June 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Using contraception is an “intrinsic evil” in all circumstances because it “cuts off one of the goals of marriage which is an openness to life,” Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann told LifeSiteNews.
Any question on this issue lies on the level of moral culpability for those who do use it, he added.
“Circumstances can affect the culpability, [but] it doesn't affect the rightness or wrongness of the act,” he said.
Speaking exclusively with LifeSiteNews, the incoming chair for the U.S. Bishops’ pro-life committee said further that following the Church’s teaching on contraception is an attainable goal, and that people simply need good confessors to help them understand that fact.
“Good confessors can help and guide people through this, and, I think, help every individual realize that the moral good the moral law is attainable for all of us.”
LifeSiteNews Editor-in-chief and co-founder John-Henry Westen had asked Archbishop Naumann in the context of this year’s 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae whether it was, in fact, the case — as some bishops suggesting at the time of the document’s release — that Catholic couples may still use contraception if they feel in conscience that they were justified, and if not, whether this would make them ineligible then to receive Holy Communion.
Archbishop Naumann confirmed the Church’s teaching on contraception as a moral evil, as well as Church teaching that each and every conjugal act must be open to life.
“I think objectively contraception, and we see this in the Catechism, it is clear about that, that there is an intrinsic evil to use it,” the archbishop said, “because it cuts off one of the goals of marriage, which is an openness to life.”
With contraception use typically conducted privately, the issue of a couple’s worthiness to receive Communion would be problematic to handle. But Archbishop Naumann said in cases where a person is publicly advocating for actions contrary to Church teaching, it is incumbent on the priest to address the situation with them.
“I think as a pastor we have an obligation to dialogue with an individual in that situation,” said Archbishop Naumann. “We have an obligation to talk to them, help to make sure that they understand what they're doing and why it's wrong and the reason is that it's wrong.”
He recalled having had a long dialogue years ago with then-Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius prior to directing her to not receive Communion, saying he had no alternative.
Sebelius had vociferously defended abortion as governor of Kansas, and she was also closely tied to the infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller. She would then go on as U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary to be one of the facilitators of the HHS Contraception Mandate.