Saturday, June 9, 2012

Contraception War: The Vortex

Below is another great episode of “The Vortex” from last week. Michael Voris makes a good point: the “Fortnight for Freedom” that our bishops are promoting is a good thing. But where is the catechesis concerning the evil of contraception?

Yes, I support the bishops in the fight against the HHS contraception mandate. The bishops are making a strong statement and they’re encouraging the faithful to oppose the mandate, even to the point of suggesting civil disobedience might be called for.

Unfortunately, I fear that a large proportion of the “Catholic” population of this country will fail to respond. I hear the Kathlic-Lite voices whining, “Those bishops can’t tell us how to vote. They can’t tell us what we can and cannot do in our bedrooms. They can’t tell us what to pray for.” And, also unfortunately, the Kathlic-Lite crowd is large.

In 1968, Pope Paul VI made it perfectly clear in Humanae Vitae that the Church teaching has been and will continue to be that contraception is gravely sinful. The dissent from that teaching was immediate and vociferous, and bishops, priests, and theologians in this country led the faithful astray by claiming that their dissent was licit warranted. And so, the Catholic faithful started down the contraceptive path. They do not want to turn back…yet.

So the bishops, IMHO, are wise to focus on religious liberty, because for 50 years, the faithful have been led to believe that contraception is NOT a grave sin. They are not going to oppose the HHS mandate because of the evil of contraception, and I think the bishops know that. In fact, I think that the bishops themselves are still divided on the issue of the sinfulness of contraception, and so they cannot present a united front there. The only way to overcome that difficulty is to approach the mandate from the perspective of religious freedom.

And it is quite likely, I think, that some bishops are hoping that Obama will capitulate, so that they may still vote for him in November.

At any rate, here’s “The Vortex” along with the script. Be sure to check out that quote from Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Casti Connubii.


The issue of contraception has been a powder keg for the Christian world ever since the wimpy Anglicans caved in and approved it in 1930. Within a little more than a generation, almost the entire Protestant world had followed suit, abandoning nearly 2000 years of Christian morality in the process.

Only the Catholic Church remained resolute and standing firmly in the truth of Our Blessed Lord in Her teachings. But in the 1960’s, when the proverbial you-know-what hit the fan during the sexual revolution, huge numbers of Catholic bishops in the west, picking up the mantle of wimpiness from the Anglican bishops two generations earlier, simply shut their mouths about the evil of contraception.

Now, forty years later, not much has changed. In the heat of the current battle with Obama, the entire fight has been cast as one over religious liberty and the Constitution versus a battle with the evil of contraception.

As a matter of fact, some of the leading members of the US hierarchy have gone completely and totally out of their way to stress this does NOT have anything to do with contraception.

While it is good that the Church Militant fight unjust laws and rulings, that is the Church’s SECONDARY role, not its first. The first mission of the Church Militant is to fight the evil behind those laws and the evil in people’s lives that creates the atmosphere in which such laws can be made. That is not possible if the truth about such evil is not being preached – and the evil in this case is contraception.

Case in point: The US bishops’ conference has, in addition to the lawsuits, called for a "Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education, and action in support religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

That’s great. Very good. But where is the corresponding, “Fortnight for Truth” 14-day period of prayer, education, and action in support of teaching and learning the Church’s authentic teaching with regard to the intrinsic evil of contraception?

As a quick aside, we have an entire resource page chock full of information about the Church’s teaching, the history of this whole great big contraception debacle in the church and  much more. Just click on the link on this page.
 The Church is supposed to be counter-cultural. It is supposed to oppose evil, conceptually and in practice. And not only oppose it, but crush it and grind it underfoot.

This is what lies behind the expression of the Church Militant – a phrase that Pope Benedict just emphasized the week before last as being a truthful expression of what the Church on earth is.

We will be talking about the name Church Militant over the next few weeks and how the gradual post-Vatican II discarding of this concept has led to a near ruin of the faith in the west. But more on that later.

Right now, the issue is about teaching the truth – the complete truth – about the evil of contraception. When the issue exploded onto the scene in the first half of the 20th century with the total cave-in of Protestantism to the birth control forces, Pope Pius XI wrote an encyclical restating the Church’s unbroken opposition to this evil. In it, he warned bishops, for that is who is was directed to. Here is what he said in paragraph 57
of Casti Connubi:

57. We admonish, therefore, priests who hear confessions and others who have the care of souls, in virtue of Our supreme authority and in Our solicitude for the salvation of souls, not to allow the faithful entrusted to them to err regarding this most grave law of God; much more, that they keep themselves immune from such false opinions, in no way conniving in them. If any confessor or pastor of souls, which may God forbid, lead the faithful entrusted to him into these errors or should at least confirm them by approval or by guilty silence, let him be mindful of the fact that he must render a strict account to God, the Supreme Judge, for the betrayal of his sacred trust, and let him take to himself the words of Christ: "They are blind and leaders of the blind: and if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit”. 

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