Page 2, 19th May 1967

19th May 1967
Page 2
Page 2, 19th May 1967 — Can the Church change on birth control?

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Locations: Dublin


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Can the Church change on birth control?

By a Special Correspondent

ACCORDING to Fr. John Courtney Murray, S.J., the Catholic Church has "reached for ton much certainty too soon" in its teachings on birth control.

Fr. Gregory Baum, a peritus (adviser) at the Vatican Council, said in America recently that Pope Pius XI was probably "pushed into writing his Casti Connubii encyclical against birth control by Belgian theologians.

"It is my personal conviction that Pope Pius made a mistake and that in a very few years we will accept the teaching of the Anglican bishops of 1930," said Fr. Baum.

Fr. Thomas Stansky, of the Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity, commented that he did not expect the "ban on all pills" to continue,

The majority report of Pope Paul's Birth Control Commission which came out in favour of artificial birth control has appeared to contradict the Church's past teachings.

Catholics in Britain and other parts of the world are puzzled, frustrated, embarrassed and bewildered. Those who have turned to the Majority and Minority reports of the Birth Control Commission for a clear-cut answer have been disappointed. The complexity of the reports confused nearly as much as it illuminated.

One typical comment was: "Well, at least. I can see now why the Pope has taken so long to make a pronouncement."

Against this background, a Catholic publishing group next week is bringing out a guide to the whole question of birth control morality.

Written by Rosemary Ilaughton, it translates into laymen's language what is happening. It will cost 1s. and should prove to be one of the most sought after religious pamphlets ever published in Britain.

Even Catholics used to avoiding like the plague the porch pamphlet rack should be "caught" (if that's the word) by this "Living Parish" pamphlet on birth control.

"Living Parish" pamphlets have been on Catholic bookstalls now for well over a year. The first, which dealt with Easter, was an instant success.

In simple, straightforward language, they explain to the everyday Catholic the theology that inspired Vatican II.

Every to ant is almost 10,000 pamphlets are being sent all over the world, covering a wide variety of subjects. The last two orders were from a Catholic shop in Dublin and a Baptist store in Nigeria.

Few readers realise that the series has a built-in system to keep them free of technical jargon. Its editors -are four experienced school teachers who hammer away relentlessly until the scripts are readable.

The series will eventually cover every aspect of life from the standpoint of Vatican II.

A priest lay partnership is a central feature of the whole enterprise. It began when Fr. Edmund Flood, a monk of Ealing Abbey, asked a layrnaster colleague in St. Benedict's School to join him in editing the "Where We Stand" series of booklets, which is now a central feature in many sixth form religious courses.

The editors seem to have no lack of plans for the future. They are particularly looking forward to one on teenagers by Rosemary Haughton's daughter (19). "Judging from her sketch of contents and approach, it's going to be dynamic and searching," one of them commented.

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