Background: The following entry was posted to the IslandCatholic blog on September 1, 2005.
When is the last time you heard a homily, sermon, or statement from a Christian leader that we should be having more babies? The Pope was only reminding Catholics of age old unchangeable Catholic teaching. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2366-2372)
It’s pretty hard for Christians to preach that message if they approve of and practice contraception. Yet it’s also true that the vast majority of Christians (disobedient Catholics are included) in North America do in fact approve of and practice contraception.
Ever since our predominantly Christian society in the early 1900’s began to shun the truth, as reiterated this week by the Pope, and embrace the contraceptive mentality, Christians have set themselves against God’s will and plan for mankind by disassociating the ‘unitive’ (pleasurable, intimate) aspect from the procreative (making babies) aspect of the sexual act. Out of this has sprung up the ‘new’ morality leading to rampant divorce and family breakdown, abortion, and yes, even homosexuality. Read more here and here [link unavailable].
Add to those evils the resulting alarming trends in declining population in Western societies and you’ve got a formula for societal collapse in the works, now unfolding before our very eyes. See one of my previous [link unavailable] posts.
I find it very sad and awful that in our own archdiocese of St. John’s, Newfoundland, a tremendous amount of effort has been put into the preparation of a document entitled A Challenge To Change. This report was commissioned due to very serious problems being faced by the Archdiocese because of shrinking population and shortage of priests.
A whole host of comments, suggestions and speculation was offered as to the causes and cures for this crisis, the major solution advanced being the clustering of parishes. The report clearly acknowledges that Newfoundland, a province where a high percentage of the population is Catholic, has the lowest birthrate in Canada. The report concludes with a summary of the “responses” and “other comments” offered by parties involved in the process, the very last comment stating in an eerie, prophetic sense, the following: “At best this is a stop-gag measure. With one new priest every 3-5 years the end is in sight. We need to be preparing for a non-clerical church.”
What’s the most surprising, even shocking, and obvious omission in this report? Nowhere does it even mention that Catholic failure to follow Church teaching regarding the evil of contraception is an inevitable cause of low birthrates and dwindling populations. And can there be any doubt that an apathetic and disobedient community of Catholics (as evidenced by this attitude) fails to inspire young men to the priesthood?
The Church is dying, and rather than allow the fresh breath of the Holy Spirit to speak new life by means of the Truth given to the Church, we prefer to discuss how we should dress the dead body and make final preparations for the funeral.
Will the bishops and priests of the Catholic Church repent of their past failures to call the people of God to authentic Christian and Catholic living and resolve to communicate strongly to their flock the recent message of Benedict XVI? God help them to do just that.
Good news! Here’s one bishop who is taking the crisis very seriously.
posted to islandcatholic September 1 2005