ADVERTISEMENT

Church doctrine changes along with the times

A recent letter that criticized pro-choice Catholics spoke about Catholic Church doctrine as if it was a static set of absolute rulings that have remained unchanged since the beginning of time. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Church doctrine is a continually evolving (some say not fast enough) 2000-year progression of understandings on church issues like purgatory, the priesthood and transubstantiation, and on once-widely accepted traditions that affect non-Catholics as well, like cosmology, slavery and women’s rights.

In just a couple hundred years, 21st century church doctrine will seem downright barbaric to us.

Just like many socially accepted traditions, some church teachings of the past and present are flawed, incomplete and destructive.

Throughout history, as larger segments of the population became educated, traditions have been modified, and in time, church teachings also changed. This has certainly not been a bad thing for humanity.

The hypocritical double-talk regarding “birth control,” which in actuality is simply the act of having sex without the desire for children, is silly at best, and outrageous at worst, as in the cases where a woman must die rather than risk the life of her fetus.

This letter left me confused. “Pro-choice” means that a woman has the right to decide for herself when, how and whether to bear children. If all Catholics who use birth control leave, then the church is reduced to a tiny shadow of its former self.

Is this really the outcome that’s desired by the small minority of Catholics who don’t use birth control? It seems reasonable to give this more thought.

Lisa Deck Drdul

Amherst