Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic World News

English bishop questions Church teaching in candid interview

December 19, 2008

In a remarkably candid interview, an English Catholic bishop has admitted misgivings about the Church teaching on contraception, expressed dissatisfaction with the traditional Latin Mass, and offered the opinion that it is pointless to discuss salvation with young people. Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton told the Catholic Herald that the ceremonies of the traditional liturgy are "a bit over the top." Despite the Pope's motu proprio encouraging use of the extraordinary form, Bishop Conry said that he hope the older liturgy would not be widely used. "It would be a worry," he said, "because you'd have two Churches really and in the end it doesn't come down to language or liturgical style, it comes down to your view of Church. Do you accept the reforms of the Vatican Council or not?" Questioning whether the Catholic liturgy should be "awesome individual contemplation of God," the bishop replied that "the answer to that is probably 'no.'"

"You can't talk to young people about salvation," the bishop said. "What's salvation? What does salvation mean? My eternal soul?" He suggested that young people would be more attracted to Christian leaders who spoke about "saving the planet."

Questioned about the Church teaching on contraception, Bishop Conry declined to say directly whether Humanae Vitae was a mistake. Instead he suggested that the teaching was a matter of opinion.

Asked whether regular Confession is wise, the bishop was more forthright. "No," he said, explaining that in his experience "regular penitents came back with exactly the same words week after week."


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