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Retired English cardinal: new Pope should downplay contraceptive ban

February 13, 2013

The retired Archbishop of Westminster, England, has suggested that the next Pope should ease away from the Church’s teaching against contraception.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor—who will not participate in the papal conclave, since he is past the age of 80 and ineligible to be a cardinal-elector—stopped short of saying that the next Pope should change the Church’s teaching. Instead the Pontiff should say “there are ways…” The English cardinal said that the Church needs a leaders who will avoid saying “we condemn this, we condemn that.”


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  • Posted by: joancollins507161 - Feb. 14, 2013 11:30 AM ET USA

    We can also see how softening the stance on contraception has worked for the Anglican, Episcopal and other mainstream Protestant churches. Their numbers are falling like a rock. I am happy this cardinal can no longer vote. Pray that the Holy Spirit enlighten those who can.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 14, 2013 11:04 AM ET USA

    What's very hard for me to understand is why the laity should have difficulty accepting the bishops and the cardinals guidance re contraception, when those same bishops and cardinals did such a fine job protecting the church from liturgical abuses and sexual abuses. The laity should show more respect to our learned betters.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 14, 2013 8:23 AM ET USA

    Downplay? Why, we've done that for decades in the US, according to Cardinal Dolan's admission!

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Feb. 14, 2013 8:18 AM ET USA

    Yeah, easing away from hard teachings has worked so well for us in the last 50 years. What a great idea. Glad this guy is ineligible to participate in the upcoming conclave.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 14, 2013 1:01 AM ET USA

    This line of reasoning of avoiding controversial issues diminishes the Church's relevance and is why Catholics in the West are leaving the Church in droves. Rather than avoiding contraception, the Church should be vigorously engaged in pointing out the moral and societal dangers of contraception and why the Church is against it. The Church needs to do a better job of speaking in plain words that everyone can understand and relate to. Tell Catholics the negative facts about contraception and its impact on core Catholic moral principles such as the family, marriage, and children. Also provide a Catholic view of the broad societal declines resulting from the breakdown of the basic family unit and traditional marriage.

  • Posted by: WBSM - Feb. 13, 2013 11:06 PM ET USA

    What nonsense. It is contraception that condemns marriage. Many of the problems that we have today is that contraception hasn't been condemned by priests and bishops like this one.

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Feb. 13, 2013 10:04 PM ET USA

    Perhaps the Cardinal would like the next Pope to change the name of the Catholic Church to "The Church of Whats Happenin' Now.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Feb. 13, 2013 7:30 PM ET USA

    Well, we all know the catastrophe that ensued in Europe and the U.S. from forty years of downplaying Humanae Vitae. Both regions are aging so fast that our heads are spinning, and vocations have dried up.