Action Alert!

Quick Hits: 'must read' posts on support for Humanae Vitae, Catholics in China, Catholic conscience

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Sep 22, 2016

Three more items to put in the "must read" column:

Janet Smith speaks with Catholic World Report about the tremendous positive response to a statement by scholars supporting the Church's teaching on contraception. The tide has turned, she says, and bright young Catholic scholars (many inspired by St. John Paul II) are providing strong new arguments in support of Humanae Vitae, while dissenters are aging, along with their arguments. The latest expression of dissent, the Wijngaards Statement, is "stale regurgitated stuff that is rather pungent for its agedness," she remarks. More encouraging: "The dissenters still run some places and some of the major professional organizations and journals but they are losing ground fast. They are no longer getting disciples."

George Weigel provides a quick, compelling summary of the reasons for caution in the Vatican's current talks with China. The Church is, and should be, a leading defender of human rights, he notes. And Church law does not allow government leaders to name bishops, so there is no realistic room for compromise on the most contentious issue in talks between Rome and Beijing.  Weigel suggests a look at the Evangelical churches that are booming in China, despite-- or, perhaps more likely, because of-- the regime's hostility.

And again in Catholic World Report, theologian Christian Brugger explains why Catholics can, in good conscience, dispute the reasoning of the controversial 8th chapter of Amoris Laetitia. Brugger offers a list of propositions that could, if true, justify the Argentine bishops' interpretation of the papal document. None of them is true, he demonstrates. Thus the task of Catholic pastors today is not to change teaching or practice, but to form the consciences of Catholics properly in accord with the Church's authoritative teaching. 

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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