Humanae Vitae

Dr. Lisa Fullam

When Catholic Academics Abandon the Unborn

A few weeks ago Lisa Fullam, a featured blogger at dotCommonweal, the blog of the politically liberal magazine Commonweal, posted “Hobby Lobby and Science” in which she clarifies for us how the “science” does not support the claims made by the Hobby Lobby plaintiffs and, incidentally, the Catholic Church. She writes, “In medical terminology, a [...]

The Prophetic Papacy of Paul VI

“Eight days ago I went to Fumona to pay my respects to Celestine V. You know his story. He was a very simple man who mistrusted himself. At the moment of [his] election the Apostolic See had been vacant for twenty-seven months: there were only twelve cardinals left and they could not agree among themselves. [...]

The Purpose of Sex in Marriage

Marriage requires sex. This seems to be the sine qua non of marriage even in a world where the definition of marriage has been broadened in ways never imagined even a generation ago. And indeed marriage does require sex because sex is unitive in a unique way and marriage is about union. A shake of [...]

To be Serious About Contraception

What is a faithful Catholic to do about contraception in a culture awash in them? Are we to make them a political issue, as some kind of prophetic cri du cœur? Should we launch a campaign to overturn Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court decision that made married contraception a constitutional right, or campaign to [...]

I Fight on Contraception Hill

Contraception is one of the great scourges not just of our time but of all time. In two ways it sets men and women against their creator. First, because they choose disobedience over the clear teaching of the Church. Second, it says no to the creative work of our Lord. Both of these put their [...]

Catholics, Comstock and Contraception: A Response to Ramesh Ponnuru

I am no stranger to controversy, having been dismissed from Stanford University for my reporting on forced abortions in China's one-child policy, but the reaction to my article, published in Crisis last week, has surprised even me. The principle that I was defending—namely, that Catholic politicians should not run from their faith in running for [...]

Birth Control is Not Healthcare

Dr. Malcolm Potts, first medical director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, in a piece late last month in the Los Angeles Times¸erroneously blames the Vatican for denying the Little Sisters of the Poor the alleged health benefits of hormonal contraception.  In fact, the Little Sisters of the Poor are challenging in court their real [...]

Dave Ramsey—Our Favorite Catechist: A Response to Richard Becker

 We have no wish at all to pass over in silence the difficulties, at times very great, which beset the lives of Christian married couples. For them, as indeed for every one of us, "the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life." —Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae Earlier this month, [...]

Of Dave Ramsey, Babies, and Birth Control

“Well, it’s no trick to make a lot of money … if what you want to do is make a lot of money.” ~ Mr. Bernstein, Citizen Kane (1941) Dave Ramsey is all the rage, especially among Christians. His Financial Peace University seminars are regularly advertised at churches, and his books are bestsellers at Christian [...]

It’s Time to Get “Obsessed” About Opposing Today’s Moral Evils

A recent Quinnipiac poll found that some 53 percent of Catholics who attend Mass weekly, and some 65 percent of those who attend Mass less frequently, would favor a law legalizing so-called same-sex “marriage” in spite of the Church’s clear teaching that any true marriage must always and necessarily be between a man and a [...]

Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald and the Path Not Taken

The story of Boston’s Father Gerald Fitzgerald (1894-1969), who founded the Servants of the Paraclete congregation, has been told before. For example, it appears in the National Catholic Reporter of March 30, 2009; in the Dallas Morning News a day later; and was reported by news services like the Associated Press. But most readers outside [...]

The Curious Controversy Over Natural Family Planning

When I entered the Church early in 1978 there was little enough discussion of natural family planning or of the Church's teaching that use of contraceptives violated the law of God.  The Couple to Couple League had been founded just a few years earlier, and NFP was not a subject even written about much in [...]

The Beauty of Marriage

He stood on principle. He defended the Church. He refused to act against his conscience. He was stalwart in defense of marriage. And in 1535, the king chopped off his head. Saint Thomas More, whose Feast Day we celebrated on July 6, was an ardent defender of the institution of marriage. Among the most admirable [...]

Fifty Years Later–Vatican II’s Unfinished Business

Fifty years after the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the Church in the United States is in the throes of a struggle. Loyal Catholics are showing renewed vigor and vitality, and are helping the Church to move forward in unity. At the same time, the Church is also being exhausted and drained from within [...]

Veritatis Splendor: The Encyclical that Mattered

There are papal encyclicals, and then there are papal encyclicals. Some escape public attention almost from the moment they’re promulgated. Others continue reverberating inside the Church decades after they appear. But there’s also a third type of encyclical: those which assume truly civilizational significance. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of one document that falls [...]

The Cost Of Being Catholic

Nowadays, “charity” conjures up various images, some of which are quite distant from everyday life. Consider the “nonprofit sector”—or government welfare programs. Others images are more immediate—soup kitchens, or Salvation Army kettles. But charity—caritas—is actually a supernatural virtue. As Saint Paul puts it, “now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [...]

The “New” Tone of U.S. Bishops Sounds Very Familiar

In a frank interview with the Wall Street Journal last year, Cardinal Timothy Dolan conceded that the post-Vatican II Church in America has “gotten gun-shy” on hot-button moral issues. The Church’s encyclical on artificial birth control, Humanae Vitae, “brought such a tsunami of dissent, departure, disapproval of the Church, that I think most of us—and [...]

The Strange World of Garry Wills

These must be trying times for Garry Wills.  In 2001, he wrote a book blasting the papacy, Papal Sin:  Structures of Deceit.  But ordinary Catholics did not take up Wills’ call to turn St. Peter’s into a Congregationalist meeting house.  Instead, when John Paul II died in 2005, some 5,000,000 people came to Rome to [...]

Abortion and the Contraceptive Mentality

This year marks an auspicious anniversary—forty years of nation-wide abortion on demand since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. These cases declared a right to abortion that was more permissive than the law of any state. A woman could take the life of her unborn child for virtually any reason at any time. The [...]

The War We Are In

These are not the best of times. In fact, some folks say that the Catholic Church in the United States confronts today the greatest challenge in its history. Things were already tough before the November elections, but now they're in the tank. The good news is that, this year, Catholic bishops were united as never [...]

The Contraceptive Imperative

You don’t have to go out of your way today to be confronted with the subject of contraception. In November, 2012, the United Nations Population Fund issued its annual report entitled “By Choice, Not by Chance,” describing contraception as a global “right” for women, and calling for the removal of all social and financial obstacles [...]

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