First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, June 2015
The Wisdom of the Foreigner
As I begin this article I have before me a magazine, produced in Ireland, by an American couple who came to live here in 1979 to promote Natural Family Planning. As is sometimes the case, the eyes of the foreigner can see more clearly the blighted landscape that is no longer noticed by the native, because it has become all too familiar to him. This American couple quickly became aware that all was not healthy in ‘Catholic’ Ireland and, in an effort to help Irish Catholics, they began publishing a magazine in 1984 which they continued until their departure from Ireland in 1991. In this magazine they sought to point out some of the more obvious problems with ‘Catholic’ Ireland however, as is also usually the case, the input of the foreigner was not appreciated on these shores, particularly when he was critical of what was going on. Actions were taken by members of the clergy and also the laity to make sure that the magazine did not become widely circulated.
The issue I have before me dates from Nov-Dec 1989 and the reason I mention this issue is to show once again that the prophetic voices were present in Ireland but were not listened to. Amongst the hierarchy in Ireland, the issue of contraception and the non adherence of most of the laity and most of our priests to infallible Church teaching on this matter, is not seen as an important issue. However the real importance of this issue was highlighted in this magazine an article by John F Kippley, an American moral theologian and promoter of Natural Family Planning.
Dissent from Humanae Vitae will lead to Child Abuse
In that article, Kippley addressed the issue of dissent from the teachings of Humanae Vitae within seminaries saying, “The root of the problem is that when seminarians learn to dissent in theory from Humanae Vitae, they are also undermining the basis for their own chastity. Instead of being strengthened in the belief that sexual intercourse is intended by God to be a marriage act, a renewal of the marriage covenant, they learn the egocentric errors of ‘Human Sexuality’ (a heretical publication of the Catholic Theological Society of America). They are brainwashed to become devoid of theocentric reasons for being chaste. The egocentric reasons for marital unchastity provide the same rationale for single and priestly unchastity. Both the married and the unmarried must understand that sex is intended by God to be a marriage act and that it must meet the demands of love taught by Humanae Vitae before it can be called an act of love”
He then continues “There is only one strategy that will be successful in the long run for eliminating paedophilia and homosexual behaviour among priests, and that is the resuscitation of the teaching of chastity in the entire Catholic educational system including colleges and seminaries.”
The editor of the magazine comments as follows “John Kippley argued that paedophilia resulted from dissent against Humanae Vitae. It is a startling thesis but he makes his case well we think. If he is right, we can expect priestly paedophilia to become an issue in Ireland as time goes by.”
Irish Bishops deny the consequences of Dissent
Remember, that this was written in Nov-Dec of 1989 and that the truth of this appalling prediction came to light in the late 1990s. In Ireland, our bishops have never accepted the connection between their refusal to take action against priestly dissent from infallible Church teaching and the abusive practices of some of our priests. It is a fact that in Ireland this dissent continues unabated to this day.
Acceptance of Dissent undermines Episcopal Authority
Another consequence of permitting dissent on such an important issue as the true meaning of marriage is, that the Irish bishop’s have undermined their own teaching authority. Authority operates according to a chain of command. All authority is vested first and foremost in God, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”” (Matthew 28:18), and this authority is maintained by those appointed by God only insofar as they uphold His commandments and teachings.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this as follows “For this reason every bishop exercises his ministry from within the episcopal college, in communion with the bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter and head of the college.” (CCC 877). The bishop can only exercise his ministry if he remains in communion with the bishop of Rome, that is, the Pope. Once dissent from ‘Humane Vitae’ was tolerated and allowed to fester within the ranks of the clergy and faithful in Ireland, the communion with Rome was broken and the Irish branch of the Catholic Church, became detached from the vine.
The Branch that bears Little Fruit is Detached from the Vine
One has only to look at the paucity of fruit being produced in once Catholic Ireland, such as the lack of vocations and the lack of authentic Catholic teaching in our schools, to understand Christ’s own words and see how they apply to Ireland. “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)
To abandon Church teaching on marriage in favour of contraception, as has happened in Ireland, is to put one’s trust in man and in the manufacturers of contraceptive pills and devices. Instead we should trust in the Words of Jesus Christ when he told us not to be like the pagans, worried about material things, saying rather, “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Episcopal Failure has Dire Consequences for the Flock
In their failure to steadfastly oppose, with strong and appropriate action, those who dissent from ‘Humanae Vitae’, our bishops sadly, broke off the branch from the life giving vine. This has resulted in a loss of vocations, a loss of Catholic teaching, a loss of consecrated virgins, priestly sexual scandals and most recently an apostate referendum result in which a Catholic majority voted to oust from our constitution God’s holy decree on marriage in favour of a secular humanist understanding of marriage.
This continuing tolerance of dissent from ‘Humanae Vitae’ is partly responsible for the fact that we have so few men in training for the priesthood in Ireland today. It is the reason why our bishops have lost their teaching authority, and it also explains why a majority of baptised Catholics on this island were prepared to defy God’s commandments and to vote to give constitutional sanction to sodomite relationships. For if the bishops are not prepared to follow Christ’s vicar on earth when he condemns the use of contraception, how can they expect anyone to follow them when they make statements of their own?
Persecution will Follow
In my next article I will continue to look at the nature of authority and will highlight why it is, that we are now headed towards a systematic persecution of the Catholic Church throughout Europe. That the time is right for this escalated and wide scale persecution was signalled to those who will conduct it, by the ‘Yes’ vote in our recent referendum.
© John Lacken 2015
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Author: John Lacken
Founder: Legio Sanctae Familiae – The Legion of the Holy Family