Theologian slams making Humanae Vitae into fetish

An Irish theologian has slated US bishops for making “Humanae Vitae” into a “fetish” by which the Catholic Church is publicly known.

Augustinian Fr Gabriel Daly said the 1968 encyclical by Pope Paul VI which banned contraception had never been accepted by the Church at large.

The priest, 88, said this is in a lecture in Dublin titled “What needs reform in the Church”, ahead of the publication of a book he has written.

Fr Daly accused traditionalists of parading Church teaching “unscrupulously as a kind of weapon”.

He said to say all popes are bound by “Humanae Vitae” is nonsense, theologically unacceptable and totally out of touch with the modern world.

“Rome’s way of dealing with this problem is to refuse to listen to modern theological arguments, and simply to reissue a prohibition by proclamation and without satisfactory argument,” he said.

Last year, Pope Francis said the Church’s teaching on contraception does not need to change, but must be applied with mercy.

In Fr Daly’s address, which also covered the issues of women in the Church and homosexuality, he highlighted how the Church has changed its teachings many times over its history.

He cited Pope Urban II’s support for the Crusades and said not even ultra-traditionalists today would regard themselves bound by this.

Fr Daly also said there is no argument against women’s ordination that can be taken seriously theologically.

On the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage, Fr Daly said to describe it as sinful, as Pope Benedict XVI did, is to remain “imprisoned in an outmoded kind of thinking which may actually verge on unintended blasphemy against an all-good and all-knowing Creator”.

The priest said homosexuality can no longer be credibly regarded as being “against” nature.

His talk concluded with a warning that as long as Pope Francis remains imprisoned in a scheme that binds him to all the teachings of his papal predecessors, then needed reforms cannot take place.

Sources

News category: World.

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