M. Theriault: Heading down a slippery slope

This is in response to the article, “Catholics, contraception and the heretic faithful,” an article by Dan Rodricks of the Baltimore Sun which appeared in the Sun Journal Feb. 11.

The upshot of the article was that Catholics believe that they can be faithful Catholics while not believing in the church's moral teaching on contraception, marriage and abortion.

Contrary to Rodricks' assertion, those views are not supported by documents of the Second Vatican Council. There is no basis for them in those documents.

The views stem primarily from the influence of our culture and also from the spirit of rationalized rebellion to Pope Paul VI's encyclical "Humanae Vitae."

Rodricks does state correctly that the encyclical " . . .  reaffirmed the church's opposition to artificial birth control . . . ” He did not mention that Pope Paul VI prophesied that the practice of artificial birth control would lead us down a slippery slope of greater moral laxity.

The Catholic Church's role is not to adapt its moral beliefs to current cultural mores, but to speak the truth in Christ's name, as commissioned by him, for the sake of our salvation. Unfortunately, terms and concepts such as sin, truth, heaven and salvation are not popular in today's culture. That may partially explain why we are more easily seduced today by a government lacking respect for religious liberty and beliefs while promising us Heaven on Earth, all in the name of fairness.

Maurice Theriault, Lewiston

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.



Jason Theriault's picture


I would jump all over this, but my uncle lives what he believes, and I can respect that.

All I'm going to say is that the Church and it's faithful have to understand that once they venture outside of being a church, and start doing private sector tasks like hospitals and schools, they are subject to different rules.

Steve  Dosh's picture

M. Theriault: Heading down a slippery slope

Maurice , Sunday night 21:00 hst
. . The m y s t e r y of our ƒai†hs . .
Hey ! †hanks Stig ( Jason ) and Betty Davis ( neé Davies )
We once had to cut off Sally Struther's Christian Childrens' Fund ( http://www.childfund.org now ) from federal funds for Sudan ( foreign aid ) . They were buying villiages there . That's against the law ! It's called s l a v e r y
Keep church and state separate , Republicans . Pat Robertson is not in the running this year , either , Mr. Santorum
Long live our President Barack Hussein Obama's RomneyCare ® in these very U S of A , Mike . It remains a very good idea ? Mike Moore surely got that right in his 2 0 0 5 film - Sicko - now didn't he ?
Common sense seems to be in short supply these days , Jim . ....
/s, Steve Dosh , Hawai'i Happy Presidents Day y'all . ~ Hang out the flag ~

JOANNE MOORE's picture

Hang on just a second there,

Mr. Theriault. You state that, "The Catholic Churches role is not to adopt its moral beliefs to current cultural mores....."

You are forgetting your own history. On July 20th, 1933, Cardinal Secretary of State, Eugenio Pacelli (later to become Pope Pius Xll) signed a document, The Concordat between the Vatican and the Nazis.

But don't believe me. Just go to...


There are many pictures of priests, bishops, etc. "adapting its moral beliefs" to the reality of Hitler.

 's picture

There are some simple steps ...

... to solve this recent church-state issue. (By the way, the entire matter is just a smoke-screen to distract attention away from other problems. It seems to be working.)

Part 1 of the solution is to abandon the fairy-tale that employers "give" health insurance to employees. While sometimes it is mandated by government, it is just a cost of doing business. The cost is covered by reducing other compensation, like wages and salary. The cost is increased outrageously when a company must maintain an unproductive staff that does nothing but shuffle insurance paperwork.

Part 2 is to require insurance companies to deal with individuals in the same manner they deal with groups. They may not charge more for a group of one.

Part 3 is to legalize "buffet" policies. If you don't want "coverage" for birth control, you shouldn't have to pay for it. If you DO want it, you should have to pay for it. That's only fair, which leads to ...

Part 4 is to apply this, for the sake of the popular concept of "fairness", to EVERYONE: poor, rich; young, old; military, civilian; private, public - including politicians.

All that could be spelled out on a few sheets of paper, not the 2700 page, forest destroying monstrosity known as ObamaCare.

Jim Cyr's picture

Simple steps

again with common sense in mind. We always appreciate your them !

Betty Davies's picture

Speaking of fairness...

Certain companies, corporations, and agencies (NOT churches, but offshoots with religious connections) are demanding the right to force people who work for them to follow the companies' owners' own restrictive religious practices.

If the company heads don't like birth control, they say, birth control should not be part of the employees' health package.

If the company heads deplore blood transfusions, workers should have to pay for their own blood transfusions.

The companies are trying to stir up outrage at the government, which has explained to them that they are not entitled to force their religion on others. I am very grateful to President Obama for standing up to them.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Betty, Firstly, you don’t

Firstly, you don’t have to work for a company that does not provide the healthcare coverage you want – shop around for an employer that does. Moreover, if that company is out of sync with its workers, then they’ll have to change policy or risk not having the qualified workforce needed to meet business needs.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, once the government starts mandating what healthcare an employer must provide, it will be the start of a litany of mandates trust upon corporations big and small. Many of the smaller companies may have to close the doors simply because they cannot afford the mandates.

In closing, while the current focus is on contraception, the more fundamental issue is executive-brand mandates to healthcare. That is why you see so much opposition to the former since it is only the first of more to come.

Betty Davies's picture

Jobs are scarce, and corporations aren't above the law

There are 4 or 5 people in need of work for every available job these days. Workers have precious little choice in which job to take. It's the corporations that rule, and workers who lack power.

Exceptions are routinely made for tiny Mom and Pop companies. We're talking about the Catholic Church here. It accepts Federal funds and special perks including not paying property tax, and has agreed to follow Federal rules. The Church is sitting on billions of dollars. If it wants to mandate that its workers must pay for birth control out of pocket, it can "just say no" to Federal funds and perks, and pay its own way in the world.

To my mind, the fundamental issue is whether or not workers' health insurance should exist only at the whim of whatever company they happen to work for. I applaud President Obama for standing up for workers against corporations that want to dictate health care.

Republicans, who depend on donations from the for-profit health insurance corporations, are dedicated to making sure America will never have a single-payer system. They know that if and when we ever get such a program, Americans will cherish it--and never elect a Republican again.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Betty, 1. Job prospects are


1. Job prospects are not as dire as you make them out to be. The unemployment rate among people with college education is about 4.3%. This class of people has greater job mobility. Moreover, they are more likely to be less intimidated about relocating to seek employment that suites their needs. Now let’s explore semi-skill and unskilled workers. I would agree that as we slide down the scale from semi-skilled to unskilled workers, they have fewer degrees of freedom. As for the balance of power, it ebbs back and forth over time between workers and corporations. There is nothing wrong with that. One can start their own business if this is an issue for them. In that case, they write the checks and call the shots for the most part (government regulations excluded).

2. The Catholic Church has the same rights to freedom as the mom and pop companies. Other than begin a non-profit organization, I’m not aware of the Catholic Church receiving federal funds – don’t we want to separate church from state? That philosophy is a two-way street.

3. Your view of healthcare is not unlike many others. Not only do you think someone should pay for your healthcare, you demonize the corporations, for better or worse – like it or not, create jobs. We are living history, so let Obama keep dictating what corporations should pay, and let’s just watch how many corporations pull up roots and move to more business friendly economies – at least those who are not in bed with the federal government like GE. Like it or not, this is a global economy that are and will continue to compete for jobs. Therefore, as we ignore the forest to focus on the rubber tree, the U.S. will continue be on the losing side of job creation.

4. Let’s finish your thought - … and democrats will continue to strive toward a single payer system at any cost. This is the epoch struggle between two competing philosophies. Moreover, as the Obama healthcare law stands, it will do nothing but drive up healthcare costs for you see the Obama administration has the authority to mandate what is and is not covered. I expect some of those same corporations that you perhaps dislike will do much to influence what is mandated to help their bottom line – oh what tangled webs we have woven between government and businesses.

Let me close by coming back to restating we are living history and we’ll get to experience the outcome – whether good or bad. And perhaps you are right in that those who write the checks have the power – remember to not kill the goose who lays the golden eggs.

Betty Davies's picture


Catholic colleges, universities, and social services receive Federal funds and must obey federal laws, including in regard to health insurance for employees.

The fact that some people might find it easier to find new jobs than others is not much of an argument. No one should have to change jobs in order to have decent health insurance.

The argument that if you don't like an employer's health insurance package, you should just go out and start your own business is silly. Most people don't have the funds to try that option--and shouldn't be required to.

The "goose" of Big Business is not laying any "golden eggs" as far as I can tell. Their wealth has not trickled down to the rest of us, despite decades of empty Republican promises, and they have been shedding jobs with both hands (Roomney excells at this). People are being laid off in droves.

In regard to healthcare costs, here's what Physicians for a National Health Program has to say:

"The U.S. spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on health care, $8,160 per capita. Yet our system performs poorly in comparison and still leaves 50 million without health coverage and millions more inadequately covered. This is because private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume one-third (31 percent) of every health care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would save more than $400 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans."


Jim Cyr's picture

Speaking of fairness...

any and all who are grateful for President Obama for trampling our Constitution and Bill Of Rights is aiding in moving this once Free country towards a Third World country. Shame on all of you !!

Betty Davies's picture

Third World Country?

The US is the only (supposed) First World country that lacks universal health insurance. That is the direct result of Republican opposition to plans that would provide it, over a period of many years.

In my view, the US is well on the way to being a Third World country because of the Republicans, and I am grateful to President Obama for fighting them.

 's picture

The US is also the only first

The US is also the only first world country that lacks socialism, but we're headed in that direction at a furious pace. What could possible go wrong, especially with all those stellar examples of success in Europe? They're going bankrupt but, boy, they're healthy.

Jim Cyr's picture

Do you mean direct

result of the Constitution ?? Like Winston Churchill once said "If when you are young and not a Liberal, you have no heart, and if you are older and not a conservative, you have no mind". (something like that)

Betty Davies's picture

And I heard it this way...

If you're not a liberal when you're young, you have no heart.

If you're not a liberal when you're old, you still have no heart.

 's picture

Jim, I heard it this way:

If you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart; if you're not a conservative at 40, you have no head.

Jason Theriault's picture

Or how about...

If you reject that you have to be a conservative or liberal because this "us vs them" political discourse only seeks to keep both parties in power, you're smarter than 90% of Americans.


Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...