The first is Fr. Richard McBrien, who is an embarassment to the Church and to the University of Notre Dame. His article in The Tidings basically lacks anything in the neighborhood of honesty or reason, and instead focuses on his view that the resulting dissent in the Church regarding contraception is some sort of proof that the Magisterium got this one wrong.
"On the birth control issue," the column pointed out, "the Pope's present position does not seem to reflect the consensus of the Church, and static fills the air. The encyclical is at odds with the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of the Pope's own commission of experts, the public resolutions of the Third World Lay Congress in Rome, the majority of Catholic moral theologians, the consciences of many Catholic married couples, and the pastoral and theological judgments of the large majority of non-Catholic Christian churches which participate in the life of the Body of Christ and in his Spirit."
Note the numerous errors in just this one snippet. First, he conveniently ignores the previous 1900 years of "static-free" assent and constant affirmation of this teaching. Somehow, I suppose, we have evolved beyond the ignorant and oppressive morality of our Fathers. This is a pretty indefensible stance he's taking without publicly announcing his Modernism (which, yes, I know he's essentially done a billion times, but just bear with me).
Second, this idea of popular opinion being the gauge for Truth is entirely heretical. At the time of Nicea I, 80% of the world's bishops were Arian. It took centuries to flush this poison out of our ecclesiastical system. Or we could just examine the opinion of all the parties he lists above from 60 years ago and see what they say. Tell us, oh wise McBrien, was the Holy Spirit lying then by keeping the static out, or is He lying now by allowing such static?
Similarly asinine statements have been uttered courtesy of the National Catholic Reporter. While appealing to popular opinion, the article basically outright rejects anything amounting to an infallible magisterium:
After all, he (Paul VI) reasoned, how could the Holy Spirit have allowed the church to be wrong for so many years on an issue of such importance? His decision, in the end, was more indicative of church hierarchical dysfunction -- the institution’s inability to look at matters, particularly sexuality, in light of new understandings and insights -- than it was seemingly of any movement of the Holy Spirit.
This is followed with the remarkable statement that:
The surveys have confirmed Rome’s worst fears, causing at times even more thunderous condemnations that have failed to win many converts.
So it seems that Truth can go out the window, just as long as we rope in some converts. It would be so great to have a bigger market share by succumbing to relativism! After all, it's just too dang hard to actually believe in something. Give me the house built on shifting sands any day.
If you'd like an article untainted by heretical ideas, check Mary Eberstadt's shpiel over at First Things. It is a thorough vetting of the entire topic.