Monday, May 18, 2009

Fr. Z on ND

SEE THE ARTICLE My take on Sunday at Notre Dame.

And Fr. Pavone:  My Day at Notre Dame.


  1. Get back to me when the "men" of the church change there views on birth control! Their fear of intercourse and pleasure among married loving couples that does not result in conception is at issue.

  2. "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."

    — Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae

  3. I fully agree that sex needs to be respectful of both the woman and the man. What Pope Paul VI misses is that women also desire the pleasure of sex and that care and affection are shared by a married couple during the act.

  4. That Father Z. commentary is thoroughly unpleasant.

  5. Kestrel,

    The Holy Father did mention that in Humane Vitae:

    "Also noteworthy is a new understanding of the dignity of woman and her place in society, of the value of conjugal love in marriage and the relationship of conjugal acts to this love."

    Marital delights have always had a big place in Catholicism - where did those huge families come from? This is also clear in the writings of the mystics, as well as in particular the wisdom scriptures of the Old Testament. Medieval Catholic writings on the subject were rather open and should be contrasted with the prudish Victorians.

    And this is why the religious life was always considered an enormous sacrifice in contrast to the vocation of marriage. The same natural impulses are to pushed to a higher, spiritual level.

  6. Anonymous,

    Killing babies is also thoroughly unpleasant.

    The pro-abortion rhetoric nowadays reminds me so much of the pro-slavery rhetoric in the U.S. in the 1850s. Some of the phrases used to justify both are nearly identical!

    Nevertheless, I am sadly an expert in pleasure-seeking and in justifying my own bad behavior, so I don't throw too much blame on women who find themselves in difficult circumstances. Of course it is an individual moral problem, but so many people equate legality with moral goodness: abortion is legal so it must be OK. That is why Catholic social teaching states that the law ought to reflect and encourage moral living.