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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Liberal Bias of the '60s Papal Birth Control Commission Revealed in Released Documents

Our Sunday Visitor has an extensive report in their latest issue about the Birth Control Commission that advised Pope Paul VI prior to the release of Humanae Vitae in 1968. Theologian Germain Grisez has released commission documents. See here.  Turns out the members were biased in favor of approving contraception. No surprise really; it's been know for years. But now those interested in the history of how we got where we are today with rampant dissent, "Catholic" groups undermining sexual morality, etc. can find documented answers right here among the "respected" clerical experts, members of the commission lobbying for contraception. Among the 19 priest theologians participating only three voted against changing Church teaching. Three abstained. The others believed the doctrine on contraception was "reformable." Among the bishops voting for it were Archbishop John Deardon who hosted the first Call to Action convention in Detroit in 1976 which was taken over by liberals and became the impetus for the radical dissent group and Lawrence Cardinal Shehan, bishop of Baltimore and a fan and supporter of pro-abortion Jesuit Fr. Robert Drinan. Archbishop Leo Binz of St. Paul, with whom I'm unfamiliar, voted that contraception is always morally wrong. Good to know there was at least one sensible bishop in the group.

I have a personal interest in the commission because one of the two married couples involved were Pat and Patty Crowley, founders of Christian Family Movement to which my husband and I belonged for many years. Patty and I both graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. although she was decades ahead of me. After Pat's death, Patty became the "grandmother" of Call to Action and helped advance their heretical views on on contraception, abortion, homosexuality and lesbianism, women's ordination, etc. ad nauseum. Patty tried to block pro-life resolutions I wrote for our CFM group at the request of the national office which were introduced at a CFM Convention in the 1970s. Fortunately, the married couples attending had more sense than to be in awe of this "icon" of liberalism who was lobbying to defeat resolutions upholding the sanctity of human life that specifically condemned abortion and euthanasia.

Reading these commision documents, I expect to learn a lot more about the turbulent period of Church history that has so disfigured the bride of Christ. Those who used Vatican II to effect radical changes in liturgy and worship were also striving to radically change Catholic moral teachings. That they had so much help from those who should have been defending the faith is a tragedy.

We owe Germain Grisez a debt of gratitude for releasing these documents. You can also read a brief biography of Fr. John Ford, S.J., one of the three theologians upholding the Church's traditional view of marriage and the openness to life. He and Grisez, at the request of Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, prepared a response to the commission's final report advocating acceptance of contraception. We owe these men a tremendous debt of gratitude.

The fight over contraception is one more proof that the Holy Spirit guides the Church and the gates of hell assisted by Catholic theologians and unfaithful laity will never prevail against her.


Anonymous said...

Amen to your last sentence, Mary Ann!

Jesus did not say, "Whatever you and your advisory committee binds on earth is bound in heaven"!

Yet, there are priests, theologians, religious, DREs, etc. etc. - who think that the Pope can arbitrarily change *doctrine* with the stroke of a pen the same way that he can change *discipline.*

It is maddening to try to even reason with them about this.

I believe that these individuals are flat deluded - by the Evil one.

"There are two ways one can talk to a heretic. You can use logic and reason in order to bring them to the truth, or run a sword through them." King Louis IX (I think)

Catechist Kevin

Anonymous said...

Isn't Grisez one of the theologians in the German group opposing clergy celibacy?

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

He's American, taught for years at Mt. St. Mary's Seminary and has been a champion defending Church teaching on abortion and contraception. I don't know anything about the "German group."

Ray Schneider said...

Clerical celibacy, while a long and honored practice, can be overturned by the stroke of a pen if the pope so wishes because it is not a doctrinal matter of either faith or morals but simply a counsel of perfection which the church has regularized in response to clerical immorality in earlier times. I doubt if it will be changed, but there is no impediment but tradition.

We have some married priests now and such honored figures as St. Peter himself was married and his wife went with him on his travels.

Anonymous said...

Mary Ann -- I'm pretty sure that Binz (from the Archdiocese of St.Paul/Minneapolis voted in the positive that "every contraceptive act is wrong..." and remained steadfast in this position throughout the charade... I've yet to recheck this fully, but this is my understanding from reading the article late last evening... Jimmy

Anonymous said...


While what you say is true - and I, too, make your same point often - the celibacy issue needs to be viewed from another angle:

Say you are a married Russian Orthodox priest (with children) during the time after the communists came into control.

So as a priest of God who understands Christianity is incompatible with communism - you start preaching against the evils of communism duirng your sermons at Holy Mass.

One day you get a knock on your rectory door - a visit from the Party. They tell you unless you stop preaching against communism they will take your wife and two of your children to the salt mines of Siberia.

So, you stop preaching against communism.

Another place another time? some say.

Won't happen in this country? they say.

Don't bet on it.

Yes, celibacy is a discipline not a doctrine - Peter and most of the Apostles were married - true.

However, like you say, I doubt it will be changed anytime soon.

But to preach the fullness of the faith - emphatically without reserve - the celibacy issue has more going for it than meets the eye.

Catechist Kevin

Anonymous said...

To emphasize my point, Ray (should have put this in the previous post - sorry):

Did you know that when St. Peter was martyred in Rome they torured and crucified his wife before he was torured and crucified?

He was hog-tied during her whole torment and forced to watch. All the while he was yelling to her, "Memento Christi! Memento Christi!" (Remember Christ! Remember Christ!).

They were doing this to her in order to get them both to renounce their Catholic faith.

God bless you, Ray

Catechist Kevin

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Jimmy, thanks for the correction. I misread the pargraph. I've corrected it. I've started reading the documents and he is complimented for his pastoral approach in running the meeting. If it were me, it would have been a knock down drag out!