This little rebuttal is in response to a Jehovah's Witness a Catholic has been dialoguing with on the issue of contraception. The Witness' comments are in red. Pacheco's comments are in blue.
Here are my responses to your JW friend:
No, no, no, no. Never waivering? If that were the case then over 85% would not be practicing birth control beyond rhythm. But we know that's not true.
I guess this guy missed the point. We are talking about OFFICIAL Church teaching through the Magisterium and the saintly Fathers - not Joe American Catholic who is hardly Catholic to begin with. Joe American Catholic does not speak for the Catholic Church.
The "natural law" is not a scriptural law, but one that celibate men created.
"Natural law" was not created by man. It was created by God. God created the world and all of the natural, physical laws in it.
The "natural law" allows sex only the purpose for procreation. Following this same logic, the "natural law" of eating is so that you can sustain function of life. Does that mean you can only eat when you are hungry? Does that mean you should not enjoy what you eat? Does this mean you cannot eat simply for the purpose of enjoyment? The "rhythm method" requires a calendar and biology to maintain. Do I need a watch to tell me when I should eat? The whole idea of "natural law" is negated by nature. Animals also have sex to procreate, but they also have sex to recreate.
Uh.....again, he misses the point. If I eat something, then I consume it and accept the consequences of that action. For instance, if I eat junk food, my stomach will still have to process it. But the pleasure and the "pain" both go together - you can't separate the two. If he wants to say that he can vomit the food up (which is basically what contraception is), then I would say that that is a sin. It would not be as grave as contraception since contraception involves the transmission of life, but it still would be a sin nonetheless.
They once had "vomitoriums" in Roman days for this very reason. Ask him if he thinks using such a facility would be a sin or not.
Humans have a passion to show intimacy and romance with sex. According to "rhythm", this passion has to be scheduled around the fertile weeks and the menstruation week. Wow. How spontaneous!
Actually, sex within the confines of truth and submission to the natural law of God is very arousing. So he prefers spontaneity. Big deal! I prefer anticipation. Moreover, it teaches the person self control over their passions and appetites - hardly an anti-Christian discipline.
The "natural law" of which you speak is an invention of old, celibate men-- many of them unmarried. It's unscriptural.
Far from it. Contraception has ***always been condemned*** in the bible and throughout history up to the twentieth century. Ask him to cite one Christian before the twentieth century who accepted its use! Tell him to read my paper which discusses the death punishment that God dealt to Onan.
Never waivered? The whole purpose of Castii Connubi and Humanae Vitae was to address the issues surrounding birth control. What issues if they never waivered? The pope never waivered because he never had to. The law didn't affect him. Your proud of a tradition that's wrong and isn't observed by over 85% of the laity and torments the other 15%. What a fun religion that must be!
Unlike the JWs, we have a divine religion. Truth is not determined by 85% of the population. If it were, the Jews would have been right and Christ would have been wrong. "It was Ca'iaphas who had given counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people." (John 18:14)
That also goes for the prophets: "Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets." (Matthew 23:31)
Others in the religion, including bishops and cardinals did waiver.
Our Lord founded the Church on Peter and the bishops united with him. It is Peter and his successors which must give the definitive judgement:
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren." (Luke 22:31-32)
That's where the controversy came in. Cardinal Suenens opposed the doctrine and stated that he was not alone, but could not get other bishops to support his view, essentially calling them papal robots. It got to the point that bishops essentially disregarded the papal view and made it a conscience issue. Not only is Catholicsim wrong, the laity knows it. One (typical) statement read: "Should someone, however, for grave and carefully considered reasons, not feel able to subscribe to the arguments of the encyclical, he is entitled, as has been constantly acknowledged, to entertain other views than those put forward in a non-fallible declaration of the Church. No one should, therefore, on account of such diverging opinions alone, be regarded as an inferior Catholic."
There are always going to be dissenters. But that's what they are - dissenters only. So what? Anyone can bring up objections to Catholic teaching. The fact remains that you know what the Catholic Church teaches on this issue. Pointing to detractors does not make something that is immoral moral. By the way, the teaching IS infallible because it has always, consistently, and everywhere been believed.
Translation: do what you feel is right. The pope's hold slipped further away on the laity, as it has continued to do for centuries. The doctrine in unscriptural. It's wrong. And when you get married, you'll either disregard the edict or wear it as a millstone around your neck. You'll see.
"Do what you feel is right"? Yeah, I've heard that before. Here it is again under scriptural condemnation:
"For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths." (2 Tim 4:3-4)
"First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation." They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men." (2 Peter 3:3-7)
Hope this helps, Kyle.
The Catholic Legate
December 3, 2001