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The Politics of Sex and Religion: A Case History in the Development of Doctrine, 1962-1984 Paperback – June, 1985

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Sheed & Ward (June 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0934134162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0934134163
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This is required reading for anyone who wants to know how the Catholic church works. We are given an insight into the universal church which covers a broad spectrum of opinion. In the case of contraception we are shown how the "conservative" viewpoint held sway with the Roman curia and Pope Paul VI despite the commission set up by Pope John XXIII, enlarged and encouraged by Paul VI, finding in favour of responsible parenthood and contraception, the "liberal" view, under certain conditions.

It is also clear that the teaching authority of the church has been badly damaged as statistics show that very few catholics, and not all bishops'conferences, pay much attention to church teaching on contraception.

Kaiser points out in his introduction "that the church teaching on any moral matter depended on prudential judgments, as the Vatican would point out in 1983, apropos of the U.S. bishops' impending pastoral letter, "The Challenge of Peace." A Vatican memorandum said, "Bishops must not take sides when various moral choices are possible. This has to be taken into account when general moral principles are applied to concrete situations, facts, government policies, or strategies."

As Kaiser points out "on the war and peace issue, it is easy for pastors to grant the notion that good Christians can agree on the ends and disagree on the means to get there...it has been more difficult for these same pastors to apply the same reasonability to any moral matter having to do with sex. Here, some continue to hammer out sets of rigid rules (nothing in this area being "small matter") and insist that people follow them, or be damned."

Then Bishop Bekkers "explained the difference between a consensus of the bishops and the consensus of the church.
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Format: Paperback
Robert Blair Kaiser (born 1930) is an American author and journalist, who has written other books such as A Church in Search of Itself: Benedict XVI and the Battle for the Future, Inside the Jesuits: How Pope Francis Is Changing the Church and the World, Clerical Error: A True Story, R.F.K. Must Die! Chasing the Mystery of the Robert Kennedy Assassination, etc.

He wrote in the Introduction to this 1985 book, "[In 1968] Priests were ... telling couples ... How many children? They said each couple should decide according to their own circumstances... Couples saw the reasonability of that... Today, a large majority of Catholics still hold the same enlightened view, in spite of the Vatican's insistence on the old position, and the efforts of ... John Paul II, and his lieutenants to make 'orthodoxy' on birth control a touchstone of loyalty to Rome. Many Catholic pastors can only scratch their heads when they are asked how the pope can push a campaign against birth control... This book attempts fo tell the story of how this happened." (Pg. 5-6)

He says, "Pope John XXIII had appointed a six-man commission to advise him on the birth control question." (Pg. 20) He adds, "But the commission hadn't helped the pope [Paul VI] deal with the problems of the moment. The situation was getting out of hand.
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