A couple of years ago while reading Damian Thompson’s blog, I heard about Bishop Kieran Conry in England and of Magic Circle fame. He was a liberal bishop. I say he was a liberal because he just handed in his resignation for having a bit on the side during his priestly days. Not sure why the cat finally decided to leap out of the bag, but usually these sorts of things involve money and sterile sex.
I remember his name because I always remember liberal bishops’ names and especially those who undercut or oppose the Church’s teaching on contraception. He was one of them. Here is a money quote from him:
The Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Kieran Conry, who is responsible for evangelisation in England and Wales, said that enforcing strict teaching on the use of contraception risked turning people away from the Church and said that most practising Catholics had accommodated the teaching while following their own consciences. Speaking on Monday at the launch of a campaign to bring four million lapsed Catholics back to church, Bishop Conry said that Catholics had made up their own minds about contraception and that most were happy to live with ambiguity. “It’s important to remember that Paul VI made it quite clear you follow your conscience,” he added. “Many people may not be happy with what the Church says but it seems this is not turning people away. People make accommodation.” (Source)
Now, folks, here is the take away from Conry’s comments above:
1. The man is a victim of the Winnipeg Statement: follow your conscience, paragraph 26. Damn the Winnipeg Statement to hell. Its effects are still reverberating around the world.
2. Never, ever, trust any bishop who undercuts the Church’s teaching on sexuality (or any dogma). This man is obviously very confused and let his own personal sex life influence his teaching on sexuality to the flock. Let me propose this rather stark warning: any bishop who attacks the Church’s position on contraception should be immediately suspect and not trusted. Please, I encourage you to share this warning with as many priests and bishops as you can and let them know that the moment they question any of the Church’s teaching on human sexuality will be the moment that the volume level of their speakers gets muted permanently. Tell them I sent you. If they have a problem with that, send them over here.
3. Notice that the man who was against Humanae Vitae was the point man for the New Evangelization in England and Wales. What does this tell you about the Magic Circle and where the New Evangelization is going? If this is the trajectory, I’ll save you reading the book. The answer is no where.