The Wineskins Burst

Andrew Greeley and Paul Wink

in The Catholic Revolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238176
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938779 | DOI:
The Wineskins Burst

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Between the Catholic school studies of 1963 and 1974, NORC studied the priesthood for the Catholic hierarchy. After a papal commission recommended a change in birth control teaching, Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical Humane vitae, which rejected the recommendations of the commission and dismissed its arguments for change. Many priests in the United States were advising married women to take their own decisions about methods of birth. The findings were that instead of increasing their opposition to artificial birth control in response to the Pope's decision, priests were now more likely to be tolerant of it and less likely to refuse absolution to those who would not promise to give it up. The important fact is that the majority of priests were no longer ready to enforce the ban on artificial birth control by denying absolution. American Catholics strongly endorsed the Second Vatican Council. Sixty-seven percent thought its changes were for the better and only 19 percent thought they were for the worse.

Keywords: Catholic school; papal commission; birth control; American Catholics; Second Vatican Council

Chapter.  1607 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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