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O'Reilly Notification of Correction.
Topic: Distinguishing between what is dogma, doctrine and discipline
Bill O'Reilly enters the "PC {Practicing Catholic} No Spin Zone"

On January 4, 2012 the following e-mail was sent to Bill O'Reilly:


Subject: Correcting O'Reilly: A small correction has to be made. 'I got caught in the PC {Practicing Catholic} No Spin Zone! Don't you!'
  Put your mouse over Bill.

Dear Bill,

I listened to your interview last night with Presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

Part of your dialogue was as follows:


January 4, 2012, O'Reilly Factor, Fox News, 8:00pm


As you know Bill, as you are a Catholic, the Catholic Church teaches that contraception is something that you shouldn't do. When I was asked the question on contraception, I said I didn't support it.


OK, but the majority of Catholics do not follow that and it's almost like a meat on Friday thing. It's not that Jesus said it. It's not a dogma; it's a doctrine made by man. I'm not justifying it and I'm not giving my opinion one way or another about it. I'm just pointing out they are going to come after you on that. And they are going to come after you on gays in the military. That you want to rescind that and they are going to come after you on gay marriage. That you would want to have the federal government rescind the marriage licenses that have already been given. I'm not debating the issue with you, saying you are right or wrong. I'm not doing that tonight. I'm saying this is going to be put on you. That you're an extremist man, out of the mainstream. How are you going to reply to that?


Well, I don't think being for marriage between a man and woman is extreme Bill.



You said:
OK, but the majority of Catholics do not follow that and it's almost like a meat on Friday thing.

Issues of birth control and contraception are not "almost like a meat on Friday thing" and just because the faithful do not follow behavior that is faithful to the Church, doesn't mean it's OK or acceptable.

This is not what the Church teaches Bill and you should touch base with a priest faithful to the Church, like Father Jonathan Morris.

There are two types of disciplines or customs the Church has:

  1. obligatory, and
  2. disciplines, customs or traditions, with a small "t" that are non-obligatory

The body of beliefs Catholics believe in are the doctrines of the Church, also called the deposit of faith. Doctrines that are more solemnly defined are called dogmas. Every dogma is a doctrine, but not all doctrines are dogmas.

What you referred to in your reply to Rick was an obligatory discipline of the Church, eating meat on Fridays.

Not eating meat on Friday is an issue of discipline and penance; it's not a teaching or doctrine of the Church. This specific discipline is obligatory during Fridays of Lent and Ash Wednesday and optional during Fridays outside of Lent (Where we can choose our own Friday penance.)

It should be noted that before Vatican II, abstaining from eating meat on Fridays was an obligatory discipline year round.

Issues on birth control and contraception are official teachings of the Church that come right from the Catechism of the Catholic Church which Pope John Paul II says "Is a sure norm for the [Catholic] faith."

2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil:

Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.

You said:
It's not that Jesus said it. It's not a dogma; it's a doctrine made by man.

First and for most, no man in the Catholic Church makes doctrine. I have no idea where you got
this loony idea!

The only doctrine made by men, were from men who founded their own man-made Protestant church; Jesus [was|is] a Divine Person, not a human person.

The divine Church that Jesus founded protects, safeguards and passes down from generation to generation Our Lord's teaching either by the Written Word or the Oral Word which is passed down to us today. No man, including the Pope makes doctrine, though each pope has the promise of Christ, in Matthew 16:13-20, to be protected when preaching on issues of faith and morals in new areas that did not exist in Jesus' time, e.g. In-vitro fertilization, cloning, or embryonic research issues. Nevertheless, it's Jesus speaking through the Pope; the Pope isn't making his own doctrine.

Although issues of contraception and birth control may not have been solemnly defined, they are still teachings of the ordinary Magisterium that all the faithful are bound to believe; just read the:

Not to make this correction on your show would be to distort Catholic teaching to the millions that view your show regularly at a prime time hour. I will be waiting for an on-air correction of the faith after you talk with Fr. Jonathan.

I'm hoping you take my e-mail with the constructive criticism with which it is intended. A plug of both my sites would be appreciated:
Awards we have won.
Reviews of our site.
Our local bishop

and my other site, dedicated to praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, saved, and destined for Heaven.

Helpers of the Holy Souls

I welcome input from my colleagues on this.

Mike Humphrey
Natick, Massachusetts

My colleague Mary Ann replied:

Good job, Mike.

Well done.

Mary Ann

My colleague Paul replied:

Good job, Mike.

I may write to him too, as a private person. We can't allow such a crucial falsehood to go unresponded to.

Thanks for the Christmas gift card; I just received it.

Happy Christmas season,


Reply status:

To this day, I have not received a call or reply to any of the e-mails I have sent.

                                We teach and report, you decide!

Mike Humphrey
Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
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