…it must first be emphasized that the Church does not condemn persons created by technical procedure, even as we are strongly opposed to the technical procedure itself. Those born following in vitrofertilization possess dignity and are made in God’s image and likeness. Each person is a unique and unrepeatable spoken word of God, never to be spoken again. Offering qualified affirmation often opens minds and softens hearts: “I hope you may one day be a grandmother, and I imagine we agree that how you become a grandmother is very important.”
…IVF involves the death of the very children a couple desires.
This means that for a typical couple seeking IVF, somewhere between five and thirty of their children died so they could give birth to one. On a world-wide scale, this means that 30-150 million children have died because of IVF. In light of such staggering numbers the Church’s teaching makes perfect sense; it is “deeply disturbing” that “the number of embryos sacrificed is extremely high” (Dignitas personae n. 14). At best, IVF is like playing Russian Roulette with six people except only one chamber of the gun is empty. IVF treats the new human being as little more than a cluster of cells to be graded, selected, and discarded. As the Church has noted, “in other areas of medicine, ordinary professional ethics and the health care authorities themselves, would never allow a medical procedure which involved such a high number of failures and fatalities” (Dignitas personae n. 15).
O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let thy name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on thee, for, in all my needs, in all my temptations I shall never cease to call on thee, ever repeating thy sacred name, Mary, Mary.O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what emotion fill my soul when I pronounce thy sacred name, or even only think of thee. I thank God for having given thee, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing thy name: let my love for thee prompt me ever to hail thee, Mother of Perpetual Help.
…But this is where the argument for traditional marriage begins to break down. It’s been quite a long time since the defining characteristic of marriage, from a societal standpoint, had anything to do with children. With the advent of modern techniques for contraception in the 20th century, it has become increasingly easy (and common) for marriage and children to be mutually exclusive.
As Catholics, we must understand this: Sterile sex is unnatural sex. When unnatural sex has become commonplace, as it has in a contraceptive culture, it becomes intellectually impossible to make significant distinctions between homosexual sex and contraceptive heterosexual sex. By removing openness to procreation as the fundamental defining characteristic of legitimate marital sexual intimacy, we have embraced any and all sexual relations that express emotional love as the sort of relations which are proper to marriage.
In a 2008 article, Hoover Institution research fellow and author Mary Eberstadt made note of this blurring of the lines from the perspective of the Anglican Church:
By giving benediction in 1930 to its married heterosexual members purposely seeking sterile sex, the Anglican Church lost, bit by bit, any authority to tell her other members—married or unmarried, homosexual or heterosexual—not to do the same. To put the point another way, once heterosexuals start claiming the right to act as homosexuals, it would not be long before homosexuals start claiming the rights of heterosexuals.
Thus in a bizarre but real sense did Lambeth’s attempt to show compassion to married heterosexuals inadvertently give rise to the modern gay-rights movement—and consequently, to the issues that have divided their church ever since. It is hard to believe that anyone seeking a similar change in Catholic teaching on the subject would want the Catholic Church to follow suit into the moral and theological confusion at the center of today’s Anglican Church—yet such is the purposeful ignorance of so many who oppose Rome on birth control that they refuse to connect these cautionary historical dots.
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
This is a good example of the difference between what the Bible teaches as “looking after the needy” and what liberals think it should be. When you rely on others to do your “looking after” for you, you you give nothing of yourself in the process – you only pay others to do what you should be doing on your own. And it only means something if you are not forced into it. God doesn’t force us to love Him – He allows us to come to that ourselves. Otherwise it wouldn’t count.
On multiple occasions, Barack Obama has scolded conservatives and Christians for not following the “biblical” injunction to be “our brother’s keeper” by supporting his big government programs. We will get to the part about big government programs in a moment, but, for the time being, we will note that while the phrase “our brother’s keeper” is in the Bible, it is not an injunction. There are many other verses which command us to help those in need, but this is not one of them. At the same time, if this is the standard Obama wishes to judge people by, then he himself must be called to account.
The following story is related by Dinesh D’souza:
A few days ago I received a call from a man I recently met named George. He was a bit flustered, and soon informed me that his young son was sick with a chest…
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LA Times thinks Paul Ryan should be excommunicated? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
As Carson Holloway pointed out yesterday, some progressive Catholics have been throwing around the “D” word in reference to Rep. Paul Ryan: Dissent! Many of their friends in the secular media have been parroting the same. The L.A. Times actually asks, “Should Paul D. Ryan be excommunicated?”
I’m glad to know that the Times takes Catholic doctrine so seriously.
But rather than cataloguing the blogosphere’s musings on the catholicity of the GOP nominee for VP, let’s cut to the chase. What does Paul Ryan’s own bishop think?
Great post from Rebecca Hamilton. Marriage IS a mess, and we did it to ourselves…
“Serial monogamy is not monogamy”
I support traditional marriage. I have a public track record and the scars to prove it.
I voted to put an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution on the ballot that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. I also authored and passed a resolution memorializing Congress to begin hearings on an amendment to the United States Constitution doing the same thing. That is as much as I can do to support traditional marriage from my elected position.
Homosexuals didn’t set off the epidemic of divorce in this country. Homosexuals didn’t create the millions of feral children who spend most of their time alone, raising themselves on video games, drugs and interactions with their peers. Homosexuals don’t cheat on our spouses. Homosexuals don’t break into our homes and yell and curse at our families. They aren’t the cause of the rising number of unwed births and the global pandemic of abortion. We did these things. Marriage is a mess and it was heterosexuals who messed it up.
A recent ad run by Catholics for Choice merits acknowledgment for its extraordinarily clever mixture of truth and confusion. On the anniversary of Humanae vitae, the ad attempts to redefine Church teaching on condoms, and what it means to be a “good Catholic.”
Distributed through the July 24 edition of the Express paper (a publication of the Washington Post) at all Washington, D.C. area Metro entrances, the ad ran on four pages. The front page portrays a couple surprised in the act of snuggling with the caption, “Abstinence has a high failure rate.” On the back page is a slideshow of four couples, one of them homosexual, making the following statements: “We believe in God,” “We believe that sex is sacred,” “We believe in caring for each other,” and “We believe in using condoms” (this last statement in a different color and in bold font).
The point of the ad is obvious: to pit Catholics against their bishops by calling into question the decency and even morality of the “hierarchy’s position.” By creating a façade of strength in numbers, the ad suggests that Catholics can democratically pressure their hierarchy into changing its “position.”
It’s unclear why so many people insist on describing themselves as “Catholic” when they apparently have no desire to actually learn and live the tenets of the Catholic religion. Yet because of their relentless insistence to muddy the waters and return civilization to the era of the sophists, a clarification of the truly Catholic position in response to this ad is warranted.
First, the teaching of the Church (note the difference in phrasing from “the position of the Catholic hierarchy”) is received teaching— received by the whole Church. Number 84 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states: “The apostles entrusted the “Sacred deposit” of the faith … contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church.” Then quoting from the Dogmatic Constitution Dei verbum, the Catechism continues: