September 16, 2016 (C-Fam) – Three powerful UN agencies are sponsoring the release of a document next week that calls for the Catholic Church to change her teachings on contraception, but also mentions that teachings on homosexuality, masturbation and in vitro fertilization should be changed as well.
The document was prepared by dissident ex-priest John Wijngaards, who is based in the United Kingdom, and has been signed so far by more than 100 dissenting Catholic academics and a small number of non-Catholics.
The document is being released in preparation for the 2018 50th anniversary of the Papal encyclical Humanae Vitae, which restated the ancient teaching of the Church that contraception is morally wrong and can never be allowed between married Catholics.
The Wijngaard statement takes aim at the infallibility of the Catholic teaching on contraception. The statement argues that Humanae Vitae cannot be considered infallible because it is not a “revealed” truth, nor does it explain or defend a truth of “Christian revelation.”
The scholars, from universities around the world, argue that the marital act need not be open to the transmission of life since the marital act has many other purposes including “pleasure, love, comfort, celebration, and companionship.”
The document calls for a new and democratic process in the Church whereby “experts” would examine various issues and determine what the new Catholic teaching might be. These experts would include more than just Catholics. The signers hope that such a conclave of experts would also look into changing Church teaching on masturbation, homosexual relationships, and in vitro fertilization.
The UN angle in the document is strong. It mentions the now-defunct Millennium Development Goals. Moreover, the release of the document is being sponsored by the UN Population Fund, UN Women, and UN AIDS, powerful agencies with combined budgets of more than a billion dollars a year.
Advocates of UN-style family planning, including in some cases the establishment of coercive programs of population control, have long viewed the Catholic Church as their primary opponent. They believe the Church stands in the way of universal acceptance of “modern means of contraception.”
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According to the United Nations, the world is actually awash in contraceptives. There are only a few places on earth where contraceptives are not widely used. UN advocates assert that women suffer from what they call an “unmet need” for modern contraceptives. As Rebecca Oas of C-Fam has repeatedly reported, “unmet need” is a political rather than a medical term and includes women who have moral and religious objections to the use of contraceptives, and even women who do not use them because they want to have babies.
It is revealing that the document does not refer to Catholic teachings on contraception, which date to the ancient Church, but refers instead to the Catholic “stance” on contraception, as if it is no more than a policy prescription.
The man behind the document, John Wijngaards, has dissented from Catholic teachings for most of his career. He left the priesthood over Catholic teaching on women’s ordination.
The document will be released on September 20 at the Salvation Army Auditorium in New York.
Reprinted with permission from C-Fam.