FROM HUMANAE VITAE TO VERITATIS SPLENDOR
by Msgr. Vincent Foy, P.H.
Before considering remedies it is important to understand something of the evil of contraception. When one considers this evil from its theological, philosophical and sociological aspects, its defence and promotion become a mystery of perversity.
It is Anti-God
The Church constantly reminds us that man is not the creator of human life but the procreator with God. Humanae Vitae repeatedly reminds us of God's over-riding role. "Married persons are the free and responsible collaborators of God the Creator" (n.1). Married persons "collaborate with God in the generation and education of new lives" (n.8). The spouses "must conform their activity to the creative intention of God" (n.10). The magisterium teaches there is an inseparable connection "willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning" (n.12).
The primal evil of contraception is that it puts up a barrier against God's creative will, a horrendous crime when seen in all its implications in time and eternity.
It is Anti-Church
To teach that contraception is sometimes licit, even under extreme circumstances, is against that Church unity for which Christ prayed on the eve of His passion. To accept dissenters as belonging to mainstream Catholicism promotes regional or optional morality against the universal norm of divine origin. The anti-church effects are calamitous. When unity is breached true ecumenism is harmed. Evangelization becomes immeasurably more difficult.
The widespread practice of contraception brings its own anti-Church consequences. Mass immorality results in mass weakening of the faith. Suicidal birth rates leave the Church without adequate vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The more Catholics are relatively reduced in numbers the more likely are they to be oppressed and persecuted. Contraception has in it the seeds of the destruction of the Church.
Contraception denies to the Mystical Body of Christ and to Heaven those countless souls who never were and never shall be because of the deliberate frustration of God' s provisional will.
It is Anti-Society
Pope Paul VI foresaw the anti-societal effects of contraceptive behaviour. We read in Humanae Vitae that when there is a widespread use of contraceptives, "a dangerous weapon would thus be placed in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies. Who could blame a government for applying to the solution of the problems of the community those means acknowledged to be licit for married couples in the solution of a family problem?" (n.17).
The contraceptive mentality, when widespread, diminishes the level of love in society and increases the level of selfishness and lust. In government this tends towards easy divorce, legalized abortion, privileges for homosexuals and lax laws against pornography. In education it tends towards wrong sex -education and the corruption of the young. In hospital care it means abortion, sterilization and eventually euthanasia. It means the increase of sexually transmitted diseases. In the media it tends towards license and increased hostility to God and religion. In society in general it tends towards increasing hate and violence, and a lack of young to take care of the sick and the old.
The society which embraces the contraceptive mentality is embracing the carrier of its death.
It is Anti-Family
Reflecting on the marriage covenant Pope John Paul II says: "The communion of love between God and His people, a fundamental part of the revelation and faith experience of Israel, finds a meaningful expression in the marriage covenant which is established between a man and woman - their bond of love becomes the image and symbol of the covenant uniting God with His people" (Familiaris Consortio, n.12).
Contraception makes a lie of the marriage covenant. It no longer symbolizes the union of God with His people or Christ with His Church. Contraception replaces self -giving love with the hate of marital abuse. Because it is a species of infidelity within the marriage it makes infidelity outside of the marriage more likely. In truth it makes the spouses enemies of one another, cooperators in each other's damnation. When the marriage is entered into with an intention to exclude the right to children, that union is null and void.
An illicitly diminished family also suffers. The children who are born are love-deprived. The deliberately childless marriage has anti-social effects common to every suicidal society.. They cannot but be affected by the example of hedonistic parents and a home in which true marital harmony cannot exist.
It is Anti-Spousal
Contraception is an act of spousal abuse in varied ways. Cooperating spouses reinforce one another in evil through mutual abuse. When one party persuades the other to contracept there is an act of seduction. When one objects but submits under pressure there is a violation of conscience and person which is akin to marital rape. When the contraceptive means are known to be abortifacient as with the anovulant pill and intrauterine devices, both become murderers by intent. In all contraceptive behaviour one contributes to the spiritual devastation of the other, a frightful perversion of the purpose of marriage.
It is Anti-Self
Ultimately only individuals sin and suffer. Prescinding from guilt and motivation contraception has its own intrinsic negative dynamics. It is a selfish act creating a selfish person, a lustful act creating a lustful person, an exploitive act creating an exploitive person. Spiritually contraception inflicts the ultimate wound upon the self - that abuse of freedom which is grave or mortal sin. When the young man in the gospel asked Christ what he must do to be saved, Christ replied: "If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments. "The sin of contraception violates the great commandment of love and the sixth commandment of God (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.2370). It is a bar to eternal life. It usually becomes a habit of life blinding the mind and weakening the will as few other sins do. It is not surprising that many Catholic contraceptors abandon the Sacrament of Penance and d sacrilege to sin by receiving Holy Communion.
Continued on page 2
|2001 Catholics Against Contraception|