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Tennessee priest: Pope should apologize for Catholic teaching on contraception

August 06, 2010

A Tennessee priest has called upon the Pope to apologize for Catholic teaching on contraception.

“We're not able to wait for this Pope or the next Pope to wait another hundred years to say 'we made a mistake on birth control' or the fact that we do allow women to be at least deacons in the Church,” said Father Joseph Patrick Breen.

“We respect the Pope, but we owe no obedience as adults except to our conscience, to what we feel is the spirit of God,” he added.

Father Breen also urged the laity to “demand a change” to the discipline of priestly celibacy.

Bishop David Choby of Nashville “considers it a very serious matter,” says a diocesan spokesman. “He’s in the process of developing a response in light of the canonical disciplines of the Church, and is in the process of arranging a meeting with Fr. Breen to address the matter.”


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  • Posted by: parochus - Aug. 06, 2010 11:13 PM ET USA

    Please please please tell me why you are giving this idiot publicity? I'd rather have Christopher Hitchens as a guest columnist.

  • Posted by: Don Vicente - Aug. 06, 2010 6:00 PM ET USA

    You know, the really hilarious thing is that the Pope-bashing Fr. Breen has a picture of himself with the Holy Father on his parish website.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Aug. 06, 2010 1:56 PM ET USA

    I must respectfully disagree with Cornelius. I certainly want to know about priests of this kind. There are more of them out there than you may think. My own pastor, before his installation lasty year, said in the parish bulletin that he would have to take an oath of obedience to the archbishop but he would have reservations about it. He was installed anyway. What may or may not have been said behind closed doors, we unwashed in the pews are not privy to.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 06, 2010 9:30 AM ET USA

    Sounds like he would make a good protestant. Last I heard there were about 1,000 different protestants sects. He can take his choice there without a problem.

  • Posted by: James Matthew Wilson - Aug. 06, 2010 9:26 AM ET USA

    The Church need not apologize to me, anyway. Its wisdom and prophetic stance in defense of marriage and the family has been a great gift -- to me, to my marriage, and to my family. What is it Fr. Breen knows that I do not that makes me a victim meriting apology?

  • Posted by: - Aug. 06, 2010 9:21 AM ET USA

    "...but we owe no obedience as adults except to our conscience, to what we feel is the spirit of God..." Me thinks I foresee a new nondenominational church in Tennessee's future....

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Aug. 06, 2010 8:29 AM ET USA

    I'm willing to buy Fr. Breen a one-way bus ticket out of town if Bp. Choby is willing to excommunicate him.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 06, 2010 8:16 AM ET USA

    Perhaps I'm just feeling peevish this morning, but is it really necessary to give column space on your site to some isolated heretical priest? It's depressing beyond its genuine significance.