This is truly one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever read. It truly makes me sad to see how hard so many inside the Church are working to hollow out the Church’s teachings on life and sexuality.
It is not only sad but frightening.
The New Daily Compass writes:
Is a papal encyclical on its way to subvert the Church’s teaching on life, particularly on contraception? Last 2 July, Jorge José Ferrer, Professor of Moral Theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, introduced the idea in La Civiltà Cattolica, at the end of a long article welcoming the air of renewal introduced by the publication of the volume Ethics of Life, by the Pontifical Academy for Life (we spoke about it here, here, and here): “It is legitimate to wonder whether Pope Francis will present us with a new encyclical or apostolic exhortation on bioethics, which he could perhaps title Gaudium Vitae”, since, as Ferrer had pointed out, Evangelium Vitae is twenty-five years old.
Christopher Lamb, Vaticanist for The Tablet, must have particularly liked the idea. And so he organised a tête-à-tête meeting with Mgr Vincenzo Paglia (PAV), which he reports on, rather pathetically, in an article on 10 November. To be fair, Lamb speaks of ‘growing rumours’ about a “new document that could soften the Church’s ban on artificial contraception”. More precisely, these rumours suggest that the Pope, “who has repeatedly emphasised the primacy of formed conscience and the role of discernment in moral decision-making, could evolve the position that married couples may not resort to artificial contraception under any circumstances”.
His interlocutor, however, when asked, replied: “I believe the day will come when Pope Francis, or the next pope, will do so. But what can I say? For sure, we have to consider it”. In essence, Lamb and Paglia are preparing the field by already suggesting the line to be taken and even the title of the encyclical; it is still not clear whether they have an instigator higher up than them, perhaps robed in white. In fact, it is no mystery that Pope Francis, when faced with the openings of the PAV’s Basic Text, defended the freedom of theologians to debate at 360 degrees (see here), because then the Magisterium will decide, forgetting the detail that the Magisterium, as far as contraception, artificial insemination, and the end of life are concerned, has been already decided.
Lamb’s article is rather banal: apparently Paglia is the broad-minded peace-loving man who wants “to be more ‘pro-life’ rather than to simply reaffirm the Church’s traditional opposition to abortion and contraception”. On the other hand, there are the bad guys, those who want to “drag the Church into the culture wars”, like some US bishops who are trying “to prevent two distinguished Catholic politicians” from receiving Communion, or like those obstinate ones who claim that to question Humanae Vitae’s teaching on contraception would be to “interfere in the Church’s non-reformable teaching”.
But Lamb’s interlocutor is Paglia, the impassive one, not at all “upset by the turbulent debate that has seen the Academy heavily criticised by a section of the Catholic media”, but determined to achieve his goal. “Look,” says Mgr Paglia, “what is important today is to be truly pro-life in a non-ideological way […].“We’re interested in demolishing – how to say – the ideological prejudices that contaminate reflection, contaminate public opinion. And they prevent broad engagement across the board”. Same old: being for life means opposing wars, dealing with world hunger, rising suicides, the death penalty, immigrants. According to Paglia, the axis must be shifted to these issues because, he reiterates, the debate “on abortion and euthanasia has become ideologised”.
You see how it goes. If you disagree, you’re an ideologue. Maybe even Pope Francis’ favorite pejorative, “a pharisee.”
You are preventing dialogue and “broad engagement” just by espousing Church teaching. YOU are the problem, you ideologue.
These radicals seek to destroy the Church from the inside and if you stand up for Catholic teaching they attack you.
Pray for the Church. Nothing short of supernatural intervention can right this ship.
I know that some will say that I shouldn’t worry because we know who wins in the end but what about all the poor misguided souls in the meantime? What about all the lives ruined because they’ve been fed on only lies and deceptions?
Pray for all of us.