Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I wonder how this will go over in Peoria or in this case in Lincoln? When's the last time you heard a homily on this or had a dinner time discussion on this topic?

Bishop issues pastoral letter on contraception: “We live in a world short on love”

Details from The Journal Star newspaper:
Twenty-three years ago, Lincoln Catholic Diocese Bishop Glennon Flavin issued a letter to parishioners and physicians, decrying birth control as evil and immoral.
He warned Catholic couples using contraception and the Catholic physicians prescribing it they were “committing grave sin.”
On Tuesday, Bishop James Conley issued his own letter to parishioners reaffirming the Catholic church’s stance prohibiting the use of all contraceptives, but explaining the stance in much gentler tones.
Every priest in the diocese has been asked to discuss the letter and talk about contraception during Mass this weekend, Conley said…
…“We really live in a wounded world when it comes to the family,” Conley said in a telephone interview.
He said he chose to issue the letter during Lent because of its theme of love and sacrifice being the language of love.
“We live in a world short on love,” Conley writes in the letter. “Today, love is too often understood as romantic sentimentality, rather than unbreakable commitment. But sentimentality is unsatisfying. …
“Love — real love — is about sacrifice and redemption, and hope.”
Whereas Flavin’s letter took a strong, authoritative tone and called contraception “gravely immoral … intrinsically evil … contrary to the law of nature and nature’s God,” Conley’s explains the church’s stand based on understanding God.
God created marriage to be unifying and procreative, Conley writes.
“Our church has always taught that rejecting the gift of children erodes the love between husband and wife.
“… The use of contraception gravely and seriously disrupts the sacrificial, holy and loving meaning of marriage itself.”
People who use contraception “diminish their power to unite,” Conley writes, “and they give up the opportunity to cooperate with God in the creation of life.”


Anonymous said...

My wife and I have been lovingly, happily and gratefully married for over fifty years. We have given life to eight wonderful children. (We have over twenty grandchildren.) We know something about married intimacy, physical and sexual relationships. It is NOT just about procreation...making babies. It seems clear that these two Bishops, and the clergy, top to bottom have little understanding of this.

And as a very practical matter. that train left the station in about 1967...while Pope Paul VI was dragging his feet and ignoring advice on Humanae Vitae.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Conley is spot on. The man is a courageous defender of the faith and his love for the souls of those entrusted to him is apparent.

Unknown said...

Come now, Father. Aren't you aware sex only exists to give us pleasure?

John Nolan said...

Fr MacDonald

This is not relevant to the thread, but earlier this evening I attended Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and it was a Solemn Mass to boot. Everyone in the sanctuary was considerably younger than I am. Most of the congregation were the same. I took along my Liber Usualis, but only opened it for the Epistle and Gospel, since the Propers were sung in polyphony rather than chant.

Everyone knew what he was doing, although the MC was there to make sure that everything was in order. Now don't get me wrong. I do not disparage the Byzantine Rite although I find the repeated litanies somewhat wearisome. Nor do I disparage the Novus Ordo. But the flow of the liturgy this evening demonstrated the genius of the Roman Rite, described by Father Faber as the greatest thing this side of heaven. The closer you can get to this, the better. Let PI stew in his relativist juices.

George said...

The Annunciation

At the Virgin's word, the Word became flesh.
At the ascent of her yes, the Holy Spirit descended.
With her covenant with the Divine Spouse, the New Covenant came to humanity.
As the Chosen people of old awaited patiently for their Messiah dwell among them,
God awaited patiently on the word of His chosen creature to do so.
As today at the word from the mouth of His creature, he descends to our altars.

George said...

Anonymous said

" It is NOT just about procreation...making babies."
Who said it was? The unitive and procreative go together. The Church does not teach that the pleasurable
part of the marriage is wrong. It does stipulate that it is licit only within a God-ordained union and that the marital
act is open to the transmission of life .

We partake of food because we enjoy it and it gives pleasure, but its primary purpose is to give sustenance; to keep us alive and healthy. The pleasure we derive from eating cannot be separated from the act of eating itself, because it is necessary to consume food to experience the pleasure that comes from eating it. Likewise, you cannot separate the necessity to consume food from the act of eating (or being fed by tube, if that is necessary , because if you don’t partake of food, your body will die.
Eating has both a necessary aspect and a pleasurable aspect.
Many things in the modern diet are not healthy for our bodies. There are foods that we don’t particularly like that we are willing to (or should) consume anyway because we know they are healthier for us. One could subsist solely on cake and candy for a while, but eventually such a diet would adversely affect the health of the body. Consuming food in this way just for pleasure can be very harmful to us.
People derive pleasure from listening to music or watching a movie on their television. But it
would be folly if we had power coming into our house just for the purpose of entertainment,
We need light to see at night , heat to cook with and keep us warm in the winter, and air conditioning to keep us cool in the summer. The utilitarian aspect of things we use has primacy over
the aspect that gives us pleasure although the two are linked because directly or indirectly, each one is needed and good for us if used in the proper way.
If a couple can no longer conceive because of advanced age or other issues, the important thing is
that it cannot be said that there is a deliberate act on their part to thwart the transmission of life.

Anonymous said...

John, I went to a Missa Cantata last night some 4,300 miles from you and discovered... exactly the same thing. Young people everywhere with loads of kids. The MC was the oldest of the many servers at probably age 15.

The celebrant was also a young Franciscan from EWTN. Another priest heard confessions during the Mass.

The chant was quite beautiful from the four man scola. And it was easily recognizable.

I regularly attend Eastern liturgies. Nothing can compare to the Roman Rite in beauty and majesty.