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Two-Minute Apologetics

There was a “Letter to the Editor” in a recent edition of the Birmingham News written by three Catholic couples that used the issue of the Health and Human Services contraception mandate to basically say that one can dissent from Church teaching and yet still be a “faithful” Catholic. I would like to take the next few weeks to answer several of the points made in that letter. Each week I will quote a section from the letter and then give my response. If you would like to read the letter in its entirety, you can do so by going to this website: http://blog.al.com/birmingham-news-commentary/2012/02/our_views_disagreeing_with_bis.html Letter: “Non-Catholics should understand that the Catholic bishops' recent dispute with the federal government is less about birth control than it is about internal church disagreements over who speaks for the Catholic Church in dialogue with government on matters of faith and morals. Many of us practicing Catholics adhere to the teaching of the 1965 Vatican II Council that, while the bishops have teaching authority, so their views are entitled to great respect, they do not have exclusive authority to speak to the government for the church in matters of faith and morals. Rather, each member of the church has a duty to form beliefs, to make judgments about faith and morals by following her or his conscience in light of Gospel values and reasoned consideration of both present circumstances and Catholic tradition, and to speak to their lawfully elected government as Catholics.”

There is a line from one of my favorite poems, An Essay on Criticism, by Alexander Pope, that came to mind when I read the paragraph above: “A little learning is a dangerous thing, drink deep or taste …

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