"If 90% of Catholics Contracept, Then What Does That Say?" published on CourageousPriest.com, is another story in a long line of stories enshrining Pope Paul VI as a prophet, if not a saint, for penning Humanae Vitae, the 50th anniversary of which will be "celebrated" this July 25.
One wonders what there is to celebrate. HV has nearly destroyed the Church, NOT because of the pope's ultimate point (i.e. NO to contraception), but because of what he and his predecessor said and did BEFORE Paul go to his point.
Following is my reply to the above named article:
In answer to the question "what does that say?" I would submit that there was something fundamentally flawed with Humane Vitae. And here it is:
1. (And the first one is not the fault of Paul6.) If the church's teaching on contraception could never change then John23 should have never instituted a commission to study the question.
2. After Paul6 became pope he had an opportunity to disban the commission in the name of there is no reason to study a question when we already know the answer. Instead, he expanded the commission from the original 6 members to 72 members, and when he did so, he said this:
"We say frankly that so far we do not have sufficient reason to consider the norms given by Pope Pius XII on this matter [of contraception] as out of date and therefore as not binding. They must be considered as valid, at least until We feel obliged in conscience to change them." - Paul VI Acta apostolicae sedis (AAS) 56 (1964) 588-59, 1964 address to the special papal commission on the use of contraceptives.
As can be clearly seen, Paul6 gave every indication that the teaching was NOT unchangeable, and that the teaching could be changed when “WE feel obliged in conscience to change them.” (Note, he uses the papal WE.)
3. Paul6 sabotaged HV right from the start when he implies in par. 6, that all that is needed to change the teaching is a unanimous vote:
"...the conclusions arrived at by the commission could not be considered by Us as definitive and absolutely certain...because, within the commission itself, there was not complete agreement concerning the moral norms to be proposed."
This is why 90% of Catholic contracept. They were told by their pastors that the teaching was going to change anyway. Further, Paul6 speaks of the church's unchangeable teaching, something already determined to be instrinsically evil, as only "moral norms to be proposed."
And as a father of 11 children I have been mocked and ridiculed by my own pastors for not using contraception.
Let's stop blaming the people in the pews.