A friend recently alerted my husband and I to a post on the NY Times blog by Rosemary Radford Ruether. This is fascinating to read through if you get the chance. Ruether brought up the issue of contraception and why Benedict XVI didn't address American Catholics' dissent from this teaching during his recent visit. While the post is pretty much same old Ruether, the responses are interesting. The vast majority of people responding to her disagree with her position and question her complete negligence of Natural Family Planning.
Many of those who wrote in fit William Portier's description of Evangelical Catholics (which several of us think the pope may have read prior to his visit here). The responses to Ruether were generally in favor of the Church's teaching against contraception, and many of them laudatory of NFP (although there was also extensive debate concerning the difference between contraception and NFP when used to avoid ("postpone" in NFP lingo) pregnancy).
People, like Ruether, will often point to the fact that the majority of American Catholics continue to use contraception with no problems of conscience. True. Yet notice that none (or at least, very few) of them responded to Ruether's post in support of her position that the Church needs to move beyond Humanae Vitae. Why not? Where are these majority of Catholics on the NY Times blog site?
Portier suggests that Evangelical Catholics, minority though they be, are a critical minority in the Church inasmuch as they are shaping the future of the Church and will continue to do so. Those who wrote in to respond to Ruether appear to be both highly invested in the Church and largely accepting (even celebratory) of the Church's teachings, including the one against contraception.