X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Blogs

Catholics must not breed like rabbits, says the Pope. Yes, you read that right

19 January 2015

7:56 PM

19 January 2015

7:56 PM

Catholics should not breed like rabbits and gender theory is a bit like the Hitler Youth. Yup, the Supreme Pontiff is giving another of his in-flight interviews and yet again he leaves everyone shaking their heads: ‘He said what?’

Now, let’s be clear. Francis reaffirmed Catholic teaching on birth control (sort of) while observing that ‘God gives you methods to be responsible. Some think that – excuse the word – that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. No.’

I know what he means. I think. Contraception and family planning are fine so long as you don’t artificially block procreation. But the subliminal and unintended messages are (a) that Catholics have a reputation for breeding like rabbits and (b) birth control is OK, full stop.

[Alt-Text]


Now, I won’t pretend that I’ve ever agreed with the Church on the wickedness of the pill, but better Catholics than me who observe Humanae Vitae to the letter will be dismayed. Because they know that the media will seize on this interview as evidence that Francis is softening Church teaching.

It’s a bit like his ‘Who am I to judge?’ comment regarding homosexuality. In context, you could argue that nothing had changed. But journalists filing to deadline aren’t into magisterial context and canon law, and so they settle for the easy option: ‘unprecedented’ signals from Rome that the Church is easing up on sexual matters. Which it isn’t, so far as I can tell, though cardinals do now feel free to shout at each other in public.

What is unprecedented is the sight of a Pope who, as soon as the seatbelt sign is turned off,  jumps to his feet to improvise on the most delicate matters imaginable. He has the stream-of-consciousness manner of a standup comic, segueing from foreign aid to gender theory to the Hitler Youth in a matter of seconds – read the details here.

Like everyone else, I was impressed by the crowd of six million who assembled to hear Francis in the Philippines. But did it go to his head? The Vicar of Christ has (thanks to his own misjudgments) a gruesomely difficult Synod on the Family to run and rule on in October. At this rate it will all end in tears.

Meanwhile, I have this vision of an elderly Bavarian gentleman with his head in his hands, asking: ‘Lord, was this really what you wanted?’

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close