CHAPTER 98 THE POSITION OF THE CHURCH ON ARTIFICIAL CONTRACEPTION
American Life League

The whole disgusting [birth control] movement rests on the assumption of man's sameness with the brutes ...

Episcopalian Bishop Warren Chandler, April 13, 1931.

Anti-Life Philosophy.

The idea that using birth control is against the will of God is absurd. All modern Christian churches accept the necessity of birth control due to current concerns about overpopulation and personal freedom, so it can't be against the will of God.

Only the patriarchal, backwards Roman Catholic Church still bans birth control, but this prohibition is useless, because almost all Catholics use birth control anyway!

Artificial Contraception: The Very First Step Down the Slippery Slope.

If a single date could be identified as the historical break with traditional Christian and Jewish pro-life values if one desired to highlight the West's very first step down the slippery slope it would be August 14, 1930.

Until this day, all Christian churches were unanimous in their opposition to artificial birth control, notwithstanding the usual small group of loud dissenters.

However, the very critical first crack in the wall happened at the Anglican Bishop's Lambeth Conference of 1930. Just as the 'hard cases' were used to obtain abortion on demand and just as they are now being used to lobby for euthanasia on demand they were used sixty years ago to get artificial birth control.

The historic Anglican Bishop's Resolution 15 of August 15, 1930, passed by a vote of 193 to 67, reads as follows. Those who examine this statement carefully will clearly recognize the familiar semantic tools of the pro-abortion movement. Notice that Resolution 15 sounds smooth, firm, and compassionate. Notice also that it places no real limits on the Christian, but instead leaves any action at all up to him and his conscience.

THE ANGLICAN BISHOP'S RESOLUTION 15 OF AUGUST 15, 1930

Where there is a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, the method must be decided on Christian principles. The primary and obvious method is complete abstinence from intercourse (as far as may be necessary) in a life of discipleship and self-control lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, in those cases where there is such a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence, the Conference agrees that other methods may be used, provided that this is done in the light of the same Christian principles. The Conference records its strong condemnation of the use of any methods of conception-control for motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience.

Notice that the allowable 'methods' are not defined by Resolution 15. Notice also that the term 'Christian principles' is not defined. Using the statement above, abortion and even infanticide could easily be justified if the "conscientious" individual thought that the child would be a burden or an inconvenience in any way.

This is a profound and rapid change from the statements promulgated by the Lambeth Conference as recently as 1908 and 1917, which labeled artificial contraception as "demoralizing to character and hostile to national welfare."

The Break in the United States.

The United States' Federal Council of Churches (now the National Council of Churches) had been eagerly waiting for someone else to take the lead on 'modernizing' the Church's stand on birth control. In March 1931, it endorsed "the careful and restrained use of contraceptives by married people," while at the same time conceding that "serious evils, such as extramarital sex relations, may be increased by general knowledge of contraceptives."

The Prophets Speak Out.

The reaction of many people to the above statements by the Anglican Church and the Federal Council of Churches was immediate and forceful. In the early 1930s, priests and ministers from the Catholic Church and other denominations were not afraid of being labeled "judgmental," "backward," "bigoted," "narrow-minded," or "out of touch with mainstream American society." Half a century ago, the churches had not given up their right to be a forceful voice in the public square, and were not intimidated by atheist groups into silence.

These churches predicted that easy access to artificial birth control would lead to abortion and the destruction of the family. It is fascinating to read these 60-year old statements by major Christian churches and the secular press, and to realize how precisely current events have fulfilled their prophecies. The writers, all experienced students of human nature, understood the 'slippery slope' concept, and also clearly recognized that we had taken the irrevocable first fatal step. The pro-contraception stand by the Federal Council of Churches was condemned by virtually all major churches, as shown in Figure 98-1.

FIGURE 98-1
STATEMENTS BY THE CHURCHES AND THE SECULAR PRESS CONDEMNING ARTIFICIAL CONTRACEPTION FOLLOWING THE ANGLICAN'S LAMBETH CONFERENCE OF 1930

THE LUTHERAN CHURCH:

Birth Control, as popularly understood today and involving the use of contraceptives, is one of the most repugnant of modern aberrations, representing a 20th century renewal of pagan bankruptcy.

Dr. Walter A. Maier, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

THE METHODIST CHURCH:

The whole disgusting [birth control] movement rests on the assumption of man's sameness with the brutes ... Its [the Federal Council of Churches] deliverance on the matter of birth control has no authorization from any churches representing it, and what it has said I regard as most unfortunate, not to use any stronger words. It certainly does not represent the Methodist Church, and I doubt if it represents any other Protestant Church in what it has said on this subject.

Bishop Warren Chandler, Methodist Episcopal Church South, April 13, 1931.

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH:

Its [Federal Council of Churches] recent pronouncement on birth control should be enough reason, if there were no other, to withdraw from support of that body, which declares that it speaks for the Presbyterian and other Protestant churches in ex cathedra pronouncements.

                                                                              The Presbyterian, April 2, 1931.

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:

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 Connubi, December 31, 1930, Section 4, Paragraph 4.

AND THE SECULAR PRESS:

Carried to its logical conclusion, the committee's report, if carried into effect, would sound the death-knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be "careful and restrained" is preposterous.

                                                                    The Washington Post, March 22, 1931.

The secular press could not have assessed and summarized the situation more accurately. The following excerpt from a March 24, 1931 Washington Post editorial is just as relevant today (probably even more so) as it was nearly sixty years ago;

It is the misfortune of the churches that they are too often misused by visionaries for the promotion of "reforms" in fields foreign to religion. The departures from Christian teachings are astounding in many cases, leaving the beholder aghast at the willingness of some churches to teach "Christ and Him crucified." If the churches are to become organizations for political and scientific propaganda, they should be honest and reject the Bible, scoff at Christ as an obsolete and unscientific teacher, and strike out boldly as champions of politics and science as modern substitutes for the old-time religion.

Of course, the inevitable progression from the approval of artificial contraception in just the "hard cases" to all cases continued unabated down its smooth and obstacle-free road. The National Council of Churches proclaimed on February 23, 1961 that

Most of the Protestant churches hold contraception and periodic abstinence to be morally right when the motives are right. The general Protestant conviction is that motives, rather than methods, form the primary moral issue provided the methods are limited to the prevention of conception. Protestant Christians are agreed in condemning abortion or any method which destroys human life, except when the health or life of the mother is at stake.

Notice that the above statement constitutes a tacit acceptance of situational ethics.

40 years after the first exception was made for artificial contraception, the Methodist Church, known as the "abortion church," would be one of the prime movers behind the early pro-abortion movement.

Thus, history repeats itself as it must if we do not learn its hard lessons.

Fruit of Contraception the Sexual Revolution.

The Way it Was.

If an individual drew up a list of the advantages of the Sexual Revolution in the mid-1960s, it would consist of one item "unlimited sexual freedom."

But gone are these halcyon days, where people could just hop into the sack with anyone they took a liking to. The 1990s are the days of crosschecked sexual histories, AIDS testing clubs, 'honesty in relationships,' and chlamydia, Herpes, and a host of other new and incurable sexually-transmitted diseases.

Casual 60s-style sex is today literally a form of Russian roulette. However, even Russian roulette has one advantage in that the loser will at least die quickly.

More than three-fourths of all American families have been seriously and directly affected by the Sexual Revolution in a negative sense. It is the rare family that has not experienced adultery, fornication, divorce, abortion, teen pregnancy, or incurable venereal disease.

Such is the wonderful legacy of Maggie Sanger and Marie Stopes. As Faye Wattleton, former head of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has said: "I'm sure she [Sanger] would be very proud."

Sex Slaves Anonymous.

The free availability of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs has created millions of nicotine, alcohol and drug addicts. In an identical manner, the free availability of sex has created millions of sex addicts. Many hospitals now have sexual dependency and sexual addiction outpatient treatment programs. The Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) advertises for groups like Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, and Sexual Addicts Anonymous.

The Catholic Position on Artificial Contraception.

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.

                                                                                                  Humanae Vitae, 14.

Attacks on the Church.

The primary remaining opposition to artificial contraception is the Roman Catholic church. Therefore, the anti-life people attack this institution ruthlessly and relentlessly.

The most common tactic used by anti-lifers is simply to ridicule. Mocking and jeering the Church takes no thought, no brains, and no courage; all that is required is a mean spirit.

Therefore, it is the ideal tactic for the anti-lifers.

Pro-aborts commonly insist that pro-life Catholics who oppose contraception are merely "ignorant" or "uninformed." It is fun to quiz these people on just how much they know about the issue of the Church's view on contraception in front of an audience. More than 90 percent of them cannot even name the 1968 encyclical condemning it or the Pope who reigned at the time! Additionally, the same pro-aborts who say that pro-lifers are stupid know next to nothing about the method and user effectiveness rates, mechanisms of action, or side effects of contraceptives.

Infiltration and Subversion.

Undoubtedly the most effective tactic used by anti-lifers against the Catholic Church on various issues is infiltration and subversion, which the ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu described as "... the art of destroying your enemy without a fight by subverting anything of value in your enemy's country."[1]

The primary organization that overtly works to undermine Church teaching on artificial contraception and abortion is 'Catholics' for a Free Choice (CFFC). CFFC is to the abortion-rights movement what the North American Man-Boy Love Association is to the homosexual-rights movement: It is such an obviously disreputable and spurious group that not even the liberal National Catholic Reporter will accept its advertisements.

One obvious indicator of this disreputability is the CFFC leadership, which consists of such luminaries as ultraproabort Frances Kissling (Quisling?), called the "Cardinal of Choice" by her friends, defrocked and married former priest Daniel Maguire, and several ex-nuns who were thrown out of their orders.

CFFC members, as do all Neoliberals, think that they are so noble that they are exempt from the rules that govern mere mortals (the rest of us). The circumstances of life are always "different" or "too difficult" for them. They're special.

Just ask them.

Therefore, CFFC members naturally think that the Catholic Church should bend its teachings on abortion and artificial contraception to more closely conform to American culture. But did Our Lord tell the Apostles to make exceptions to His teachings to conform to local culture and practice? Of course not! If such exceptions were made, there would be no call for repentance, and no need for the Christian Church! After all, God did not say, "Thou shall not kill except in America!," or "Be fruitful and multiply until someone shouts "population explosion!""

Ultimately, of course, the Neofeminists in CFFC burrow away at the structure of the Catholic Church, but have no intention of leaving it. They need its structure, power, and resources. If they did leave, their platform would disappear, the press would forget them, and they would eventually vanish screaming into the void as a forgotten, shrill fringe group. They are vampiric parasites, greedily feeding on their host while actively sucking away its vitality.

CFFC member Marjorie Maguire, showing utter contempt for the precepts of the Church, has stated that; "The voice of the officers of the Catholic Church on reproductive matters speaks to me of a materialistic God ... whose greatest joy comes from playing cruel reproductive tricks on women and watching them squirm."[2]

What sheer, mindless idiocy!

Maguire's statement about "cruel reproductive tricks" conjures up a vision of a misogynist-male God somehow 'zapping' women into being pregnant at random, while laughing insanely the whole time. This is typical of CFFC members: Everyone else is at fault, but they disown any and all responsibility for their own sexual misadventures.

The position of the Catholic Church on abortion and contraception could not be clearer. Only a person who is willfully blinding himself or herself to the facts could make the ridiculous claim that there is 'room for a diversity of opinion' within the Catholic Church on abortion or artificial contraception.

The church not only does not want to change its teaching on these topics it absolutely cannot change its teaching, because these critical issue deal with fundamental questions of faith, morals, and ethics.

Those 'Catholic' birth control fanatics who are waiting for a change will be waiting for a very long time indeed.

The Power Behind the Group.

It is very interesting indeed to note that CFFC derives only about $5,000 annually from its $15 dues. This means that it has an actual paying membership of about 300. The vast majority of its quarter-million dollar budget is extracted from organizations whose philosophies directly contradict those of the Catholic Church.[3]

For example, CFFC's biggest source of funds is the Sunnen Foundation, which manufactures Emko contraceptive foam and which poured money into funding the litigation that led to the Roe v. Wade decision. Sunnen's director has labeled the Catholic Church as "detrimental to the world," and has demanded that the Church should be forced by law to change its beliefs regarding abortion (more good "pro-choice" philosophy)![4] This, of course, would lead to lots more business for Sunnen and its despicable ilk, so the labeling of the Church as "detrimental" might not be bigotry, but just good old business acumen.

What better way to undermine the moral teachings of this "detriment" than to fund loud CFFC stooges?

CFFC is also heavily funded by the Brush Foundation, founded by a eugenicist friend of Margaret Sanger, and the Ford Foundation, which donates more than $10 million annually to pro-abortion population control groups. The origins and methods of these eugenicist groups are described in Chapter 105, "Eugenics."

Most interestingly, the Playboy Foundation has poured tens of thousands of dollars into CFFC coffers.

Joseph O'Rourke, an early CFFC activist, revealed the real reason that the organization even exists: "CFFC really was just kept alive for years because the mainline pro-choice movement wanted a Catholic voice."[5]

Typical Subversive CFFC Tactics.

Frances Kissling, director of CFFC, summarized the group's mission when she said that "What we are doing is telling Catholics they can no longer remain silent. It's essentially time to tell the bishops to get out of this."[6]

CFFC is certainly not above ridiculing the beliefs of the Church it so loudly insists that it represents. For example, its first public act was to crown Patricia McQuillan, the local National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter head, as "Her Holiness Pope Patricia the First" on the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. This act was done allegedly to celebrate the first anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.[7]

This was a significant victory for CFFC, because the Catholic Church (with the notable exception of the New York Archdiocese) did not react in the slightest. When the rank-and-file membership of the Church sees various fools ridiculing its beliefs with impunity, they begin to wonder how committed the Bishops are to their teaching authority, and this attitude contributes to the paralysis of the laity regarding abortion and contraception.

Frances Kissling: "Cardinal of Death."

Frances Kissling is the longtime director of 'Catholics' for a Free Choice, and this position suits her morality and theology perfectly. No more ideal person could possibly be found to direct CFFC.

Kissling, who likes to mention her background as a nun (conveniently 'forgetting' to mention that she quit the Sisters of St. Joseph after only six months), boasts about shacking up with men, states that she would have an abortion if she got pregnant, and says that she was neutered in 1978 (the Catholic Church teaches that sterilization is a mortal sin).[8]

She co-founded the National Abortion Federation (NAF, the abortionist's trade union) and worked as a highly-placed official of the International Projects Assistant Services (IPAS), whose specialty is subverting the law in foreign countries and setting up illegal abortion clinics in contravention to local beliefs and customs.[8]

Kissling also helped establish illegal abortion clinics in Mexico and Italy, and directed two New York abortion mills (the Eastern Women's Center and the Pelham Medical Group, which, she boasts, killed 13,000 unborn babies every year) during the time period 1970 to 1973.[9] These acts automatically excommunicated her, just as Mary Ann Sorrentino was thrown out of the Church for running a Rhode Island Planned Parenthood abortion mill.

Kissling, by her wide range of pro-abortion actions, has committed enough grave sins to excommunicate herself a thousand times. She starkly revealed her totally pro-abortion worldview and her hatred of the Church she claims as her own when she said "The Catholic religion makes the fetus into an icon, a figure of religious veneration, which I think is sick, really sick."[8]

Despite the fact that sexual activities are mentioned in Scripture more than any other kind of behavior, Kissling blindly asserted that "I don't think God cares very much about our sexual activity."[8]

Yes, Kissling is the perfect director for CFFC.

When Subversion Fails ...

If infiltration and subversion doesn't work, pro-abortionists are certainly not above direct coercion or bribery.

Edouard Cardinal Gagnon, President of the Pontifical Council on the Family, revealed at a June 27, 1989 lecture in Washington, DC that the Vatican was offered "millions of dollars" in bribes to change Catholic Church teachings on artificial contraception when the Vatican took up the issue in the late 1960s. The money would be declared a "gift" if the Church wouldn't formally declare its teaching in the encyclical Humanae Vitae. The bribe was offered by retired U.S. general William Draper, who at the time directed the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).[10]

Sad But True.

Another favorite anti-life tactic is to parade results of various polls and surveys 'showing' that about 80 percent of Catholic couples use artificial birth control, and 70 percent of all priests and 90 percent of all theology professors support or condone its use. Therefore, they argue, it must be all right for Catholics to use artificial birth control.

Sadly, it is probably true that most Catholics use artificial contraception. The comprehensive January 1973 Bumpass-Westhoff survey showed that 75 percent of United States Catholics under the age of 30 were using artificial birth control. Another survey showed that 74 percent of these Catholics would allow abortion for a serious birth defect.[11]

The most comprehensive study on the birth control habits of American Catholics was the 1988 National Survey of Family Growth, which showed that;

• 72 percent of all married Catholic women of childbearing age use artificial contraception. Of these, 55 percent said they relied on the Pill, 22 percent on tubal ligation, 12 percent on vasectomy, and 11 percent on other methods.

• 24 percent use no form of fertility control, because they are either infertile or are attempting to get pregnant.

• Only four percent of married Catholic women of childbearing age who are using some form of fertility control are using the only Church-approved method of fertility regulation, which is natural family planning (NFP).[12]

After reviewing the results of the above surveys, the proper question we might ask is: So what?

The above statistics are really not surprising. After all, the Church is made up of people, and people as a group tend to uncritically imitate their society's characteristics. It is true that the Catholic Church in the United States is in schism. On one side, there are faithful Catholics who continue to attend Mass, practice natural family planning, and try their best to follow the teachings of the Church, even if they often fail.

This is the true Catholic Church: The Roman Catholic Church.

On the other side is the much larger American Catholic church, whose members only observe those rules that they find easy to comply with, and ignore all the rest. These people attend Mass when it is convenient, use artificial contraception and kill their preborn children at will, and generally ignore what Rome has to say. These people are Catholic in name only, not in spirit. They look upon public opinion as the yardstick against which to measure their own behavior, and are therefore doomed to failure in their spiritual lives.

A Twisted Yardstick.

As it always has been, "the majority opinion" is a false yardstick; would people so slavishly follow along if the majority were committing other evils, such as murder or genocide or "homophobia" or "sexism," for that matter?

The tired excuse of "I'm just following my conscience" is nothing more than a coverup for laziness and carelessness. The dissenters unthinkingly choose the easier wrong over the harder right.

Father John Courtney Murray, S.J., principle author of Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Freedom, described how this dangerous attitude can lead to the moral anarchy of subjectivism;

The Declaration [on Religious Freedom] does not base the right to the free exercise of religion of '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.[13]

Once again, the opinion of the majority is not the valid guide for morals. For all Christians, the will of God is the guide. Contraception is quite obviously a direct interference with God's plan. When a couple uses contraception, they are interfering directly with God's design for their reproduction.

Catholics have a further guide: The teaching of the Pope. Catholics must follow the word of God in Scripture and the word of God as interpreted by the Pope under the teaching authority of the Church. It does not matter what dissident priests or Catholic lay people say; Catholics of good (not just convenient) conscience must follow God and the Pope even if they are in the minority.

Contraception = Murder.

The pre-1917 Code of Canon Law defined the use of contraception as tamquam homicidam habeatur equivalent to murder because of the intentions behind its use.

Monsignor Carlo Caffara, head of the John Paul II Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family, clarified and explained this Code when he said that the use of artificial contraception is really tantamount to murder in the eyes of God because it is "an act negating that of creation." This follows the Scriptural view that contraception is not only murder, but genocide.

The Pope Speaks.

Pope John Paul II does not live in a vacuum, as many dissenters would like to believe. He is, more than anyone else in the world, completely aware of the currents of dissent and apostasy in the Catholic Church today, because he receives information from all over the globe.

Perhaps no issue divides theologians more than contraception/abortion. But, once again, American Catholics do not find true authority in dissenting scholars, but in the Magisterium (teaching authority) of the Church.

The Catholic Church has spoken out against artificial contraception continuously over the past century. Some of the quotes against birth control put forth by Popes of this century are listed in Figure 98-2.

FIGURE 98-2
STATEMENTS BY RECENT POPES CONDEMNING ARTIFICIAL CONTRACEPTION

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 Connubi, 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, AAS XLIII (1951), page 843.

"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.

"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, September 17, 1983.

"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.

On November 12, 1988, Pope John Paul II addressed the final session of a three-day meeting of three hundred Catholic moral theologians at the Pontifical Lateran University to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Humanae Vitae. There, he summarized the position of the Church against birth control in a single sentence; "No personal or social circumstances have ever or can ever justify such an [contraceptive] act."

The Pope also firmly stated that the ban on contraception "cannot be questioned by the Catholic theologian," much to the consternation of Father Charles Curran and his dissenting brethren.[14]

References: Church Positions on Artificial Contraception.

[1] Master Chinese strategist Sun Tzu, c. 500 B.C. The Art of War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973). Also quoted in New Dimensions Magazine, June 1990, page 50.

[2] Phyllis Zagano. "The Limits of Choice." National Catholic Register, October 12, 1986.

[3] Mary Meehan. "CFFC Membership is Nil." National Catholic Register, May 4, 1986.

[4] 1979 letter to Michael Schwartz of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 1100 West Wells Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233.

[5] Mary Meehan. "Foundation Power." Human Life Review, Fall 1984, pages 42 to 60.

[6] Peggy Simpson. "The Gathering Storm: Politics." Ms. Magazine, April 1989, page 88.

[7] William McGurn. "Catholics & 'Free Choice.'" National Catholic Register, February 14, 1982, pages 2 and 6.

[8] Ron Brackin. "'Sister' Frances Kissling: Cardinal of Death." Liberty Report, January 1987.

[9] Mary Meehan. "Kissling Speaks Frankly About Past Activism." National Catholic Register, September 7, 1986.

[10] William Bole. "Cardinal Says Vatican Was Offered Bribe On Birth Control." The Wanderer, July 13, 1989, page 8.

[11] The results of these surveys are discussed in Science Magazine, January 5, 1973, and America Magazine, October 28, 1972. They are also discussed on page 7 of the Couple to Couple League pamphlet entitled "The Case for NFP."

[12] Alan Guttmacher Institute Survey described in Catholic News Service. "Most Catholic Women Ignore Church-Accepted Form of Birth Control." The Portland, Oregon Catholic Sentinel>, January 24, 1992, page 7.

[13] 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.

[14] "Pope Warns Theologians not to Question Ban on Contraception." The Wanderer, November 24, 1988, Page 1.

Further Reading:

Church Positions on Artificial Contraception.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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. "Birth Control and Christian Discipleship." 1985, paperback, 36 pages, 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.

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.

Anthony Kosnik, William Carroll, Agnes Cunningham, Ronald Modras, and James Schulte, members of the Catholic Theological Society of America. Human Sexuality: New Directions in American Catholic Thought. Paulist Press, 1977. 322 pages. Reviewed by Frances Day in an article entitled "Septenary Sex" in the Winter 1977 issue of the International Review of Natural Family Planning, pages 368 to 379. The title of this book is correct in that the authors generally follow current 'Catholic' American thinking on contraception and other evils. This type of thinking is the very first step taken by the Anglicans in 1930, and inevitably leads to abortion and euthanasia.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

John Rock. The Time Has Come. Avon Books, 959 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York 10019. 1963, 186 pages, 75 cents originally. This book is profoundly interesting from a historical point of view because the author, one of the original developers of the birth control pill, tells us why we Americans (and Catholics in particular) should accept the birth control pill. The book, written five years before the encyclical Humanae Vitae was released, was published when birth control was being debated as hotly as abortion is being debated now. It is also fascinating because it gives precisely the same reasoning as pro-abortionists do now. The author inadvertently gives us a classic treatise on the intimate connections between abortion and birth control.

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.

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.


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


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