TORONTO, November 12, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A conference on the prophetic document by Pope Paul VI, regarding contraception and called Humanae Vitae, has completely sold out a week in advance. This has stunned some organizers who were initially concerned that there would not be enough interest to fill the 400-seat hall where the conference will take place this Saturday.
The conference is sponsored by Campaign Life Coalition, Priests for Life Canada, the Natural Family Planning Association, the Catholic Doctors Guild and LifeSiteNews.com. Speakers include Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, Musician and speaker Mark Mallet, the leader of Priests for Life Canada Fr. Tom Lynch, Dr. Maria Kraw, Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, as well as Theology of the Body speaker Cale Clarke.
“I’m thrilled at the interest in the conference,” Jim Hughes of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews.com, “it shows that there is an awakening in Canada of the importance of that 1968 document which if embraced at the time it was released would have led to a massive resurgence of respect for life.”
Organizers are warning that not even one more space is available and therefore anyone arriving at the door will unfortunately not be able to be admitted. However, they say, DVD’s and CDs of all the talks will be made available for order through LifeSiteNews.com and other venues.
I’m glad to see that various pro-life groups are finally “getting it”. Contraception and Humanae Vitae is where the fight is at. Just remember, this conference wasn’t the first one. This one was …
OTTAWA, Canada, May 23, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A recent conference on the Vatican document Humanae Vitae and artificial contraception offered an open look into the beauty of the Church’s teaching on respect for life and sexuality within marriage, and the vast social problems it says have resulted from the widespread use of artificial contraception.
Conference organizer John Pacheco, who co-founded The Rosarium, a Catholic organization dedicated to increasing respect for life in Canada, said the conference was intended to be a re-opening of the issue of contraception.
“No-one talks about this issue,” said Mr. Pacheco in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com. “We don’t want people to make tragic decisions in their lives without considering other options.”
He believes the use of artificial contraception is at the root of serious social problems affecting families today, in particular the skyrocketing divorce and abortion rates of the past 30 years.
Conference speaker Dr. Janet Smith, an expert on contraceptive issues, agreed with Mr. Pacheco. The widespread use of artificial contraception led directly to the explosion in divorce rates, sexually transmitted diseases, abortions (when contraception fails) and single motherhood in western society, she said during the conference.
Dr. Smith quoted recent statistics on the rates of pregnancies and births taking place outside of marriage in the U.S. Single women account for half of all U.S. pregnancies, she said, and single mothers raise 68% of all U.S. children. Only 28% of babies are born to a married couple with no history of divorce.
A recent article in the New York Times on contraception suggested there is a growing disillusionment in society with the philosophy of non-procreative sexuality so taken for granted by much of today’s culture. The article quoted the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, R. Albert Mohler Jr., who is considered one of the intellectual leaders of evangelical Christianity in the U.S.
“The effective separation of sex from procreation may be one of the most important defining marks of our age – and one of the most ominous…A growing number of evangelicals are rethinking the issue of birth control,” he wrote in a 2005 column for The Christian Post.
Mr. Pacheco said he believes many couples rely on contraception out of fear over financial security.
“I think most couples want more children but in the back of their mind they think they can’t afford more children. As a society we are petrified of the future, and the natural reaction is to cut back, circle the wagons, don’t be generous.”
“Children don’t need more stuff, what they need is love,” he said. “And we have trouble giving that to our children.”
The conference offered people an opportunity to question the consequences of contraception, he said. “We’ve touched a lot of people’s lives.”
Conference material is available on CD and DVD for purchase at http://www.therosarium.ca