May 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Recently, Melinda Gates announced her plan to spend billions to provide contraceptive drugs to poor women around the world. She has the support and encouragement of a group of Ursuline nuns. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, though she is behind the insurance mandate forcing employers to provide contraception to their employees, has been honored with an invitation to speak at commencement at the Jesuit University of Georgetown.
What is disturbing to the faithful who are united with the bishops and the Holy Father is that all these people are Catholics…they are influential, active, and deeply divided over the subject of contraception and other moral teachings of the church. This division was demonstrated painfully this past week when Jay Leno, another Catholic, confronted Rick Santorum on the “Tonight Show,” asking, “What is wrong with contraception, pornography and same-sex marriage?”
The word Catholic means “universal,” but all Catholics are not alike these days. From Nancy Pelosi to Kathleen Sebelius to Melinda Gates to Jay Leno, Catholics who were baptized into Christ are reducing the authority of the Church and her Magisterium (teaching office) to an even playing field of personal opinion that is rooted in our culture. They are refusing tradition (the constant teaching by the Church on a matter of faith and morals) and trading it in for what they believe is a more progressive, sophisticated view of the world:
“Melinda’s beliefs on birth control are different from those of the Catholic Church,” say the Ursulines, who “respect her right to speak from her research and experience of the world we live in.” Academy President Margaret Ann Moser says that the nuns are “proud of Gates’ dedication to social justice, and her compassion for the underserved ... Melinda Gates leads from her conscience, and acts on her beliefs as a concerned citizen of our world,” says Moser.
These Catholics, at best, are trying to revolutionize the world according to their personal view of morality: a subjective view that may be sincere, but still morally incorrect.
It is important to note that these Ursuline women do not represent the views of all female religious. Says Sr. MaryAnn Foggin, of the Servants of God’s Love in Ann Arbor, Michigan, “I am always sad to see women religious applaud, support, or endorse positions that are in direct opposition to the Catholic Church. It usually finds it’s way into the press and then is touted as the position of all women religious.”
These actions not only oppose and undermine the Church on her mission of social justice, denigrating her knowledge of science and the world, but they also contend that she is wrong in her teaching on contraception - a teaching that is based on unchanging moral truth, which we understand simply through natural law.
“Natural law says that if you want things to prosper, you have to use them in accord with their nature and live with the reality of the things you are using,” says Janet Smith, a moral theologian.
Dr. Angela Frank, an expert on sexual ethics and eugenics, is a fan of Church-supported Natural Family Planning. “We need self-control not birth control. The Church says we must work with fertility in a healthy way rather than take a pill to stop it.
The American cultural bias does not change objective truth to make a wrong action right or good. Following one’s conscience is incumbent on a conscience informed by truth: enlightened by prayer and the teachings of Jesus and the Magisterium. But many Catholics today are missing that crucial step.
According to Jessica Condon, a 27-year-old future nun with the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, “[w]e are all in a passionate search for the truth. But we are easily led astray by our relativistic mindsets to the failure of half-truths. We only want the truth insofar as it suits us. You may have heard this in the form of phrases like, ‘Do what your heart tells you and it’s your truth.’ or ‘I’m ok, you’re ok, we’re all ok.’ We form the truth to our consciences instead of forming our consciences according to the truth. But then we end up unsatisfied and unhappy, and we wonder why our lives are so miserable.”
Since “the Pill” became widely available in the ’60s, we have had time to evaluate the Church’s teachings and see for ourselves what kind of fruit it has brought about. According to Smith:
In the 60’s, it was not a stupid expectation that contraceptives would make for better marriages, fewer unwanted pregnancies, fewer abortions; but the cultural evidence today shows absolutely the contrary. And it’s very hard for us to see because our culture tells us that more and better contraceptives and more and greater access to abortion is absolutely necessary in this society[.] … Now the Church said otherwise … Pope Paul VI didn’t predict this in great detail, but he certainly predicted the broad strokes of what happened. And you might ask, “How did he see it when the rest of us couldn’t? What did he know that we didn’t know?” Well, he had a whole history of the church behind him, some two thousand years. And some of us, of course, believe he had the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and he couldn’t miss because he wasn’t using human wisdom here. Human wisdom showed something quite different, and I don’t think that human wisdom was implausible, but it has turned out to be dead wrong.
The Church has said that unless you live in accord with the nature of human sexuality, chaos will result. Ms. Condon describes the situation: “I saw a commercial for an intra-uterine contraceptive that promises that women who use it won’t have to worry about taking ‘the pill’ and it will take the stress out of birth control. In the same commercial, the makers state that using their product can cause bleeding, sterilization, and inadvertently aborting your baby if you are already pregnant[.] … What are these drugs really doing to women? What are they doing to men and to marriages? You would think that most people would ask themselves these questions. What many women see is that contraceptives give them ‘freedom.’ The ‘freedom’ to choose when and how they want to have children. Contraceptives such as the pill and intra-uterine contraceptives can kill your baby AND run the risk of making you infertile.”
Though the Pill was originally designed to prevent conception, it works today to prevent births through abortion.
According to the Catholic Church, abortion is not only “the expulsion of the immature fetus,” but is also “the killing of the same fetus in any way and at any time from the moment of conception.” This definition of abortion includes the use of any of the following:
• all birth control pills, because every birth control pill manufactured today causes early abortions part of the time;
• mini-pills, morning-after pills, and true abortion pills such as RU-486;
• injectable or insertable abortifacients such as NORPLANT and Depo-Provera
• the use of all intrauterine devices (IUDs), which are all abortifacients and act by preventing the implantation of the already-fertilized zygote.” (American Life League)
Planned Parenthood pro-abortionist Dr. Christopher Tietze affirmed that statistically, even with proper use of the Pill, it is only a matter of time before a woman becomes pregnant: “Within 10 years, 20 to 50 percent of pill users and a substantial majority of users of other methods may be expected to experience at least one repeat abortion.”
Problems for women on the Pill include heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, unwanted pregnancy, and indirect effects: increased promiscuity, illegitimate births, increased venereal disease, and degradation of marriage.
An estimated five hundred women a year die from effects from the Pill. It is ironic indeed that the same pill that feminists pushed as part of their solution to “excessive illegal abortion deaths” now kills five times as many women per year as illegal abortions themselves did before Roe v. Wade.
How does birth control affect the male/female relationship? According to Pope Paul VI, “it is also to be feared that the man, growing used to the employment of anticonceptive practices, may finally lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.”
Says Condon, “Contraceptives are a lie that today’s society prevaricates. We need to not allow society to form our consciences, we need to allow the Truth found in Jesus and His Church to educate us and form our consciences[.] … [W]e will never be happy living a life full of half-truths. We will only be happy when our constant, passionate searching ends in Truth[.] … Stay true to Jesus, stay true to His Church, and find the Truth you have been looking for all your life.”