Revisiting Humanae Vitae

What has been summarized as his most profound theological contribution, Theology of the Body, John Paul II labeled the entire work a “rereading of Humanae Vitae.”

Two days after the publication of Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI remarked during his Wednesday audience that the encyclical had “clarified a fundamental chapter … in the field of marriage, family and morality.”  “Still,” the pope added, “the Magisterium of the Church could and perhaps should return to this immense field with a fuller, more organic and more synthetic treatment.” 1  At the time, this comment must have left an indelible mark on the mind of a Polish cardinal named Karol Wojtyla.  Once he became Pope John Paul II, there was no field of theology that he returned to more often than the teachings of Humanae Vitae.  In fact, what has been summarized as his most profound theological contribution, Theology of the Body, John Paul II labeled the entire work a “rereading of Humanae Vitae.” 2  With the recent controversy surrounding the HHS mandate, it can be highly instructive to reexamine the encyclical in light of the teachings of, not only John Paul II, but the Magisterium as a whole since 1968.

A New Approach
With the advent of the “sexual revolution” and the prevalence of modern rationalism, there was one thing that became readily apparent.  The Church could no longer depend on the old pedagogical style of the moral manuals to stem the cultural tide that was pushing for contraception.  Although these manuals taught the objective truth, they often came across as legalistic and authoritarian.  The Church was viewed as “out of touch” with modern times because the teachings in the classic moral manuals failed to resonate personally with the couples themselves. Because questions of sexual morality are always tied to “the content and quality of the subjective experience” of the couple, 3 the Church had to find a way to speak to couples in this situation.

In many ways, this is what makes Humanae Vitae so groundbreaking for those who have actually read it.  The encyclical responds to modern rationalism by framing its moral pronouncement in largely personalist terms.  This is the first major Magisterial document that took this approach.  Given that Paul VI was reading Karol Wojtyla’s Love and Responsibility at the time he was writing Humanae Vitae, 4 we can see that the future John Paul II had a significant influence on Paul VI’s thought in this encyclical.  Paul VI agreed that when it comes to matters of sexual ethics, the “personal order is the only proper plane for all debate on matters of sexual morality.” 5

In making moral judgments, personalist philosophy does not look first at either natural or divine law, but takes the truth about man as its starting point.  Yet, it discusses the nature of the person by referring to subjective experience.  In this way, it is understandable to modern rationalist thinking because it addresses ethical questions from “inside” of man.  Because it is wedded to the objective truth about what man is, this truth does not differ from the divine or natural law.  It is simply more accessible to man because it relates to his direct experience. 6

An example of this approach can be found in Love and Responsibility when Wojtyla examines the experience of sexual shame.  Rather than looking at it from merely a psychological viewpoint, he examines it from a metaphysical viewpoint as well.  Shame arises any time something, which by its very nature ought to remain private, becomes public.  Since the existence of the person is an interior one that is revealed only to those whom the person freely chooses to reveal it, a person is shamed whenever his interior is exposed to the view of others.  In the context of what we are speaking, persons feel shamed whenever their sexuality is regarded as an object of enjoyment for another.  From the subjective experience of shame, we find that light is shed on two fundamental truths about man. 7

The first truth is that man is his own master (sui iuris), and thus belongs only to himself.  This means that one person must not be an object of use for another.  This is what Wojtyla referred to as the “personalistic norm.”  The personalistic norm, in its negative formulation, says that a “person is a kind of good which does not admit use, and cannot be treated as an object of use, and, as such, the means to an end.”  In its positive form, it states that a “person is a good towards which the only proper and adequate attitude is love.” 8  The second truth is that man is incommunicable (alteri incommunicabilis).  He cannot be given to another.

It is these two truths, however, that lead to a fundamental paradox.  This paradox is captured in one of John Paul II’s favorite quotes from Gaudium et Spes.  “(M)an, though he is the only creature on earth which God willed for his own sake, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.” 9

A person is sui iuris and alteri incommunicablis, yet, love somehow detaches from the person these two truths.  The person who loves wants to surrender himself to the other, and so in loving, he renounces his autonomy and inalienability.  This is referred to as the “law of the gift.”  Man only finds meaning to his life when he gives himself away.10

The Ends of Marriage: An Explanation
As was briefly mentioned above, the Church traditionally relied on focusing upon the primary end of marriage being “procreation and education of children.” 11  To understand what is meant when one says that procreation is the primary end of marriage, it is necessary to make a few distinctions.  First, there is the distinction between finis operantis and finis operis, or the intention, or end, of the agent, versus the end of the act itself.  In making this distinction, we see that the Church is not saying that spouses marry for the sake of having children. Nor is she saying that every sexual act must have the intention of procreation.  In both cases “end” is meant in the second sense, in that the primary end of marriage itself, and the marital act specifically, is procreation.

This leads to a second necessary distinction, which is: What is meant by the word primary?  For most people who do not understand the Church’s teaching, they think that primary means that one thing is thought better than another.  However, the Church means primary in two senses. First, because man has an animal nature, the end of sexual activity is “reproduction.”  Secondly, because man has a rational nature, primary means that before engaging in the marital embrace, the spouses must be prepared to provide for the children begotten.  This necessarily points to  marriage, because it is both faithful and indissoluble, and primarily protects the children that are begotten. 12  So we can say that there is no contradiction in Humanae Vitae when Paul VI calls for “responsible parenthood,” 13 while maintaining that “each and every marital act must, of necessity, retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.” 14

Although this understanding of the ends of marriage is assumed by Humanae Vitae, Paul VI placed much of the focus on the significance (or meaning) of the conjugal act, rather than on its end. He does this so as to evaluate the sexual act from the interior perspective of the person performing it.  This distinction between the meaning of marriage, and the end of marriage, is necessary because it shows that marriage has a value all its own, rather than being just a source of procreation.  Only by separating meaning and end can we see the link between procreation and marriage more clearly and deeply. 15

An Integral Vision of Man
Humanae Vitae calls conjugal love “fully human, a compound of sense and spirit…that leads husband and wife…together to attain their human fulfillment.” 16  Without much further explanation, Paul VI is rejecting the modern day version of anthropological dualism which attempts to separate the person from the body.  This view of man makes it nearly impossible to accept the teachings of Humanae Vitae.  For this reason, John Paul II thought this was one of the areas where a “fuller treatment” was necessary.  Much of the teachings in the Theology of the Body are centered on building an “adequate anthropology” that provides an integral vision of man.

Man is a body person.  This means that the body is not just something accidental, or a mere house for the soul.  The body is not just part of the person, but instead is the person as expressed in the physical world.  When the body is separated from the person conceptually, the consequence is that we extend the instrumentality of biological functions (such as thirst) to the spiritual acts (like love).  The spiritual acts have meaning in themselves.  Because some bodily actions have an inherent meaning, we must respect this in our behavior. 17

If the body is the way a person expresses himself, then in some way man must image God, who is a communion of persons pouring themselves out in an eternal exchange of self-giving love, in his body. John Paul II explains:

(T)he body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden since time immemorial in God, and thus be a sign of it. 18

In revealing something of the mystery of God, the body, in its sexual complementarity, has a spousal meaning.  The spousal meaning of the body is the body’s “capacity of expressing love, that love in which the person becomes a gift.” 19  The body, then, has a language all its own in which it can speak the truth about who man is or can tell a lie.  Those who practice contraception are lying with the language of the body.

Self-Mastery
Paul VI also recognized that there was a tension in modernity between the “domination of the forces of nature” 20 and the “mastery of self.” 21  The pope was completely realistic, in that he recognized that if abstinence were easy, this teaching would be readily accepted.  However, because it is not, this sets up a great paradox in modern man.  The paradox is that man treats himself as a god when it comes to technological manipulation and domination, and as a beast when it comes to controlling his urges and passions.

Yet, the pope is quick to point out all the personalist goods that flow from the virtue of self-mastery.  This includes harmony in the home, generosity, and selflessness that permeates the whole of married life for the spouses. 22

This section of Humanae Vitae is one on which John Paul II spent a significant amount of time.  He builds on what Paul VI says by recognizing that self-mastery should not be viewed merely as a means to enable one to abstain from sexual intercourse when it is necessary, but is an essential virtue for the true expression of love.  It is only the man who truly owns himself that can make a true gift of himself.  This virtue, in John Paul II’s eyes, is of great value to man because it enables him to make choices that are worthy of his personhood. 23

The Principle of Totality
With this foundation in place, we are now able to visit the two most controversial statements within the encyclical to explain them more fully.  The first is that the Church “teaches that each and every marital act must, of necessity, retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.”24  Although this was mentioned briefly above, it warrants further explanation since it relates to a common argument put forth for the licit use of contraception.  This argument is mentioned directly by Paul VI when he asks in Section 3 whether the principle of totality might justify “acts causing sterility.” 25

Like much of the encyclical, it only alludes to the argument, and then leaves it to other magisterial work to respond to the argument.  Simply stated, the principle of totality holds that under certain circumstances, it is morally permissible to sacrifice the good of a part for the sake of the whole.  An example would be when person has his leg amputated so that he might survive, or when a person donates a kidney for the good of another person.

Many try to justify contraception by appealing to this principle in saying that a marriage is, in general, open to children, although each act of sexual intercourse need not be.  They argue that if the marriage would be harmed in some way by having children, the good of procreation may be sacrificed for the total good of the marriage itself.

The problem with this argument is that it violates the principle that one may never perform an intrinsically evil act (such as contraception), so that good may come about.  Also, the principle only applies to physical organisms (like organs), and not moral organisms (i.e., persons).  In a physical organism, the parts are subordinate to the whole.  In a moral organism, each part has a value independent of the whole.  As we have shown, the conjugal act has a value, and it is not just as part of the whole that it gains its value. 26

The problem with appealing to the principle of totality is that it can lead to justifying nearly anything.  For example, there is no reason why an act of infidelity, especially if it might “help” the marriage, would be wrong, as long as the totality of the marriage is faithful. 27

The application of the principle of totality also is related to the second controversial statement.  It pertains to what has been called the “inseparability principle.”  Specifically, the teaching states that there is an “inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.” 28

The Inseparability Principle
As Paul VI mentioned in Humanae Vitae, some couples resort to contraception in order to avoid pregnancy for what they perceive are very good reasons. 29  They justify its use by saying that while contraception does frustrate the procreative aspect of the marital act, it still keeps the unitive aspect intact.  They believe it may even facilitate the unitive aspect by removing the fear of possible pregnancy.

However, since the marital embrace is not just a biological act, but a spiritual one that is meant to show love, it must be viewed as more than just two people touching.  It must be seen as a true communication between the spouses.  Recall that the person by nature is incommunicable (the person cannot be given to another).  This is symbolized by the limitations of the conjugal act in that it does not lead to a complete interpenetration of the persons.  In this way, the act itself is incomplete despite the desire on the part of the spouses to give themselves fully.  The greatest expression of this desire is to give the seed of themselves.  Yet, love that is true and deep calls the lover and beloved to transcendence.  This transcendence cannot be fully achieved outside of God, but the gift of the child is a symbol of it.  In this way, the union of the spouses is based upon a sharing in the unique power of procreation. 30

If contracepted intercourse truly is unitive, then what is the sign of this union?  In closing off the act to the power of procreation, the only thing that actually binds the spouses as persons is the sharing of the sensation.  Love may still somehow be present in a contracepted act, but this is not conjugal love.  Conjugal love is the love of the whole person (body and spirit), and is falsified if body and spirit are not doing the same thing.  In truth, it expresses a rejection of the other.  It is an offer to give and receive everything of the other person except his/her sexuality.  This means contracepted intercourse is not true sexual intercourse.  In essence, it not only separates procreation from sex, but sex from love. 31

Natural Family Planning and Limiting Family Size
Paul VI also devotes a whole section to the question of contraception and natural family planning (NFP).  In laying out the principles, the encyclical is carefully worded.  It speaks of “spacing children” rather than “limiting family size.”  The Latin translation speaks of spacing children for “just reasons.” 32  The phrasing not only assumes that a couple intends to have children in their marriage, but that the parents should be guided by the virtue of justice when deciding whether to avoid pregnancy or not.  They should be guided by the question as to whether it is just—either to God, ourselves, our children, or even society as a whole—for us to have another child. 33

Both contraception, and determining a woman’s fertility cycle, is an act of human reason.  But only in the latter case is reason in accord with nature.  Contraception, on the other hand, is “unnatural” then, not because it is something artificial, but because it works against nature. 34

Those who have read Humanae Vitae have commented upon its prophetic character.  Paul VI predicted that as contraception continued to gain widespread acceptance, there would be a general lowering of moral standards, opening wide the way to marital infidelity; the young, and those who are so exposed to temptation would lose their incentive to keep the moral law; and man would forget the reverence due to woman, reducing her to a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires. 35  Given these signs of the times, it is important—now more than ever—to join Blessed John Paul II in “rereading” Human Vitae.

 

  1. Pope Paul VI, General Audience, July 31, 1968 (translated from Italian).
  2. Pope John Paul II, General Audience, July 18, 1984.
  3. Pope John Paul II, General Audience, April 15, 1981.
  4. Johnson, p32-33.
  5. Wojtyla, p.18.
  6. Crosby, p.195.
  7. Wojtyla, pp.174-194.
  8. Ibid, p.41.
  9. GS, §24.
  10. Wojtyla, p.126.
  11. Casti Connubii §17.
  12. Smith, p.52-53.
  13. HV §10.
  14. Ibid §11.
  15. Von Hildebrand,  p.71.
  16. HV §9.
  17. Von Hildebrand, p.52.
  18. John Paul II, General Audience, Feb. 20,1980.
  19. John Paul II, General Audience, Jan. 16, 1980.
  20. HV §2.
  21. HV §21.
  22. Ibid.
  23. John Paul II, Reflections on Humanae Vitae, p.64.
  24. HV §11.
  25. HV §3.
  26. Pius XII, “Speech to the Twenty-Sixth Congress of the Italian Association of Urology.”
  27. Smith, p.93.
  28. HV §12.
  29. HV §10.
  30. Quay, p.33-35.
  31. Burke, p.154-166.
  32. Smith, p.120.
  33. Ibid.
  34. Ibid, p. 121.
  35. HV §17.
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avatar About Rob Agnelli

Rob Agnelli holds an M.A. in moral theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, Allison, and their three sons. Rob teaches bioethics throughout the Diocese of Raleigh, and is part of a national speakers' panel in which he addresses issues related to marriage, fatherhood, and moral theology. He has published numerous articles related to the Catholic faith in journals such as the National Catholic Bioethics Center's Ethics and Medics newsletter, Homiletic and Pastoral Review magazine, and Social Justice Review.

Comments

  1. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    How many Catholics or even non Catholics will understand all this.
    The hope I have is that it will be taught in schools to 6th Form students and pre-marriage preparation as an essential teaching of the Catholic Church.

  2. avatar bill bannon says:

    Yet major Catholics theologians not just minor ones dissented publicly and were not censured by the same Popes involved. Indeed, Karl Rahner who urged Catholics to follow the steps of sincere dissent found even in conservative moral tomes like Grisez’s volume one of “Way of the Lord Jesus” page 854…he Rahner had a posthumous symposium on his theology at the Lateran in 2004 at which the CDF’s second in command at that time, Archbishop Amato stated to John Allen that Rahner was an orthodox theologian…easily googled. I don’t think those in paid Catholic employment feel entirely free to address the nuances of this issue of the non censuring of such people by these same Popes.

  3. avatar Bain Wellington says:

    I don’t see the relevance of Mr Bannon’s point. Whether one or more theologians (of whatever eminence) have or have not been disciplined for dissent from any particular magisterial teaching has no bearing on the continuing validity of that teaching.

    In any case, in formulating his argument Mr Bannon evidently overlooked the fact that Fr. Curran was declared “neither suitable nor eligible to exercise the function of a professor of Catholic theology” on grounds including his dissent to “Humanae Vitae” (Letter of CDF, 25 July 1986) and was accordingly dismissed from his post at the Catholic University of America.

    The so-called “Washington Case” (put to its quietus by a letter from the CDF dated 26 April 1971) is also relevant here. It can be found in Flannery’s “Vatican Collection, volume 2 at pp. 417-422.” (More Post-Conciliar Documents)

  4. avatar bill bannon says:

    Bain,
    Then Curran’s exact wording on Humanae Vitae must have been worse qualitatively than the wording of prominent theologians who went unpunished. That’s the only rational explanation. Curran had an overall laxist problem that went beyond sexual topics because he uniquely believed that the gospel verse requirements on various topics were ideals that often could not be reached. That means he could have felt the same about Humanae Vitae. Whatever his exact dissent was, it must have differed greatly from those like Rahner and Haring who were not punished by Rome. The Washington case according to reports on the net was the CDF relieving the DC theologians from a Bishop’s punishment if they signed a paper that HV qualified as authentic Church teaching which does not imply infallibility ergo they could sign whike believing it could change someday.

  5. avatar bill bannon says:

    Bain,
    The CDF letter of July 25,1986 to Curran is here below linked and no where uses the words Humanae Vitae as you seem to state it did while giving a long list including birth control that he dissented on so yes he dissented on a host of issues some which are clearly condemned in scripture like gay acts ( Rom.1) and he dissented on birth control and permanent marriage but the letter does not use the words Humanae Vitae.
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19860725_carlo-curran_en.html

    • avatar Bain Wellington says:

      Mr Bannon, I still have no idea where you are going with this, but the Letter of 25 July 1986 includes this:-

      “The several dissenting positions which this Congregation contested, namely, on a right to public dissent from the ordinary Magisterium, the indissolubility of consummated sacramental marriage, abortion, euthanasia, masturbation, artificial contraception, premarital intercourse and homosexual acts, were listed carefully enough in the above-mentioned observations in July of 1983 and have since been published. There is no point in entering into any detail concerning the fact that you do indeed dissent on these issues.”

      What, if not “Humanae Vitae”, can his dissent on “artificial contraception” have related to?

      • avatar bill bannon says:

        Casti Connubii inter alia and Vatican II and HV as an aggregate not to mention Augustine and Jerome.

  6. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    I believe that instead of thinking about the past, we think now about the present and the future by trying to ensure that ‘Humanae Vitae’ will now be accepted as a Truth by all bishops priests and theologians.
    Also proclaim the good news for the use of Natural Family Planning, used in accordance to the teachings of Holy Mother Church.

  7. avatar Martin B Drew says:

    Coming from the papal magisterium and the extraordinary episcopal magisterium Humanae Vitae is an infallible TEACHING on moral acts of man. Yet if one wishes to dissent or disagree with this teaching Anathema sit as the council of Trent would state. And if a devout Catholic not academically trained like Rahner or Curran can accept Humanae Vitae then Pope Paul VI and John Paul II would accept publically the devout Catholic and censure persons like Curran and leave Rahner to heaven. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ were speaking and teaching from Paul VI ? I do. Martin Drew Dallas Tx.

    • avatar bill bannon says:

      Martin,
           Humanae Vitae was introduced at its press conference at the Vatican as non infallible twice by Monseignor Lambrushini who was not contradicted publicly  in subsequent days and weeks by Pope Paul VI which would have been publicly required for a wrong statement by a public spokesmen statement.  

      http://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/PRSSCNHV.HTM

          Lambrushini went on however to hold it as thoroughly binding under for example Lumen Gentium 25′s “religious submission of mind and will”.  But basically the laity,
      who as children in 1950 watched a Pope declare the Assumption infallible, could not see why Paul VI couldn’t  rise to infallible certainty if he has that charism and if he had thought about contraception many months, it meant to them that he was binding them in something he wasn’t sure of.
          The dispute arose afterwards among theologians if the ISSUE of birth control was infallibly settled not in any one encyclical but in the ordinary magisterium as infallible due to longevity from the very beginning of the Church not so much by Popes but from the Fathers and thence into the decretals of Aquinas’ time…ie universal ordinary magisterium.  Germain Grisez and a Father Ford argued that the ISSUE was infallible by way of the universal ordinary magisterium while very weighty theologians like Rahner who edited the “Enchiridion Symbolorum” ( which assesses dogmatic levels) for years took the other side and said it was not.  Part of their debate occurred in the Jesuit periodical “Theological Studies” which the Vatican is very aware of as a place of high level debate but no Pope took a public position as to which side was correct.  A Father Ermenigildo Lio in Europe actually took your position, Martin that “Humanae Vitae” was infallible and he was followed by Fr. Brian Harrison of Puerto Rico in that view but its following seems to have been small because the Vatican introduced the encyclical as non infallible and Pope Paul VI did not publically correct that statement while conservatives rumored that he did in private but that makes no sense because he would in effect be furthering a gross error by not correcting a public mistake publically and would be helping one person…Lambrushini….and not one billion people outside in public Catholicism.
            I suspect by subsequent events occurring within “Evangelium Vitae” in 1995 that not all Bishops agree that the issue is settled infallibly in the universal ordinary magisterium ( only about ten Popes out of 265 have written on the issue unless Vatican archives have more).  In ” Evangelium Vitae” birth control is treated but is not given the infallible wording that three issues are given in that encyclical…
      abortion, euthanasia, and killing the innocent…all three of which are given a word formula similar to the infallible IC encyclical but abbreviated and not ex cathedra but extraordinary magisterium based on the world’s Bishops having agreed in a polling of them by John Paul II that abortion, euthanasia, and killing the innocent were settled infallibly.  Rationally he would have included birth control in the polling since there was so much theologian dispute but unanimous Bishop agreement seems only to have been given on three issues.  Such a polling would be papal correspondence which remains secret for 80 years I believe is the time span.  But it would have been the ideal moment for a Pope to settle the infallibility on contraception with the clarity mentioned by canon 749-3 ” §3. “No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.”
           Why would great theologians question this area?  I suspect because the Fathers like Jerome and Augustine are not totally healthy in their comments on sex and because on a global scale, some situations like one child China make following NFP and simultaneously following I Corinthians 7:5 seemingly impossible…” Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”. To get pregnant a second or third time in some provinces of China makes forced bortion and heavy fines likely yet Corinthians is warning of the devil if some people try the Josephite solution.

    • avatar Martin B Drew says:

      It is quite simple Vatican I with Pius IX defining Infallibility of the Popesin matters of moral or doctrinal teachings escapes error. And in Humanae Vitae the principle of totality fails when a couple contracepts and the idea of the lesser of two evils fails when a person chooses either one. It is morally good in one who does not act on either one but follows the traditional teachings of Jesus and Holy Spirit who specifies what is good or evil. I continue to hold that dissent from such as the above from certain persons betrays their lack of Faith in God and His truth.

      • avatar bill bannon says:

        Martin,
        Tell the Chinese it’s simple. I Cor.7:5 is from the Holy Spirit. The Popes are only infallible in morals under certain conditions and they’ll use certain wording like this from Evangelium Vitae:
        ” Given such unanimity in the doctrinal and disciplinary tradition of the Church, Paul VI was able to declare that this tradition is unchanged and unchangeable. 72 Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, in communion with the Bishops-who on various occasions have condemned abortion and who in the aforementioned consultation, albeit dispersed throughout the world, have shown unanimous agreement concerning this doctrine-I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written Word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s Tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. 73″. Evangelium Vitae section 62.
        That’s what infallibility looks like. In the same encyclical, John Pal II talks about both the deth penalty and contraception and uses no such formal wording.

        In 1520 in Exsurge Domine, Pope Leo X excommunicates latae sententiae any Catholic who says that burning heretics is against the Holy Spirit ( art.33 condemned). Now in 2013 the entire Catholic Church is against such coercion in religious areas. Pope Leo X was wrong in a moral matter.
        In ” Splendor of the Truth” section 80, John Paul II writes that “coercion of the spirit” is an intrinsic evil…as is “torture”. Either he’s wrong and Leo X was right or vice versa. Two opposites cannot be correct.

  8. avatar Anonymous says:

    The reason is that the fundamental nature of the marriage act, while uniting husband and wife in the closest intimacy, also renders them capable of generating new life—and this as a result of laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman. And if each of these essential qualities, the unitive and the procreative, is preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood to which man is called. We believe that our contemporaries are particularly capable of seeing that this teaching is in harmony with human reason.

  9. avatar Thomist says:

    Despite Lambruschini’s faux pas over the infallibility of the doctrine against contraception, it is indisputable that it is infallible.

    Over Msgr Lambruschini’s error, “Fr. Lio replies that there was considerable dismay behind the scenes about Msgr. Lambruschini’s remarks, which were purely his own personal initiative, with no official backing whatever. (He had in fact been one of the theologians favouring a relaxation of the traditional doctrine prior to the Encyclical’s publication.) Lambruschini was in effect corrected, though not in such a way as to be humiliated publicly. Fr. Lio points out how, in the report of Lambruschini’s press conference given in the official Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano (daily Italian edition, 29/30 July 1968, p. 4), his statements to the journalists about the “non-infallible” nature of “Humanae Vitae” are conspicuous by their absence.

    “Conspicuously present in the Vatican daily a few weeks later, however, was the report of Fr. Lio’s own speech at the opening of the 1968-69 academic year of the Pontifical Lateran University. Giving a summary of Fr. Lio’s address, L’Osservatore Romano highlighted the fact that he had twice used the word “immutable” – which logically implies infallibility – in regard to the decision handed down in Humanae Vitae in which Pope Paul VI taught: “Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.” [#14, 1968].

    In “Casti Connubii”, 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.” [Casti Connubii, 56, 1930].
    Pius XI in “Casti Connubii”, refers to the “doctrine handed down from the beginning without interruption” which fact alone makes it an infallible teaching according to the “universality of time” which argument was used also by Pius XII for the dogma of Our Lady’s Assumption (1950).

    Furthermore, it is infallible because of the “universality of the present” — because Vatican II declared unequivocally that “In questions of birth regulation, the sons of the Church, faithful to these principles, are forbidden to use methods disapproved of by the teaching authority of the Church in its interpretation of the divine law.” ["Gaudium et Spes", 51; footnote 14 refers to "Casti Connubii" and further teaching by Pius XI and Paul VI]. So the bishops of the Church in Ecumenical Council, approved by the Pope, give this teaching.

    In “Evangelium Vitae”, Bl John Paul II, 1995, reiterates: “It is therefore morally unacceptable to encourage, let alone impose, the use of methods such as contraception, sterilization and abortion in order to regulate births.” [#91].

    • avatar bill bannon says:

      Thomist,
      Poppycock. Fr. Lio does not explain rationally but irrationally how a worldwide mistake of Msgr. Lambrushini to a waiting audience about infallibility was not corrected in public in days. His given reason that it would humiliate Lambrushini is entirely absurd. It could have been done with total politeness by Pope Paul VI to waiting TV cameras in the ensuing days. Fr. Lio would have the world believe that a Pope left approximately 1 billion people misinformed about the infallibility of the issue rather than correct one man politely in public. No Pope has made the simple statement that the teaching is infallible. It’s very easy to do in the real world rather in the sometimes bizarre world of Catholic apologetics. A Pope calls a press conference to all of Europe on tv and says, “The teaching on contraception is infallibly settled and therefore I can and will put it in extraordinary form to clear up all disputes because that is one purpose of the extraordinary form.”
      No Pope has said those simple words “is infallibly settled” and all other comments by hundreds of pundits back and forth can’t replace that deficit. It being from the early Church is not enough because the position against all interest on personal loans was from the early Church and vanished after centuries of saints denouncing towns for usury. It vanished beginning in 1830 when the Vatican sent out word in answer to dubia that those taking moderate interest were not to be disturbed. Poof. Catholics had denounced each other for centuries ( even Dominicans denouncing Franciscans) on that issue and in 1829, you, Thomist, could have said that it was from time immemorial as mortal sin. But one year later, Thomist, you were incorrect because the Vatican in effect accepted what Calvin said in a letter of 1545 AD…that moderate interest charged to the non poor was not sin. Now….right now…no one mentions usury in Catholic NORMAL discussion though it is put in once in Vatican II and
      in the catechism to cover the historical record….but no one if pressed knows where moderate interest
      ends and usury begins. Write to the CDF and ask them. I wrote them years ago about a US diocese shunting Petrine Privilege cases into diocesan annullment courts but they never answered me….a book by Noonan later confirmed my fears. But maybe you’ll do better….but use a real normal name though I tried that then.

  10. avatar Thomist says:

    The puerility of citing a dissenter (Rahner) who concocted an “alternative magisterium” shows the pathetic state of all dissenters who prostitute the infallible doctrine from Vatican I (“Pastor Aeternus”) which teaches that for infallibility to be exercised the Pope must teach
    (a) ex cathedra (from the Chair of Peter), that is as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians,
    (b) speaking with Peter’s apostolic authority to the whole Church,
    (c) defining a doctrine of faith and morals.

    So the Pope’s ‘ex cathedra’ definitions may be either of revealed dogma, to be believed with divine faith, or of other truths necessary for guarding and expounding revealed truth. Vatican Council II and the post-conciliar Magisterium have explicitly affirmed that both ecclesial and papal infallibility extend to the secondary doctrinal truths necessary for guarding and expounding revelation. Thus ‘Humanae Vitae” (Encyclical) against contraception, and “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” (Apostolic Epistle) on male-only priests, contain infallible doctrinal definitions, to remove all doubt.

    Vatican II (“Lumen Gentium”, 25) reaffirms this teaching: “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful — who confirms his brethren in the faith (cf. Lk 22:32) – he proclaims in an absolute decision a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.”

    Thus, no dogma has to be affirmed, nor anyone anathematized, nor the word “define”, nor “definition”, nor “infallible” has to be used for an infallible papal teaching – only that the Pope is handing down a certain, decisive judgment that a point of doctrine on faith or morals is true and its contrary false.

    The further stupidity of citing “usury” shows the lack of knowledge.
    Session X of the Fifth Lateran Council (1515) gave its exact meaning: “For that is the real meaning of usury: when, from its use, a thing which produces nothing is applied to the acquiring of gain and profit without any work, any expense or any risk.”
    Consequently, as loaning money did involve loss of profit to the lender and further risk of loss from delay in returning the money loaned, this did justify interest that is just and justifiable.

    Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, the decrees of councils and popes condemn the taking of interest on loans to the poor and the greed of usurers, but say nothing about the charging of interest in general.

    • avatar bill bannon says:

      Thomist,
      Use your real name and someone might answer you in detail. If you were correct, then three Popes in a row have done nothing of a censure nature to those dissenters nor suppressed their books in Catholic colleges. Are you a convert? I’m guessing so. You don’t look at behaviour of Popes subsequent to dissent as part of the living Church. You are strictly enclised in document reading on the net. Use your family name and you’ll have more credibility because you’ll write without channeling Fr. Corapi simplicity.

      • avatar bill bannon says:

        ps….Loaning money always carried risk of the borrower fleeing or dying in 800AD….in 300AD….in 33 AD. Risk did not suddenly appear in 1830 when the Vatican affirmed interest. You’re reading debates on the net after I bring up a topic and then bringing inaccurate data here. Read John Noonan’s book on Usury. While your googling each topic I bring up…try Tuas Libenter by Pope Pius IX. It expects implicitly dissent from theologians as a help to weeding out the non infallible in the ordinary magisterium.

      • avatar bill bannon says:

        PS2
        You stated that Popes etc. condemned the taking of interest from the poor only. No….the Fathers did. Here is Pope Benedict XIV in 1745 saying the exact opposite…that you can’t do it to the rich either … in Vix Pervenit:
        ” One cannot condone the sin of usury by arguing that the gain is not great or excessive, but rather moderate or small; neither can it be condoned by arguing that the borrower is rich.”
        He was overruled in 1830 wherein moderate interest was allowed.

      • avatar bill bannon says:

        ROB….BELOW HUGE POST IS REPETITIONS DUE TO POSTING PROBLEM….STOP WHEN YOU SEE…A.) ST. ALPHONSUS….THE SECOND TIME.

  11. avatar Thomist says:

    Here we have the chastened Avery Cardinal Dulles, who had learned from his mistakes, recognising the clear teaching on usury.
    October 2005
    Development or Reversal? Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J.
    Reviewing “A Church That Can and Cannot Change: The Development of Catholic Moral Teaching”
    by John T. Noonan, Jr., University of Notre Dame Press

    “In his fifteen-page section on usury Noonan presents quite fairly the interplay between moral teaching and the emergence of new economic systems. The biblical strictures on usury were evidently motivated by a concern to prevent the rich from exploiting the destitution of the poor. But when capitalists of early modern times began to supply funds for ventures of industry and commerce, the situation became different. Moralists gradually learned to place limits on the ancient prohibition, so as to allow lenders fair compensation for the time and expenses of the banking business, the risks of loss, and the lenders’ inability to use for their own advantage what they had loaned out to others.

    “These concessions do not seem to me to be a reversal of the original teaching but rather a nuancing of it. The development, while real, may be seen as homogeneous. In view of the changed economic system the magisterium clarified rather than overturned its previous teaching. Catholic moral teaching, like contemporary criminal law, still condemns usury in the sense of the exaction of unjust or exorbitant interest.”
    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/01/development-or-reversal-37

    Facing reality is very difficult for some such as bill bannon.

    We have seen papal infallibility clearly defined by Vatican I and II, and the infallible doctrine against contraception by Pius XI and Paul VI.

    Again, in “Veritatis Splendor”, #80, 1993, Bl John Paul II reiterates the condemnation:
    ‘With regard to intrinsically evil acts, and in reference to contraceptive practices whereby the conjugal act is intentionally rendered infertile, Pope Paul VI teaches: “Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good, it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (cf. Rom 3:8) — in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general”.’

    Pope Benedict XVI on the 40th anniversary of H.V.
    “Forty years after its publication this teaching not only expresses its unchanged truth but also reveals the farsightedness with which the problem is treated.

    “The truth expressed in “Humanae Vitae” does not change; on the contrary, precisely in the light of the new scientific discoveries, its teaching becomes more timely and elicits reflection on the intrinsic value it possesses.

    “Freedom must be conjugated with truth and responsibility with the force of dedication to the other, even with sacrifice; without these components the human community does not grow and the risk of enclosing itself in an asphyxiating cycle of selfishness is always present.”
    http://tinyurl.com/8yk6ayw

    • avatar bill bannon says:

      ROB….BELOW HUGE POST IS REALLY A THRICE REPEATED SMALLER ONE…STOP WHEN YOU SEE capital A leading off again.

    • avatar bill bannon says:

      Thomist,
      Take a course in dogmatics. “Splendor of the Truth” section 80 which you quote as though it is infallible…is not. If you read on, it says slavery is an intrinsic evil. Absurd. Here’s God allowing it to the Jews in Leviticus 25: 44-46

      ” 44
      * The male and female slaves that you possess—these you shall acquire from the nations round about you.p
      45
      You may also acquire them from among the resident aliens who reside with you, and from their families who are with you, those whom they bore in your land. These you may possess,
      46
      and bequeath to your children as their hereditary possession forever. You may treat them as slaves. But none of you shall lord it harshly over any of your fellow Israelites.
      ……………………………………………………………………………………………

      Most encyclicals are not infallible. How can a non infallible section comment infallibly on the infallibility of an issue? Goodbye. You’re not thinking. You’re pasting.

  12. avatar Rob Agnelli says:

    Hi Bill:

    Just a couple of comments in response to your posts. At this point to continue to argue may be fruitless because you have clearly already decided. In the end it comes down to whether or not the Church speaks with the voice of Christ. If so then you can rest assured that if you follow what she says in a given time (regardless of what level the teaching is to be held) you cannot go wrong. In particular I would like to address your arguments. Above you argued that if Msgr. Lambrushini had spoken in error then Paul VI would have corrected him. Couldn’t we likewise say the same thing about the Vademecum of Confessors? If Cardinal Trujillo had spoken in error in a Curial document, don’t you think it would have been corrected? Surely a mistake in a curial document is graver than a comment made by a secretary. Secondly just because Cardinal Trujillo erred about something else does not make him wrong here…this is a form of an ad hominem fallacy. I am sure both Ludwig Ott and Avery Dulles (even more sure on this) have erred in other areas and therefore what they say here is obviously wrong.
    I think you are confused about the purpose of the difference between the Extraordinary and Ordinary Magisterium. Cardinal Ratzinger addressed your comment regarding a non-infallible source declaring infallibility in a response to Charles Curren who said the Church has never taught infallbily on issues of morals. In essence the Extraordinary Magisterium’s purpose is to treat questions of revelation. Since the licitness of contraception can be known via the natural law, the Pope would not exercise the extraordinary magisterium in declaring it infallible. He could certainly do something like he did for three other moral issues in Evangelium Vitae, but did not for whatever reason.
    I would also comment that by your reasoning, none of the precepts of the Ten Commandments would be considered infallible. No pope has come out and said that adultery is an infallible teaching.

    In any regard the issue could be more clearly stated and unfortunately as we have seen with the HHS mandate here in the US I think the sin of human esteem touches us all.

    In Him,
    Rob

    • avatar bill bannon says:

      A). St. Alphonsus states in his “Theologia Moralis” that the more complicated issues of the natural law have been debated by saints…usury and slavery were probably on his mind.  He then humorously opines whether we should think them reprobated for taking the wrong position.  I’d add that 29 Popes from Sixtus V to Leo XIII ( who halted it 70 years after opera did) cooperated with the castrati system for the papal choirs.  Most morals are clear precisely because they come from inerrant scripture not because Popes or we… clearly perceive the moral law.

      B). To believe that “the Church speaks with the voice of Christ” makes everything infallible which is extreme. LG 22 so speaks about Bishops and is a raging generality aimed at Catholics who read little history.
           Jesus was obviously not talking through the Church in a series of papal documents like “Exsurge Domine” which continued support for the burning of heretics begun papally in 1253 by Innocent IV (as per “Inquisition” at new advent).  ”Romanus Pontifex” by Pope Nicholas V enlarged the slave trade of Portugal ( see mid 4th large paragraph) and led to the problems of inequality throughout Latin America to this day.  

      C) No comparison between silence on Lambrushini and on Trujillo. Trujillo was speaking to very educated priests ( and the small percent of Catholics who are avid theology readers…1 percent maybe) whom he knew  would agree or disagree immediately with him mentally.
          Lambrushini was speaking to all Catholics via the mass media.  Paul VI was obligated to immediately publically correct a public error…nor did he censure subsequent dissenting voices like Rahner which voices by the way are implicitly expected by Pius IX’s Tuas Libenter which doesn’t require but sees as sign of universal ordinary magisterium…the full agreement of theologians.  If you wish to deduct modern theologians, you have to explain why they weren’t censured.  Then I might deduct old theologians who would be burned between 1253 and 1700 for dissent.  Coercion invalidates a marriage; how does it not invalidate theology.

      D) Major encyclicals have erred on the natural law which is why ex cathedra would be perfect for the contraception issue.  John Paul II was correct in ” Splendor of the Truth” that “slavery” and “coercion of spirit” were wrong; he was incorrect that they were intrinsically evil because both are permitted by God in Scripture in the Old Covenant not in the new: God gives permanent chattel slavery over foreigners  to the Jews in Leviticus 25:44 onward and He commands the stoning of the dreamer or false prophet in Deuteronomy 13.  He does not want slavery in advanced cultures that have prisons and alternate means of debt solution and adversary war captives solutions.  Slavery in nomadic cultures solves those three areas but is wrong now that civilization has prisons etc.  One must hope that Amazonian uncontacted tribes are using it because otherwise they are maiming or killing petty thieves e.g.
            The three Evangelium Vitae issues were in fact a realization by John Paul II that only the extraordinary magisterium settles contentious issues because natural law in complicated areas have been disputed by saints as noted above.  No Catholic anywhere debates the two ex cathedra encyclicals.  Some but far fewer would do so after ex cathedra on contraception.  But I would argue Popes know full well their preparatory research during that ex cathedra process would be a nightmare and would take at least a year.  Only the outer husk of the issue is simple: ” no contraception”.  The reasons given by saints for no contraception often replicated pagan Stoicism exactly: sex is moral only if children are intended which is not Catholic thinking once it accepted the natural methods in the 19th century to much Catholic opposition.  The Stoics denigrated emotion and love as part of sex and Noonan showed in ”Contraception” that the Church teaching until very recently in the 19th century largely not totally matched the emotionless sex of the Stoics.  The hierarchy nevers mentions that.  Here are examples of saints saying the Stoic position which is now rejected by the acceptance of NFP:

           St. Jerome who referred to Seneca as a source on marriage matters and as “our Seneca” in “Against Jovinianus” Book I, section 20:
      ” Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children?”
          That is rejected by the Church when it accepted Natural methods and is totally Stoic.  Seneca in addition believed in infanticide yet he is a source for a Father.

          Clement of Alexandria: 
           ” Why, even unreasoning beasts know enough not to mate at certain times. To indulge in intercourse without intending children is to outrage nature, whom should take as our instructor (Paedagogues, 2, 10; 95, 3, GCS, 12, 214).
            Again…rejected by the Church when it accepted the natural methods and matches the view of Stoicism.

      Here is Augustine and Aquinas seeing women as less emotionally valuable in companionship than being with another man….and she is mainly for procreation:

      Augustine:
      “ I don’t see what sort of help woman was created to provide man with, if one excludes the purpose of procreation. If woman is not given to man for help in bearing children, for what help could she be? To till the earth together? If help were needed for that, man would have been a better help for man. The same goes for comfort in solitude. How much pleasure is it for life and conversation when two friends live together than when a man and woman cohabitate.??? De Genesi ad litteram 9,5-9 Augustine.

      Aquinas, ST, Pt. I. Q.98, art.2
      Moreover, we are told that woman was made to be a help to man. But she was not fitted to be a help to man except in generation, because another man would have proved a more effective help in anything else. (On the contrary..section).

           These were the leading lights on sexuality and be thankful the media doesn’t quote them.  Oddly Catholic websites do quote them without noticing how the acceptance of the natural methods refutes their Stoicism.

      A). St. Alphonsus states in his “Theologia Moralis” that the more complicated issues of the natural law have been debated by saints…usury and slavery were probably on his mind.  He then humorously opines whether we should think them reprobated for taking the wrong position.  I’d add that 29 Popes from Sixtus V to Leo XIII ( who halted it 70 years after opera did) cooperated with the castrati system for the papal choirs.  Most morals are clear precisely because they come from inerrant scripture not because Popes or we… clearly perceive the moral law.

      B). To believe that “the Church speaks with the voice of Christ” makes everything infallible which is extreme. LG 22 so speaks about Bishops and is a raging generality aimed at Catholics who read little history.
           Jesus was obviously not talking through the Church in a series of papal documents like “Exsurge Domine” which continued support for the burning of heretics begun papally in 1253 by Innocent IV (as per “Inquisition” at new advent).  ”Romanus Pontifex” by Pope Nicholas V enlarged the slave trade of Portugal ( see mid 4th large paragraph) and led to the problems of inequality throughout Latin America to this day.  

      C) No comparison between silence on Lambrushini and on Trujillo. Trujillo was speaking to very educated priests ( and the small percent of Catholics who are avid theology readers…1 percent maybe) whom he knew  would agree or disagree immediately with him mentally.
          Lambrushini was speaking to all Catholics via the mass media.  Paul VI was obligated to immediately publically correct a public error…nor did he censure subsequent dissenting voices like Rahner which voices by the way are implicitly expected by Pius IX’s Tuas Libenter which doesn’t require but sees as sign of universal ordinary magisterium…the full agreement of theologians.  If you wish to deduct modern theologians, you have to explain why they weren’t censured.  Then I might deduct old theologians who would be burned between 1253 and 1700 for dissent.  Coercion invalidates a marriage; how does it not invalidate theology.

      D) Major encyclicals have erred on the natural law which is why ex cathedra would be perfect for the contraception issue.  John Paul II was correct in ” Splendor of the Truth” that “slavery” and “coercion of spirit” were wrong; he was incorrect that they were intrinsically evil because both are permitted by God in Scripture in the Old Covenant not in the new: God gives permanent chattel slavery over foreigners  to the Jews in Leviticus 25:44 onward and He commands the stoning of the dreamer or false prophet in Deuteronomy 13.  He does not want slavery in advanced cultures that have prisons and alternate means of debt solution and adversary war captives solutions.  Slavery in nomadic cultures solves those three areas but is wrong now that civilization has prisons etc.  One must hope that Amazonian uncontacted tribes are using it because otherwise they are maiming or killing petty thieves e.g.
            The three Evangelium Vitae issues were in fact a realization by John Paul II that only the extraordinary magisterium settles contentious issues because natural law in complicated areas have been disputed by saints as noted above.  No Catholic anywhere debates the two ex cathedra encyclicals.  Some but far fewer would do so after ex cathedra on contraception.  But I would argue Popes know full well their preparatory research during that ex cathedra process would be a nightmare and would take at least a year.  Only the outer husk of the issue is simple: ” no contraception”.  The reasons given by saints for no contraception often replicated pagan Stoicism exactly: sex is moral only if children are intended which is not Catholic thinking once it accepted the natural methods in the 19th century to much Catholic opposition.  The Stoics denigrated emotion and love as part of sex and Noonan showed in ”Contraception” that the Church teaching until very recently in the 19th century largely not totally matched the emotionless sex of the Stoics.  The hierarchy nevers mentions that.  Here are examples of saints saying the Stoic position which is now rejected by the acceptance of NFP:

           St. Jerome who referred to Seneca as a source on marriage matters and as “our Seneca” in “Against Jovinianus” Book I, section 20:
      ” Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children?”
          That is rejected by the Church when it accepted Natural methods and is totally Stoic.  Seneca in addition believed in infanticide yet he is a source for a Father.

          Clement of Alexandria: 
           ” Why, even unreasoning beasts know enough not to mate at certain times. To indulge in intercourse without intending children is to outrage nature, whom should take as our instructor (Paedagogues, 2, 10; 95, 3, GCS, 12, 214).
            Again…rejected by the Church when it accepted the natural methods and matches the view of Stoicism.

      Here is Augustine and Aquinas seeing women as less emotionally valuable in companionship than being with another man….and she is mainly for procreation:

      Augustine:
      “ I don’t see what sort of help woman was created to provide man with, if one excludes the purpose of procreation. If woman is not given to man for help in bearing children, for what help could she be? To till the earth together? If help were needed for that, man would have been a better help for man. The same goes for comfort in solitude. How much pleasure is it for life and conversation when two friends live together than when a man and woman cohabitate.??? De Genesi ad litteram 9,5-9 Augustine.

      Aquinas, ST, Pt. I. Q.98, art.2
      Moreover, we are told that woman was made to be a help to man. But she was not fitted to be a help to man except in generation, because another man would have proved a more effective help in anything else. (On the contrary..section).

           These were the leading lights on sexuality and be thankful the media doesn’t quote them.  Oddly Catholic websites do quote them without noticing how the acceptance of the natural methods refutes their Stoicism.

      A). St. Alphonsus states in his “Theologia Moralis” that the more complicated issues of the natural law have been debated by saints…usury and slavery were probably on his mind.  He then humorously opines whether we should think them reprobated for taking the wrong position.  I’d add that 29 Popes from Sixtus V to Leo XIII ( who halted it 70 years after opera did) cooperated with the castrati system for the papal choirs.  Most morals are clear precisely because they come from inerrant scripture not because Popes or we… clearly perceive the moral law.

      B). To believe that “the Church speaks with the voice of Christ” makes everything infallible which is extreme. LG 22 so speaks about Bishops and is a raging generality aimed at Catholics who read little history.
           Jesus was obviously not talking through the Church in a series of papal documents like “Exsurge Domine” which continued support for the burning of heretics begun papally in 1253 by Innocent IV (as per “Inquisition” at new advent).  ”Romanus Pontifex” by Pope Nicholas V enlarged the slave trade of Portugal ( see mid 4th large paragraph) and led to the problems of inequality throughout Latin America to this day.  

      C) No comparison between silence on Lambrushini and on Trujillo. Trujillo was speaking to very educated priests ( and the small percent of Catholics who are avid theology readers…1 percent maybe) whom he knew  would agree or disagree immediately with him mentally.
          Lambrushini was speaking to all Catholics via the mass media.  Paul VI was obligated to immediately publically correct a public error…nor did he censure subsequent dissenting voices like Rahner which voices by the way are implicitly expected by Pius IX’s Tuas Libenter which doesn’t require but sees as sign of universal ordinary magisterium…the full agreement of theologians.  If you wish to deduct modern theologians, you have to explain why they weren’t censured.  Then I might deduct old theologians who would be burned between 1253 and 1700 for dissent.  Coercion invalidates a marriage; how does it not invalidate theology.

      D) Major encyclicals have erred on the natural law which is why ex cathedra would be perfect for the contraception issue.  John Paul II was correct in ” Splendor of the Truth” that “slavery” and “coercion of spirit” were wrong; he was incorrect that they were intrinsically evil because both are permitted by God in Scripture in the Old Covenant not in the new: God gives permanent chattel slavery over foreigners  to the Jews in Leviticus 25:44 onward and He commands the stoning of the dreamer or false prophet in Deuteronomy 13.  He does not want slavery in advanced cultures that have prisons and alternate means of debt solution and adversary war captives solutions.  Slavery in nomadic cultures solves those three areas but is wrong now that civilization has prisons etc.  One must hope that Amazonian uncontacted tribes are using it because otherwise they are maiming or killing petty thieves e.g.
            The three Evangelium Vitae issues were in fact a realization by John Paul II that only the extraordinary magisterium settles contentious issues because natural law in complicated areas have been disputed by saints as noted above.  No Catholic anywhere debates the two ex cathedra encyclicals.  Some but far fewer would do so after ex cathedra on contraception.  But I would argue Popes know full well their preparatory research during that ex cathedra process would be a nightmare and would take at least a year.  Only the outer husk of the issue is simple: ” no contraception”.  The reasons given by saints for no contraception often replicated pagan Stoicism exactly: sex is moral only if children are intended which is not Catholic thinking once it accepted the natural methods in the 19th century to much Catholic opposition.  The Stoics denigrated emotion and love as part of sex and Noonan showed in ”Contraception” that the Church teaching until very recently in the 19th century largely not totally matched the emotionless sex of the Stoics.  The hierarchy nevers mentions that.  Here are examples of saints saying the Stoic position which is now rejected by the acceptance of NFP:

           St. Jerome who referred to Seneca as a source on marriage matters and as “our Seneca” in “Against Jovinianus” Book I, section 20:
      ” Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children?”
          That is rejected by the Church when it accepted Natural methods and is totally Stoic.  Seneca in addition believed in infanticide yet he is a source for a Father.

          Clement of Alexandria: 
           ” Why, even unreasoning beasts know enough not to mate at certain times. To indulge in intercourse without intending children is to outrage nature, whom should take as our instructor (Paedagogues, 2, 10; 95, 3, GCS, 12, 214).
            Again…rejected by the Church when it accepted the natural methods and matches the view of Stoicism.

      Here is Augustine and Aquinas seeing women as less emotionally valuable in companionship than being with another man….and she is mainly for procreation:

      Augustine:
      “ I don’t see what sort of help woman was created to provide man with, if one excludes the purpose of procreation. If woman is not given to man for help in bearing children, for what help could she be? To till the earth together? If help were needed for that, man would have been a better help for man. The same goes for comfort in solitude. How much pleasure is it for life and conversation when two friends live together than when a man and woman cohabitate.??? De Genesi ad litteram 9,5-9 Augustine.

      Aquinas, ST, Pt. I. Q.98, art.2
      Moreover, we are told that woman was made to be a help to man. But she was not fitted to be a help to man except in generation, because another man would have proved a more effective help in anything else. (On the contrary..section).

           These were the leading lights on sexuality and be thankful the media doesn’t quote them.  Oddly Catholic websites do quote them without noticing how the acceptance of the natural methods refutes their Stoicism.

      Rob,
      If Jesus speaks through the Church than every Church document is infallible which is extremism. Jesus did not speak through Pope Nicholas V in Romanus Pontifex which enlarged the slavery venture of Portugal ( mid 4th large paragraph…online). Nor did Jesus excommunicate latae sententiae any Catholic who opposed burning heretics through Pope Leo X in Exsurge Domine…art.33 condemned as “against the Catholic Faith”. Jesus in fact twice stressed goodness in the heretical Samaritans who changed a sentence in the Pentateuch and rejected the prophets.

      St. Alphonsus in his Theologia Moralis stated that saints have disputed each other on the more complicated aspects of the natural law and I suspect he was thinking of slavery and usury. Natural law is clear on simple matters like theft but unclear in the complicated. Splendor of the Truth section 80 actually makes mistakes on natural law when it calls intrinsically evil things God gave to the Jews in the OT….see permanent chattel slavery in Leviticus 25:44 onward. John Paul calls it intrinsically evil. No it is evil when nomadic conditions no longer obtain. Prior to prisons, criminals were enslaved otherwise nomads would have had to punish all crimes with death. It was also a nomadic solution to war captives and debtors. It is wrong now not when God gave it in Leviticus.

      Trujillo’s mistake only reaches the very well read like priests who Trujillo knows see it as debatable…and the 1% of laity who read documents ( if that). Lambrushini made no mistake. Read canon 749-3: ” 3. No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.”
      Popes would be totally negligent if 90% of laity dissented in the manifestly evident infallible and Popes were writing three bestsellers on the gospel Christ….and going about business as usual as in greeting dignitaries, blessing churches, hosting groups in Vatican Square….all while 90% of the laity is sinning mortally in the manifestly evident infallible. Your position is implausible just from the perspective of papal subsequent behaviour both in the week of Lambrushini’s commentary but for decades afterward. Your position would rather require Popes to call another major Council to save 90% of laity from hell.

    • avatar bill bannon says:

      Huge post is a posting mistake and repeats ithin itself….stop when you see A again.

  13. avatar Thomist says:

    Readers can enjoy the facts.
    From EWTN Q&A: Answer to me by David Gregson on Nov-22-2002:
    “You are correct in stating that the Pope exercises his charism of infallibility not only in dogmatic definitions issued, ex cathedra, as divinely revealed (of which there have been only two), but also in doctrines definitively proposed by him, also ex cathedra, which would include canonizations (that they are in fact Saints, enjoying the Beatific Vision in heaven), moral teachings (such as contained in ‘Humanae vitae’), and other doctrines he has taught as necessarily connected with truths divinely revealed, such as that priestly ordination is reserved to men.”

    Readers can enjoy the facts on the infallibility of the doctrine against contraception from Fr Brian Harrison at: http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt12.html#II
    Extract:
    “Fr. Lio has amassed argument after argument, and document after document, to maintain that ‘Humanae Vitae’, art. 14, contains an ex cathedra definition of the intrinsic immorality of contraception: that is, an exercise of papal infallibility as solemnly defined by Vatican Council I, in the Constitution ‘Pastor Aeternus’.

    “The Vatican I definition of papal infallibility expressly said that it extends to ‘doctrine’ (doctrina) – a general term which covers both dogmas and the secondary, related truths. Also, Pastor Aeternus speaks of the Pope’s power to define infallibly what must be ‘held’ (tenendam) by all the faithful, not only what must be ‘believed’ (credendam).

    “During Vatican II, Paul VI responded to a request from Cardinal Ottaviani and Fr. Lio himself by intervening personally, against the previous wish of the majority of those drafting the document, to insist on the inclusion of a reference to the crucial passage of Casti Connubii in footnote 14 to ‘Gaudium et Spes’: 51. This is highly significant, because it shows that the Pope was insisting (and made the Council insist) that whatever future statements he might make about contraception, everyone could know in advance that there would be no going back on Pius XI’s firm decision against unnatural methods of birth control as intrinsically evil.”

    “in a very uncommon gesture of warm personal commendation given to an individual theologian for a particular work, the Holy Father John Paul II had a message drafted in fine calligraphy and sent to Fr. Lio with his own handwritten signature. Fr. Lio kindly gave me a photocopy of this document, which reads (in translation from the Italian original):

    “To the Rev. Fr. Ermenegildo Lio, O.F.M., with deep thanks for the presentation of your volume Humanae Vitae e Infallibilità, and with warm appreciation for the sentiments of sincere adherence to the Magisterium of the Church which have always guided your activity of research and teaching: I impart to you from my heart a special Apostolic Blessing, a pledge of continuing heavenly assistance towards a fervent perseverance in the love of Truth and the service of souls.

    From the Vatican, 31 July 1986.
    (Signed) John Paul PP. II.”

  14. avatar Bain Wellington says:

    In my initial comments I noted the opaque connection between the alleged non-censuring of theologians (the focus of Bill’s original posts on 28 January) and Rob Agnelli’s article.

    Finally, Bill made it clear in one of his comments on 6 February:- “The reason [popes] did not censure [dissenters from HV] and did go about largely other lesser things…is because they are not 100% sure [sc. about the correctness of the teaching in HV].”

    Well, that’s pure surmise, dependent upon a manifest error.

    The Synod Fathers at the 1980 Synod did not doubt the validity of the teaching in HV (specifically at ibid., n.11) when they approved proposition 22, which Bl. John Paul II quoted and endorsed in his Apostolic Exhortation “Familiaris Consortio” (1981) n.29 (cf. n.13). See http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_19811122_familiaris-consortio_en.html

    See also what Bl. John Paul II said on 5 June 1987 to participants at a conference on responsible procreation (available on the Vatican website only in Italian at http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1987/june/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19870605_procreazione-responsabile_it.html) where he observed that the Church’s teaching on artificial contraception does not belong among the subjects open to free discussion among theologians. He added that to teach the contrary is tantamount to leading the moral consciences of spouses into error: “Quanto è insegnato dalla Chiesa sulla contraccezione non appartiene a materia liberamente disputabile fra teologi. Insegnare il contrario equivale a indurre nell’errore la coscienza morale degli sposi.”

    And Pope Benedict XVI could hardly have said more in his speech of 10 May 2008 commemorating the 40th anniversary of HV to demonstrate that he was “100% sure” of the validity of its teaching (passage quoted by Thomist in a post on 7 February: the direct link is http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2008/may/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080510_humanae-vitae_en.html).

    Unless it is solemnly affirmed as cast-iron infallible dogma, then that means there is deniability, and if there is deniability popes must necessarily be “unsure” about it? Is that really what Bill’s argument boils down to?

    • avatar bill bannon says:

      Bain,
      You too are now citing non infallible comments by Popes to prove that something is infallible. That process itself is a logical non sequitur. Comments in a non infallible venue are not beyond theoric error. And because that process of citing non infallible witnesses to infallibility is illogical, it doesn’t work in contentious issues which need the extraordinary magisterium. Pope John Paul II knew that and therefore brought abortion, euthanasia, and killing the innocent under the extraordinary magisterium in EV in 1995. He polled the world’s Bishops on what you and Rob would call clear
      natural law topics totally in line with my point and that of St. Alphonsus…ie…the natural law is not clear
      in contentious or complex areas.
      John Paul therefore did what you and Rob think is unnecessary….he brought positions from the ordinary magisterium into being definitely universal ordinary magisterium through the unanimous vote of all Bishops via mail and email….a first in Catholic history. He undoubtedly asked them about other issues within EV …probably contraception and perhaps the death penalty because if you look very closely at section 40 of EV ( Evangelium Vitae), John Paul had a very historico-critical non traditional judgement of the OT death penalties ie that they were from an unrefined culture whereas Scripture says they were from God by using the first person imperative. I would bet the world’s Bishops did not say yes on either contraception nor against the death penalty. Why wouldn’t they if it was immemorial in the first case? Because anyone who reads the early saintly witnesses with perspicacity sees problems in the recurring appearance of Stoicism as source of saintly talk on sex…explicit in Jerome…present in others.
      In short John Paul knew exactly my point…contentious issues in the ordinary magisterium need the extraordinary magisterium for those well read Catholics who dissent sincerely as permitted by not the catechism but by imprimatured Catholic moral theology tomes usually found in Catholic
      colleges…G.Grisez’s “Way of the Lord Jesus” vol.1 is a case in point…c.page 854 if memory serves.
      Abortion actually had a similar problem because it’s early witness is the Didache which is not a great work of literature if one actually reads the whole thing…when it is not simply derivative, it makes some bizarre moral statements: chapter 3. “Be neither an enchanter, nor an astrologer, nor a purifier, nor be willing to look at these things, for out of all these idolatry is engendered. My child, be not a liar, since a lie leads to theft. Be neither money-loving, nor vainglorious, for out of all these thefts are engendered.” 
      The immense dissent against Humanae Vitae is not homogenous. There are uneducated dissenters who sincerely think celibates can’t speak to the issue…nor know what it is to support children on a low salary. There are other uneducated dissenters who are simply rash. There are educated dissenters who sincerely think inter alia that the early saints were competing with Stocism…the morality of some of Rome’s elite and were trying to copy it and outdo it. And there are
      educated dissenters who may be rash with a slight covering of knowledge.
      Obviously the observant laity and lower clergy however are more likely to be in a wrathful lather at all four segments of dissenters but the Popes show no such ad hominem tones and the Popes last I looked did not remove the books of Rahner and Haring from Catholic colleges which they could do in a heart beat according to canon law. You and Rob would remove their books. The Popes do not.
      That tells me the Popes are in private…not in their relations as teachers…in private are not 100% sure in this area.

      • avatar bill bannon says:

        theoretic…not theoric.

      • avatar Thomist says:

        The confusion and error is compunded when we recall that the Magisterium has clearly defined when doctrine is infallible.
        Vatican I, “Pastor Aeternus” Session 4 : 18 July 1870.
        “Chapter 4.
        On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff
        9. Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.

        So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.”
        http://www.fisheaters.com/pastoraeternus.html

        Note: “define” = to decide upon definitely/to determine with precision – no excuse can redefine this dogma.

        The Vatican I dogma, precisely on papal infallibility, defines the exercise of infallibility by a pope to be on DOCTRINE TO BE HELD (rather than on dogma to be believed).

        Infallibility in doctrine is covered in the corrected version of the English Catechism # 88 referring to dogmas ["or also when it [The Church's Magisterium] proposes in a definitive way truths having a necessary connection with these.” (Added 1997)]. This is complemented by Canon 750 #2 for a truth proposed definitively (definitive proponuntur) which must be firmly accepted and held. ["Ad Tuendam Fidem", John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, 1998].

        Thus CCC #88 clearly combines exactly with Pope John Paul’s Motu Proprio (on his own authority) Apostolic Letter “Ad Tuendam Fidem”, 1998 (ATF) which requires the assent of divine and Catholic faith to believe (credenda sunt) dogmas (a category one truth) (Canon #750.1). A category 2 truth requires the assent of ecclesial faith, as a secondary truth, “proposed definitively” (definitive proponuntur) to be “firmly embraced and held” (now Canon 750.2). So both the dogmas and the infallible (definitive) doctrines that are secondary truths, require an assent of faith, though there is a distinction between theological faith and ecclesial faith.

        The category 3 truths are non-definitive (non-infallible) and require intellectual assent (“loyal submission of the will and intellect”, “Lumen Gentium” 25), not an assent of faith. [See the Explanatory Note on ATF by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith].

        Also, the 1983 revision replaced in Canon 749:3 “dogmatically (‘dogmatice’) declared or defined” with “infallibly defined”. Fr Ermenegildo Lio points out that this removes any occasion for equating “infallible” with “dogmatic”, an equation which unduly limits papal infallibility. Such a limitation is clearly not from the Vatican I dogma on papal infallibility

        The three levels of teaching are:
        1) Dogma – infallible (Canon #750.1) to be believed with the assent of divine and Catholic faith.
        2) Doctrine – infallible (Canon #750.2) requires the assent of ecclesial faith, to be “firmly embraced and held”.
        3) Doctrine – non-definitive (non-infallible) and require intellectual assent (“loyal submission of the will and intellect”, Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium” 25), not an assent of faith. [See the Explanatory Note on “Ad Tuendam Fidem” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith]
        [http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFADTU.HTM]

      • avatar bill bannon says:

        Thomist,
        Yes and some of the leading theologians ( one who was complimented on his birthday in L’ Osservatore in 1984 by Pope John Paul II) held that Humanae Vitae was number 3 and that Lumen Gentium’s “religious submission of mine and will” applied but was incomplete (as Yves Congar noted of many Ecumenical Conciliar statements) because imprimatured Catholic Moral Theology tomes make one exception to “religious submission of mind and will” which the catechism never mentions…that exception is the process of sincere dissent which is on page 854 of conservative Germain Grisez’s ” Way of the Lord Jesus” vol.1.
        Without the process of sincere dissent and with only “religious submission”, you Thomist, would have obeyed Pope Leo X in the burning of a heretic as per Exsurge Domine art.33…. and you would later conversely stand as having committed an intrinsic evil by sect. 80 of “Splendor of the Truth” which denounced ” coercion of spirit” and ” torture.
        Converts are all over the internet blogs and I’m totally sure when they convert, they are apprised when they convert of “religious submission of mind and will” and are not apprised of the exception that is in the moral theology tomes. That’s why a Pope ( knowing the sincere dissent exception) but fearing careless dissent in the laity…can wish the dissenter, Karl Rahner, warm wishes on his birthday in 1984 in the April 1, papal newspaper while knowing he was the most prestigious of the HV dissenters while converts and less educated or lower IQ’d lower clergy like Fr. Enteneuer denounce people as heretics for birth control dissent on tv. It’s hilarious in a way
        but not good certainly. There is in effect no real wrath at the papal level for Rahner, nor removal of his books from Catholic college libraries but rather in 2004 the Pontifical Lateran University held a days long symposium on his work at which Archbishop Amato of the CDF called him ” orthodox” to John Allen….and all these things means both John Paul and Rahner knew that sincere dissent applies to HV but the Pope as one who must rule is not going to make that public because sincere dissenters will find out about the exception process through much reading.
        You caustically called Rahner a dissenter way above and John Paul wished him warm regards in L’Osservatore Romano, April 1, 1984. John Paul knew HV was your #3 above and susceptible to sincere, studious dissent….and you as yet do not.

      • avatar Bain Wellington says:

        By no means was I “citing non infallible comments by Popes to prove that something is infallible” as you claim, Bill. I was addressing your point that recent popes are not “sure” about the teaching. I was just showing you that your statement is incorrect.

  15. avatar Thomist says:

    As with “Humanae Vitae”, infallibility is far too important to be left to “the long-standing confusion (even amongst orthodox theologians)….and the resulting widespread (though clearly false) impression that it [the Vatican I dogma] guarantees infallibility only for ‘de fide’ definitions of revealed truth, or of heresies which directly oppose it.” [Fr Brian Harrison, O.S., "The Ex Cathedra Status of Humanae Vitae", 1992, p 42].

    The following shows up the ignorance of those who equate “no direct condemnation” by popes with papal uncertainty and also feel falsely that dissent is O.K., for not being censured by name from Rome for errors does not mean necessarily that the person has not spread errors.

    The facts:
    Rahner, with some others, concocted the notion of a “fundamental option” of a type which denied the doctrine on mortal sin taught by the Council of Trent ["An Introduction to Moral Theology", William E May, p 154-155]. Jesuit Fr Karl Rahner, was one of the signatories of a document dissenting from “Humanae Vitae” actually circulated world-wide by its authors so as to get support for it. [Refer “Christian Order”, Aug-Sep 92, Jorge Molinero – “Recent History of Theological Dissent” (20 years of "Parallel Magisterium", p 432)]. No named censure from Rome, however we know that both errors have been censured by the Holy Father — in “Veritatis Splendour” (# 65-70, 80) and in “Evangelium Vitae” (#91).

    Certain beliefs propagated by Origen were condemned centuries after he died by several Ecumenical Councils.

    Fr Richard McBrien, SJ, has confused many and denigrated the Magisterium — US Bishops have censured much contained in his most recent “Catholicism” as well as his earlier work, but nothing from Rome has publicly condemned him by name.

    As a faithful theologian explains in “Answer by Fr. John Echert of (EWTN) on 24/1/02”:
    “In fact, in recent decades Rome has been rather cautious and even slow to act against some dissident theologians and renegade bishops, for reasons known to Rome I imagine. As you note, a lack of condemnation or censure from the Vatican in the present times is not the equivalent of an endorsement. In fact, until the very end, Jesus Christ kept to himself the sinister character and corrupt behavior of Judas Iscariot rather than expose him to the other apostles, even as he stole from the purse of the poor and made plans to betray the Son of God into the hands of sinners.”

    In fact, dissent is illicit as Bl John Paul II has confirmed: “It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the Magisterium is totally compatible with being a ‘good Catholic’ and poses no obstacle to the reception of the sacraments. This is a grave error that challenges the teaching office of the bishops of the United States and elsewhere.” [Meeting with US Bishops at Our Lady Queen of Angels Minor Seminary, Los Angeles, Sept 16, 1987].

    • avatar bill bannon says:

      I would advise readers that now Thomist knows that Rahner was honored by John Paul II from my previous post right above him and Thomist is simply continuing to copy and paste blurbs from lower clergy in a much different spirit by priests who will never have a posthumous symposium of their work at the Lateran Pontifical University. Readers note also that Thomist does not process creatively posts that are addressed to him. He waits til the other person is done and then he copies and pastes what he is waiting to say regardless of the other. I’m done with him.

      • avatar Thomist says:

        On “Revisiting Humanae Vitae”, and since dissent and denigration of the Magisterium has been promoted by a certain poster here, especially re the infallible doctrine against contraception, it is wise to recall the Magisterium’s condemnation of dissent in addition to Bl John Paul’s strong challenge, already cited, to the U.S. bishops and all bishops.

        “Donum Veritatis” (On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian), C.D.F. 1990 completely rules out all dissent:
        “32. The Magisterium has drawn attention several times to the serious harm done to the community of the Church by attitudes of general opposition to Church teaching which even come to expression in organized groups. In his apostolic exhortation “Paterna cum Benevolentia” [1974], Paul VI offered a diagnosis of this problem which is still apropos. In particular, he addresses here that public opposition to the Magisterium of the Church also called “dissent”, which must be distinguished from the situation of personal difficulties treated above. The phenomenon of dissent can have diverse forms. Its remote and proximate causes are multiple.”

        “36. The freedom of the act of faith cannot justify a right to dissent. In fact this freedom does not indicate at all freedom with regard to the truth but signifies the free self-determination of the person in conformity with his moral obligation to accept the truth.”

        While #37 has this caution:
        “Moreover, the theologian who is not disposed to think with the Church (“sentire cum Ecclesia”) contradicts the commitment he freely and knowingly accepted to teach in the name of the Church.”

        “38. Finally, argumentation appealing to the obligation to follow one’s own conscience cannot legitimate dissent. This is true, first of all, because conscience illumines the practical judgment about a decision to make, while here we are concerned with the truth of a doctrinal pronouncement. This is furthermore the case because while the theologian, like every believer, must follow his conscience, he is also obliged to form it. Conscience is not an independent and infallible faculty. It is an act of moral judgement regarding a responsible choice. A right conscience is one duly illumined by faith and by the objective moral law and it presupposes, as well, the uprightness of the will in the pursuit of the true good.”

        Christ did not put every Tom, Dick or Harry to infallibly teach His Church, nor any follower of Karl Rahner as a “parallel Magisterium”.

        From Canon #202, the baptised are in full communion with Christ’s Church only when they are joined with Christ in His Church through the bonds of profession of faith as well as ecclesiastical governance and the sacraments.

        With a self-proclaimed dissenter, who cannot reason from cause to effect and relativises what suits him, why waste your time? Re-evangelise those who are genuinely seeking the fullness of truth.

        Faithful Bishops
        The Australian Bishops in 1976:
        “The Episcopal Conference informs the Directors of Catholic Family Planning Centres and Priests connected with this work, that the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church contained in “Humanae Vitae” that ‘every action…to render procreation impossible’ is ‘intrinsically evil’….binds the conscience of all without ambiguity and excludes the possibility of a probable opinion opposed to this teaching.”

        Not only do the U.S. Bishops’ Norms of Licit Theological Dissent, 1968, 51, not rule out public dissent from the Magisterium, but the bishops acquiesced in the public dissent of the unfaithful theologians already raging, as Dr Whitehead shows. It is the laxity in fidelity of too many bishops, and the laxity of the Vatican at that time in the subsequent Truce of 1968 in the U.S., which allowed the culture of dissent to grow – in seminaries, parishes, schools and universities.

        How Dissent Became Institutionalized in the Church in America
        Kenneth D. Whitehead
        http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=1209

  16. avatar Thomist says:

    The selfism here displayed ad nauseam by bannon, was aptly so described by convert Dr Paul Vitz in his “Psychology as Religion (The Cult of Self-Worship)”, Eerdmans, 1994. Along with his gargantuan gaffes against the infallible doctrine against contraception, apparently mimicking the infidelity of Karl Rahner who lamely claimed that “ ‘infallibility’ confined to the one person or to the word ‘pope’ will be ‘as obsolete as a dodo bird’ ” [“National Catholic Reporter”, March 30, 1973, p5 – recounted in “The Teaching Church In Our Time”, Msgr George A Kelly, St Paul Ed., 1978, p 216], the dissenter has also misrepresented the Church over Her teaching on Usury and on Slavery.

    • avatar bill bannon says:

      Thomist, the reason you do not use your name is that it allows you freedom to sin…as in referring to another person rudely by the last name only. Use your full real name and your posts will increase in moral quality. Any reader can check Romanus Pontifex on line for the slavery permission by Pope Nicholas V to the Portuguese….mid 4th large paragraph. You are debating someone who has read far more than you and retains far more than you so you stay anonymous and resort to sins of the tongue. Rahner must be read in the original because he corrects himself often but it takes pges to do so. Those who little patches of him are therefore deceptively influencing people. Arbp. Amato from the CDF in the curia disagrees with you and your lower clergy sources.

      • avatar bill bannon says:

        Those who use little patches of Rahner’s text….etc.

      • avatar Thomist says:

        The wisdom contained in “Humanae Vitae” is well expressed by Rob Agnelli, and supported by several posters. Yet we have seen theological dissent against it lauded and supported by one dissenter, and denigration of the Magisterium, totally against the fact of the infallibility of the censure of contraception in two Encyclicals, and the condemnation repeated in two other papal Encyclicals (“Veritatis Splendor”, 1993, #80, and “Evangelium Vitae”, 1995, #13, 91), and the facts of the illicitness of such theological dissent.

        The infidelity of such acclaimed dissent is clear.

      • avatar bill bannon says:

        Thomist, read section 62 of Evangelium Vitae…..in one paragraph, you will see the wording for clear infallibility regarding abortion. Then read the section on contraception wherein you will not see the same formula for clear infallibility ( extraordinary magisterium). The only remaining area of Infallibility is whether an issue is infallible within the ordinary magisterium as universal ordinary magisterium. “Veritatis Splendor” #80 also calls slavery an “intrinsic evil” …it can’t be because God gives slavery to the Jews in Lev.25:44-46. Rarely are encyclicals infallible….3 paragraphs in Evangelium Vitae, the Immaculte Conception encyclical and the Assumption encyclical. That’s it.
        The universal ordinary magiterium is an infallible subset of the ordinary magisterium which latter is wider and can contain mistakes like calling slavery an intrinsic evil as just noted in #80 of Veritatis Splendor. Very famous theologians signed letters in the hundreds unlike you who uses a pseudonym….to the effect that the issue is not universal ordinary magisterium. Goodbye. I suspect you need this issue for some reason because a tiny part of you knows you are in above your head. No one is stopping you from obeying whether it is infallible or not. You with self taught theology culled from the internet instead of real theology credits in a college are not digesting nything new you are shown….like section 80 of Veritatis Splendor being mistaken on slavery.
        Goodbye. Ask yourself why you are so interested in the infallibility….sounds like you would not obey if it weren’t infallible. And it sounds like you’re a convert who traded in the Bible as perfect for encyclicals as perfect. But encyclicals are perfect once in a blue moon. The Bible is inerrant…encyclicals are not. And get some guts and use your real name. Your quality of ideas will rise because you’ll take pride in the process.

  17. avatar Thomist says:

    bill bannon says: February 12, 2013 at 6:28 pm
    “Rarely are encyclicals infallible….3 paragraphs in Evangelium Vitae, the Immaculte Conception encyclical and the Assumption encyclical. That’s it.”

    1) NEVER is an Encyclical or any other papal document “infallible”; papal infallibility is restricted to when in “the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church,
    Vatican I, Pastor Aeternus Session 4 : 18 July 1870. Chapter 4.
    (Refer Thomist says: February 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm)

    2) This poster rejects the Church’s teaching on infallibility in Can. 749 §1. and in Canon 750.2 (Refer Thomist says: February 9, 2013 at 5:56 pm.)

    3) Infallibility in doctrine is covered in the corrected version of the English Catechism # 88.
    a) Dogma – infallible (Canon #750.1) to be believed with the assent of divine and Catholic faith.
    b) Doctrine – infallible (Canon #750.2) requires the assent of ecclesial faith, to be “firmly embraced and held”. [See the Explanatory Note on “Ad Tuendam Fidem” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith]
    [http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFADTU.HTM]
    (Refer Thomist says: February 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm)

    4) From EWTN Q&A: Answer to me by David Gregson on Nov-22-2002:
    “You are correct in stating that the Pope exercises his charism of infallibility not only in dogmatic definitions issued, ex cathedra, as divinely revealed (of which there have been only two), but also in doctrines definitively proposed by him, also ex cathedra, which would include canonizations (that they are in fact Saints, enjoying the Beatific Vision in heaven), moral teachings (such as contained in Humanae vitae), and other doctrines he has taught as necessarily connected with truths divinely revealed, such as that priestly ordination is reserved to men.”
    (Refer Thomist says: February 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm)

    • avatar Bill bannon says:

      goodby….Thomist….tell your pastor that the Assumption and Immaculate Conception encyclicals are not infallible and watch the look on his face. I’m giving you up for Lent….starting now.

      • avatar Thomist says:

        Rather than trying to foist selfist opinions on others, real Catholics learn and follow the teaching of the Church as quoted from Vatican I and Vatican II, and Bl John Paul’s Motu Proprio (on his own authority) Apostolic Letter “Ad Tuendam Fidem”, 1998, on dogma, doctrine and infallibility.

        Here is the example of the papal dogma of the Assumption which illustrates the fact, by its definitive act, that a document is not infallible – only the definition, as per “Pastor Aeternus” of Vatican I.
        APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF
        POPE PIUS XII
        MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS
        DEFINING THE DOGMA OF THE ASSUMPTION
        November 1, 1950
        http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-xii_apc_19501101_munificentissimus-deus_en.html

        Within his “Apostolic Letter”, #46, (of 48 sections) Pope Pius XII defined the dogma:
        “by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”

        That is the infallible definition of the Apostolic Letter, nothing else included is “infallible” except anything which already has been so taught by the Church.

  18. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    Thank God for the Bishop.
    The problem in the UK is that they believe in free-speech!!
    St Francis de Sales. Pray fo!r us.

  19. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    Do we have to know HV is infallible to know it is Truth.
    We ought to have Truth built into us as our very existence through Grace..

  20. avatar bill bannon says:

    And in 1829, Mary, you would have believed that the interest on a personal loan was evil and that that insight was built into you through Grace. By the next year, the Vatican would have told you to in effect to reverse yourself after hundreds of years of Catholic bickering about that issue. Catholics should obey on birth control regardless of infallibility UNLESS their intellect and study of the question leads them to believe that once again there is an error in the ordinary magisterium as there was on usury and on belief in burning heretics ( commanded belief under excommunication by Leo X in “Exsurge Domine”,1520 and now opposed as intrinsic evil in section 80 of “Splendor of the Truth”…two Popes in diametric opposition in an issue that got many people killed by fire including St. Joan of Arc for continuing to wear men’s clothes in prison which literally went against a law in Leviticus but Joan was acting by virtue of epikeia in self defense against rape in prison because male clothing at that time was so intricately bound that it made rape unlikely). Still a hundred years later, Pope Leo X condemned the idea that burning heretics was against the Holy Spirit….and now section 80 of “Splendor of the Truth” says that “coercion of the spirit” and “torture” are intrinsic evils which means you can’t justify them by historical context and apologetics excuses. Pope Leo X excommunicated any Catholic who thought burning heretics was against the Holy Spirit….now the entire Catholic Church would have to be excommunicated….in addition to most of the saints of the first thousand years of the Church who opposed burning heretics qua heretics…..if they also murdered etc., that was a separate charge. Lumen Gentium 25 says to give “religious submission of mind and will” to the Pope in non infallible matters if they are of great moment….but that’s exactly what the burners of Saint Joan of Arc and burners of several thousand other people were doing….and now an encyclical condemns it as
    intrinsic evil.

  21. avatar Rob Agnelli says:

    Bill et al…

    The teaching regarding artificial birth control actually is protected by the charism of infallibility. However it is through the ordinary magisterium that this teaching is to be held as such. If you read the Vademecum for Confessors (see the link below) you will find the language that is associated with an infallible teaching of the ordinary magisterium:
    “The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable.” (Vademecum for Confessors 2,4)
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_12021997_vademecum_en.html

    Any teaching that has always been taught and is to be held as definitive and irreformable is in fact an infallible teaching (see Lumen Gentium 25 for the definition of infallible).

    In Him,
    Rob

  22. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    I believed contraception was wrong in 1958, before HV was written.
    So it did not instruct me one way or another!!!! Infallible or not.!

  23. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    Bill Bannon.
    To add to my comment to you below.
    So as you proclaim as an example,’if Holy Mother Church changed Her mind and taught that contraception is OK now,but I still believed in conscience it to be wrong, would I be considered to be a heretic and sinning against the Holy Spirit. Is that what you are saying?

  24. avatar bill bannon says:

    Rob,
    Your source though is a Vatican office which offices are excluded by Catholic theology as being a source of the infallible ( Luwig Ott, Intro.to Fundamentals, sect.8). In other words a non infallible source cannot state what in the ordinary magisterium is infallible. That’s why they use other terms like “definitive” and “irreformable” because if the Church reverses on the issue as it did on usury’s meaning, it is then impossible to find a past document saying it was infallible. Ergo the CDF also avoids the word “infallible” in the matter of women priests because they are likewise incapable of being infallible in calling anything infallible unless like you and me, they point to the clearly infallible of the extraordinary magisterium. No curia office can infallibly state what is infallible in the ordinary
    magisterium.
    Your particular writer was Cardinal Trujillo who erred publicly on HIV viruses being so minute in size that they could pass through a condom which was not only contradicted by scientific groups but by Pope Benedict’s knowledge of their efficacy not in Africa but in southeast Asia on which he made his condom comment not approving them in se but as a first step toward human care to prevent hurting others….which Trujillo was saying they couldn’t do. Trujillo made the Church look scientifically ignorant but Benedict undid his damage. Studies have shown that condoms don’t help those HIV people who are careless of use and that they have very high preventative rates among those scrupulous in usage.
    But back to infallibility. Only an infallible venue can comment infallibly on what in the ordinary magisterium is infallible. Trujillo’s office (and a pastoral Council) can only use words like
    “irreformable” and “definitive” while avoiding “infallible”. They use such words because they have deniability loaded into them. Should a future Pope or Council change on birth control, no one can say or show where they Church previouly said it was infallible. Non infallible documnts only used the words “definitive” or ” irreformable”.

  25. avatar bill bannon says:

    PS
    Entirely separate is the fact that if the last three Popes even thought an infallible teaching was being ignored by over 90% of laity, they would be totally negligent in going about other lesser things monthly like writing best sellers on various topics with more energy than they showed on your topic.
    Giving the TOB lectures could have been replaced by working on an ex cathedra encyclical to satisfy canon 749-3 on the issue for all theologians, confessors besides the laity. And they would be negligent in not censuring major theologians whose booksbwere not suppressed and are in Catholic college libraries. The reason they did not censure and did go about largely other lesser things…is because they are not 100% sure.

  26. avatar bill bannon says:

    PS 2
    Here is Cardinal Avery Dulles in 1968 sympathetically citing Rahner on Humanae Vitae not falling under infallibility:
    https://apps.cndls.georgetown.edu/projects/cp/archive/files/3d36b043f2f56253058a6cf27f114a37.html

  27. avatar bill bannon says:

    Mary,
    No I didn’t say that …which is a whole other ball of wax. People don’t read Church history or the Bible. Hence the chaos. It’s simple. No Pope will put birth control in ex cathedra form even though John Paul II put abortion in the sister form to it…Pope with all Bishops. Both forms are extraordinary and clearly infallible. The ordinary magisterim contains the non infallible plus some issues that are infallible. The latter are called universal ordinary magisterium but they cannot be proved in an ecclesiastical court if there is widespread breakage in Bishop and theologian support for an issue.
    Diachronic support is support through the centuries. Synchronic support is support in one’s lifetime.
    On usury by 1830, synchronic support broke down among theologians and bishops on moderate interest on PERSONAL loans being evil ( extrinsic titles ( reasons) were always allowed in business
    loans). The Church changed on an issue whose diachronic support evaporated and that Catholics denounced each other on….and now in 2013, only rare odd balls on the internet denounce anyone on usury. Pope Benedict’s brother probably has a debit card with 19% due on over drafts. St. Antoninus would have denounced him as a heretic in his day. It’s as though Christ formed a Church and it turned into a debating club.
    Go to HV. It says contraception is intrinsically evil. Go to ” Splendor of the Truth” by John Paul II, another major encyclical. It says “slavery” is an intrinsic evil. It can’t be. God gives permanent chattel slavery to the Jews in Leviticus 25:44 on. Great theologians notice these mistakes even if all lower level priests and theologians do not. Contentious issues need the extraordinary magisterium but ex cathedra on birth control would require great research by a Pope….it’s sister venue, Pope with all Bishops, was probably tried in the polling of Evangelium Vitae that led to an infallible declaration on abortion…but if it was tried ( totally logical and probable)… it failed to get all Bishops on board.

  28. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    Bill Bannon.
    This still begs the question ‘Is contraception right or wrong.The Church has never taught that responsible family planning is a sin,on the contrary-spacing children is the responsibility of parents,by using the Natural Rythym. Hence the more scientific advance of Fertility Awareness.
    I am not too much interested in Church history..If I was born in the days of burning at the stake I would have still thought it wrong , whether it would be heresy or not.
    As far as Usury is concerned it is a pity the Law did not apply to the immoral amount of interest for the poor over the years.
    I believe that my conscience tells me first what to believe by informing it- mostly by morals,my conscience also tells me not to publicly deny Church teaching.That is a greater sin and to me entitled to be a case for excommunication.

  29. avatar bill bannon says:

    Mary,
    You want dissenters excommunicated for speaking publically on a law that has maybe 5% observance… and John Paul gave warmest regards to the most famous dissenter Karl Rahner on Rahner’s 84th birthday in the papal newspaper…L’Osservatore Romano in 1984. So John Paul was warm to the main dissenter and you wanted him out. Again….the wrathful lower church versus actual papal behaviour…not their words…their behaviour. There is big money in stirring up your sector of the Church. Check wiki today for Bill Donohue’s yearly salary which matches the average brain surgeon. Corapi likewise did well until his 50% off sale. I hope you are not sending your money to the stir masters. They know that laity anger pays big…real big.

  30. avatar bill bannon says:

    ps
    The Church only accepted the natural methods in the 19th century after the woman’s cycle was explained by science. Augustine had denigrated it in a letter to a Manichaean leader…implicitly objecting to it. Dioceses in the 19th century wrote in to the Vatican with dubia asking if couples could use it. The Vatican stated they could. As word spread, Catholic clergy who were very Augustinian objected as did Arthur Vermeesch, the main moral theologian in the early 20th century who saw it as a lesser evil for onanists. The local council of the Bishops in Malines declared that using the natural
    methods would lead to abortion when it failed to work. The Popes had to fight the Donahues of that period to safeguard the natural methods.
    You Mary Gamble and Dawn Eden and Janet Smith and Thomist here with his copy and paste etc etc….were once denounced by the FAITHFUL Catholics.

  31. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    Bill Bannon.
    If you read me correctly. I said ‘there is a case for’ Don’t put your own interpretation on it
    Anyway one excommunicates one self.Did you not know that?
    What BTW is my sector of the Church.
    What form of contraception would you say was acceptable, as most artificial contraception causes an early abortion, or is that in your category of free will.
    .

  32. avatar bill bannon says:

    Mary,
    Automatic excommunication is in canon law only for those who proximately cooperate with an actual abortion….not for contraception. I give no physical advice on the internet or off the internet.
    My wife could have died with one more childbirth and if you believe that I Cor. 7:5 is from God and I do, some Catholics ( not all) are commanded by God not to follow the Josephite marriage…commanded by God lest satan enter their situation. Read way more than you are doing. Automatic excommunication is called latae sententiae….but you can’t order it at Starbucks… and it is
    only for abortion in the sexual area. Read way more than you do or don’t…but then don’t go beyond
    your real knowledge into guessing. Goodbye. Remember…you and Thomist were once denounced
    by the super faithful Catholics for using NFP. St. Peter looks down on this mess and says…oy veh.

  33. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    Bill Bunnon.
    One last word to you too.
    Conscience is different to free will. Conscience tells me ‘Not to do something I believe to be wrong!
    Burning at the Stake- Contraception- Speak in public against Church teaching.
    Free will being the opposite in as much as I do all those things against my conscience.
    I would not be in heresy if I didn’t do them because Holy Mother Church taught that I could!
    That is what we were discussing. Not your life or your conscience or your free will..
    BTW who said the Church were against the natural Rhythm, and since when was Thomist called to the Chair of Peter!!!

  34. avatar bill bannon says:

    The Church is for natural methods…but only recently. What is longstanding is opposition to contraception. Two separete things. Prominent Catholics, Bishops and clergy were against natural methods when the Church first said yes in the mid 19th century to it because Augustine’s letter dissed it and because many theologians following Augustine and Aqyinas held that it was venial sin to ask for the marriage debt when procreation was not willed. Repeated venials sins dispose to mortal sin.

    Here:
    Augustine.  On Marriage and Concupiscence
    Chapter 16 [XIV.]— “…even such embraces of husband and wife as have not procreation for their object, but serve an overbearing concupiscence, are permitted, so far as to be within range of forgiveness….
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Aquinas. Summa T.  Supplement question 49 art.5  Reply to Objection 2. 
        “If a man intends by the marriage act to prevent fornication in his wife, it is no sin, because this is a kind of payment of the debt that comes under the good of “faith.” But if he intends to avoid fornication in himself, then there is a certain superfluity, and accordingly there is a venial sin, nor was the sacrament instituted for that purpose, except by indulgence, which regards venial sins.”

    Supplement…question 49 art 5 “I answer that”: 
      “Consequently there are only two ways in which married persons can come together without any sin at all, namely in order to have offspring, and in order to pay the debt, otherwise it is always at least a venial sin.”
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    All of that is now incorrect with NFP but confessors went by it for probably the same 1300 years usury was incorrectly seen. Aquinas copied Augustine on sexual matters and Augustine had
    conscience baggage from being over sexed for a decade and I mean over sexed. Again as with
    usury, it was sin…poof….it’s later totally ok to ask for sex on non fertile days. Ask your pastor if he has Noonan’s ” Contraception” which is not FOR contraception but is a century by century history of what each century of the Church believed in this area. Goodbye. Read off net. Don’t let the net be your only source.

  35. avatar bill bannon says:

    ps
    For both men, sex without willing children was concupiscence only. It didn’t occur to them that sex affirms us by our spouse and strengthens us to face the world. Augustine’s experience with sex was 100% sinful. Ergo he brought that view into the Church…the urge is sinful in itself but is excused by the sacrament and by childbearing but venial otherwise thanks to the sacrament. Aquinas like Thomist….copied and pasted him in this area. It led to both also being wrong on the IC.

  36. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    Me thinks you do too much reading and not enough thinking!

  37. avatar Thomist says:

    Mary Gamble says: February 9, 2013 at 9:12 am
    “Me thinks you do too much reading and not enough thinking!”

    Quite so, and such “thought”, based on a mishmash of reading, is feeble and open to any prevailing error, without assent to the Magisterium on faith and morals.

    Real Catholics (the faithful) know the score:
    Can. 749 §1. By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teaching when as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens his brothers and sisters in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held.

    It is Doctrine – infallible — which requires the assent of ecclesial faith, to be “firmly embraced and held”.
    Canon 750.2:
    “Each and every proposition stated definitively by the Magisterium of the Church concerning the doctrine of the faith or morals, that is, each and every proposition required for the sacred preservation and faithful explanation of the same deposit of faith, must also be firmly embraced and maintained; anyone, therefore, who rejects those propositions which are to be held definitively is opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.”

    The clarity of expression for the truth of infallibility is indisputable. So no pretense can excuse the attacks on the Magisterium which perpetrate the falsehood that the Church has erred in Her teaching on contraception or anything else on faith and morals.

    Pope Pius XI, Encyclical on Christian Marriage, “Casti Connubii” (31 December, 1930)]
    “Wherefore it is not surprising that the Sacred Scriptures themselves also bear witness to the fact that the divine Majesty attends this unspeakable depravity with the utmost detestation, sometimes having punished it with death, as St. Augustine recalls: ‘For it is illicit and shameful for a man to lie with even his lawful wife in such a way as to prevent the conception of offspring. This is what Onan, son of Judah, used to do; and for that God slew him’ (cf. Gen. 38: 8-10).”

  38. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    Thomist.
    True, not much reading there, but plenty of thought .It does not need pages and pages to know the Truth-just a little contemplation and most of all Faith.
    Please pray for the UK that Marriage will remain one man and one woman in British Law. soon to have its second reading.

  39. avatar Thomist says:

    Mary,
    The Western world is immersed in the relativism and secularism so eloquently exposed by Pope Benedict XVI, a world in which its governments and most opposition parties thrash around in a morass of disbelief, confusion and error on marriage, freedom, Church and State, and on almost every conceivable real value – so removed from the civilization built in the West by the Catholic Church.

    Will the House of Commons provide the sense needed? Prayer is of the essence for all and you have mine.

    BTW,
    THE POPES AND SLAVERY: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
    Fr. Joel S. Panzer
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/POPSLAVE.HTM
    “Authors such as Gustavo Gutierrez [liberation theologian] have noted this fact: ‘The bull of Pope Paul III, “Sublimis Deus” (June 2, 1537), is regarded as the most important papal pronouncement on the human condition of the Indians.’ It is, moreover, addressed to all of the Christian faithful in the world, and not to a particular bishop in one area, thereby not limiting its significance, but universalizing it.”

    The facts need exposure, since this has been a favourite misconception. In Ephesians 6:5, 8 Paul is often quoted eagerly, but very seldom ver. 9: “Masters, do the same to them, and forbear threatening, knowing that He who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no, partiality with Him.” This equality before God encouraged the early Church to convert slaves – Pope Callistus (d. 236) had been a slave. With the demise of the Roman empire, the embrace of those in slavery continued.

    Priests urged owners to free their slaves, and by the seventh century there was considerable evidence of unions of free men and female slaves. In 649 Clovis II, king of the Franks, married his British slave Clotilda. After his death, Clotilda campaigned to halt the slave trade and to redeem those in slavery. On her death she was declared a saint by the Church.

    By the ninth century Charlemagne opposed slavery and the pope and many influential clerics strove for the freedom of slaves. During the eleventh century both St Wulfstan and St Anselm campaigned to remove the last vestiges of slavery from most of Christendom.

    Dr Rodney Stark: “The theological conclusion that slavery is sinful has been unique to Christianity (although several early Jewish sects also rejected slavery).”
    [See “The Victory of Reason”, Random House, 2005, p 29-31].

  40. avatar Thomist says:

    Correction: “House of Lords” !

  41. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    Thomist.
    Thank you for the info.
    St Wulfstan succeeded in abolishing the slave trade in Bristol (28 miles from where I live)one of the Capitals of the slave trade- by converting the traders, this accomplishment initiated a reform of the slave trade in Britain.We celebrate his Feast Day on 19th January.
    I expect you know this. Not many do unfortunately,especially when they criticise the Church so often.

  42. avatar bill bannon says:

    Mary,
    Read more on slavery and the Church. There were Popes against slavery interspersed with Popes who were for it. Catholic apologetics people tend to cover up the latter. Ask Thomist if any Pope interdicted Portugal for slavery. None did because Rome often was worried about offending countries that she needed for protection and one Pope gave Portugal the permanent right to enslave with the caveat that it could not be reversed by anyone of any authority level. Here is the text. It’s online and look in that online version in the mid 4 th paragraph…”Romanus Pontifex” by Pope Nicholas V in 1453:

    ” We [therefore] weighing all and singular the premises with due meditation, and noting that since we had formerly by other letters of ours granted among other things free and ample faculty to the aforesaid King Alfonso — to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable goods whatsoever held and possessed by them and to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery…”

    Further down he tries to make it eternal and not reversable in the last paragraph:

    ” but that they shall be valid forever and shall obtain full authority. And if anyone, by whatever authority, shall, wittingly or unwittingly, attempt anything inconsistent with these orders we decree that his act shall be null and void. ”

    Thomist didn’t notice that the 1537 bull is in fact referring to Pope Nicholas and several other Popes as it tries to reverse their damage in these words:
    ” notwithstanding whatever may have been or may be said to the contrary, the said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty..”

    Thomist’s bull was trying to reverse actions by Pope Nicholas V and three successor Popes to him who reconfirmed his permissions to Portugal….that’s what he is trying to counter….other Popes.

  43. avatar bill bannon says:

    1455 not 1453.

  44. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    Bill Bannon.
    What are you saying exactly?
    It just proves the point that I was making in the beginning, does it not?

  45. avatar bill bannon says:

    Which was what?

  46. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    O dear me don’t you understand anything
    My conscience told me that artificial contraception was wrong in 1958 and that the Church was right. long before HV. so whether it was infallable or not it is the Truth.
    Now if the next Pope says it is OK, you said or implied that I would be a heretic., because I believed it to be not so. and would use NFP instead as it would be a sin against the Holy Spirit.
    God made Eve the same way as HE makes females to-day, the only difference being we know when to be responsible parents and NOT to use the knowledge indiscriminately.
    Which has been from the beginning.The sin I believe that our first parents made was they were disobedient and ate off the Tree of Knowledge when God told them NOT to.They ought to have waited until He told them to do so.! That to me say’s when we are infertile.And we know now. Or at least some take the time to find out. I have taught for 30 years.!!

  47. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    PS or fertile.

  48. avatar bill bannon says:

    You were just thanking Thomist for a whitewashed history of slavery and the Church. How you got back to contraception is beyond me.

  49. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    I was thanking him for tor reminding me of the history of St Wulfstan.
    You were muddying the waters going against the subject of these posts.
    You know you are wrong! Admit it! Start thinking straight.and you may see things in the Light of the Holy Spirit. You can do it if you want to.But I find those who wish to discriminate against the Church leave themselves blind to the Truth.

  50. avatar bill bannon says:

    I find those who talk like you would logically ( IF consistent) have burned Protestants from “religious submission of mind and will” to Exsurge Domine in 1521…. and would have worked on a Portuguese slaving ship in obedience to Romanus Pontifex in 1460. Now you go to Protestants for a brake change on your car or a heart transplant….trusting them perfectly with your life.

  51. avatar Mary Gamble says:

    I shall pray for you to be guided. I say that with all sincerity.
    Good to speak- but leave you to work it out.

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