The War Against Humanae Vitae

Source: District of Australia and New Zealand

A new battle in the war against Church teaching on sexuality has manifested itself as we approach the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae: On the Regulation of Birth.

The Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research “promoting gender equality and shared decision-making in the Church” presented this Tuesday a statement to the United Nations, urging world leaders to pressure the Catholic Church.

Their goal is to revoke the absolute ban on the use of “artificial” contraceptives and to label artificial contraception “morally legitimate and even morally obligatory”, allowing its use for prophylactic and family planning purposes. They also want the Church to revise her teaching on masturbation, homosexual relationships, and in vitro fertilization.

Ignoring the wisdom of the Church, as well as her divine authority in teaching morals, the dissidents recommend a democratic process and Marxist methods to reform ethics!

We also recommend that the Catholic magisterium seek the opinion of Christian theologians and experts in other relevant disciplines....the opinions gathered should be independent, representative of the majority view of the pertinent academic communities and made public. In case of lack of unanimity, the names and arguments of those who disagree with the majority opinion should also be made public, the present report can be regarded as the initial step towards such a consultation.” 

The document provides a long list of  “Catholic” authors and signatories from the USA, the UK, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands.

The same day, a well organized group of Catholic scholars released an Affirmation of the Church’s Teaching on the Gift of Sexuality, hosted by The Catholic University of America (CUA). Its list of signatories, originally more than 400, grows everyday.

“It is so encouraging to see a broad group of Catholic scholars standing up to promote and defend the Church’s teaching on married love and responsible parenthood and the fact that contraception and sterilization are morally unacceptable and cannot lead a couple to the happiness they desire,” Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, wrote on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop blog.

Bishop Malone, the chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth affirmed also:

Couples who use contraception or resort to sterilization may not realize that such actions contradict the very nature of their marital love and God’s plan for them. They may not realize that, in addition to spiritual and relational consequences, such actions can be accompanied by harmful and unhealthy side effects to the body. They may also not realize that the birth control pill can at times operate as an abortifacient."

Our comment:

It is certainly encouraging to see so many Catholics standing up in defense of Catholic doctrine. Is it an effect of Pope Francis? The paragraph of the Affirmation about the grace provided by the sacrament of penance and prayer is particularly refreshing. Bishop Malone also is very clear and we wish to hear his warning more often about the birth control pill operating as an abortifacient!

We deplore, however, that the natural method, so-called “NFP”, is presented without mentioning the serious circumstances (medical, eugenic, economic, and social) that legitimize its use as Pius XII stated it in his allocution to midwives in 1951.

It is helpful to come back to the arguments against and in support of Humanae Vitae.

As a conclusion, two final points: 1. How did we get to the point that we have so many “Catholic” professors publicly denying Church teaching about basic morality in America? 2. In their claims, these dissidents wish that “damage to the career of Catholic scholars who have been censured for speaking out in defense of the ethical use of modern contraceptives should be undone.” Thanks to them for reminding us of a measure that should be immediate as their pastors review the list of the signatories!