Skip to comments.Catholics to Pope: Lift the Birth Control Ban
Posted on 07/25/2008 1:49:26 PM PDT by kellynla
More than 50 dissident Catholic groups from around the world have written an open letter asking Pope Benedict XVI to lift the church's ban on birth control.
Taking a half-page ad in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the groups said Friday that the Church's ban on artificial birth control has had "catastrophic effects," particularly in the fight against AIDS.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the accusation was "clearly unfounded" and insisted the Church is active in combating AIDS.
The groups published their appeal on the 40th anniversary of the 1968 encyclical "Humanae Vitae" ("On Human Life") _ the document issued by Pope Paul VI that prohibits Catholics from using artificial contraception.
The initiative was spearheaded by Catholics for Choice, a Washington based pro-choice advocacy group, but the letter was signed by organizations from countries across the Americas and Europe.
The ban on contraception "has had catastrophic effects on the poor and weak of the whole world, putting in danger the lives of women and exposing millions of people to the risk of contracting HIV," the letter published in Corriere said.
It urged Benedict to begin a "reform process," saying that, especially in poor countries, the Church was using its influence to block family planning programs and condom distributions.
Lombardi denounced the ad "as paid propaganda for the use of contraceptives."
"Policies against AIDS based mainly on the distribution of condoms have largely failed," Lombardi said in a statement. "The answer to AIDS requires deeper and more complex interventions, in which the Church is active on many fronts."
By the same logis that entitles these people to be called Catholic, I can claim to be the long lost grandson of Peter the Great.
“Non-Catholics to Pope ...”
Here is a very interesting essay about Humanae Vitae published for the 40th anniversary.
The title is incorrect. It should read, “Alleged Catholics...”
“Sounds to me like...” CINO’s
I don’t know what CINO’s means. Would you care to explain?
The way my rector explained it to me is that medical reasons that require a tubal ligation, hysterectomy, or hormone treatment (endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, etc.) are o.k., so long as the couple doesn't *intend* to avoid conception. In other words, the infertility is a 'secondary effect'.
Catholics For Choice are not Catholic.
And 50 well what else can the Pope do but change the teaching. Heck why not conduct all Church teaching by poll? I bet the ban on adultry would be out the door. And those priests who violated church teaching by sexually abusing children and adolescents probably would appreciate a few adjustments to teachings on sexual morality.
No doubt you could get five Dignity members to send letters advocating homosexual relationships between adult males and teen boys provided it was consensual.
Catholic in Name Only . . . formed on the model of RINO --Republican in Name Only.
So you are implying that my very devout and very traditional Catholic sister in law and my brother are CINO’s?
I don't think they're implying that at all.
Me? I was just telling you what CINO meant. I never connected it with the earlier post that used it — which wasn’t by me!
God may love the dissidents and keep inviting them back into the fold, but I doubt that Pope Benedict will listen to them.
**Catholics to Pope: Lift the Birth Control Ban **
My answer: NO! Contraception was the beginning of the abortion we see now.
Ah, religion by petition.
I’ve got a tip for them, there are many thousands of denominations who believe in contraception, join them.
There's no medical indication for a tubal ligation except to prevent pregnancy. It's never permitted.
That priest needs to go back to seminary and get a refresher course in moral theology, because I don't think it "took" the first time.
Unfortunately, there's plenty like him.
Surely it would be preferable to a hysterectomy?
“That priest needs to go back to seminary and get a refresher course in moral theology, because I don’t think it “took” the first time.”
Sounds to me like this priest was attempting to grant economia to the woman. That is of course the province of a bishop, not the parish priest unless the bishop has delegated the authority to his priests, for example when a parish priest will allow reception of communion without fasting by people who for medical reasons must eat in the morning.
It is my understanding, however, that the Roman Church does not practice economia, at least to any extent. Is this true?
I also note that any absolute ban on artificial non abortiofacient birth control would be unlikely to be considered an appropriate subject for a dogmatic proclamation and if it were so declared, the people would reject it, as it appears from polls Roman Catholics have. In Orthodoxy, that would be the end of it.
It was awful. Both of us almost died.
We went to talk to our parish priest, the Bishop and the Cardinal's staff to see if there was such a thing as a dispensation, because any more babies would kill me. The bottom line was -- There is no such dispensation available. Period. No exceptions. Granted, we're in the very conservative Archdicese of Philadelphia, but still...
We're being veeeery careful with the NFP, but frankly, I live in absolute terror of getting pregnant again.
As far as I know, priests aren’t allowed to give “dispensations” on anything. That power would belong to the Holy See. It sounds as if this priest acted on his own authority.
The Church does NOT permit the use of artificial birth control for any reason.
The Church does not permit sterilization procedures, i.e. medical procedures that are performed for the purpose of preventing conception. It does permit medical or surgical procedures that are performed for other reasons of health that happen to cause infertility but it does NOT permit procedures that performed for the specific reason of preventing conception regardless of how “noble” the reasons for these might be. This couple could have used NFP, which is quite effective.
The problem with allowing married couples to use artificial birth control is that it opens the door to the widespread use of birth control. Indeed, Catholics who wanted the Church to approve the use of the Pill in 1968, wanted married, faithful Catholics to have the option of using the Pill for supposedly good reasons, they didn’t intend for everyone to be able to use it. Of course, Pope Paul VI quashed their hopes in Humanae Vitae and unequivocally condemned the use of the Pill or any other form of contraception by Catholics for any reason. Many Catholics simply refused to accept this teaching and, not surprisingly, many Catholics, married and single, started using artificial birth control, some for “good” reasons and some for bad. At least those who use birth control, know that they are disobeying the Church and doing something wrong.
There's no such thing as "economia" which can make an intrinsically evil act, which is what directly intended sterilization is, into a permissible one. "Economia" (the Western term is "dispensation") can dispense from a Church rule or regulation, but it has no power to selectively repeal the moral law.
As Scripture says, "Woe to those who call evil 'good', and good, 'evil'." (Isaiah 5:20)
Now, it's completely different if we're talking about indirect sterilization, which is something that achieves a good result, but produces sterilization as an unintended but unavoidable side effect.
For example, suppose a woman developed uterine cancer, and the indicated treatment is a hysterectomy. This is not a problem because it is not being performed to sterilize, but to remove a seriously diseased organ.
They're accurately transmitting the teaching of the Church, thanks be to God.
We're being veeeery careful with the NFP, but frankly, I live in absolute terror of getting pregnant again.
NFP is really very effective if you don't "cheat". And trust in God. Some friends of ours had 8 children, and the mom was warned not to get pregnant again. (She had blood clots after birth #8, and was in pretty bad shape for awhile.) Now they have nine. Pregnancy #9 was pretty uneventful, I'm to understand. :-)
You're doing the right thing.
Kolo, a strong argument can be made that it it already has been so declared. (cf Casti Connubii, Pope Pius XI, 1932)
and if it were so declared, the people would reject it, as it appears from polls Roman Catholics have. In Orthodoxy, that would be the end of it.
Truth is not determined by majority vote. There was an undivided and undiluted Christian witness condemning birth control prior to 1930. That a majority of Catholics would reject it now demonstrates that apostasy is widespread, not that 1900 years of Christian witness prior to 1930 was wrong.
The GOANSA website even admits that approving contraception is an innovation, and they're okay with it.
If the objective of the hysterectomy is to remove a healthy organ and prevent subsequent pregnancy, it would be just as immoral as tubal ligation.
Any sort of surgery whose objective is to make pregnancy impossible is direct sterilization. Direct sterilization is intrinsically evil, meaning that no circumstance can justify it.
Here is a well-written article on the subject.
Incidentally, this is a general principle. It's not moral to remove or destroy a healthy organ or to deliberately destroy its natural function; that's the sin of "mutilation". For example, suppose I had normal hearing, but I had a lot of deaf friends. I wanted to "fit in" better with them, so I decided to take a drug or have surgery to make me deaf. Sorry, no go. Or suppose I thought it would be "cool" to have my pinky finger amputated. No again.
OTOH, suppose I needed to take a drug to treat or cure some serious disease, but the undesired & unavoidable side-effect of that drug is that I would become permanently deaf. That would be okay, since my intent is not to destroy the normal function of a healthy organ, but to cure the disease.
I don't know the whys and wherefores of the case under discussion, but I was given the choice by my OB/GYN of a hysterectomy or hormone treatment (endometriosis and fibroid tumors).
I opted for the hormone treatment -- I might get better after all! And it did work.
If I recall correctly, Catholics for Choice was one of the groups that, not too long ago, agitated for more of the same, and threatened to flood the Vatican with “at least one million” signed petitions. They got about 15,000. Worldwide!
“Truth is not determined by majority vote.”
No, of course not. But if the consensus of the People of God is that something proclaimed dogmatically by a council or a pope is not to be accepted and lived out, if the laity does not give its “AXIOS”, then whatever has been proclaimed is not dogma. It may be a true and/or good belief or practice, but its not dogma. The witness of the undivided Church was consistent on this until the Bishops of Rome came to believe that they could proclaim dogma sua sponte. I think the reaction of Roman Catholic lay people to the dogmatic prohibition on birth control by +Paul VI demonstrates the wisdom of the Eastern Rule since I would argue that the begining of “cafeteria” Catholicism really began with the laity’s rejection of that dogma and the insistence of the Roman Church that it was valid. What that has lead to is a sort of contempt for most all dogma which is not a good thing at all.
It is up to you whether or not you approach your brother and his wife for more details about this. I’m not trying to judge them or their motives. I know, however, that the Church would not give anyone permission or a dispensation to undergo direct sterilization for any reason whatsoever because such an act is objectively and intrinsically evil.
This does not mean, however, that a priest gave your relatives bad advice, which they followed.
I had to post my reply before I was finished with it, so I wanted to go ahead and finish it now.
It is quite probable that your brother and his wife got bad advice from a priest but followed it because they thought he had the authority to grant this dispensation. That would not mean that the tubal ligation was not wrong but it would reduce their culpability for that act.
As far as they’re being Traditionalists is concerned, that is no guarantee that everything they believe is fully in line with what the Church teaches.
Finally, while some methods of NFP are not reliable when a woman has irregular cycles, such as when she is nursing a baby or in pre-menopause, the Ovulation Method, which involves the observation of cervical mucous (as opposed to the woman’s basal body temperature or to the so-called rhythm method), is quite reliable, even in special circumstances such as those you mentioned. A woman does not have to have regular, predictable cycles for her to be able to use it successfully. My husband and I used it successfully during the times that I was weaning babies from the breast and during pre-menopause. I would recommend it to anyone. The people who dismiss NFP are usually the ones who have never taken classes in it and who are getting all of their information second-hand.
We don't know the medical situation of the woman referenced here, but it could have been the case.
It is a very bad situation for all, though, if they are unaware of modern NFP, or think it has to do with the old 50's idea of predicting fertile times on the basis of calendars, regular periods, etc.
Modern NFP is far more effective, and is not based on the prediction of fertile days at all: it's based on the detection of incipient fertility.
I highly recommend this website on Naprotechnology for a thoroughly 21st Century look at gyn health and fertility issues.
Pope to Non-Catholics ...
Just as much so....