First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, October 2016
Marriage! Men & Women reluctant to Marry Young
The Traditional Catholic Family
Readers of the Catholic Voice may be interested to know that I now present a half hour programme on Radio Maria Ireland at 4pm on Friday afternoons called ‘The Traditional Catholic Family’. Radio Maria Ireland do not have a standard broadcast licence at present in Ireland, so the show is only available either online or in Dublin and Cork with a DAB (digital audio broadcasting) Radio. You can also listen in by phone on 01-4373277. I am also uploading the shows to the True Devotions website www.truedevotions.ie and you can listen to the shows here or download a transcript for reading.
Marriage is out of favour with our young people
Over the last couple of weeks on the Radio Maria programme, I have been looking at the phenomenon whereby men and women in general in Ireland are no longer getting married at a young age. The Irish marriage statistics for 2014 revealed that the average age for women to get married in Ireland was 33, and that the average age for men was 35. The number of Catholic marriages is also declining in favour of other options including civil marriage registrations and 2014 saw the lowest number of Catholic marriages ever recorded in Ireland.
Marriage is out of favour with our young people and I have been looking at some of the reasons for this at the conferences where I have recently spoken. One of the factors I mentioned is that, in Ireland, the teaching being given on marriage in Catholic schools and through other Catholic institutions is not fully in accordance with Catholic Church teaching. I also noted that many professors in the Maynooth seminary have publicly endorsed contraception contrary to infallible Church teaching on this matter and also contrary to the encyclical ‘Humanae Vitae’ of Blessed Pope Paul VI.
Former Presidetn of Ireland Joins Dissenting Catholics
Recently a group of so called ‘catholic’ scholars issued a statement calling for “the Catholic hierarchy to reverse its stance against so called “artificial” contraceptives.” They were joined in this call by a former president of Ireland and again, I don’t want to mention names as I would prefer to deal with the substance of some of the things that have been said.
Given that the statement claims to have been put together by “an interdisciplinary task force of experts”, it is ironic that it begins with a falsehood, albeit a clever one, for those who do not know their Catholic faith. Here is how the statement begins.
“The Catholic Church’s ban on using “artificial” contraceptives for the purpose of family planning is based on the arguments advanced in the 1968 encyclical letter Humanae Vitae – On the Regulation of Birth (HV) by Pope Paul VI. Such arguments have been repeated often, and never substantially modified, in later magisterial pronouncements over the last 50 years. This statement evaluates their correctness.”
Satan is the Father of Lies
The deceit here, (and always remember when we speak of deceit that satan is the father of all lies), is to create the impression that the Church’s opposition to contraception only began in 1968. Now ‘Humanae Vitae’ did not teach anything new as regards contraception. The document re-states previous Church teaching on contraception and rules out unlawful birth control methods as follows.
“Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.” (Humanae Vitae 14)
The footnote in Humanae Vitae for this statement gives the following references.
“Council of Trent Roman Catechism, Part II, ch. 8; Pius XI, encyclical letter Casti Connubii: Pius XII, Address to Midwives: Pius XII, address to the Society of Hematology: John XXIII, encyclical letter Mater et Magistra.”
Let Us Look at the Council of Trent
Now taking the oldest of these references from the council of Trent, which was held between 1545 and 1563, and even if for arguments sake, we were only to take Church teaching from this point in time, we would still have almost five hundred years of constant Church teaching on this matter. So what did the Catechism of Trent say?
“Hence the Angel, when informing Tobias of the means of repelling the violent assaults of the evil demon, says: I will show thee who they are over whom the devil can prevail; for they who in such manner receive matrimony as to shut out God from themselves and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power. He then adds: Thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children. It was also for this reason that God instituted marriage from the beginning; and therefore married persons who, to prevent conception or procure abortion, have recourse to medicine, are guilty of a most heinous crime — nothing less than wicked conspiracy to commit murder.” (Catechism of the Council of Trent – Motives and Ends of Matrimony).
Contraception Condemned once again in 1545
So, back in 1545, there was a Catholic Catechism which taught that those who seek to use medicines to prevent conception are guilty of a most heinous crime. Well that kind of blows the Humane Vitae argument out of the water doesn’t it, and it brings into question the scholarly credentials of those who endorsed this statement and we have only looked at the first paragraph of the statement. So what is going on here? These scholars are not fools and they are not unaware of the Catechism of the Council of Trent, or of Casti Connubi, which also condemns artificial contraception. Their purpose may be something other than artificial contraception.
The Dissenters seek to declare Humanae Vitae un-Orthodox
One of their recommendations is that the “acceptance of Humanae Vitae as a mark of orthodoxy should be removed from all selection procedures, including that of bishops and the teaching staff of Catholic academic institutions.” (Wijngaards Statement on contraception recommendation no 18)
So what else does Humanae Vitae say that these dissenting Catholics might also like to get rid of? Given that our former president also actively campaigned for a fake status for same sex relationships, here’s a little clue.
Humanae Vitae also Defends Marriage as between One Man and One Woman
“Marriage, then, is far from being the effect of chance or the result of the blind evolution of natural forces. It is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator, whose purpose was to effect in man His loving design. As a consequence, husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves, which is specific and exclusive to them alone, develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives.” (Humanae Vitae 8)
Now this being true, it is clear that men cannot marry men nor can women marry women. We know that most Catholics ignore Church teaching on contraceptives and that most western Hierarchies do not promote the teaching. So in worldly campaigning terms, it is no big deal. That battle has been won. But if the Church were to accede to resolution no 18 above, then everything and anything in Humane Vitae would no longer stand. The father of lies is very busy these days. Be on your guard.
© John Lacken 2016
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Author: John Lacken
Founder: Legio Sanctae Familiae – The Legion of the Holy Family