell catholics they can use birth contol. Unfortunately I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that comming. The child visionarys of Garabandal spain were told that bishops will be against bishops and cardinals against themselves. Its happening as events unfold. We are truly near the end of the end times it appears. Keep the true faith. Pre vatican 2 and you will never worry wherever you are.


13 posted on 03/13/2012 5:11:23 PM PDT by whiteclockinthetrees (time deposits pearls)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I understand those who want the government (tax payers) pay for birth control. They would love to have it forced on people but they know we’re not China. But if a lot of people would quit having babies it would certainly cut some government spending. However, democrats can’t say this out loud because it’s their base who are having the babies.

(Wow! What an idea! If we went along with them it would only be one generation and their base would disappear.)

I do have a big problem with the government ordering a church to change it’s teachings. Next they’ll be telling churches they have to teach “pick your commandments”. Don’t like that once about adultery, that’s okay as long as you follow the other nine.


14 posted on 03/13/2012 5:14:27 PM PDT by Terry Mross ( "It happened. And we let it happen. - Peter Griffin, Family Guy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dila813

What does it matter if he’s Catholic? He teaches philosophy. They asked him about Theology. Why didn’t they ask him about engineering or theater or medicine. I’m sure he has uneducated opinions on those too.


15 posted on 03/13/2012 5:36:32 PM PDT by Varda
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NYer


16 posted on 03/13/2012 5:38:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Someone has to start firing and dishing out Canon 915 to those who choose to slander the Church from the inside.


17 posted on 03/13/2012 5:42:15 PM PDT by rwilson99 (Please tell me how the words "shall not perish and have everlasting life" would NOT apply to Mary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Varda
Perhaps you have never read the beginning of this encyclical. It is for all people. Please read these first few paragraphs.

HUMANAE VITAE (On The Regulation Of Birth)
Pope Paul VI
Encyclical Letter Of His Holiness promulgated on 25 July 1968.

To The Venerable Patriarchs, Archbishops And Bishops And Other Local Ordinaries In Peace And Communion With The Apostolic See, To Priests, The Faithful And To All Men Of Good Will

Venerable Brothers And Beloved Sons:

1. The most serious duty of transmitting human life, for which married persons are the free and responsible collaborators of God the Creator, has always been a source of great joys to them, even if sometimes accompanied by not a few difficulties and by distress.

At all times the fulfillment of this duty has posed grave problems to the conscience of married persons, but, with the recent evolution of society, changes have taken place that give rise to new questions which the Church could not ignore, having to do with a matter which so closely touches upon the life and happiness of men.

2. The changes which have taken place are in fact noteworthy and of varied kinds. In the first place, there is the rapid demographic development. Fear is shown by many that world population is growing more rapidly than the available resources, with growing distress to many families and developing countries, so that the temptation for authorities to counter this danger with radical measures is great. Moreover, working and lodging conditions, as well as increased exigencies both in the economic field and in that of education, often make the proper education of a larger number of children difficult today. A change is also seen both in the manner of considering the person of woman and her place in society, and in the value to be attributed to conjugal love in marriage, and also in the appreciation to be made of the meaning of conjugal acts in relation to that love.

Finally and above all, man has made stupendous progress in the domination and rational organization of the forces of nature, such that he tends to extend this domination to his own total being: to the body, to psychical life, to social life and even to the laws which regulate the transmission of life.


18 posted on 03/13/2012 5:42:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Varda

Click on the link in #16 to read the rest.


19 posted on 03/13/2012 5:44:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Perhaps you could explain the point of your post.


20 posted on 03/13/2012 5:51:22 PM PDT by Varda
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Varda

The point of my post is that when an academic in a non-religious field is asked a question about religion, his opinion has no more weight than that of any person with no expertise.

Thank you for posting a great theological work. Yes I’ve read it.


21 posted on 03/13/2012 6:09:05 PM PDT by Varda
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

I’m sorry, my last post was supposed to be to you.


22 posted on 03/13/2012 6:16:16 PM PDT by Varda
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: NYer; WmShirerAdmirer; lilycicero; MaryLou1; glock rocks; JPG; Monkey Face; RIghtwardHo; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.


23 posted on 03/13/2012 6:31:41 PM PDT by narses
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

-—Gutting teaches courses to first year Philosophy students at Notre Dame and includes the writings of radical philosopher Peter Singer.-—

Parents willingly pay $30k/year for child abuse. Who’s the idiot?


24 posted on 03/13/2012 6:31:58 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

You’ll notice this man doesn’t teach in the THEOLOGY Dept., but the Philosopy Dept., so why would anything he has to say about a crucial part of Catholic Teaching be relevant?


25 posted on 03/13/2012 8:25:22 PM PDT by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Varda

If I was him, I would have pointed them towards someone else for an educated answer then.


26 posted on 03/13/2012 9:14:08 PM PDT by dila813
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Gary Gutting, Endowed Chair in Philosophy, argued that the will of many Catholics who choose to use contraceptives is paramount to the teaching of the bishops.

Amazing arrogance.

27 posted on 03/13/2012 9:14:18 PM PDT by cloudmountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

guess he never heard of St Athanasius, who defended Christ’s divinity against the Arians, who were getting control over much of the church.

And actually, if he thinks if the majority think differently, the church should change, he’s lost his argument, because white rich Americans are only a small percentage of the Catholic church.

Of course, Obama is doing his best to spread abortion and homosexuality to Christians in Asia and Africa, but he is opposed by the churches here.


28 posted on 03/14/2012 4:40:20 AM PDT by LadyDoc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

Not really.


29 posted on 03/14/2012 5:47:19 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: LadyDoc

And the churches in Africa and Asia are growing.


30 posted on 03/14/2012 5:48:28 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Biggirl

O ok so we’re safe then.


31 posted on 03/14/2012 6:48:54 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (If knowledge puffs up, information positively deludes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: SuziQ; shibumi; Dr. Sivana; Tax-chick; hinckley buzzard; dila813; freedumb2003; NYer; ...
The Notre Shame "Theology" Department has often been chaired by Fr. Richard McBrien, heretic extraordinaire who reportedly wrote Mario Cuomo's speech to be delivered at Notre Shame explaining how one may be a Catholic public officeholder, be "pro-life" and nonetheless be an active cheerleader and enabler of the mass murder of babies. I am betting that McBrien is not alone in such views in the Notre Shame "Theology" department.

This is the "Catholic" university which hallucinates that it is the Catholic Yale of the Midwest (in alleged academic quality which says more negative about Yale than positive about Notre Shame). Yale which was founded as a school for Congregationalist teaching and has degenerated into a largely agnostic and atheist institution (see Bill Buckley's 60-year ago book God and Man at Yale and it has gotten far worse since then) is probably marginally more Catholic than Notre Shame. My wife found her Catholic Faith because she attended and graduated Yale and met up with the actually Catholic resistance there.

Harvard and Columbia and Dartmouth (Laura Ingraham and Dinesh D'Souza) and probably Princeton and maybe even Brown (Bobby Jindal) have similar Catholic undergrounds. Serious, disciplined Catholicism including many conversions, some priestly vocations, Catholic writers, etc. Even Texas A. and M. (see The Aggie Catholic online newsletter).

Most of Notre Shame's actually Catholic faculty members: Charles Rice, Ralph McInerney, Dean Clarence Mannion, are dead or retired and appear ever more distantly only in the rear view mirror of the university.

For me, the last straw was the despicable hospitality shown Obozo a couple of years ago when he was honored (despite being enemy in chief of the Catholic Church in the US) by an honorary law degree (as if his actual Harvard Law degree were not enough of a farce) and with the opportunity to give a commencement address in the football stadium otherwise dominated by the giant mosaic known as "Touchdown Jesus."

A previous client of mine, good and holy elderly priest from Colorado, afflicted with Parkinson's in his old age made the trip to Notre Shame to protest Obozo's appearance by carrying a cross on the sidewalks on campus. Jenkins, the sorry excuse for a priest who is to Notre Shame (its president) what Robespierre was to the French Revolution, gave orders to Notre Shame security and/or South Bend cops that resulted in the manhandling and arrest of the faithful priest, Fr. Norman Weslin, among many others. Each and every presiding bishop of each and every Illinois diocese (from Francis Cardinal George on down) publicly condemned Notre Shame for inviting and honoring Obozo as did our Illinois State Knights of Columbus convention. My bishop urged parents NOT to send their kids to Notre Shame.

May Notre Shame be consigned to the dustbin of history.

32 posted on 03/14/2012 12:27:28 PM PDT by BlackElk ( Dean of Discipline ,Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Society. Burn 'em Bright!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: BlackElk

When are you going to publish your memoirs, BlackElk? I’m sure everyone in our homeschool association would buy a copy!


33 posted on 03/14/2012 2:23:17 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Oh, good Lord. Pat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick; BlackElk

Did I hear something about Black Elk publishing his memoirs? How about self publishing on Amazon, I’ve been told it’s very cheap and easy!!

We can all write really good reviews, too.
:-D


34 posted on 03/14/2012 2:28:20 PM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell. Signed, a fanatic)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: SaraJohnson
Why do Catholic Universities permit amoral idiots to teach in their schools?

Because their "Catholicism" is at this point no more than a marketing ploy.

35 posted on 03/14/2012 2:31:49 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: little jeremiah; BlackElk

I just proposed it, although I’m sure I’m not the first. E-book publishing is low-overhead, too. I’d recommend it to my friends just for the alliteration, compound-complex sentences, quality adjectives, and vociferously vivid invective. If a student wanted to become a great polemicist, there are much worse examples than BlackElk.


36 posted on 03/14/2012 2:44:37 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Oh, good Lord. Pat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Biggirl

yes, and that’s why Obama’s ambassador to Liberia wrote an article a couple days ago bashing “christians” for the homophobia in Africa.

I worked in Africa, and the problem is that gay sex isn’t a big thing, but the gay agenda, that undermines marriage and that encourages gay sex as normal, is an affront to good people, even those who are traditional...


37 posted on 03/15/2012 4:36:59 AM PDT by LadyDoc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: BlackElk

The one thing I am very happy is that my University of Connecticut women Huskies beat the women of ND for the Big East college basketball championship. If they have to meet again, my UConn women beat ND again to get to the NCAA’s championship.


38 posted on 03/15/2012 6:56:18 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Biggirl

Opps, forgot to say “may” my UConn women beat ND in the March Madness college b-ball round.


39 posted on 03/15/2012 6:57:51 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: LadyDoc

You would think that because the Christian churches over there are a LOT more conservative, they have a better opportunity to stand up to that nonsense.


40 posted on 03/15/2012 7:00:22 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick; little jeremiah

Thanks to both of you for your kind remarks but memoirs??? Ahhh, so much to do and so little time!


41 posted on 03/15/2012 1:57:39 PM PDT by BlackElk ( Dean of Discipline ,Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Society. Burn 'em Bright!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson