17 August 2022, The Tablet

Natural law is not immutable

Sexual morality


Forty-two years ago, the National Pastoral Congress in Liverpool called for “development” in the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexual morality, largely resulting from dissatisfaction with the encyclical Humanae Vitae published 12 years earlier. The encyclical had repeated the Church’s teaching that the use of contraceptives in marriage was gravely sinful; the congress did not think this should be left as the last word on the matter. There is a parallel here with what the German “synodal pathway” process has been calling for – a review of Catholic teaching on sexual morality. The German emphasis has been on homosexuality, and on the harmful effect the declaration in the Catechism that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” has had on gay Catholics.

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