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Crisis Magazine is promoting the Campaign for Humanae Vitae.

If you listen to Bishop Blair's interview with Terri Gross on NPR, you'll see how badly needed is a coherent and courageous witness from our US Bishops in defense of the Church's teachings. Bishop Blair did an adequate job, but in this day and age, adequate doesn't cut it. We need our Bishops to speak with confident command that what Catholics propose is not only true but vital for all people. Bishop Blair somehow made it seem like the minimalist approach of the Sisters would be most welcome.

No! Let's call upon a robust sisterhood, vigorously and proudly defending their fathers, their brothers, their Mother, and themselves. For that, we need a robust episcopate, prepared to take advantage of on-air moments for evangelization and apologetical fortitude. I would have loved to have heard Archbishop Dolan's responses to Terri Gross.

And for that, coming full circle, we need a robust laity, who expect all the ordained to defend and promote Humanae Vitae. 

My wife's succinct take on Bishop Blair's responses: "Grow some balls!"

Let's defend NFP, the sacramental integrity of male priesthood, and the true meaning of obedience, which means to listen and do as you have been told. As parents, we expect obedience from our children not because they have found our expectations acceptable, but because we are their parents.

We obey our Bishops not because they have been found to be reasonable and acceptable but because it is our proper duty. Bishops need to own the authority given them, they need to grow some balls and vigorously proclaim the veracity of the Church's doctrine, and they need to learn how to take advantage of 45 minute interviews on national public radio. If they were used to addressing the dissent from married couples in their parishes on a regular basis, they would be better prepared to field questions like those in this interview. Bishop Blair ought to have had at the tip of his tongue some of the most amazing counterpoints. Instead, he was just o.k., milqueotast, on the defensive. He kept supplying arguments for the other side, such as "people scoff at the idea of NFP"-- don't make that your opener! Say, "for some reason, a majority of women in the Church have decided it's better to chemically sterilize themselves, damage the beautiful handiwork that is the female body, and put their health at risk for the sake of convenience rather than cooperate with their fertile cycle through the approved methods of natural family planning." Instead, we got to enjoy the tangible incredulity of Terri Gross that anyone would even think to oppose birth control.

Lost opportunity. Go sign the petition.

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