Humanae Vitae

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Using Modern Science to Treat Homosexuality

Homosexuality is an issue that has been shaped by Western values, and is now front-and-center in almost every country and culture around the world, especially those societies influenced by secular humanism. But even more traditional societies, such as those in Africa, have not gone unaffected by it, given how social media shrinks our globe. In [...]

Is Marital Indissolubility Only an Ideal?

One way that dissidents (including various episcopal conferences that had been derelict in teaching Catholic marital morality in the immediate periods before and after Humanae vitae) sought to dilute the clear Magisterial teaching the encyclical provided them was to reduce its vision of married sexual life to an “aspirational norm.” In other words, the idea [...]

Is the Ambiguity in Synod Documents Intentional?

Although it is unpleasant to discuss, there is a medical disorder (sometimes called “pica”) in which a person desires to eat non-nutritive, non-food substances like glass, plastic, dirt, wood, and apparently almost anything else one could imagine. Besides their disordered desire to eat harmful things, people with pica otherwise seem to be normal and are [...]

Abandoning the Full Meaning of Marriage

The case for Same Sex Civil Contracts for Sexual Services (SSCCSS, abbreviated as SCS and pronounced as one word, “sex”) rests on the theft of the term “marriage” in order to strip it of any reference to true marriage. No defense of real marriage can be sustained when it accepts this identity theft as definitive [...]

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 [...]

In Praise of Catholic Motherhood

This is a week for celebrating life. In Washington D.C., the March for Life continues its long tradition of marking the anniversary of Roe v Wade with a massive demonstration in remembrance of the unborn. Appropriately enough, Pope Francis set the week off by affirming the Church’s stance on artificial contraceptives on his visit to [...]

Is Sexual Desire Holy?

At a recent conference, I had the privilege of listening to an excellent presentation on the topic of charity by a very well known Catholic apologist, who will remain nameless. At some point, his talk on Christian love shifted from a discussion of caritas to eros, and the presenter moved into the subject of sexual [...]

The Contradictions of Multi-Generational Liberalism

A recent study by the Pew Research Center finds significant differences between younger and older liberals, differences that are not encouraging either to orthodox religious believers or to the older liberals. The Next Generation Left (NGL) are at one with older liberals on the social issues, notably abortion and homosexual marriage, and it is primarily [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]