Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Humanae Vitae 44 Years Later


Today marks the 44th Anniversary of the release of the encyclical Humanae Vitae by Pope Paul VI. Sadly it was rejected from the 1st by many within the Catholic Church who wanted the Church to change its teaching on artificial birth control, something the Church cannot do. It was a follow up & reaffirmation of what  Pope Pius XI wrote the 1930 encyclical Casti connubii (On Christian Marriage). What most people are unaware of with Humanae Vitae is the part that then Archbishop Karol Wojtyła (later Pope John Paul II) played. In 1960 he wrote  Love and Responsibility that defended, from a philosophical point of view, the Church's teaching. His position was  reflected in the final draft of the encyclical. Pope John Paul later expanded on what was found in his writings & these 2 encyclicals in a series of audience talks that has been labeled the Theology of the Body.
While it has been labelled as the anti-birth control encyclical, it contains so much more than that. Like Casti connubi, it reaffirmed the Catholic Church's traditional view of marriage & marital relations. & both also made it clear that sexual intercourse was only for a man & woman joined in marriage. The conjugal act between a man & woman had a distinct dignity & it was unitave & was as procreative purposes. Both encyclicals also condemned abortion. Additionally Casti connubi condemned eugenics laws in force in many places (including the USA) at the time.*
What has been ignored by those inside & out of the Church opposing the Catholic Church's teaching on birth control is how prophetic Humanae Vitae was when it came out. In writing the encyclical it is clear the Holy Spirit gave him insight into what would lie ahead should artificial birth control gain the popularity it has.
In section 17 he said "Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards." How accurate that has been is self evident. Look at the entertainment industry & what it puts out in movies, television, etc. Marital infidelity is lauded. Madonna & Lady Gaga are held up as role models instead of their actions being described as that of a putana (whore) or slut. I could go on, but you get the (pornographic sorry to say) picture.
Pope Paul also said "Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection." We have seen that time & time again. All women are is sex objects. I have to add that women have also done a good job of treating men that way as well. With the ease of obtaining an abortion, men have used pressure to make women get one so they don't have to take any responsibility for their actions.
The last warning he gave seems especially prescient of the situation we find ourselves currently in here in the USA. "Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife." (emphasis mine)
Doesn't this sound exactly what the Obama administration is trying to do in its implimentation of ObamaCare? Just look at the HHS mandate forcing Catholics & others who own a business to violate their consciences & pay for contracetion through the insurance coverage they have. & how about how Catholic institutions are facing the same threat? Time & time again we have seen what Obama thinks of the moral law with his promotion of artificial birth control, abortion, gay marriage, etc.
For 2000 years the Catholic Church has been a "sign of contradiction" (Luke 2:34) just like Jesus. Pope Paul said it was the "duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical.
Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot be their arbiter—only their guardian and interpreter. It could never be right for her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man."
In the 44 years since the encyclical came out neither the moral law, or the Church's duty to humbly proclaim the truth of it has changed. & for good reason. Unlike what the 'culture of death" is doing, as Pope Paul said, "In preserving intact the whole moral law of marriage, the Church is convinced that she is contributing to the creation of a truly human civilization."  & when you compare what the Church has taught & upheld with what the "culture of death" has done when allowed to destroy moral law you will see how it has been the Catholic Church that has been the one to contribute "to the creation of a truly human civilization."
Note: On 24 July 2012, the Catholic World Report put up an article Contraception in the United States: A Short History, that looks at the early history of contraception & abortion advocacy in America, & especially its deepest objectives. It is well worth the read to understand how the movement sprang up in the USA as well as why most protestant churches have embraced artificial birth control.

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* It should come as no surprize that in 1932 Margaret Sanger came out & condemned Casti connubi. In an article she wrote she said the encyclical was was an obstacle to general approval of the birth-control movement. She went on to say that it is “not in accord with science and definitely against social welfare and race improvement”  (race improvement is another term for eugenics). It is not surprizing she acted this way. What is also interesting is that many of the attacks she made on the Pope & the Catholic Church have since become standard talking points within the "culture of death" to try & undermine the Church's teachings on abortion, birth control & feminist issues as well.

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