How do we address the Winnipeg statement (for Canadian Catholics)


How do we respond to Catholics who appeal to the Winnipeg statement for freedom of conscience about artificial birth control? Cafeteria Catholics appeal to it for grounds of their behaviour but to me it seems open opposition to official doctrine and borderline heresy. There have been calls by Catholics to have it retracted and an apology issued but nothing still. I don’t know how to respond to these things when confronted with them. How can a conference of bishops be in open rebellion on a moral issue? Seems all too anglican to me


Simply put, the bishops were in error when they made that statement, and the Church has long since made official, dogmatic pronouncement on the issue.

Chances are they won’t listen to you, but that’s pretty much all you can do.


This Winnipeg statement isnt only used in Canada. I know it’s being used alot in a specific area by priests I’d rather not name. And you can believe that if its being used in my area, it certainly may be used across the country.

Look up Monsignor Vincent Foy articles on this. He is a true champion for standing up against contraception.

Here are just some articles -


For Canadian Catholics the Winnipeg Statement is a lot like that stain which nobody seems to be able to wash away.

Although the Winnipeg Statement has yet to ever be formally rescinded or retracted by the CCCB, it is notable that in 2008 the CCCB did publish the PASTORAL MESSAGE OF THE CANADIAN CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS - ON THE OCCASION OF THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ENCYCLICAL HUMANAE VITAE

If one goes to Canadian Bishops issue pastoral message to mark 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae and clicks on the link at the bottom of the article to get to the PDF of the actual Message itself, one can read in the message (highlights mine) -

  1. It is to protect the truth of this communion that the encyclical Humanae Vitae insists on “the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may notbreak, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both
    inherent to the marriage act. Abortion, sterilization and contraception are in opposition to the Creator’s intention at the heart of sexual intercourse, preventing, if God so desires, the creation of a unique soul for the unique body that the spouses help to form."

This Lifesite News article contains the opinion/reaction to that CCCB letter by one of the leading protagonists who had hoped to have the Winnipeg Statement overturned - John Pacheco. He definitely feels that this pastoral letter of the CCCB is enough to effectively negate any authoritative weight which may have been attributed to the Winnipeg Statement ; although the Statement has never been directly or formally abrogated:

John Pacheco, a director of The Rosarium, a Catholic group which has sought to have the Winnipeg Statement overturned, praised the new statement in an interview with “It’s a solid document and I think that it will go a long way to addressing a lot of concerns and fears of faithful Catholics,” said Pacheco. “It effectively supersedes the Winnipeg statement,” he said.

Regarding the Winnipeg Statement Pacheco said it’s “no longer the official position of the Canadian bishops.” While he maintains the Winnipeg statement should be formally retracted, Pacheco suggested that with the current document, the Winnipeg Statement is “de facto retracted.” Pacheco said, however, that the new push for faithfulness to Humanae Vitae must go beyond the paper to application.

@ ProdigiousN00b : Hope that helps (even though anyone holding their breath - waiting for the Winnipeg Statement to be formally rescinded would have run out of air a long time ago)

God Bless.

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