Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What's Wrong With Contraception?

Originally posted on the St. Therese Parish blog.

Since this was the topic with the most votes on the "What would you like to learn about" poll, let's take a closer look at it. We'll try to keep it family friendly.

Despite what secular stereotypes may lead you to believe, the Catholic Church teaches that the "marital act", as revealed by God, has only two conditions placed upon it:

1) that it take place in the bonds of matrimony - that the two be married and,

2) that it be open to life - not that pregnancy necessarily be achieved or even attempted each time, but that the end result could possibly end in conception. That's it. Two things.

First is the marriage part. You have to be married. That's the only place where sexual relations properly belong. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: "It (sexual relations) demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another."(CCC, paragraph 2391) It is a total gift of the self, and therefore is only appropriate between a man and a woman who have publicly and faithfully committed their love to one another in Marriage. Anything less is a shadow of this. So when people start talking about handing out contraceptives to kids to promote "safe-sex", they've missed the boat entirely.

Now, open to life. That's a simple rule to guide us. A moment of reflection will reveal that certain "perversions" are considered illicit because they have no chance of resulting in the creation of a new life. Again, not that it must, but that it be open to it. This very simple guide will explain for us why homosexuality is wrong, why sterilization is wrong, and why contraceptive use is wrong. In all three instances, the procreative nature of the sexual act is thwarted. We've taken the power - God's power - into our own hands. In a sense, it's a re-enactment of the Original Sin. WE know better than God what's good for us. WE will decide how this ends up.

This is simply an introduction to the topic, and the Church certainly has much more to say about the issue. If you'd like to learn more, a good place to start might be this article on

Feel free to use the Comments box for questions or comments.

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