Sunday, August 3, 2008
Gene Bridges, Where are your sources??? Contraception V the Final Act
Gene Bridges will not concede that he is absolutely wrong in stating that the Catholic Church endorses the "withdrawal method." He responds with the following.
My statement, No the Catholic Church does not allow the withdrawal method,
"Really? Coming from you this is a real showstopper, given the way you constantly equivocate over the meaning of "The Church." Are your own bishops and priests not part of "the Church?"
Me..And if Gene Bridges is going to make such statement, he had better be able to prove it from the Church, not some individual priest.
Notice that when MB feels he's right about the majority of priests and bishops, he calls them "the Church." when we find somebody who disagrees, he calls them "an individual priest." But who is MB? Where is his ordination certificate?
When did I say that the majority determines Catholic doctrine??? I didn't. Yet Bridges just cannot bring himself to realize his error and admit that he is wrong. Bridges also never names off all of these bishops and priests that allegedly agree with his incorrect position. All the while his friend Turretin stands alongside as modern day Hamlet. Quite amusing. It is time to put this topic to rest. I have proven from the Church and prominent bioethics scholars that it does not allow any form of contraception whatsoever. I have also proven from the Church and prominent bioethics scholars that NFP is not contraception, but only a natural form of birth control, they are not synonymous. Thirdly I have proven that the Church has never, nor ever
will endorse the "withdrawal method" which bridges has pulled out of thin air.
Lets look at what the Church teaches one more time here just for good measure as to remove all doubt.
In 1930, Casti cunnubi (56), Pope Pius XI declared, "any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of
nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin."
Pope Paul VI Humanae vitae, 1968 (14) "Similarly excluded is every action which,
either in anticipation of the conjugal act or in its accomplishment or in the development of its natural consequences, would
have as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible."
The above would include the "withdrawal method." Any means exactly that, any act.
My opponent also keeps posting this which as I said before gives no backing to his argument. In fact it does just the opposite. Where here does it equivocate NFP with any form of contraception? Once again it doesn't , but contrasts them, and it never calls it natural contraception does it?
6. This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the publication by my predecessor Pope Paul VI of the Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae. The truth about human sexuality, and the Church's teaching on the sanctity of human life and on responsible parenthood, must be presented in the light of the theological development which has followed that document, and in the light of the experience of couples who have faithfully followed this teaching. Many couples have experienced how natural family planning promotes mutual respect, encourages tenderness between husband and wife, and helps develop an authentic inner freedom (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2370; Humanae Vitae, 21). Their experience deserves to be shared, for it is the living confirmation of the truth which Humanae Vitae teaches. In contrast, there is a growing awareness of the serious harm caused to marital relationships by recourse to artificial contraception, which, because it inevitably thwarts the total self-giving implied in the conjugal act, at one and the same time destroys its procreative meaning and weakens its unitive significance (cf. Evangelium Vitae, 13)." (link to source - Official Vatican website)
William May who is a member of the Catholic Biotheics Center and serves on the International Theological Commission,in his writing says the following,
"People cannot contracept simply by taking thought. In order to contracept
they must choose to do something."
I have quoted him further below in length because he completely buries all of the arguments that are brought up by Protestants regarding this very issue which includes our friends Turretin and his sidekick Gene Bridges. He puts forth the refutations in a very detailed structure, far beyond what I am able to do here. The resounding conclusion is that NFP is not a form of contraception.
"This is clear from a consideration of what contraception is.
Contraception is not a sexual or genital act but is rather essentially related to one. A person would not think of contracepting unless he or she, planning to engage in the kind of action--genital sex--reasonably believed to be the kind of act through which new human life can be given, does not want life to be given in and through that freely chosen genital act. Thus the person does something, prior to the freely chosen genital act, during it, or during the course of its natural consequences, intended precisely to impede procreation, that is, to prevent the conception of the life that could be conceived through the genital act in question. This, indeed, is precisely how Paul VI defines contraception in Humanae vitae: "every action, which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act [understood here merely as a genital act between persons who happen to be married], or in its accomplishment, or in the development of it natural consequences, proposes [intendat] either as end or as means, to impede procreation [ut procreatio impediatur]" (Humanae vitae, no. 14). In other words, what one does when one contracepts is intentionally to impede the beginning of a new human life that one reasonably believes could begin in the freely chosen genital act if one did not contracept. If new life does begin despite one's deliberate efforts to impede its beginning, it comes to be as an "unwanted child."
1. THE MORAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONTRACEPTION AND PERIODIC ABSTINENCE
(Note.....Please read the complete article before commenting, in which I have posted from otherwise you will may skim over it and not understand the context. I am posting the arguments that he posted for and against, in which he refutes. Please follow the full argument on the link below. I was too long to post in its entirety. Thanks.
Complete article )
Those who claim that contraception and periodic abstinence are morally
equivalent frequently bring forward two principal considerations. They
first allege that the activities are morally the same because the
"intentions" of both contracepting couples and of spouses who practice
periodic continence in order to regulate conception are the same. They then
assert that the two are morally equivalent because they lead to the same
result, namely, the avoidance of conception.7
The first of these assertions is plausible only because those who make it
play on the ambiguity of the term "intention," thereby confusing the whole
matter. The fallacious character of this allegation has been lucidly
demonstrated by the brilliant English philosopher Elisabeth Anscombe, who
puts the matter this way:
"The reason why people are confused about intention, and why they sometimes
think there is no difference between contraceptive intercourse and the use
of infertile times to avoid contraception, is this. They don't notice the
difference between 'intention' when it means the intentionalness of the
thing you're doing--that you're doing 'this' on purpose--and when it means
a 'further or 'accompanying' intention 'with which you do the thing. For
example, I make a table; that's an intentional action because I am doing
just 'that' on purpose. I have the 'further' intention, of, say, earning my
living, doing my job by making the table. Contraceptive intercourse and
intercourse using infertile times may be alike in respect of further
intention, and these further intentions may be good, justified, excellent.
This the Pope (Paul VI in 'Humanae Vitae') has noted. He sketched such a
situation and said: "It cannot be denied that in both cases [contracepting
couples and spouses using infertile times] the married couple, for
acceptable reasons," (for that's how he imagined the case) "are perfectly
clear in their intention to avoid children and mean to secure that none
will be born."8
Anscombe's point is quite clear. The term "intention" can refer either to
the intention to do "this" (in this case, either to contracept or to
abstain from marital relations during fertile times) or to the further
intention with which one does "this intentional deed." The further
intention is one thing (and it can be either good or bad) and the present
intention to do this is another (and it can be either good or bad). The
contraception advocate seeking to show the moral equivalence of
contraception and periodic abstinence fails to distinguish between the two
sorts of intentions and claims fallaciously that the "acts chosen" (the
intention to contracept and the intention to abstain during fertile times)
by contraceptors and by periodic abstainers are the same because the
further intentions of both may well be, as Pope Paul VI himself
acknowledges, the same.
Further clarification of this matter may be possible if we call the further
"intentions" of both contracepting couples and those practicing periodic
continence their "motives" for acting and call their "present intentions"
to do what they do (namely, contracept or abstain at fertile times) the
"acts" or "means" they choose to attain their further intentions or
The Catholic Church has consistently held that contraception is inherently wrong, despite enormous pressures to change this teaching. The courage of the magisterium in resisting these pressures, reflected perhaps most nobly by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, something for which we ought to be grateful, for at stake is the meaning of human sexuality, of marriage, and of the human person. The human person is inescapably and essentially a body person. Our body, with its sexuality and procreative power, is inherently personal, and contraceptive intercourse is an attack on the inherent goodness of the integral human person.