Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Contraception Versus Abortion; A Comparison and Some Implications

Must reading from Monsignor Vincent Foy. First published 2001 in Catholic Insight.

Some excerpts:

The two principal causes of the Culture of Death are abortion and contraception. Abortion means death to the unborn. Contraception has been described as "creeping death." It is of paramount importance to assess the relationship between these two killers of society and souls to formulate plans and strategies to promote the Culture of life. The evaluation of the comparative roles of abortion and contraception in attacking human life is not as simple as might be thought. They are often intertwined in their intent. Abortifacients are often called contraceptives. At first murder seems a more heinous crime than the prevention of life, but there are hidden factors. Despite difficulties, some comparisons can be made which indicate how the whole pro-life movement should move. We consider some of these comparisons.

In the matter of contraception, even "abortifacient contraception", although there is no specific ecclesiastical penalty, there remains the supreme penalty of the loss of God's grace. In some places and times there have been particular ecclesiastical penalties for contraception. In Spain in 1936, absolution from the sin of contraception was reserved to the bishop in eight dioceses (cf. Catholic Priests' Association Newsletter, Vol. III and IV, 1972, p.60). That there is an excommunication attached to abortion and not to contraception does not mean that the former is a greater crime. It means that the good order of the Church as a visible society is more obviously disturbed.

Comparing contraception and abortion enables us to see that they are linked in a death chain. Contraception is at the top of the chain. Contraception gives birth to abortion deaths and to the acceptance of sterile sodomy. Abortion gives birth to euthanasia. All of these give birth to the acceptance of a pervasive pornography. When these are widespread we have the Culture of Death. This Culture of Death gives birth to the death of the family, to the death of society, to the death of the Church, and to the perpetual death of immortal souls.

Not to recognize the evil of contraception while fighting abortion is like working to kill the termites on the roof of a house, while the whole structure is being eaten away from within. It is like leaning over a deck to chip away at an iceberg, while the ship is being gutted beneath the waterline. It is not permissible to soft-pedal contraception in the interests of a so-called pro-life ecumenism. This is not a denominational issue, pertaining to Catholics alone. The prohibition of contraception is founded on divine natural law. Only groups which in their underlying philosophy are anti-contraception, anti-sterilization, and anti-abortion have the right to full endorsement.

As we know, Catholic bishops, chiefly responsible for teaching Humanae Vitae, have been the primary factors in its rejection. Following dissenting theologians rather that Christ, about twelve national hierarchies so distorted the teaching of the encyclical as to virtually destroy it. Among the worst offenders were the Canadian bishops by their Winnipeg Statement of Sept 1968. As night follows the day, Canadian Catholics now live in the dark Culture of Death.

The situation in many countries is desperate. Extrapolating from the statistics, the typical parish in Canada is dying. Its birth rate is suicidal. Most of the parents of childbearing age are either sterilized or contracepting. The majority of those contracepting who go to Mass receive Holy Communion, an objective sacrilege. The children going to a Catholic school are educated in contraception in grade eight. Few go to Sunday Mass. Vocations to the priesthood and religious life are insufficient to sustain a flourishing, evangelizing Church. It is impossible for the Church to survive where Humanae Vitae is not taught and lived.

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