This is an excellent article by Deborah Gyapong posted over at The Catholic Register’s website. ( I found the last sentence of the article particularly hopeful):
Prendergast admitted, however, he is not sure how prepared most people are to rethink their views on contraception. “I hope they would,” he said.
Social conservative activist John Pacheco is critical of the Canadian bishops’ Winnipeg statement that said Catholics who “have tried sincerely but without success to pursue a line of conduct in keeping with the given directives . . . may be safely assured that, whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience.”
Pacheco has created an online petition to urge the Canadian bishops’ to retract the Winnipeg statement, which was released shortly after Humanae Vitae as a response to the encyclical.
Prendergast said the Winnipeg statement was an attempt by the bishops at the time to handle the teachings pastorally and that a subsequent statement attempted to clarify confusion. “Conscience cannot simply be what I think in light of my own life,” he said.
Ten years ago, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops held a straw vote during the plenary on whether to revisit Humanae Vitae at that time, Prendergast said. The result was not favourable, but “it might be different now.”
Given the disappointing silence of the Canadian episcopate on this issue over the past 40 years, you have to wonder if there’s an internal dialogue going on within the CCCB. I have my doubts, but we all live in hope.