It’s okay to bash the Catholic Church

Oh shucks… Looks like I forgot the word “not.” Man… these typos… 

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but there seems to be a lot of Catholic bashing today due to the issue of contraception. I mean, granted, on fundie blogs, they are bashed sometimes, but this seems to be coming from those with a general pluralistic outlook. Before you rush to judge the Catholic Church through your own misinformation about what the Church officially teaches regarding birth control, take a gander at this:

The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.

The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings….

For those who need some background, start with Aquinas and understand the thought behind some of this. As I understand it, it’s not about denying women anything, but about making sure they are what they are supposed to be. Rather… what men and woman are supposed to be together, and that is creators.

Now, I don’t agree with this position, or rather, the result of the position which is the denial of birth control, but I do understand it. For me, the transmission of life is sacred, and indeed, part of our very make up, but life in of itself is not always so easily defined by a child. Indeed, many women who could not conceive have done more than their fair share of transmitting life by caring for the poor, the neglected, and the abused. Men who for some reason or another who could not transmit life have become heirs to a generation by the actions of their heart. And in a world in which we see the threats of war, famine, and grave injustices, perhaps the other side of the sanctity of human life is the choice not to bring a child in this world but to focus one’s life on repairing the breaches of evil which have made their inroads into our society.

I do wish that my more liberal friends would not so readily bash the Catholic Church for their position here… After all, we aren’t Republicans who make it a political plank to bash Islam, a religion which they more often than not have no clue as to the basic tenants. Or Judaism… or anything that people generally do not understand…

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6 Replies to “It’s okay to bash the Catholic Church”

  1. Speaking of typos, “Its” is possessive. The contraction for “It is” is “It’s.”

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    Seriously … I find it stunning how much time I, a Baptist, spend defending the Catholic Church. I’m with you on this, and I was standing in between my own denomination-fellows and the Papacy a few years ago when the Pope came and was talking about welcoming immigrants.

  2. A few problems with this…
    “The fulfillment of this duty”….duty to procreate? If the duty to “adopt” was as strong, there wouldn’t be any orphans, I suppose.
    “it’s not about denying women anything, but about making sure they are what they are supposed to be”…glad you added the next sentence. As it stands, the whole “duty” thing is curious.

    Generally, a bunch of old men (in this case bishops) telling people what their duty should be, to supposedly pave the way for Jesus, while limiting the opportunities of their current children, or ignoring the needs of other parent-less children, or watching the starving children in less fortunate countries starve to death. Last time I checked, Jesus didn’t procreate, and never said to go out and procreate. The whole OT “populate the earth” goes along with the “exterminate” the Midianites, since you need lots of children to perpetuate war.

    I like the Catholics. But I’d like to hear the arguments about denying women birth control, from organizations (not churches) that employ people (basically businesses, like hospitals and colleges), come from some women, instead of from a bunch of old men priests/bishops, or high paid administrators of hospitals and universities. If they are men making the argument, they will never use birth control pills or IUD’s, so they should keep their mouths shut.

    1. Gary, over all, I’m not going to disagree with you about the issues which surround this, well, issue. This document just didn’t appear, but comes from a very long theological tradition.

  3. I apologize for the forthcoming long quote from Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, but what it predicts will happen is quite striking;

    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.

    Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

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