Archive for the ‘Abortion-Contraception’ Category

Reaction to Pope’s Comments on Birth Control

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

First of all, I think that almost everyone agrees that abortion is a worse evil than contraception.  I am pleased to see that Pope Francis labeled abortion as an absolute evil.

Second, I don’t think Pope Francis has stated the “Pill and the Congo” case properly.  To the best of my knowledge, Pope Paul VI was not involved in that situation.  I have been told that some ill-informed doctors told the nuns that they could take the Pill to avoid pregnancy stemming from rape.  I say “ill informed” because the Europeans at that time seemed to be quite ignorant about the abortifacient properties of the Pill.  They thought it was only a contraceptive drug.

Third, there is a huge difference between using a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy from rape and using a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy from voluntary intercourse.

Fourth, The Rev. James Bretzke of Boston College is the kind of moral theologian who confuses rather than clarifies.  Humanae Vitae n. 15 allows certain medical procedures that have legitimate therapeutic value  even though they would render the person sterile.  For example, the removal of cancerous ovaries.  In these cases, the intention had to be therapeutic, not contraceptive.  That does not apply to actions whose primary function is to prevent conception, something that could be accomplished by simply (though not easily) not engaging in sexual union.

Fifth, there is not a moral problem of contraception when sodomites use condoms to slow down the transmission of AIDS.  The act is already essentially sterile.   However, the situation is different with heterosexuals.  There the primary action is contraceptive and thus immoral.  However, in both situations, when an infected person has condomized sex with a non-infected person, it’s simply a matter of time until the infection is passed.  Abstinence is the only sure way to protect the health of the non-infected person.  Thus the moral problem is that of a sin against health and life.

Lastly, to speak the divine truth about human love and to point out its counterfeits is not to be obsessed with these issues but simply to bear witness in an evil age.

Please keep praying for Pope Francis, especially that he will give the Church and the world a post-Synod document that will clearly convey the teaching of the Lord and his Church regarding love, marriage and sexuality.

Sixth.  In the light of other comments floating around, I think it can be said that Pope Francis could have and should have used these questions to evangelize the reporters.  He certainly should have pointed out that Humanae Vitae teaches that married couples can use periodic abstinence from the marriage act to avoid pregnancy.  That involves using natural family planning.  He should know and be able to teach that couples can use cross-checking systems of NFP at the 99% level of effectiveness.

Seventh, a good biblical number, he missed an excellent opportunity to remind himself and his audience the most difficult job of the Pope is to affirm the difficult truths, especially those that affect huge numbers of people.  He needs to remind himself and all of us that the entire world stands in the shadow of the cross on which our Savior died.  He needs to teach what Jesus taught—the price of discipleship is to take up one’s cross daily.  Certainly that applies to difficulties associated with love, marriage and sexuality.

John F. Kippley

Natural Family Planning and the Marriage Act

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

The contraceptive culture refuses to acknowledge that in God’s plan, sexual union is intended to be exclusively a marriage act, and that within marriage it ought to be a renewal of the marriage covenant.  That is, it ought to be a recommitment of the love, fidelity and permanence pledged “for better and for worse,” in which it is recognized that “for better and for worse” includes the openness to the imagined “worse” of possible pregnancy.  St. John Paul II had this to say in his 1994 Letter to Families:  “In the conjugal act, husband and wife are called to confirm in a responsible way the mutual gift of self which they have made to each other in the marriage covenant.  The logic of the total gift of self to the other involves a potential openness to procreation: in this way the marriage is called to even greater fulfillment as a family.” (n 12.12)  (emphasis in original)

John F. Kippley

Natural Family Planning or Sodomy

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

As the world knows, Obergefell vs Hodges, the recent case that was used by the U.S. Supreme Court to forbid states to ban same-sex “marriage,” originated here in Cincinnati. Mr. Obergefell wanted to be listed as the surviving spouse on the death certificate of his partner in “marriage.” When that was originally denied, he took it to the courts, and the rest is history.

You have probably seen various analyses of this decision; some of the best are the dissenting opinions of the dissenting Justices. Chief Justice Roberts emphatically pointed out that the decision was not rooted in the Constitution but simply in the personal preferences of the Majority. That is, this is another sad case of Court-imposed legislation.

The Majority decision listed the Griswold v Connecticut (1965) and Eisenstadt v Baird (1972) as precedents. Those decisions forbade States from banning the sale and distribution of contraceptives to, respectively, married and then unmarried persons. To understand the impact of these decisions and their relationship to Obergefell, it is helpful to remember that in his commentary on the Sin of Onan in Genesis 38, Martin Luther called Onan’s form of contraception—withdrawal—a form of sodomy. That applies to any and all forms of contraceptive behaviors. It obviously includes those married couples who engage in the same sort of anatomical sexual acts as homosexuals; it also includes those who use the Pill etc.   Thus Griswold told the American people that it is so acceptable for married couples to engage in sodomy as contraception that States could no longer have any laws against this behavior.

According to the current NIH “Family Growth” statistics, about one-tenth of one percent of couples, married or not, are using natural methods of conception regulation. Let’s say that these figures don’t fairly represent married Christians. After all, do YOU know anyone who has ever been surveyed? And if asked, would you tell the details of your personal life to some survey-taker? So let’s say that the survey results were off by a factor of ten, yielding a rate of one percent of all those surveyed. Let’s imagine that churchgoing-Catholics were not well represented, so let’s double that figure. That would estimate that two percent of Catholic churchgoing parishioners were not using unnatural methods of birth control.

Conversely, that means that among fertile-age people, 98 percent of Catholics and 99% of the rest of the heterosexual population are engaging in various forms of sodomy as their way of preventing pregnancy. Unfortunately, there are no data from the natural family planning community to help us think that more than two percent of Catholic married couples are using only natural forms of conception regulation.

It is quite imaginable that homosexuals in our culture might have been thinking, “Since those doing heterosexual sodomy are calling it marriage, why shouldn’t we?” From that perspective, it appears that Obergefell is both a logical and sociological consequence of Griswold. In other words, from heterosexual sodomy as marriage we now have homosexual sodomy as marriage.

Shortly before the day of the decision, I was receiving emails calling for prayer and predicting that the acceptance of sodomy as marriage would spell the end of our culture. I don’t disagree, but I think that we all need to realize that “marriage” was redefined by Griswold in 1965 and that Obergefell has simply made clear what contraceptive marriage is all about.

The question of the day is this: What will the leaders of the Catholic Church in the United States of America do about this? What will they do to educate church-going Catholics about the beauty and truth of Catholic teaching on love, marriage and sexuality? As Timothy Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York has admitted, most bishops treated Humanae Vitae as a “hot potato,” i.e., something not to be handled. The result is in the statistics a few paragraphs above. The merciful Lord has given them another chance to get it right.

Also, this is certainly an opportunity for Protestants to realize that Luther was right about contraceptive behaviors as a form of sodomy and to return to the unity of teaching on this issue that prevailed until the Anglican revolution of 1930. After all, essentially Protestant state legislatures enacted the anti-contraception laws of the 1870s. Perhaps some or many will realize that the Catholic Church is the Guardian and authoritative teacher of the truth despite the failings of the majority of its Western laity and the laxity or timidity of too many of its clergy.

John F. Kippley