Skip to comments.Bachelorettes and Humanae Vitae
Posted on 07/20/2012 9:01:31 AM PDT by marshmallow
I am rethinking Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VIs 1968 encyclical condemning artificial birth control. Well, actually not rethinking since I cannot remember ever thinking about it much at all, ever, except dismissively. So best to say, I am considering it seriously for the first time. I actually sat down to read it.
This, I admit, is a bit unusual for a Lutheran pastor, or for any Protestant, pastor or not. The subject of preventing unwanted pregnancy artificially or of being open to any pregnancy at any time cannot be located on any spiritual GPS we use. Among Roman Catholic teachings, I cannot think of one less appealing to Protestants and, so it must be said, to many Roman Catholics as well.
It makes sense to space children; I did. No child was unwanted or unexpected. We had one miscarriage, a wistful loss we still discuss from time to time. But no bones about it, the birth order placements were designed by what Paul VI called unlawful methods.
Protestant acceptance of birth control was not always so. Until the mid-twentieth century, Protestants were as iffy on birth control as Roman Catholics. By and large, Protestant churches discouraged artificial birth control, regarding it as a contravention of the procreative purposes of marriage. That has changed. So has marriage.
Two things recently prompted me to give serious consideration of Humanae Vitae.
A friend reminded me, first, of a 1997 critique I wrote in reaction to an article in The Lutheran, the house magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Lutherans piece highlighted two couples, active church folk, one couple married and the other couple cohabiting. What The Lutheran did with marriage wasnt anything recognized in classic Lutheran theology.
The second prompt was a USA Today piece recapping an episode of ABCs.....
(Excerpt) Read more at firstthings.com ...
Another one bites the dust.
I cannot read the 68 vitae without acknowledging it’s power and accuracy. I am printing it out again. Fantastic truth!
But I do acknowledge that isn't the case everywhere, or even the norm. Marriage has become a consumer product, not a vocation.
When we got married, we did pre marriage counseling in both my LCMS church and my wife's Catholic one. They were very similar, right down to the relationship test. But that was in an area (Lincoln, Nebraska) that is known to be very othrodox in both.
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