One of the most common complaints is that Catholic doctrine and beliefs, as described in great detail in the Catholic catechism, are not and have not been very accommodating to current culture and life styles. Most, but certainly not all, of these issues deal with sex in one form or the other (see above comments on The Sexual Revolution). Author Sal Bommarito, a well-known divorce and family attorney, describes these issues in some detail- Sexual Scandal (involving clergy), Celibacy, Birth Control, Abortion, Homosexuality, Female priests, and Premarital sex. The official Church teachings on these and other controversial issues is contained in the Catholic catechism, but an excellent summary and explanation is contained in “Church Teachings on Controversial Topics”.
It is important for everyone to understand that official Catholic beliefs and teachings must meet the following summarized requirements for a dogmatic decree.
- The decree is intended for belief by all the Church’s faithful.
- The decree is related to a matter of faith and morals.
- The decree comes from the Pope when exercising his teaching authority as head of the Church or by a general Church council endorsed by the Pope.
Although Catholic doctrine and beliefs on the above issues are legitimate reasons for some of the Church’s problems, many Catholics believe that they are the strength of the Church. The more fundamental cause of any problem appears to be the Church’s inability to effectively confront these issues. Consider that recently a major newspaper published an editorial piece titled “I DON’T THINK ABORTION IS MURDER, AND NEITHER DO YOU” that was filled with misinformation. We wrote a detailed documented response, but not surprisingly they did not publish it. We read this paper daily and there was no Catholic response from the Archdiocese or any other source. Why was there no Catholic response from our Cardinal or other senior member of the clergy even if they had to buy a full-page AD to get a Catholic response printed?