Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

7/27/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Amid the ruckus of the times, there was indeed a "still small voice"  (1 Kings. 19:12) that could be heard on July 25, 1968.  It was the voice of God.

Highlights

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/27/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Humanae vitae, contraception, Paul VI, Andrew M. Greenwell


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - Let us suppose that artificial contraception is an intrinsic evil, that it violates the natural moral law. 

Let us suppose that right reason informs us that artificial contraception is intrinsically evil because it perverts the meaning, the purpose, the end of the human sexual act and therefore is a palpable misuse of the sexual faculty. 

Let us suppose, further, that this is the teaching of the Scriptures as well as the unanimous Catholic moral tradition.

Let us suppose, further, that, in addition to the pure moral reasons for rejecting artificial contraception (which are reasons enough in-and-of-themselves), there are a whole host of evil personal and social consequences that follow from the mindset that accepts artificial contraception, and practices contraception, and so abuses human sexuality.  Among these, we might include:

  1. Increased disrespect for the unique dignity of women, in particular the unique complementary expression of their humanity, which shows in a lowering regard for motherhood. 
  2. Increased disregard for human life, shown in rising rates of child abuse and abortion, the ultimate child abuse.
  3. Moral, familial, and social imbalances caused by the vice of unchastity, which show themselves in weakened virtue, giving rise to weakened marriages, increased consumption of pornography, an explosion of pre-marital sex, and rising rates of infidelity, divorce, and single-parent families.
  4. That the use of artificial contraception and the egoism it engenders would result in a virtual generational collapse which forebodes a "demographic winter."  Birth rates are inadequate to the point where developed nations are not even replacing their populations, and this will lead to fiscal catastrophes in particularly in societies which socialistic policies.
  5. That the social acceptance of contraceptive sex (and the severance of sex from procreation through technical means) would weaken any sensitivity to the perversion of homosexual activity, inasmuch as homosexual sexual activity is nothing other than sexual acts that are perpetually and permanently sterile not unlike the less permanent, but equally perverse, contraceptive sexual activity.
  6. That, as a result, there would be the virtual banishment of reason from sexuality and it would be replaced by the pleasure principle, so that any sex goes, so long as consensual.
Let us suppose, finally, that only one institution in the whole world--the Catholic Church, in fact, even more narrowly the institution of the Papacy, the successor of Peter, the Pope, in the person of Paul VI--warned us of all this forty-five years ago and was reviled for it by virtually everyone, including many of his own household.

Now we need suppose none of these things.  They are all true.  With the hindsight of 45 years, they are manifestly true.

What we can see with hindsight, Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae vitae, promulgated 45 years ago on July 25, 1968, saw with great foresight. 

Any honest person, applying any honest assessment, must come to the conclusion that societies are much less happy as a result of the widespread use of artificial contraception.  Contraceptive sex has not been the panacea it was touted to be.

It is incontestable that the promises made by the sexual revolution and its virtual "sacramental" of artificial contraception, are, in fact, false.  Contraception has proved very damaging to the mores of the population and familial and social life.

The detrimental effects of artificial contraception on marital life, on social life are so well documented by social studies as to be virtually incontestable.  For those who care to know, they are well-reviewed by Mary Eberstadt in her book Adam and Eve After the Pill

In light of the personal, marital, and social facts, anyone who says that artificial contraception is good for society is lying, is a blind ideologue, or is simply ignorant.

The reasons, already stated in germ in Humanae vitae, are based both on the nature of things and divine revelation.  These have been fully and convincingly (and beautifully) developed by John Paul II in his so-called Theology of the Body

Right reason only points one way.  Contraception is against the natural moral law.  It is also manifestly against all traditional Christian sexual teaching, Catholic and Protestant.

Historians speak of historic events, often called "turns" or "revolutions."

There was the "epistemological turn" between medieval and modern world views, often attributed to Descartes, where the relationship between the senses and knowledge was severed. 

There was the "critical turn" of Kant, where knowledge of things was given up as hopeless, there being no adequate relationship between thing and and thing thought, and the only knowledge known was what was in one's mind. 

There was the "linguistic turn" of the analytical and continental philosophers, which focused on language as the source of philosophical problems.

By 1968, the sexual revolution had resulted in such a massive "turn," a sociological turn, and amidst the millions of irresponsible and clamoring voices assuring this was the future, there was one prophetic if diminutive voice, that called, against the entire Spirit of the Times, for a "return." 

Paulus Sextus contra mundum.  Paul VI against the world.

Christ's promises to His Church--that He would send forth the Spirit of truth, and that He would guide His Church into all truth (John 16:13)--Christ's promise to Peter--that he was the rock upon whom He would build His Church, and that the "gates of hell would not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18)--have never been more apparent than on July 25, 1968, for those with eyes to see.

Amid the ruckus of the times, amid the raucous voices of lust-filled men, there was indeed a "still small voice" (1 Kings. 19:12) that could be heard on July 25, 1968.  It was the voice of God.

The voice of God, the voice of the Holy Spirit, worked through the Petrine office established by the Lord Jesus.  Through an intervention into human history of great grace, God taught all men and women of good will through the magisterium, the teaching voice, of Peter, on July 25, 1968.

"Peter has spoken to us through Leo," exclaimed the Council of Chalcedon.

Peter still speaks to us.

On July 25, 1968, in the encyclical Humanae vitae, Peter spoke to us through Paul VI.

We were fools not to listen then. 

We are greater fools not to listen now after we have had 45 years to appreciate the falsehood of the contrary teaching.

"Whoever has ears, let him hear."  (Matt. 11:15)

The ears we're talking about are the ears of the human heart.

If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
'Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me--
they put me to the test,
although they had seen all of my works.'
  (Ps. 94[95]:8-9)

For forty-five years, that generation that rejected Humanae vitae has wearied us and wearied God.

I said their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest. 
(Ps. 94[95]:10-11)

After forty-five years of not listening, let us hear.  After forty-five years of hardened, wandering hearts, let us soften them so that truth may enter.  Let us not test God.  Let us assuage his anger.  Let us enter into his place of rest, the place he has prepared for us.

Peter has spoken to us through Paul VI. 

Venite!  Audiamus! 
Come!  Let us listen!  And let us turn.

-----

Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew at agreenwell@harris-greenwell.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Living Faith

Historical Jubilee documents on display! Watch

Image of An exhibition of the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi will be displaying pieces normally hidden safely away (Wikimedia Commons).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

For the Jubilee of Mercy, which will close November 20 this year, the Vatican Library is set to release delicate items for display. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic News Agency, the Jubilee Year of Mercy will be honored with a display of ... continue reading


The Happy Priest Reflects on the Ascension

Image of

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Today, we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord into Heaven.  The risen and glorified Jesus physically returns to the Father.  We await with joyful expectation his return in glory.  Where he has gone, we hope to follow.  There is a Heaven and we need ... continue reading


Fr. Tom still missing - Bishop holds tight to faith Watch

Image of Fr. Tom still missing but Bishop Paul Hinder believes he will be saved (Shutterstock).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

Two months after being kidnapped in Yemen, Salesian priest Tom Uzhunnalil remains missing, although a bishop involved in his case remains hopeful about his timely release. Aden, Yemen (CNA/EWTN News) - "The last words, which are quite reassuring, I received indirectly ... continue reading


Making a Difference: The miracle of life Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

I experienced a miracle! A few days ago, I held in my arms my first grandbaby - newly born Faith Annmarie. Thank God she's healthy and perfectly formed. And as I was looking at her, I reflected how wonderfully she is made - arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ... continue reading


'We have done little for women...': Pope Francis dedicates May prayer video to the dignity of women Watch

Image of Pope Francis asks the world to respect women (Pinterest).

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

In his May prayer video Pope Francis issued a global petition that women in all countries would be respected and valued, asking rhetorically if the mere recognition of their role is enough, or if more can be done. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - "The contribution ... continue reading


Religious freedoms endangered around the world Watch

Image of Religious freedoms started their rapid decline in 2015 (Pinterest).

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

The right to exercise religion came under sustained assault around the world in 2015, according to a new report from a bipartisan United States commission, affecting Christians, Muslims, Jews, among others. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "By any measure, religious ... continue reading


HAPPENING NOW: Incredible 90-hour Bible Reading Marathon outside U.S. Capitol Watch

Image of The 90-hour Bible Reading Marathon started May 1, 2016 (Faith & Action).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The 27th annual 90-hour Bible Reading Marathon at the U.S. Capitol began Sunday evening and will continue through May fifth. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The event was launched with a hymn and prayer, then Reverend Rob Schenck, the president of the National ... continue reading


Catholic Bishop abducted, attacked and assaulted before release Watch

Image of Bishop Prasad Gallela was abducted on his way home from mass (CNS).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Catholic bishop Prasad Gallela was on his way home from Mass on April 25, when two vehicles pulled up to him. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Bishop Gallela concluded Mass at Karunagiri Shrine in southern India then headed home.When the vehicles stopped, ... continue reading


Quick! What is the most quoted book of the Bible? This celeb knows! Watch

Image of Bono with Eugene Peterson have teamed up to make a short documentary about the Psalms.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What is the most popular book of the Bible? There's one book that people enjoy more than any other and it's also the most frequently referenced in our culture. Now, Fuller Theological Seminary has asked two very famous people to help spread the word about this ... continue reading


Pope Francis spreads words of love Watch

Image of Pope Francis speaks of reconciling with God (Pinterest).

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

Reconciliation is an essential aspect of God's mercy, Pope Francis said Saturday, explaining that when we distance ourselves from the Lord through sin, it takes much more than our own effort to get back to him. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - Referencing St. ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 'The doctors were shocked': Conjoined twins share unusual bond
  • Historical Jubilee documents on display!
  • Daily Readings for Friday, May 06, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 HD Video
  • Bl. Edward Jones: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 06, 2016
  • The gruesome way scientists are killing unborn babies in school ...
  • Daily Reading for Monday, May 9th, 2016 HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 1:1-11
1 In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
2 For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious, the great king over all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:46-53
46 and he said to them, 'So it is written that the Christ would suffer ... Read More

Reading 2, Ephesians 1:17-23
17 May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 5th, 2016 Image

St. Hilary of Arles
May 5: Bishop of Arles, France, and friend and relative ... Read More