Action Alert!

Pope Paul VI, Not Clinton, Was Right About Contraception

by James M. Gallagher


In this article, James M. Gallagher reminds us, that the present-day government is contributing to the extinction of Christian morals and ignoring the warnings given by Pope Paul VI concerning contraception.

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The Wanderer Printing Company, February 24, 2000

In early January, President Clinton announced that he would seek a $35 million spending increase for contraception and family planning services. The President claimed that the increased spending (the largest increase in two decades) would promote strong children, healthy families, and make abortion less frequent.

Back in 1960, these wildly optimistic claims may have seemed plausible, but 40 years' accumulation of evidence has proven that the contrary is true; contraception is damaging to families, and therefore to children, and increases the incidence of abortion (most abortions are performed on people who contracept).

We should have known. In 1968, Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical letter, Humanae Vitae that was met with universal disdain but has since proven to be uncannily prophetic. Commenting upon this encyclical in 1993, Bishop Joseph Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston wrote:

"Pope Paul VI saw clearly, when few others did, that the two purposes of marital intercourse, the unitive and the procreative, must be linked inseparably, and that to treat them as separate and distinct purposes would lead to the use of sexual intimacy as primarily self-gratification, and would open the door for every type of sexual expression and perversion. When the meaning of the marital act is divorced from transmitting life, then adultery, sex outside of marriage, homosexual genital acts, and pornography can be justified or condoned."

Welcome to the year 2000. It turns out that this much-maligned Pope was right. Since contraception was widely accepted, an incredible increase in casual/recreational sex, homosexual sex, and pornography are justified and condoned. Indeed, it was contraception that fueled the "sexual revolution" and its attendant disease, perversion, family collapse, and abortion.

Contraceptive use enables unmarried men and women to engage in sexual relations without ever making a commitment to love one another. Contracepting couples perhaps think that they are gaining intimacy, but intimacy is precisely what they do not achieve, because something is always withheld; commitment, an essential component of love.

G.K. Chesterton once noted that love is not blind; it is bound. Contraception ensures that neither partner is ever bound (though blindness stubbornly persists), but free to walk away when the frolic becomes tiresome.

Nor is contracepted sex open to the conception of children. The contraceptive mentality assumes that there is no natural connection between sexual intercourse and babies. Contraceptive users actively seek to frustrate the fact that sexual intercourse is the means by which humanity procreates. The separation of sexual intercourse from procreation simply was not possible before contraceptives became widely available. The child conceived in spite of contraceptive intervention becomes the pitiful "unwanted" child that Planned Parenthood speaks so passionately about. Increased abortion is the natural consequence of the contraceptive mentality.

Yes, even within the context of marriage, contraception diminishes the meaning of the marriage act, because it actively seeks to obstruct any possibility of having children, a possibility, which is inherent to the marriage act.

Chesterton once compared the person who uses contraceptives to the man who feasted upon six sumptuous meals at the Ritz and seven at the Savoy each day. To facilitate this lifestyle, he took emetics at various intervals to frustrate the bothersome fact of digestion. He stole the pleasures of the palate and avoided the inevitable results of overeating, or so he thought. Result: a meal, an objective good, becomes a curse. Such a man loses control of the will and of the bodily functions. Mind, body, and soul are sickened and, ultimately, premature death as a slave to appetite ensues. Need it be said that the sexual appetite demands much more from us than the appetite for food.

The failure of contraception to make abortions rare is not a complete surprise. Malcolm Potts, a former abortionist and former medical director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation said back in 1973, "As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall in the abortion rate." Doc Potts was wrong about many things, but he got this one right.

It is worth considering these points as our frisky President seeks to cure our social and familial woes with more of the same "cure" that brought us to our current state of affairs. Before we blindly accept our President's contraceptive dogma, it would be wise to investigate the teachings of the Church. The Bride of Christ, it turns out, was right again.

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