APPENDIX A OUTLINE OF CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACHING
American Life League

The Last Bulwark.

As recently as 1930, every mainline Protestant church vigorously condemned those sexual behaviors that they considered to be damaging to society and a danger to the souls of individuals. These acts included divorce, artificial contraception, abortion, euthanasia, fornication, adultery, the use of pornography, and homosexual behavior.

The Roman Catholic Church is the only remaining major religious entity that holds fast to its prohibitions on these behaviors.

For this reason, the Catholic Church is the focus of an unprecedented campaign of propaganda and subversion generated by Neoliberal organizations and individuals.

One of the most effective tactics used by those trying to confuse Church members is false claims about its teachings. These claims generally fall into three categories;

(1) Church teachings on various sexual topics are "not monolithic;" i.e., there is considerable disagreement among the laity and theologians as to what behavior is acceptable and what is not.

(2) The Pope is just another Bishop, so American Catholics should be free to conform to the sexual mores of their society instead of those dictated by an obscure Italian bishop and his insulated staff of old men. Americans should be free to "follow their consciences."

(3) The Church has not always condemned such practices as abortion and birth control. Therefore, it can change its teachings on these subjects.

The Purpose of This Appendix.

It is vital for Catholics to be able to decisively refute these and other false Neoliberal allegations about Church teachings. The only way to do this is to have at hand a set of specific quotes from Church documents that address the most common misperceptions about Church teachings.

The purpose of this Appendix is to provide a brief, concise, and useful compilation of information on authentic Roman Catholic teaching regarding the areas of sexual ethics that currently concern most Christians.

The body of this Appendix consists of quotes from documents and statements originating only from those men who are authorized to speak for the Catholic Church the Popes and those Bishops and theologians in union with them. These quotes are extracted from encyclicals, pastoral letters, and addresses by these representatives of the Magisterium (teaching authority) of the Catholic Church.

The last several pages of this Appendix list numerous books in each field that support the Church's teachings in these areas. Those individuals wishing to learn more about the reasoning and logic of natural law and its connection to Catholic teaching in the area of human sexuality should refer to these books or others that have been approved by the Church.

The seven major areas regarding sexual ethics that are discussed in this Appendix are listed below.

(A) Artificial contraception
(B) Abortion
(C) Euthanasia
(D) Sexual sterilization
(E) Eugenics
(F) Homosexuality
(G) Related matters

An outline of the major teachings of the Church regarding these major life issues is contained in Figure A-1. The remainder of this Appendix lists references and quotes on each of these teachings.

FIGURE A-1

OUTLINE OF AUTHENTIC ROMAN CATHOLIC TEACHING ON THE LIFE ISSUES

A. Artificial Contraception.

1. The marital act must always be left open to the transmission of life.

2. The use of artificial contraception is degrading to both human nature and to the institution of marriage.

3. Persons who employ artificial means deny the will of God and actually set their wills in His place.

4. Birth regulation through the use of natural family planning (NFP) is licit and, unlike the artificial methods, contributes to marital unity.

B. Abortion.

1. The right to life is the right without which all other rights are rendered meaningless. Every Christian has the duty to protect human life from conception.

2. Every human life is of equal value, and all human lives are of infinite value.

3. Laws which permit the killing of prenatal human life are illicit, and no Christian may cooperate with them.

4. The killing of the unborn by abortion will inevitably lead to other abuses against human life, including infanticide and euthanasia.

5. Abortion can never be made allowable, regardless of circumstances. These include rape, incest, fetal deformity, maternal physical and mental health, or any economic or social indicator.

6. The principle of the "double effect" is licit in the instance where an operation must be performed on a pregnant woman for the purpose of saving her life,

7. All Catholics, including medical personnel and lay people, may never perform or assist in any manner the procurement of an abortion. Any such action leads to instant excommunication.

8. The Catholic Church has always opposed abortion for any reason, contrary to the propaganda offered by certain enemies of the Church.

C. Euthanasia.

1. No human being has the right to end his own life, because this life is a gift from God.

2. Laws that allow or encourage euthanasia or infanticide can never be legitimate.

3. The Church does not require that the process of dying be prolonged to the maximum extent possible through the use of "heroic measures."

4. The use of painkilling drugs by a person in extreme agony is not immoral, but he should be conscious before death in order to properly prepare to meet God.

D. Sexual Sterilization.

E. Eugenics.

F. Homosexuality.

1. The homosexual orientation is intrinsically disordered.

2. No Bishop or priest may in any way support pro-homosexual organizations that call themselves "Catholic."

G. Other Matters Concerning Sexual Morality.

1. Cohabitation ("shacking up") is entirely contrary to God's law and can never be justified.

2. Masturbation ("self-abuse") is an intrinsically disordered act.

3. Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo.

Further Reading is Required.

It must be noted that the excerpts quoted in this chapter focus narrowly on what kinds of sexual behavior are and are not considered licit by the Catholic Church. As such, they are most suited for use in debates to rebut statements by dissidents or those who are ignorant of Church teachings and who are attempting to give the impression that the Church is more "diverse" in its instruction on sexual morality than it really is.

In order to comprehend the beauty, richness, and wisdom of the quoted Church documents, it is necessary for the reader to take the time to sit down, read them, and contemplate their messages.

SECTION A. CATHOLIC TEACHING REGARDING ARTIFICIAL CONTRACEPTION

1. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: The marital act must always be left open to the transmission of life.

But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it, deliberately frustrating its natural power and purpose, sin against nature and commit a deed which is disgraceful and intrinsically vicious ... In order that she [the Catholic Church] may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, she raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, December 31, 1930, Section 4, Paragraph 4.

Our Predecessor, Pius XI, of happy memory, in his Encyclical Casti Connubii of December 31, 1930, once again solemnly proclaimed the fundamental law of the conjugal act and conjugal relations: That every attempt of either husband or wife in the performance of the conjugal act or in the development of its natural consequences which aims at depriving it of its inherent force and hinders the procreation of a new life is immoral; and that no 'indication' or need can convert an act which is intrinsically immoral into a moral and lawful one ... This precept is in force today, as it was in the past, and so it will be in the future also, and always, because it is not a simple human whim, but the expression of a natural and divine law.

Pope Pius XII, Acta Apostilicae Sedis, XLIII (1951), page 843.

2. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: The use of artificial contraception is degrading to both human nature and to the institution of marriage.

We must solemnly proclaim that human life is transmitted by means of the family, and the family is based upon a marriage which is one and indissoluble and raised, so far as Christians are concerned, to the dignity of a sacrament. The transmission of human life is the result of a personal and conscientious act, and, as such, is subject to the all-holy, inviolable and immutable laws of God, which a man ignores and disobeys to his cost ... Human life is sacred all men must recognize that fact. From the very inception, it reveals the creating hand of God. Those who violate His laws not only offend the divine Majesty but degrade themselves and humanity.

Pope John XXIII, Mater et Magistra #193, May 15, 1961.

3. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: Persons who employ artificial means deny the will of God and actually set their wills in His place.

Contraception is to be judged objectively so profoundly illicit that it can never, for any reason, be justified. To think, or to day, anything to the contrary is tantamount to saying that in human life there can be situations where it is legitimate not to recognize God as God. Users of contraception attribute to themselves a power that belongs only to God, the power to decide in the final instance the coming into existence of a human being.

Pope John Paul II in his Address on Responsible Procreation, September 17, 1983. Quoted in "Holy Father Condemns Contraception in Strongest Terms." The Wanderer, September 29, 1983, pages 1 and 3.

4. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: Birth regulation through the use of natural family planning (NFP) is licit and, unlike the artificial methods, contributes to marital unity.

The promotion and teaching of the natural methods is, then, a truly pastoral concern, one that involves cooperation on the part of priests and religious, specialists, and married couples, all working in cooperation with the bishop of the local Church and receiving support and assistance from him ... In this way the Church is better able to present to the world the values of the natural methods, and reduce the strong emphasis on contraception, sterilization and abortion that we often encounter in the world. At the heart of this work in natural family planning must be a Christian view of the human person and the conviction that married couples can really attain, through God's grace and commitment to the natural methods, a deeper and stronger conjugal unity.

Pope John Paul II, in his address to the Family Congresses on June 8, 1984.

SECTION B. CATHOLIC TEACHING REGARDING ABORTION

1. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: The right to life is the right without which all other rights are rendered meaningless. Therefore, the right to live must be protected above all other rights. In fact, it is the duty of all Christians to protect human life, as stated by Our Lord.

If you want equal justice for all, and true freedom and lasting peace, then, America, defend life! All the great causes that are yours today will have meaning only to the extent that you guarantee the right to life and protect the human person.

Every human person no matter how vulnerable or helpless, no matter how young or how old, no matter how healthy, handicapped, or sick, no matter how useful or productive for society is a being of inestimable worth created in the image and likeness of God. This is the dignity of America, the reason she exists, the condition for her survival yes, the ultimate test of her greatness: To respect every human person, especially the weakest and defenseless ones, those as yet unborn.

Pope John Paul II, September 19, 1987, Detroit, Michigan. Quoted by Gary Potter. "Pope's Farewell Message ... 'America, Defend Life!'" The Wanderer, October 1, 1987, page 4.

The unborn human being's right to live is one of the inalienable human rights. God, the Lord of Life, has given man the exalted task of preserving life, and this must be carried out in a way which is worthy of mankind. From the conception, therefore, life must be protected with the greatest care. Abortion is the taking of a child's life and is a repulsive crime.

Pope John Paul II, September 9, 1985, Knight's Hall, Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Quoted in Don A. Schanche. "Pope Hammers at 'Crime' of Abortion." The Oregonian, September 9, 1985, page A2.

But the point is that we are not free to refuse to recognize another human being as a person. Refusal to recognize another human being as a person is in fact the essence of all immorality in human relations. It is the basis of all oppression, torture, denial of civil rights, religious and racial discrimination, exploitation, all forms of inhumanity of man to man. All of these are simply ways of refusing to recognize other human beings as human. Once human life exists, we are morally bound to respect its right to life, to development, to human dignity. Otherwise, the very basis of morality is undermined".

The Bishops of Ireland. Joint Pastoral Letter entitled "Human Life is Sacred," March 1, 1975. Reprinted in the May 22, 1975 English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, and reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 146 to 165.[1] Paragraph 17, "Rights of the Unborn."

Also see:

•Exodus 20:13. Matthew 5:21.
•Matthew 25:14-30. Luke 19:12-27.
•Proverbs 24:11.
•Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Declaration on 
 Procured Abortion." November 18, 1974. Reprinted in its entirety in the 
 Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 67 to 82.[1]
•John Paul II. "At the Service of Life." May 7, 1980.
•The Bishops of Italy. "Welcoming Unborn Human Life." December 8, 
 1978.

2. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: Every human life is of equal value, and all human lives are of infinite value, since we have all been created in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, the concept that there are lives "not worth living" is completely false and antithetical to the teachings of Christ.

I do not hesitate to proclaim before you and before the world that all human life from the moment of conception and through all subsequent stages is sacred, because human life is created in the image and likeness of God. Nothing surpasses the greatness or dignity of a human person. Human life is not just an idea or an abstraction; human life is the concrete reality of a being that lives, that acts, that grows and develops; human life is the concrete reality of a being that is capable of love, and of service to humanity.

If a person's right to life is violated at the moment in which he is first conceived in his mother's womb, an indirect blow is struck also at the whole of the moral order ... Human life is precious because it is the gift of God, a God whose love is infinite; and when God gives life, it is forever.

From Pope John Paul II's homily at the Capitol Mall in Washington, D.C., on October 7, 1979. quoted in "Human Life is the Gift of God." The Wanderer, October 18, 1979, pages 1 and 9.

No matter what the distinction between those different moments in the development of life, already born or still to be born, for profane and ecclesiastical law and for certain civil and penal consequences according to the moral law, in all these cases it is a matter of a grave and illicit attempt on inviolable human life.

This principle holds good both for the mother as well as the child. Never and in no case has the Church taught that the life of the child must be preferred to that of the mother. It is erroneous to place the question with this alternative: Either the life of the child or that of the mother. No; neither the life of the mother nor of the child may be submitted to an act of suppression. Both for the one and the other the demand cannot be but this: To use every means to save the life of both the mother and the child.

Pope Pius XII, Address to the Family Front Congress, November 27, 1951. Published in Matrimony, Papal Teachings. Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1963, pages 437 to 440, and reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 31 to 34.[1]

Human life is sacred, even before it is born. Sexuality and sexual love are sacred, as the mysterious source of human life. These truths have been honored by the great majority of man all through history, whatever their religion and whatever their culture.

The Christian principle of respect for human life at every stage of its existence is firm and clear. God alone is the Lord of life. Man is made in His image and likeness. We come from God. We go to God. We belong to God. God's commandment "Thou shalt not kill" unconditionally forbids all taking of innocent human life from its beginnings in the womb until the end that God, not man, has set for it. One must have absolute respect for human life as coming from God's hands at the very first moment of conception and as remaining under God's care on earth until He takes it back to Himself again in death.

Some will argue that not every life is of equal value. But in the eyes of God, every life is equal and of priceless value. We must see every life as having the value which it has for God.

Joint Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of Ireland. "Human Life Is Sacred." May 1, 1975, paragraphs 1 and 4. Printed in the English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, May 22, 1975, and reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 146 to 165.[1]

3. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: Laws which permit the killing of prenatal human life are illicit, and no true Christian can work for such laws, support a politician who votes for such laws, nor can the Christian even vote for such laws. In fact, the Christian has a duty to resist such laws.

It has already been said and must be repeated incessantly: What is legal is not necessarily always moral; there are also legal injustices; a crime does not cease to be so even if the law permits it, since it is written: "Thou shalt not kill."

Address of Monsignor Luoni, Representative of the Holy See at the Office of the United Nations, at the 26th World Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 21, 1973. Reprinted in the June 7, 1973 English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, and reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 60 to 64.[1]

Therefore there is no man, no human authority, no science, no medical, eugenic, social, economic or moral 'indication' which can show or give a valid juridical title for a direct deliberate disposing of an innocent human life which is to say, a disposition that aims at its destruction either as an end in itself or as the means of attaining another end that is perhaps, in no way unlawful in itself.

Pope Paul VI's address entitled "Defense of the Right to Birth," delivered at the Twenty-Third National Congress of the Union of Italian Catholic Jurists on December 9, 1972. Reprinted in the December 21, 1972 English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, and reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 41 to 45.[1] Section II, "Church's Teaching Unchanged."

The one only reason which men have for not obeying is when anything is demanded of them (by the state) which is openly repugnant to the natural or divine law, for it is equally unlawful to command anyone to do anything in which the law of nature or the will of God is violated. If, therefore, it should happen to any one to be compelled to prefer one or the other, viz., to disregard either the commands of God or those of rulers, he must obey Jesus Christ, who commands us to 'give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's' (Matt. 22:21), and must reply courageously after the example of Apostles: 'We ought to obey God rather than men' (Acts 5:29). And yet there is no reason why those who so behave themselves should be accused of refusing obedience; for, if the will of rulers is opposed to the will and the laws of God, they themselves exceed the bounds of their own power and pervert justice; nor can their authority then be valid, which, when there is no justice, is null.

                                                 Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Diuturnum (June 29, 1881).

Every human being, even the child in the womb, has the right to life directly from God and not from his parents, not from any society or human authority. Therefore, there is no man, no society, no human authority, no science, no "indication" at all whether it be medical, eugenic, social, economic, or moral that may offer or give a valid judicial title for a direct deliberate disposal of an innocent human life, that is, a disposal that aims at its destruction, whether as an end in itself or as a means to achieve the end, perhaps in no way at all illicit. The direct destruction of so-called "useless lives," already born or still in the womb, practiced extensively a few years ago [by Nazi Germany], can in no wise be justified ... The life of an innocent person is sacrosanct, and any direct attempt or aggression against it is a violation of one of the fundamental laws without which secure human society is impossible ... [N]ever forget this: There rises above every human law and above every "indication" the faultless law of God.

Pope Pius XII, Allocution to Midwives, October 29, 1951. Reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 28 to 30.[1]

... The [Second Vatican] Council wishes to remind men that the natural law of peoples and its universal principles still retain their binding force. The conscience of mankind firmly and ever more emphatically proclaims these principles. Any action which deliberately violates these principles and any order which commands such actions (genocide, attacks on the innocent, or terrorism) is criminal, and blind obedience cannot excuse those who carry them out.

                                         Vatican Council II, Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 79 (1965).

As the Fathers of the Church and other eminent theologians tell us, the right of private property may never be exercised to the detriment of the common good.

                                                         Pope Paul VI, Encyclical Populorum Progressio.

The role of law is not to record what is done, but to help in promoting improvement. It is at all times the task of the State to preserve each person's rights and to protect the weakest. In order to do so the State will have to right many wrongs. The law is not obliged to sanction everything, but it cannot act contrary to a law which is deeper and more majestic than any human law: The natural law engraved in men's hearts by the Creator as a norm which reason clarifies and strives to formulate properly, and which one must always struggle to understand better, but which it is always wrong to contradict. Human law can abstain from punishment, but it cannot declare to be right what would be opposed to the natural law, for this opposition suffices to give the assurance that a law is not a law at all.

It must in any case be clearly understood that a Christian can never conform to a law which is in itself immoral, and such is the case of a law which would admit in principle the licitness of abortion. Nor can a Christian take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it. Moreover, he may not collaborate in its application. It is, for instance, inadmissible that doctors or nurses should find themselves obliged to cooperate closely in abortions and have to choose between the Christian law and their professional situation.

Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Declaration on Procured Abortion." November 18, 1974. Reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 67 to 82.[1] Paragraphs 21 and 22.

Consistent with our nation's legal tradition, we hold that all human laws must ultimately be measured against the natural law engraved in our hearts by the Creator. A human law or policy contrary to this higher law, especially one which ignores or violates fundamental rights, surrenders its claim to the respect and obedience of citizens, while in no way lessening their obligation to uphold the moral law.

United States bishops, in their 1985 Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities.

Some sins constitute a direct attack on one's neighbor, and more exactly, in the language of the Gospel, against one's brother or sister. These sins are usually called social sins. The term social applies to every sin against justice in interpersonal relationships, committed either by the individual against the community or by the community against the individual. Also social is every sin against the rights of the human person, beginning with the right to life and including the life of the unborn ... It is not just those who cause or support evil or who exploit it, but also those who are in a position to avoid, eliminate, or at least limit certain social evil but who fail to do so out of laziness, fear, or the conspiracy of silence, through secret complicity or indifference; of those who take refuge in the supposed impossibility of changing the world, and also of those who sidestep the efforts and sacrifices required, producing specious [false] reasons of a higher order.

Pope John Paul II, Pastoral Letter on Reconciliation and Penance.

A movement of passive resistance to the legitimation of practices contrary to human life and dignity is beginning to make an ever sharper impression upon the moral conscience of many. Conscientious objection to laws destructive to human life should be recognized and supported.

                                                Vatican's 1986 statement The Dignity of Procreation.

In these matters, I take Mahatma Gandhi as my mentor.

Pope John Paul II replying to a request to bless the first clinic rescue in Great Britain in March of 1986. Quoted in Vincent Fitzpatrick's letter entitled "Cops and Conscience," Fidelity Magazine, October 1987, page 3.

4. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: The killing of the unborn by abortion will inevitably lead to other abuses against human life, including infanticide, euthanasia, and outright coercion.

It is significant that the arguments advanced for euthanasia are exactly parallel to those advanced for abortion. It is argued that the fetus is human only potentially; that it is not a free or rational person; that it is kept alive only through the life-support given it by others. In exactly the same way, it is said that the incapacitated or senile person is only "a piece of human wreckage" (this is an exact quotation from a recent plea for euthanasia); that he is "only a vegetable;" that he is being kept alive only by the kindness of relatives and the life-support systems of medicine. It is, in fact, impossible to construct a definition of abortion in such a way as to justify abortion but to forbid euthanasia.

Joint Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of Ireland. "Human Life Is Sacred." May 1, 1975. Printed in the English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, May 22, 1975, and reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's Yes to Life, pages 146 to 165.[1]

Disregard for the sacred character of life in the womb weakens the very fabric of civilization; it prepares a mentality, and even a public attitude, that can lead to the acceptance of other practices that are against the fundamental rights of the individual. This mentality can, for example, completely undermine concern for those in want, manifesting itself in insensitivity to social needs; it can produce contempt for the elderly, to the point of advocating euthanasia; it can prepare the way for those forms of genetic engineering that go against life, the dangers of which are not yet fully known to the general public.

Pope Paul VI, September 11, 1968.

If society and the legislator fail to guarantee this right to life right from its immediate beginning, many other human lives are endangered. Once accepted, the arguments brought out in the attempt to justify abortion will pave the way for others which will imperil the lives of the disabled, the incurable, the old outcasts of every kind. Once the principle of respect due equally to every human being has been violated, who would be able to stem the flood of its consequences?

Declaration of the Belgian Bishops, April 6, 1973. Reprinted in the June 14, 1973 English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, and reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 85 to 102.[1] Section I4, "Other Threatened Lives."

It would seem also that a process of liberalization, once initiated, might follow an inexorable course of further and further liberalization. In England, the law against abortion was liberalized in mid-1968. In eight months, the number of abortions, now legal, easy, and "respectable," has tripled. It is frighteningly plausible that the anticipated sequence might be: Legal abortion in particular cases, legal abortion upon simple request, legal sterilization, legal euthanasia, removal of the choice from the mother to a medical board, to a social worker, to the state. In the end, both the mother might lose her right to fruitfulness, and also the child its right to life.

A Statement on Abortion By the Bishops of Illinois, March 20, 1969. Reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 202 to 209.[1] Part II, "Abortion and the Law," Paragraph 19.

We plead with you to recognize the terrible consequence of legalized abortion. Once innocent life at any stage is placed at the mercy of others, a vicious principle has been legalized. Thereafter, a simple majority may decide that life is to be denied the defective, the aged, the incorrigible, and granted only to the strong, the beautiful, and the intelligent. The day may come when lawmakers could set standards which people must meet if they are to remain alive. Already one standard has been set who can say what others will come next? For, once respect for human life has been undermined, the murderous possibilities are limitless.

Declaration of the Bishops of New York State, December 2, 1970. Reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 221 to 223.[1] Paragraph 7.

5. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: Abortion can never be made allowable, regardless of circumstances. These include rape, incest, fetal deformity, maternal physical and mental health, or any other economic or social indicator.

But another very grave crime is to be noted, venerable brethren, which regards the taking of the life of the offspring hidden in the mother's womb ... As to the "medical and therapeutic indication" to which, using their own words, we have made reference, venerable brethren, however much we may pity the mother whose health and even life are gravely imperiled in the performance of the duty allotted to her by nature, nevertheless what could ever be a sufficient reason for excusing in any way the direct murder of the innocent? This is precisely what we are dealing with here. Whether inflicted upon the mother or upon the child, it is against the precept of God and the law of nature: "You shall not kill." The life of each is equally sacred, and no one has the power, not even the public authority, to destroy it ...

The direct procuring of abortion is never justified by any "indication" nor by any human law; nor is it shown to be licit by appealing to the argument of self-defense or of extreme necessity ... Those who hold the reins of government should not forget that it is the duty of public authority, by appropriate laws, to defend the lives of the innocent, and this all the more since those whose lives are endangered and assailed cannot defend themselves. Among whom We must mention, in the first place, infants hidden in the mother's womb. And if the public magistrates not only do not defend them, but by their laws and ordinances betray them to death at the hands of doctors or of others, let them remember that God is the Judge and Avenger of innocent blood which cries from earth to heaven.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #67, December 31, 1930.

In conformity with these landmarks in the human and Christian vision of marriage, We must once again declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun, and, above all, directly willed and procured abortion, even if for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as licit means of regulating birth.

Equally to be excluded, as the teaching authority of the Church has frequently declared, is direct sterilization, whether perpetual or temporary, whether of the man or of the woman. Similarly excluded is every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, purposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible.

Pope Paul VI, Encyclical Humanae Vitae, July 25, 1968, Paragraph 14.

6. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: The principle of the "double effect" is licit in the instance where an operation must be performed on a pregnant woman for the purpose of saving her life, and the death of her unborn child is inevitable and foreseen, yet not as a result of a direct attack on its life.

It has been our intention here to use always the expressions "direct attempt on the life of the innocent person" [and] "direct killing." The reason is that if, for example, the safety of the life of the future mother, independently of her state of pregnancy, might call for an urgent surgical operation, or any other therapeutic application, which would have as an accessory consequence, in no way desired nor intended, but inevitable, the death of the fetus, such an act could not be called a direct attempt on the innocent life. In these conditions the operation can be lawful, as can other similar medical interventions, provided that it be a matter of great importance, such as life, and that it is not possible to postpone it till the birth of the child, or to have recourse to any other efficacious remedy.

Both for the one and the other, the demand cannot be but this: To use every means to save the life of both the mother and the child.

Pope Pius XII, Address to the Family Front Congress on November 27, 1951. Published in Matrimony, Papal Teachings. Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1963, pages 437 to 440, and reprinted in its entirety in Yes to Life, published by the Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, 02130. 330 pages, soft cover. Pages 31 to 34.

See Also:

•Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Declaration on
  Procured Abortion." November 18, 1974. Reprinted in its entirety in the
  Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 67 to 82.[1] Article
  14.
•Pope Pius XII, Allocution to Midwives, October 29, 1951. Reprinted in
  its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 28
  to 30.[1] This speech is codified in the Pope's Acta Apostilicae Sedis,
  43(1951), page 855.
•Declaration of the Belgian Bishops, April 6, 1973, reprinted in the June 14,
  1973 edition of L’Osservatore Romano, and reprinted in its entirety in the
  Daughters of St. Paul's Yes to Life, pages 85 to 102.[1] See Section 1(a),
  "Respect for Human Life," paragraphs 7 and 8.
•Statement of the Catholic Bishops of Canada, February 7, 1968, reprinted
  in its entirety in the Daughter of St. Paul's Yes to Life, pages 105 to 112.[1]
  See Section I, "Abortion and Respect for Life: Borderline Cases,
  paragraphs 1 through 5.
•Pastoral Letter of the Korean Bishops, February 18, 1973, reprinted in the
  April 12, 1973 edition of L’Osservatore Romano, and reprinted in its
  entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 179 to
  183.[1] See Section 2, "The Right to Life of the Unborn Child."

7. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: All Catholics, including medical personnel and lay people, may never perform or assist in any manner the procurement of an abortion. Any such action leads to instant excommunication.

Qui abortum procurat, effectu secuto, in excommunicationem, latae sententiae, incurrat.

Those who successfully abort a living human fetus bring on themselves instant excommunication.

Canon Law Number 1398.

No Catholic can responsibly take a 'pro-choice' stand when the 'choice' involves the taking of innocent human life.

National Council of Catholic Bishops, Fall 1989 conference resolution of November 8, 1989.

The Declaration [on Religious Freedom] does not base the right to the free exercise of religion on 'freedom of conscience.' Nowhere does this phrase occur. And the Declaration nowhere lends its authority to the theory for which the phrase frequently stands, namely, that I have the right to do what my conscience tells me to do, simply because my conscience tells me to do it. This is a perilous theory. Its particular peril is subjectivism the notion that, in the end, it is my conscience, and not the objective truth, which determines what is right and wrong, true or false.

Father John Courtney Murray, S.J., principle author of Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Freedom, quoted in Russell Shaw. "Answers." National Catholic Register, September 13, 1992, page 4.

Accomplices, even though not mentioned in the law or precept, incur the same penalty [latae sententiae excommunication] if, without their assistance, the crime would not have been committed, and if the penalty is of such a nature as to be able to affect them; otherwise, they can be punished with ferendae sententiae [inflicted by clergy] penalties.

                                                               Section 2 of Canon Law 1329.

We urge you, as strongly as we can, to oppose and reject abortion. Lest anyone take our words lightly, we must also remind you that the Church invokes a severe sanction against any Catholic who raises his unfeeling hand to destroy this most defenseless of all human beings the unborn baby. The Church disowns by immediate excommunication any Catholic who deliberately procures an abortion or helps someone else to do so.

Declaration of the Bishops of New York State, December 2, 1970. Reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 221 to 223.[1] Paragraph 8.

To keep the seriousness of the [abortion] matter impressed upon her members, the Church continues to list this sin as so serious that those who take part in an actual abortion incur excommunication.

"An Open Letter From the Catholic Bishops of Texas," April 1971. Reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 235 to 250.[1] Part Two: "The Teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on These Matters," paragraph 8.

Abortion is and has always been considered a serious violation of God's law. Those who obtain an abortion, those who persuade others to have an abortion, and those who perform the abortion procedure are guilty of breaking God's law. Moreover, in order to emphasize the special evil of abortion, under Church law, those who undergo or perform an abortion place themselves in a state of excommunication.

Pastoral Message of the Administrative Committee, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, dated February 13, 1973. Reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 260 to 264.[1]

A person can be:
A. A principal agent (doctor, midwife, etc.) who does the abortion. To act in 
    this capacity is always morally wrong and therefore not permitted.
B. A secondary agent (nurse, technician, counselor, husband, etc.) who 
    helps the operation be performed by the principal agent and who 
    cooperates:
   1. Formally (i.e., you approve the abortion)
       a. In an explicit way (a husband ordering his wife to have an abortion; a 
           mother approving her unmarried or married daughter's abortion 
          operation). To cooperate in this capacity is always morally wrong and 
           therefore not permitted.
       b. In an implicit way (physically aiding in the abortion operation, such as 
           making the incision; providing anesthesia, etc.). To cooperate in this 
           capacity is always morally wrong and therefore not permitted.
   2. Materially (i.e., although you do not approve the abortion you are a help 
       to the principal agent in some way: Wheeling the patient into the 
       operating room, preparing saline solution used in some abortion 
       procedures, providing preoperative nursing care to all ward patients, 
       including abortion cases). To cooperate materially is permitted only 
       when:
       a. the manner of your cooperation is not an evil act in itself (i.e., 
          wheeling of a cart, preparing a solution, making a bed, taking a blood 
          sample, typing a medical chart, recording an admission, etc.) and
       b. the reason for your cooperation is sufficiently important (other similar 
          opportunities of employment are not available; the employment is 
          necessary to support a family; or you are a member of the board of a 
          hospital and you can accomplish good through continuing service). On 
          the other hand, to cooperate materially is morally wrong and is not 
          permitted when:
         1. the manner of your cooperation is evil (abortion is the only activity in 
             your place of employment, or your activity is exclusively related to 
             abortion);
         2. the reason for your cooperation is not sufficient (it is a matter of 
             minor importance to you that you work in this place of 
            employment).

The Bishops of Connecticut. "Your Conscience and Abortion," September 1974. Reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 267 to 275.[1] See Section II, "An Informed Conscience."

We are also confident that our [Catholic] hospitals and health care personnel will be identified by a dedication to the sanctity of life, and by an acceptance of their conscientious responsibility to protect the lives of both mother and child. We strongly urge our doctors, nurses and health care personnel to stand fast in refusing to provide abortion on request, and in refusing to accept easily available abortion as justifiable medical care.

Statement of the Committee for Pro-Life Affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, January 24, 1973. Reprinted in the February 15, 1973 English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, and in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 258 to 260.[1] See paragraph 4.

8. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: The Catholic Church has always opposed abortion for any reason and at any stage of fetal development, contrary to the propaganda offered by certain enemies of the Church.

In the course of history, the Fathers of the Church, her Pastors and her Doctors have taught the same doctrine the various opinions on the infusion of the spiritual soul did not introduce any doubt about the illicitness of abortion. It is true that in the Middle Ages, when the opinion was generally held that the spiritual soul was not present until after the first few weeks, a distinction was made in the evaluation of the sin and the gravity of penal sanctions. Excellent authors allowed for the first period more lenient case solutions which they rejected for following periods. Bit it was never denied at that time that procured abortion, even during the first days, was objectively a grave fault. This condemnation was in fact unanimous. Among the many documents it is sufficient to recall certain ones. The first Council of Mainz in 847 reconsidered the penalties against abortion which had been established by preceding Councils. It decided that the most rigorous penance would be imposed "on women who procure the elimination of the fruit conceived in their womb."[A] The Decree of Gratian reported the following words of Pope Stephen V: "That person is a murderer who causes to perish by abortion what has been conceived."[B] St. Thomas, the Common Doctor of the Church, teaches that abortion is a grave sin against the natural law.[C] At the time of the Renaissance, Pope Sixtus V condemned abortion with the greatest severity.[D] A century later, Innocent XI rejected the propositions of certain lax canonists who sought to excuse an abortion procured before the moment accepted by some as the moment of the spiritual animation of the new being.[E] In our days the recent Roman Pontiffs have proclaimed the same doctrine with the greatest clarity. Pius XI explicitly answered the most serious objections.[F] Pius XII clearly excluded all direct abortion, that is, abortion which is either an end or a means.[G] John XXIII recalled the teaching of the Fathers on the sacred character of life "which from its beginnings demands the action of God the Creator."[H] Most recently, the Second Vatican Council, presided over by Paul VI, has most severely condemned abortion: "Life must be safeguarded with extreme care from conception; abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes."[I] The same Paul VI, speaking on this subject on many occasions, has not been afraid to declare that this teaching of the Church "has not changed and is unchangeable."[J]

Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Declaration on Procured Abortion." November 18, 1974. Reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's Yes to Life.[1] Pages 67 to 82. Paragraph 7. Endnotes are as follows. [A] Canon 21 (Mansi, 14, page 909), Council of Elvira, Canon 63 (Mansi, 2, page 16), and the Council of Ancyra, Canon 21 (ibid, page 519). [B] Gratian, Concordiantia Discordantium Canonum, c. 20, C 2, question 2. [C] Commentary on the Sentences, book IV, dist. 31, exposition of the text. [D] Constitutio ffraenatum in 1588 (Bullarium Romanum, V, I, pages 25 to 27); Fontes Iuris Canonici, I, no. 165, pages 308 to 311. [E] The Constitution Apostolicai Sedis of Pius XI (Acta Pii IX, V, pages 55 to 72). [F] Pius XI, Encyclical Casti Connubii. [G] Pius XII, Discourse to the Saint Luke Union of Italian Doctors of November 12, 1944. [H] John XXIII, Encyclical Mater et Magistra. [I] Encyclical Gaudium et Spes, paragraph 51. [J] Speech of Paul VI, Salutiamo con paterna effusione, December 9, 1972.

SECTION C. CATHOLIC TEACHING REGARDING EUTHANASIA AND INFANTICIDE

1. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: No human being has the right to end his own life, because this life is a gift from God. Just as God created our souls and gave us life, only He can call us home.

As far as the person is concerned, he is not absolute master of himself, of his body, or of his soul. He cannot, therefore, freely dispose of himself as he pleases. Even the motive for which he acts is not by itself either sufficient or determining. The person is bound by the immanent purposes fixed by nature. He possesses the right to use, limited by natural finality, the faculties and powers of his human nature. Because he is the beneficiary, and not the proprietor, he does not possess unlimited power to allow acts of destruction or of mutilation.

Pope Pius XII. Address entitled "The Intangibility of the Human Person." September 13, 1952.

Intentionally causing one's own death, or suicide, is equally as wrong as murder; such an action on the part of a person is to be considered as a rejection of God's sovereignty and loving plan.

Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Declaration on Euthanasia." May 5, 1980.

What must always be remembered is that certain actions are good or evil in themselves already, apart from the motive or intention for which they are done. Deliberately to take one's own life is suicide and is gravely wrong in all circumstances. To cooperate with another in taking his own life is to share in the guilt of suicide. Deliberately to terminate the innocent life of another is murder, no matter how merciful the motives, no matter how seemingly desirable the result.

The Bishops of Ireland. Joint Pastoral Letter entitled "Human Life is Sacred," March 1, 1975. Reprinted in the May 22, 1975 English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, and reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 146 to 165.[1]

One must clearly distinguish suicide from that sacrifice of one's life whereby for a higher cause, such as God's glory, the salvation of souls or the service of one's brethren, a person offers his or her own life or puts it in danger (cf. Jn. 15:14).

Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Declaration on Euthanasia." May 5, 1980.

2. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: Laws that permit or encourage euthanasia and infanticide can never be legitimate.

No one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care; nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. Nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action. For it is a question of the violation of the divine law, an offense against the dignity of the human person, a crime against life, and an attack on humanity.

It is necessary to state firmly once more that nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying.

Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Declaration on Euthanasia." May 5, 1980.

Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception; abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.

Second Vatican Council, Encyclical Gaudium et Spes, IV, 51.

Therefore, medical law can never permit either the physician or the patient to practice direct euthanasia, and the physician can never practice it either on himself or on others. This is equally true for the direct suppression of the fetus and for medical actions which go counter to the law of God clearly manifested. In all this, medical law has no authority and the doctor is not obliged to obey it. On the contrary, he is obliged not to take it into consideration; all formal assistance is forbidden him, while material assistance falls under the general norms of cooperatio materialis.

Pope Pius XII, in his September 11, 1956 radio message to the International Congress of Catholic Physicians. Reprinted in Matrimony, Papal Teachings. Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1963, and in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, page 34.[1]

3. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: The Church does not require that the process of dying be prolonged to the maximum extent possible through the use of "heroic measures."

A very real problem arises when artificial measures of resuscitation and life-support become death-delaying rather than properly life-supporting. There is clearly no moral obligation to keep a body breathing and biologically alive after irreversible brain death has occurred. It is not euthanasia to decline the use of such means or even to discontinue them when it is clear that they are only death-delaying.

The Bishops of Ireland. Joint Pastoral Letter entitled "Human Life is Sacred," March 1, 1975. Reprinted in the May 22, 1975 English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, and reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 146 to 165.[1]

4. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: The use of painkilling drugs by a person in extreme agony is not immoral, but he should be conscious before death in order to properly prepare to meet God.

It may happen that, by reason of prolonged and barely tolerable pain, for deeply personal or other reasons, people may be led to believe that they can legitimately ask for death or obtain it for others. Although in these cases the guilt of the individual may be reduced or completely absent, nevertheless the error of judgment into which the conscience falls, perhaps in good faith, does not change the nature of this act of killing, which will always be in itself something to be rejected. The pleas of gravely ill people who sometimes ask for death are not the be understood as implying a true desire for euthanasia; in fact, it is almost always a case of an anguished plea for help and love. What a sick person needs, besides medical care, is love, the human and supernatural warmth with which the sick person can and ought to be surrounded by all those close to him or her, parents and children, doctors and nurses.

One must not be surprised in some Christians prefer to moderate their use of painkillers, in order to accept voluntarily at least a part of their sufferings and thus associate themselves in a conscious way with the sufferings of Christ crucified (cf. Mt. 27:34). Nevertheless it would be imprudent to impose a heroic way of acting as a general rule. On the contrary, human and Christian prudence suggest for the majority of sick people the use of medicines capable of alleviating or suppressing pain, even though these may cause as a secondary effect semi-consciousness and reduced lucidity. As for those who are not in a state to express themselves, one can reasonably presume that they wish to take these painkillers and have them administered according to the doctor's advice.

Painkillers that cause unconsciousness need special consideration. For a person not only has to be able to satisfy his or her moral duties and family obligations; he or she also has to prepare himself or herself with full consciousness for meeting Christ. Thus Pius XII warns: "It is not right to deprive the dying person of consciousness without a serious reason."

Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Declaration on Euthanasia." May 5, 1980.

Those with experience of nursing the terminally ill and the old know that what they fear is not death so much as being abandoned and left alone. They fear being unloved and unwanted even more than they fear pain. Everything is bearable, even death loses terror, in the presence of those who love us.

The Bishops of Ireland. Joint Pastoral Letter entitled "Human Life is Sacred," March 1, 1975. Reprinted in the May 22, 1975 English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, and reprinted in its entirety in the Daughters of St. Paul's publication Yes to Life, pages 146 to 165.[1]

SECTION D. CATHOLIC TEACHING REGARDING SEXUAL STERILIZATION

Above all, direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, is to be absolutely excluded as lawful mans of controlling the birth of children. Equally to be condemned as the Magisterium of the Church has affirmed on various occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or the woman, whether permanent or temporary.

Similarly excluded is every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible.

Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, July 25, 1968, 14.

Three things condition the moral permission of a surgical operation requiring an anatomical or functional mutilation;

(1) that the preservation or functioning of a particular organ provokes a serious damage or constitutes a threat to the complete organism [this is the 'principle of totality'];

(2) that this damage cannot be avoided, or at least notably diminished, except by the amputation in question and that its efficacy is well assured; and

(3) that it can be reasonably foreseen that the negative effect, namely, the mutilation and its consequences, will be compensated by the positive effect: exclusion of a damage to the whole organism, mitigation of the pain, etc.

[As far as sterilization is concerned], the conditions which would justify disposing of a part in favor of the whole in virtue of the principle of totality are lacking. It is not therefore morally permissible to operate on healthy oviducts if the life or (physical) health of the mother is not threatened by their continued existence.

Pope Pius XII, in his address to the Congress of Urology on October 8, 1953.

Any sterilization which of itself, that is, of its own nature and condition, has the sole immediate effect of rendering the generative faculty incapable of procreation, is to be considered direct sterilization, as the term is understood in the declarations of the pontifical magisterium, especially of Pius XII. Therefore, notwithstanding any subjectively right intention of those whose actions are prompted by the care of prevention of physical or mental illness which is foreseen or feared as a result of pregnancy, such sterilization remains absolutely forbidden to the doctrine of the church. And indeed the sterilization of the faculty itself is forbidden for an even graver reason than the sterilization of individual acts, since it induces a state of sterility in the person which is almost always irreversible.

Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's statement of March 13, 1975, in reply to the United States National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Catholic Church has consistently, and at regular intervals, condemned sterilization for any reason whatever except to save the life of the man or woman. In addition to the documents stated above, some of the Church's other pronouncements against sexual sterilization are listed below.

• "Encyclical on Christian Marriage" (Casti Conubii), Pope Pius XI, 
   December 31, 1930, paragraphs 68 to 71.

Decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office (topic: 
   sterilization for eugenics), March 18, 1931.

• Pronouncement to the Cardinals in Response to Recent Nazi Legislation in 
   Germany, Pope Pius XI, December 23, 1933.

Decree of the Congregation for the Holy Office, February 24, 1940.

Address to the Congress of the Italian Association of Midwives
   paragraphs 24 to 26, October 29, 1951.

Address to the Symposium on Medical Genetics, Pope Pius XII, 
   September 7, 1953

Address to the Seventh Congress on Hematology, Pope Pius XII, 
   September 12, 1958.

Pastoral Letter of the Indian Bishops, January 15, 1977.

Among documents of the Bishops of the United States that have condemned all sterilization procedures for both men and women are;

• United States Catholic Conference Administrative Board, Statement on 
   Sterilization Procedures in Catholic Hospitals
, November 22, 1977.

• United States Catholic Conference of Bishops: Statement on Tubal 
   Ligation
, July 9, 1980.

SECTION E. CATHOLIC TEACHING REGARDING EUGENICS

Question: "What is thought of the theory called 'eugenics,' whether positive or negative, and of the means indicated by it to improve the human race without taking into consideration neither natural or divine or ecclesiastical laws relative to marriage and individual rights?"

Answer: "The theory of 'eugenics' is to be held entirely blamable, false and condemned, in accordance with the Encyclical on Christian Marriage, Casti Connubii, December 31, 1930.

Decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office on Eugenics, March 18, 1931.

Each human person, in his absolutely unique singularity, is constituted not only by his spirit, but by his body as well. Thus, in the body and through the body, one touches the person himself in his concrete reality. It is on the basis of this anthropological vision that one should find the fundamental criteria for decision-making in the case of not strictly therapeutic interventions, for example, those aimed at the amelioration of the human biological condition.

In particular, this kind of intervention must not infringe on the origin of human life, that is, procreation linked to the union, not only biological but also spiritual, of the parents, united by the bond of marriage. It must consequently respect the fundamental dignity of men and the common biological nature which is at the base of liberty, avoiding manipulations that tend to modify genetic inheritance and to create groups of different men at the risk of causing new cases of marginalization in society.

Genetic manipulation becomes arbitrary and unjust when it reduces life to an object, when it forgets that it is dealing with a human subject, capable of intelligence and freedom, worthy of respect, whatever may be his limitations; or when it treats this person in terms of criteria not founded on the integral reality of the human person, at the risk of infringing upon his dignity. In this case, it exposes the individual to the caprice of others, thus depriving him of his autonomy.

Pope John Paul II. "Genetic Manipulation." address to the World Medical Association on October 29, 1983. Quoted in "Pope Expresses Concern About Genetic Engineering." The Wanderer, November 10, 1983, pages 1 and 6.

SECTION F. CATHOLIC TEACHING REGARDING HOMOSEXUALITY

1. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: The homosexual orientation is intrinsically disordered.

Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder ... It is only in the marital relationship that the use of the sexual faculty can be morally good. A person engaging in homosexual behavior therefore acts immorally.

To choose someone of the same sex for one's sexual activity is to annul the rich symbolism and meaning, not to mention the goals, of the Creator's sexual design. Homosexual activity is not a complementary union able to transmit life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living. This does not mean that homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves; but when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent.

Letter to Bishops from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, October 1, 1987. On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Sections 3 and 7.

Some of these [pro-homosexual] groups will use the word "Catholic" to describe either the organization or its intended members, yet they do not defend and promote the teaching of the Magisterium; indeed, they even openly attack it. While their members may claim a desire to conform their lives to the teachings of Jesus, in fact they abandon the teaching of His church. Thus contradictory action should not have the support of the bishops in any way.

The Church's doctrine regarding homosexuality is thus based, not on isolated phrases for facile theological argument, but on the solid foundation of a constant biblical testimony ... He fashions mankind, male and female in His own image and likeness. Human beings, therefore, are nothing less than the work of God Himself; and in the complementarity of the sexes, they are called to reflect the inner unity of the Creator.

Letter to Bishops from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, October 1, 1987. On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Section 14.

At the present time there are those who, basing themselves on observations in the psychological order, have begun to judge indulgently, and even to excuse completely, homosexual relations between certain people. This they do in opposition to the constant teaching of the magisterium and to the moral sense of the Christian people.

A distinction is drawn, and it seems with some reason, between homosexuals whose tendency comes from a false education, from a lack of normal sexual development, from habit, from bad example, or from other similar causes, and is transitory or at least not incurable; and homosexuals who are definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct or a pathological constitution are judged to be incurable.

In regard to this second category of subjects, some people conclude that their tendency is so natural that it justifies in their case homosexual relations within a sincere communion of life and love analogous to marriage, insofar as such homosexuals feel incapable of enduring a solitary life.

In the pastoral field, these homosexuals must certainly be treated with understanding and sustained in the hope of overcoming their personal difficulties and their inability to fit into society. This culpability will be judged with prudence. But no pastoral method can be employed which would give moral justification to these acts on the grounds that they would be consonant with the condition of such people. For according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality. In Sacred Scripture they are condemned as serious depravity and even presented as the sad consequence of rejecting God. This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can in no case be approved of.

Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics. December 29, 1975. Available as a 28-page booklet for 50 cents from the Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02130. Section 8.

2. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: No Bishop or priest may in any way support pro-homosexual organizations that call themselves "Catholic."

All support should be withdrawn from any organization which seeks to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it or which neglect it entirely. Such support or even the semblance of such support can be gravely misinterpreted. Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges. To some, such permission to use church property may seem only just and charitable; but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading and often scandalous.

Letter to Bishops from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, October 1, 1987. On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. Section 17.

You must not lie with a man as with a woman. This is a hateful thing.

Leviticus 18:22.

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

                                                             Leviticus 20:13.

The fornication of Sodom and Gomorrah and the other nearby towns was equally unnatural and it is a warning to us that they are paying for their crimes in eternal fire.

                                                             Jude 7.

You know perfectly well that people who do wrong will not inherit the kingdom of God: People of immoral lives, idolaters, adulterers, catamites [pederasts], sodomites, thieves, usurers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers will never inherit the kingdom of God.

                                                            1 Corinthians 6:9,10.

The more they called themselves philosophers, the stupider they grew, until they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for a worthless imitation, for the image of mortal man ...

That is why God has abandoned them to degrading passions: why their women have turned from natural intercourse to unnatural practices, and why their menfolk have given up natural intercourse to be consumed with passion for each other, men doing shameless things with men and getting an appropriate reward for their perversion.

In other words, since they refused to see it was rational to acknowledge God, God has left them to their own irrational ideas and to their monstrous behavior.

And so they are steeped in all sorts of depravity, rottenness, greed and malice, and addicted to envy, murder, wrangling, treachery and spite.
Libelers, slanderers, enemies of God, rude, arrogant, and boastful, enterprising in sin, rebellious to parents, without brains, honor, love or pity.
They know what God's verdict is: That those who behave like this deserve to die and yet they do it; and what is worse, encourage others to do the same.

Romans 1:22, 26-32.

SECTION G. CATHOLIC TEACHING REGARDING OTHER SEXUAL ISSUES

1. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: Cohabitation ("shacking up") is entirely contrary to God's law and can never be justified.

Today there are many who vindicate the right to sexual union before marriage, at least in those cases where a firm intention to marry and an affection which is already in some way conjugal in the psychology of the subjects require this completion, which they judge to be connatural. This is especially the case when the celebration of the marriage is impeded by circumstances or when this intimate relationship seems necessary in order for love to be preserved.

This opinion is contrary to Christian doctrine, which states that every genital act must be within the framework of marriage. However firm the intention of those who practice such premature sexual relations may be, the fact remains that these relations cannot insure, in sincerity and fidelity, the interpersonal relationship between a man and a woman, nor especially can they protect this relationship from whims and caprices. Now it is a stable union that Jesus willed, and He restored its original requirement, beginning with the sexual difference. "Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made them male and female and that he said: "This is why a man must leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and the two become one body? They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united man must not divide"[Matthew 19:4-6].

Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics. December 29, 1975. Available as a 28-page booklet for 50 cents from the Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02130. Section 7.

2. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: Masturbation ("self-abuse") is an intrinsically disordered act.

The traditional Catholic doctrine that masturbation constitutes a grave moral disorder is often called into doubt or expressly denied today. It is said that psychology and sociology show that it is a normal phenomenon of sexual development, especially among the young. It is stated that there is real and serious fault only in the measure that the subject deliberately indulges in solitary pleasure closed in on self ("ipsation"), because in this case the act would indeed by radically opposed to the loving communion between persons of different sex which some hold is what is principally sought in the use of the sexual faculty.

This opinion is contradictory to the teaching and pastoral practice of the Catholic Church. Whatever the force of certain arguments of a biological and philosophical nature, which have sometimes been used by theologians, in fact both the magisterium of the Church in the course of a constant tradition and the moral sense of the faithful have declared without hesitation that masturbation is an intrinsically and seriously disordered act. The main reason is that, whatever the motive for acting in this way, the deliberate use of the sexual faculty outside normal conjugal relations essentially contradicts the finality of the faculty. For it lacks the sexual relationship called for by the moral order, namely, the relationship which realized "the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love." All deliberate exercise of sexuality must be reserved to this regular relationship. Even if it cannot be proved that Scripture condemns this sin by name, the tradition of the Church has rightly understood it to be condemned in the New Testament when the latter speaks of "impurity," "unchasteness," and other vices contrary to chastity and continence.

Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics. December 29, 1975. Available as a 28-page booklet for 50 cents from the Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02130. Section 9.

3. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo.

Medical research must refrain from operations on live embryos, unless there is a moral certainty of not causing harm to the life or integrity of the unborn child and the mother, and on condition that the parents have given their free and informed consent to the procedure. It follows that all research, even when limited to the simple observation of the embryo, would become illicit were it to involve risk to the embryo's physical integrity or life by reasons of the methods used or the effects induced.

If the embryos are living, whether viable or not, they must be respected just like any other human person; experimentation on embryos which is not directly therapeutic is illicit. No objective, even though noble in itself, such as a foreseeable advantage to science, to other human beings or to society, can in any way justify experimentation on living human embryos or fetuses, whether viable or not, either inside or outside the mother's womb. The informed consent ordinarily required for clinical experimentation on adults cannot be granted by the parents, who may not freely dispose of the physical integrity or life of the unborn child.

To use human embryos or fetuses as the object or instrument of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings having a right to the same respect that is due to the child already born and to every human person. The Charter of the Rights of the Family published by the Holy See affirms: "Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo.

The practice of keeping human embryos alive in vivo or in vitro for experimental or commercial purposes is totally opposed to human dignity. In the case of experimentation that is clearly therapeutic, namely, when it is a matter of experimental forms of therapy used for the benefit of the embryo itself in the absence of other reliable forms of therapy, recourse to drugs or procedures not yet fully tested can be licit.

Furthermore, the moral requirements must be safeguarded, that there be no complicity in deliberate abortion and that the risk of scandal be avoided. Also, in the case of dead fetuses, as for the corpses of adult persons, all commercial trafficking must be considered illicit and should be prohibited.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Instruction on Respect for Human Life" Donum Vitae. Section I, "Respect for Human Embryos," Part 4: "How is One Morally To Evaluate Research and Experimentation on Human Embryos and Fetuses." 1987.


Reference: Catholic Sexual Ethics.

[1] Daughters of St. Paul. Yes to Life. Order from Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, 02130. 328 pages, 1976. May also be ordered from Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. This is an outstanding sourcebook that summarizes the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding abortion from the first century to 1975. The book quotes the writings of the early church fathers in the first through fifth centuries and the teachings of five recent Popes, in addition to the documents issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Bishops of nineteen countries speak out eloquently and forcefully against abortion in this book. This book will be the ultimate debate weapon for any pro-life activist confronting any member of 'Catholics' for a Free Choice or any other pro-abort who believes that there is 'room for disagreement' within the Catholic Church about abortion.


Resources and Further Reading:

Compilations of Church Documents.

Claudia Carlen, IHM. The Papal Encyclicals
McGrath Publishing Company. Five volumes, 2,260 pages. The complete text of every encyclical issued by each pope from Benedict XIV in 1740 to Pius ix in 1878 (in Volume I, 460 pages); Leo XIII, 1878 to 1903 (Volume II, 520 pages); Pius X in 1903 to Pius XI in 1939 (Volume III, 570 pages); Pius XII, 1939 to 1958 (Volume IV, 380 pages); John XXIII in 1958 to John Paul II in 1981 (Volume V, 330 pages).

Claudia Carlen, IHM. Papal Pronouncements: A Guide, 1740-1978
The Pieran Press, Box 1808, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1990. 2 volumes, 957 pages. Volume I: Benedict XIV to Paul VI (entries 1:1 to 16:930). Volume II: Paul VI to John Paul I (entries 16:931 to 17:30).

Catholic Committed to Support the Pope. Precis of Official Catholic Teaching. 
CCSP, c/o Pressworks, 5004 Lehigh Road, College Park, Maryland 20740. The ten volumes in this series range from 100 to 300 pages in length and consist of summaries of from 15 to 20 important Church documents in each important area of theology. The volumes are as follows.

Volume 1: Faith, Revelation, and the Bible.
Volume 2: Christ Our Lord, True God and True Man.
Volume 3: The Church.
Volume 4: Marriage, Family and Sexuality.
Volume 5: The Sanctity of Human Life.
Volume 6: The Social Teaching of the Church.
Volume 7: Worship and the Sacraments.
Volume 8: The Christian Call to Personal Sanctification.
Volume 9: Catholic Education.
Volume 10: The Blessed Virgin Mary and Marian Devotions.

National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the United States Catholic Conference. Pastoral Letters of the United States Catholic Bishops
Five volumes, 2,630 pages. Volume I: 1792-1940. Publication Number 880, 480 pages. Covers the Age of John Carroll (1792-1828), the Provincial Councils (1829-1849), the Plenary Councils (1852-1884), and between the World Wars (1919-1940). Some of the pastoral letters include the 1932 Resolution on Indecent Literature and the 1939 Statement on Peace and War. Volume II: 1941-1961. Publication Number 885, 270 pages. Includes statements on a good peace, war and peace, secularism, compulsory military service, the Christian family, the child, persecution behind the Iron Curtain, censorship, the secular press, and bigotry. Volume III: 1962-1974. Publication Number 870, 500 pages. Includes statements on the government and birth control, clerical celibacy, abortion, human life, birth control laws, population and the American future, and the Human Life Amendment. Volume IV: 1975-1983. Publication Number 875, 605 pages. Statements include the Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities and resolutions on abortion and human sexuality. Volume V: 1983-1988. Publication Number 200-4, 775 pages. Statements include the Updated Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities and resolutions on abortion and school-based clinics. All volumes may be ordered from the Office of Publishing Services, United States Catholic Conference, 1312 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

Roman Catholic Church, Vatican City. Annuario Pontificio
Vatican City, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, published annually. 2,100 pages. Anyone who wants to know anything about the people in the Vatican should look at this reference. There is information on every Archdiocese in the world, followed by the composition of every important Vatican office, including the Secretary of State, tribunals, secretariats, commissions, offices, vicars, representatives, and religious and cultural institutes. This reference is somewhat arcane in nature, but can be found at all archdiocesan and diocesan offices.

Father H. Vernon Sattler. Sex Education in the Catholic Family. Paperback. 
Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. This short book shows that it is impossible to teach about sexuality unless we first properly define it. It is not exclusively recreation, procreation, or romance. Helps define "love" and introduces parents to the basic principles of Catholic sex education.

Catholic Teachings on General Sexual Ethics.

Father Benedict M. Ashley, O.P. Theologies of the Body: Humanist and Christian. 
The Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research and Education Center, 186 Forbes Road, Braintree, Massachusetts 02184. 1985, 727 pages. A very in-depth examination of the history and implications of the attitudes towards the human body by Christians and humanists.

Robert P. Craig, Carl L. Middleton, and Laurence J. O'Connell. Ethics Committees: A Practical Approach
The Catholic Health Association of the United States, 4455 Woodson Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63134-0889. 1986, 95 pages. Topics covered include the functions of Catholic institutional (hospital) ethics committees, their structure, membership, formation, religious perspectives on them, their history and role, and the roles of the five key players: The administrator, the medical staff, nursing staff, theologian/ethicist, and the bishop.

Donald DeMarco, Ph.D. In My Mother's Womb: The Church's Defense of Natural Life
Hardcover, paperback. Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. An eloquent defense of the Catholic Church's defense of human life. An examination of abortion's languages and perspective, the unborn, contraception and bio-engineering. Also covered are the Church's perspective on new technologies, including in-vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, fetal experimentation, and genetic engineering. See especially Chapter 1, "Abortion and Church Teaching," pages 7 to 25.

Monsignor Orville N. Griese. Catholic Identity in Health Care: Principles and Practice
The Pope John Center, 186 Forbes Road, Braintree, Massachusetts 02184. 538 pages, 1987. The author examines in detail every one of the incredible range of ethical and moral questions that more and more Catholic hospitals are going to be forced to address by our more and more pro-abortion government. Topics covered include sterilization; emergency infant baptisms; natural family planning; the use of the birth control pill; the various types of artificial insemination; surrogate motherhood; abortion; passive and active euthanasia; informed consent; gender identity problems and transsexualism; the "double effect;" fetal experimentation and organ transplantation; and the right of a spouse to be informed of his or her partner's AIDS infection. This book is the only known source that collects in one place all of the most important Catholic teaching on all of the above ethical and moral issues.

George A. Kelly (editor). Human Sexuality in Our Time: What the Church Teaches. 
1978: Paperback. Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. Proceedings of the Spring 1978 conference by St. John's University's Institute for Advanced Studies in Catholic Doctrine. Topics include Catholics and the Pill; the Bible and human sexuality; the morality and sanctity of sex; and what the Church teaches on sex.

John F. Kippley. Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality
Couple to Couple League, Post Office Box 111184, Cincinnati, Ohio 45211. 355 pages, 1991. A very detailed workbook-like approach to human sexuality and its relationship to marriage. The author shows how intercourse outside of marriage and the use of artificial contraception can never be licit and refutes many of the arguments set forth by the "revisionists" who would like to dilute Catholic teaching on sexual ethics.

Father Ronald Lawler, Joseph Boyle, Jr., and William E. May. Catholic Sexual Ethics: A Summary, Explanation, and Defense
1985, 274 pages. Paperback. Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. Reviewed by Father Robert Barry, Ph.D. on pages 346 to 348 of the Winter 1985 issue of the International Review of Natural Family Planning. A very clearly written summary of Catholic Church teaching on sexual morality. Topics include the Bible and sex; formation of conscience; chastity, virginity, and Christian marriage; and Church teaching on sex.

Linacre Quarterly
This quarterly magazine is "A journal of the philosophy and ethics of medical practice," and is the official journal of the National Federation of Catholic Physicians' Guilds. It can be obtained from 850 Elm Grove Road, Elm Grove, Wisconsin 53122, telephone: (414) 784-3435.

Pope John Paul II. Encyclical Familiaris Consortio (The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World). 
Available as a 139-page book from the Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02130.

Pope John Paul II. Theology of the Body
A series of four books designed to explain in detail the total Catholic Church position towards the sanctity of sex, marriage, and procreation. Order individually or as a set from Keep the Faith, 810 Belmont Avenue, Post Office Box 8261, North Haledon, New Jersey 07508, telephone: (201) 423-5395. (1) Original Unity of Man and Woman. A catechesis on the Book of Genesis and the foundations of the indissolubility of marriage. Paperback. (2) Blessed Are the Pure of Heart. A catechesis on the Sermon on the Mount and the writings of St. Paul. A discussion on the sins relating to adultery. Paperback. (3) The Theology of Marriage and Celibacy. A catechesis on marriage and celibacy in light of the resurrection of the body. Based on Matthew 22:24-33, which describes the 'renunciation' of marriage for the Kingdom of Heaven. Paperback. (4) Reflections on Humanae Vitae. The basis of the encyclical in light of the redemption of the body and the sacredness of marriage in the Catholic tradition. Paperback.

Father Paul J. Quay. The Christian Meaning of Human Sexuality
115 pages. Order from Ignatius Press, 15 Oakland Avenue, Harrison, New York 10528, telephone: 1-800-528-0559. Using Scripture and the writings of distinguished (conservative) theologians, Father Quay explains the understanding of human sexuality that divine revelation offers us. This book is written for Christian adults who want to know what kinds of sexual behavior are right and wrong and who want to gain true insight into why such behavior is right or wrong.

Roman Catholic Church, Bishops of Ireland. Love is for Life
122 pages, sewn softcover. Order from Ignatius Press, 15 Oakland Avenue, Harrison, New York 10528. A very readable and interesting summary of the Church's teachings on love and sexuality. Very useful as a reference work or backup for Catholic sex education programs.

Roman Catholic Church, Vatican Pontifical Council for the Family. Marriage and Family: Doctrine and Life
180 pages. Order from: Ignatius Press, 15 Oakland Avenue, Harrison, New York 10528, telephone: 1-800-528-0559. Proceedings of the third annual conference applying Catholic teaching to the problems of marriage and family life. Subjects covered include the road to salvation as a couple, the family's mission and place in God's plan, and the real difference between artificial contraception and natural family planning.

The Wanderer
This superb weekly newspaper covers all of the life issues in detail from a Catholic viewpoint. In publication for more than a century, it will be of definite interest to any pro-life activist, because it covers in detail not only all of the most important abortion-related stories (including a heavy emphasis on rescuing), but all of the important stories on related life issues such as homosexuality, contraception, abortifacients, capital punishment, New Age, and the 'Seamless Garment." Write to 201 Ohio Street, St. Paul, Minnesota 55107. Telephone: (612) 224-5733, FAX: (612) 224-5735.

Catholic Teachings on Artificial Contraception.

Gary Atkinson, Ph.D., and Father Albert Moraczewski, Ph.D. A Moral Evaluation of Contraception and Sterilization: A Dialogical Study
St. Louis, Missouri: Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research and Education Center, 1979. 115 pages. Reviewed by Donald DeMarco, Ph.D. in the Summer 1980 issue of the International Review of Natural Family Planning, pages 166 and 167. This small volume presents the central arguments of the controversies over contraception and sterilization.

John R. Cavanaugh, M.D. The Popes, the Pill, and the People: A Documentary Study.
The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee. 1965, 130 pages. This interesting book, written and published before Humanae Vitae was issued, describes the impacts of the Pill on society and on women's bodies long before the debate was obscured by the power of the press and the drug companies. The author also describes the impacts of the pill on menstrual regulation and its effects upon nursing mothers. Most importantly, he talks about the neverchanging position of the Church on artificial contraception.

Couple to Couple League. 
12-page pamphlet for 25 cents entitled "What Does the Catholic Church Really Teach About Birth Control?" Order from the Couple to Couple League, Post Office Box 111184, Cincinnati, Ohio 45201.

Raymond Dennehy (editor). Christian Married Love
Five excellent and incisive essays on the meaning of Humanae Vitae for Christian families, by Malcolm Muggeridge, Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar, Louis Bouyer, Jean Guitton, and Father Joseph Lestapis.

Siegfried Ernst, M.D. "Is Humanae Vitae Outdated?" 
A superb encapsulation of the Catholic Church's logic supporting its teachings against artificial contraception, and a detailed rebuttal of "modern" theologians, by Siegfried Ernst, M.D. (a Lutheran). Order from Human Life International, 7845-E Airpark Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879.

Father John Ford, Germain Grisez, Joseph Boyle, John Finnis, and William E. May. The Teaching of Humanae Vitae: A Defense
224 pages. Order from: Ignatius Press, 15 Oakland Avenue, Harrison, New York 10528, telephone: 1-800-528-0559. Five of the most respected theologians in the world explain why Humanae Vitae is the inevitable product of Catholic moral principles. The encyclical is shown to be valid and universal to all Christians, and is also shown to fulfill the requirements of infallibility under Vatican II's Lumen Gentium.

John F. Kippley. "Birth Control and Christian Discipleship." 
1985, paperback, 36 pages, order from the Couple to Couple League, Post Office Box 111184, Cincinnati, Ohio 45211-1184, or from Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. This superb booklet outlines the history of artificial contraception, its effects upon the body, the family and society in general, and the history of traditional Scriptural and Christian opposition to it (both Protestant and Catholic), until the collapse of the Church's resistance in the period 1930 to 1970.

Father Ermenegildo Lio, OFM. Humanae Vitae e Infallibilita: Il Concilio, Paolo VI e Giovanni Paolo II  
(Humanae Vitae and Infallibility: The Council, Paul VI, and John Paul II). 
Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1986. The detailed review (six full pages) of this book by Father Brian W. Harrison in the November 1987 Fidelity Magazine covers the author's essential points and will be very useful to the reader who does not want to plow through the nearly 1,000 pages of the book. The general view among Catholic theologians is that Humanae Vitae is non-infallible, although belonging to the "authentic" ordinary magisterium of the Catholic Church. The book lays out in detail the reasoning behind the view that the encyclical is, indeed, infallible, and therefore a necessary article of faith for salvation.

Pope Paul VI. Humanae Vitae  
("Human Life: On the Regulation of Birth"). 
Pope Paul's historic Encyclical Letter dated July 25, 1968. This letter may be obtained in booklet form from the United States Catholic Conference Publishing Service, 3211 Fourth Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017-1194, telephone: 1-800-541-3090, or from any Archdiocesan office. Also available from Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. This and other encyclicals that are landmarks in Catholic social teaching are available from the Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02130, telephone: (617) 522-8911.

Charles D. Provan. The Bible and Birth Control. 
1989, Paperback, 97 pages. Reviewed by Robert L. Sassone on page 46 of the March 1990 ALL About Issues. Order from Zimmer Press, 410 West Main Street, Monongahela, Pennsylvania 15063, or call (412) 258-7775, or order from American Life League, Post Office Box 1350, Stafford, Virginia 22554. The Christian case against birth control, written by a Protestant especially for Protestants.

J.N. Santamaria, M.D. and John J. Billings, M.D. Human Love and Human Life: Papers on Humanae Vitae and the Ovulation Method of Natural Family Planning from the International Conference, University of Melbourne, 1978
Melbourne, Australia: Polding Press, 1979. 274 pages; paper, hardback. Reviewed by Carman Fallace in the Fall 1980 issue of the International Review of Natural Family Planning, pages 271 to 274. Proceedings of the largest-ever conference on natural family planning, which covered nine full days.

Janet Smith. Humanae Vitae A Generation Later
Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C. 1992. Reviewed by Father Charles Mangan on page 5 of the August 2, 1992 National Catholic Register. The author provides detailed background information on the concept and promulgation of the encyclical, the dissent, the current Pope's views, and the players on both sides in the Papal Commission for the Study of Problems of the Family, Population and Birth Rate. She also addresses the several primary Natural Law arguments on the immorality of contraception.

Dietrich von Hildebrand. Humanae Vitae: A Sign of Contradiction
An orthodox essay on birth control and the development of the Catholic conscience. Paperback, 89 pages. Order from: Catholic Treasures, 626 Montana Street, Monrovia, California 91016, telephone: (818) 359-4893.

Catholic Teachings on Abortion.

Father John Connery, S.J. Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective
Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1977. Hardcover. Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. This study traces the entire history of the Roman Catholic doctrine regarding abortion from the beginning of the Christian era to modern times. Particular attention is given to the controversy and confusion within the Church regarding abortion to save the life of the mother.

Daughters of St. Paul. Pro-Life Catechism
Order from Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, 02130. 98 pages, 1986. Generally intended for Catholics, but contains pertinent information for any Christian pro-life activist. Arranged in a question and answer format on various life-related subjects.

Michael J. Gorman. Abortion & the Early Church: Christian, Jewish & Pagan Attitudes in the Greco-Roman World
InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 60515. 1982, 124 pages. This book emphasizes the positions of early religions towards abortion and infanticide and covers the relevance of such teachings today. A good resource for those who want to refute the claim that the Catholic Church has not always opposed abortion.

Father Robert J. Henle, S.J. "A Historical View of the Right to Life." 
The Catholic League Newsletter, July 1981. This four-page reprint rebuts the lie-packed 1981 National Organization for Women publication entitled "An Abbreviated Chronology of Reproductive Rights, 2600 B.C. to the Present." In addition to correcting all of NOW's deliberate falsehoods and anti-Catholic slander, Father Henle shows that those ancient societies that practiced cannibalism, slavery, oppression of women, perpetual warfare, and had a great number of superstitions generally had very permissive abortion and infanticide laws. Those societies that had what anthropologists call the "high religions" and a high degree of civilization had a general consensus against abortion. For example, the ancient Vedic writings of India condemned abortion from 1500 to 500 B.C. Buddhism as far back as 600 B.C. totally condemned abortion. And, since 622 A.D., Islam has condemned abortion.

Human Life International Reports
These monthly reports give details on the progress of the international pro-life movement in many countries and the status of pro-homosexual and pro-abortion infiltration of domestic and foreign Catholic churches. Less detailed coverage of a broader range of topics is given in HLI's monthly Special Reports. To subscribe, write to Human Life International, 7845-E Airpark Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879, or call (301) 670-7884. HLI's FAX number is (301) 869-7363.

The Human Life Review
This is a superbly presented scholarly journal modeled after the most distinguished psychobiology periodicals, and is published by the Human Life Foundation. It is mailed quarterly, and contains about 150 pages of essays by the best-known pro-life authors in the world, primarily on the legal and sociological aspects of abortion and its loathsome offspring, infanticide and euthanasia. One of the favorite topics of the authors is the continued lack of decisive action by the Catholic Church and other institutions. This excellent chronicle of the American Holocaust and its many effects is must reading for the serious pro-life activist. The nation's top conservative writers examine the anti-life philosophy in clinical and brilliant detail with their scholarly and insightful articles. Most back issues are available. Back issues, both bound and unbound, are available from: Editorial Office, 150 East 35th Street, Room 840, New York, New York 10016. Telephone: (212) 685-5210, FAX: (212) 696-0309.

Pope Paul VI and the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican City. "Declaration on Procured Abortion." 
Available as a compact, 4" X 6", 27 page booklet for 15 cents from the Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul's Avenue, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, 02130. This is the most succinct and authoritative expression of the Catholic Church's position on abortion, and is written to be easily understandable. Published by the Vatican on June 28, 1974.

Father Rosario Thomas. The Philosophy of Life: The Pope and the Right to Life
Pro Fratribus Press, Post Office Box 223, Warren, New Hampshire 03279. 1989, 278 pages. Despite the title, this neat little book will be of great interest to all Christians. There are topics covered in this primer that are found in few other similar works: The media and abortion, the basic philosophy and theology of life, women and motherhood, natural family planning (NFP), euthanasia, and abortion and peace. All of these are logically covered and well-presented, but the reading can get a little 'thick' sometimes. Definitely a book that even an experienced activist will find challenging.

Catholic Teachings on Sexual Sterilization.

Gary Atkinson, Ph.D., and Father Albert Moraczewski, Ph.D. A Moral Evaluation of Contraception and Sterilization: A Dialogical Study
St. Louis, Missouri: Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research and Education Center, 1979. 115 pages. Reviewed by Donald DeMarco, Ph.D. in the Summer 1980 issue of the International Review of Natural Family Planning, pages 166 and 167. This small volume presents the central arguments of the controversies over contraception and sterilization.

Roman Catholic Church. "Sterilization: Recent Declarations of Popes and Bishops." 
19 pages, October 1983, 55 cents. Available from the Life Ethics Centre, St. Joseph's College, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2J5. Telephone: (403) 467-4489.

Catholic Teachings on Homosexuality.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons
October 1, 1987, 26 pages. Order from Ignatius Press, 15 Oakland Avenue, Harrison, New York 10528. This brief document outlines the Catholic Church's position that homosexuality is an "intrinsically disordered condition," and discusses the special pastoral concern that should be directed towards homosexuals.


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This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist’s Encyclopedia published by American Life League.


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