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Short Reads > Pope Paul VI, Encyclical Letter, Humanae Vitae: Of Human Life

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message 1: by Kerstin (last edited Apr 30, 2018 08:31PM) (new)

Kerstin | 1554 comments Mod
For our interim short read Manny and I have chosen Pope Paul VI's prophetic Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae: Of Human Life. This year marks the 50th anniversary of its publication.

It is a fairly short document, and can either be read online or downloaded as a PDF.
http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/...

The discussion will start May 7th.


message 2: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Fantastic. So this is the last week of the Chesterton's Everlasting Man read?

So we can start reading and discussing Humanae Vitae next week.

So here's the upcoming schedule:
6 thru 12 May - Poll on the next read.
13 - 19 May - Time to acquire the new read.
20 - 26 May - Read the first section of the new book.
27 - 2 June - First discussion week of the new book.

So we can be reading and discussing Humanae Vitae right through May.


message 3: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1554 comments Mod
Looks good!


message 4: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1554 comments Mod
I just discovered, the Encyclical is newly added to Formed (for those who have access), and can be downloaded in EPub and Kindle format


message 5: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
The internet has it on PDF. It's only 16 pages long. I just printed it. Printing on both sides only took up 8 sheets of paper. I didn't even need to kill a tree for it. ;)


message 6: by Joseph (new)

Joseph (jsaltal) | 1 comments I was already was going to try reading it!


message 7: by John (new)

John Seymour | 167 comments I have downloaded to my iPad. We are about to leave for our next segment of the Camino, so I will bring it and read it then.


message 8: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
John wrote: "I have downloaded to my iPad. We are about to leave for our next segment of the Camino, so I will bring it and read it then."

You're on the Camino in Spain, John?


message 9: by Kerstin (last edited May 08, 2018 06:49AM) (new)

Kerstin | 1554 comments Mod
John wrote: "I have downloaded to my iPad. We are about to leave for our next segment of the Camino, so I will bring it and read it then."

This is awsome!

The Camino has a huge network of trails all through Europe, all funneling toward what is called "Camino" when getting into Spain. There are two spurs just outside of Augsburg, Germany, where much of my family lives. My sister and I once walked a segment from the convent of Oberschönenfeld (still a convent today) to Maria Vesperbild (the second largest shrine in Bavaria after Altötting). Walking through little villages, over pastures and trails through the forests. All along the way were beautiful churches and little shrines. The distance of the segment was about 25 km, though we walked much more as we had to catch a bus to get us back to our car. My sister and I were in such high spirits we would have gladly walked the rest of the 2,000 km to Santiago de Compostella. It is one of my fondest memories.


message 10: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Theere is a pilgramage walk here in the US that is starting to get attention. It involves the only approved Mary apparition in the United States. The walk is called the Walk to Mary. They just had it over this weekend. It's in Wisconsin and the long leg of the walk is 21 miles. I'm seriously thinking of doing it next year.

You can read about it here:
https://www.walktomary.com/


message 11: by John (new)

John Seymour | 167 comments @Manny, not yet. I can’t get a long enough vacation to walk the classic route from St. Jean Pieds de Port to Santiago, so my wife and I decided to walk the route from Le Puy in France, about 1,600 km. We walked our first segment in 2015, and planned to return the next year, but our oldest son got married, then my parents invited the whole family to go on a cruise to celebrate their anniversary. Life happens.

So this year we are picking up where we left off in Figéac and hope to make it to Manciet. The we are taking a day in Lourdes before returning home. We will also have some time in Toulouse, which is where I understand St. Thomas Aquinas is buried.


message 12: by John (new)

John Seymour | 167 comments My wife and I talked about doing the Walk to Mary this year, but I’ve had a lot of business travel the last few weeks and this was the last weekend we had for final preparations for our trip.

I would love to see true pilgrimage routes established in the U.S., or really in the Americas. In Europe they arose around burial sites for Apostles and Jerusalem, but in the Americas I think you could put together a good string of pilgrimages to and from various Marian sites.


message 13: by John (new)

John Seymour | 167 comments @Kerstin, I would love to do a Camino from Krakow, but will probably do the England to Rome pilgrimage instead. I doubt I have enough miles left in me to do both.


message 14: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Let me start the discussion on Humanae Vitae, in pointing out the context of the encyclical and the central question to be discussed. These turn out to be paragraphs two and three.

The Holy Father points out three contemporary issues that has caused the need for this Papal Encyclical, which is subtitled, “on the Regulation of Birth.” Let’s recall that the encyclical is dated 25 July 1968, and this is in the upheaval of many post World War II revolutions. There is the huge population spurt across the world, the social revolution of women entering the work force, and sexual revolution mostly caused by the easy access and mostly reliable devices for contraception.

I found the Holy Father’s phrasing of women’s new choices in society to be very compassionate: “a new understanding of the dignity of woman and her place in society.” That’s actually quite sensitive and respectful to a woman having choices when such choices were socially denied.

However, in paragraph two, Pope Paul VI lays out some social forces that are at countervailing odds. On the one hand, there is the escalating population, the economic pressures that come, the freedom that women to shape their lives against a new mentality that in control of one’s life controls the very nature of God’s will. That third subparagraph of paragraph two is well worth quoting:

But the most remarkable development of all is to be seen in man’s stupendous progress in the domination and rational organization of the forces of nature to the point that he is endeavoring to extend this control over every aspect of his own life—over his body, over his mind and emotions, over his social life, and even over the laws that regulate the transmission of life.


What Pope Paul VI finds most disturbing is the control of life over the transmission of life.

The third paragraph I think crystalizes the central thesis. The first subparagraph justifies a review of the moral norms of married life, and we will see that in the next series of paragraphs. But the second subparagraph is where the central thesis resides, and I think worth quoting in entirety:

Moreover, if one were to apply here the so called principle of totality, could it not be accepted that the intention to have a less prolific but more rationally planned family might transform an action which renders natural processes infertile into a licit and provident control of birth? Could it not be admitted, in other words, that procreative finality applies to the totality of married life rather than to each single act? A further question is whether, because people are more conscious today of their responsibilities, the time has not come when the transmission of life should be regulated by their intelligence and will rather than through the specific rhythms of their own bodies.


First, I’ve never heard of the “principle of totality.” So I looked it up. It ultimately comes from Thomas Aquinas and natural law, but brought to contemporary society by Pope Pius XII in a 1952 address: http://catholicism.org/the-principle-...

On September 14, 1952, Pope Pius XII gave an address to the First International Congress on the Histopathology of the Nervous System. On that occasion, the Holy Father discussed the Principle of Totality at length and in the contrasting terms spelled out in this question. The principle itself is the general notion that, since parts are ordered for the good of the whole, they may be disposed of, if necessary, for the good of the whole. The application to a human person is that “parts” (i.e., organs, digits, etc.) may be mutilated, severed, removed, or otherwise debilitated if, by so doing, one benefits the person.


But more specific to the issue at hand can be summarized by this definition from ethics: http://work.chron.com/ethical-princip...

The principle of totality states that all decisions in medical ethics must prioritize the good of the entire person, including physical, psychological and spiritual factors. This principle derives from the works of the medieval philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, who synthesized the philosophy of Aristotle with the theology of the Catholic Church. The principle of totality is used as an ethical guideline by Catholic healthcare institutions.


So what Pope Paul VI is asking in paragraph 3.2 is whether this control of life, while it may address the issues of the need for control, may in the end be more harmful to the totality of the individual and married couple. In looking at the totality of the human experience, is that control more harmful than good?


message 15: by Irene (new)

Irene | 909 comments It would seem to me that most Catholic couples have decided that controlling the number of pregnancies does more good for their experience and for the health of the mother, than harm. I am not married, so I am not speaking from experience. And I am not trying to argue for or against papal teaching. I am only trying to answer Manny's question. From listening to people and watching contemporary family life in the developed world, it seems that the principle of totality would have most couples saying that the benefit to the whole is greater when pregnancies can be planned. Women in abusive relationships have more freedom to find safety for themselves and any children they already have if they are not pregnant or fearing pregnancy. Couples can better provide financially and emotionally for children if they do not have more than they can care for. Many women have died in child birth leaving older children motherless because they could not prevent medically inadvisable pregnancies. Although abstanence could limit pregnancies, we know that the sexual act bonds two people. To prevent couples from a mutually affectionate sex life can weaken the emotional bond of the marriage. For all of these reasons and more, even though the average Catholic has never heard of this principle, many have made the decision that the greater good for the whole is the use of birth control.


message 16: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Not my question, Irene. Pope Paul VI's question. And what I think his argument will be (I have not read it all yet) is that when one considers the totality of the individual and marriage, it will not be beneficial. Do the near term positives, as you outline, outweigh the long term harm he sees as a result of the control? That is a true test. Well we know his answer. I'm anxious to read what he sees as the long term harm. I haven't gotten there yet.

Yes, the majority of Catholics apparently have determined that birth control (and to my shock abortion) is the greater good. But that doesn't mean it's correct. After all Christ Himself says that divorce is unacceptable. And yet I think most Catholics have determined that's not part of the greater good either. Just because the majority of Catholics make the decision they do doesn't mean it's not as a result of a fallen world, and therefore a sin. And doesn't the Church determine it's a mortal sin to use birth control?


message 17: by Irene (new)

Irene | 909 comments Yes, the Church does prohibit the use of artificial birth control. that is why I prefaced my answer with the disclaimer that I was not arguing against Church teaching. I was only trying to answer thee question from an experiential stand point. The Church will bring into their perspective some things that are less easily perceived by the average person. So, as I tried to post, this is how the average lay couple would see the benefits or harm to the total organism, the woman or the couple or the family playing out.Not married, I have no skin in this game. And, I certainly would not advocate for disobeying Church teaching. I realize that my little perspective is too limited to think I know better than the Church. But, if asked my personal opinion, I am not sure we won't see this reversed at some point.


message 18: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Yes, I agree, that is the calculation the average lay couple makes, but that's contingent on whether they are conscious of Church teaching. I went most of my life not knowing about the restriction to contraception. I had no idea until I became devout and started learning as much as I could.


message 19: by Irene (new)

Irene | 909 comments That is interesting. I thought the Catholic prohibition on artificial birth control was well known. I must be old enough that this was still being talked about widely when I was coming of age.


message 20: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Yeah, I didn't go to Catholic school and I have never heard a homily on it. I still haven't. If I didn't frequent Catholic news sources these days, I would never have known.


message 21: by Irene (new)

Irene | 909 comments I did not go to Catholic school either and I don't recall a homily on it, although I am sure it happened when this was first promulgated. I just recall people in so many circles buzzing about how backward the Church was in prohibiting birth control. I still come across it here and there, although not as frequently. It is in the texts we use with the religious ed kids.


message 22: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Irene wrote: "I did not go to Catholic school either and I don't recall a homily on it, although I am sure it happened when this was first promulgated. I just recall people in so many circles buzzing about how b..."

You must be a little older than me. I would imagine in 1968 how this made for lots of discussion. I was seven years old in 1968.

Personally I used to argue that a non-abortifacient birth control method (some birth control pills actually allow for conception and then prevent the zygote from attaching to the placenta, which is technically an abortion) should be allowed. But over the years I've come to realize that the social acceptability of de-coupling sex and procreation has created a society that treats sex as entertainment rather than a responsibility. And that has contributed to broken marriages, widespread abortion, fatherless children, and probably other social dysfunctions. So I now see the wisdom of not allowing contraception. Society itself has changed because of it, and not for the good. I'm curious if that's Pope Paul's argument.


message 23: by Irene (new)

Irene | 909 comments Well, we are close in age. I was 5 in 1968 and people were still buzzing when I was in high school and college.


message 24: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1554 comments Mod
Manny wrote: " But over the years I've come to realize that the social acceptability of de-coupling sex and procreation has created a society that treats sex as entertainment rather than a responsibility. And that has contributed to broken marriages, widespread abortion, fatherless children, and probably other social dysfunctions. So I now see the wisdom of not allowing contraception. Society itself has changed because of it, and not for the good."

This is the big issue, the de-coupling of sex from procreation and the horrendous fallout of this we are facing and paying for in our society today. In hindsight the traditional wisdom of self-control has far more benefits than meets the eye.


message 25: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Irene wrote: "Well, we are close in age. I was 5 in 1968 and people were still buzzing when I was in high school and college."

Oh you’re younger. You could be my kid sister. ;)


message 26: by Susan (last edited May 16, 2018 06:06AM) (new)

Susan | 218 comments Irene wrote: "I have no skin in this game" - I would beg to counter that you do still have skin in the game. We see the results in our civil society of the effect of this. First contraception, -> divorce, abortion, broken families, increased Medicaid etc., increased psychological meds ( I work with 18 - 22 yrs old and about half I would say (probably more) are on one or more psych meds), homosexual marriage, #MeToo phenomenon, now the transgender situation that is involving even kids in kindergarten, and increasingly complete loss of objectivity of truth....This affects all of us in one way or another. Pope Paul prophesied all of this. It is not a mere private decision between two people.
Addendum: sorry! I answered before I scrolled down further and saw you guys said essentially the same thing.
Also, yes, it is the decoupling as you mentioned, that now it is merely recreational without responsibility....but it is also making Man into a god it seems. I think this has helped more than anything push God out of the way...He is not needed and He is not wanted....sort of like Lucifer not wanting to bow down and serve God, and Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, them wanting to be like God and decide for themselves what is good and evil...same problem up-dated..it is all about autonomy and control ultimately...



message 27: by Irene (new)

Irene | 909 comments I am not sure I would attribute artificial birth control as the cause for increased divorce rates, same sex marriage, the growing acceptance of LGTB rights, and the declining awareness of or fidelity to God in society. I think there are many factors. We harnessed the power of the atom to wipe out entire populations, developed the technology to understand and manipulate genes to cure serious birth defects, empowered women in professional and economic realms, sent probes to the edge of our solar system and seen the pictures of distant planets. Although the availability of artificial birth control certainly offered married women greater freedom to pursue lives outside the home and allowed people to engage in sec without the fear of pregnancy, I do not think it alone brought about all the changes we currently observe.


message 28: by Susan (new)

Susan | 218 comments Irene wrote: "...artificial birth control certainly offered married women greater freedom to pursue lives outside the home and allowed people to engage in sec without the fear of pregnancy...". This is true, but at what cost?
Pre-marital sexual activity was much less likely as pregnancy was a real possibility, encouraging marriage. There was much less risk of adultery, as again, pregnancy was a real risk. Responsibility/fidelity etc. is far more analogous with the dignity that women (and children) deserve. The use of contraception certainly does allow men (and women) to be far more active with less consequences; people can much easier be used and tossed aside when they move on to the next person....Alongside this, children are just viewed as a 'thing', that one can choose to have, choose not to have, when to have, what to have (boy/girl)...children lose their dignity and position as a gift from God, inspiring gratitude and awe. This mentality is the direct precursor to abortion, which gets rid of the child that I did not want and was trying to avoid with the contraception. Once I push God away, that 'I' am now able to define for myself when and how to have children (contraception, in vitro etc, cloning etc.), one can almost forget that God is involved in the creation process at all...if there is no longer any procreative reason for marriage, i.e.. I can continue to contracept and choose not to have children...why would same sex marriage not be the next step? We have made barren marriage a 'thing'...it is all about 'love', I guess....and if we continue to push God out of the way with that, who is to say what is male and female? I think we are up to 40 pronouns now........and gender can be decided by the person by the day, on how they feel, because there is no objective truth any more...it is actually more related that you may think it seems.



message 29: by Manny (last edited May 16, 2018 09:14AM) (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Irene, granted we're dealing with a complexity of phenomena, so there's no one thing that's a causal link, but the notion of recreational sex which resulted from contraception certainly can be linked to higher divorce rates. The whole sense that sex is a means to personal satisfaction and not procreation alters the outlook. If a spouse no longer provides that satisfaction - either they are no longer desirable or has become routine - then the rationale for someone else becomes justified. There has been many a "mid-life" crises that has resulted in divorce.

As to homosexual issues, that understanding too was altered as a result of the sexual revolution which stemmed from contraception. If sex is no longer primarily for procreation but now for personal satisfaction, then the notion of homosexuality is no longer that of a perversity - which is how it was characterized when I was young - but just a variation on how one achieves that satisfaction. It wasn't contraception per se that altered our understanding, but because of contraception we looked at sex differently. There was a middle step in the causal chain.


message 30: by Irene (new)

Irene | 909 comments Certainly, artificial birth control contributed to some of the issues you name, but I wonder if they would not have come about with or without it. Of course, that is impossible to know. I think Freud got us thinking very differently about sex. Kinsie (spelling) and others who began to research and openly speak about sex also changed attitudes. People realized that there was a difference between what was publically espoused and what people did and believed in secret. As for the dignity of children, I think the argument could go either way. Prior to the modern era, child abuse was not viewed as criminal, people often had children as insurance and as labor in an aggrerian world. Children were left to fend for themselves, often poorly cared for in impoverished homes and raised by servants in wealthy homes, child marriage, child labor, infanticide are all horrors more present in communities prior to the advent of birth control or in contemporary countries with little access to birth control than they are in those areas where it is widely used. We would like to think that our ancestors valued each child as a precious gift from God, but the historical record shows that children have far more rights and protections in modern societies that practice birth control than their forerunners had. Could the ability to limit family size enable parents to see their children as valued gift rather then one more mouth to feed or one more set of hands to labor? Again, we can't run the scenarios to see the outcome like some computer algorithm. So my speculations could be totally off. We also live in a time that promotes acceptance as a social value. How much is this a result of shame for slavery, racial violence, the Holocaust, etc, and how much is due to other forces I don't know. But, stigmatizing an unwed mother rather than embracing her with compassion, violence or social isolation of homosexuals rather than recognizing them as "Always Our Sons and Daughters", a general "do not judge" attitude is the norm. I think greater compassion is in comformity with the Gospel example of Jesus who embraced the sinful woman instead of pinning her with a Scarlet Letter. But, once those social penalties were lessened, so were the disincentives against engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage. Certainly birth control made it easier, but the removal of the social stigma, the punishment may have done just as much.


message 31: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Yes, Freud got us thinking differently - idioticaly in my opinion - but the ability to prevent conception enabled the sexual revolution. People have always wanted to have as much sex as possible. That's a human drive. That's not limited to the 20th century. That's in all time in all places. It didn't take Freud's idiotic speculations to know that. Contraceptive methods of the 20th century created the ability to use sex for recreation. That's what changed things, and that's what Pope Paul VI warned against.


message 32: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1554 comments Mod
Today we stigmatize in another way. But stigmatized you will get. It is not having a child out of wedlock, but defending traditional morals and ethics. If you're Catholic Senator Feinstein knows how to put you in your place, "the dogma lives strongly within you." The only good Catholic in our hedonistic culture is a fallen one.

Our faith has the answer to this endless circle of stigmatizing of one group over another, all we have to do is implement it! Stigmatizing or any form of degrading another person is ultimately rooted in the incomplete understanding of, or a deliberate failure to acknowledge who the human person is. He is made in the image of God, therefore he has innate dignity as a person. This is what Catholic Social teaching is all about. We don't have to reinvent the wheel. It is all there! Heresies such as chauvinism, feminism, modernism, etc, etc., would vanish into thin air if we only stopped degrading each other in one form or another, of making up lies out of thin air of the other only because we "don't like him" or "she is in the "wrong party,"" etc.
Each person is made in the image of God. It is this simple. ...but hard to follow through on consistently. For we love incompletely. Our egos get in the way and we don't love the other as other as agape demands.


message 33: by Irene (new)

Irene | 909 comments Yes, but was it directly responsible for so many other social ills including the decline in religiosity?


message 34: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1554 comments Mod
Good question! I have to think about how this ties into it.


message 35: by Susan (new)

Susan | 218 comments Irene wrote: "Yes, but was it directly responsible for so many other social ills including the decline in religiosity?"

Yes, I think it was directly involved, but not solely involved; as already stated, there are always other contributing factors...


message 36: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
I think we're getting off of Humanae Vitae, but I might as well throw in my two cents.

I'm not going to claim to be an expert here, but I would venture to say stigmatizing follows social convention and mores. When the social convention was chastity, those outside of it were stigmatized; now that the social convention is sexual experience, we get films and comedies that make fun of virgins, such as the movie, "The Forty Year Old Virgin." I don't think stigma mostly drives societal mores; I think they are a product of societal mores.

If you want to read why the loss of religiosity, read Mary Eberstat's How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization, It really is an excellent read and she shows statistically how at the root of the loss of faith is the breakdown of the family. And what has done the most harm to the breakdown of the family? Contraception.


message 37: by Susan (new)

Susan | 218 comments Manny wrote: "I think we're getting off of Humanae Vitae, but I might as well throw in my two cents.

I wouldn't say we are getting off Humanae Vitae because that is what it is all about. 'Why' does the Catholic Church say what it says? She is a sole voice, so it seems significant. At this 50 year mark, there is a rather strong effort (as there was 50 yrs ago), to change the teaching. 'Why' is that? Does it matter? I think all that we have been discussing is exactly the point. I am more confused about the stigmatization issue. That to me seems to be getting off the point. Everyone wants to not only not be stigmatized but actually feel comfortable and legitimized in any behavior they choose. The Deposit of Faith is what it is. Truth is what it is. As the Church goes, so goes the world....I think that is how the saying goes...



message 38: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Manny wrote: "I think we're getting off of Humanae Vitae, but I might as well throw in my two cents.

I wouldn't say we are getting off Humanae Vitae because that is what it is all about. ''Why' does the Catholic Church say what it says?."


OK but no one has actually quoted from the encyclical but me. ;) But this has been a good discussion.

Susan, why are all your comments in italic? Are you writing inside the quote block?


message 39: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1554 comments Mod
Pope Paul VI touches upon a common argument of the time:

2...In the first place, there is rapid population growth, which causes many to fear that world population is increasing more rapidly than available resources, with the consequence of growing distress for so many families and developing countries.

We don't hear too much about rapid population growth as much anymore as we used to - at least this is my impression. And of course contraception takes a center stage in preventing over-population, or so the argument goes. This argument makes only sense from an atheist perspective. From a Christian point of view this doesn't make any sense at all. If God is the Creator of the Universe, the size of the Earth and its resources, plus human fertility rates, then shouldn't we trust him he knew what he was doing?


message 40: by Susan (new)

Susan | 218 comments Manny wrote: "Susan, why are all your comments in italic?"
Hahahahaha. I have no idea! Remember I can barely turn this machine on. I know nothing about computers!



message 41: by Manny (last edited May 17, 2018 04:15AM) (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Manny wrote: "Susan, why are all your comments in italic?"
Hahahahaha. I have no idea! Remember I can barely turn this machine on. I know nothing about computers!"


If you hit reply and you type inside the quote block which ends with "< /i>" then your comment will be the same italic as the quote. Is that what's happening. If you type outside the "< /i>" then is should be regular type.


message 42: by Susan (new)

Susan | 218 comments Kerstin wrote: "Pope Paul VI touches upon a common argument of the time:

2...In the first place, there is rapid population growth, which causes many to fear that world population is increasing more rapidly than..."


Shouldn't He know what He was doing? Absolutely...it really boils down to two completely different worldviews....one involving God and one Man(god). One doesn't hear about the population stuff quite as much as a lot of what they say will happen, hasn't....same with all the climate stuff...but it depends what circles one is exposed to, who one reads etc. whether one stills hears all this stuff....it is still out there. Out there, including even the Vatican;....alongside all the climate stuff they have pushed, including Pope Francis saying in his speech that it is man made..........., the Vatican in 2017 or sometime recently I think, actually invited Paul Ehrlich to speak (author of The Population Bomb).....so, there is that.....


message 43: by Susan (last edited May 17, 2018 04:23AM) (new)

Susan | 218 comments Manny wrote:

If you hit reply ..."


Oh! I didn't notice I was doing that, but I do see the symbol above....It might get messed up when I copy and paste the portion I am trying to respond to as I am probably doing copy and paste wrong too, haha. But I will be more aware of it. Thanks for the info!


message 44: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Manny wrote:

If you hit reply ..."

Oh! I didn't notice I was doing that, but I do see the symbol above....It might get messed up when I copy and paste the portion I am trying to respond to as I ..."


I'm beginning to feel like I know what I'm doing when it comes to computers...lol..but I realize it's only a delusion. ;)


message 45: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Let me continue. Through paragraphs ten Paul VI outlines the doctrinal principles from which should guide Christian doctrine. As I read it, I identify five subparagraphs that show the flow of his logic. Let me quote all five.

1. (P8.1) Married love particularly reveals its true nature and nobility when we realize that it takes its origin from God, who “is love,” 6 the Father “from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.”

2. (P9.2) This love is above all fully human, a compound of sense and spirit. It is not, then, merely a question of natural instinct or emotional drive. It is also, and above all, an act of the free will, whose trust is such that it is meant not only to survive the joys and sorrows of daily life, but also to grow, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul, and together attain their human fulfillment.

3. (P9.5) Finally, this love is fecund. It is not confined wholly to the loving interchange of husband and wife; it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being. “Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare.”

4. (P10.5) Responsible parenthood, as we use the term here, has one further essential aspect of paramount importance. It concerns the objective moral order which was established by God, and of which a right conscience is the true interpreter. In a word, the exercise of responsible parenthood requires that husband and wife, keeping a right order of priorities, recognize their own duties toward God, themselves, their families and human society.

5. (10.6) From this it follows that they are not free to act as they choose in the service of transmitting life, as if it were wholly up to them to decide what is the right course to follow. On the contrary, they are bound to ensure that what they do corresponds to the will of God the Creator. The very nature of marriage and its use makes His will clear, while the constant teaching of the Church spells it out.



So look at the flow of the logic: Married love is a reflection of and comes from God; the objective of married love is not natural instinct but for husband and wife to be one; this love is fecund; this fecundity is part of the right order established by God; from this follows that one has to act in accordance with that divine order and not against it.


message 46: by Susan (last edited May 19, 2018 06:00AM) (new)

Susan | 218 comments Manny wrote: "Let me continue...."
1) This gets us back to, contrary to the thought that a lot of the discussion of social ills is off the track of Humane Vitae, they are directly related...
Same sex 'marriage' is nonsensical. Real love is reflective of God and thus any active sexual participation among same sex individuals would be equivalent to lust, not the love that reflects God. I think same sex relationships can involve love that reflects God, however it takes a similar humility and sacrifice that heterosexuals strive to be true to also. This however does not include 'marriage' and does not include acting upon sexual urges for same sex couples. (Actually I believe 'same sex God reflected love', is called being 'best friends'....that has become disordered over time with continued sin and increasing distance from God. What has happened to 'best friends'?; those deep, intimate, life long relationships it seems people in the past used to have....now everything seems so transitory, shallow, or sexualized....)
Marriage should reflect (I think!) not only the love of God, but the love and intimacy and giving/sharing/fruitfulness of the Trinity, which again is incompatible with same sex 'marriage', although not a chaste same sex friendship/relationship.
Catholicism is special in that it really is very cohesive and everything all makes sense and ties together. The bottom line is however, like stated above, it boils done to choosing to try to live and act in accordance with God's divine order or not, and the balance of power/numbers seems to have shifted big time against belief in God and desire to act and live according to His will....
2) Not to get off track with this, but you mention above "a right conscience"....we are seeing that rear it's head as Pope Francis I believe speaks of "conscience", yet what does that mean at this point, as the conscience formed by many (most?) in the last several decades has been debatably "well-formed", due to the poor catechesis most have been exposed to during that time...so where are we left when it comes to "conscience" at this point?
3) I just saw a book from Patrick Coffin called Sex au Naturel, about Humane Vitae and contraception etc. apparently, if anyone is interested in checking it out.
Oops, I see it is italicized...but it doesn't really matter...does it? :) .



message 47: by Manny (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
In that last comment I outlined the flow of logic from which Christian doctrine should stem, and that is that humanity needs to act in accordance with divine order. But what is that divine order when it comes to procreation? Paul VI develops that in paragraphs eleven through thirteen. I identify four steps in that logic. Again I’ll quote the steps.

1. (P11) God has wisely ordered laws of nature and the incidence of fertility in such a way that successive births are already naturally spaced through the inherent operation of these laws. 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. (P.12.1) This particular doctrine, often expounded by the magisterium of the Church, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.

3. (P12.2) And if each of these essential qualities, the unitive and the procreative, is preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood to which man is called

4. (P13) If they further reflect, they must also recognize that an act of mutual love which impairs the capacity to transmit life which God the Creator, through specific laws, has built into it, frustrates His design which constitutes the norm of marriage, and contradicts the will of the Author of life. Hence to use this divine gift while depriving it, even if only partially, of its meaning and purpose, is equally repugnant to the nature of man and of woman, and is consequently in opposition to the plan of God and His holy will.


Let me summarize that comprehensively: God has so ordered the natural laws; that the natural law in the marital act works toward the unitive and procreative needs; and that going against this natural law goes against the will of the Divine Being. A summarizing quote from Paul VI comes toward the end of paragraph thirteen: “Just as man does not have unlimited dominion over his body in general, so also, and with more particular reason, he has no such dominion over his specifically sexual faculties, for these are concerned by their very nature with the generation of life, of which God is the source.”


message 48: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1554 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "What has happened to 'best friends'?; those deep, intimate, life long relationships it seems people in the past used to have....now everything seems so transitory, shallow, or sexualized....)."

I once read an article written by a woman of the World War II generation. She wrote that what they called "dating" back then is not what it means today, it didn't mean anything permanent. Back then, it meant you went out on a date with one person, and perhaps the next week someone else, and so on. She wrote that eventually young men and women would pair up, and that's when things got more serious toward engagement and marriage. There was no sex involved. From today's perch this sounds positively liberating.


message 49: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 1554 comments Mod
Manny wrote: "from this follows that one has to act in accordance with that divine order and not against it."

That's the crux, now isn't it? In today's neo-gnostic environment the very concept of a natural order or Natural Law is not only rejected, it is completely outside the worldview. Dr. Robert George did a fantastic talk at the Napa Institute on this subject.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McMWz...


message 50: by Manny (last edited May 19, 2018 11:50AM) (new)

Manny (virmarl) | 4201 comments Mod
Kerstin wrote: "Manny wrote: "from this follows that one has to act in accordance with that divine order and not against it."

That's the crux, now isn't it? In today's neo-gnostic environment the very concept of ..."


Yes, but all the reasons we've been arguing - such as the harm it can do to society - are secondary. The primary reason is irrelevant to a "cost-benefit" analysis, which is what we were arguing above. No matter what the benefit, you are going against God's will, and therefore it's morally wrong. Now one can say that God doesn't stipulate anything that would be harmful to man, and I believe that to be so, but that's an indirect argument when it comes to this. I still haven't finished reading, so I'm curious if Pope Paul goes on to make that indirect argument as well.


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