Thinking Catholics(tm) sneer at “breeders” and wonder why they are dying off

Thinking Catholics(tm) sneer at “breeders” and wonder why they are dying off

There’s a certain type of Catholicism practiced by the “Thinking Catholics”(tm) at the National Catholic Reporter that reminds me of the slur thrown at Catholics by the Episcopal Church’s bishopess recently. It’s a kind of religious faith that sees sex as primarily intended for gratification and children as a burden both on a couple and on the planet. Luckily it is a barren philosophy doomed, by its very definition, to extinction.

Witness the latest editorial in the NCR that takes the US bishops to task for their recent pastoral letter on marriage and family, especially as it relates to contraception. In particular, I’m struck by these paragraphs highlighted by Jeff Miller, especially the last word in it.

So why again? Apparently the bishops feel that people just aren’t listening. If that’s their hunch, we’d agree. Why aren’t they listening? Let’s consider for starters the document on contraception. A lot of the U.S. bishops today might say there are a lot of bad, or at least ignorant, Catholics out there, Catholics influenced by the contraceptive culture, for instance, who no longer know good from evil.

Maybe they’re right. More likely, though, it’s because the teaching makes little sense, doesn’t match the experience of lay Catholics and tends to reduce all of human love to the act of breeding.

That’s right, they referred to the act of conceiving and bearing children as “breeding,” which is found most often today by certain kinds of liberals, especially by those who are barren by choice, either because they hate children for one reason or another or because they are homosexual/lesbian. Ask moms of three or more kids and they’ll often tell you tales of others (often angry single women) who have spit the word “breeder” at them in contempt. Yet here we have an ostensibly Catholic newspaper editorial using it in a similar context.

Rejecting parenthood, a gift from God that shows us his point of view

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  • I am very grateful I have 3 nephews and 1 niece.  Two days ago my sister had a boy and last summer my other sister had a boy.  My brother isn’t married yet, but I hope he will have many kids.  As a priest who has given up marriage and kids (it isn’t as easy as it sounds), I am grateful to see large families especially from serious Catholics.  I never criticise families with one or two kids (I know a couple that conceived their first child after many years of trying.  I give it NCReporter another 10 years before Ignatius Press buys it.  There will be nobody around to run it.

  • To play devil’s advocate: I don’t think the NCR author was referring to human procreation as breeding himself. In fact, it appears that he was saying that the content of the bishop’s letter reduces all of sexual intercourse to breeding, which in his opinion is incorrect.

    Note I don’t agree with his overall assessment, but I do tend to think he wasn’t saying what Dom seemed to believe that he was saying.