Skip to comments.The Truth about The Church's Teaching about Contraception.
Posted on 02/07/2012 12:05:37 PM PST by Balt
When Vatican I defined the personal infallibility of the Pope, it was understood by the Fathers of that Council that the teaching was incomplete: the council fathers knew that, at some time in the future, the teaching would have to be completed to address the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium as well. That task was left to Vatican II.
One of the forgotten teachings of Vatican II was its definition of the infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium: namely, that the Pope doesn't have to declare something ex cathedra in order for it to be considered infallible; that the Church's ordinary teaching authority can define matters of faith and morals even without such a declaration by a Pope so long as the criterion for infallible teaching elucidated by St. Vincent of Larens are fulfilled. In the words of Lumen Gentium, such teaching requires of all Catholics submission of both mind and will.
Bill O'Reiley, Sean Hannity and Nancy Pelosi are wrong; the Church's teaching on contraceptive intercourse is not simply a man-made rule; it fulfills all the criterion of Vatican II for infallible teaching, and therefore must be regarded by all Catholics as the teaching of Christ himself.
Moreover, there is no exception to the teaching on the grounds of conscience, in spite of the fact that priestsand even bishopshave been teaching this error for years in the confessional.
The Catholic Church defines the conscience as a faculty of the intellect that alerts us as to whether our actions are in conformity with the truth. Whether the conscience can do this is determined by whether it really knows the truth. A conscience which has been misinformed, or is ignorant of the truth, cannot perform it's function and is therefore useless. For example, if a Catholic priest, for whatever reason, tells someone that they may steal money from work and that this is not wrong, the person does not sin in doing it, because their conscience has been misinformed. But that does not make the act right, nor make the conscience infallible. As soon as that person becomes aware of the truth, the excuse of conscience is no longer valid, since the conscience now has a new standard by which to judge. How one feels personally about the issue at hand has absolutely nothing to do with how the conscience operates.
This common stock misunderstanding of conscience is most acute when it comes to matters dealing with more personal and intimate moral questions, such as artificial contraception. People who interpret conscience as "how I feel about it personally" will say that conscience excuses deviating from Catholic moral teaching because of the person's own personal conclusions. But this is not conscience. Conscience can only excuse such a deviation if the conscience is either ignorant of the law of God, or if it has been misinformed by "Father Friendly." In such a case, the conscience is wrong through no fault of it's own; and we are obliged to follow even an erroneous conscience provided that we don't know it's erroneous (and this is what is commonly mislabeled as primacy of conscience). But once the conscience has been informed as to the reality of what the Church teaches, then the excuse no longer exists, and one must now act in accord with the new standard the conscience has received.
Moral theologians refer to this as invincible ignorance, that is, a conscience which is in error about the truth. It is only through invincible ignorance that a person's conscience can excuse from guilt in deviating from the moral order. A conscience that knows what the Church teaches can never be used as an excuse to do what the Church teaches is objectively evil.
Nor is it necessary for a Catholic to know all the nuances of Catholic teaching on contraception or conscience in order to be free from invincible ignorance; it is only required that he be aware that Christ, through his Church, has taught definitively on this issue. It is impossible for any lay Catholic in the United States to claim that they are not aware of this.
Therefore, can a married Catholic couple engage in contraceptive intercourse without committing a mortal sin requiring them to refrain from receiving Holy Communion? The unqualified answer is "No"; and any priest who tells you differently is lying.
What about Catholics, especially those in public office or media, who undermine Christ's teaching? Are they still Catholics? No! The teaching of Vatican II regarding the Church herself can be distilled into three requirements: (1) That we believe the the Catholic Church was personally established by Christ; (2) that he gave to that Church the authority to teach in his name; and (3) that when that Church teaches what we are to believe and how we are to live, it is protected by a special gift of the Holy Spirit from teaching error. Anyone who dissents from any one of these, is not a Catholic.
I wish the Church would start excommunicating heretics like Nancy Pelosi, so they can’t claim to be Catholic any more, and justify their marxist beliefs.
The Pope is not infallible. Only the Sacraments are.You know, like “Holy Matrimony”.
The proclaimed infallibility of the Pope was one of the reasons for the Reformation the Middle Ages Popes became politicians and corrupt proving to be anything BUT infallible. Also if the Pope is infallible why do we need God? The Pope whoever he may be is first and foremost a sinner in need of salvation therefore cannot be infallible. Only God and His Word are infallible!
Or was the Pope who preceded him infallible?
Hard to assume they were both infallible.
Either digging him up and desecrating his corpse was the right thing to do because he was a not a great guy and did many things an infallible Pope could find fault with.....
......... OR digging him up and desecrating his corpse was NOT the right thing to do because everything the previous Pope did during life was perfect and infallible.
Obviously you fail to comprehend the dogma of Papal infallibility as explained in Pastor aeternus.
You have a very poor grasp of both actual history and the dogma of Papal infallibility.
I think we need to take marriage away from the state. People want to be married in the eyes of God, they go to church and ignore the state. People want to be married in the eyes of the state, they can get a partnership agreement and the state can feel free to bless it, it won’t make it a marriage. They can call it that if they want, but they can’t make us call it that, and they can’t force our churches to support it.
Ummm, you know that the First Vatican Council was held in 1870, right? 350 years after the Reformation.
Infallible or not...
The church is not being forced to provide birth control.
The church has the choice to get out of the hospital business and turn the buildings over to the federal government cheap as its first step (25% of all hospitals), besides the VA, in taking over all hospitals.
I believe that is and has been Obama’s only goal in this.
Catholic married couples practice abstinence when they cannot afford more children. No wonder it’s Hispanics who are replenishing the Catholic ranks.
The religious identity of Hispanics will affect politics, the report says. The Hispanic electorate is largely Democratic, despite being conservative on social issues like abortion and homosexuality. The gains for the Catholic Church in this country among Latinos, from immigration and higher fertility rates, are more than making up for those Latino Catholics, particularly in the second generation, who go to other churches or turn secular, Mr. Lugo said.
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.