Refuting the Pro-Contraception arguments Matt1618

of the dissenters of Humanae Vitae

INTRODUCTION Artificial birth control is the source of much theological debate in Catholic quarters. There are many sides to this issue. Here I intend to focus on a few of the areas that Catholic dissenters zeroed in on around the time of Humanae Vitae. I will present the Catholic teaching on birth control and present the critiques of that teaching in the following areas: Effects on the procreative and unitive ends of marriage; morality of Natural Family Planning and contraception; contraception and moral problems: any relationship? I will then analyze the dissenters arguments in these various areas of the debate. As I am quoting from arguments in the sixties I will use the term rhythm which was a precursor to the much more efficient Natural Family Planning (NFP) mean of fertility regulation.

The church has long taught that the primary end of marriage is procreative. In this century, starting with Casti Cannubi, that was issued by Pope Pius XI in 1930, more stress has been placed on the unitive end of marriage. I will present the parts of Humanae Vitae that focus on the relationship of these two ends, parts of sections 10 thru 14, as this is the area that I will focus on this particular critique.

10-In relation to the biological processes, responsible parenthood means the knowledge and respect of their functions; human intellect discovers in the power of giving life biological laws which are part of the human person...11- The church, calling men back to the observance of the norms of the natural law, as interpreted by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life.12-That teaching, often set forth by the magisterium, is founded upon the inseparable connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and procreative meaning. Indeed, by its intimate structure, the conjugal act, while most closely uniting husband and wife, capacitates them for the generation of new lives, according to laws inscribed in the very being of man and of woman...13-It is in fact justly observed that a conjugal act imposed upon one's partner without regard for his or her condition and lawful desires is not a true act of love, and therefore denies an exigency of right moral order in the relationships between husband and wife...To use this divine gift destroying, even if only partially, its meaning and its purpose is to contradict the nature both of man and of woman and of their most intimate relationship, and therefore it is to contradict also the plan of God and his will...14-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.

Biological Morality?
Critique: Bernard Haring had originally written in favor of the Catholic position on contraception. For example, in 1964 he wrote:
Those Christians who know what they mean by responsible parenthood will certainly not subscribe to any defacing of of conjugal love by the deliberate perversion of any conjugal union. Any arbitrary violation of the personal realization of conjugal love or of the natural functions must be rejected as a matter of principle.1
Haring served on the papal commission that set out to study contraception. The study changed his mind.2 He critiqued Humanae Vitae after it was released and focused much of his criticism on these sections of Humanae Vitae. Haring thought that Humanae Vitae too firmly formed the link between the procreative and unitive ends of marriage. Haring noted that nature itself separates the procreative and unitive functions of the marital act by restricting biological fecundity to few conjugal acts only.3 He sees Humanae Vitae as incorrect even if that was the only basis.

Haring wrote that Humanae Vitae is incorrect in asserting the "unbreakable link" between procreative and unitive ends using this example: In the case of proven sterile partners their marriage can fulfill the unitive meaning while it can not truly and really fulfill a procreative role.4 It is obvious that true love can exist in this marriage even though procreation is not possible.

Haring points out that there was a church tradition that conjugal intercourse was truly and fully good only when it intended procreation explicitly or implicitly.5

Haring also criticized HV10 which says "Responsible parenthood means knowledge and respect of their functions, human intellect discovers in the power of giving life biological laws which are part of the human person." Haring asks does it follow that God governs the human person? How does he govern those for whom the Natural Law and rhythms do not function properly? How can one ascribe absoluteness to biological laws if they are "inscribed in the very being of man and woman" not as absolute laws but as changing and unreliable trends? Haring wrote "Is man to be absolutely subject to biological laws and rhythms or is he and should he be their wise administrator?"6 Haring apparently believes that if one is fertile contraception makes their users wise administrators.

Haring also attacked HV13 which says that man has no dominion over the biological functions in relation to the transmission of life. Haring criticized that "the absolute sacredness" that biological laws and rhythms were compared and equated with the sacredness of human life. Haring wrote that the encyclical seems to consider unreliable biological laws and rhythms as part of the human person. He then wrote that man survives precisely because he can make use of such artificial means as clothing, modern technology, and medicine in adjusting in a typically human way.7 The church inconsistently approves these ways.

The National Catholic Reporter received some of the writings of the papal commission. The commission disagreed with the type of reasoning the Humanae Vitae encyclical would use on this absolute procreative-unitive bond. The commission argued that sexuality is not ordered only to procreation. The commission noted that Genesis said that the two shall become one flesh. Mutual giving is not stopped by contraception:
Intercourse can be required as a manifestation of self-giving love, directed to the good of the other person or of the community, while at the same time a new life can not be received. Intervention is a material privation since love in this case can not be fertile, but it receives its moral specification from the other finality which is good in itself.8

Dr. William Dupree also critiqued this total link between unitive end to pure biology. Dupree wrote that it is wrong to equate man's biological structure with his total human nature. It totally ignores other human values. Dupree argued that:
For two marriage partners who have repeatedly proven their intention of complete surrender in creative acts of love, to exclude occasionally the fertility of their love when circumstances prevent them from taking proper care of new offspring does not necessarily contradict the objective meaning of the marital act.9

Haring further wrote that contraception has a good effect on the unitive end of marriage:
Countless spouses and marriage counselor's testify to the fact that users of birth control can be most attentive to feelings of spouse in a very special way for the physical and psychological equilibrium of the spouse. The danger of women being used can not be dismissed by teaching the meaning of Natural Law in a biological frame of thought, but the risk can at least be reduced by a better understanding of the nature of the person and actions as a person...birth control is in some circumstances permissible to preserve and foster the values and sacredness of marriage.10

Benefits of Contraception and Drawbacks of NFP on the Procreative-Unitive ends of Marriage
There was a majority report of the Papal Commission issued in 1966. It saw the rhythm method of abstinence as intolerable: The condemnation of a couple to long and often heroic abstinence as the means to regulate conception can not be founded on the truth.11

The papal commission wrote that abstinence for married people was negative because it denied the unitive love of married people. Contraception would serve that purpose. If they are to observe and cultivate all the essential values of marriage, married people need decent and human means for the regulation of conception.12 Apparently, according to the papal commission contraception is the only decent and human means for fertility regulation.

Alvah Sulloway argued that contraception would also be helpful to marriage in another way. If women have too many children frustrations would abound. One of the main frustrations is that without contraception women would lose the pleasure that the unitive end should bring. Too frequent child bearing would make the sexual act lose its pleasurable association as the woman acquires a distaste for intercourse.13 Contraception would keep that end of the unitive act in tact.

Abstinence could lead to irritability within the marriage, and can lead to psychological problems. In a letter dated March 20, 1964, a letter was written by a confused Catholic. When talking of the Church's teaching on contraception in comparison to rhythm:
They are taught love is the unselfish gift of self and allowed to space children as an act of selfishness. They must withdraw needed comfort from each other for a long period in their married lives. This can tear a marriage apart, ruin love, cause mental breakdown or loss of faith.14

The proponents of contraception therefore argued that it was an alleviator of marital stress. It would be helpful to marriage in contrast to the rhythm method, which was seen as causing stress.

The orthodox Catholic response is that contraception not only puts a barrier to the procreation of a human person, but it also puts a barrier in the relationship of the spouses. Sex in marriage is a wonderful means of self-donation to the spouse. As Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote:
The act of wedded communion has indeed the object of procreation, but in addition, the significance of a unique love. It also has a deep rooted meaning for man as a human person. It is the expression of wedded love for man and woman, and a fulfillment of their personal longing for communion with one another.15

Contraception prevents the union of love from being fully expressed, and puts a barrier between the spouses. Contraception violates not only the primary purpose of marriage; ie., its orientation to new life, but also its secondary purpose, for it places an obstacle in the way in which it impedes the total and unreserved self-giving and the couple's mutual acceptance on the part of husband and wife that intercourse implies.16 John Paul II notes that when one denies the spouse his or her procreative powers, one only gives to the other a part of oneself, not the whole, to the beloved.17 The act by its very nature is ordained to the possibility of the conception of a child. He notes that to have sexual intercourse with an artificial barrier diminishes the union one is having with one's beloved. The individual demeans his love and John Paul II therefore rightly calls contracepted sexual intercourse a lie.18 Therefore, not only does contraception inadvertently put stress on a marriage, it is deceptive and can lead to other problems. In HV12, the unitive meaning, which is spiritual is weighed equally essential with the procreative elements. Both are violated by the use of contraception.19

An assumption that the critics make is that love can only be fully expressed via sexual expression and temporary continence via NFP prevents full love. There is no question that if NFP is to be practiced among spouses, there will be struggles. However in effect the perception assumes that spouses are animals. John Paul II responds that the people who make such an assumption fail to understand the personhood of man and woman; they think that human beings have to live at the beck and call of their drives and wants; they overlook their power of acting through themselves and of determining themselves.20

Pope Paul in HV11, in a little studied section of the encyclical, when commenting on abstinence among married couples wrote: The discipline which is proper to the purity of married couples, far from harming conjugal love, rather confers on it a higher human value. It demands continual effort yet, thanks to its beneficent influence; husband and wife fully develop their personalities, being enriched with spiritual values. Such discipline bestows upon family life fruits of serenity and peace, and facilitates the solution of other problems; it favors attention for one's partner, helps both parties to drive out selfishness, the enemy of true love; and deepens their sense of responsibility.

Although in NFP there will be some strain in the marriage, other ways of communication can be developed. When contraception is used one spouse can see the other spouse as a selfish vehicle for pleasure. Contraceptives become a barrier not only to procreation, but to other means of communication.

Can the Procreative and Unitive Ends be Separated?
It is true that not in every act of sex is fertility possible. However, the sexual organs are specifically designed for procreation even if the women's organs are not always fertile. Just because for much of the time fertility is not possible does not justify making infertility sure. As the minority report of the papal commission study stated:

A legitimate conclusion from the facts now known would be this: there are fewer acts which are as a matter of fact capable of producing new life; therefore, there are fewer acts against which a person in acting contraceptively would incur the specific malice of contraception. But the facts do not invite us to intervene contraceptively, now that we have a more accurate knowledge about fertility; rather they invite us to have a greater respect for them.21

Sexual organs are a part of the human person and they are ordered to procreation. HV14 says that the spouse may do nothing to deprive the act of its ordination or destination to procreation. Contraception attempts to guarantee that the person closes off the possibility of the acts achieving its natural ordination.22

There is a major difference between sterile spouses and contraceptive spouses. In the cases of those who are sterile, the inability to achieve the ordered end is independent of the will of spouses. When the conjugal act occurs among sterile spouses, they are still giving their all to each other, and have not put a barrier between themselves. Their all includes their sterility. In the case of a contracepting couple, they are deliberately tampering with their fertility. They voluntarily make themselves incapable of achieving the end to which it is ordered.23

An analogy that is somewhat close is abortion. No one is condemned as having committed a sin by a miscarriage, which is spontaneous abortion. However, we know that if someone deliberately aborts the unborn, the church has condemned that as the gravest of sins. Sterility is involuntary. Contraception is a deliberate act. Sin is in the person causing the act, be it the murder of unborn, or of the active rendering of one infertile.

Haring had charged that the church is inconsistent in permitting artificial uses of clothing, medicine, earplugs, etc. Indeed the church does not condemn the artificial use of clothing, modern technology, earplugs, or medicine. The reason that the church is not inconsistent in applying this teaching is noted by Janet Smith:
Medicine, earplugs, etc. protect what is natural and restore what is natural to proper functioning. The church says these artificial means are permissible because they work in accord with nature. On the other hand contraception goes against the working of nature.24

This refutes the charge of church inconsistency and "biologism". The church affirms what protects and restores what conforms to nature, but condemns the means that destroy the ends of nature. When Humanae Vitae affirmed this in the encyclical it reaffirmed Pope Pius XI' teaching in Casti Cannubi:
Any use whatever 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 grave sin.25

Benefits of NFP and Drawbacks of Contraception on the Procreative-Unitive ends of Marriage
Contraception separates the actualized love union in marriage
from a possible conception to sever the deeply mysterious bond instituted by God.26 Contraceptio makes use of the other person for sexual satisfaction. In contraception one person, usually the wife carries the burden of health and other inconveniences. In NFP the couple bears together the burden of temporarily abstaining. Couples using NFP cooperate with each other and God.27

NFP, depending on the woman's cycle does impose varying and sometimes significant amount of self-denial to those who use it. For some the abstinence leads to periods of some irritability within the marriage. For others, it leads to greater opportunity for communication and for displays of affection that do not lead to intercourse.28

How does NFP and contraception effect the breakup of marriages, which is the easiest indicator of the effects of both methods of fertility regulation on marriage itself? Although there have not been an abundance of studies on the subject, the ones that have done point clearly to contraception having a detrimental effect on marriages. The growing use of contraception since 1915 has been accompanied by an almost 500% rise in the divorce rate. Now over 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Before the 1960's Catholics used contraception at a much lower rate than the national level. Divorce was also at a much lower rate among Catholics. Now Catholics use contraception at the same rate.29 It is not a mere coincidence that Catholics now divorce at the same level as the rest of society. There are of course many factors that contribute to divorce but one researcher, Robert Michael attributes 50% of the rise in the divorce rate from the early sixties to the mid-seventies to the increased use of contraception.30

In a study by Nona Aguilar, less than 1% of responding NFP users had been divorced. Elzbieta Wojik reports that an Austrian doctor Joseph Rotzer kept record for over thirty years of 1400 practitioners of NFP and reported not one divorce. The Couple to Couple League informed Janet Smith that of their 850 couples certified to teach NFP, only 9 divorced.31

There is an inherent selfishness (even though most do not intend it to have that effect) in contraception. In NFP there is improved communications, absence of feelings of being used, development of non-genital courtship, peace of consciousness, and no fear of the dangerous effects of some unnatural methods. The practice of NFP helps to develop the same character strengths that are necessary for marital fidelity and life long marriage.32

Although I have already touched in some areas on the effects of contraception and NFP I have not exclusively focused on the morality of these methods of fertility regulation. Is not the aim of Natural Family Planning the same as contraception? It serves the same purpose: to not have babies.* I will not focus my attention on the arguments of totality which is an important part of the morality question. In all of the writings of the proponents of contraceptive morality, that concept was important. However, it was discussed in class and I do not want to go in depth on that issue. I am focusing on the individual contraceptive act and its morality or lack thereof.

CRITIQUE: Bernard Haring argued that the morality or immorality of NFP and contraception would be the same. The aim of both is indeed the same: to not have babies, at least during the time that it is practiced. Haring noted that man can not grasp the total difference in the moral import of these two means of interference. Haring sees a problem in HV14 which says that one must always remain open to life:
In fact how can the marriage act truly remain open to transmission of life when a perfectly calculated use of rhythm guarantees no new life in the marriage act? Also, why such a difference in the morality of: a)interference in the organism for restoration of the organism or the correction of improperly functioning "natural rhythm; b) the responsibility about manner of intervention therefore must be formulated according to the finalities which can be discovered from human nature.33

On the papal commission, there was a working paper that justified the morality of contraception. 1) It quoted Guadium et Spes from Vatican II. There it stated that the decision on the number of children with a family rests ultimately with the parents. They determine the balance between conjugal love and harmonious fecundity. 2) Intercourse materially considers carrying some orientation toward fecundation, but this finality must be rationally directed by the spouses according to their need. 3) There is no difference between acts which happen in fertile or infertile periods. In infertile periods rhythm allows them to foster love but during the fertile period, if they are not allowed contraception they are given no alternative except fertilization or abstinence.34
When man intervenes in the procreative process he does this with the intention of regulating and not excluding fertility. He then unites the material finality of the person and renders the entire process human.35
Canon Louis Janssens claimed that there is no essential difference between rhythm and the use of the pill. The church charges that contraception is sinful because by its use conception is positively excluded.36 Janssens argued that the practice of rhythm includes the same positive exclusion:
In rhythm there is a deliberate suppression of a generative function by a careful calculation of time. Rhythm not only has the intention of excluding procreation but also is the choice of a particular act as a means of accomplishing this intention. Condemning the use of contraceptive devices could not lie in the positive and deliberate use of some means of excluding procreation from the marital act because that is what happens in the use of rhythm. In rhythm the intrinsic structure of the act of intercourse was preserved in tact and the pill the same. While the pill's use involved a positive and deliberate exclusion of procreation (as did rhythm), use of the pill is just as unobjectionable as the practice of rhythm.37

The above mentioned objections must be addressed if one holds contraception as being sinful, but NFP as not sinful. An argument stated in a book by Ford, Grisez, Boyle, Finnis, and Grey addresses the forgoing objection. They argue that it is wrong to make a positive attempt to impede the transmission of life, which contraception does and NFP does not. At the heart of the difference is a "contralife" will intrinsic in contraception: The contraceptive act seeks to impede the beginning of the life of a possible person. It is against that possible life...To contracept one must think that some behavior in which someone could engage is likely to cause a new life to begin. Some other behavior one could perform would be impeded by the beginning of new life. Every contraceptive act is necessarily contralife.38

The problem is that the will in contraceptive use is in and of itself contralife. Morally right choices must conform to reason and not be contralife. The coming to be of a new person is a great human good.39 The contralife will is thus not morally permissible.

The reasons used to contracept are mostly emotional motives, such as comfort level, career commitment, expense of raising baby, etc. These are the same reasons used to justify abortion and are morally irresponsible. Emotional motives provide no justification at all.

There is a major moral difference between contraception and NFP. As Janet Smith notes:
The couple using contraception intends not just to avoid having a baby but to have sexual intercourse and to thwart the natural end of sexual intercourse. The couple using NFP also intends not to have a baby, but they do not tamper with the ordination of the sexual act. It remains whatever nature has made it to be, fertile or infertile. Spouses do nothing immoral not having sexual intercourse.40

The arguments that Janssens used does not have validity. He had written that couples practicing rhythm are positively doing something to not have a baby. If you are not doing something, that is not positively excluding anything. Another way of showing that the Janssens argument does not hold water is provided in the Ford book:
Those who consider choosing to do something for a certain good but decide not to do it in order to avoid bad side effects do not thereby reject the good that they do not pursue. It is not willing that the good be realized but it does not mean willing that the good not be realized.41

The choice of NFP need not be contralife and that choice need not be contrary to reason. Of course, NFP can be practiced for the wrong reason and in effect the motive can be contraceptive. However, with a positive perspective, and of course serious reasons for practicing NFP, it can cause no moral problems.

Haring critiqued HV11 which said that each and every act must remain open to life, but then in HV16 says that the perfectly calculated use of rhythm which guaranteed no new life is justified. If one must always be open to life, and yet it is permissible that you are sure that you are not producing life, it does seem to be a blatant inconsistency in the encyclical. According to Janet Smith, there is a mistranslation in HV11 about always being open to life. She claims that the statement open is translated in both Italian and Latin as "remain ordered in itself to the procreating of human life." In fact the Catholic Truth society translated that section as it must "retain its natural potential" to create human life.42 If that is indeed the case the Haring objection falls. As Smith wrote:
It does not mean the spouses must be actively desiring a baby. It means the spouse may do nothing to deprive the act of its ordination or destination to procreation. They may do nothing to "close off" the possibility of the acts achieving its natural ordination.43

Sex between spouses during the infertile time and abstinence during the fertile period as practiced in NFP does not deprive the act of its proper ordination.

Pope Paul VI in HV17 wrote that if contraception is practiced it would lead to lowering standards of morality:
Upright men can even better convince themselves of the solid grounds on which the teaching of the church in this field is based, if they care to reflect upon the consequences of methods of artificial birth control. Let them consider first of all, how wide and easy a road would thus be opened up towards conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality..Who will stop rulers from favoring from even imposing upon their peoples, if they were to consider necessary, the method of contraception which they judge to be most efficacious?...Consequently, if the mission of generating life is not to be exposed to the arbitrary will of men, one must recognize unsurmountable limits to the possibility of man's domination over his own body and its functions.

CRITIQUE: The majority report of the papal commission denied what in effect HV17 charged. The report condemned homosexuality, abortion, masturbation, fornication, and adultery, and claimed that contraception is totally different from these acts. In addressing the charge that the use of contraception would lead to lowering of standards the majority report said that it is "so far from the truth" is clearly evident by the fact that:
Abortion is totally different from contraception because it concerns human life already in existence. Abortion is more numerous in areas where contraception is neglected; human intervention is not permitted. Unless it favors the stability of the family; the affirmation of the permissibility of intervention does not lead to an indulgent attitude toward masturbation since intervention preserves the inter subjectivity of sexuality.44

The commission therefore asserted that contraception would be exclusive to sex among spouses and there is no real relationship between this and other sexual sins. No pandora box would be opened.

Haring wrote that an adulterer can use the rhythm method and not necessarily prevent moral problems from arising. He wrote that adulterers can use the rhythm method with great skill to avoid pregnancy and still observe biological laws. He also argued that:
From a personalist point of view adulterers have divorced themselves from the procreative and unitive ends because they do not bind themselves in a covenant uniting the conjugal and parental vocation. Homosexuality is wrong because it is totally opposed to any kind of parental vocation, but also because the sexual behavior fails to convey that love which is the gift of God for married people.45

In hindsight it can be claimed that Pope Paul VI shows himself to be a prophet. Contraception has been available to most and it is practiced as a matter of course among Catholics just as much as non-Catholics. Abortion is being allowed, funded, and even forced in many countries. In the US, 30 million unborn children have been slaughtered since 1973. Children with unwed mothers now account for 30% of all children born in the United States. In the sixties that percentage was 5%.46 One can not say that contraception is the only factor. There are many other factors. It is an important factor nonetheless.

In the 1930 Lambeth conference Anglicans met and decided contraceptives can be used in very limited circumstances, wiping out a unified Christian tradition of 1900 years condemning artificial birth In the 1930 Lambeth conference Anglicans met and decided contraceptives can be used in very limited circumstances, wiping out a unified Christian tradition of 1900 years condemning artificial birth control. Now most churches except the Catholic Church unhesitatingly approve of its use. The contralife will that exists in the use of contraception has grown to approve of abortion, even among many "Christian churches." Even though the majority report of the papal commission saw contraception and abortion as totally different, the attitude in both is contralife. It is at the root of a mentality. As Von Hildebrand wrote of contraception:
The sin (of contraception) consists in this: the sundering of what God has joined together, the artificial severing of the mystery of the bodily union from the creative act to which it is bound at the time...It is the sin of irreverence-that is to say, the sin of presumptuously exceeding the creatural rights of man.47

Contraception is used to make sure one is sexually satisfied, with hopefully no consequences as a result. No baby is produced and no one really has to consider conjugal or procreative ends, love, or responsibility. The papal commission majority report declined to acknowledge any connection between contraception and sexual sins such as fornication, adultery, masturbation, homosexuality, etc. Since contraception makes sex possible without procreative and other responsibilities, there is indeed a relation of that mentality to other sexual sins. The contraceptive mentality that the majority report acknowledged in its own writing, is thus pervasive in our society.

In regards to sex, contraception, not morality is now seen as the solution to prevent teenagers from becoming mothers. They are told to have sex but just make sure that they have contraceptives to prevent pregnancies.

In relation to the warning that governments will enforce sterilization, the arguments of the contraception proponents in the sixties did not even deal with Paul VI' premonition (or at least in my reading I saw no rebuttal of this statement). China and India are the two biggest examples of the world's forced sterilization. In many countries throughout the world there are varying amounts and degrees of forced sterilization. In the United States there are some teenagers who are in effect being forced to take Norplant. No morality teaching, but make sure that when the women are sexually used, no one will bear any consequences.

Charles Curran is one of the strongest "Catholic" dissenter advocates of contraception across the world. He in effect proved that Paul VI was correct when he wrote that the contraceptive mentality would lead to people justifying government enforced sterilization. Curran wrote:
In general I am opposed to coercive measures except an absolutely last resort, but it is necessary to evaluate properly the role and meaning of freedom in this discussion about contraception and population control. Too often freedom in these matters can be poorly understood in an overly individualistic sense. Insistence on reproductive autonomy can forget the social dimensions of human sexuality and procreation. Sexuality and procreation involve a relationship to the human species.48

Curran also condemns the church for taking such absolute stands on sexual morality. The original majority report claimed that there was no relation of contraception to other sexual sins. However, one of the leading proponents of contraception wrote:
Catholic theology has paid too little attention to the psychological aspects of masturbation as also contributing to its objective meaning. The blanket gravity attached to all sins against sexuality indicates a crass and impersonal criterion which is not totally adequate.49

Curran is in effect saying that as long as a psychological reason can be found for any sexual act, then that sexual act can be justified. Long gone would be the sexual absolutes that scripture and tradition have asserted for 2000 years.

A leading proponent of contraception therefore shows the logical extension of the contraceptive morality to all areas of morality. The majority report's claim that contraception has no relation to moral problems is shown to be false by a leading theologian who would otherwise agree with the commission's findings on contraception.

I have looked briefly at some of the arguments about the morality of contraception, NFP, their relation to the ends of marriage, the effects on marriage, and its relation to moral problems. I have looked at some of the arguments used during the time of Humanae Vitae in the sixties. The arguments used to justify contraception in these particular areas do not stand up to scrutiny. At the very root of contraception is a contralife will that renders its use immoral. It separates the procreative from the conjugal ends of marriage. It actively intervenes with this contralife will in place.

Divorce has abounded among Catholics and the selfishness that is at the heart of contraception has played at least some part in this. This has led to further immorality in sexual areas and a lowering standard of morality in other areas as well. Respect for life has been disregarded and only left to the whims and pleasures of people for their own convenience.

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1997 Refuting the Pro-Contraception arguments of the dissenters of Humanae Vitae Matt1618 ( .
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Last modified March 28, 1997.