Monday, October 20, 2008

The 1960s are Ancient History

The editorial of the current issue of FAITH magazine responds to the results of a survey published in The Tablet, which claimed to prove definitively that Catholics reject Humanae Vitae.

As the editorial points out, The Tablet's treatment of a deliberately misleading and agenda-driven survey is symptomatic of the paper's narrow-minded, outdated editorial stance. Fr David Barrett writes:

The assumptions made by The Tablet throughout its issue for the fortieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae (26th July 2008) throw a light upon its editorial stance. They are pre-judged, never fully articulated or worked out, and they significantly damage even the magazine’s interpretation of the survey of Catholic attitudes and actions which they published in that issue.

The Faith article draws attention to particular details, such as the patronising generalisation that 'thinking Catholics' expected the Church to embrace contraception (unlike non-sentient individuals such as Paul the VI and Karol Wojtila) and the apparent belief that the entirety of the Catholic Church's teaching on sexuality are contained within one encyclical.

The terrifying thing is that The Tablet is still taken seriously within the secular press as a Catholic mouthpiece when it has not been Catholic in any meaningful sense of the word for decades and appears - like a middle-aged parent in denial - to be entirely out of touch with the movements that have grown up within the Church over the past thirty years. A generation of young Catholics is emerging through movements such as FAITH and Youth 2000 who are orthodox, faithful, educated... and increasingly impatient with an intransigent establishment locked in the sixties. As one Catholic pro-life activist put it:
"The liberal establishment don't seem to realise that for people our age [twenties] the 1960s are ancient history. I for one am unimpressed by patronising lectures about how awful it used to be and how grateful I should be to the architects of the permissive society, when we are the generation who are being forced to deal with the consequences. It is rather like trying to clean up the mess after someone else's orgy and being commanded to be absolutely delighted about it. It just adds insult to injury."