Posts tagged contraception
Posts tagged contraception
The leading bishops issued a longer version of the public response to the “compromise” late last night. I’m not sure that it’s meant for public consumption (it was posted to a site meant only for bishops), but Whispers got a ahold of it somehow, so here it is.
Since I already had the Catechism next to me from the animal question, I went ahead and cracked it again for this one. Hopefully the reason why NFP is okay and artificial contraception is not will make a bit more sense if you read this with an open mind. Normally I like to reword Catholic teachings to make them a bit more accessible, but for this question I want to be really sure I’m completely orthodox, and the official teaching really says it better than I ever could anyway. I hope you don’t mind.
“2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self- observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil:
Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality…. The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle … involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.
2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).”
So, it’s based on self giving. A husband is expected to totally give himself to God by totally giving himself to his wife, and vice versa. Contraceptives hold back something (the possibility of conception) from both God and the other spouse, whereas natural family planning done for legitimate purposes still leaves room for God to grant the gift of a child if he sees fit (even if the couple doesn’t see that it is time just yet).
Here’s St. John Chrysostom’s beautiful commentary: (Husbands should say to their wives) “I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us… I place your love above all things.”
(edited for length and emphasis)
Pretty serious stuff!
My friend, your query contains your answer.
If you try to look at sex from a non-human or, better still, non-biological point of view, say, that of a computer, it’s really rather gross. Why are those hairy creatures plugging into each other? That doesn’t look like a USB port. And why are they doing it over and over again? Don’t they know that you’re supposed to “Safely Remove Hardware”?? Wait a minute, are they leaking battery acid?
And yet most people would agree that sex is a beautiful and enjoyable thing. Why? Why in the world is such an odd action so much fun? Seems obvious to me. Organisms must reproduce for a species to survive. The mechanism for reproduction is rather inconvenient, so if a species is to survive, there have got to be a lot of endorphins pumping to make the effort worthwhile.
Birth control and abortion are symptoms, the cultural disease to which I was referring was this peculiar notion that sex and reproduction are no longer related. Instead of being a pleasurable obligation necessary for the continuity of the human race, it has become a mere game, a way of using other people like toys. Unless of course no willing people are around, in that case, a literal toy will do just fine. Now, I’ll admit that the term “cultural disease” may be a bit of a misnomer. These tendencies are much older than our culture. Still, I think that our culture’s funny ideas regarding “free love” (as if it were either), our collective porn addiction, our willingness to massacre the next generation so that we can get our kicks, etc, are in many ways worse than the perversions of our fathers.