+ Father Anthony Zimmerman, SVD +
Father Zimmerman was a professor of moral theology, an author, a missionary and a pro-life apostle for many years. He never feared to explain why contraception is evil. For one thing, he noted that the contraceptive pill does act as an abortifacient -- and he pointed out that Catholic women who use the pill might be aborting their babies while in the Communion line at Mass.
Father Zimmerman's Webmaster, Matt Dula, has promised to keep his Website online. You can visit it at: www.CatholicMind.com and there you can still subscribe to Father's free e-mail newsletter, more issues of which will be forthcoming.
Father Zimmerman filled his e-mail newsletters with profound yet easily understandable reflections on the Gospels. In humility, he tagged his e-mail newsletter isssues as "Low Priority"; to his subscribers they were anything but that, of course.
In what turned out to be his last newsletter, May 8, Father Zimmerman defended Vatican II but noted that the Church, in the Catechsim and the Vatican II document Christus Dominus, does not give episcopal conferences special teaching authority:
"We are wrong, therefore, if we expect Episcopal Conferences and Federations to have the backing of Christ if they teach doctrines that the Church does not teach (e.g. the legitimacy of possessing atomic weapons, homosexuality, contraception, divorce and re-marriage)... Individual bishops teach their diocesan flocks authentically, and all bishops teach with the power of Christ when joined to the Chair of Peter. But Christ looks the other way when episcopal conferences try to teach new doctrines."
In this last newsletter of his, Father Zimmerman specifically defended Pope Paul VI's encyclical letter Humanae Vitae against the dissenting "spin" that some episcopal conferences gave it. He also predicted that Church dissenters and their "mischief" will fade away.
Cardinal Mahony and Sister Edith could do the attendees at their next Religious Education Congress a real favor if they would honor the memory of faithful Father Anthony Zimmerman, SVD, by bringing in lots of speakers (many are available, after all) to reprise his timeless message of fidelity to Catholic teaching on marriage, family and the right to life.
(Okay, this might not happen. But it surely ought to.)
Father Zimmerman, may the angels lead you into Paradise and may the countless millions of aborted and contracepted-to-death babies thank you for doing your utmost to save them. Please pray for us and all the Church, and for victory for the Culture of Life! Amen.