The People Speak Out

Local voices connecting globally

This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.  (Pope Francis)

Canon Law 212 calls upon the laity to speak up:

2 - The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. - According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

What my grandfather, my father’s father, way back in the late 1940s was told by his priest as the doctors believed that if his wife got pregnant again she would die giving birth confined him to a life of celibacy. Not wanting to put his wife’s life in jeopardy … “my dear Nellie” he called her, and at the advice of the priest was told he had to stop having sex with his wife. Condoms condemned. He stopped going to church … I can still hear him cursing and swearing at the Church and God … angry, oh so angry.

I give thanks that my wife and I lived in a time when more highly effective birth control was available. We are both Catholics … educated in the matter of reproductive sex. The church’s teaching in the matter of contraception at least 200 years out of date. Sex a matter of ordinary teaching subject to primacy of conscience.

Who is to say I would not have become like my angry grandfather … unnecessary suffering cause by an outdate teaching of conception prevention imposed on me by a church ignorant in matters of sex? And I think of women all over the world forced to endure their husband’s "rights to sex" ... amounting to approval of rape ...   It is not right that they have no control over their reproductive life ... a message I believe Jesus would approve.

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