Humanae Vitae

LGBTQIA: It’s the Taxonomy, Stupid*

“Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us, we are not discouraged. Rather, we have renounced shameful, hidden things; not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God, but by the open declaration of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Cor. 4: 1-2) It [...]

LGBTQIA: It’s the Taxonomy, Stupid*

“Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us, we are not discouraged. Rather, we have renounced shameful, hidden things; not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God, but by the open declaration of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Cor. 4: 1-2) It [...]

On Defying the Majority When They Are Wrong

“The majority can often be wrong.”  ~ Charlan Nemeth John Mulaney’s grandmother is my new hero. I admit it’s an odd claim because I don’t know much about her—not even her name. But, based on John’s testimony, I know this much: His grandmother is no respecter of persons. She cares not a speck for popular [...]

John the Baptist and Humanae Vitae

2018 is one of those years when June 24 falls on a Sunday and, therefore, one of the rare occasions when the Sunday liturgy is preempted by a Solemnity: the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. 2018 is also the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, the papal encyclical that became the lightning rod for much dissent [...]

Bishops of Kazakhstan Reaffirm Humanae Vitae

Editor’s note: The following document is a pastoral letter issued May 13 by the bishops of Kazakhstan on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Humanae Vitae. Praised be Our Lord Jesus Christ! Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! The current year is marked by the memorable event of the 50th anniversary of [...]

The Man Who Was “Ante-Pope”

Before his death in 2012, Cardinal Carlo Martini eerily called himself an “ante-pope,” a “precursor and preparer for the Holy Father.” Martini was the leading antagonist to Popes John Paul II and Benedict—a Jesuit famous for groaning that the Church was “200 years behind.” In Night Conversations with Cardinal Martini, he cringed at the “major [...]

Germain Grisez’s Defense of Orthodox Faith

Germain Gabriel Grisez, 88, died February 1, 2018. Philosophy and Catholic theology in the United States lost a giant in his passing. After Karol Wojtyła, I probably owe my greatest intellectual debt to Germain Grisez and the late William May and their work in ethics/moral theology. Their work in defense of Catholic teaching on sexual [...]

Yes, Holy Father, You Are Right: “Let Us Not Play With Truths”

The position of Pope Francis in regard to homosexual “marriage” has not changed since he became a bishop in Argentina, according to John Allen Jr. on the Crux news site last year. Allen writes that, while the pope is against homosexual "marriage," he is willing to tolerate homosexual acts under the title of “civil unions.” [...]

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 [...]

Is a “Winnipeg Statement” Lurking in Amoris Laetitia?

Hey, Amoris Laetitia, the 1968 Canadian bishops phoned and they want their strategic ambiguity back. That line may not mean much to anyone who isn’t familiar with the Canadian Conference of Bishops’ statement in response to the birth control encyclical Humanae Vitae. Dubbed the “Winnipeg Statement” for the last 49 years, it represents in the [...]

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, [...]

Debate Continues Over Amoris Laetitia

The ambiguities of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, continue to provoke a lively debate even as we pass its one-year anniversary. Allies of the pope marked the event by rallying to his support as they beseeched the faithful to contemplate this maligned papal document. On the other side of the ledger, orthodox theologians continue [...]

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 [...]

Does History Repeat With Amoris Laetitia Confusion?

The Holy Father actually said to the College of Cardinals: “In a matter of such importance it seems right that Catholics desire to follow one single law propounded authoritatively by the Church. So it seems advisable to recommend that for the present no one should arrogate to himself the right to take a stand differing [...]

Note to Pollsters: What “Practicing Catholic” Really Means

First consideration is due to the offspring, which many have the boldness to call the disagreeable burden of matrimony.  ~ Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii If someone says “practicing Catholic,” what do you think of? If your first thought it involved Mass attendance, you’d be in good company. Pollsters and pundits tend to clump Catholics into [...]

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 Unspoken Tragedy of the Orlando Massacre

In responding to the Orlando massacre at a same-sex nightclub, Bishop Robert Lynch of the Diocese of St. Petersburg found religion, including Catholicism, responsible for the slaughter. He wrote, “sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people.” And he is right [...]

Recommended Reading for Your College-bound Teen

“We were always encouraged to read, and had all the masters that were necessary.” ~ Miss Elizabeth Bennet The last thing a high school graduate wants is books—I get it. And high schoolers that grew up in bookish families want books least of all—I get that, too (although my two collegiate children would demur on [...]

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 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 [...]

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