WADE ST. ONGE

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pope Francis and Family Planning



I had a blog reader who mentioned his concern about Pope Francis's comment that Catholics do not need to "breed like rabbits", and how this was going to be perceived, especially by those Catholics who practiced contraception and/or those in favour of changing the Church's teaching. However, he also praised Pope Francis for chastising those Catholic couples who have two cats and a dog but no children.


Now, it is said that Pope Francis is careless with his words, but I am wondering if it is just the natural expressions of someone whose thoughts themselves are theologically liberal? Notice I do not say "doctrinally liberal", because I do not believe he is, and besides that would make him a heretic, though the beautiful thing about the doctrine of papal infallibility is that the Pope cannot officially teach heresy.


That said, the media does proof-text him like a cult leader does the Scriptures. 


With regards to family planning: on the one hand you have those couples who use natural family planning to limit the number of children more than the secular contraceptive couple does with their pills and condoms; on the other hand you have those who desire and strive to have as many children as nature allows them, and then displays it like a jeweled crown for all the faithful to see and bow to, always secretly or deep down hoping to be the one in the room with the most stones as though it is some kind of contest for Catholic family supremacy. 


Therefore, in light of the above, with the cats/dog together with the rabbits, I'd say Pope Francis is probably spot-on -- he is criticizing both of these extremes, and doing so in his usual blunt manner, something that is particular to this papacy, which is why, for all my doubts about the conclave's wisdom, I believe the Holy Spirit had much do to with who is currently in the See of Peter.

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