Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sheep without shepherds

The Alberta Catholic school board has stated that it will not follow the counsel of Archbishop Richard Smith on sex education and the policies concerning transgendered students, but will instead follow the program put forth by the government, a program that leaves transgendered students just where they are without the benefit of Catholic teaching on sexuality.

“I’ve had to search my conscience and decide which master I’m going to follow, and it’s the kids. I’ve chosen the kids and it puts me out of communion with the local ecclesial authority,” stated Edmonton Catholic School board trustee Patricia Grell to the Edmonton Journal.

“No one can interfere spiritually with another person ... be it teachers who are using contraception and going to communion, we have to respect that’s their decision,” she said.

Compare Grell's statement to the following sentences from the Winnipeg Statement of 1968 when the Conference of Canadian Bishops decided to defy the teachings of Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae and give Catholics a wide berth on birth control. 

It recognized that many Catholics, in spite of being bound by the encyclical, find it "either extremely difficult or even impossible to make their own all elements of this doctrine". These "should not be considered, or consider themselves, shut off from the body of the faithful. But they should remember that their good faith will be dependent on a sincere self-examination to determine the true motives and grounds for such suspension of assent and on continued effort to understand and deepen their knowledge of the teaching of the Church."[3] With regard to those in that situation, "the confessor or counsellor must show sympathetic understanding and reverence for the sincere good faith of those who fail in their effort to accept some point of the encyclical."[4]
Paragraph 26 stated: "In accord with the accepted principles of moral theology, if these persons have tried sincerely but without success to pursue a line of conduct in keeping with the given directives, they may be safely assured that, whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience."[5]

The chickens have come home to roost. 

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