The Teaching of the Prophetic Encyclical Humanae Vitae II

The Predictions of Humanae Vitae We begin our exposition of Humanae Vitae (HV) with section no. 17. In this part of the document, Pope Paul VI lays out four predictions as to what would happen in society if teaching against contraception went unheeded. Let us remember that this teaching is not simply a particular doctrine . . . Read more

The Teaching of the Prophetic Encyclical Humanae Vitae I

Humanae Vitae No “Invention;” It Reiterated Inherited Tradition of the Church Since the 1960’s Western culture has been in a downward spiral of moral decadence. The contraceptive pill, introduced in the U.S. during that decade, brought about the so-called “sexual revolution.” This revolution brought in turn an unprecedented increase in sexual promiscuity, conjugal infidelity, divorce, . . . Read more

What is Historical Church Teaching on Contraception?

“Contraception cannot be an expression of total self‑giving, because in contraception, something is done to oneself to destroy the power to conceive a child.  That same selfishness that wants to prevent the child by contraception will grow until it wants to kill the child already conceived.  We must fight selfishness with a true, generous and . . . Read more

Can We Use Our Consciences on Contraception?

Surveys in many countries consistently show that most Catholics believe that decisions of conscience about contraception rightfully belong with those who must bear and rear children.  The legitimacy of teaching requires that it be embraced by the faithful. Your teaching has no such legitimacy.  It is a marginalized minority view in our church, defended largely . . . Read more

Should We Avoid Offending People Over Contraception?

Years ago, I had the privilege of accompanying Human Life International’s founder, Father Paul Marx, on several of his parish weekends.  His homilies usually covered the complete range of Church teaching on sexuality, from contraception to abortion to homosexuality.  Several times after these Masses, I witnessed irate parishioners publicly berate him, telling him that he . . . Read more

The Birth Control Pill as Therapy

The moral doctrine of the Church judges human behavior, but is silent on chemical compounds.  Most people do not know that it is permissible for Catholic women to use the birth control pill under carefully defined conditions when the intent is not to impair their fertility. Sometimes a young woman will take the Pill for . . . Read more

Should Serodiscordant Couples be Permitted to Use Condoms?

There are times when priests, ministers and pro-life activists encounter what might be called the “ultimate hard case” involving condoms.  This is the situation where a husband and wife are serodiscordant; one is HIV positive and the other is not.  The question inevitably arises as to whether or not they may use condoms to prevent . . . Read more

Should Catholic Hospitals Use the Morning-After Pill for Rape Victims?

Even with all of the different contraceptives and abortifacients on the market today, women forget to use their birth control, think their birth control method might have failed, or were coerced into sex. Many of these women resort to “emergency contraception,” a term that covers several drugs or devices that are used after intercourse (instead . . . Read more

What does the Catholic Church Teach about Sterilization?

Some people refer to sexual sterilization as “Catholic birth control.”  This erroneous term, and the misguided assertions of a number of well‑known dissenters, has led to significant confusion regarding the Catholic Church’s teaching on sterilization. Because it separates the marital act from the transmission of human life, sterilization is condemned on the same grounds as . . . Read more

Birth Control for Teens Who Are “Doing It Anyway”?

If pressed, many “family planners” admit that, in an ideal world, all young people would refrain from sexual activity before marriage and remain faithful to their spouses after.  Such a society would have no HIV-AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases, very little unwanted pregnancy (and few pregnancies among unmarried teens!), and most likely a very . . . Read more