RIGHT WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #125
December 8, 2013
TO MY PASTOR, MY BISHOP, MY HOLY FATHER: RE. QUESTIONS…
I’M GLAD YOU ASKED.
1a) The people understand the Church’s positions. They just don’t accept some of them. And they don’t consider that sinful.
1b) Many Faithful do not accept the “unitive” concept of sexual activity between a committed married couple. And they don’t accept the prohibition against non-abortifacient contraception between the married couple. By contrast, the vast majority abhor the abomination of Abortion from the moment of conception, except in the rare instances of need to save the Life of the mother.
1c) Teaching on these subjects has gone the way of teaching about Hell and Sin. I believe that many priests realize that exhorting on these subjects is counter-productive in reaching out to the Laity, the Body of the Church, given their personal positions.
1d) “Asked and Answered”.
2a) Where accepted, Natural Law is central. Where increasingly rejected, no influence at all.
2c) Parents have a responsibility to bring into the world only the number of children for whom they can reasonably care. Civil Law does not lead public opinion; it follows and reflects public opinion.
2d) Such individuals have no legitimate or realistic claim to religious matrimony. Their recourse in under Civil Law.
3a) This practice is useful – so long as it does not hector the couple with regard to those hot-button items noted above.
3b) We pray at meals…and teach by example otherwise.
3c) I believe that the Catholic Laity is doing a reasonably good job of teaching the principles in which they believe. The problem is with the pervasive “culture” outside of the family.
3d) Given the substantial independence practiced among pastors and parishes, this has been spotty. Dioceses should provide and enforce a “core curriculum” for parish teaching.
3e) Couples and families can be great teachers and role models, so long as they can preach what they believe and are not “holy rollers”.
3f) I don’t know. And therein may lie the rub.
4a) I believe it is a fairly common practice; and it is an unhelpful one to the stability of subsequent marriage.
4b) Yes. The key ingredient is personal and permanent commitment.
4d) They have made peace with the situation between themselves. But the Church’s position on their reception of Sacraments is UNHELPFUL.
4e) Ditto. This issue requires reconsideration, in reality and in mercy.
4f) Church “Annulment” has become a laughing-stock and a scandal. That requires a total revision, consistent with concepts of “Contract Law”.
4g) See above.
5b) I can’t speak for the Church. Personally, I believe that “Civil Unions”, including among committed homosexuals, are reasonable and just. But I am against the availability of “Marriage” to any but a committed man and a woman. The stability of our entire Society depends on that concept and that institution.
5c) The Church should embrace the parents and the children in a non-judgmental way – including adoptees of committed homosexual couples.
5d) See above.
6a) I don’t know. But it doesn’t matter. They all need support.
6b) I don’t know. But the Church should be open to them; it should reach out to them.
6c) I don’t know. I can only hope and pray.
6d) I don’t know.
7a) They are aware. And they have made their own decisions. In years past, such couples would disappear from the Church during child-bearing years – and return thereafter, if at all – because they “didn’t to be hypocrites”. What a waste!
7b) See above.
7c) They are aware of “natural methods of contraception”, perhaps having led to their fourth or fifth child. Incidentally, Criminal Law requires both the “Actus Reus” and the “Mens Rea”. Practitioners of “natural” methods certainly have a Mens Rea, as well as an “Actus” of omission.
7e) A world of difference. And civic education is winning.
7f) To achieve this, the Church must address effectively the prime motivation of recent generations: self-interest, selfishness, “Me”. A big job, but a worthy one.
8a) “La famiglia” is everything.
8b) Families are under great stress, from both internal personality and external pressure stressor. Under such circumstances, Christ is not the first thought in their mind, unfortunately.
8c) Faith is a strong glue in family life. It’s absence is a great loss.
9) Please see the offerings in my web-site (www.asthma-drsprecace.com) under “Abortion, Morality and Ethics”, and particularly the Section entitled “What’s Wrong (or Right) With the Catholic Church”.
Again, I’m Glad You Asked”.
George A. Sprecace, M.d., J.D.