Head of U.S. bishops’ marriage committee lauds scholars’ affirmation of ‘Humanae Vitae’

Head of U.S. bishops’ marriage committee lauds scholars’ affirmation of ‘Humanae Vitae’

Claire Chretien

September 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth commended the hundreds of Catholic scholars who released a defense of Church teaching on contraception as a group of dissidents blasted it at the United Nations.

“It is so encouraging to see a broad group of Catholic scholars standing up to promote and defend the Church’s teaching on married love and responsible parenthood and the fact that contraception and sterilization are morally unacceptable and cannot lead a couple to the happiness they desire,” Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, wrote.

The statement, Affirmation of the Church’s Teaching on the Gift of Sexuality, refuted the claims made in a newly-released report from the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research that there is a case for the Catholic Church to label artificial contraception “morally legitimate and even morally obligatory.”

The Affirmation was released the same day opponents of Catholic teaching presented the Wijngaards statement at the United Nations urging world leaders to pressure the Catholic Church to change.

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4 comments on “Head of U.S. bishops’ marriage committee lauds scholars’ affirmation of ‘Humanae Vitae’

  1. The scholars’ statement reads:
    “International organizations and governments should respect the values and beliefs of families and cultures that see children as a gift, and, therefore, should not impose—on individuals, families, or cultures—practices antithetical to their values and beliefs about children and family planning. Governments and international organizations should make instruction in Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABMs) of family planning a priority. FABMs are based on solid scientific understanding of a woman’s fertility cycle, are easily learned by women in developing countries, are virtually without cost, and promote respect for women.”

    With all due respect, “FABM” seems like a euphemism.

    • From the supposedly Catholic defense, trs.cua.edu/humanae-vitae/

      9. A Practical Help to Husbands and Wives—FABMs
      In order to live God’s design for married love, husband and wife need moral family planning methods. Fertility Awareness Based Methods of Family Planning (or FABMs, i.e., the many forms of Natural Family Planning) respect the God-given spousal union and the potential to procreate. FABMs are fully consistent with the Church’s teaching on marital chastity. Couples using these methods make no attempt to thwart the power of acts that could result in the procreation of new human persons. They respect God’s design for sexuality; they help individuals grow in self-mastery; they have the potential to strengthen marriages and respect the physical and psychological health of women. Moreover, science demonstrates that they are highly effective both in helping couples limit their family size when necessary and conceive when appropriate.


      “Helping couples limit their family size” is not among the options for Catholic marriage. The only use of NFP must be for grave reasons (see Pius XII, below). This is because deliberately limiting family size is opposed to the primary end of marriage which is the procreation and education of children. In other words, more children cannot be a grave reason for married couples to avoid more children.

      Children can be reason enough not to marry, but those who marry must accept the primary end of marriage. Or is it now licit to enter into a “two-child marriage?” Where in Catholic tradition do we find anything of the sort? We don’t of course.

      ————————–
      Pope Pius XII, to midwives, 1951 [my emphasis]

      The matrimonial contract, which confers on the married couple the right to satisfy the inclination of nature, constitutes them in a state of life, namely, the matrimonial state. Now, on married couples, who make use of the specific act of their state, nature and the Creator impose the function of providing for the preservation of mankind. This is the characteristic service which gives rise to the peculiar value of their state, the . The individual and society, the people and the State, the Church itself, depend for their existence, in the order established by God, on fruitful marriages. Therefore, to embrace the matrimonial state, to use continually the faculty proper to such a state and lawful only therein, and, at the same time, to avoid its primary duty without a grave reason, would be a sin against the very nature of married life.

      Serious motives, such as those which not rarely arise from medical, eugenic, economic and social so-called “indications,” may exempt husband and wife from the obligatory, positive debt for a long period or even for the entire period of matrimonial life. From this it follows that the observance of the natural sterile periods may be lawful, from the moral viewpoint: and it is lawful in the conditions mentioned. If, however, according to a reasonable and equitable judgment, there are no such grave reasons either personal or deriving from exterior circumstances, the will to avoid the fecundity of their union, while continuing to satisfy to the full their sensuality, can only be the result of a false appreciation of life and of motives foreign to sound ethical principles.

      ———
      Of note: serious and grave requirement, otherwise “the will to avoid the fecundity of their union, while continuing to satisfy to the full their sensuality, can only be the result of a false appreciation …” The scholars need to be taken to the woodshed.

      The problem started when Paul VI omitted the distinction of the primary end of marriage from the secondary ends. A Bergolian slip-up, maybe? In any case, the Montini-Wojtylian sex cult is the undoing of the Church.

  2. Well, kudos indeed to Bp Malone. I also understand he has not impeded any of the Buffalo Latin Mass community’s arrangements, as well. Again, well done and Deo gratias!

  3. I agree that it’s encouraging to see so many Catholic scholars openly confirm the Church’s condemnation of artificial contraception. But I would not be able to sign for the reasons outlined by Cyprian above. Artificial contraception corrupts the act of sexual intercourse itself; while natural contraception (periodic continence) merely frustrates the primary end of marriage. The former can never be permitted. The latter may be lawful for grave reasons. Giving periodic continence a different name (“FABM of family planning”) does not change the reality of what it is; namely, something that prevents children from existing.

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