Head of U.S. bishops’ marriage committee lauds scholars’ affirmation of ‘Humanae Vitae’
September 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth commended the hundreds of Catholic scholars who released a defense of Church teaching on contraception as a group of dissidents blasted it at the United Nations.
“It is so encouraging to see a broad group of Catholic scholars standing up to promote and defend the Church’s teaching on married love and responsible parenthood and the fact that contraception and sterilization are morally unacceptable and cannot lead a couple to the happiness they desire,” Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, wrote.
The statement, Affirmation of the Church’s Teaching on the Gift of Sexuality, refuted the claims made in a newly-released report from the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research that there is a case for the Catholic Church to label artificial contraception “morally legitimate and even morally obligatory.”
The Affirmation was released the same day opponents of Catholic teaching presented the Wijngaards statement at the United Nations urging world leaders to pressure the Catholic Church to change.
The Affirmation is hosted by The Catholic University of America (CUA). Its list of signatories, originally more than 400 Catholic academics, has grown since its release on Tuesday.
The CUA Affirmation “beautifully and clearly summarizes the Church’s teaching,” Malone wrote, which is “sometimes caricatured and maligned” but more often “unknown or not understood well.”
“I encourage you to read the statement, to learn more about the Church’s teaching, and to pray about where the Lord might be calling you to witness further to His truth,” Malone continued.
Confusion about the purpose of human sexuality is “awash” in our culture and “has taken a toll within the Church for numerous decades,” Malone wrote.
Malone noted that couples using contraception might not be aware that “such actions contradict the very nature of their marital love and God’s plan for them” and “can be accompanied by harmful and unhealthy side effects to the body. They may also not realize that the birth control pill can at times operate as an abortifacient.”
The bishop called on Catholics who have used contraception to reconsider the Church’s teaching and to seek out a priest or someone trained in the methods of Natural Family Planning.
He lauded Catholics who have embraced Church teaching and said their witness “is needed now more than ever.”