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  #1  
Old May 1, '12, 11:36 am
Geremia Geremia is offline
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Default Humanæ Vitæ Dissenters: Lonergan, Maritain, & Rahner

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I know he [Bernard Lonergan] was a Humanae Vitae dissenter which is enough for me not to read him. His take on Humanae Vitae was that it was based on Aristotelian biology and therefore wrong.
How did he manage to argue that‽ Wow…

Maritain dissented on Humanæ Vitæ, too.

UPDATE: I found an article, in the heterodox Jesuit periodical America, that quotes Lonergan's argument (my comments [in red] and emphases):
Quote:
In commenting on the single controversial issue of Humanae Vitae, the late Bernard Lonergan, S.J., a renowned theologian, remarked: ’The traditional views [on contraception] to my mind are based on Aristotelian biolo*gy and later stuff which is all wrong. They haven’t got the facts straight" (Catholic New Times, Oct. 14, 1984).

What Lonergan was referring to was the analysis of the sexual act found in Aristotle’s De generatione animalium. Male seed was viewed as an efficient cause that changed the nutritive material supplied by the female. According to this view every act of insemination (intercourse) is of itself procreative. [Aristotle knew that an efficient cause can be unsuccessful at producing its desired effect.]

We now know, of course, that Aristotle was wrong. [His theory is incomplete, not wrong. Semen (specifically, a sperm cell in it) is still the efficient cause of fertilization.] It must be recalled here that it was only in 1827 that Karl Ernst von Baer published his discovery of the ovum. The relation of insemination [The author seems to be confusing insemination with fertilization/conception.] to procreation, we now know, is not that of a per se cause to a per se effect. The relation of intercourse to procreation is statistical, the vast majority of acts not leading to conception. [I'm sure Aristotle et al. knew that not every act of coitus results in a pregnancy.] Paul VI stated that "the conjugal act ... capacitates them for the generation of new lives." That is true of only very few conjugal acts.

Humanae Vitae correctly acknowledges that sexual intercourse has a "unitive sense"; it expresses and nour*ishes mutual love. But it argues that each act also has a "procreative sense." This Lonergan, together with many others, contests. [So, they're heretics. Humanæ Vitæ had precedent; it wasn't a doctrinal novelty.] Even the encyclical seems shaky on this point. It notes that acts of sexual intercourse remain law*ful during foreseen infertile periods "since they always remain ordained towards expressing and consolidating their union" (No. 11). The rather clear implication is that there is no ordination towards procreation, no procreative sense. A procreative sense in every act would be under*standable if one accepted Aristotle’s biology. In this light phrases such as "an act per se apt for procreation" and "open to procreation" are linear descendants and contem*porary remnants of Aristotle’s view. Lonergan would argue, however, if the relation of intercourse to procre*ation is only statistical, then one must ask if this statistical relationship is inviolable. If it is, then even natural family planning is excluded. If it is not, then artificial contracep*tion can be permissible under certain conditions. [Non sequitur…]
Also, Rahner is a heretic, too:
Quote:
Undoubtedly, there are those who would say that there would be no impasse and all would be well if theologians would fall in line and support the teaching of Humanae Vitae, or at least remain silent. Yet many would--and correctly, I believe--regard this as an abrogation of theo*logical responsibility and an act of disloyalty to the church and the Holy Father. As the late and eminent Karl Rahner put it: "What are contemporary moral theologians to make of Roman declarations on sexual morality that they regard as too unnuanced? Are they to remain silent, or is it their task to dissent, to give a more nuanced inter*pretation?" Rahner’s response is unhesitating: "I believe that the theologian, after mature reflection, has the right, and many times the duty, to speak out against (widersprechen) a teaching of the magisterium and to support his dissent" (Stimmen der Zeit, Vol. 198, 1980).
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  #2  
Old May 1, '12, 12:18 pm
searching04 searching04 is offline
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Default Re: Humanæ Vitæ Dissenters: Lonergan, Maritain, & Rahner

Sorry, but if this is where the church has to go - even in HV, boiling it down to the science of sex and pregnancy - to tie it somehow to what God wants because He designed it, it is why the whole thing is problematic. Why so many people are confused, not sold on it, question it, don't follow it, etc, etc.

If the idea of NFP and not using some sort of contraception is that difficult to explain and is wrapped up in all the long - very long - flowing words of HV and CCC, "spiritual" or not, and is still not grasped and understood and accepted, it is easy to see why people don't follow it. Or at least question. And why it causes so much heartache.

I read these and my head spins. I read these and there were obviously dissenters, but nope, they are not just dissenters; they are heretics. And the forcefulness that is used in so many threads to beat people over the head with quote after quote, it is amazing.

Just seems / appears to me that no matter which side you're on, agree or disagree, there is almost an anger (and believe me, I feel it from my side as I struggle and disagree even while following it all) in so many threads that the "other side just doesn't get it". Frustrating.

Yep, God designed the body and how we use it to get pregnant. Yep. God wants married couples to make babies. None of anything I've ever seen or read tells me, other than it is declared as such, that sex has to always, always be both procreative and unitive. Is it the ideal? The ultimate goal, as agape love is the ultimate goal? Yes. Are we to abuse sex or each other? Nope. Should couples prayerfully decide this? Oh, yes. Is it allowed? No way.

Obviously there are dissenters - oops, heretics - within the church. Onward through the fog.
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  #3  
Old May 1, '12, 12:39 pm
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Theophorus Theophorus is offline
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Default Re: Humanæ Vitæ Dissenters: Lonergan, Maritain, & Rahner

Maritain never commented on Humanae Vitae but Ralph McInerny the Famous Thomist suggests, that Maritain was fervently loyal to the church and that his response to:
Quote:
Originally Posted by McInerny, Ralph M., The Very Rich Hours of Jacques Maritain, University of Notre Dame
Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae would have been one of “total acceptance” (p. 183).
I can't speak for Rahner or Lonergan
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Old May 1, '12, 12:53 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: Humanæ Vitæ Dissenters: Lonergan, Maritain, & Rahner

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Originally Posted by Theophorus View Post
Maritain never commented on Humanae Vitae but Ralph McInerny the Famous Thomist suggests, that Maritain was fervently loyal to the church and that his response to:

Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae would have been one of “total acceptance” (p. 183).


He was certainly a man Faithful to the Teachings of the Church!

A question at hand prior to Humanae Vitae and one that was decided by in that document by Pope Paul VI was "is the pill (or prior to the "pill's" existence -the theoretical pill) contraceptive? and thus contrary to the Faith and the nature of the Marital act?" It was discussed by orthodox writers and thinkers --such was a question in relation to theoretical new inventions and then when it was invented --the actual pill. To something new. Such is not dissent such was discussion. "Would such and such be contraception?". Discussion that Pope Paul VI later concluded with publication of HV.

Maritain was very faithful to the Church.
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  #5  
Old May 1, '12, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: Humanæ Vitæ Dissenters: Lonergan, Maritain, & Rahner

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We now know, of course, that Aristotle was wrong. [His theory is incomplete, not wrong. Semen (specifically, a sperm cell in it) is still the efficient cause of fertilization.] It must be recalled here that it was only in 1827 that Karl Ernst von Baer published his discovery of the ovum. The relation of insemination [The author seems to be confusing insemination with fertilization/conception.] to procreation, we now know, is not that of a per se cause to a per se effect. The relation of intercourse to procreation is statistical, the vast majority of acts not leading to conception. [I'm sure Aristotle et al. knew that not every act of coitus results in a pregnancy.] Paul VI stated that "the conjugal act ... capacitates them for the generation of new lives." That is true of only very few conjugal acts.
Yeah, that is a pretty typically nominalist misrepresentation of reality. To say that something is the efficient cause of another thing does not mean that X always and everywhere results in Y, only that where Y exists, it was always and everywhere caused by X.

Amazingly stupid stuff when you really think about it.
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  #6  
Old May 1, '12, 1:00 pm
Kasama Kasama is offline
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Default Re: Humanæ Vitæ Dissenters: Lonergan, Maritain, & Rahner

This is a wonderful audio on Humanae Vitae by Dr. Janet Smith:

http://www.catholic-voter.com/Mp3/Ja...on-Why-Not.mp3

I haven't heard anything better or more to the point.
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Old May 1, '12, 3:16 pm
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Theophorus Theophorus is offline
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Default Re: Humanæ Vitæ Dissenters: Lonergan, Maritain, & Rahner

This guy[the jesuit interpreting Lonergan] gives a very interesting and to my mind very confused interpretation of Aristotelian teleology, causation, and determinism. I can't really follow it or grasp his logic
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  #8  
Old May 5, '12, 3:29 pm
Geremia Geremia is offline
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Default Re: Humanæ Vitæ Dissenters: Lonergan, Maritain, & Rahner

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Originally Posted by Theophorus View Post
Maritain never commented on Humanae Vitae but Ralph McInerny the Famous Thomist suggests, that Maritain was fervently loyal to the church
Thanks for the clarification.

Basically, what Humanæ Vitæ clarified that Castii Connubii and other prior magisterial documents didn't is whether artificially altering the times of one's periods of relative infertility, for purposes of avoiding conception, interferes with the marriage act. HV said yes.
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Old May 5, '12, 10:00 pm
Abu Abu is offline
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Default Re: Humanæ Vitæ Dissenters: Lonergan, Maritain, & Rahner

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searching04 #2
If the idea of NFP and not using some sort of contraception is that difficult to explain and is wrapped up in all the long - very long - flowing words of HV and CCC, "spiritual" or not, and is still not grasped and understood and accepted, it is easy to see why people don't follow it. Or at least question. And why it causes so much heartache.
Do you assent to the infallible doctrine against contraception in Casti Connubii, Pius XI, 1930, and Humanae Vitae, Paul VI 1968, and what do you question?
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Old Oct 11, '13, 2:31 am
Gregoriana Gregoriana is offline
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Default Re: Humanæ Vitæ Dissenters: Lonergan, Maritain, & Rahner

It is not quite fair to Bernard Lonergan to label him as a dissenter from Humanae Vitae. He had defended Church teaching on contraception a number of times, both explicitly (“Finality, Love, and Marriage”) and also in passing (“The Mystical Body and the Sacraments”). Further, the number of times in his writings in which he speaks about assent to the Magisterium is significant. So what happened with Humanae Vitae and Lonergan?

After Humanae Vitae, he wrote one private letter (which theologians are entitled to do according to Donum Veritatis) criticizing Humanae Vitae for its arguments, not its conclusions. His argument was that traditionally contraception was condemned because it prevented the deposit of the male’s seed from taking place. However, with the pill, the deposit does still occur but the statistical probability of pregnancy happening is altered. That makes it more like NFP (where the deposit happens and what is change is the statistical altering of the chances of pregnancy). Thus, it is wrong for other reasons. The reason involves that the pill physical changes the teleology of the woman’s body in a way that the pill does not. Hence the reference to the late discovery of the fact that women have ovum and the statement that the encyclical relied on outdated Aristotelian science. His goal was not dissent but a deepening of the arguments in favor of the Church’s teaching, which one of his followers has done, David Fleischacker, and which is available online. Lonergan’s private letter was, if I have my facts correct, only made available by people after his death, thus he could never explain or defend his actual meaning, but those familiar with Lonergan’s work know that he was not a dissenter.
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