In fide, unitas;
in dubiis, libertas; in omnibus, caritas.
In faith, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, love. Attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo
To any newcomers (and as a reminder to all) - do visit and revist this link http://members.aol.com/revising/links.html, which is labeled "References" in the frame on your left (as you scroll down). Don't neglect a visit to http://www.uscatholic.org/soundboard/1998/jun/bc2.html, which is an article that appeared in the June 1998 issue of U.S. Catholic.
Here is an excerpt:"... the polls have consistently shown that the vast majority of the Catholic laity disagree with their church's official position and practice birth control in good conscience. To cite just two examples: A 1992 Gallup poll showed that 80 percent of U.S. Catholics disagreed with the statement "Using artificial means of birth control is wrong." And a 1996 study conducted by Father Thomas Sweetser for the Parish Evaluation Project found only 9 percent of Catholics who consider birth control to be wrong."
And I highly recommend this book by Philip Kaufman: __Why You Can Disagree and Remain a Faithful Catholic__. Bloomington, Ind.: Myers-Stone Press, 1989.
Don't be swayed or dismayed by hyperbole and appeals to blindly follow "The" Magisterium. It has been our constant tradition that WE the FAITHFUL ARE an integral part of THE MAGISTERIUM. A compelling inference can be drawn from these polls, which are consistent from pollster to pollster and through time (and we're talking CBS News, Gallup, CNN, etc -- authporitative and trustworthy pollsters). That inference is this: A LARGE majority of Catholics who dissent from the birth control teaching (NOT law) populate our Parish Councils, our Liturgy Committees, our Choirs, our Spiritual Life Committees, our Youth Ministries, our Finance Committees, our PULPITS, our PEWS and COMMUNION RAILS, etc ad infinitum and rub elbows with you at Bingos, Church Picnics, Parish Missions, Prayer and Renew Group Meetings, in our neighborhoods, ball and soccer fields, grocery stores and Walmarts, etc all the while exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit per Galations 5:22 !!!!!!! For sure, do NOT let any arrogant and mean-spirited, radically conservative minority spokespersons warp your perspective! DO listen to and politely engage those who disagree with you and who give voice to official teachings, especially competent theologians and appointed guardians of our faith (such as in the CDF), and carefully consider what they have to say as you sincerely seek to properly form your conscience.
Holy Spirit, guide us.
The Editor writes re:
For sure, do NOT let any arrogant and mean-spirited, radically
conservative minority spokespersons warp your perspective! DO listen to and
politely engage those who disagree with you and who give voice to official
teachings, especially competent theologians and appointed guardians of our
faith (such as in the CDF), and carefully consider what they have to say as you
sincerely seek to properly form your conscience.
Amen! Thanks for your posts. All very well reasoned and respectful of the Catholic tradition.
A typical substantive response from the radical right:
Please give me the Cardinal's phone number so I can call him and set him straight, he needs to do what we "the great enlightend majority" tell him, because we are right! Oh, go ahead and give me the Holy Spirit's number too, she will love to hear about this!
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Piazza del S.Uffizio 11
00193 Rome, Italy
683 "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit."1 "God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!"'2 This knowledge of faith is possible only in the Holy Spirit: to be in touch with Christ, we must first have been touched by the Holy Spirit. He comes to meet us and kindles faith in us. By virtue of our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and personally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to us in the Son.
God's richest blessing on you, your spouse and children.
anyone think that only radicals publicly dissent from an officially stated
teaching of a pope, it should be recalled that in response to Humanae vitae the
bishops' conferences of at least Belgium, Germany, Canada and the United States
issued public statements saying that, in the end, individual Catholic couples
may follow their own consciences on the matter of artificial birth control,
even if that led them to oppose Pope Paul VI's position (according to current
polls, nearly 90% of American Catholics approve of artificial birth control).
The U.S. bishops even explicitly stated that "the expression of theological dissent is in order" if three conditions are met: "if the reasons are serious and well-founded, if the manner of dissent does not question or impugn the teaching authority of the church and is such as not to give scandal."
My thanks to Len Swidler.