Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Contraception and the Church: A Matter of Life and Death

Many people seem to be under the impression that the Church has an archaic prejudice against contraception, and is simply being stubborn in refusing to allow it. To these people, the Church should “enter the 21st century” and accept the modern age’s embrace of birth control.
They are wrong. Contraception is not an issue that the Church can change without consequences.  Indeed, for the Church, contraception is quite literally a matter of life and death.
I have written in a previous post how all of the Church’s teachings are internally consistent. The Church’s teachings all support one another. This is true for the Church’s teaching on contraception.
For the Church’s teachings on contraception are integral to her teachings on sexual morality. If sexual intercourse is meant to be a joyful, life-giving act with the potential of creating life, then any attempt to alter this twofold purpose of sexual intercourse (i.e., through IVF or contraception) strikes at the heart of human sexuality itself.    
The Church’s teachings on sexual morality are integral to Her teachings on the human person. If the complementarity between one man and woman in sexual union is meant to reflect the love and unity of God and the Trinity, then an assault on this vision of the human person is an assault on humanity.
And Her teachings on the human person are integral to Her teachings about man’s relation to God.
So if the Church’s teaching on contraception is attacked, the whole of Church teaching goes down with it. If the Church permits contraception, She loses Her intellectual and moral authority - and will wither away.
The Church has always held that contraception is evil and perverts the nature of sexual intercourse: from the Fathers of the Church, through medieval times, to the present day.
So to the Church, the prohibition of contraception is not an archaic rule that will simply go away with time. Her opposition to contraception is integral to her existence.
And the Church will fight the contraception issue, even until Her death.

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