Conrad Black’s piece today is bewildering. Just at a time when even some non-papal audiences have become sick of the bill of poisonous goods the feminist revolution made women and men sign up for in the name of faux freedom, he hopes Pope Francis not only abandons Catholic theology but good sense. It is surrender to the sexual revolution that has, in part, led to the catechetical and public-witness crisis we’re in. And while, of course, it is true that Catholics can tend to be just like everyone else when it comes to sex as “a mere extension of the pleasures of heterosexual affection,” it is meant to be something more. Don’t we want our children to see it as something more? Don’t we want something more? In her surveying, Mary Hasson of the Ethics and Public Policy Center has found even women who aren’t on board with all of Church teaching wanting to know more about it in Sunday homilies. At a time when we can see clearly in our midst so much of what Paul VI warned of in Humanae Vitae, why wouldn’t we want to repropose a beautiful understanding about men and women, the Sacrament of marriage, and God’s love for us? Why wouldn’t we want a further unpacking of the teachings of Pope John Paul II on human sexuality? We’d all lose out if the Church caved to critics who want it to “modernize.” The Church needs to communicate better, teach more, but not cave.
My reading recommendation for Mr. Black is Mary Eberstadt’s Adam and Eve after the Pill. I suspect he might find himself agreeing with it more than he’d think.
Don’t expect the pope to “Say Yes to the Pill,” but expect him to make it all the more clear why it is we believe what we believe (so that the world does not erroneously see only the word NO when it comes to Catholics and sex). That’s my bet on the new pope. That’s my hope. That’s my prayer.