Tag Archives: dissent

Legitimacy of Dissent

Case #1  Nineteen priests dissenting from HV

In 1968, Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle of Washington, D.C., disciplined nineteen priests who had publicly dissented from Pope Paul VI’s teaching in the encyclical Humanae Vitae. Three years later, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy decreed that Cardinal O’Boyle should lift canonical penalties against those priests who informed the cardinal privately that they agreed that the Church’s teaching on “the objective evil of contraception” was “an authentic expression of [the] magisterium.” The Congregation explicitly avoided requiring that the priests, who had dissented publicly, retract their dissent publicly.  A new biography of O’Boyle, Steadfast in the Faith (Catholic University of America Press), suggests that the decision not to require a public retraction was made by Paul VI himself.   (source)