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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/7/13

What's Wrong with Pope Francis's Encyclical Letter?

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Now, not just one but two popes in the twentieth century taught that artificial contraception should not be used by the Roman Catholic faithful.

 

To be sure, married Roman Catholics have not always abided by the magisterium's teaching against artificial contraception. Good for them.

 

But in the debate over certain provisions in Obama-care, the Roman Catholic bishops in the United States have recently used the church's teaching against artificial contraception to object to requiring Catholic employers to provide medical insurance for their employees, including non-Catholic employees, that would include contraceptive coverage for the employees.

 

Of course this is only one example of the political mischief stirred up by the hard-charging Roman Catholic bishops because of certain church teachings regarding morality.

 

As a thought experiment, I would invite both non-Catholic and Catholic readers to imagine what would happen if we were to replace the word "certainty" in the above-quoted statement with the word "likelihood":

 

"[T]he magisterium [of the pope and the bishops in communion with him] ensures our contact with the primordial source [of the Roman Catholic faith] and provides the likelihood of attaining to the word of Christ in all its integrity."

 

I know, I know, in all likelihood, this change of wording will not happen.

 

But my point is that the hard-charging U.S. Catholic bishops think that the church's magisterium has provided them with certainty regarding key matters of morality.

 

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)
 

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