Thursday, 21 February 2013

Peter Stanford, former Catholic Herald editor, misrepresents Pope Benedict on gays, the unmarried and contraception

Last week, the Daily Telegraph featured an article on Pope Benedict XVI's resignation by Peter Stanford (right) in which he misrepresented the Pope's teaching on the meaning and purpose of human sexuality.

He wrote:
"[Pope Benedict's] inaugural encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (“God is Love”), in December 2005 broke new ground, first in being written in such a way that non‑theologians could follow it, and second in celebrating human love without the standard Catholic exemptions for gays, the unmarried and those using contraception. 'Sex please, we’re Catholics' was the reaction of the influential Catholic weekly, the Tablet."
What Peter Stanford overlooks or fails to mention is that, for example, in Caritas in Veritate, his third encyclical, Pope Benedict wrote: "The Encyclical Humanae Vitae emphasizes both the unitive and the procreative meaning of sexuality, thereby locating at the foundation of society the married couple, man and woman, who accept one another mutually, in distinction and in complementarity: a couple, therefore, that is open to life[27]. This is not a question of purely individual morality: Humanae Vitae indicates the strong links between life ethics and social ethics, ushering in a new area of magisterial teaching that has gradually been articulated in a series of documents, most recently John Paul II's Encyclical Evangelium Vitae [28].”

There were many other allusions, in Pope Benedict XVI’s body of teaching, to homosexual relationships, married love and contraception, which restated the Church’s unchanging position on these matters - as has been universally reported, and as some simple searches on my blog will confirm for Mr Stanford's future reference.

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