For and article with such an editorializing headline Bishops at odds with parishioners on subject of contraception, the article itself is quite good with plenty of quotes from those who believe contraception to be sinful – including Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Christopher West.
The document itself "Married Love and the Gift of Life" was approved by the bishop’s conference by a vote of 95 percent with no debate on the floor. The document is a good summary of the Church’s teaching in language that can be easily understood. The document also goes into the abortafacient quality of some contraceptives.
The approval of this document got very little media attention, which should be surprising since the bishops have not released anything on this subject since 1968. The document on homosexuality is what got all the attention.
Though while I am certainly glad to see the USCCB approve this document, I am not naive enough to think it will make much difference. Have you ever seen a USCCB document available in a parish? The average Catholic that attends Mass each Sunday will likely never hear about this document and are also not likely to have its message preached to them in the first place.
Maybe it is just that I live in a different diocese, but it is not that uncommon to find some papal or USCCB documents in the back of the churchs in this area. Nothing gets quite the circulation that the “peace” pastoral got back in the ’80s, but still…
You are right however that this will not get mentions from the pulpit. Even a passing mention of contraception would perk my attention and precious little coming from the pulpit gets my attention recently.
I was particularly impressed that they explained the idea behind the abortifacient issue while not trying to claim that it was scientific fact.
And what of the other 5% of the bishops who voted against/did not vote on the document?