This past June 25, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s controversial and prophetic encyclical: Humanae Vitae. Let’s take a look a number 17 of the document (written in 1968) which “prophesies” what the consequences would be in society embraced the contraceptive lifestyle.
Below you will find an excellent explanation of these points by Bishop Barron.
What’s the central argument? According to Bishop Barron, we can sum it with this:
The integrity of the sexual act is the function of the coming together of its unitive (love-bonding) and procreative (possibility to create life) action. When through a conscious choice a couple introduces an artificial block to procreation, they are doing something that violates this integrity and they are doing something that stands opposed to God’s Will.
17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control.
1. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law.
Result that proves true today: Levels of adultery
2. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
Result that proves true today: Wave of sexual abuse scandals in Hollywood and Media Outlets
3. Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.
Result that proves true today: HHS Mandate vs Little Sisters of the Poor
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