Saturday, January 13, 2018


the great encyclical from a truly holy Pope, Blessed Paul VI, marks its 50th anniversary this year.  And, despite the gleeful hints by Mrs Melinda Gates and others, this anniversary will not be an  occasion for a change or adaption in the unchanging and unchangeable teaching that artificial contraception is intrinsically immoral. 

Lots will be said on this: among much else, HV was an extraordinarily prophetic document, and this aspect is one worth studying and emphasising. But there is more. At all times, the true and authentic teaching of the Church needs to be defended and upheld, and this requires courage. So while there can be no change in the teaching, there is alas no guarantee that Bishops - and Popes - will always have the courage to keep on repeating it with the courage, insights and wisdom required. So let's pray that in this anniversary year the courage will be forthcoming. Paul VI, who so often looked frail and solemn, showed true courage in 1968: read about it here.

It's an open secret that Pope Francis is much disliked and despised among many orthodox Catholics: I have been told so much about his quick temper, angry outbursts, and secretive plotting. But all of that misses the point: his role as Peter means that he has a special call on our prayers. He is meant to "confirm the brethren" in the Church's teachings, so that all will remain strong. In order to help him, what is needed is prayer.


Unknown said...

I have come around to this thinking too, after disagreeing last time. You
are right. He has many influences around him.He needs our prayers more than anyone else in the Church.It must be rather a lonely life actually.

Malcolm said...

Being Pope is a hard job. The media seem determined to cast him as a lefty liberal reforming Pope. However when you actually look at what he is saying, a lot of it is internal discipline - criticising clergy for having expensive cars and the like - and the rest is just conventional preaching against selfishness and materialism. He's not actually changing much. As for the consultation on sexual ethics, that was a good idea, because in the West the only message most non- and marginal Catholics hear is the Church's teaching on sexuality, and they find it too difficult to apply to their own lives. Something has to be done. But that's a million miles from reversing Humanae Vitae.

Anyway, it's now obvious that the bright hopes of the 1960s advocates of contraception were wrong and Pope Paul was right. The result of freely available contraception hasn't been a utopia of free love and diminishing sexual violence but just the reverse, instead we've seen an explosion in nasty pornography, divorce and illegitimacy, and increased bitterness between men and women. The question now is what to do about it. Consulting the whole Church, including the laity, was a reasonable first step.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree with you, Joanna. We MUST pray for him. At the same time, I cannot go along with some of his ideas, teachings and policies. It is a mystery of the faith how Our Lord gives the authority over the Church to a sinful man. St Peter should tell us everything we need to know. He even denied Christ! We do not worship Peter! We pray for him, knowing that Our Lord will not allow the total destruction of the Church. He may, however, allow the Pope to do great damage within the Church.