Humanae vitae: two priests met me in my diaconate summer in 1980s and…

spy vs spyTwo priests from further out east in these USA had heard of my parochial experiences with Humanae vitae. Apparently, this was becoming a thing. A “reputation” and all that. That’s always something to be avoided. It is what it is, for good or bad, truthful or something less than that. They came to pay me a visit – a long day-trip, that – and expressed to me their utter disdain for the appointments I had been given for my diaconate summer (though I do not question the bishop’s wisdom in this matter of appointments in the least).

Satisfied that they had a good understanding of the way things were, but wanting to ascertain this for themselves, they proceeded, after returning to their diocese out east, to make a call to the vocation director in my diocese at the time. They had heard that if someone wasn’t for women’s ordination and against Humanae vitae, there was no way he was going to be ordained in that diocese, at least if the vocations office had anything to say about it. This was news to me, but, hey, anything is possible, right?

One of them made the call and pretended to be a young layman expressing interest discerning a vocation to the priesthood. As they suspected, the conversation very quickly turned to thoughts about women’s ordination and Humanae vitae. Taking a line of fidelity to Christ and the Church for the good of all, he was forthwith put off from any further contact with the vocations office of the diocese with the good wishes being given to him that perhaps he might come around to playing out life on the right side of history.

The result of this phone call was then reported back to me. I guess they thought that knowledge is power. Something like that. The thing is, God is really smart, with lots of knowledge, lots of power. God’s the One in charge of things. Whatever we think about we do, God is the Lord of History.

I asked an old Monsignor about them and he said that, yes, they were in fact priests from out east and were quite the renegades on behalf of the good. I recall being quite inspired by all this. Perhaps some might think role playing in this way is not to be done, but…


Filed under Father Byers Autobiography, Pro-Life

5 responses to “Humanae vitae: two priests met me in my diaconate summer in 1980s and…

  1. pelerin

    Thinking back I don’t remember ever hearing any homily either for or against Humanae Vitae. And I have certainly never heard a Priest say he is in favour of women Priests although I do know lay Catholics who are convinced the latter will eventually be accepted due to the shortage of Priests and sadly they see nothing wrong with this.

  2. Gina Nakagawa

    I am very much against women priests. The founder of the Catholic Faith is very much “pro-woman” (He created them), yet He did not ordain women. If this is how He awanted it, that is just fine. Who are we foolish creatures to say Him nay? As women we should be protecting and nurturing God’s greatest of gifts, the gift of life. We are not men in “girl suits.” We are especially made.

    I have known some very brave priests who have spoken out against the murder of children. They have been sorely punished, but I have confidence in the Good Lord that, if they stay the course and fight the good fight, their reward will be very great in the abode that really counts.

    May God bless these holy men who struggle against the temptations put before them by the ultimate “Snake Oil Salesman.” Their struggle is long and particularly arduous. May they be given the strength to endure, and may members of the Catholic Faith support them in their endeavors.

  3. nancyv

    |Shoot, I was just thinking about termites…how everything looks ok on the outside, but being destroyed from within, and having to go underneath to see the damage. So yes, those “undercover” priests were doing what needed to be done.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences in the past posts about Humanae Vitae. I especially was a little too gleeful about the “what if” question regarding poor parish and your response about being a prison chaplain.
    What an answer! Deo gratias.

  4. pelerin

    ‘Riposte Catholique’ which sends Catholic news items by email has pointed out that a French Bishop (of Montauban) has defended Humanae Vitae on Twitter by quoting Pope John Paul II. ‘Un enseignement constant de la Tradition et du Magistere de l’Eglise qui ne peut etre remis en question.’ I find it sad that a Bishop defending the Truth becomes a news item.
    Interestingly someone replies that ‘Unfortunately Pope Francis does not agree with your opinion ‘ to which the Bishop replies ‘It is not my opinion and Pope Francis has not said the opposite of this teaching.’

  5. sanfelipe007

    I am pretty sure The Angel Rapha-el, in Tobit, went “undercover.”

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