The kids are all right – but disagree with bishops on sex and birth control


The headline last week in the National Catholic Reporter, the country’s go-to source for all things Catholic, might have run on the satirical news site “The Onion”: “Vatican admits it doesn’t fully understand youth culture,” it said. Next week, perhaps NCR will run a follow-up piece: “Bishops admit they have no clue about sex.”
The Obama administration has tried to be sensitive to the bishops’ claims to conscience. After much yelling about the trampling of religious liberties, most notably by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the administration last week unveiled adjustments to its health-care plan that would allow religious organizations to abstain from offering their employees contraceptive coverage under their group plans while, at the same time, requiring insurers to offer the coverage separately. The compromise is a win-win-win, the Department of Health and Human Services argues. The religious employer can follow his conscience. The woman gets the coverage, if she wants it. And the insurer doesn’t have to pay the higher costs associated with unplanned, unwanted pregnancies. In an editorial, The Washington Post supported the compromise.

But some bishops just won’t be satisfied. Three American bishops said on Jan. 30 that they’d sooner go to jail than submit to the contraceptive mandate. The archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, called the administration’s concessions “minimalist” and used the phrase “immoral services” as a euphemism for birth control. The spokeswoman for the USCCB, Sister Mary Ann Walsh, said the accommodations “did not completely satisfy concerns related to conscience rights,” and Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s fuller response was equally chary.

What these most conservative advocates want, it seems, is for American women to be thrust back to a time before Vatican II, when legal birth control was scarce, expensive and difficult to procure.

Which brings me back to the NCR piece, and the Vatican’s articulated lack of understanding of youth culture. The hierarchy is worried enough about its hold on the young to have held a closed-door conference in Rome from Wednesday through Saturday at which bishops listened to experts on youth in an effort to improve their messaging to the young and recapture some of the generation who — in the developed West, at least — are falling away. In preparation for the conference, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, said he’d been listening to Amy Winehouse.

Ravasi will probably come to this on his own, but in case he doesn’t, here’s a clue: Young people care about sex.

Written By: Lisa Miller
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  1. In my best Chicagoan Italian American English, I’ll say it again fer all a yous—-Dem who don’t a playa
    da game shouldn’t a be a-makin da rules!!!!!!

  2. “Three American bishops said on Jan. 30 that they’d sooner go to jail than submit to the contraceptive mandate.” Yes, that’s fine by me.

  3. “The kids are all right – but disagree with bishops on sex and birth control”

    The kids are the experts, the bishops should learn….

  4. I agree, and people everywhere should do so in all the languages spoken anywhere since yours is truly universal advice. Pity they don’t follow it in the Christian language in that weird country of Vatican and its satellites…

    In reply to #1 by kidchicago:

    In my best Chicagoan Italian American English, I’ll say it again fer all a yous—-Dem who don’t a playa
    da game shouldn’t a be a-makin da rules!!!!!!

  5. “The kids are all right – but disagree with bishops on sex”

    Why because they don’t want to have it with them…. Now there’s a surprise…

  6. Obama should come down hard on them. He tried to a compromise but they wouldn’t listen.

    Fine. You can have the bill in it’s original form then and be forced to pay for contraception.

    It’s a bit like legalising gay marriage and then letting religious organisations opt out any way……..

  7. “kids” …and what about adult, middle aged, and elderly? They don’t understand the needs of anyone no matter what they think.

  8. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

    aka Cloister F**K

    some bishops just won’t be satisfied

    Thar’s yer problem, hoss.

  9. Whenever you get any two-bit organisation run by people who have not got a fucking clue then obviously they are going to be out of touch with not only 21st century but the previous three centuries as well.

  10. Three American bishops said on Jan. 30 that they’d sooner go to jail than submit to the contraceptive mandate.

    While I don’t usually accommodate religious nuttery, could I propose an ecclesiastical wing of single cells on the solitary confinement sections some prisons, where these people can live out their lives like troooo hermits from the historical period where they belong – self flagellation facilities and Latin bibles optional!

  11. How can they possibly be out of touch with such ceremonies as “Rite of Reception” held at the “National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception”.

    If you are relying on Immaculate Conception then you have no need of those evil contraceptives anyway…

  12. The findings of the recent inquiry into the Magdalene Launderies in Ireland, a euphenism for labour-camps, whilst moderate and limited in its scope, has nevertheless exposed yet another sordid piece of religious history on this island. These labour camps operated throughout most of the twentith century and were still operating into the mid 1990s.
    Over the past twenty-five years we have had a steady stream of revelations of the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of the most vulnerable in societry carried out by clergy and by members of other religious orders and deliberatly and systematically covered-up by the hierarchy.
    No doubt these latest revelations will heighten calls for reforms and for greater democracy within the church.
    However, the movement for reforms, led by a group of priests, is miss-conceived and bound to fail because it does not address the central and fundemental reasons for the scandals.
    Reformers argue that historically the church is a broad-based institution allowing for a wide range of views on matters of social and moral cinscience, a church with a ‘spirit of openness’. Today’s church, they contend, is dictatorial and does not permit freedom of expression. The conclusion they have drawn is that the problems of the church are a matter of governance and therein lies the need for reform.
    All this may sound quite logical but it is simply not true. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the social history of Ireland will know how church doctrine and dogma has consistently opposed all movements for progressive change within this country and indeed internationally throughout the entire twentith century.
    Opposition to contraception, divorce, abortion, mixed-religion-marriage, gay rights, intergrated education, woman’s rights and equality, freedom of thought and expression, trade union struggles, the anti-imperialist movement and the anti-capitalist movement, all point to an extremely conservative and backward-looking church which is distrustful of human progress and contemptuous of human nature, a factor which is central to any understanding of why the church finds itself in its present difficulties.
    The question is asked as to why there is so much emphasis placed upon the issues of sex-abuse when there is much more to this ‘broad-church’ than these scandals? The answer is painfully obvious and directly linked to the church’s doctrines and strictures on humanity and on human sexuality.
    The three main world religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam have all adopted a negative and jaundiced attitude towards human nature and human sexuality. All that is human and mortal is potentially wicked and evil, whilst all that is spiritual and immortal is righteous and good. This negative philosophy of life is a distorted reflection of humankind’s eternal struggle with mortality and from the deep human desire for life after death. Catholic doctrine has consistently disparaged human sexuality as sinful and shameful and this same dogma has, begining with Eve, equated women with desire, temptation and sin. This obsession with, and contempt for human sexuality is the driving force for a culture of sexual repression that has dominated Irish society for generations. When sexual repression becomes a dominant theme in society, sexual dysfunction on a societal scale is the result. It is this which explains why many clerics and religious, educated within a sexually stunted all male environment, and deprived of normal adolescent development, have acted out their emotional immaturity and sexual inadequacies in the physical and sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults. It is clerical emotional immaturity and sexual dysfunction combined with the power and social status afforded priests and other religious orders, which accounts for much of this sordid history of sexual, physical and emotional abuse of the most vulnerable in our society and within so many of these Catholic institutions.
    Unless and until these fundemental questions are addressed there cannot be either understanding or resolution to these grave issues.

  13. conscience rights!

    Whatever the fuck that is. Is it the imaginary right to hold perverse ideas and insist other people step over them?

    Silly people. Only you will lose sleep over your perverse conscience.

  14. What these idiots don’t know about consensual sex and common sense would fill a thousand volumes of the Kama Sutra. Perversion and pedophilia are better suited to their litany of sins against humanity. Illuminati my ass, more like depravity.

  15. “Social conservatives like to point to the widespread use of the pill, and the subsequent sexual revolution, as the beginning of the end of American morals, the gateway to the erosion of family and marriage, the beginning of the end of a healthy respect for sex as an act of great emotional significance, as well as the means of procreation.”

    and your point is?

    Show us the harm.

  16. Final mass held for gay Catholics in Soho-

    A mass for gay and lesbian Catholics has been held for the last time in central London because the Church says it goes against its views on sexuality.

    The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales said it conflicted with religious teachings on sexuality.

    The Archbishop of Westminster has asked organisers of the service in Soho to instead concentrate on providing pastoral care.

    Gay rights charity Stonewall has said it was a “real shame”

    Goodness knows what was going on in the heads of these people!

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