"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The rupture between sexuality and marriage.

Garden of Earthly Delights - Bosch

Unexpectedly ...

I found an excerpt from Vittorio Messori's book The Ratzinger Report on Spiritual Friendship blog, part of an extended discussion on the relationship between same sex marriage and contraception as viewed through the writings of Cardinal Ratzinger and Rowan Williams.  I've chosen to emphasize the Ratzinger Report: 

“The issue is the rupture between sexuality and marriage. Separated from motherhood, sex has remained without a locus and has lost its point of reference: it is a kind of drifting mine, a problem and at the same time an omnipresent power.”
After this first rupture he sees another, as a consequence: “After the separation between sexuality and motherhood was effected, sexuality was also separated from procreation. The movement, however, ended up going in an opposite direction: procreation without sexuality. Out of this follow the increasingly shocking medical-technical experiments so prevalent in our day where, precisely, procreation is independent of sexuality. Biological manipulation is striving to uncouple man from nature (the very existence of which is being disputed). There is an attempt to transform man, to manipulate him as one does every other ‘thing': he is nothing but a product planned according to one’s pleasure.
If I am not mistaken, I observe, our cultures are the first in history in which such ruptures have come to pass.
“Yes, and at the end of this march to shatter fundamental, natural linkages (and not, as is said, only those that are cultural), there are unimaginable consequences which, however, derive from the very logic that lies at the base of a venture of this kind.”
In his view we will atone already in our day for “the consequences of a sexuality which is no longer linked to motherhood and to procreation. It logically follows from this that every form of sexuality is equivalent and therefore of equal worth.” “It is certainly not a matter,” he specifies, “of establishing or recommending a retrograde moralism, but one of lucidly drawing the consequences from the premises: it is, in fact, logical that pleasure, the libido of the individual, become the only possible point of reference of sex. No longer having an objective reason to justify it, sex seeks the subjective reason in the gratification of desire, in the most ‘satisfying’ answer for the individual, to the instincts no longer subject to rational restraints. Everyone is free to give his personal libido the content considered suitable for himself.”
He continues: “Hence, it naturally follows that all forms of sexual gratification are transformed into the ‘rights’ of the individual. Thus to cite an especially current example, homosexuality becomes an inalienable right. (Given the aforementioned premises, how can one deny it?) On the contrary, its full recognition appears to be an aspect of human liberation.”
There are, however, other consequences of “this uprooting of the human person in the depth of his nature.” He elaborates: “Fecundity separated from marriage based on a life-long fidelity turns from being a blessing (as it was understood in every culture) into its opposite: that is to say a threat to the free development of the ‘individual’s right to happiness’. Thus abortion, institutionalized, free and socially guaranteed, becomes another ‘right’, another form of ‘liberation’.” - The Ratzinger Report

Contraception, the original sin of the sexual revolution.

Before 1960 there was no magic pill to regulate birth.  Contraception was clumsy.  The contraceptive mentality was there, the convenience wasn't.  Then the pill came along.  Clinical abortion is a consequence of failed contraception.  Sexual liberty, and therefore 'equality' is the consequence of the cultural revolution; “the consequences of a sexuality which is no longer linked to motherhood and to procreation. It logically follows from this that every form of sexuality is equivalent and therefore of equal worth.”

I'm not sure why that is so difficult to understand, or why or how Church leaders in Ireland can be so surprised that same-sex marriage was so easily approved by so many.  In the west, dissenting theologians and clergy have been free to present the teaching on artificial contraception as a matter of personal conscience, ignoring and criticizing Paul VI's Humanae Vitae, which condemned artificial contraception as well as foretelling what some of the consequences would result.
Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. - HV 17


  1. "...or how Church leaders in Ireland can be so surprised that same-sex marriage was so easily approved by so many."

    Are they really surprised? My cynical take is that they expected this all along, many of them happily looking forward to the outcome. The shock and dismay is just a put on, window dressing for the pious and, more importantly, a mere show of consternation the higher-ups in episcopal food chain.

  2. Too bad for Ireland but what about the rest of us? Did you read this article, Terry?

    "Confidential Meeting Seeks to Sway Synod to Accept Same-Sex Unions"


    The push is coming...I hope we can stand against it come what may.

    I am too lazy right now to care but I will pray to wake up for the sake of the Truth.

  3. . Benedict ( Ratzinger) ignores that many couples have known sterility and in fact it was a theme in the Bible e.g. Sarah, Samson's mom, and the Shunamite in 2 Kings 4. That is...there are couples whose sexuality is by nature separated from procreation. Did these biblical figures therefore find themselves friendly to gay acts? No. Do sterile Catholic couples favor gay acts more than Catholic couples with 7 children? No. We herein have theory overload. Here's my theory....if I can add to the overload. Humanae Vitae was rejected in 1968 massively because A. those Catholics as children had the Assumption encyclical in Catholic school in 1954 during which they were told the superiority of ex cathedra...799 times...B. Humanae Vitae was introduced to the world press by theologian Msgr. Lambrushini at the Vatican who twice noted it was non infallible but had to be obeyed...C. not only minor theologians like Charles Curran dissented, two international theologians who were periti at Vatican II dissented...Frs. Karl
    Rahner and Bernard Haring and no Pope since 1968 placed them under censure or publishing restrictions....
    D. Popes don't go public into the debate forum of tv..YET....Christ, Peter, and Paul did. Popes at most answer several questions to the press but do not go back and forth in that venue. Christ. Paul, and Peter debated in public...Popes do the kings of this earth bit...no debating. On birth control, that non access was seen as their being incapable of debating with the high ranked theologians who the Popes didn't discipline since 1968.

    1. Why was it non-fallible?

    2. Angela,
      Non-infallible..not non-fallible. There are crystal clear doctrines that no one argues about because they had ex cathedra encyclicals which make them infallibly defined beyond all doubt...ie the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. The Universal Ordinary Magisterium is another source of infallible doctrines. That is those issues which were "everywhere and always taught" in one way. Abortion was condemned always and everywhere in every century. But John Paul II saw that the universal ordinary magisterium was more susceptible to questioning by the very educated than was e.g. ex cathedra. So in 1995 he in effect moved abortion from the universal ordinary magisterium into the secondary extraordinary magisterium by polling all Bishops worldwide on abortion, euthanasia, and killing the innocent and declaring them infallibly
      condemned in three sections of Evangelium Vitae by virtue of all the Bishops under him agreeing.
      But that was the opportune moment to do the same for the birth control issue which had been challenged by very well read theologians already named above. But John Paul didn't do it. Did he poll the Bishops in the same poll on birth control? I suspect he did ( the papal correspondence is secret for I think 80 years...so we don't know what all was asked). I suspect he did but did not get unanimity as he did on the three other issues. I know one prominent African Cardinal wants condoms for HIV married couples and there may therefore be a number of African Bishops who think likewise. Before you think condoms don't stop HIV, remember Benedict does not agree with you there because there was success in South East Asia ( not perhaps Africa) and Benedict then saw their use as a step toward thinking about others when used between males but several days later, he was asked about female prostitutes being protected from AIDS by the use of them and Benedict said yes but Catholic media gave that days later statement tiny coverage. In fact Benedict never again continued that discussion because Popes are always cognizant of which groups they offended with their last comment...and the more traditionalists were outraged by his brief comments which then had people like Jiimy Akin parsing them in essays a hundred times longer than what Benedict said. Popes always fear groups breaking off in schism especially from the obedient end of the Church.

  4. there was a beehive in my garden and my husband moved it to a different field. However all bees who were born in there, in my garden, would find their way back here with their new swarms. The beehive is gone but it will take time and now we have swarms of bees , confused, looking for it...and how are they gonna make their honey?
    Shall I bring the behive back? It will be then clear what to do


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.