George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
WHAT'S RIGHT...AND WRONG...WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #191
long been watching Pope Francis and hoping that he would be the
long-delayed breath of fresh air that would flow through the opened
windows of Pope John XXlll's Vatican ll "Aggiornamento" of the early
1960's. Unfortunately, the intervening decades have witnessed a
suffocation, begun by Pope Paul VI, carried out through the 1970's by
reactionary voices in the Church, and institutionalized by Popes John
Paul II and by Benedict XVI. All good men, Vicars of Christ on Earth,
and both John Paul and John canonized as Saints on the same day!
something had been missing in the Church through those intervening
decades. That missing something was the Laity, "the Body of the
Church", an increasing number of whom were either leaving the Church
altogether, or going through the steps cafeteria-style, or sticking
with it reflexly and/or resentfully.
The sticking points were and are:
non-abortifacient contraception, outlawed again by Pope Paul VI in 1968
(although not "Ex Cathedra"), in opposition to his own Commission's
decision on the subject...and an action that I am convinced vastly
multiplied the number of abortions performed world-wide during the
b) referring here by me only to a totally
committed, married, loving man and wife, the Church concept of the
"Unitive Function of the Sexual Act"...which reportedly must ALWAYS be
open to conception - except for "natural birth control", always
considered by me and by so many others the Rube Goldberg of Church
c) Anullments, too often another Rube Goldberg device,
especially since the 1960's - when "Psychology" was introduced into the
process, often as determinative;
d) the Church refusal to consider
divorced and re-married Catholics, already self-stigmatized, anything
but adulterers barred from forgiveness and from Holy Communion.
There are others; but these are the main ones.
here I ask: WHERE IS IT WRITTEN, WHERE BY THE RISEN CHRIST, AND
WHY...AND NOT JUST "BECAUSE I SAID SO." That is not the way of a
merciful Jesus Christ. But it has been the way of many of his
followers through the centuries and to the present day.
Now comes Pope Francis, whose origins, tribulations and on-going formation are well - documented in a recent book:
POPE FRANCIS: The Struggle For The Soul of Catholicism", by Paul Vallely, Bloomsbury 2013,2015.
I will soon have a review of that book and of its subject, augmented by his daily pronouncements and sayings.
meanwhile I ask for help from my several clerical friends and priests.
This is certainly not meant to scandalize; it is an honest call for
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