Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Catholics to Pope: Lift the Birth Control Ban
townhall.com ^ | July 25, 2008 | staff

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."


TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: birthcontrol; contraception; humanaevitae

1 posted on 07/25/2008 1:49:27 PM PDT by kellynla
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Salvation; narses; NYer; A.A. Cunningham

ping


2 posted on 07/25/2008 1:50:06 PM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kellynla

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.


3 posted on 07/25/2008 1:53:46 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kellynla

“Non-Catholics to Pope ...”

What idiocy.


4 posted on 07/25/2008 1:56:50 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Tax-chick's House of Herpets. Support your local reptile vet!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kellynla

Here is a very interesting essay about Humanae Vitae published for the 40th anniversary.

http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=6262


5 posted on 07/25/2008 2:00:31 PM PDT by scory
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kellynla

The title is incorrect. It should read, “Alleged Catholics...”


6 posted on 07/25/2008 2:34:01 PM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kellynla
Please see the following press release: [Cath Caucus] Catholics Asked to Tell Their Bishops to End Ban on Contraception (barf alert).
7 posted on 07/25/2008 2:34:28 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kellynla
Sounds to me like these “dissident Catholic groups” are advocating the use of birth control that is contrary to the Church’s teaching and position mostly about sex outside of marriage. In a monogamous marriage, the risk of HIV is pretty negligible. If a Catholic is having sex with multiple partners, heterosexual or homosexual, protected or unprotected sex, then they are already in violation of their faith. So to me this is a bit of a non sequitur.

On the other hand, I think there are legitimate reasons for some married, monogamous and faithful Catholic couples to use some methods of birth control under some circumstances and as I understand, the Church does make some allowances for it.

For instance, after my sister in law gave birth to her third child after her third emergency c-section and several late term miscarriages in between and her last pregnancy being particularly difficult and fraught with dangerous complications, her doctors told her that another pregnancy would be very dangerous and probably life threatening. After my brother and sister in law consulted with their priest, and with a letter from her doctors stating the dangers of another pregnancy she was given a “dispensation” to have a tubaligation.

As I understand, the Church’s position in this case supported the surgery because of her medical condition and the fact that she was a young mother of three young children and she and her husband were in good stead in the sacraments and not seeking to have the surgery for selfish or unreasonable reasons.
8 posted on 07/25/2008 2:36:45 PM PDT by Caramelgal (Just a lump of organized protoplasm - braying at the stars :),)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caramelgal

“Sounds to me like...” CINO’s


9 posted on 07/25/2008 3:08:24 PM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: kellynla

I don’t know what CINO’s means. Would you care to explain?


10 posted on 07/25/2008 3:10:13 PM PDT by Caramelgal (Just a lump of organized protoplasm - braying at the stars :),)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Caramelgal
That is correct and my understanding as well.

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'.

11 posted on 07/25/2008 3:15:03 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chase, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: kellynla

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.


12 posted on 07/25/2008 3:18:08 PM PDT by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caramelgal
I don’t know what CINO’s means.

Catholic in Name Only . . . formed on the model of RINO --Republican in Name Only.

13 posted on 07/25/2008 3:24:50 PM PDT by maryz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: maryz

So you are implying that my very devout and very traditional Catholic sister in law and my brother are CINO’s?


14 posted on 07/25/2008 3:31:13 PM PDT by Caramelgal (Just a lump of organized protoplasm - braying at the stars :),)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Caramelgal
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.

15 posted on 07/25/2008 3:36:20 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Caramelgal

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!


16 posted on 07/25/2008 3:51:29 PM PDT by maryz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: kellynla

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.


17 posted on 07/25/2008 7:46:13 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kellynla

Ah, religion by petition.

I’ve got a tip for them, there are many thousands of denominations who believe in contraception, join them.


18 posted on 07/25/2008 8:14:33 PM PDT by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother
The way my rector explained it to me is that medical reasons that require a tubal ligation

There's no medical indication for a tubal ligation except to prevent pregnancy. It's never permitted.

19 posted on 07/25/2008 8:26:32 PM PDT by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Caramelgal
her doctors told her that another pregnancy would be very dangerous and probably life threatening. After my brother and sister in law consulted with their priest, and with a letter from her doctors stating the dangers of another pregnancy she was given a "dispensation" to have a tubaligation.

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.

20 posted on 07/25/2008 8:36:14 PM PDT by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Campion

Surely it would be preferable to a hysterectomy?


21 posted on 07/25/2008 8:40:54 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chase, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Campion

“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.


22 posted on 07/26/2008 4:12:51 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Campion
Indeed. I've been blessed five times, with three children to show for it. In each successive pregnancy, I've gotten pre-ecclampsia -- it came on earlier and was worse with each pregnancy. With the birth of my daughter, i had seizures, and ended up with a c-section at 32 weeks.

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.

23 posted on 07/26/2008 4:27:13 AM PDT by Malacoda (A day without a pi$$ed-off muslim is like a day without sunshine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Caramelgal

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.


24 posted on 07/26/2008 4:33:30 AM PDT by steadfastconservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Kolokotronis
It is my understanding, however, that the Roman Church does not practice economia, at least to any extent. Is this true?

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.

25 posted on 07/26/2008 10:15:39 AM PDT by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Malacoda
There is no such dispensation available. Period. No exceptions. Granted, we're in the very conservative Archdicese of Philadelphia, but still...

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.

26 posted on 07/26/2008 10:19:14 AM PDT by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Kolokotronis
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

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.

27 posted on 07/26/2008 10:26:58 AM PDT by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother
Surely it would be preferable to a hysterectomy?

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.

28 posted on 07/26/2008 10:36:29 AM PDT by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Campion
Of course, a hysterectomy of a perfectly normal uterus would be wrong.

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.

29 posted on 07/26/2008 12:16:08 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chase, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: kellynla

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!

Yawn.


30 posted on 07/26/2008 7:02:51 PM PDT by magisterium
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: steadfastconservative
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.

As my brother and his wife are at least twelve years older than I, and I was pretty young when this all took place, perhaps they never shared with me all the details and what other medical complications were going on at the time. And I don’t really know for a fact that it was the priest who acted alone in saying the tubaligation was OK or whether it went to a higher authority or even all the way to Rome. So perhaps I misspoke or misunderstood that this was a true “dispensation” in the eyes of the Church. When I see my brother and sister in law next month at the Traditional Catholic Christening of their daughter’s 4 month old triplets, perhaps I’ll ask them for more details and consult with their priest on the subject.

I do know that my brother and my sister in law are very devout and extremely conservative Catholics who have for many years been active in the Traditionalist movement and have attended Mass and taken the Sacrament in a traditionalist Catholic Church that holds to pre-Vatican II and very conservative tenants and a Tridentine Latin Mass.

This couple could have used NFP, which is quite effective.

NFP is very effective as long as the woman has very regular and predictable menstrual and ovulation cycles. If her cycles are at all irregular or if she is pre-menopausal, then NFP is very unreliable as is the idea that a woman in lactation is not capable of getting pregnant. One of my best friends and her husband had another baby 15 months after the birth of their first and conceived her second while she was still nursing the younger child.
31 posted on 07/27/2008 1:12:04 PM PDT by Caramelgal (Just a lump of organized protoplasm - braying at the stars :),)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Campion

“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.


32 posted on 07/28/2008 5:30:07 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Caramelgal

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.


33 posted on 07/28/2008 3:29:56 PM PDT by steadfastconservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Caramelgal

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.


34 posted on 07/28/2008 4:21:58 PM PDT by steadfastconservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Campion; AnAmericanMother; Caramelgal
If a woman has an ectopic pregnancy, she can certainly have a tubal ligation; moreover, I would say that if she is at grave risk of an ectopic pregnancy (e.g, scarred endometrium resulting in a thickening at the opening to the fallopian tube which would permit the ingress of a sperm but would not permit the egress of the larger zygote), a tubal ligation would be morally innocent.

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.

35 posted on 08/02/2008 9:12:03 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (What does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
“Non-Catholics to Pope ...”

What idiocy.

“Pope to Non-Catholics ...”

Just as much so....

36 posted on 08/02/2008 9:24:08 AM PDT by Gamecock (The question is not, Am I good enough to be a Christian? rather Am I good enough not to be?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson