Real Pastoral Guidance

…Therefore, we who have been blessed by God with the gift of the Catholic Faith can have no doubt about the immorality of artificial contraception. The Catholic Church clearly teaches that the use of artificial contraception in all its forms, including direct sterilization, is gravely immoral, is intrinsically evil, is contrary to the law of nature and nature’s God. This is and always has been the uninterrupted teaching of the Catholic Church from the beginning. The ban on contraception is not a disciplinary law of the Church, like abstinence on Friday which the Church can enact and which the Church can change and from which the Church can dispense for good reasons. Rather, it is a Divine Law which the Church cannot change any more than it can change the law of God forbidding murder. Artificial contraception is wrong, not because the Church says it is wrong (It was wrong before Christ established the Church); it is wrong because God Himself, through the revelation of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ has declared it to be wrong. Because artificial contraception is intrinsically evil, it may never be practiced for any reason, no matter how good and urgent. A good end never justifies the use of an evil means.

The ban on contraception is not a disciplinary law of the Church, like abstinence on Friday which the Church can enact and which the Church can change and from which the Church can dispense for good reasons. Rather, it is a Divine Law which the Church cannot change any more than it can change the law of God forbidding murder. Artificial contraception is wrong, not because the Church says it is wrong (It was wrong before Christ established the Church); it is wrong because God Himself, through the revelation of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ has declared it to be wrong. Because artificial contraception is intrinsically evil, it may never be practiced for any reason, no matter how good and urgent. A good end never justifies the use of an evil means….

+GIennon P. Flavin
Bishop of Lincoln Nebraska

October 11,1991

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