Priest claims toleration of contraception is non-Catholic


The priest who publicly criticised the former president, Mrs Mary Robinson, following her visit to the Pope early last year, has said that "tolerating contraception is logically incompatible with being Catholic".

Father David O`Hanlon, a curate in Kingscourt, Co Cavan, made the assertion in a letter in the current Intercom magazine. He was criticising a profile of Father James Good in a previous issue of Intercom. Father Good was disciplined in 1968 by the then Bishop of Cork and Ross, Dr Cornelius Lucey, when he publicly disagreed with Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae document which said it was morally wrong for Catholics to use artificial means of contraception.

In his letter, Father O'Hanlon said "no amount of human interest or amusing anecdotes can take away from the dishonesty of a priest who uses his ministry to undermine what is an essential Catholic insight into an essential area of human life".

He asserts that "a person of integrity who tolerates contraception . . . cannot possibly in conscience become or remain a Catholic".

This has always been so, he said. " . . . it is since Pius XI's Casti Connubii of 1930, since Hippolytus in the third century, since Christ himself, in whom the full truth of the human person was at last revealed".

Yet, he said, we are expected to be impressed "by the overt nature of Father Good's hypocrisy as opposed to the more sheepish kind alleged in others". Calling Father Good a conscientious objector could only imply that Humanae Vitae "is on a par with military service - a thing of dubious ethical character to be avoided by the nobler souls among us".