"Fertility is a natural condition. Contraception is unhealthy."
Janet E. Smith, professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, in her talk titled "Contraception: Why Not?," expounds on the deadly effects in our society brought about by a contraception mentality.
She traces the history of thought from 1930, when the Anglican church broke form ecumenical solidarity that banned contraception in marriage. By 1960, the pill was available, and the Catholic Church was being pressured to change its teaching. Pope Paul VI's "Humanae Vitae" encyclical, published in 1968, dashed those hopes, and rebellion raged from within.
Soom Pope Paul's predicitons came true. Respect for women and life plummeted. Out-of-wedlock pregnancy and divorce rates skyrocketed. Poverty levels for single women with children rose. Cohabitation replaced marriage as the social norm. Sexually transmitted diseases gained prevalence.
Prof. Smith considers reasons not to contracept, both from moral and practial points of view:
- Contraception denies God's creative power and diminishes the gift of fertility.
- Fertility is a natural condition. Contraception is unhealthy.
- Contraception demeans women. They become objects of gratification, rather than of love.
- Contraception defeats bonding. Bodies become machines, rather than comforters.
- Contraception negates marriage. It becomes an institution, rather than a sacrament.
- Contraception leads to abortion. They are the same decision -- against life.
- Natural Family Planning is healthy and effective.
- Natural Family Planning builds fulfilling, solid, lasting marital relationships.
On the 30th anniversary of issuance of the ill-received encyclical, Pope John Pual II called, in a letter to bishops, for a renewed sense of wonder at the beauty of the unitive bond between husband and wife. On the 40th anniversary, Pope Benedict XVI, in a letter to the president of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, calls for awareness of "authentic conjugal charity."
For more on Prof. Smith's talk, acquire the CD free from One More Soul.
by Nancy E. Thoerig 12-12-08