See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Friday, May 20, 2011

Is Benedict XVI attempting to change Catholic teaching on sexual morality?



"Queer perspectives."
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I noted on another blog seeds of a discussion over a claim by a priest-theologian that Benedict XVI is in the process of overturning Humanae Vitae.  As many Catholics know, the encyclical of Paul VI was the first to be publicly and widely dissented from, while fomenting dissent on sexual ethics ever since - into our own day with the debate of same-sex marriage.  I'm amazed that anyone would even suggest Benedict XVI is the least bit interested in undoing Paul VI's encyclical on Human Life, or that his predecessor was lacking in support as well.  In fact JPII constantly affirmed the teaching put forth by Paul VI, and so does Benedict XVI.  In truth, a pope could never reverse infallible teaching.
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It seems to me that pro-same-sex marriage 'theologians' hope to separate the two inseparable aspects of the conjugal act, union and procreation, in order to claim same-sex sexual relations as equal to the conjugal act between husband and wife.  The approval of same sex marriage and homosexual acts requires that much of Judeo-Christian moral teaching be discarded.
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If you do not have a copy of Humanae Vitae, you can find the text here.  I'll highlight a couple of passages which impressed me today:
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No member of the faithful could possibly deny that the Church is competent in her magisterium to interpret the natural moral law.
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The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.

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The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.
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No member of the faithful could possibly deny that the Church is competent in her magisterium to interpret the natural moral law. It is in fact indisputable, as Our predecessors have many times declared, (l) that Jesus Christ, when He communicated His divine power to Peter and the other Apostles and sent them to teach all nations His commandments, (2) constituted them as the authentic guardians and interpreters of the whole moral law, not only, that is, of the law of the Gospel but also of the natural law. For the natural law, too, declares the will of God, and its faithful observance is necessary for men's eternal salvation. (3)

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Union and Procreation

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12. This particular doctrine, often expounded by the magisterium of the Church, is based on the 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.
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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.
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We believe that our contemporaries are particularly capable of seeing that this teaching is in harmony with human reason.

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Faithfulness to God's Design

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13. Men rightly observe that a conjugal act imposed on one's partner without regard to his or her condition or personal and reasonable wishes in the matter, is no true act of love, and therefore offends the moral order in its particular application to the intimate relationship of husband and wife. If they further reflect, they must also recognize that an act of mutual love which impairs the capacity to transmit life which God the Creator, through specific laws, has built into it, frustrates His design which constitutes the norm of marriage, and contradicts the will of the Author of life. Hence to use this divine gift while depriving it, even if only partially, of its meaning and purpose, is equally repugnant to the nature of man and of woman, and is consequently in opposition to the plan of God and His holy will. But to experience the gift of married love while respecting the laws of conception is to acknowledge that one is not the master of the sources of life but rather the minister of the design established by the Creator. Just as man does not have unlimited dominion over his body in general, so also, and with more particular reason, he has no such dominion over his specifically sexual faculties, for these are concerned by their very nature with the generation of life, of which God is the source. "Human life is sacred—all men must recognize that fact," Our predecessor Pope John XXIII recalled. "From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God." (13) - Humanae Vitae
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Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI is not about to change Catholic teaching on faith and morals.
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Photo:  Gay protestors during BXVI's visit to the UK.  

7 comments:

  1. A Random Friar11:56 AM

    Do you have a link to that discussion? I can't even begin to imagine how he got that idea, unless he really misinterpreted the Holy Father's comment on moral progression.

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  2. Sorry - I'll hi-lite the reference with a link.

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  3. B16 is changing EVERYTHING. You may have heard how he's even introduced Latin into the Mass, for God's sake!

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  4. No way!
    I cannot even begin to imagine that Pope Benedict is about to overturn Catholic teaching given in "Humanae vitae"' dream on Fr J. Alison!

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  5. Listening to the good Fr.
    He sounds Brit; that explains A LOT!
    (Ask any faithful Catholic in the UK...'nuff said!)

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  6. Honestly, some of these folks need to have their heads examined.

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  7. A Random Friar6:45 AM

    First, thanks for the link! I was interested in going through the comments. It seems some are hopeful that Pope Benedict's program of reformation within the tradition would eventually allow ABC and thus logically open the way to committed homosexual relationships.

    I think that they misunderstand what Pope Benedict is trying to do. He is a teacher and a theologian, and he is attempting to dialogue with the world, yes, but he is careful to articulate the truth and deepen our understanding of the Faith.

    I loved Bl. Pope John Paul II's encyclicals, but Pope Benedict adds a certain pedagogical style that I find a wonderful addition -- well, in great part because when I preach about one of his encyclicals, he already explains it well enough so that I can understand it. Pope John Paul II takes me a little longer to figure out how to explain.

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