Philip Egan, the recently appointed Catholic bishop of Portsmouth in England has made history in English Catholicism by becoming perhaps the first member of the episcopate in decades to publicly endorse the Church’s teaching on contraception, calling it a “prophetic” papal doctrine.
In a pastoral letter dated December 30, the Church’s feast of the Holy Family, Egan brought up a “very challenging and controversial” subject: that “that sexual intercourse is an integral act for love and for life, and that these two aspects of sexuality – love and life – cannot be divorced.”
“Humanae Vitae was a prophetic document,” Egan wrote. In it, Paul VI warned of “catastrophic consequences” if the dual purposes of sex in marriage were to be separated: the procreation of children and the unity of the spouses.
Now, “45 years on,” Egan wrote, “we can see what he meant in such things as the reduction of sex to a leisure activity, the trafficking of people for prostitution and pornography, broken family relationships, and the explosion of addictive behaviors leading to despair, shame, and guilt.”…(Source)
I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. To laugh because this is such a wonder change from the treachery of the past or to cry because that it has taken so long for a bishop to finally buck the Borg and figure out that he is accountable to God not to some Committee of Catholic Bishops.
No doubt that Bishop Egan is making other bishops look bad by comparison. Good. A little bit of “contrast and compare” are woefully overdue. When individual bishops start challenging the Borg, it gives every bishop back what is rightfully their authority.
I predict that a lot of pressure is going to start to mount against the liberal establishment as faithful bishops are appointed. The momentum is swinging.
And, baby, when it starts to roll….we’ve got the Winnipeg Statement right in the cross-hairs.