In Pennsylvania's

Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Surely you are not this man's disciple"?

"The Gospel asks Christians to love and respect persons, no matter how deeply we might disagree with them. But we have no such duty to accept bad law or the confusion it creates. Law not only regulates, it also teaches, which is why our national debates over abortion and marriage have been argued so vigorously in the courts....

"Witnessing what we know to be true also means expressing our convictions publicly and confidently. The Christian faith is personal but never private. It always has a community dimension. It always has public obligations" (Archbishop Chaput, 5/30/14).
On the first Sunday after Judge John Jones' court decision and Governor Corbett's announcement that he would be derelict in his duties, marriage received minimal attention from our newspapers - and seemingly from our local pulpits. Among both laity and clergy, there has actually been a longstanding reluctance to boldly proclaim "The Redemption of the Body and the Sacramentality of Marriage."  Yet as per Princeton's Robert George: "The question of faith and fidelity that it put to us today is not in the form it was put to Peter - 'surely you are not this man's disciple' - it is, rather, do you stand for the sanctity of human life and the dignity of marriage as the union of husband and wife?"

How did we become so reluctant to proclaim "The Redemption of the Body and the Sacramentality of Marriage"?  Well, Catholics did not escape from the scandalous influence of the 20th Century's so-called Sexual Revolution or from being parts of its "collateral damage."  Insistence on the inseparability of the unitive and procreative dimensions of the conjugal act was treated with growing dismissiveness by many who should have known better.  In the monumental resistance to Pope Paul VI’s 1968 Humanae Vitae, Saint John Paul II recognized failure to see the inseparable connection between what we do with our bodies and our spirituality.  Across a span of five years, Saint John Paul II's weekly catechetical sessions focused on the Theology of the Body:
 
Saint John Paul II indicated that his Theology of the Body "can be grasped under the title, ‘Human Love in the Divine Plan,” or with greater precision, ‘the Redemption of the body and the Sacramentality of Marriage’" (11/28/84).  The Redemption of the Body consists of  
. 32
while the Sacramentality of Marriage consists of 

Despite what silly news reports might now claim, what Saint John Paul II declared in his Theology of the Body has continued to be declared by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis!  On departing the Vatican on 3/27/14, the media missed the significance of Pope Francis giving President Obama a copy of Evangelii Gaudium:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html
  http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html

6/5/14 - Public Witnesses at Governor Corbett's offices 

As per the Pennsylvania Pro Life Coalition, there will be peaceful, prayerful 11:00 a.m. witnesses at Gov. Corbett's (717 772 9003; goernor@pa.gov) offices in Erie, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton, urging that he reconsider and appeal Judge John Jones' horrendous court decision.

6/7/14 - "The Pill Kills" 

Monumental resistance to Pope Paul VI’s 1968 Humanae Vitae was spearheaded by a rejection of the Church's teaching against contraception.  While rejecting the Church's teaching, it seems likely that most of that era were ignorant of how many so-called "contraceptives" - including hormonal "contraceptives" - can work as abortifacients.  The rejection of the inseparability of the unitive and procreative dimensions of the conjugal act also left numerous Catholics unable to explain the magnificent truth of authentic marriage.  On June 7, the American Life League's STOPP International, is urging law-abiding, peaceful, prayerful local efforts to focus "on the death and damage heaped upon women and babies by [so-called] contraceptives" (cf., http://www.stopp.org/article.php?id=13684). Almost every pharmacy (including those in department stores and supermarkets) sells abortifacients/contraceptives.  Two of the world's "leading" manufacturers of "the Pill" are headquartered in our own backyard: Teva of North Wales and Wyeth of St. Davids (See http://contraceptive.ippf.org/search and www.thepill.com.).

6/8/14 Trinity Sunday - "Marriage Sunday"

As per the Pennsylvania Pro Life Coalition, "The observance of Trinity Sunday...provides a very appropriate and timely opportunity for clergy to educate on the true nature of marriage and to urge contact with Gov. Corbett....This Sunday can also serve to promote attendance at the June 19, 2014 March for Marriage in Washington, DC....Please ask your Bishop and Pastor to conduct such activities on this Sunday, respectively, in their Diocese or Church."


6/19/14 - Gov. Corbett's deadline for appealing the decision and the March for Marriage

  • "I am greatly disappointed in the Federal Court ruling overturning Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act and redefining marriage.  I am also disappointed that you have chosen to give up the fight and not to appeal this ruling.  The Defense of Marriage law, declaring that marriage in Pennsylvania is the union of one man and one woman, was enacted by an overwhelming vote of the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Tom Ridge.  It was wrong of Attorney General Kane not to defend it against the ACLU challenge, and I am asking you to not do the same thing.
     
    "Children have a right to a mother and a father and that is a right that government is bound to respect and encourage. This ruling short-circuits the public debate and casts aside the will of the people of Pennsylvania and our elected representatives.

    "
    I strongly urge you to reconsider your decision not to appeal the ruling and to ask the court to prevent issuance of licenses to same-sex couples while the case is on appeal.  I look forward to your reply." (Click this Pa Family Institute link, to send the preceding message to the governor.)


  • "The annual March for Marriage will take place on Thursday, June 19, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., on the U.S. Capitol grounds, First Street NW and Constitution Ave., in Washington, D.C. This is a crucial opportunity for Philadelphia Catholics to show their support for the family and for marriage as a permanent union of one man and one woman. Buses will leave from St. Raymond Parish in Philadelphia; St. Andrew Parish in Newtown (Bucks County); SS. Simon and Jude Parish, West Chester (Chester County); St. Pius X Parish, Broomall (Delaware County) and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Limerick (Montgomery County). Cultures change when people change. And people change through the word and witness of other people. This is a moment to show our support for the nature of the family and the integrity of marriage as foundation stones of our life as a nation. Please make every effort this year to join the March for Marriage" (Archbishop Chaput, 5/30/14).  
In the above press release, the editor goes on to note:  "To reserve a bus seat, please contact the Office for Life and Family website at http://phillycatholiclife.org/marchformarriage/. For more information about the March for Marriage, please visit www.marriagemarch.org/about."



7/20/14 - 7/26/14 - National NFP Awareness Week

As per the USCCB,  "The dates of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week highlight the anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25)....[and] the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne (July 26), the parents of the Blessed Mother."  As per Humanae Vitae,
"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."

DON'T FORGET THE FEDERAL LEVEL....

Mike Fitzpatrick has NOT signed on as a co-sponsor of USCCB-backed HR 3279 (the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act),  HJRes51 (an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage), HR3133 (the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act), or HR 3829 (the State Marriage Defense Act).  Especially because he has maintained that marriage is a "states'" issue, why is he NOT among the co-sponsors of HR 3829?

Immediately to our East, Congressman Chris Smith is the primary sponsor of HR 3279, as well as a co-sponsor of HJRes51, HR3133, and HR 3829.  In what Fitzpatrick has indicated would be his last term in the House, would he stand with the USCCB and oppose HR 1755? Would he work to de-fund Planned Parenthood?

Should Catholics vote for someone who is not up to the task of standing up for life/marriage or seek a write-in?

Monday, May 26, 2014

"The Redemption of the Body and the Sacramentality of Marriage"

Last week's court decision did not happen in a vacuum.  The comparatively meek and timid reaction - thus far - from our church leaders is also not happening in a vacuum.  For varied reasons, there has been a reluctance to boldly proclaim what the Church truly proclaims about "The Redemption of the Body and the Sacramentality of Marriage"....

How We Arrived at this Moment in History 
"....Where distorted views of marriage somehow flourished, might the stage have been inadvertently set for distortions of authentic teaching on the grandeur of marriage, family, and human sexuality?...." (Read more)
. 6

A False Gospel Embraced by Many: the Sexual Revolution
"To a great extent... [in the 20th century, the truly] brilliant vision of marriage went unnoticed, ignored, and contradicted.  By contrast, many twentieth century Catholics did not escape the influence of the so-called Sexual Revolution, or its generals – Margaret Sanger, Margaret Mead, Wilhelm Reich, Alfred Kinsey, Hugh Heffner, and Helen Gurley Brown...." (Read more)

. 13
Collateral Damage from the Revolution
"....The Sexual Revolution has left untold victims in its path.  Ready availability of contraceptives and abortifacients has ushered in an era where 56 times more Americans get an STD each year, than 1957’s total number of infected Americans.  The rate of forcible rape of women has tripled.  Fewer Americans marry and those who do are more likely to divorce.  We are barely beginning to fully grasp the devastating impact divorce has on children.  With such data, one would expect that Catholics – particularly the clergy – would proudly, joyfully and enthusiastically embrace Church teaching, in regard to marriage, family, and human sexuality...." (Read more)

Manicheanism (A Heresy!!!) 
“…. As Manicheanism sees God as the creator of all that is good and Satan as the creator of all that is evil, Manicheanism sees a sort of partnership where Satan has charge over the world and the body while God rules a spiritual domain.  Genesis instead tells us that God looked at EVERYTHING He had made and declared that it was GOOD!  Before becoming pope, John Paul II prepared a masterful book, meant to lead the Church and the world to a true appreciation of marriage, family, and human sexuality.  John Paul II saw monumental resistance to Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae, as attributable to a resurgence of Manicheanistic thinking.  People were simply failing to see the inseparable connection between what we do with our bodies and our spirituality.  Becoming pope before his book was published, John Paul II instead used his notes to address audiences at weekly catechetical sessions, across a span of five years.  In 2007, Dr. Michael Waldstein published an updated and magnificent translation of these Theology of the Body addresses, under the title: “Man and Woman  He Created Them.” (Read more)


"Man and Woman, He Created Them"
 

PART 1 - The Redemption of the Body (Read more)

. 32

Chapter 1: “Christ Appeals to the ‘Beginning’”
"....In the earliest of his weekly catechetical sessions, Pope John Paul II deeply explores the opening chapters of Genesis and how Christ called humanity to return to this 'beginning,' regarding marriage.  In spite of all the wonders God created up to that point, the first man was 'alone' until God made the first woman – man’s 'suitable partner.'  Before the Fall, before original sin, this husband and wife were completely transparent gifts to each other – 'naked, yet they felt no shame.'  God Himself called them to sexual intercourse and procreation!  'Be fertile and multiply'....” (Read more)

Chapter 2: “Christ Appeals to the Human Heart”
. 51
"....The opening pages of Genesis gave us a phenomenal look at God’s original plan for monogamous, lifelong spousal relationships – between one man and one woman – which would be His platform for continuing His work of creation.  While spousal relationships changed for the worse after original sin, Christ calls us back to this “beginning”...." (Read more)

Chapter 3: “Christ Appeals to the Resurrection”
"....Our marriages must proclaim what Christ tells us about eternal life!  'At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven' (Matthew 22: 30).  Pope John Paul II looks at what the resurrection reveals about marriage, as well as at foregoing marriage 'for the kingdom.'  Marriage and procreation are incredible goods of monumental importance, intended to lead us to salvation.  Though men and women will not be married and will not bear children in Heaven, we will be drawn even closer to each other, in God!  With our present finite understandings, the awesomeness of this eludes our grasps....We are meant to see God face-to-face!...." (Read more)

PART 2 - The Sacramentality of Marriage (Read more)

Chapter 1: “The Dimension of Covenant and Grace”

. 81
"....Pope John Paul II offers a profound reflection on marriage as a sacrament. A sacrament is not a mere sign or symbol; it is an efficacious sign.  It makes real what it signifies.  As the ministers of the sacrament, are not husbands and wives intended to be spiritual directors – of sorts – to each other?...." (Read more)

Chapter 2: “The Dimension of Sign”. 91
"So much has been written about notions of 'body language.'  Police investigators look for signals from the body, which betray deceit on a person’s lips.  Even the most sexually promiscuous person cannot escape the reality that sexual intercourse speaks a 'language of the body.'  Sexual intercourse proclaims committed love and openness to new life.  Hence, 'one night stands' – even for so-called 'consenting adults' – involve lying with the body.  Marriage does not mean a license to use the sexual functions willy nilly.  Using the sexual functions, in manners which cannot be open to life, similarly involves lying with the body.  As has been said, marriage is a sacrament – a 'visible and efficacious sign.'  If our behavior reflects the body’s authentic language, we are 'in the truth.'  Otherwise, we lie and are false prophets.  Yet, rather than primarily accused and/or condemned, we are first called.  In this section, John Paul II’s reflection on the language of the body looks closely at the Song of Songs and Tobit:...." (Read more)

Chapter 3: “He Gave Them the Law of Life as Their Inheritance”  104
"Christ responds to our verbal professions of love: 'If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you….Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him” (John 14: 15 – 17, 21).  Through His Church, Christ has been abundantly clear in what He teaches about marriage, family, and human sexuality...." (Read more)

EPILOGUE (Read more)


Appendix: Natural Family Planning Resources (Read more)




 133

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Appendix: Natural Family Planning Resources

Methods of Natural Family Planning can be used by married couples in manners which are not morally objectionable.  As they involve no foreign objects or chemicals, they also pose no physical risk to the wife, husband, or any unborn child (Oral contraceptives can work in abortifacient manners!).  

As methods of Natural Family Planning involve minimal – if any – financial cost, why are they so little utilized?  Well, money talks, and the sale of contraceptives constitutes a phenomenally lucrative (and EVIL) industry!
Worldwide contraceptive use has been increasing consistently in the past few decades. By 2015 the developing world alone may have 217 million more contraceptive users than in 2000….Much of the demand…will involve hormonal methods. Oral contraceptives (OC) are already the most-popular modern method in Middle and Western Africa, whereas injectable contraceptives (IC) are used widely in Eastern and Southern Africa, as well as in Southeast Asia.…

a handful of multinational companies account for the majority of hormonal contraceptive brands registered around the world….

“Commercial distribution channels for these products include licensed pharmacies and service delivery outlets (SDO), such as public and private clinics and hospitals….

“products rarely are promoted to the end consumer, but rather to the people who are authorized to prescribe them, typically licensed physicians….Marketing to physicians involves hiring medically trained staff that regularly visits doctors’ offices and other SDOs. These visits rarely last more than a few minutes and focus on discussing new launches and addressing product-related issues….

“pharmaceutical companies invest in extensive public-relations programs and continuing education for providers….

“A large proportion of hormonal-product users in developing countries obtain their supplies from the public sector....

“Common social-marketing strategies include educational campaigns designed to increase the number of contraceptive users and improved distribution in areas commercial suppliers may under serve. In some countries, social-marketing brands of OCs can be sold without prescription and are promoted through the mass media….

“Hormonal contraceptives…are more difficult to procure than condoms, which are manufactured at low cost in several Asian countries….

“Public and social-marketing programs in the poorest developing countries also have created an oligopoly that benefits Western-based large contraceptive manufacturers” (U.S. Agency for International Development, http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADF983.pdf)

Natural Family Planning Resources:

The Couple to Couple League http://www.ccli.org/


Philadelphia Natural Family Planning Network www.pnfpn.org

EPILOGUE: God’s countercultural message about marriage for our authentic happiness!

John Paul II’s Theology of the Body is really Christ’s “Good News”, applied to marriage, family, and human sexuality.  Christ’s “Good News” is not just “Nice News”, implying that it might be superfluous.  Jesus Christ alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Christ’s “Good News” is “Fantastic, Great, Indescribable News” – absolutely essential for our earthly happiness and our eternal salvation.  Was this meant to be forgotten with JP II's passing?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Despite what the media may try to imply, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have continued JP II's message:


Pope Benedict XVI's Deus Caritas Est, December 25, 2005: 

“‘love’ has become one of the most frequently used and misused of words…. Amid this multiplicity of meanings, however, one in particular stands out: love between man and woman, where body and soul are inseparably joined and human beings glimpse an apparently irresistible promise of happiness....

“An intoxicated and undisciplined eros…is not an ascent in ‘ecstasy’ towards the Divine, but a fall, a degradation of man. Evidently, eros needs to be disciplined and purified if it is to provide not just fleeting pleasure, but a certain foretaste of the pinnacle of our existence, of that beatitude for which our whole being yearns….

“Should he aspire to be pure spirit and to reject the flesh as pertaining to his animal nature alone, then spirit and body would both lose their dignity. On the other hand, should he deny the spirit and consider matter, the body, as the only reality, he would likewise lose his greatness….

“Christianity of the past is often criticized as having been opposed to the body; and it is quite true that tendencies of this sort have always existed. Yet the contemporary way of exalting the body is deceptive. Eros, reduced to pure ‘sex’, has become a commodity, a mere ‘thing’ to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself becomes a commodity….Christian faith, on the other hand, has always considered man a unity in duality, a reality in which spirit and matter compenetrate, and in which each is brought to a new nobility….

“How might love be experienced so that it can fully realize its human and divine promise? Here we can find a first, important indication in the Song of Songs….According to the interpretation generally held today, the poems contained in this book were originally love-songs, perhaps intended for a Jewish wedding feast and meant to exalt conjugal love….

“It is part of love's growth towards higher levels and inward purification that it now seeks to become definitive, and it does so in a twofold sense: both in the sense of exclusivity (this particular person alone) and in the sense of being ‘for ever’….love looks to the eternal. Love is indeed ‘ecstasy’, not in the sense of a moment of intoxication, but rather as a journey, an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-looking self towards its liberation through self-giving, and thus towards authentic self-discovery and indeed the discovery of God….

“one can become a source from which rivers of living water flow (cf. Jn 7:37-38). Yet to become such a source, one must constantly drink anew from the original source, which is Jesus Christ, from whose pierced heart flows the love of God (cf. Jn 19:34)….

“eros is somehow rooted in man's very nature; Adam is a seeker, who ‘abandons his mother and father’ in order to find woman; only together do the two represent complete humanity and become ‘one flesh’ ….From the standpoint of creation, eros directs man towards marriage, to a bond which is unique and definitive; thus, and only thus, does it fulfil its deepest purpose. Corresponding to the image of a monotheistic God is monogamous marriage. Marriage based on exclusive and definitive love becomes the icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa….This close connection between eros and marriage in the Bible has practically no equivalent in extra-biblical literature….

“The imagery of marriage between God and Israel is now realized in a way previously inconceivable: it had meant standing in God's presence, but now it becomes union with God through sharing in Jesus' self-gift, sharing in his body and blood….

“this sacramental ‘mysticism’ is social in character, for in sacramental communion I become one with the Lord, like all the other communicants….Union with Christ is also union with all those to whom he gives himself….

“The transition which he makes from the Law and the Prophets to the twofold commandment of love of God and of neighbour, and his grounding the whole life of faith on this central precept, is not simply a matter of morality—something that could exist apart from and alongside faith in Christ and its sacramental re-actualization. Faith, worship and ethos are interwoven as a single reality which takes shape in our encounter with God's agape….‘Worship’ itself, Eucharistic communion, includes the reality both of being loved and of loving others in turn. A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented. Conversely, as we shall have to consider in greater detail below, the ‘commandment’ of love is only possible because it is more than a requirement. Love can be ‘commanded’ because it has first been given….

“love of neighbour is a path that leads to the encounter with God,…closing our eyes to our neighbour also blinds us to God….

“God does not demand of us a feeling which we ourselves are incapable of producing. He loves us, he makes us see and experience his love, and since he has ‘loved us first’, love can also blossom as a response within us.

“In the gradual unfolding of this encounter, it is clearly revealed that love is not merely a sentiment….
 
“Only my readiness to encounter my neighbour and to show him love makes me sensitive to God as well….The saints—consider the example of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta—constantly renewed their capacity for love of neighbour from their encounter with the Eucharistic Lord, and conversely this encounter acquired its real- ism and depth in their service to others. Love of God and love of neighbour are thus inseparable, they form a single commandment. But both live from the love of God who has loved us first. No longer is it a question, then, of a ‘commandment’ imposed from without and calling for the impossible, but rather of a freely-bestowed experience of love from within, a love which by its very nature must then be shared with others. Love grows through love. Love is ‘divine’ because it comes from God and unites us to God; through this unifying process it makes us a ‘we; which transcends our divisions and makes us one, until in the end God is ‘all in all’ (1 Cor 15:28)….

“Love of neighbour, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful, but it is also a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community at every level……..

“Since the nineteenth century, an objection has been raised to the Church's charitable activity, subsequently developed with particular insistence by Marxism: the poor, it is claimed, do not need charity but justice…. It is true that the pursuit of justice must be a fundamental norm of the State and that the aim of a just social order is to guarantee to each person, according to the principle of subsidiarity, his share of the community's goods….

“It must be admitted that the Church's leadership was slow to realize that the issue of the just structuring of society needed to be approached in a new way….Catholic social teaching thus gradually developed, and has now found a comprehensive presentation in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church published in 2004….Marxism had seen world revolution and its preliminaries as the panacea for the social problem….This illusion has vanished….

“The direct duty to work for a just ordering of society…is proper to the lay faithful….
 
“The Church can never be exempted from practising charity as an organized activity of believers, and on the other hand, there will never be a situation where the charity of each individual Christian is unnecessary, because in addition to justice man needs, and will always need, love….

“a living relationship with Christ is decisive if we are to keep on the right path, without falling into an arrogant contempt for man, something not only unconstructive but actually destructive, or surrendering to a resignation which would prevent us from being guided by love in the service of others. Prayer, as a means of drawing ever new strength from Christ, is concretely and urgently needed.  People who pray are not wasting their time, even though the situation appears desperate and seems to call for action alone”

Pope Francis

(Clicking on the text will bring you to the complete document.)
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20130629_enciclica-lumen-fidei_en.html

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2014/january/documents/papa-francesco_20140124_rota-romana.html

On departing the Vatican on 3/27/14, it has been reported that the Holy Father gave President Obama a bound copy of his 11/24/13 apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html
  http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/audiences/2014/documents/papa-francesco_20140402_udienza-generale_en.html
http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-discourse-to-the-delegation-of-the-international-catholic-office-of-children

Part 2, Chapter 3: “He Gave Them the Law of Life as Their Inheritance”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=BXgvRrSpFnc


Christ responds to our verbal professions of love: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you….Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him” (John 14: 15 – 17, 21).  Through His Church, Christ has been abundantly clear in what He teaches about marriage, family, and human sexuality.

In 1968, Pope Paul VI provided the world with his beautiful and prophetic encyclical on human life:
  • The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator…. [Quoting Vatican II:] ‘Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents' welfare’….
  • With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently & generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time….
  • If…there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles….
  • 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….
  • 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 …reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires…. 
  • 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? ….Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their  use on everyone
Pope Paul VI rightly anticipated resistance to his restatement of the Church’s constant teaching: “it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a ‘sign of contradiction’ …. It could never be right for her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man.”  Do we still need to be convinced that there has been “a general lowering of moral standards,” as well as a growing disrespect for women, in the past four decades?  Since 1996, there have even been provisions in U.S. law to provide refugee status to “individuals who have been persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of resistance to a coercive population control (CPC) program”!!![i]

Pope Paul VI also feared legislative efforts to intrude on the sanctity of marriage and the family:“The family is the primary unit in the state; do not tolerate any legislation which would introduce into the family those practices which are opposed to the natural law of God”

Pope John Paul II quotes and pays homage to Humanae Vitae, reminding us of the great blessings following adherence to its teachings, including profound respect for the sacredness of human life (cf 9/5/84):
  • ‘The Church…teaches that each and every marriage act (quilibet matrimonii usus) must remain open to the transmission of life.  That teaching, often set forth by the magisterium, is founded upon the inseparable connection, willed by God & unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning’(HV 11-12)” (7/11/84).
  • Pastoral concern means seeing the true good of man….the one and only true good of the human person consists in putting this divine plan into practice” (7/25/84).
  • the moral aspects of any procedure do not depend solely on sincere intentions or on an evaluation of motives, but must be determined by objective standards….The relevant principle of conjugal morality is thus faithfulness to the divine plan” (8/1/84)
  • self-mastery – corresponds in fact to the fundamental constitution of the person: it is a perfectly ‘natural’ method,,,,’artificial means,’ by contrast breaks the constitutive dimension of the person, deprives man of the subjectivity proper to him, and turns him into an object of manipulation….The human body is not only the field of reactions of a sexual character, but it is at the same time the means of the expression of man as an integral whole, of the person, which reveals itself through the ‘language of the body’ ….the ‘language of the body’ should express, at a determinate level, the truth  of the sacrament.  By participating in the eternal plan of love,…the ‘language of the body’ becomes in fact a ‘prophetism of the body,’ as it were….when the conjugal act is deprived of its inner truth because it is deprived artificially of it procreative capacity, it also ceases to be an act of love….in the case of an artificial separation of these two meanings in the conjugal act, a real bodily union is brought about, but it does not correspond to the inner truth & dignity of personal communion.[which] demands, in fact, that the ‘language of the body’ be expressed reciprocally in the integral truth of its meaning….Such a violation of the inner order of conjugal communion, a communion that plunges its roots into the very order of the person, constitutes the essential evil of the contraceptive act” (8/22/84).
  • the virtuous character of the attitude expressing itself in the ‘natural’ regulation of fertility is determined, not so much by faithfulness to an impersonal ‘natural law,’ but to the personal Creator, the source and Lord of the order that is shown in this law” (8/29/84).
  • The use of ‘infertile periods’ in conjugal shared life can become a source of abuses if the couple thereby attempt to evade procreation without just reasons” (9/5/84)
  • This, then, is the essential and fundamental ‘power’: the love planted in the heart…by the Holy Spirit….spouses must implore [God] for such ‘power’ and for every other ‘divine help’ in prayer…they must draw grace and love from the ever-living fountain of the Eucharist….they must overcome their own faults and sins in the sacrament of Penance.  These are the means – infallible and indispensable – to form the Christian spirituality of conjugal and familial life ” (10/3/84).
  • One can say that Humanae Vitae constitutes precislely the development of the biblical truth about Christian conjugal and familial spirituality” (10/10/84).
  • In order to reach mastery over this drive and arousal, the personal subject must devote himself or herself to a progressive education in self-control of the will, of sentiments, of emotions, which must be developed from the simplest gestures, in which it is relatively easy to put the inner decision into practice….Precisely by reason of this ‘difficulty,’ the true order of conjugal life, with a view to which the spouses are ‘strengthened and as it were consecrated’ (HV 25) by the sacrament of Marriage, is assigned to their interior and ascetical commitment” (10/24/84).
  • It is often thought that continence causes inner tensions from which men and women should free themselves.  In the light of the analyses offered earlier, continence, integrally understood, is, on the contrary, the one and only way to free oneself from such tensions” (10/31/84).
  • the inner order of conjugal life, which allows the ‘affective manifestation’ to develop according to their right extent and meaning, is a fruit not only of the virtue in which the spouses exercise themselves, but also of the gifts of the Holy Spirit with which they collaborate” (11/14/84).


[i] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Programs, Resistance To Coercive Population Control (CPC) Programs

 

The 10 Commandments

The Beatitudes (from "Jesus of Nazareth")

Christifideles Laici

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Our representation in D.C....

Click the below image, to check on the status of federal legislation:
Click the below images, to ascertain what pro-life and pro-marriage/family legislation is being sponsored or co-sponsored (as well as what legislation is NOT being sponsored or co-sponsored):
https://www.congress.gov/member/brian-fitzpatrick/F000466?q={%22search%22:[%22brian+fitzpatrick%22]}&r=1

To check U.S. House votes:

To check U.S. Senate votes:

Contacts:

Bucks County in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Bucks County in the Pennsylvania Senate

Contacting Our Governor

717 787 2500 or governor@pa.gov.

Contacting Our Bishops