Half of Catholics don’t share view

27 April 2013 | Leicester Mercury

(Headline by Leicester Mercury)

“If I did not believe in what the Catholic Church teaches, I would not call myself a Catholic” writes Francisca Martinez. (Secularism part of birth rate fall, Mailbox April 6) This is an extreme view and would mean that more than half the Catholics in England should stop calling themselves Catholic.

(The Catholic publication The Tablet summarises its 2008 survey on the response of Catholics to the Church’s teaching on birth control as follows: “Today most practising Catholics ignore its teaching on birth control and more than half think it should be revised.”)

Happily, with the new pope, we can hope that a change is coming and that the teachings of scholastic theology with its ideas on sex will get less emphasis, and the teachings of Jesus will be  given more prominence. Pope Francis talking to journalists expresses this hope like this, “Oh, how I wish for a Church that is poor and for the poor”.

When Pope Francis sees the terrible distress in those countries where populations repeatedly double – mainly the  countries of Africa and the Middle East to Pakistan – the change will surely come, and I hope then that Ms Martinez and I will be on the same side.

Gerald Danaher