Could it Be? 90% of US Catholics Support Artificial Contraception. So What?
With so many Catholics using and supporting contraception, should the Church sympathize with their plight?
A 2005 poll by Harris Interactive claims that 90% of Catholics supported the use of birth control and contraceptives. Newer polls reveal similar numbers and trends. Publicly dissenting Catholics claim they are also "good Catholics," that the Church has forced the "no contraception" issue down good Catholics' throats since the sixties, and that Catholic voices in support of contraception must be heard in the debate. What is the truth?
Contra- Ception.... against conception? What else needs to be said?
Catholics for a Free Choice claimed in 1998 that 96% of U.S. Catholic women had used contraceptives at some point in their lives and that 72% of Catholics believed one could be a good Catholic without obeying the Church's teaching on birth control.
More recently, a nationwide poll of 2,242 U.S. adults surveyed online in September 2005 by Harris Interactive, revealed that 90% of Catholics supported the use of birth control and contraceptives.Publicly dissenting Catholics accuse American Bishops and the Pope, who they say "are not the Church," of forcing the issue down good Catholics' throats:
"Having failed to convince Catholics not to use contraception, the bishops now work to keep it out of reach by barring contraceptives at Catholic medical facilities, blocking legislation that would require health insurance coverage for contraceptives and lobbying in the United Nations and U.S. Congress to cut family planning aid for developing countries. Catholic voices must be heard in this debate."
Signs of the Times
Catholic voices have been heard on this type of issue from the beginning of the Church. This dissent in word and deed is, plain and simple, the sin of Satan. No one can be a "good Catholic" and refuse to obey the Church in such matters concerning faith and morals. Jesus said, "He who hears you hears me." "The Church is the pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).
"The [contraception] issue is far from resolved," they say. Fortunately, this statement is completely false; the only place it is unresolved is in those outside the Church, those with a rebellious will.
Not an invention of an out-of-step hierarchy resolved to force the faithful into "miserable litters" of children - condemnation of abortion and unnatural illicit methods of birth control, as in contraception, is one of the earliest doctrines to be specifically articulated by the Church. It was defended in far more stringent ways than our faithful Bishops defend it now - and that rebellious Catholics decry or ignore.
Straight From the Written Word
Galatians 5:20, Revelation 21:8, and 22:15 all condemn the practice of what is translated "sorcery." Lest we disregard "sorcery" as something we might never engage in, let us remember that the original Greek word is the same as that from which we get the words "medication" and "pharmaceuticals." The New Latin Dictionary translates these references "poisoners" or "poisonous." The gist of the words, however, is in their application.
Not a blanket condemnation of all drugs, the Didache (dated by most patrologists from the first century and probably the oldest written disciplinary document the Church possesses outside the Scriptures) applies "sorcery" to contraception and abortion (2:2), condemning both practices as excommunicable offenses.
Additionally, in obedience to the interpretations they learned from the Apostles, the Fathers and Doctors unanimously applied these Scriptural references to "sorcery," to what is contraceptive and/or abortifacient so that it is a teaching of the Deposit of Faith (see Clement of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, Origen, Ambrose, Jerome, Chrysostom, Augustine, to name a few) and cannot, therefore, be reversed except by act of apostasy:
"The Holy Fathers, 'to whom after the Apostles, the Church owes its growth' - the Holy Fathers we say, are of supreme authority whenever they all interpret in one and the same manner any text of the Bible, as pertaining to the doctrine of faith and morals; for their unanimity clearly evinces that such interpretation has come down from the Apostles as a matter of Catholic Faith" (Providentissimus Deus, Pope Leo XIII).
An Answer to the World
It is a widely documented historical fact that during the infancy of the Church, the pagan world surrounding Christian communities commonly practiced many methods of birth control, ranging from contraceptive and abortifacient drugs, to spells and incantations. It was common Roman practice to use drugs to prevent conception, and if that failed, to use drugs to induce abortion.
Because at the time of the Apostolic Church Christians were infected by common feelings and beliefs on reproductive issues, the first century ...
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