Way over on the other side of this continent in the South West of WA, Peter Beeson, has been mulling over what the Bishop of Parramatta, Kevin Manning, had to say in his interview with Catholica editor, Brian Coyne, last week. He provides a summary of what he thinks were the key points in Bishop Manning's argument and he shares his thoughts on a couple of areas where he finds himself in disagreement with the Bishop and indeed with Church teachings they have been urged on he faithful…
Firstly, summarizing the interview...
I have listened to the lengthy interview with Bishop Kevin Manning and in summary these are the sections of it in summary that most interested me:
I can't quarrel with most of that but at the risk of appearing one of the "know-alls" of whom the Bishop speaks I suggest his answers are very simplistic albeit he is one of the most respected members of the hierarchy in this country. Of course Jesus was simplistic in his demands so who am I to quarrel with that?
Secondly, Peter Beeson's criticisms and queries…
But as with the comment of Brian Coyne on the original page where the interview was published,my major difficulty is with the Bishop's comments on conscience. Illustrating his general objection to wide-reaching disagreement with the dicta in"Humanae Vitae" his tone suggests surprise that there should be difficulties in this regard.
Perhaps one should not be shocked at such stance in a celibate though I am sure ignorance is not regarded as an excuse. After years of dealing with people with marital problems I am staggered that there is so little clerical understanding of the inconsistencies in church dogma relating to many things. In illustration, and limiting my comments to just two matters, how can it be against nature for couples to use contraceptives but be alright not only to resort to thermometers, timetables etc but to support as licit, birth control by means of forcing women to go against the dictates of nature which for many mean a high natural desire or need for intercourse at ovulation time?
Then on the score of celibacy. Surely in this day and age it has been recognised that most people are by nature relational having a deeply ingrained natural requirement for intimacy with a special person; the begetting of children may not be the be-all and end-all of physical intimacy and vice versa there are others who are not relational at all. Yet independent of these natural forces Church law requires that all admitted to priesthood remained celibate; very often therefore against the dictates of nature.
There are many other similar inconsistencies in Church teaching and it is no good beating about the bush. In the current age it is not just a case of disobeying church law, rather it is a loss of respect for the ability of those charged with maintaining the Lord's truth to propagate it to people in a fully understandable and rational manner.
What are your thoughts on Peter's response?