Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Humanae Vitae

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, here are excerpts from Pope Paul VI's encyclical on the regulation of birth, Humanae Vitae (On Human Life), 1968. In particular, I have included the paragraph where the former Pope presents the "consequences of artificial methods" (contraception). Please go to the address at the bottom of this post for the full text.
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7. The question of human procreation, like every other question which touches human life, involves more than the limited aspects specific to such disciplines as biology, psychology, demography or sociology. It is the whole man and the whole mission to which he is called that must be considered: both its natural, earthly aspects and its supernatural, eternal aspects. And since in the attempt to justify artificial methods of birth control many appeal to the demands of married love or of responsible parenthood, these two important realities of married life must be accurately defined and analyzed...

10... With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time...

16. If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained...

Consequences of Artificial Methods

17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection...

20. The teaching of the Church regarding the proper regulation of birth is a promulgation of the law of God Himself. And yet there is no doubt that to many it will appear not merely difficult but even impossible to observe. Now it is true that like all good things which are outstanding for their nobility and for the benefits which they confer on men, so this law demands from individual men and women, from families and from human society, a resolute purpose and great endurance. Indeed it cannot be observed unless God comes to their help with the grace by which the goodwill of men is sustained and strengthened. But to those who consider this matter diligently it will indeed be evident that this endurance enhances man's dignity and confers benefits on human society...
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http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

9 Comments:

At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dare you to do a homily on this.

 
At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about on the other end where couples can't have a child? Is it against our teachings to have artificial insimination?

 
At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so hard to embrace when you know you have no money to have more then 3 kids very scary but so good to hear and it makes so much sense to only follow God's way just hard to take take that leap of faith to do NFP.

 
At 5:24 PM, Anonymous searching for holiness said...

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At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read in today's Wash. Post about young women SELLING their ova to infertile couples! The woman interviewed boldy said that she looked it up on the net......had her picture put up with SATS scores. When she was selected, she was flown to different doctors who interviewed her and examined her. SHe ended receiving $10000 for 12 ova. I could not believe what I was reading! WHere is the human dignity in this practice? BTW she later received a letter letting her know that none of her ova resulted in a pregnancy. She felt differently about it then and vowed never to donate again.

 
At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Father Greg for speaking the truth and helping us see God's gift in this teaching. As always, the Lord's precepts are really for our benefit and often to protect us from our own weakness.

 
At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon #1 , I double dare you to give your real identity!

 
At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Searching For Holiness said...

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