UPDATED: See my update at end of posting.
Most assuredly, souls are being lost to Hell because the truth of Holy Mother Church on sexuality continues to be denied by those very persons who have been ordained for the task of protecting and passing on the Faith. Their judgment will be greater.
The video above appeared on a recent posting by Msgr. Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington entitled Four Factors That Fuel the Crisis in Marriage and Family. The video itself is quite excellent. I usually think well of his posts too but this one was plain awful. In light of my own latest posting What I Would Say To Those Reviving Marriages In A Catholic Diocese, and taking into account Msgr. Pope’s carefully crafted article, I understand a little better the subterfuge that has taken place on every level in Catholic teaching touching on sexuality and the Moral Law.
I had to immediately submit a quickly constructed comment to Msgr. Pope’s posting because I was so troubled by his omissions. As a Catholic I understand why the Church teaches that one may lose their soul through sins of omission as well as commission. I truly hope that Msgr. Pope publishes my comment along with the hundred or so other ones. My comment to Msgr. Pope was as follows:
Monsignor Pope, I really appreciate your postings but I am very disappointed that you could manage to write a piece like this on marriage without once mentioning contraception. It’s the elephant in the room and it forces every other factor into its own small corner. Are you following the lead of Bishops in avoiding the use of the word? Is it because Cardinal O’Malley failed altogether in his duty as Bishop to include it in his remarks? Truly, this is a disgraceful treatment of the subject at hand and serves only to further denigrate and marginalize Church teaching on fertility in marriage, the evil of contraception and the mortal danger to souls who practice sterile sex. Contraception itself altogether re-defines and perverts the marriage act and sows the seeds for such perversions as same-sex “marriage” yet the silence on this is deafening in your article.
The open sexual sin which you noted and the accompanying unchastity which you noted could not exist in present form without the practice of contraception. Divorce was simply a symptom and natural outcome of the widespread use of contraception, and very little, if any, of these factors would have touched Catholic marriages if the Bishops had firmly promoted the traditional teaching of the Church, as reiterated in Humanae Vitae, and provided the discipline to their flocks that protection from this evil deserved. But here we are now, in the devastated vineyard, afraid to face the horror—yes, I said horror—of our rejection of God’s truth on human sexuality.
Out of wedlock children are hardly possible on any noteworthy scale without contraception; epidemics of cohabitation, pre-marital sex, promiscuity likewise.
It’s wonderful to talk of chastity and extol the beauties and precious fruits of that virtue but it’s absolutely disingenuous to altogether avoid the topic of contraception! God help us! The spiritual blindness is breathtaking!
And again, God help us, but of all the bafflegab about factors fuelling the marriage and family crisis, finances should be the very last item to make such a list. Again, it must be difficult only for the blind to not see that the subject of finances only begs the question of a choice to use contraception. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? How then can finances make it to no. 3 spot?
The Cardinal has no problem talking about the “cohabitation mentality” and I suppose that’s because we didn’t have a Humanae Vitae on the subject of cohabitation. We did, however, have one about contraception. You noted, “Cardinal O’Malley says, The whole notion of family is so undercut by the cohabitation mentality.” How is it possible that the Cardinal could not bring himself to mention the contraceptive mentality? God have mercy!
It is no wonder the Church is practically irrelevant to our society at large. We refuse to share with the world one of God’s most precious truths about sexuality, the very truth that could help them grasp one of the major evils of our time and repair a gaping wound in society. We keep it a secret so the world will not condemn us for our own unbelief!
And then how is it possible to bring up the subject of catechesis and not mention the reformation we truly need in our thinking regarding the role that Church teaching on contraception should take? Yes indeed, “People struggle to figure all this out” but I’m afraid most of the struggles are of our making because we refuse to address the elephant sitting next to us. How shameful and pathetic.
Monsignor you are a priest of some influence in America and your posting has done a shocking disservice to Catholics and to the truth. In my opinion the proper penance would be at least one posting, if not a full series, correcting and amending this posting. Your posting only gives cover to 40 or more years of rebellion by church leaders—and the sheep that follow them—to the truth of Church teaching.
If you would care to take the time to see what an honest discussion on this subject is like, why not read this article?
UPDATE: Msgr. Pope did publish my comment, along with his own reaction. He thought my remarks were "nasty" and accused me of Bishop-bashing as well as fellow Christian-bashing. He suggested I take my note to my confessor, see what he thinks and do the required penance. I replied in brief but he did not publish what I sent along. I told him that I stand by my remarks and that Bishops and Priests were not above criticism if they denied or perverted the Faith since their actions in such cases sent people to Hell and corrupted society. I also asked him if he would be so kind as to respond to my charges in a thorough rational manner rather than a simple outright dismissal of my entire remarks. Finally, I advised him that my confessor is well aware of all my positions as outlined in my comments to his posting and I undertake all penances prescribed (joyfully!).