Fred Pulls No Punches

Herein he discusses the wide gap between the Catholic laity and their purported leadership, the bishops, and why it makes more sense to listen to the liaty as the voice of Catholicism on issues like birth control.

Here then are the two issues on which the consensus of the laity and the assertions of the bishops are in conflict: contraception and child rape.

The bishops teach that contraception is a grave moral sin. The laity know that it is not. The devout laity know this. They are sure of it. They employ contraception with a clean conscience and an untroubled spirit. Some may be troubled that their doing so is a form of disobedience to the teaching of the bishops, but the only guilt they experience is due to that disobedience, not because they believe the practice to be intrinsically wrong.

The laity have listened to the bishops’ rationale for their opposition to contraception and have not found it compelling. It’s too confusing, contradictory and inconstant to be understood. It changes and collapses back on itself. […] Unpersuaded by the bishops’ case, the laity thus choose to heed their own conscience and ignore the prohibition.

That decision is informed by and reinforced by the second, more vehement, disagreement — the matter of child rape.

For the Catholic laity, overwhelmingly, the rape of a child is considered a moral horror and one of the worst sins imaginable. For the bishops, it’s a regrettable act, but it’s not as bad as the public disclosure of it. For the laity, there can be no greater priority than ensuring that children in one’s care are not abused. For the bishops, there has been no greater priority than ensuring that abusers are not exposed. The paramount concern for the laity is the protection of children. The paramount concern for the bishops has been the protection of their own reputation.

Honestly, it’s amazing people are willing to listen to the power structure of the Roman church at all, ever, about anything until they address this. Because Fred is not wrong here, not even a little.

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