Respect Life Ministry
Join us Friday, December 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall for a special screening of "Unprotected."
Respect Life Month October 2018
As Respect Life Month comes to a close, let's take a look at the Church's teaching on human sexuality in general. Many people accuse the Church of being too hung up on sexual sin. Is that true? Why is the area of sex and marriage so important to God and therefore important to the Church?
Throughout salvation history God enters into covenants with mankind. A covenant means to create family/kinship by the swearing of an oath. He wants to bring us into his divine life and make us family. The first covenant is the covenant of creation with Adam and Eve. They sin and break the covenant with God and we have nakedness with shame. (Gen 3:10) God starts over with Noah and his family, but again things go awry and there is sexual sin within Noah's family. (Gen 9:20-23) While Moses is up receiving the 10 Commandments from God, the people are in debauchery (idolatry and adultery among others sins) at the foot of Sinai. (Ex 32) David commits adultery with Bathsheba. (2 Sam 11)
Why does sexual sin happen when mankind breaks a covenant with God? When our image of God is damaged our view of marriage is damaged too. Sexual sins are sins against Matrimony and matrimony is an icon of God in the natural order. It is the number one image God uses to describe his relationship with us.
Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of "the wedding-feast of the Lamb." Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its "mystery,"… Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1602
Matrimony is also an icon of the inner life of the Trinity. Sexual sins then are an attack on the image of God because they also attack/damage matrimony. It can be considered akin to blasphemy. This is why the Church takes sexual sin so seriously. It also explains why sodomy is one of the sins that cries to heaven for vengeance. The others are murder, oppression of the poor: foreigner, widow and orphan, and injustice to the wage earner. CCC 1867
God is both love and life and cannot be separated. When we image God in the marital embrace, love and life must not be separated or society falls apart, as we can see in the evidence around us. Pope St. Paul VI was right about the ill effects of separating love and life as we saw last week.
There is something we can do to make things better for our children and us. Dive deeper into your faith, study it and live it. Start, or continue, living in accord with Church teaching: stop using contraception. God promises not to forsake us and He is perfectly faithful.
To learn more about NFP methods contact Northwest Family Services at: https://symptopro.org/ You can register for class that starts November 15
St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II, pray for us.
Was Pope St. Paul VI a prophet? We'll take a look at the evidence from the last 50 years since he wrote the encyclical Humanae Vitae.
- Increase in marital infidelity and a general decline in morality
- Infidelity is one of the top reasons for divorce and the divorce rate has been around 50% since the late 1960s.
- Whole websites and businesses exist to facilitate adultery; one website had roughly 37 million accounts when it was hacked in 2015.
- Premarital sex (fornication) is no longer considered immoral by our culture.
- Objectification of women
- Pornography – Horrifyingly, PornHub, a leading site for pornography, boasts 92 million video views a year with over 75 million daily visits.
- The #MeToo movement is a response to sexual harassment and sexual assault that seems to be rampant in our culture, only made possible by thinking of women as objects for pleasure.
- Abuse of power – Governments would force the use of contraceptive
- The Untied States of America has at times required of countries receiving aid to distribute contraceptives, especially African nations.
- China's One/Two Child policy includes forced abortions and forced sterilizations. It also creates a climate for human trafficking due to the skewed sex ratio. There are 34 million more men than women in China.
- There are government-run sterilization camps in India. In 2014 ten women died and fourteen were injured during surgery.
- People would think they have total dominion over their bodies
- Use of contraceptives leads to abortion. No contraceptive is 100% effective so it's possible, and likely at some point, to get pregnant even while using contraceptives. Abortion is needed as a final backstop against pregnancy.
- Beyond contraception, there is a certain refusal to accept the body's limitations in our culture as evidenced by IVF and even euthanasia.
St. Paul VI said this of the use of NFP – natural family planning: "it favors attention for one's partner, helps both parties to drive out selfishness, the enemy of true love, and deepens their sense of responsibility." (HV 21)
- The divorce rate for couples using NFP is less than 10% and may be as low as 3%.
- Effectiveness of NFP for avoiding pregnancy is between 80-99% that's comparable to contraceptives.
“What is so wrong with women’s bodies that we are having to alter a perfectly functioning, perfectly healthy body the way that God designed it in order to be more like a man’s body, to be unable to become pregnant? Why do we think that’s good? Why do feminists think that’s good? It’s a question they need to ask themselves,” –Leila Miller, Catholic author
Watch Bishop Barron discuss Pope Paul VI and Humanae Vitae
It's been described as "one of the most reviled documents in modern times." It predicted the hook-up culture. What document is it?
Humanae Vitae (On Human Love)
This Respect Life Month we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of this encyclical by Pope Paul VI. Join us to take a closer look at this beautiful teaching on marital love.
Did you know every single Christian denomination condemned the use of contraception until 1930? At the 1930 Lambeth Conference of Bishops, the Anglicans were the first denomination to change their teaching. Shortly after that, in 1931, a committee of the Federal Council of Churches endorsed the use of contraceptives – a "careful and restrained" use. Here are a couple of reactions from the secular media at the time:
Carried to its logical conclusion, the committee's report, if carried into effect, would sound the death-knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be "careful and restrained" is preposterous.
-The Washington Post, March 22, 1931.
Lambeth has delivered a fatal blow to marriage, to motherhood, to fatherhood, to the family and to morality.
-James Douglas, editor of London’s Sunday Express, Quoted in the New York Times August 17, 1930
When Jesus asked his disciples "who do people say that I am?" Not one of their answers was correct. It shows that collecting everyone's opinion does not produce the truth. Today only the Catholic Church and a few Orthodox churches maintain the 2000-year-old teaching prohibiting the use of contraception.
Next Sunday, October 14, Pope Paul VI will be canonized a saint along with Archbishop Oscar Romero. Pope Paul VI made several predictions in Humanae Vitae about how the use of contraceptives would change our society. We now have 50 years of evidence: was he correct? Stay tuned for more next week.
Our mission is to foster the deepest appreciation for the sanctity of human life
through prayer, education and the organization of opportunities to give witness to the Gospel of Life.
All our work is for the greater glory of God. Ad majorem Dei gloriam.
We entrust our prayers and actions to the care of our Blessed Mother, Mary.
We are faithful to the authority of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
We courageously strive to be Christ to others and to see Christ in others.
RESPECT LIFE RESOURCES
Catholic Charities offers help to women and families struggling with pregnancy and the need for post abortive support. Please call them: 503-238-5196; website: www.CatholicCharitiesOregon.org
RACHEL'S VINEYARD Healing after an abortion