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October 1, 2010


Humanae Vitae – And Why I Think The Catholic Church Violates It’s own teaching.

Humanae Vitae literally means means “Human Life” in latin, it is the church’s teaching about abortion and contraception, as well as issues pertaining to human life.

The concept here is that Human Life is precious in all forms, Marriage and it’s most private activity are meant for the purposes of procreation. Abortion and any form of birth control that prevents conception are forbidden according to the church. The churches stance on these issues can be found here: Vatican Response, and before I delve into where I think the church has gone astray let me say that they raise some very valid points.

But in their zeal to maintain their doctrine they cross lines that should cause any free person to pause, this week while driving home I heard a conversation on EWTN (Catholic Radio) about contraception and how it’s done so much damage to this society, but here’s the thing: Contraception isn’t a new thing, it’s been around since the beginning, so has abortion. It’s circular reasoning to say that birth control leads to abortion. Because the whole point of birth control is to stop pregnancy in the first place, I’m always skeptical when experts roll out ideas like this. The fundamentalist church is full of people who swear that watching a movie will send you on a path to hell, or that evolution is destroying our society. Study’s have estimated that up to %80 of practicing Catholics are or have used birth control, I’m not saying I agree with that, just that those are the numbers.

Where I start to have a problem is while listening to the radio a gentleman called in and was remiss that he’d had a vasectomy and was converting to the Catholic Church (I’m in the same boat), but he looked into getting it reversed, it was way out of his price range. The host and the “expert” on the airwaves proceeded to offer up information, advice and encouragement to find other ways to have it reversed, I almost crashed my car yelling at the radio. I’m sorry but Humanae Vitae is either about how life is precious or it’s not, PERIOD. To suggest that you should look for cheap surgery to get a reversal or that you really even need one is so far outside the scope of not just common sense, but decency that I can hardly contain my disdain. It’s like saying “Hey Honey, I love you. Now go have this SURGERY that I found on the cheap, don’t worry you’ll be just fine”. To what end does it benefit this man to cut his body up MORE for a *possibility* of having it reversed?, and how irresponsible and BLIND do you have to be to endanger a mans life while proclaiming the virtues of Humanae Vitae…

I thought I was done until I found this on Catholic Answers:

Catholic Answers On Contraception

The first question is from a woman whose Dr has told her that she should abstain from getting pregnant for a year, and her Priest, being a man who obviously cares for his parishioners tells her it’s OK to use birth control. The answer left me stunned, so they are telling her that despite what her Dr said, she would be committing a mortal sin if she used contraception. But if she got pregnant she could lose her life and possibly the life of her Child, is the church so fixated on it’s doctrine that it can’t even stomach grace in a situation like this?

The more I read the church’s position on this issue and the more I hear the acolytes who push this doctrine, the more concerned I become that the Church is violating the very nature of the doctrine they are espousing. Further to use the Mortal Sin card as a stick to get people to follow your doctrine is even more heinous in my view, Joseph Smith (of Mormon fame) would tell woman that if they did not marry him they would go to hell, is this any different?.

I’m not sure right now I can trust the RCC with issues like this, the marriage chamber is a holy institution that to be perfectly honest the Church has *no business* meddling into. I’m not advocating that they radically change their position, but certainly a little common sense might go a long long way. The Humanae Vitae as described by Vatican is not that radical, but the Church has set loose a wave of zealots who would happily violate the nature of the doctrine to force people into submission. From a scripture standpoint the bible is silent about abortion, that doesn’t make it right. But it’s really even more silent about contraception, and you can’t use Gen 38 as your crutch, because if you actually *READ* the story Onan gets a *DIRECT* instruction from God and disobeys that. It’s not about him spilling his seed, it’s about him disobeying God. When you have scripture that is directed at one person, you can’t use that to apply to everyone. The only scripture you can logically use is Genesis 3 where God tells Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply, again a direct commandment. But in this case it could be applied, however the bible is silent on contraception.

One more thought, 2000 years ago the infant mortality rate was incredibly high. So you needed to have 10 children to raise 5, that’s no longer the case and the Church has even forbidden NFP (Natural Family Planning). That matters because today our mortality rate is incredibly low, so odds are very good if you fail to practice some form of NFP your going to be overrun with children. Never mind that you might not be able to support them, the Church doesn’t care. Just don’t violate it’s doctrine.


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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Phil Steinacker
    Oct 2 2010

    With all due charity and respect, you are not ready to convert to Catholicism. I say that based on your rant. You ahve much more to learn before you can agree to accept ALL Church teaching. If you can;t find the humility to submit to Church teaching, then you’re not ready.

    Worse, your line of reasoning is jumbled and still too tainted with secular ideas to warrant entry into the Church. I might add you seem to be angry that the Church presents obstacles to YOUR will being done.

    I’ll pray for you. Once I returned into the Church I struggled with my own submission to Church authority to teach me, and it was tough. The more layers you have in place made up of how you want things to be, the more difficult it is to let go of them.

  2. Oct 3 2010

    Thank you for your Grace Phil,

    Your correct I’m not ready, I’m quite honestly not sure I can trust the Church. God gave me a mind and free will, and I’m not about to just openly submit without digging, looking and poking around. I’d be a fool to do otherwise.

    I have mixed feelings about the way Humanae Vitae is portrayed, I understand the church’s point about abortion and birth control. Where I bristle is that they refuse even NFP, which makes no sense to me at all. Yet there are lots of NFP classes available taught at the church, so the Vatican says NFP is wrong for birth control, but let’s it be taught by practicing Catholics. Sounds like the church is divided on this issue.



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