Did Cardinal O’Malley Open a Door to Papal Criticism From US Bishops?

From: Did Cardinal O’Malley Open a Door to Papal Criticism From US Bishops?

[Back to the sixties when it was “suggested” to seminarians that clerical celibacy might be “optionalized” and “ditto” to the faithful concerning artificial contraception? – AQ moderator Tom]

J.D. Flynn – JAN. 23, 2018

Cardinal O’Malley’s concern was likely shared by other American bishops, but, since Pope Francis has apologized, it seems unlikely that there will be more statements from American bishops on this issue.

But other significant issues are looming.

This year, the Pope will lead a synod on vocations and young people, where some expect that clerical celibacy may be an issue for discussion. And during this year, the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, some predict debate on the encyclical’s interpretation.

Humanae Vitae, especially, is an issue that the bishops of the United States have stressed over the past few decades. Several American bishops have long-standing affiliation with natural family planning apostolates, and, especially since the 2012 HHS mandate, the USCCB itself has invested in a pastoral emphasis on the teachings of Humanae Vitae. If there was any perception that those teachings were at risk of being de-emphasized, American bishops might view that as a bridge too far, as Cardinal O’Malley did in this case.

And, given the work the bishops have done to promote priestly vocations over the past 20 years, they could be similarly concerned if they felt that Rome might give conflicting signals about clerical celibacy.

The American bishops might stick to their emphasis on unity and fraternity. But, with difficult conversations on the horizon, and with Cardinal O’Malley setting a new precedent, it’s possible that other bishops might feel empowered to offer more direct criticism, if they felt it was needed.

On those issues, of course, it is not clear whether the Pope would respond to criticism with a mid-flight apology.

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http://angelqueen.org/2018/01/24/did-cardinal-omalley-open-a-door-to-papal-criticism-from-us-bishops/
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