[quote=mlchance]I don’t figure. The Church does. From *Humanae Vitae *(emphasis added):With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time (HV 10; source).
From the CCC (emphasis added):
A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons [a lower standard in moral theology that both “serious” and “grave reasons”], spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality:
When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart (CCC 2368).
The dictionary is not a compendium of Catholic teaching or Catholic terminology.
– Mark L. Chance.
This is all very well… but nowhere in any of the documents you’ve sited does it ever make a qualitative distinction between gravity, seriousness, and justice. Where are you getting this from? Let’s try not to confuse things unnecessarily, okay? Whether you disagree with the English language or not, the fact of the matter doesn’t change. The reasons must be “serious”. There’s no loop-hole, and messing with the understanding of common words doesn’t help anyone. The encyclicals (which, by the way, were written not for theologians, but for all members of the Church) do not attempt to confuse people by changing the meanings of words, so neither should we.