It should be a warning that we are in dangerous waters when Catholic bishops and cardinals in 2014 start speaking the exact words of Anglican clerics and laity at Lambeth in 1930. Those well-intentioned solutions ended in disaster for Anglicans.
But it also should be a warning that the Anglicans dealt with this latter problem of Communion for the divorced and remarried along side the problem of contraception. Something similar may well be underway at the present Synod. While one of the main subjects seems to be pastoral charity toward the divorced and remarried, there are clearly those who want to reopen the “pastoral” issue related to contraception as well. Cardinal Kasper, for all his dancing around the subject, clearly is of this mindset as is his former assistant, Bishop Bonny of Antwerp, along with members of the German and other European episcopates.
Just as the declaration of Lambeth in 1920 did not end the contraception issue for the dissenters who came back and won the day in 1930, so the dissenters from Humanae Vitae and the constant teaching of the Church on contraception have for years been strategically quiet. They are now coming back to try to change the teaching. They have never honestly accepted the constant teaching of the Church on “birth prevention” as irreformable and infallibly taught – and powerfully confirmed by Pius XI, Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Francis. Indeed, many of these dissenters think no moral teaching can be taught infallibly.
And now they’re back: very outspoken and very central in the Synod.
The “unresolved” doctrinal problem, make no mistake, is “the Church’s teaching” on things like artificial birth control, and divorce and remarriage. These dissenters are astoundingly blind to what Dr. Gore saw eighty-four years ago: that contraception profoundly undermines marriage and causes demographic suicide.
And it’s before their very eyes in Europe today!
It’s all about never separating the unitive and procreative nature of the sexual act within a life-long committed marriage between two persons of the opposite sex.