Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.
1 Timothy 2:15: Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.
Luke 23:29: For behold, the days are coming when they will say, `Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!'
Humanae Vitae - The 1968 Encyclical that Pope Paul VI published with the help of the future Pope John Paul II that forbid the use of artificial contraception by Catholics. Has there ever been a teaching of the church that has been as divisive as this one? Published during the turbulent year of 1968, with the sexual revolution in full force, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, VietNam, etc., it caused a lot of people to question their faith. In Canada, the Canadian Bishops with their Winnipeg statement basically told Pope Paul VI to take a hike. The new philosophy among many priests and bishops was to let the parishioners use their personal conscience to decide right from wrong in this matter. Needless to say, that was a first in Church history. If we let our conscience be our guide, then what exactly do we need the Church for? The dissension that the bishops caused really brings St. Paul's words home:
1 Corinthians 1:10: I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
Up until 1930, all Churches viewed artificial birth control was considered sinful, including Protestant ones. At the Lambeth convention in 1930, the Anglican Church was the first church to redefine this sin as no longer being a sin. On the other hand, the Catholic Church takes the words of God very seriously, from
Genesis 9:1: And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
In fact, when Catholics get married, this is what they say yes to before God, in their wedding vows:
"Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?"
Later on in Genesis 38:9-10, God struck down Onan for spilling his seed, something that happens every time with a condom:
Genesis 38:9-10: But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother's wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and he slew him also.
Here is what the official teaching of the Catholic Church is regarding contraception, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil.
What that means, of course is that Natural Family Planning and periodic abstinence are the only ways to space out births that the Church teaches are okay. Any and all artificial means are intrinsically evil, which means always evil because of their very nature. People who practice artificial birth control and present themselves for Holy Communion need to talk to their priest ASAP.
So have the pills and condoms and vasectomies and tubal litigations that people have used to thwart God's plan worked out over the years? For sure, the population rate has decreased dramatically in the United States and in Europe. People who once had lots of kids now have nicer homes, cars, and vacations. However, they will soon be replaced demographically over time by immigrants to their country, who have a much higher birth rate. The separation of pleasure from procreation during sex has now caused sex to be used for recreation and for pleasure only, rather than to "be fruitful and multiply" as God intended. Lots of broken homes have occurred because one or both of the partners decided to take a chance with adultery, because they thought that no one would ever find out, since there was no chance of a child being born. Millions of people now have venereal disease caused from tomcatting around. Venereal disease is proof positive that recreational sex is not normal, right, and good, because if it was, then there would be no physiological harm like AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamidia resulting from it. Not giving yourself fully to your partner in the marriage embrace by using artificial contraception has probably caused the divorce rate to rise also. And the dirty little secret about the pill is that it can cause the fertilized egg to be aborted after conception.
And how many Presidents, Prime Ministers, and world leaders were not born as a result of artificial birth control? How many scientists that could have solved the world's problems were never born? How many botanists that could have discovered a drug from a rainforest plant were never born? God only knows. And the real tragedy in this whole mess is that once a country decided that artificial birth control was now OK, abortion soon followed. In the US, the pill came out in the mid 1960's. In 1973, the Supreme Court of the US invented a brand new constitutional right to an abortion, because the Constitution has an implied right to privacy in it - A new right to kill an unborn child based on an implied right that is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. This so-called right to privacy is a very selective right, as long as there are income tax forms that have to be filled out with all kinds of personal information, census forms that have to be filled out with all kinds of personal information, internet cookies that monitor what websites you go to so that the list can be sold to marketers, and airport scanners that can see through your clothes.
And there is also a demographic timebomb ready to explode, because of the low birthrate. When the baby boomers reach full retirement, the social security taxes collected from their children and grandchildren will have to be excessive in order to pay all of the money it will take to fulfill the government's pledge to the retirees. Social security started out in the Roosevelt era with about 16 people paying in to every retiree; Soon, that number will be 2 people paying in for every retiree.
God says in Psalm 127:4-5:
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Yes, God loves making babies in unison with a married man and his wife. God loves it when you trust in Him totally to make the right decision regarding the number of kids you will have. Trusting more in chemicals and latex instead is something everyone will have to answer for one day, if they use artificial birth control. There has even been evidence that artificial birth control agents are being slipped into vaccines for other diseases, so that the side effect is sterilization, and that is a really shocking thing. Who put the vaccine makers in charge of population control anyway?
To read a pdf version of Humane Vitae, click here. The very short document has embedded links, in purple, for your benefit. The following is an excerpt from Humanae Vitae, which truly shows how prophetic this document is...
Consequences of Artificial Methods 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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.