In this “slam-bam-thank-you-man” of an article, Prof. Douglas Farrow pops some presumptive balloons about the culture of contraception. He also overturns the buried and tragic betrayal of the Pope by the Canadian bishops at the time:
Bitterness there was. But by September the Canadian bishops (who in 1966 had already signalled to the government their willingness to see a change in the law on contraception) were urging Catholics not to get their knickers in a knot. They issued the Winnipeg Statement, which conceded that persons 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.”
That was hardly what the Holy Father had asked of them through Cardinal Cicognani, who stressed that “both in the confessional and in the pulpit, in the press and by other means of social communication, every necessary pastoral effort be made that no ambiguity exists among the faithful or in public opinion concerning the church’s position in this serious matter.”
The very structure of the Winnipeg Statement set up a contest between “Solidarity with the Pope” and “Solidarity with the Faithful” – meaning, oddly enough, the dissenting faithful. In between these two parties the beleaguered bishops struck their mediating pose, playing off the private conscience against the pope’s public counsel, while inviting the state and its scientists and educators to jump in for a piece of the action. They did.
Forty years on, where are we?
Canada has given itself over, unambiguously, to what John Paul II called the “great lie.” In consequence its birthrate has fallen to around 1.5, for which the state has tried in vain to compensate by allowing wave upon wave of immigration, while the population turns annually a whiter shade of grey….(Source)
And still, to this day, the Canadian bishops have not repented of the Winnipeg Statement as we approach its 40th anniversary on September 27 of this year.
We didn’t even get a salutary rubber stamp of Humanae Vitae on its 40th anniversary a couple of weeks ago on July 25.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero.
Just silence from the Canadian episcopate.
Obviously, generations of bishops in this country aren’t too worried about Judgement Day, even though they perpetrated or were complicit in the biggest mass fraud in the moral history of this country.
I’m not sure exactly what the more faithful bishops are afraid of – probably pandering to some kind of false unity they have with the rest of the bishops in this country. Well, I don’t have much use for “unity” if it’s based on a lie. Look at the Anglican communion right now. That’s a prime example of “unity” based on lies.
If I were bishop, I’d condemn the Winnipeg Statement unilaterally and let the cards fall where they may. A bishop’s obedience and duty are to Christ and His Vicar on this earth, not to his marshmellow friends in the episcopacy.