Missouri bishop blames ‘mentality of sterility’ for crisis in family life

Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau James V. Johnston
Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau James V. Johnston

.- A Missouri bishop has decried a “mentality of sterility,” naming it as a main factor in the present crisis of family life. He predicted that the renewal of the family and the Church would take place only when Catholics rediscover their “call to fruitfulness.”

Speaking at a Sept. 26 workshop for the assembly of the Missouri Catholic Conference, Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau James V. Johnston said that all love “tends toward an incarnation” and requires the “daily cultivation of the soul” in holiness.

“It is a call that we must respond to anew each day to God’s question, ‘Where are you?’”

According to the St. Louis Review, the bishop said family life is now in crisis because it is formed in a mentality of sterility. He compared contraception within marriage as the “sacrament” of this attitude.

Family life, the culture and the Church will only be renewed when the “domestic church” rediscovers “its call to fruitfulness at every level.”

In comments after his speech, Bishop Johnston said the Church can save the world by starting with the family. True love, freely given and unconditional, faithful to the end and fruitful, is revealed by Jesus on the Cross.

The bishop noted that in many dioceses the number of sacramental marriages is decreasing even as the numbers of Catholics increase.

But marriage and family is where a Christian “learns the discipleship of Christ and learns to say yes to God.”

Other topics at the Conference assembly included workshops on poverty, school choice, immigration, social networking, saving Catholic schools, pro-life legislators and Missouri’s response to the economic downturn, the St. Louis Review reports.

The assembly also honored five Missourians for promoting the common good. They included Cindy Finney of Mary Queen of Peace Parish in Webster Groves, a founder of First Friends of Immigrants and Refugees. She was given the Citizen Recognition Award for her work helping immigrants and refugees.


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