Peter Sean Bradley has an excellent post on why it isn't such a good idea for the Church to change its teaching (as if it could) on the more controversial issues in the US.
If you don't mind, Peter, I'm going to quote virtually the whole thing:
- Several times tonight, as I was at various social gatherings, I heard lapsed Catholics and non-catholics say that the election of Ratzinger was essentially a mistake because the Catholic Church had to fix the problems with (1) celibacy of clergy, (2) birth control and (3) ordination of women.
Each and every time, the confident proponents of these notions was absolutely dumbfounded when I pointed out from my definite knowledge as an attorney for dissident Methodist and Presbyterian churches that while the Methodists, the Presbyterians and the Episcopalians have seen membership collapses, the RCC in America has grown faster than the overall population growth. They were speechless at that idea that the formula for moving to irrevelance was to (1) have married clergy, (2) accept birth control, and (3) ordain women.
Let's accept for the sake of argument that there is absolutely no theological reason for the Catholic Church's conservative positions on these issues, but isn't it ironic that the road to decline seems to involve adopting those very position?