“What’s the Big Deal With Catholics Using Birth Control?”

It is more vital than ever that Catholics who understand the teaching of the Church on birth control be ever so patient with those who do not. After all, the sad reality is that for 50 years now there have only been a few Cardinals, Bishops, and priests who have given the proper time to this subject matter from the pulpit. Those who addressed this issue often suffered for it. Some were reprimanded by their Superiors, others were moved out to the farthest, most undesirable location in the diocese. It was so very painful for orthodox Catholics to endure. When 98% of Catholics and non-Catholic alike have used some form of birth control something has gone terribly wrong. Only Satan, himself, is clever enough to have worked his way into that many bedrooms. Yet in an amazing turn of events, something quite unexpected has taken hold of the country and the Church.

I write this for those who are inundated by the media screaming against their Church.They do not understand. Many don’t even know what Humanae Vitae is. Or they know and just don’t really have the time to read an Encyclical Letter. They wonder internally ‘what is the big deal about Catholics using birth control — I don’t get it’. In order to stand up and defend religious liberty one must first understand what it is that his own church teaches. . Young and old alike are hungry for the truth.

When I was growing up my parents always modeled by their example a blind trust in God. In the worst of circumstances they would say ‘trust God, he knows what he is doing.’ Now that I am a parent I understand how very difficult it can be to, indeed, unconditionally trust what is happening in our lives to God. I also see that it is the most valuable lesson a parent can teach a child. It has been my lifeline. Likewise, here is what I was taught about Church teaching on sex, marriage and birth control:

Sex was a gift from the Creator intended for couples to enjoy inside the sacrament of marriage only.

There are two elements that must be present with every sexual act. The act must be both ‘procreative’ (meaning ‘open to life’) and unitive (meaning ‘the actual physical union of man and wife’). Any interruption of these two basic guidelines deliberately takes the Will of God out of it. It steps outside the rules of the Church which are inspired by God Himself.

Every act of sexual intercourse must be open to the transmission of human life. That is why barrier protection (condoms and spermicides), withdrawal before the completion of the act, and all forms of hormonal contraception and abortifacient drugs are forbidden. It also explains why the use of surrogate mothers, sperm banks, egg donation, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and certain fertility practices are forbidden by the Catholic Church as well. If you apply the two basic elements, “procreative and unitive,” to each one of these controversial practices today you will see that none of them exhibit both the Church required “procreative and unitive” elements. Additionally, direct sterilization (tubal ligation, vasectomy, and other new procedures that render one of the married partners sterile and unable to have any more children) is also not allowed. The lack of understanding of this teaching has led to the following shocking statistic. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every two couples in the U.S. is sterilized by age 45.

The Church does allow married Catholics (with good reason) to abstain from having sex during the fertile time of the woman’s cycle. Those who use birth control often say that natural birth spacing and artificial contraception are the same. They are not. . With artificial birth control the couple engages in a unitive act that is frustrated by a contraceptive. In Natural Family Planning, a couple is showing self-restraint and abstinence during a possible procreative time. Natural Family Planning is a prayerful decision by a couple to exercise self-restraint. In other words, by abstaining the couple does not enjoy the unitive aspect of the marital embrace without the procreative aspect which is what is done when a couple enjoys the unitive part of sex while using birth control. What the Obama administration fails to see is that defending this teaching is not about choice, it is about salvation. The Catholic Church cannot and will not back away from defending it. The ramifications are eternal.

It is important to note that there are several natural birth regulation methods approved by the Catholic Church such as Natural Family Planning, the Ovulation Method, the Creighton Model Fertility Care System, as well as the Billings method. These methods also assist couples to achieve pregnancy.

Women have been seduced for 50 years into believing that they should take birth control and become their own god. Some of the bad fruits of this seduction can be seen in the negative physical manifestations of using the Pill and the total rejection of God’s supreme rights and authority over our bodies.

It is not too late to re-educate Catholics of all ages. For anyone who seeks to better understand these difficult issues of our day the Catechism of the Catholic Church provides every answer with full explanation to these hard questions and more. The true teaching of Holy Mother Church on birth control has openly found Her voice and regained Her influence at the pulpits once again. Now, more than ever, the prophetic words of Archbishop Chaput are echoing coast to coast:

“There will be no renewal of America without renewal of the Catholic Church, and no renewal of the Catholic Church without renewal of the Catholic family, and no renewal of the Catholic family without a bold proclamation of the sacred truths regarding the transmission of human life.”

Trust God, He knows what He is doing.

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  • James H, London

    As it happens, the “98% of Catholics use the Pill” argument has been refuted. The details are a bit brain-numbing for anyone without tertiary-level maths or stats, but the facts are here:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/have-98-percent-of-catholic-women-used-contraceptives-not-quite/2012/02/14/gIQAZszTDR_blog.html
    And a bit more brain-melting here:
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2012/02/statistics-obamas-and-internet-memes.html#more

  • M. E. C.

    Proir to our marriage, my husband and I, found it difficult to accept an authority over our intimate relationship. After educating ourselves, attending  a NFP program, and alot of prayers…we submitted our wills. This submission has lead to freedom and joy. It’s been a joyfilled twenty-two years and we have six precious children. Grateful for programs and people like yourself Jenn. GOD reward you! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donald-Hudzinski/100000103743602 Donald Hudzinski

    Contraception is a marital parasite. A marital parasite is anything that sucks the life out of your marriage. They usually in the form of additions such as drugs, gambling, visual pornography or chemical  pornography, which is better know as contraception.

  • Ray

    I am curious about one aspect of this. My niece suffers from endometriosis, to the point where she was being hospitalized monthly for a while. The only thing that stopped it, barring a hysterectomy at age 15, was going on birth control. What is the Church’s position on this use?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Frederick/1213050120 Tom Frederick

    Since the birth control pill came out in the early 1960′s, the Catholic Church has taught that it is morally acceptable to take it for serious medical reasons. The encyclical, Humanae Vitae states the following:

    “15. On the other hand, the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from—provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever. (19) “

  • Jessica

    Thank you..topic should be covered again and again.  

  • neodecaussade neodecaussade

    Dear Jenn,
    This is an important topic, and during the season of Lent we have been requested to raise awareness of faith and walk with others on their faith journey. Humanae Vitae was a flash bulb moment in my life, and for many others. A major exodus, from fully practicing to lapsed Catholics, took place at that moment. I am not interested in debate on the evils of the media or simply restating the catechism. If you read these comments, I would like you to seriously consider speaking from your personal experience and those of the women you know. This Lent is about faith, and not recitation of doctrine.

    You are an accomplished woman who has had a professional career that shows focus and drive. When you spend time with God how does that conversation go when the topic of birth control is prayed upon? When the Holy Spirit whispers in your ear, what is being said? How does Humanae Vitae bring you closer to God? These are not rhetorical questions. You are looked upon by others as a leader. People want to hear your most interior processes. Consider this request.

  • chaco

    Jenn is very close to the word Gem (the Truth has definately set you free). Donald Hudzinski, you sure don’t “Beat around the bush” do’ya ?  I like your type much better that the politically correct & “Tolerant of anything” crowd who avoid any reason & historical / lived out evidence to justify a position. [Relativism (no "Truth except that which is RELATIVE to one's own experience & appetites)  prevents any concerted effort to promote "The Common Good".]  Here’s a great verse for helping our Bible believing protestant bretheren to see our Catholic position(NFP etc.) ; “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting & prayer [But not to the point of being tempted.]” (1 Cor. 7: 5) 

  • Jizza

    The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion

    By Professor Daniel C. Maguire, Catholic Theologian, Marquette University

    Let’s start with the Roman Catholic positions (note the plural) on contraception and abortion not because it is the oldest religious tradition—it is not—but because of its influence internationally on these issues. For one thing, the Catholic Church is the only world religion with a seat in the United Nations. From that seat, the Vatican has been very active in promoting the most restrictive Catholic view on family planning, although there are more liberating Catholic views that are also thoroughly and genuinely Catholic. The Vatican from its unduly privileged perch in the United Nations along with the “Catholic” nations—now newly allied with conservative Muslim nations—managed to block reference to contraception and family planning at the United Nations conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. This alliance also delayed proceedings at the 1994 U.N. conference in Cairo and impeded any reasonable discussion of abortion. With more than a bit of irony, the then Prime Minister Brundtland of Norway said of the Rio conference: “States that do not have any population problem–in one particular case, even no births at all [the Vatican]–are doing their best, their utmost, to prevent the world from making sensible decisions regarding family planning.”
    The sudden rapport between the Vatican and conservative Muslim states is interesting. For fourteen centuries the relationship was stormy to the point of war and persecution. During that time abortions were known to be happening and yet this produced no ecumenical coziness. Is the issue really fetuses, or is it that these two patriarchal bastions are bonded in the face of a neew threat…the emergence free, self-determining women? Questions like this and all of the above summon us to make Roman Catholicism the first of our visits to the world religions.
    One of the tragedies of human life is the separation of power and ideas. The Catholic tradition is more filled with good sense and flexibility than one would gather from its leaders. Religious leaders are often not equipped to give voice to the best in the tradition they represent. In Catholicism, popes and bishops are usually not theologians and often they do not express the real treasures of wisdom that Catholicism has to offer to the world. That is changing as lay people enter the field of Catholic theology and bring to it their real-life experience as workers, parents, and professionals. Catholic theology is no longer a clergy club, and that is gain.
    One of these lay theologians is professor Christine Gudorf. Christine is an internationally known scholar teaching at The International University in Miami. She is also a wife and a parent. Catholic theology was done in recent centuries almost exclusively by men. That changed and women began in the last half of the twentieth century to enrich the tradition with their scholarship and experience as women.
    Teilhard de Chardin, the Jesuit scholar, said that nothing is intelligible outside its history. The point is well taken. If we lost our personal history through amnesia, we would not even know who we are. Gudorf believes along with many scholars that there is nothing that clears the mind of caricatures like a bracing walk through history.
    The Catholic Story
    Gudorf points out that Christianity was born in a world in which contraception and abortion were both known and practiced. The Egyptians, Jews, Greeks and Romans used a variety of method of contraception, including coitus interruptus, pessaries, potions and condoms, and abortion appears to have been a widespread phenomenon. Knowledge of all of this was available to the Christians and although church leaders tried to suppress it they were never fully successful.
    Surprisingly, abortion and contraception were not the primary means of limiting fertility in Europe even before the coming of Christianity. Infanticide was the main method as it was elsewhere in the world. Christianity reacted against infanticide, but there is evidence that it continued to be practiced. Late medieval and early modern records show a high incidence of “accidental” infant death caused by “rolling over” or smothering of infants or reporting their death as “stillborn.” As Gudorf says, “the level of layings over could hardly have been fully accidental.”
    However, during the middle ages infanticide was much less common than abandonment. Most often infants for whom parents could not provide were left at crossroads, on the doorsteps of individuals, or in marketplaces in the hope that the child would be adopted by passersby. (More often it condemned the children to a life of slavery or an early death.) To ease this crisis, the church in the middle ages provided for “oblation.” This meant that children could be offered to the church to be raised in religious monasteries. Many of them eventually became celibate nuns and monks, thus leading to further containment of fertility.
    Another Catholic response to excess fertility was the foundling hospital. The foundling hospitals were equipped with a kind of “lazy Susan” wheel (ruota) where the child could be placed anonymously and then the wheel turned putting the child inside. The good intentions in this were not matched with resources and the vast majority of these infants, sometimes 90 percent of them, were dead within months. Because of the reliance on infanticide and abandonment, it is not surprising that there was not much discussion about abortion and contraception. As Gudorf says, “the primary pastoral battles in the first millennium were around infanticide, the banning of which undoubtedly raised the incidence of abandonment.” Also the high mortality of children due to nutritional, hygienic, and medical debits was a common and cruel form of population control.
    Catholic Teaching on Contraception and Abortion
    Catholic teaching on contraception and abortion has been anything but consistent. What most people–including most Catholics- think of as “the Catholic position” on these issues actually dates from the 1930 encyclical Casti Connubii of Pope Pius XI. Prior to that, church teaching was a mixed and jumbled bag. The pope decided to tidy up the tradition and change it by saying that contraception and sterilization were sins against nature and abortion was a sin against life. As Gudorf says, “both contraception and abortion were generally forbidden” in previous teaching but both were often thought to be associated with sorcery and witchcraft. Pope Gregory IX in the Decretals of 1230 treated both contraception and abortion as “homicide.” Some of the Christian Penitentials of the early middle ages prescribed seven years of fasting on bread and water for a layman who commits homicide, one year for performing an abortion, but seven years for sterilization. Sterilization was considered more serious than abortion because the issue was not framed as “pro-life” but rather, the driving bias was anti-sexual. The traditional Christian attitudes toward sexuality were so negative that it was only reproductivity that could justify this activity. Abortion frustrated fertility once; sterilization could frustrate it forever and therefore it was more serious. Also, since the role of the ovum was not learned until the nineteenth century, the sperm were thought to be little homunculi, miniature people, and for this reason male masturbation was sometimes called homicide. Clearly Christian historical sexual ethics is a bit of a hodge podge. To really understand it and to arrive at an informed judgment on Catholic moral options it is necessary to be instructed by a little more history.
    Catholic and Pro-choice
    Although it is virtually unknown in much public international discourse, the Roman Catholic position on abortion is pluralistic. It has a strong “pro-choice” tradition and a conservative anti-choice tradition. Neither is official and neither is more Catholic than the other. The hierarchical attempt to portray the Catholic position as univocal, an unchanging negative wafted through twenty centuries of untroubled consensus, is untrue. By unearthing this authentic openness to choice on abortion and on contraception in the core of the tradition, the status of the anti-choice position is revealed as only one among many Catholic views.
    The bible does not condemn abortion. The closest it gets to it is in Exodus 21-22 which speaks of accidental abortion. This imposes a financial penalty on a man who “in the course of a brawl” caused a woman to miscarry. The issue here is the father’s right to progeny; he could fine you for the misdeed, but he could not claim “an eye for an eye” as if a person had been killed. Thus, as conservative theologian John Connery, S.J. said, “the fetus did not have the same status as the mother in Hebrew Law.”
    Following on the silence of scripture on abortion, the early church history treats it only incidentally and sporadically. Indeed, there is no systematic study of the question until the fifteenth century. One early church writer Tertullian discusses what we would today call a late term emergency abortion where doctors had to dismember a fetus in order to remove it, and he refers to this emergency measure as a “crudelitas necessaria,” a necessary cruelty. Obviously this amounted to moral approbation of what some call today inaccurately a “partial birth abortion.”
    One thing that develops early on and becomes the dominant tradition in Christianity is the theory of delayed animation or ensoulment. Borrowed from the Greeks, this taught that the spiritual human soul did not arrive in the fetus until as late as three months into the pregnancy. Prior to that time, whatever life was there was not human. They opined that the conceptum was enlivened first by a vegetative soul, then an animal soul, and only when formed sufficiently by a human spiritual soul. Though sexist efforts were made to say the male soul arrived sooner—maybe a month and a half into the pregnancy—the rule of thumb for when a fetus reached the status of “baby” was three months or even later. As Christine Gudorf writes, the common pastoral view was “that ensoulment occurred at quickening, when the fetus could first be felt moving in the mother’s womb, usually early in the fifth month. Before ensoulment the fetus was not understood as a human person. This was the reason the Catholic church did not baptize miscarriages or stillbirths.”
    “Reflecting the pious belief in a resurrection of all the dead at the end of the world, Augustine pondered if early fetuses who miscarried would also rise. He said they would not. He added that neither would all the sperm of history rise again. (For that we can all be grateful.) The conclusion reached by Latin American Catholic theologians in a recent study is this: “It appears that the texts condemning abortion in the early church refer to the abortion of a fully formed fetus.” The early fetus did not have the status of person nor would killing it fit the category of murder.
    This idea of delayed ensoulment survived throughout the tradition. St. Thomas Aquinas, the most esteemed of medieval theologians, held this view. Thus the most traditional and stubbornly held position in Catholic Christianity is that early abortions are not murder. Since the vast number of abortions done today in the United States, for example, are early abortions, they are not, according to this Catholic tradition, murder. Also, all pregnancy terminations done through the use of RU 486 would not qualify as the killing of a human person according to this Catholic tradition of “delayed ensoulment.”
    In the fifteenth century, the saintly archbishop of Florence, Antoninus, did extensive work on abortion. He approved of early abortions to save the life of the woman, a class with many members in the context of fifteenth century medicine. This became common teaching. For this he was not criticized by the Vatican. Indeed, he was later canonized as a saint and thus as a model for all Catholics. Many Catholics do not know that thre is a pro-choice Cathlic saint who was also an archbishop and a Dominican.
    In the sixteenth century, the influential Antoninus de Corduba said that medicine that was abortifacient could be taken even later in a pregnancy if required for the health of the mother. The mother, he insisted, had a jus prius, a prior right. Some of the maladies he discussed do not seem to have been a matter of life and death for the women and yet he allows that abortifacient medicine even in these cases is morally permissible. Jesuit theologian Thomas Sanchez who died in the early seventeenth century said that all of his contemporary Catholic theologians approved of early abortion to save the life of the woman. None of these theologians or bishops were censured for these views. Note again that one of them, St. Antoninus, was canonized as a saint. Their limited “pro-choice” position was considered thoroughly orthodox and can be so considered today. In the nineteenth century, the Vatican was invited to enter a debate on a very late term abortion, requiring dismemberment of a formed fetus in order to save the woman’s life. On September 2, 1869 the Vatican refused to decide the case. It referred the questioner to the teaching of theologians on the issue. It was, in other words, the business of the theologians to discuss it freely and arrive at a conclusion. It was not for the Vatican to decide. This appropriate modesty and disinclination to intervene is an older and wiser Catholic model.
    What this brief tour of history shows is that a “pro-choice” position coexists alongside a “no-choice” position in Catholic history and neither position can claim to be more Catholic or more authentic than the other. Catholics are free to make their own conscientious decisions in the light of this history. Not even the popes claim that the position that forbids all abortion and contraception is infallible. The teaching on abortion is not only not infallible, it is, as Gudorf says “undeveloped.” Abortion was not the “birth limitation of choice because it was, until well into the twentieth century, so extremely dangerous to the mother.” There was no coherently worked out Catholic teaching on the subject, as our short history tour illustrates and there still is not. Some Catholic scholars today say all direct abortions are wrong, some say there are exceptions for cases such as the danger to the mother, conception through rape, detected genetic deformity, or other reasons. Gudorf’s sensible conclusion: “The best evidence is that the Catholic position is not set in stone and is rather in development.”
    Sex, Women, and the Sensus Fidelium
    As we will see, debates about sexuality and reproduction are always influenced mightily by certain cultural assumptions. These usually involve attitudes toward women and sex. A culture that looks on women as sources of evil like Pandora and Eve is going to have trouble justifying having sex with them and may conclude that only reproduction could justify sexual collusion with women. That is exactly what happened in Christianity. Augustine said that if it were not for reproduction there would be no use for women at all. In his words, “in any other task a man would be better helped by another man.” Early attitudes toward women were poisonous. The Mosaic law assumed male ownership of women. Early church writers said women lack reason and only possess the image of God through connection to men. Luther saw women as being like nails in a wall, prohibited by their nature from moving outside their domestic situation. And St. Thomas Aquinas said females are produced from male embryos that were damaged through some accident in the womb, turned into females. As Professor Gudorf says in her refreshingly sensible book Body, Sex and Pleasure, the church has rejected all of that nonsense but “continues to teach most of the sexual moral code which was founded upon such thinking.”
    Small wonder there is new thinking on sexual and reproductive ethics now. As Gudorf says: “The Roman Catholic Church (and Christianity in general) has in the last century drastically rethought the meaning of marriage, the dignity and worth of women, the relationship between the body and the soul, and the role of bodily pleasure in Christian life, all of which together have revolutionary implications for church teaching on sexuality and reproduction. In effect, the foundations of the old bans have been razed and their replacements will not support the walls of the traditional ban.”Gudorf and other Catholic theologians do not stand alone in the church on this dramatic and important change in Catholic teaching. Pope Pius XII in 1954 laid the groundwork for a change in Catholic teaching when he permitted the rhythm method. Though he quibbled about what means could be used he did bless contraceptive intent and contraceptive results. He even said there could be multiple reasons to avoid having any children at all in a marriage. In 1968 when Pope Paul VI reaffirmed the view that all mechanical or chemical contraception was sinful, the Catholic bishops of fourteen different countries respectfully disagreed and told the faithful that they were not sinners if they could not accept this papal teaching.
    Most of the laity, of course, had already made up their minds. The birth rates in so-called “Catholic” nations in Europe and in Latin America are close to or below replacement levels and, as Gudorf wryly puts it, “it is difficult to believe that fertility was cut in half through voluntary abstinence from sex.” Such dissent from hierarchical teaching by Catholic laity is actually well provided for in Church teaching. The sensus fidelium, the sense of the faithful is one of the sources of truth in Catholic theology. This means that the consciences and experiences of good people are a guidepost to truth that even the hierarchy must consult.
    Catholicism in its best historical realizations is not as hidebound and authoritarian as many bishops, popes, and fearful conservatives would make it seem. There is, as Catholic theologian Charles Curran says, dissent from hierarchical teaching that is “in and for the church.” Through much of Catholic history the hierarchy taught that all interest-taking on loans was a sin of usury–even the smallest amount. The laity saw that this was an error and decided that too much interest was sinful and that a reasonable amount was not. A century or two later, the hierarchy agreed…especially after the Vatican opened a bank and learned some of the facts of financial life. The laity are again, along with the theologians, leading the church on the moral freedom to practice contraception and to use abortion when necessary as a backup. Perhaps if the hierarchy were married with families, they could follow the wisdom of the laity in this at a faster pace. It would be a shame if it took a century or two for them to respect the conscience of the laity, graced and grounded as that conscience is in the lived experience of marriage and children.
    Professor Christine Gudorf is hopeful in this regard. She believes that within a generation or two Catholic hierarchical teaching “will change to encourage contraception in marriage and to allow early abortion under some circumstances.” She continues: “This change will occur because as the Catholic Church confronts the reality of a biosphere gasping for survival around its teeming human inhabitants it will discern the will of God and the presence of the Spirit in the choices of those who choose to share responsibility for the lives and health and prosperity of future generations without reproducing themselves, even if that choice involves artificial contraception and early abortion.”
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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donald-Hudzinski/100000103743602 Donald Hudzinski

    When the chair of Peter says “No”, there is no discussion by the laity.

  • livethegoldenrule

    If something is of God, it will have a good beginning,
    middle, and end.  There will be only good fruit as a result, fruit that
    draws people closer to God, greater love and obedience to His will. A well
    formed conscience draws from prayer, studying the Bible, the Church teachings
    (Catechism, encyclicals, etc.), and the protection of the Magisterium of the
    Church. God is clear, and so is the Church. Not only does the truth withstand
    the test of time, it is universal to all, it is not plural, nor is it changed
    by the will of man.  There is not a “restrictive” truth, for the
    truth does set us free from the wickedness and snares of the devil who is a
    master of lies, deceptions, and the use of half truths.

     

    The Vatican is recognized internationally as a
    sovereign state, so it does have a seat at the United Nations, but unlike other
    countries, it does not have voting rights. 
    I have worked as a volunteer for Catholic Family and Human Rights
    Institute to lobby for pro-life and pro-family policies at the UN.  When a pro-abortion president Is elected,
    especially with Obama is so determined to require abortion in all countries, it
    is important to let delegates know that there are Americans from all faiths and
    religions who are working together to protect mothers and their unborn children
    and are against abortion. At every opportunity the term, “reproductive health”
    is tried to be inserted as a right into whatever document possible, much like
    the “theologians” quoted here so as to suggest that everyone wants this and is
    doing it, as if God’s law is subject to peer pressure, or should be altered to
    accommodate sin.  They would publicly
    deny it had anything to do with abortion when asked, but I was there the
    fateful day when a Canadian delegate confessed to the general assembly, “of
    course it includes abortion!”

     

    So the discussion that needs to take place is that we
    all need to have our right to life protected, and that our lives began at
    conception. The legal ability for a mother to kill her own child while in the
    womb does NOT make a woman self-determining. 
    That is determining the life of another! 
    And that child’s plan of life will not be realized, to the determent of
    us all.

     

    The world has and always will have the free will to
    chose sin, and as God has said what is before us is life or death and to choose
    life that we may live. To choose contraception, abortion—and now as scholars
    are asking for in Australia, “after birth abortion” to make it sound acceptable
    rather than calling it infanticide, does not mean we have progressed in our
    understanding of truth, no matter what a “Catholic” theologian may say in their
    thoughts.

     

    You cannot claim to be Catholic, and be
    “pro-choice.”  And they aren’t about
    choice either, they are about abortion. 
    Teaching about abstinence, or an unborn child’s development, or that the
    unborn baby feels pain, the complications for the women from abortion such as
    breast cancer, or the option of adoption are not welcome. God did not say,
    “Thou shall not kill, unless the child is still in the womb (and if you speak
    in Latin, the term for unborn baby is fetus). There is no Church tradition of
    being pro-contraception, or pro-abortion. 
    In fact, all Christian churches taught that contraception was wrong
    until one protestant church justified it for married women in the 1930’s, and
    other protestant churches followed in giving up the teaching against
    contracepting the act of intercourse. 
    Once man can rationalize a wrong and opens the door, it gets pushed open
    to now where condoms are decorated like lollipops and passed out at school to
    sixth graders!

     

    It was said in the quote that abortion was widely
    accepted even at Jesus’ time.  The
    Hippocratic Oath was written 600 years before Christ by pagans, that doctors
    will not cause an abortion, and was continued for thousands of years until that
    was omitted in the 1960’s.  Even our
    country’s founding fathers said that we all are endowed with certain
    inalienable rights, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of
    happiness.  Abortion was illegal. The
    main proponent of contraception was Margaret Sanger in the 1930’s, the founder
    of Planned Parenthood, wanted to rid the world of blacks, minorities, poor,
    Jews, Catholics who, “unceasingly spawning a class of human beings who never
    should have been born at all.”  She
    belonged to a eugenics society, members of whom went to promote their
    propaganda of a superior race to Adolph Hitler’s administration, and the Nazi’s
    slaughtered so many to try to achieve that goal, but still less than the number
    of lives lost to abortion in our country.

     

    So the question is not when the life begins, that is
    scientific fact that it begins at conception. 
    It is, when does love begin?  We
    are made in God’s image, and are made with a soul.  God tells us that even before He formed us in
    the womb, we were in His mind, and he gave us purpose.  The Blessed Mother could only have been
    pregnant a few days by the time she reached her cousin Elizabeth.  Elizabeth’s child in the womb leapt for joy
    with Jesus being there.

     

    In conclusion, the Church has and will always teach
    that life is sacred and to be protected from conception to natural death.  If there is a rare medical circumstance that
    bearing a child may cause the death of the mother, the mother can direct a
    doctor to save her life first, and the baby’s, or as in the case of St. Gianna
    Beretta Molla, save the child’s life first, and then try to save the mother’s,
    but the choice is never to intentionally kill the child. The Church teaches
    that the physical union where the two become one flesh is to be reserved for
    husband and wife in marriage. Pope John Paul II taught the theology of the
    body, that our sexuality is a gift, and true love is giving of oneself for the
    good of the other, which would include acceptance of fertility and the gift of
    children that may come from intercourse. If there is a prayerfully discerned
    reason to not conceive, natural family planning is more effective than the
    Pill, with no side effects, and a couple abstains during a woman’s fertile time.
    To decide that sex is for pleasure and personal needs, and rejecting the other’s
    or one’s own fertility as God made them, and alter God’s design for sexual
    intercourse by rendering it sterile, it is not love of God, of the other, or of
    self.

     

    God bless.

  • patrick

     Having read Professor Daniel Maguire’s (Catholic Theologian, Marquette University) comments, Marquette University in general and the Theology Department in particular have dropped to the bottom of my list (just above Notre Dame) as a desirable place for a Catholic to go for an education.

  • Joe DeVet

    For “Jizza”–lots of words, and the more the words poured forth, the more mendacious the message.  Daniel Maguire is, or was, a dissenter and as such, his work is not a reflection of what is properly called a “Catholic position.”  Nothing of what you said by way of historical interpretation has any basis in truth.

  • Aa

    dont’ know personally any Catholic or non Catholic who is not using birth control or who sees any problem with using it.. Really, you need to forums like this one to meet such people

  • Aa

    By the way, some time in the past I confessed the “sin” of contraception to two different priests. One said in astonishment: “Why are you confessing this, why I you talkiing to me about this, you’ll continue using it, wont’ you?” The other told me to simply ignore this “silly” policy and added “if its good enough for the rest of the world and other Christians, it can’t be evil for Catholics”. I gues the only reason this ban hasn’t been lifted is avoid embarassment and debunking of infallibility. But church has changed its teaching in the past on different issues and will change it again. But it will be a gradual change, over several, perhaps many generations, no living human wil witness it from start to end.

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