Friday, May 09, 2008

Contraception Is A Mortal Sin

Irreformable Church Teaching: Contraception is Intrinsically Evil
1. "The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable."{1} Moreover, "the Church, nevertheless, in urging men to the observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life."{2} Thus the Church has always taught that contraception is ALWAYS evil NO MATTER the intention, purpose, or circumstances. Therefore contraception is ALWAYS an objective MORTAL sin which is DAMNABLE, and MORESO when it is done WITHIN marriage.{3} God killed Onan, who went to Hell since he died in mortal sin, for withdrawing during sex and wasting his seed,{4} which is today called Onanism.

The Sin of Onan and Other Sexual Immorality
2. Onan spurned God's blessing to "be fruitful and multiply" [Gen 1:28] and disobeyed God's direct command to impregnate the widow of his brother. Those who deliberately physically sterilize themselves are an abomination before the Lord.{5} God wills to bless couples with many children{6} and when we waste our seed with oral sex or forms of "outercourse" instead of genital intercourse open to life{7} we do the opposite of what our Lord did because we effectively say to God, "Not Your will, but my will be done"{8} and thus defy the will of the Holy Spirit Whose temple is our body.{9} We deserve death for spitefully rejecting the fertility with which God has bestowed us.{10} We may distinguish five kinds of sex: vaginal, oral, anal, manual, and mammary. Only vaginal sex without contraception between husband and wife is permissible.

Contraception Turns Marital Love into a Lie
3. For the unitive and procreative ends of marriage are truly inseparable.{11} Marital sex involves complete self-donation to the wife and when the husband denies his wife his procreative powers then he gives only part of himself to his wife. Therefore contraception makes a lie of marital love.{12}

Contraception vs. Natural Family Planning
4. Contraception and Natural Family Planning (NFP) are different. Contraception is evil while NFP is not. But the purpose of both is to not have babies; therefore they are morally equivalent and are thus both evil! Wrong. NFP is not sinful.{13} Contraception means intentionally willing the nonexistence of this possible baby who could be conceived due to this act of sexual intercourse. It means that the couple would see a baby as an undesirable accident instead of correctly seeing him as the fruit of God's will and wise providence. However, read n14 and you will see that NFP is essentially different from contraception because NFP is the choice to not conceive a baby at a certain time for legitimate and grave reasons without the non-willing of the conception of a particular child and without making impossible the conception of a baby during a particular conjugal act because that particular conjugal act did not occur. Unlike contraception, NFP does not involve the separation of sexual pleasure from its deepest purpose. In contrast to contraception, NFP necessarily entails the acceptance of babies resulting from improper practice thereof as blessings from the Lord. NFP (abstinence during fertile periods for sufficiently grave reasons) can be anti-life but only from the mortal sin of its abusers. Contraception, however, is intrinsically anti-life. Moreover, NFP is not abortifacient,{14} unlike the forms of contraception IUD, several varieties of the Pill, and Norplant.

Notes and References
{1} Pontifical Council for the Family, Vade Mecum for Confessors concerning Some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life, n. 4.
{2} Humanae Vitae, n. 11. Wherefore St. Clement of Alexandria said in A.D. 191 [The Instructor of Children 2:10:95:3], "To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature." And in A.D. 307 St. Lactantius said [Divine Institutes 6:23:18], "God gave us eyes not to see and desire pleasure, but to see acts to be performed for the needs of life; so too, the genital ['generating'] part of the body, as the name itself teaches, has been received by us for no other purpose than the generation of offspring."
{3} Bishop of Hippo and Doctor of the Church St. Augustine the Great says [On the Good of Marriage 11], "[T]he Apostle [Paul] could not be silent, when speaking of the excessive corruptions of unclean and impious men … by changing the natural use into that which is against nature, which is more damnable when it is done in the case of husband or wife." This harmonizes with our Lord's teaching in Lk 12:48: "So then, of all to whom much has been given, much will be required. And to those of whom much has been entrusted, even more will be asked."
{4} St. Moses says [Gen 38:7-10],
But Er, Judah's first-born, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. Then Judah said to Onan, 'Go into your brother's wife, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.' But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, so when he went into his brother's wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and He slew him also.
Wherefore St. Clement of Alexandria said in A.D. 191 [The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2], "Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted."
{5} St. Moses says [Lev 21:16-20],
"And the LORD said to Moses, 'Say to Aaron, None of your descendants throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback, or a dwarf, or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles…" He adds [Dt 23:1], "He whose testicles are crushed or whose male member is cut off shall not enter the assembly of the LORD."
St. Paul says [Eph 5:29-31],
For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes it and cherishes it, even as Christ does the Church, because we are members of his body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
{6} St. Ezra says [1 Chr 25:5], "All these were the sons of Haman the king's seer, according to the promise of God to exalt him; for God had given Haman fourteen sons and three daughters."King St. Solomon says [Ps 127:3-5], "Lo, sons are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies at the gate."St. Malachi says [Mal 2:15], "Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does He desire? So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth."{7} St. Moses says, quoting YHWH Himself [Lev 18:22-23; 20:13],
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. And you shall not lie with any beast and defile yourself with it, neither shall any woman give herself to a beast to lie with it: it is perversion. … If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.
Writing in A.D. 375, Bishop St. Epiphanius of Salamis said [Medicine Chest Against Heresies 26:5:2], "[certain Egyptian heretics] exercise genital acts, yet prevent the conceiving of children. Not in order to produce offspring, but to satisfy lust, are they eager for corruption."
{8} Cf. Lk 22:41-42, "After withdrawing about a stone's throw from them and kneeling, He prayed, saying, 'Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me; yet, not My will but Yours be done.'"
{9} St. Paul says [1 Cor 6:19-20], "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, Whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body."
{10} St. Luke says [Acts 5:1-11],
A man named Ananias, however, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. He retained for himself, with his wife's knowledge, some of the purchase price, took of the remainder, and put it at the feet of the Apostles. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart so that you lied to the Holy Spirit and retained part of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain yours? And when it was sold, was it not still under your control? Why did you contrive this deed? You have lied not to human beings, but to God." When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last, and great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men came and wrapped him up, then carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, unaware of what had happened. Peter said to her, "Tell me, did you sell the land for this amount?" She answered, "Yes, for that amount." Then Peter said to her, "Why did you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen, the footsteps of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." At once, she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men entered they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole Church and upon all who heard of these things.
{11} Humanae Vitae, n. 12: "That teaching, often set forth by the Magisterium, is founded upon the inseparable connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and procreative meaning."
{12} St. Paul says [Rom 1:26-27], "Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity."
{13} St. Paul says [1 Cor 7:5], "Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control." Wherefore Pope Paul VI says [Humanae Vitae 10]:
"In relation to the tendencies of instinct or passion, responsible parenthood means that necessary dominion which reason and will must exercise over them. In relation to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised, either by the deliberate and generous decision to raise a numerous family, or by the decision, made for grave motives and with due respect for the moral law, to avoid for the time being, or even for an indeterminate period, a new birth."
{14} Abortifacient means causing a spontaneous abortion, i.e., a miscarriage.


IrishEddieOHara said...

Okay. So let me get this straight then. According to the fathers, any sex outside of the desire to have children is sinful? So the sexual act as an expression of love and union between two people who are sterile by nature is an abomination to the Lord? The sexual act, open to life (without contraception), but done using NFP, without the direct intent of conception, but to enjoy the pleasure of sexual expression of love for one another, is an abomination before God?

In other words, the sexual act between a husband and wife, open to life, but done to enjoy the union of their love, is sin??????

What am I missing here?

Mary C. said...

The moral distinction between NFP and contraception is a false one. Non-willing a particular child; viewing it as an accident? These are all straw.

If the fundamental evil of contraception in ALL circumstances is that it deliberately removes the procreative capacity of sex, then it has no difference with NFP.

NFP having sex only when you are infertile. That is to say, you can not actually have a baby. And if you are only having sex during these times, you are not willing a child. Should your NFP not work, your child would be a mistake since you went into the sexual act specifically when you hoped not to conceive.

The Church and the Church's marriage counselors also couch the terms of NFP in the same language of condom or birth control producers. "99% effective when practiced properly." The goal of NFP is to prevent pregnancy.

The need for meaningful ways to prevent pregnancy within marriage has always been a practical concern. Women simply cannot be expected to have endless pregnancy. Few people can afford that and it is physically taxing and dangerous to the mother.

The Church created NFP after it rejected the council of lay and clerical experts at Vatican II who condoned the use of contraception in marriage, unilaterally overriding its findings in "Humanae Vitae." It does not respect the dignity of the family or of women to expect them not to have meaningful choices in how to raise a family.

NFP was the Church's way of saying, "contraception is a practical necessity, but we will couch this illogical language to make it seem like it's somehow ontologically different than condom use" - which it isn't. The only difference is that ultra-orthodox catholics have been convinced that there is a difference.

A condom is not in and of itself intrinsically evil. There are certain biological conditions in which women are prone during pregnancy to certain bacterial infections which can induce severely premature labor. As a result, women are encouraged to use condoms to cut down on the amount of bacteria that enters the cervix and reduce the chances of premature pregnancy. In this case, a condom's purpose is not at ALL to prevent procreation. Fertilization of another egg would be entirely impossible at that moment.

When my older sister wanted to get pregnant, she was first put on birth control to regulate her courses - the exact opposite of contraception. It was used for the sake of preparing her body for conception.

I firmly believe that the Church comes down so hard on contraception because it lives in the constant fear that there is something so special and uniquely personal about the marriage bond between a man and a woman that the magisterium can never understand it nor insert itself into it in any real way. The unmarried men who legislate how men and women are to behave in their marriage bed are fundamentally unaware of what a true marriage bed really is. It is fear of a loss of power - or perhaps of the empowerment of women - that motivates the teaching on contraception, not its intrinsically evil nature. If contraception is a Mortal Sin, then the avenues of hell are lined with devout Catholics who lived holy, married lives and raised Catholic children but who also used contraception.

Seems to contradict the concept of the ineffable mercy of God.