I was interviewing a prominent Catholic intellectual, shall we say, for my programme on the next Pope, and he explained the attitude to contraception so beautifully that I must slice this out of the transcript. You really have to admire the way in which “interpret” here turns out to mean “ignore”:
in 1968 when you had the ban on contraception reaffirmed in the encyclical humanae vitae, what happened was that bishops’ conference after bishops’ conference filtered that teaching, which was authentic papal teaching, in their own way; and in quite a few of the conferences what you got at the end was a very strong affirmation of the rights of the individual conscience and the affirmation that if in good faith the individual Catholics decided they could not follow that teaching, then they should go to communion and they should consider … continue to consider it …
I hasten to add that this man is not in fact a Jesuit.. On this subject, nowadays, Jesuits say nothing at all.
I think its called cognitive dissonance.