. So I spent all evening trying to work on my responses to my friends questions. The first thing I have realized is that I am going to answer each of their questions in a separate letter because I can’t rush my responses and want to be clear and concise. I was hoping that you all wouldn’t mind taking a look at what I have written and commenting on it, making suggestions or critiques? Chiefly I am looking to make sure I am not being heretical but also want to make sure I am being clear and concise as well as not have major grammar mistakes. I am going to apologize in advance for any major grammer mistakes and the torcher I am putting you all through lol. I am having multiple people look it over so I figured why not see if some more kind people wouldn’t mind helping me out again:D. Thanks so much! Oh and I am not even close to being done yet.
Hey ----, 07/15/13
I am writing you this letter in response to your questions about some beliefs that the Catholic Church holds on many social teachings. Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for trusting me with conveying the teachings of the church on these matters, although I may dis-agree about my own worthiness in sharing these holy truths. Irregardless, I am glad and thankful that you have allowed me to join you on this journey for truth; a search for the very purpose of humanity itself, in a way. Anyways, I would like to take this opportunity to ask for the intercession of Saints Thomas Aquinas and Ambrose (both being Patron Saints of learning and truth) that we both may be endowed with the graces of wisdom and sound judgment of mind and soul. Anyways, enough with the fancy rhetoric, you asked me some questions and I might as well get down to business!
Round 1. Why do all sexual actions have to be open/ for the creation of new life?
To start, although you may have heard this before, as Catholics we hold Scripture and Tradition (Upper Case T) as equals. Seeing that this is a friendly debate with a fellow Catholic, I am going to hold this debate keeping in mind that we share this belief. Also, before I start, I would like to mention that I will be using the Douay-Rheims edition of scripture because it is a direct translation of the Traditional Latin Vulgate, published by Saint Jerome around 400 A.D, and thus is the most reliable translation for our discussion.
Okay, your first question as stated above is asking why the Church teaches that all sexual acts must be open for the pro-creation of life. Now, as Catholics we believe that God created us with an over-arching purpose, and this purpose for Catholics is (as is stated in the Baltimore Catechism), “ God made us to show forth his goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in Heaven and to gain happiness in heaven we must know, love and serve God in this world” (Baltimore Catechism, Revised Edition: Pg.12). One of the two chief means to learn how we can show forth God’s goodness and to purely, “Know, Love and Serve Him”, is to read his Holy Scriptures. This concept of pro-creation can be found strewn throughout scripture even in the very bosom of Creation, for it states in the Book of Genesis, “And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, saying, “Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it”” (Gen,2-18). This is the very first Commandment God has given to man, “Increase and Multiply”. Would it not go against this commandment if one were to, purposefully, turn sex from a pro-creative act into a anti-creative act by means of contraceptives. The Marital Act is much more then a means by which a person can intimately give themselves over to another, so as to give each other pleasure or “happiness”.
The question however is why? Why would God’s first commandment to man be to, “Increase and Multiply” and how does it pertain to us, the individuals of the 21st century. Secondly, if I were to have increased and multiplied already by having children previously would I not have fulfilled this commandment? Firstly, let us see what the CCC has to say about this topic of pro-creation or the openness to fertility, as it calls it. “By it’s very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds it;s crowning glory; Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: “It is not good that man should be alone,” and “from the beginning [he] made them male and female”, wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and women with the words: “Be fruitful and multiply.” Hence, true married love and the whole structure of the family life which results from it, without diminishments of the other ends of marriage, are directed to dis-posing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family day to day”(CCC 1652). To state this much more simply, the Catholic Church believes that Children are the supreme gift of marriage and the married love and marriage is structured to the upbringing of Children in Christian love and charity. Yet why is this? Why is sex such a key element not only for Catholic private life but public life as well? Why must we be, “fruitful and multiply”?
**to be continued with the rest in another post**...