contraception

The Mindless Iconoclasm of Our Contemporary Age

Galla Placida, the regent for her young son, the emperor Theodosius III, was shocked when Saint Augustine died in 430 on August 28, three months into the siege of his city Hippo by the Vandals. He may have died of malnutrition, if not stress, because the wheat crop had not been harvested. As destroyers go, [...]

Reconsidering Contraception and the Way of Life

Contraception was not always as widely accepted as it is now. This is important to remember, especially for those of us born after the so-called Sexual Revolution, when contraceptives have become nearly ubiquitous, even farcical to the point of absurdity, just ask the Little Sisters of the Poor. However, in the not-so-distant past, in the [...]

You Are Gods

God created the world not out of necessity but out of generosity. Eternally blessed and perfect in himself, God had no need to create and no need of creation. Instead, in freedom he created in wisdom and in love. Each creature God endowed with gifts proportionate to its role, but he crowned man with a [...]

Three Feasts and Contraception

The flow of time in which we find ourselves, between Pentecost and Corpus Christi, is a bit strange liturgically. Pentecost ends the Easter Season and launches us back into Ordinary Time. The first weeks of post-Pentecost Ordinary Time include two major solemnities: Trinity Sunday (which used to be connected with Pentecost by a suppressed octave, [...]

Procreation: Still the Primary End of Marriage

“The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children; its secondary end is mutual help and the allaying of concupiscence.” (Canon 1013, 1917 Code of Canon Law) Anyone familiar with the history of contraception and the Church in the 1960s will know the name of John T. Noonan. His singular 1965 work [...]

The Death of Unconditional Love

Like unsuspecting characters in an Agatha Christie novel, we are all witnesses to the commission of a murder still in progress, carried out in slow motion. It is happening so slowly, and its ongoing occurrence is so protracted, so pervasive, and so familiar that we haven’t sensed the magnitude of the violence being done or [...]

Contraception and Communion

It is puzzling: why do many Catholics receive the Eucharist, the source of all grace and the sign of being in communion with the Catholic Church, and yet support and practice contraception, abortion, and unnatural relationships such as homosexual “marriage,” all of which are in direct contradiction to the Church’s teachings? How can there be [...]

A Defense of the Christian Teaching Against Contraception

Forty-eight years ago this past July, our story reached a dramatic climax. But it began in the dawn of Christianity, with a document called the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (or Didache). Written thirty to fifty years after Christ’s death, it gives the earliest evidence of a Christian condemnation of contraception. For the next 1900 years, it was the [...]

The West’s War on the Family

For decades, now, Christians have worried about the progressive push to strip naked the public square by forcing religion into the shadows of a private sphere. Recent events have made clear that this is not the case. Everything is public and political to the secular left. All aspects of our lives are fair game in [...]

Teaching the Faith in a Time of Crisis

It has been a depressing month. A few weeks ago, I had brunch with my brother, a loyal Sunday Catholic. He has a vacation home which he generously offers to our extended family, and during our meal he told me that our college-age grandnephew and his girlfriend had visited. The understanding was that they would [...]

The Upcoming Court Battle Over the HHS Mandate

In what way can simply signing a document be a burden on you or your freedom? Obviously, the answer to that question depends on the document that you’re asked to sign.  If you’re a celebrity and a fan hands you a scrap of paper for an autograph, your burden consists of a few seconds of [...]

More Reasons Why the Pill Can’t Be Used Against the Zika Virus

Much has already been written about Pope Francis’s controversial comments during his in-flight press conference traveling back to Rome from Mexico where he seemed to suggest that recourse to contraception could be a morally licit way to prevent the transmission of the Zika virus—with its possible yet still unproven link to microcephaly. He even tried to support [...]

Is Contraception a Legitimate Response to the Zika Virus?

Pope Francis’ latest press interview on the plane from Mexico created confusion about the Church’s teaching on contraception. The Holy Father said, “Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape.” The Papal spokesman, Fr. Lombardi, trying to clarify matters, seemed to say that [...]

Humanae Vitae and the Sensus Fidelium

“In matters of faith the baptized cannot be passive.” ~ International Theological Commission “Easter is a big deal at St. John’s,” Doug Barnes observes about his church. “It’s like the second-biggest deal behind Christmas.” If you remember your Catechism, you’ll know that Barnes is dead wrong—at least from a theological and liturgical perspective. Easter (Alleluia! [...]

Reactions to the Pope’s Encyclical on Contraception

It is interesting now to look back at the various reactions when the pope issued his encyclical on contraception. I dug up the following, and I think they pretty much speak for themselves. It is hardly necessary to add any comments at all except to say how little things have changed. A leader from an [...]

The Two Masks of Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services is back in the news, this time for charges related to a sex ed program it implemented for the federal government in Kenya. Since such headlines are no longer surprising, some background may be helpful before considering this most recent case. In trying to understand the ongoing controversy regarding “the official international [...]

A Tocquevillian Argument Against Contraception

The recent high-profile controversies touched off by the HHS Mandate have elicited excellent debate regarding the meaning, importance, and application of the American idea of religious liberty. They have not, however, elicited any substantial debate regarding the rational grounds for opposing the use of contraception in itself. In the numerous conversations I have had on [...]

Upcoming Synod Must Address Family Disintegration

Judging by the media reports on the Extraordinary Synod to be held in Rome this October, the bishops present will be mainly concerned with issues such as the admission to the Eucharist of divorced and remarried persons, the speeding up of annulment processes, and the possible revision of the Church’s teaching on contraception. Implicit in [...]

More Misinterpretations of Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby was never so much about the principled Constitutional issue of whether there is a right to conscientious objection (be they based on religious or scientific convictions) as much as a prop in the melodramatic political “war on women” by which some cynically hope to save at least a pro-abortion Senate majority in the [...]

Will the New AIDS Pill Promote Promiscuity?

More than four decades ago, Pope Paul VI predicted in Humanae Vitae that the emergence of the new reproductive technologies—especially the birth control pill—would lead to a “lowering of moral standards … and a rise in infidelity.” Today, with the emergence of Truvada, a pill that has been shown in clinical trials to be up [...]

Feckless Republican Responses to the “War on Women”

Why has the strategy of a supposed Republican "War on Women" worked so well for the Democrats? It is an almost totally fake issue, yet it has proved to be a potent motivating factor in elections for not a few voters, including especially single women. One obvious reason for this is that the current virtually [...]

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