McCarrick and theological dissent in the Sixties: Observations of a contemporary

In 1968, the priest-led dissent against Humanae Vitae led many to think that there was a new sexual-morality ballpark right within the Church.

Sisters of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara help Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, walk through Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Catholic Church in Washington after the ceremony for their profession of vows in Washington Nov. 1, 2017. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

The investigation into how the former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was promoted up to the level he enjoyed before his misdeeds became public knowledge is necessary and may yield helpful results.

However, besides the question of “Who knew what and promoted him?” there’s another crucial issue. How could this man who was ordained in 1958 think it was permissible to give his assent to such actions and then to carry them out? I write with two assumptions. First, I assume that he did not tell himself, “I know this is a mortal sin but I am going to do it anyway.” Second, I assume that he somehow rationalized his actions, perhaps thinking something like this: “I know this was once considered evil but today we have a new approach in which these things are solely dependent upon one’s intentions, and I intend no harm.”

Since I have not seen anything of this nature mentioned as part of the investigation, I will offer my speculation based partially on personal experience.

Theodore E. McCormick was born July 7, 1930, and I was born four months later on November 6. His birthday was approximately one month before the Church of England issued its Lambeth statement that broke with nineteen centuries of traditional Christian teaching and accepted marital contraception. I was born about three months after Lambeth and only eight weeks before Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical Casti Connubii, which was written in response to the Lambeth Statement and to reaffirm traditional teaching against marital contraception. After five years in the seminary, including a year of theology, my spiritual director agreed in 1953 that I did not have a vocation. My classmates were ordained in 1956; Theodore McCormick was ordained in 1958. After those early similarities, our paths seem to have little in common.

With regard to sexuality, I remember that our seminary Rule Book warned against forming “particular friendships.” At the time I thought that meant to avoid forming cliques; I could not imagine that young men would have a sexual attraction to each other. In the fall of 1956, I was looking for an apartment to share in New York. In one visit, the two men asked me a few questions and then queried, “Are you gay?” I had not a clue what they meant, so I told them that I supposed I enjoyed a good party as much as the next guy. They told me they would phone if I was the right person. The call never came.

In 1960, Father McCarrick was only two years into his priesthood when the public marketing of the oral contraceptive commonly called “the Pill” made birth control a subject for newspaper articles and adult dinner conversations. Talk about the Sexual Revolution made it appear as if the sexual-morality ballpark had completely changed. Now it was okay to have sex with the girl next door provided she was taking the Pill. To some with same-sex attraction, sodomy seemed newly acceptable.

In 1968, the priest-led dissent against Humanae Vitae led many to think that there was a new sexual-morality ballpark right within the Church. If you looked for priests, bishops, and Catholic theologians giving verbal and written support to Humanae Vitae, what would you find? You would find that Cardinal O’Boyle in Washington, D.C., tried to discipline 19 priests who were overtly dissenting—and that exactly zero bishops and cardinals were giving him public support. (When the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars developed its Cardinal O’Boyle Award, it was quickly nicknamed the “Swinging in the Wind” award. Mother Angelica was one of the early awardees, and my wife and I received that award in 1986.)

On November 15, 1968, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops replied to Humanae Vitae with a document titled Human Life in Our Day. While supportive of the encyclical, it contained one section that was and remains fatally flawed, “Norms of Licit Theological Dissent” (n. 49-54). Even though most of this section qualifies and discourages dissent, the phrase itself, “licit theological dissent” in an official document responding to Humanae Vitae is a disaster. Does that phrase appear in any of the encyclicals dealing with labor-management issues? Or in teachings against direct abortion? What if “Norms of licit theological dissent” had appeared in statements against Nazism or slavery? Would not the authors of such documents have been pilloried—and rightly so? It seems to me that the investigation of Mr. McCarrick should also investigate who drafted Human Life in Our Day and especially who promoted the section on “licit theological dissent.”

The key subject of dissent is the teaching in sections 12-14 of Humanae Vitae. Section 12 affirms the “inseparable connection” between the unitive and procreative meanings of the marriage act. Section 13 expands on that. Section 14 is the chief object of dissent because it responds to the big-picture morality proposed by the pro-contraception report. That was the hypothesis that acts of marital contraception would take their morality from the non-contraceptive marital acts. Pope Paul VI positively rejected that hypothesis with this sentence: “Consequently, it is an error to think that a conjugal act which is deliberately made infecund and so is intrinsically dishonest could be made honest and right by the ensemble of a fecund conjugal life.” The key phrase “intrinsically dishonest” says it all.

To dissent from this teaching logically involves the opinion that there is no intrinsic meaning to the human sexual act, even within marriage, and that logic played out in theological writing. Dissenter Michael F. Valente, then the chairman of the theology department at Seton Hall University, wrote Sex: The Radical View of a Catholic Theologian (Bruce 1970), but I have not seen him quoted by other dissenters. Perhaps his lack of prominence was due to the fact that he pursued the logic of dissent to the acceptance of bestiality. Yes, in his acceptance of subjectivism, he used the example of bestiality to point out the logical consequences of dissent—with which he agreed.

And he was certainly not alone. The March 1971 issue of Theological Studies carried my article “Continued Dissent: Is It Responsible Loyalty?” in which I showed that the decision-making principles of Fr. Charles E. Curran could not say a firm “No!” to spouse–swapping. No one, including Fr. Curran, accused me of making a straw man.

I think that Theodore E. McCarrick rationalized his actions as being somehow acceptable in the new-morality ballpark. If that is correct, then I hope that the McCarrick investigators will give due consideration to the socio-ecclesial environment in which he lived and operated, and that includes the people and the events which built that culture. I have addressed this previously with a list of 13 socio-ecclesial factors in the May 20 2019 issue of Homiletic and Pastoral Review.

Saint Pope John Paul II, in his 1994 Letter to Families, gave us a positive way to think about the human sexual act—as a renewal of the marriage covenant (n.12). This provides an intrinsically honest meaning of the marriage act to contrast with the “intrinsically dishonest” act of marital contraception defined in Humanae Vitae, 14.

If this is pursued, the McCarrick investigation can both improve the episcopal promotion process and also improve the socio-ecclesial environment in which priests, bishops and theologians live and teach. However, for these benefits to develop, I submit that it is necessary for our bishops to repudiate collectively and individually the big-picture, can’t-say-no-to-anything hypothesis advanced by the pro-contraception party within the Church.

Not long ago Cardinal Timothy Dolan mentioned that he and his fellow American bishops have suffered 50 years of laryngitis regarding Humanae Vitae. The time has come for them to use their voices to affirm its teaching, following and building upon the teaching of John Paul II. Our ecclesial leaders need to teach that the human sexual act is intended by God to be exclusively a marriage act. Further, within marriage it ought to be a renewal of the faith and love of their marriage covenant, for better and for worse, including the sometimes imagined worse of possible pregnancy. The practical living of its teaching includes a sometimes daily cross, but almost no one with an open heart and mind can fail to understand the covenant-renewal meaning of the marriage act.

A huge difference between 1968 and the present is the current almost universal access to the teaching of natural family planning systems. At least one NFP program includes the pattern of breastfeeding that typically postpones the return of postpartum fertility for 14 to 15 months. So effective is contemporary chaste NFP that some in the Church and the NFP movement worry that NFP is being used selfishly or with a contraceptive mentality, but perhaps that’s the subject of another article.

(Editor’s note: Cardinal O’Boyle was archbishop of Washington, D.C., not Baltimore as originally stated in the essay.)

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About John F. Kippley 2 Articles
John F. Kippley has been active in the effort to uphold Humanae Vitae and provide practical help since it was published. In 1968 he wrote Covenant, Christ and Contraception published by Alba House in 1970. This has been revised and is now available from Ignatius as Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality (2005). In 1969 his wife, Sheila, published her ground breaking book, Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing subsequently published by Harper and Row in 1974. In 1971 the Kippleys founded as organization to provide the practical help of systematic natural family planning and Ecological Breastfeeding plus doctrinal support with the covenant theology of the marriage act. They continue that work in Natural Family Planning International.


  1. It is an error to think that a conjugal act which is deliberately made infecund and so is intrinsically dishonest could be made honest and right by the ensemble of a fecund conjugal life (Paul VI HV). Author Kippley in an excellent essay captures the key to the avalanche of immorality consequent to the Pill. That dishonesty of comparison is inherently evil consequent to purposely separating sensual pleasure a good from the ordained end of the conjugal act. The good [sensual pleasure] thereby becomes an end in itself logically leading to the horror of bestiality [dissenter Valente’s admitted premise]. And likewise as to Kippley’s supposition that McCarrick may have thought in line with the large picture dissent that he was free to engage in deviate sexual acts as alleged since ‘he intended no harm’. Many are aware of the nexus of LGBT, violence and sex, virtual reality sex and so forth now culminating with killing the sexual partner. Why so drastic an outcome? The sexual drive a good when loosed from its divinely ordained moorings an evil is inclined toward greater evil as a form of fulfillment. Evil is in the will and becomes a parallel self indulgent end. Moral good is in the will when compliant with Natural Law. And particularly in conjunction with grace the gift of the Holy Spirit. Humanae Vitae requires adherence not ‘rethinking’ as proposed by the Vatican.

  2. And when we renew the marriage covenant we re-validate, confirm again, the commitment we made on our wedding day. That’s what “consummating a marriage” is all about. Since this is true, divorce/remarriage and living a Sacramental life is scarcely possible. Thank you for an excellent article.

  3. This is very difficult for me to write as I have been an inveterate supporter of John Kippley and his staunch defense of the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and marriage. That said, I think it is grossly unfair to present Theodore McCarrick as a theological dissenter; he never was. Indeed, he strongly defended Humanae Vitae and all other church teachings on sexuality. No one can point to anything to the contrary. Did he believe those teachings? I have no reason to doubt that. Did he practice them? Apparently not, at least not in their fullness. Does that make him a hypocrite? A hypocrite is one who says what he doesn’t believe. A sinner is one who does not practice what he believes.
    I think it is time we stop using McCarrick as a poster child or whipping boy for whatever we want to impose on the very sad, long-time ecclesial reality. A careful study of the John Jay Report shows that the vast majority of clerical sex abusers were men who were seminarians in the 50s and early 60s, presumably when moral teaching was still intact; their sexual misbehavior (sins) occurred much later. Ironically, men trained in the “immorality” of the post-Vatican II seminary were less likely to offend in this way.
    Bottom line: I don’t think anyone in the know does not understand that McCarrick got where he got because he was charming and because he always had an open purse. Period. Doctrine and morality were not engines that moved his train along. Interestingly enough, those still seem to be the engines that propel the current pontificate.

    • Theodore McCarrick publicly dissented from Humanae Vitae, as one of the original signers of the Land ‘O Lakes Statement in 1968. So, from very early he approved of sexual activity that was intentionally outside of God’s design.

          • Land o’ Lakes PRECEDED by Humanae Vitae by a year!

            People ought to have their facts straight before pontificating; the Pope and all too many bishops already do that. We don’t need to add lay experts to the club.

        • Fr. Stravinskas –

          Since for some reason I am not given an option to reply to your volley below, where you express concern about my deficiencies as a “lay” person, I am relying here.

          It is a simplistic and nonsensical “gothca” statement to insist that Land of Lakes breaking away from Church teaching has nothing to do with HV, since it came one year before HV.

          Of course McCarrick and every other subversive mover and shaker like McCarrick, as well as faithful adults, knows that contraception was being reviewed by Paul VI, and that indeed his committee were in the majority in favor contraception, and the sanctioning of contraception was the expected outcome, and they were shocked that the committee’s minority position, in faithfulness to Catholic teaching, was upheld.

          Careful reflection would cause Catholic people to know that McCarrick et all knew of and were quite hopeful for a sanctioning of contraception. Everyone knows Hesburg was.

          Land of Lakes of course, since it is entirely unbounded, was McCarrick and companies’ preemptive declaration that nothing was going to alter their course, and everything was up for grabs, so no matter what the Church taught before or after 1967, it didn’t matter, because their “Catholic” universities were now their own “magisterial” authority. Hence we have the situation now, where 90% of formerly “Catholic” universities cannot be recommended to parents by the Cardinal Newman Society.

          You are not making a convincing argument, and it is indicative of a weak case that you think you can so lightly dismiss the argument as you have tried to do, and then ice it off with a remark that you think less of me because I am a lay person…who is arguing with a priest.

          I expect more, I expect that the Catholic Church wants serious and responsible discussion by thinking adults who are serious about following the law of Jesus’ Church, and holding each other to account.

    • When Cardinal McCarrick was Archbishop of Newark he had his parishes celebrate gay pride Sunday. That was 1989. Not every parish did so. But mine had a quasi liturgical dance during Mass with the AIDS quilt. Also, McCarrick employed radical dissenters as teachers in his seminary. Rome had to intervene. In addition, McCarrick did not allow kneeling during Mass at his seminary. He had a little shrine set up in honor of the Archbishop of Milan, Carlo Martini, the big dissenter against Humanae Vitae. Ted said he was going to be our next pope. It was clear he was a fan of Martini and possibly a disciple. Uncle Ted spoke in an orthodox manner only as a tool to climb the ecclesiastical ladder. But to those who lived in his archdiocese or seminaries, he was a well known dissenter.

      • That is an absolute calumny. I was a pastor in Newark at that time — and there was no such thing as a Gay Pride Sunday!
        Further, McCarrick cleaned the seminary of the heretical faculty — the very ones who had taught me and who actually threw me out! He replaced them with totally orthodox professors.
        I repeat what I said in other posts: There was never even a hint of heterodoxy surrounding McCarrick. Whether he believed it or not, I do not know — nor does anyone else, except God. If he did indeed believe the truths of Catholic morality, we can certainly conclude that he failed to live them in significant ways; in that sense, he was like most of us Catholics.
        Frankly, I never thought I would be put in the position of being a McCarrick defender, but I am a great believer in fairness and honesty — which is what motivates me to enter the lists here.

        • Fr. Stravinskas –

          You are choosing to defend McCarrick, no one is putting you in that position.

          You defend him on the basis you chose, with a red herring argument, declaring that M was not “a dissenter.” Your sincere declaration notwithstanding, dissent is irrelevant in the McCarrick case. M is a subverter, not a dissenter, so your point is not relevant. Kippley doesn’t state that M is a dissenter, as your initial response implies, he merely speculates that the dissent of others somehow lent M to rationalize his offenses.

          Kippley’s essay and your disagreement with K are completely irrelevant to M.

          Dissenters voice their opposition to authority. Subverters undermine the voice of authority. Subverters are liars. M is a subverter. He, like his fellow subverters, wrote L of L to subvert Catholic authority, which is the act of a liar.

          He lied about the Canon 915 memorandum, which is the act of subversion.

          He lied about the Report on Abuse in the Church with his subversive VIRTUS program in the AD of Washington, opening the entire program by contradicting the evidence of the John Jay study (his opening session directly contradicted the evidence that >80% of abuse in the Church by clergy was homosexual), and the conclusion of the laymen on the Board, that the abuse crisis was rooted in a homosexual subculture.

          And, of course, lest we forget, he sexually abused a nine year old boy, among other repeated acts of sexual abuse of minors and seminarians. Which he publicly denies and refuses to repent of, to this day.

          Dissent is playing checkers.

          Subverters are playing chess.

          It’s too bad that M was so charming and deceitful. But what’s done is done, and there is no defense needed.

          What is needed is for him to repent, which he refuses to do. He should be called to repentance, not defended.

    • Father, I will take your word for it that McCarrick never publicly dissented from the Church’s teaching on sexual morality. However, his deliberate misrepresentation of then Cardinal Ratzinger’s memorandum on Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion should have strongly suggested to us that he never believed in it. What we have since learned about his atrocious personal behavior leaves no doubt that his public stance was a lie.

  4. The question is whether, with what we now know about McCarrick’s personal life, he led a virtuous life. Is he someone who, as a shepherd, we would want to emulate? Did he take seriously what he promised at his ordination: “to believe what he read (in the Gospels), to teach what be believed and to practice what he taught”? He will get the judgment on this question in short order.

  5. Before converting to Catholicism I wasn’t even aware that Christian Churches condemned artificial contraception until the Anglicans allowed it “under certain conditions” in 1930 (which eventually led it being accepted “under all circumstances). Pope St Paul VI is widely maligned by many conservative and traditional Catholics, but issuing Humane Vitae, and deciding to stand firm on doctrine when the whole world (including most protestant churches) were going along with the times is nothing short of courageous.

    • Not “artificial contraception,” simply “contraception.” Withdrawal (coitus interruptus) is contraception, or at least a contraceptive act. And I have seen references in “natural parenting” magazines about herbs that can be used to lower fertility. In the modern way of speaking, these could be considered “natural contraceptives” vs things like The Pill or Depo-P which are “chemical contraceptives” and therefore “artificial.” I have no idea if sheep skin condoms or “natural latex” condoms are considered ” artificial” or “natural”.
      Contraception is called intrinsically evil and vicious. It does not matter if it is artificial or natural.
      The much maligned “Rhythm Method,” Sympto-thermal Method, Creighton Model, etc (all often lumped together under the term Natural Family Planning, or NFP) are not condemned because they are not contraceptives.

  6. It is a BIG MISTAKE for the author to paint McCarrick as a passive player and it is a VERY BIG MISTAKE for “Fr. Peter M” to believe or argue that McCarrick was a faithful priest and bishop who is just fell into sin. In 1967 McCarrick created and co-signed The Land of Lakes Statement, by which his University (he was at the time President of the University of Puerto Rico), joined with Rev. Hesburg of ND and several Jesuit Universities, including Fordham and Georgetown, to break away from Catholic teaching.

    50 years later, the Chairman of the Theology Department at Fordham is an OPENLY HOMOSEXUAL man, Prof. Hornbeck, in a same-sex mock “marriage” to another man.

    “Fr. Peter M’s” defense of McCarrick and his “careful study” of the John Jay Report is a flimsy appeal.

    McCarrick sexually abused James Grein beginning when Grein was 9 years old. Victims of child sex abuse call such actions as McCarrick’s SOUL MURDER.

    Murder, and soul murder, are sins that can be forgiven, if the sinner repents. But McCarrick is publicly unrepentant. Which indicates he is a sociopath.

    And among the marks of sociopaths is being a habitual liar and deceiver.

    McCarrick was my Archbishop in the AD of Washington. His VIRTUS program was an outright lie and attack on the National Review Bosrd Report on The Sex Abuse Crisis. My wife and parish friends and I all witnessed this. He also hatched the slick maneuver of a major fund-raising campaign in the AD of W, promising to renovate our parish church. MCCARRICK swept up the initial flood of donations, did who-knows-what with the cash, and no renovations ever occurred in our parish church.

    Also, McCarrick was caught red-handed and publicly exposed by Fr. Richard Neuhaus and faithful US Bishops for lying about the Canon 915 memo from Cardinal Ratzinger to the US Bishops, withholding the memo and publicly declaring that Ratzinger did not counsel that Bishops should refuse Holy Communion to Catholic people publicly kniwn to be in an objective state of commuting adultery or promoting abortion.

    McCarrick is an unrepentant child sex abuser and sociopath, and a life-long subverter of the Catholic faith, whose legacy is a dead post-Christian clerical power cult.

    Every offense he committed above is forgivable. But he is still unrepentant.

    • Unrepentant, indeed.
      And by no means poor. McCarrick is still living on the dime of the faithful at the friary in Victoria, KS.
      The bishop of Salina, KS is completely onboard with that as is the head of the Capuchin Franciscans in Denver.
      McCarrick simply knows too much and will game the system ‘til the bitter end.
      Bet on it.

  7. In our thirty years of marriage, my wife and I have lived and taught Humanae Vitae–with the help of such champions as St. John Paul II, John Kipley, and Janet Smith–and it has brought us great happiness.

  8. “The key subject of dissent is the teaching in sections 12-14 of Humanae Vitae. Section 12 affirms the “inseparable connection” between the unitive and procreative meanings of the marriage act. Section 13 expands on that. Section 14 is the chief object of dissent because it responds to the big-picture morality proposed by the pro-contraception report. That was the hypothesis that acts of marital contraception would take their morality from the non-contraceptive marital acts.”…

    Doctrine of Christian marriage – The Sacrament of Matrimony

    For Christian understanding of marriages, the Old Testament Book of Tobit is extremely important. Especially those warnings given by our Lord through Archangel Rafael to all of us. See Tobit 6, 16-17, and Tobit 6, 22.

    In the Vulgate this is what Tobit 6, 16-17 says:

    “Tunc angelus Raphael dixit ei: Audi me, et ostendam tibi qui sunt, quibus praevalere potest daemonium. Hi namque qui coniugium ita suscipiunt, ut Deum a se et a sua mente excludant, et suae libidini ita vacent, sicut equus et mulus, quibus non est intellectus — habet potestatem daemonium super eos.”

    (“Then the angel Raphael said to him: Hear me, and I will shew thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.”)

    I think that, according these words, we can well judge how much today there are marriages over which the devil’s rules. Is it weird then that there are so many divorces?

    Another important point came from those words from Tob 6, 22, which in the Vulgate are:

    “accipies virginem cum timore Domini, amore filiorum magis quam libidine ductus”

    (“thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children [offspring] than for lust”)

    This places from Tobit are cited by the Catechism of the Council of Trent in the chapter about marriage (when talking about the reasons why men and women enter into the sacrament of marriage), and remarks:

    “Atque una etiam haec causa fuit cur Deus ab initio matrimonium instituerit. Quare fit ut illorum sit scelus gravissimum, qui matrimonio iuncti, medicamentis vel conceptum impediunt vel partum abigunt: haec enim homicidarum impia conspiratio existimanda sit.”

    (“And this is also one reason why God established from the beginning the marriage. For this reason, it is the most difficult crime of those who, together in marriage, are preventing conception, or doing abortion: this should be considered as evil conspiracy of the killers.”)

    It is worth repeating here again the purpose of marriage according to the Code of Canon Law from 1917 (Can. 1013 § 1):

    “Matrimonii finis primarius est procreatio atque educatio prolis; secundarius mutuum adiutorium et remedium concupiscentiae.”

    (“The first purpose of marriage is procreation and raising children; second, the mutual help of a spouses, and a cure against the lust.”)

    As we know, the ubermodernists (especially Cardinal Suenens) took a real war against this doctrine, at the Second Vatican Council. Unfortunately, the progressives have partly succeeded in putting some ambiguity into some important documents.
    A result of this is the new Code of Canon Law which came in 1983., which has mixed purposes of marriage, so that puts an abstract concept of “common good of the spouses” in front of the procreation and raising children!

    Sadly, they have done much more damage with changing and oftentimes completely omiting of the very words of Holy Scripture!
    Try to find this important Church teaching, these words, quoted above (Tobit 6, 16-17, and Tobit 6, 22), in any of so-called modern so-called neo-vulgate translations of the Bible, such as NABRE, RSVCE, NRSVCE, etc… In NASB and KJB the whole book of Tobit don’t even exist any more! Are those so-called Bible books than nothing less than protestant books but then falsely called “Catholic”, with even, yes, the imprimatur and nihil obstat of many bishops?! And I not talking here only about the english translations of so-called neo-vulgate, but of all translations of the same neo-vulgate into all worldly languages! They all will be justly judged for their deeds!

    • I hauled out my Vulgate, Douey-Rheims, and Ignatius Bible (RSV-Catholic Edition). Woo-hoo, quite a difference!
      In fairness to the Ignatius Bible, there is a footnote that indicates the Vulgate is different, but simply indicates that the Vulgate exhorts a three day continence. On the other hand, other footnotes are quite detailed regarding the differences between the Vulgate and RSV.
      It certainly appears someone(s) has something to hide.
      One is forced to wonder what else is missing in modern Catholic Bibles, or if things have been added that were never there.
      Not good. The hierarchy are not exactly trustworthy. Now it seems the modern Bible is not either.
      Is it any wonder people are leaving the Church? What and whom are we to believe, know, and accept?

      • You’ve said it Kathryn: “One is forced to wonder what else is missing in modern Catholic Bibles, or if things have been added that were never there.” I’ll go further and will say that every one Catholic with good conscience is obliged to find out whatever might be wrong with the Bible translations (at least the one he owns), and when he finds any wrong thing, any grave error, then he is obliged to throw away such a book, and get a real Catholic Bible.
        Take another important example of purposely modernistic translated “editions” of the Holy Scripture, namely The Book of Judith, chapter 13. Read it carefully and try to figure out why they intentionally excluded 11 latest verses of this chapter! You can do comparison of NABRE (or similar) here: with DRA here: is of course a good Latin Vulgate English translation, which is (it’s needs to be said) translated more than a century ago.
        Or, why they removed John 5,4? Because they don’t believe in de supernatural? In de miracles? In de angels? – 
        There is much more, and all of this must be seriously researched by all good Catholics, especially clerics and theologians. But, were are suchlike?
        And this is not something new. Gradual changes of Bible texts and meanings through “modern” translations have gained acceleration in the forties of the last century. There are more than enough of hard evidences (hard or digital copies of many editions) in many languages for everyone who really wants to explore and know the TRUTH.
        And not only Holy Scripture, but they’ve changed, diminished the Liturgy of Catholic Church, the Liturgy of the Hours, the Code of Canon Law, the CCC, and in fact the whole perennial magisterial teaching of the Holy Catholic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  9. Good to see this topic getting more focus and scholarly explanations .
    David in O.T . in his sin can be seen as an icon for the effects of contraception – he would not have wanted a child and in spite of his sorrow , the child dies ..David’s negligence of duty ( as well as of Bathsheba’s ) prior to the act need to be taken into account as well – here Bathsheba’s husband and David’s soldier is on the battlefront , both to have known that purity in their lives would be important for the welfare of both families , even the nation .
    Such an attitude of seeing responsibility as love , as St.John Paul 11 advocates , seeing how the actions of each other have repercussions all around , that the
    laity , having enough resources in all these areas anymore do not have much excuse to point fingers , instead , may be more compassion , for those who lead , seeing how it could even be like Moses who was worn out by the hard heartedness of the people in the end .
    Use of Magnesium as citrate , glycinate etc , even Epsom salt soaks all can help to also curtail unruly appetites , since poor eating patterns ,use of alcohol , pregnancy and breastfeeding also tend to lower its levels .

    More trust as to how such appetites offered up are the best of what we humans can do , something that is impossible for animals , that God who is ever generous would be there to bless and help undo bestial holds from many others as well – such an attitude too , instead of any self pity for feeling deprived , from the lies that we are no better than rabbits , that holiness is also patience , as the Holy Father reminds us – may such truths gain more holds in many hearts .
    Thank you and God bless !

  10. I have not seen any more solid, clearer demonstration and proof that homosexuality is a mental/emotional/physical/spiritual hybridization of good-and-evil-into-one, than saying that Theodore E. McCarrick was “virtuous” apart from his homosexual depredations. Satan and his liberal cohorts, inside and outside the Church, focused their attack very early in the 20th century on perverting human sexuality which clearly demonstrates its absolute, crucial, vital, central role in human, social and Church Life. They could have attacked any of the many other Catholic beliefs but they chose to attack its teachings on sexuality, the all-encompassing life-core. This attack started long before Vatican II, opposing Humanae Vitae, and which only reflected what was already being long promoted through all of Spiritual Compromise Homosexuality where, again, good-and-evil-as-one is presented as a very acceptable, progressive, laudable hybrid.

    Recently, Spiritual Compromise Homosexuals have been very busy white-washing, justifying and “canonizing” well known evil ones like Nero, Stalin, Che Guevara, Mao Tse Tung, etc. and now McCarrick, affirming with this that Catholicism must be a good-evil-pacifist-hybrid instead of the FIGHTING FAITH it has been for 2,000 years. Feet were dragged to finally expose McCarrick’s depredations, feet are being dragged again to finalize the report on his crimes. I hope to be totally wrong on this, but I am starting to think that that final report will be slyly crafted to lament his actions but with all the push of satanic-hybridization-false-love to continue the core homosexual poisoning of the Church and the world. Pope Francis is not an innovator but a cunning recycler of old corruption.

    That distinction is key: either human sexuality should be more like sadist bestiality or more like selfless, sacrificial love. Everything on all human life and all of Creation hinges on this. True Holiness thrives or dies THERE. We must fight and fight hard against our greatest enemy: Spiritual Compromise Homosexuality and their satanic hybrid version of a “virtuous life”, whether it comes from outside Church enemies or “virtuous” Clergy.

  11. Concerning what the author says about bishops and priests disobeying Paul VI’s teaching regarding contraception, i am in full agreement, however, i do not believe this has anything to do with McCarrick’s well discussed proclivities. His behavior can be attributed to a character disorder. He may have recognized that his behavior was wrong. If so, he may have had moments of shame and contrition On the other hand, he may have been a farce from the start, taking advantage of the environment he lived in to satisfy his sick urges,, with no shame. Only God and his confessors, if he had any,, know. In either case, it is impossible to understand how he got to where he got, except to conclude that others with the same proclivities moved him along. That is the horrible part, in what it has done to others and in how it has led to the loss of trust of the hierarchy on the part of the faithful.

  12. Making dissent from Humanae Vitae the cause of just about every ill that currently infects our Church seems far too simplistic. What was the cause of the perversion among clerics noted by St. Peter Damian in 1049?

    The truth is, we have no idea how widespread perversion, abuse, and cover-ups in the Church were in previous centuries. The one and only reason we know about it now is because of widespread literacy, media, and internet.

    Sociopaths, abusers, and the corrupt have always been with us. It should be no surprise that they gravitate to positions that allow them access to the vulnerable, grant them instant authority, and provide a pretty decent lifestyle (in some cases, a downright decadent lifestyle). You really think McCarrick would have behaved any differently in 1000, 1500, or any other previous age? I certainly don’t.

    Using dissent from Humanae Vitae to “excuse” these guys from full responsibility for what they have done is offensive.

    • “candle”, certainly sin and corruption, sexual and otherwise, has been with us since Adam and Eve’s Sin. The massive destruction of the Great Flood was brought by it- with sexual sin at the center. Moses destroying the original Ten Commandments was brought by the people going back to idolatry to a golden calf- with sexual sin at the center. I could go on for days like that. The Old Testament greats and all of the great ones in the New Testament were very familiar with all of sexual sin, especially, child sacrifice, pedophilia and adult homosexuality (all deeply connected), as they were very popular in the ancient pagan world, even used as a “sacred”, “spiritual” connection in some temples.

      True Catholic, godly spirituality has ALWAYS been able to “smell” the stench of sin from very far away (modern media makes no difference there), especially sexual sin and also homosexuality, whether in ancient times or today. That’s why Humanae Vitae was a pivotal battle and we should consider it very carefully, among the very many others since Genesis. I very strongly encourage you and all here to read the book: “The Book of Gomorrah And St. Damian’s Struggle Against Ecclesiastical Corruption” by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman (2015). Also, read the article here on CWR, titled: “St. Peter Damian’s battle against clerical homosexuality offers useful lessons for today” (2-21-19). St. Damian battled against the monster hybrid good-and-evil-as-one of homosexuality in the Church in 1050 A.D., and we must follow his effective lead to fight against it today and in the future.

      He wasn’t oblivious to homosexuality then and neither has been the Church for 2,000 years. It is the fanatical, false “tolerance”, “compassion” and “inclusiveness” of all sin (greatly helped by modern media) that has enthroned homosexuality today and spread it wide like a virus that “must” be embraced, even as a form of recycled “higher spirituality”. We are totally responsible for this fight until Jesus returns: “When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood” (Ezekiel 3:18).

    • Yup. Fallen human nature wasn’t any different a thousand years ago. Each generation may find different rationalizations for bad behavior though. The 1960’s allowed a much more generous range of sexual sin to rationalize.

      • Yes, ma’am!! “Tolerance” since the 1960’s means tolerance of sin and it’s why all false beliefs are so promoted and so embraced BUT the True Jesus is left out. Being invented by mere humans, all these false beliefs can not defeat sin but, as you said, they are all ready to rationalize it, except True Catholicism. That’s why we have been infiltrated by physical-mental-spiritual homosexuality, which is the source, the open door and the Pride Parade to rationalizing our way straight into Hell.

        Nothing ever enables sin and corruption and blocks reality more powerfully than homosexuality does. Hold on to Jesus, stay loyal, stay strong, repent quickly when you fall, it’s going to be a very rough ride. Ask for Jesus’ Joy on the Way of the Cross to be your Invincible Strength (Hebrews 12:2). Like Him and with Him, let us scorn all the huge shame that’s being brough to bear against us!! He nailed that shame to the Cross so now we are free!

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. MONDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.