|Austria||CARDINAL LOOKS BACK WITH SADNESS TO HUMANAE VITAE|
Certain developments in the Church's teaching on sexual morality have been "tragic", according to the former Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Franz König.
In an interview with the news agency Kathpress on the eve of his ninety-fifth birthday, quoted by The Tablet, König said that the Church had been plunged into a credibility crisis by Humanae Vitae, Paul VI's encyclical banning contraception.
Guidelines were certainly necessary, but the significance of the personal conscience must not be overlooked, König said. With their "Maria Trost Declaration" in October 1968, the Austrian bishops' conference, like many other bishops' conferences, had emphasised the significance of the "sincerely-informed conscience", König recalled.
He stressed that individual conscience was not a licence to do whatever one wanted. The Second Vatican Council had defined the conscience as "people's most secret core, and their sanctuary. . . . There they are alone with God whose voice echoes in their depths". Tablet