Free of fault.
Your editorial "The challenge to create a new ideal" (NCR, Sept. 11-24) begins with a misleading error and an unfair caricature, not worthy of your usual depth.
The classic term "perfect society" is philosophical: Church and civil society have the inherent means to fulfill their organizational purpose. There's no moral implication that either is free of fault or defect.
NCR has never supported Humanae Vitae, but don't take a cheap shot. The encyclical specifically teaches that a married man and woman have the mission to practice "responsible parenthood." Rather than have "as many children as may occur" (your unhelpful paraphrase), a couple should prudently weigh important physical, economic, psychological and social factors. Responsible parenthood may call a couple to practice natural family planning, respecting the moral order established by God.
To "create a new ideal," do you really think Gospel mercy endorses the status quo? Pope Francis complimented Pope Paul VI for his "courage to stand against the majority, to defend moral discipline, to exercise a 'brake' on the culture." Are we prophetic if we do otherwise?
(Fr.) JOHN YOCKEY