How does something as seemingly insignificant as a condom or birth control pill lead directly to possible damnation? Let’s explore the issue for a few minutes.
An Argument from Reason
To those outside the Church, Catholic sexual teaching often seems like some backward-looking moral inhibition against human reason and modern science. Yet it is really the fullest fruit of human reason: it is in fact strengthened by a strong understanding of human biology. In fact, from a purely materialistic, utilitarian understanding of what a human being is, contraception is still wrong. Here’s one such argument:
When are things good? Things are good when they do what they’re supposed to do well (e.g., a good chair will have soft cushions). When are things bad? Things are called bad when some aspect of them undermines what they are meant to do (e.g., a bad chair has large iron spikes pointed upwards from the seat).
Biologically, what are humans supposed to do? That is, what is the biological effect of humans? It’s undeniably the same as that of any other species: self-perpetuation. Therefore, if human beings are to be good at being human beings, biologically speaking, they cannot undermine fundamental bodily functions. There may be a hierarchy of bodily functions, but even if this were granted for the sake of argument it would not change the fact that reproduction is the most important biological function for any living thing. It is a matter of life or death, and only matters of life or death can approach the weight of the biological imperative of sexuality.
Sung by Twila Paris
Every Christian believes that Jesus Christ established and sustains a community of faith, hope and love for all believers. This community we call His Church. The Church that Christ founded is the Catholic Church which has a formal earthly structure established by Christ and which continues under His authority and protection.
In the Old Testament we see God’s continual involvement in the lives of the Israelites through appointed prophets. God delivered, instructed and admonished the Israelites. He made His motions in a visible, specific and formal way. He always did so through human hands, mouths, feet, minds and wills. God established a law and a means for executing it.
In concert with His redemptive act, Jesus did three things that established the framework of His Church. First, He chose humans to carry out His work. He appointed Peter to be the visible head of the Church. Jesus said to Peter, “You are Rock and on this rock I will build my Church.” (Matthew 16: 18) Jesus said “build,” as in to create a structure. Jesus built His structure on specifically chosen human beings Peter and the apostles.