Press enter after choosing selection

14 Priests Diverge From Pope's Stand

14 Priests Diverge From Pope's Stand image
Parent Issue
Copyright Protected
Rights Held By
Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text


Section Three 

Pages 27 to 40

Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thursday, August 1, 1968

14 Priests Diverge From Pope's Stand

Birth Curbs Said Matter For Couples

The encyclical issued last Monday by Pope Paul VI, opposing artificial birth control methods, is described as “neither a final nor infallible judgment on the question” in a statement issued in Ann Arbor today by 14 Roman Catholic priests.

Only individual married couples can decide if artificial birth control methods are “morally right or wrong for them,” the local priests add.

Priests signing the local statement are:

Msgr. G. Warren Peek, and the Revs. Patrick A. Jackson, William J. Barry, Henry J. Bourguignon, Marvin M. Brennan, J. Peter Carey, William T. Child, William J. Currie, James P. Frenza, William J. Hutchinson, Wolfgang Grichting, William B. Neenan, Augustine Wilhelmy and Theodore Zerwin.

Their statement:

“We Catholic priests of Ann Arbor are deeply concerned about the conscience of Catholic people in the light of the recent papal encyclical on birth control.

“We have carefully read the Holy Father’s statement and found many inspiring ideas. The conclusion, however, that all artificial means of contraception are under every circumstance, morally wrong, we think, is neither a final nor infallible judgment on the question. We know that many leading Catholic bishops and theologians have stated that contraception can be morally justified in many cases. We do not feel the Encyclical has settled this complex question.

“We hope, therefore, that the Catholic couples of this community will read the papal statement and give a serious, mature consideration to the entire document. But in the last analysis, we are convinced, only a husband and wife can decide whether the use of artificial means of birth control is morally right or wrong for them. We pray that they will face these difficult decisions with full Christian love and generosity.”

The absence of other local priests’ names from the statement evidently indicates neither agreement nor opposition. The Rev. Frank Srebernak of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, for example, said today he has not been asked to sign the statement, and cannot comment because he has not seen it.

(Related story on Page 23)