Archive for the ‘Humanae Vitae’ Category

Who are the faithful laity?

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

Cardinal Walter Brandmuller, an esteemed Church historian, has called for a new level of cooperation between bishops and committed lay Catholics to renew and revive the Church.  This is the subject of a full-page editorial by Robert Moynihan in the November issue of Inside the Vatican.  As the Cardinal urges and as Moynihan agrees, this could be very helpful.  “The more the hierarchy, from the Pope down, feel supported by the effective resolve of the faithful to renew and revive the Church, the more a true housecleaning can be performed, he (the Cardinal) says.”

Certainly we agree.  From our experience, however, a question arises.  Where are the bishops going to find these laity resolved to renew and revive the Church?  According to surveys, 95% to 98% of fertile-age Catholics are using unnatural forms of birth control.  As Martin Luther pointed some 500 years ago, unnatural forms of birth control are a form of sodomy.  And the sin of marital sodomy is in the same class as sins of mutually acceptable sodomy by the unmarried, whether lay or priests.  Both marital sodomy and priestly sodomy are violations of their respective covenants, both take apart what God has put together as the norm for human sexuality, and thus both are intrinsically dishonest.

Thus it is important that a screening process takes place before numbers of laity are called upon to work with the bishops for authentic renewal within the Church.  At the very least, all prospective lay cooperators should sign a statement of full acceptance of the teaching of Humanae Vitae And, of course, that should be required of all bishops who are engaged in any effort to bring about authentic renewal within the Church.

John F. Kippley

 

Four reasons to pray for our bishops this week

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

First, see 1 Cor 12:26 about hurting.  I maintain that when 95% of Catholics, to say nothing about other baptized persons, are hurting by reason of their sinful contraceptive lives, then 100%  of the body is really hurting because so many are not pulling their weight in the work of building up the Body of Christ.  That sinfulness makes it more difficult for priests, as well as everybody else, to be chaste.

Second, the bishops have not yet repudiated as horribly wrong what they or their predecessors wrote in their 1968 response to Humanae Vitae, namely their “Human Life in Our Day.”  It contains a section titled “Norms of Licit Theological Dissent.”  Obviously, if there can be dissent against the centuries of teaching against marital contraception, there can be dissent against the centuries of teaching against sodomy.  The acceptance of marital contraception is the acceptance of the idea that we modern men and women can take apart what God has put together in the marriage act and, by logical extension, everything else in the area of love, marriage and sexuality.  There is no such thing as licit dissent from Humanae Vitae or the teaching regarding sodomy.

Third, the bishops have failed to emphasize that God has built into the human sexual act its intrinsic meaning.  Humanae Vitae teaches that the contracepted marriage act is “intrinsically dishonest.”  That means there must be a marriage act that is intrinsically honest.  JPII introduced to Papal teaching the idea of the marriage act as a renewal of the marriage covenant.  I submit that this meaning can be summarized this way: “The human sexual act is intended by God to be, at least implicitly, a renewal of the marriage covenant, for better and for worse including the imagined worse of possible pregnancy.”  First, only a marriage act.  Second a renewal of the marriage covenant.

Fourth, we don’t need more abject apologies that stop there.  We need our bishops to reaffirm confidently and firmly that the priestly sex abuse Scandal clearly points up what happens when priests do not accept and live by what the Church teaches.  The disaster of the whole sexual revolution including the current huge out-of-wedlock pregnancy rate shows what happens when fertile-age people do not accept the biblical norm that the human sexual act ought to be exclusively a marriage act. 
 
“What God has put together let no one take apart.” It applies with equal force to the marriage act and to marriage itself. 

Pray for our bishops as they meet this week.

John F. Kippley

Current Scandal and Humanae Vitae

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

Friends, I think that as a result of the current Scandal even you can better understand what Sheila and I have endured for 50 years of defending Humanae Vitae: 50 years of significant rejection! Immediately after Humanae Vitae, I wrote about the need to counter the efforts to rationalize, in the worst sense of that word, the acceptance of contraception.  I advocated that adequate Catholic theology would help “the [contraception-accepting] couple to realize that their solution of one evil to counteract another tends to provide the rationalization for adultery, fornication and every other violation of the sexual order of creation as well as just about every sin imaginable” (Covenant, Christ and Contraception, Alba House, 1970, p. 126).  At about the same time, Michael F. Valente’s book was published.  He took dissent to its logical limits and proclaimed a doctrine of subjectivity in which he accepted even bestiality.

I wrote in 1971 in Theological Studies that the principles of dissent against Catholic teaching regarding marital contraception were also principles of dissent against every other aspect of sexual morality.  No one ever criticized me in public, but the book and the article did little or nothing to stop or slow the dissenter’s bandwagon.  In 1977 the Catholic Theological Society of America published a book that also accepted a truly radical subjectivity.  I can still remember that they would leave any teaching about adultery to the sociologists.  This was the horrible situation in the Church when St. John Paul II began his papacy in 1978 and made the support of Humanae Vitae the principal teaching effort of the first ten years of his pontificate. 

My point is this: It was public knowledge among the theologically educated that the acceptance of unnatural forms of birth control was at least implicitly an acceptance of sodomy and bestiality and anything imaginable provided the parties were mutually agreed and were of legal age.   Even ten years of teaching by St. John Paul II seemed to have little effect. 

Now, thanks to the outrageous pride and sins of some of those with same-sex orientation, the cancer in the Church is being recognized and steps are being taken to heal it with the radiation of the truth as well as by the surgery of public exposure.  Yes, surgery sometimes can be very smelly, and the same is true at present within the Church.

Hang in there, my friends.  Keep praying for authentic renewal within the Church from top to bottom and for the conversion of sinners, as our Lady of Fatima asked us to pray, including those in high places.  This is a wonderful time in the Church. We cannot pray too much for the cleansing to be authentic and thorough.
John F. Kippley