How Do We Dispute This

People often justify their claim against certain moral teachings of the Church by stating that what she teaches is outdated and uses modernity as a means to discredit her. For instance, one of my relatives doesn’t believe that contraception is wrong and states that the things that we now know refutes the stance of the Church. How do we answer those who makes such claims?

YEARNING4TRUTH #1
*People often justify their claim against certain moral teachings of the Church by stating that what she teaches is outdated and uses modernity as a means to discredit her. For instance, one of my relatives doesn’t believe that contraception is wrong and states that the things that we now know refutes the stance of the Church. How do we answer those who makes such claims? *

The false assumptions here are that

  1. The Church is wrong in teaching against contraception
  2. Christ is not God who, in building His Church on St Peter, emphasised that “He that hears you hears Me.”

Pope Pius XI in Casti Connubii declared definitively that the teaching against contraception was “doctrine handed down from the beginning without interruption”, and infallibly condemned contraception (#56) “as any use whatsoever 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 a grave sin.” [My emphasis].

Vatican II in Gaudium et Spes, 51, footnote 14 refers to Casti Connubii and further teaching by Pius XI and Paul VI. So the bishops of the Church in Ecumenical Council, approved by the Pope, give this teaching also.

In country after country and in every country, bishops and councils forbid ‘contraceptive portions,’ ‘herbs or other agents so you will not have children,’ ‘spilling the seed in coitus,’ ‘coitus interruptus,’ ‘poisons of sterility,’ ‘avoiding children by evil acts,’ ‘putting material things in the vagina,’ and ‘causing temporary or permanent sterility.’ These and similar statements occur in ecclesiastical documents before the end of the thirteenth century.” (The Catholic Catechism, Fr John A Hardon, S.J., Doubleday, 1975, p 370).

Answer by Fr.Stephen F. Torraco on June 19, 2006 (EWTN):
“If you want an objective reason as to why contraception is a serious evil and NFP is not only morally justifiable but also praiseworthy, that objective reason is this: with contraception, there is the deliberate rupture of the intimate link between the unitive and procreative meanings of the marital act. With NFP, there is no such rupture. Even in the case in which a couple, using NFP, resorts to the infertile period for marital relations so as to avoid pregnancy (assuming for the sake of argument, for serious reasons) there is no such objective rupture of that link precisely because there is nothing there to contracept. You need to understand that morality is not simply about results. It is also about our actions in and of themselves. The argument to which you refer (the results are the same with NFP and contraception) is purely utilitarian and does not take into consideration the entire human act. Furthermore, as I have pointed out several times, the condoning of contraception quite logically is also the condoning of genital activity with anyone or anything, as well as of in vitro fertilization and cloning. The Church’s teaching on contraception does not at all depend on faith. It is a clear and rational defense of the very essence of civilization.”

People haven’t fundamentally changed. Our basic knowledge of reproduction and how to prevent it hasn’t fundamentally changed. Our basic knowledge of (insert whatever moral issue) hasn’t changed. So, the conclusions are the same.

Contraception was not invented in the 1960’s… This attitude goes right along with the thought that ancient peoples were stupid and that’s why the major world religions are ancient. As if pyramids and aqueducts were like making sandcastles. Here’s a very base form of it: “Science now shows that people don’t come back from the dead, so there was no Resurrection.” As if people didn’t know this? If they didn’t know it, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. They did know it, and that’s why it (or any miracle) is a BIG DEAL. The moral issues back then were BIG DEALS too. There’s a reason it is called “Greek life,” if you get my drift.

Does that help?

What do we “now know” that should change anyone’s position on contraception?

I always wonder why such a person would want to identify as Catholic.

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