Guilt and the LawBirth Control in the Catholic Church

October 31, 2002, 09:56 PM
Guilt and the Law

Luke 11:46: `And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry.' Is the teaching on ABC morally and spiritually essential? Or in fact is this a load to weigh people down with and act as a stumbling block to the community in our Church?
October 31, 2002, 10:03 PM
I've just read Sarah's post on the other thread and think the Church's teaching is an unnecessary burden. I'm not married yet, but my fiancee and I have been talking about all this. Glad to find this web site. Now I need to get him to read some of it. smile
November 01, 2002, 01:06 AM
Do read these excellent threads from the old discussion board archives regarding why You Do Have Liberty on this matter! and about your relationship to authority on this and other matters!

God Bless You and your fiance'.
November 01, 2002, 09:05 AM
Great links, Mom. And don't hesitate to use this discussion board to dialogue with others to form your conscience, "Somebody." It would be good if you heard from and considered the experiences of those who've found NFP helpful as well.

James, you ask a gut-wrenching question, here. I'm inclined to say the the present teaching is an unnecessary burden on married couples, especially when they're given so little information concerning their rights in conscience on this matter. It's also a "no-talk" area among priests, bishops, and theologians, who often have misgivings about its present formulation, but who don't want to get in trouble by speaking openly. I share the same concern; hence, my anonymity, along with the other contributors. Consequently, we've lost a considerable amount of influence in speaking to our sex-crazed culture on matters pertaining to sexual morality. Basing our moral teaching so heavily on the objective structure of the sex act is a big mistake, I believe, as other threads on this forum make clear. It's entirely possible to affirm both the unitive and procreative dimensions of human sexuality and articulate a moral teaching about their proper exercise in marriage without weighting things so heavily in the direction of essentialistic criteria.

Somehow, in all of this, I have to believe our Catholic leaders know all this. After all, these are very bright people, steeped in theology and knowledge of the Tradition. But there's a very dysfunctional dynamic at work in all of this which seems more concerned with preserving some kind of illusion about the Magisterium never changing their mind because to do so might suggest that their authority would be weakened and all teachings would then be suspect. What's most sad is that this is precisely what has happened *because* of their persistence in affirming a teaching which is ultimately unconvincing, but which could be revised without apologies.

So they're stuck in a sick effort to preserve some unhealthy authority-identity structure, which is one of Scott Peck's criterion for evil in his book, The People of the Lie. Those are strong words to use about the Magisterium, I know, but I think the fruits of that attachment do betray an unleashing of a spirit of division (diabolos--splitting power), oppression, and, ultimately, a betrayal of duty to provide guidance for Catholic married couples. Instead, they leave them with a burden of conscience formation with little support from their moral leaders, and a teaching which leaves those who decide to use ABC feeling like they're not quite first-class Catholics.

I think that all qualifies as loading people with heavy burdens they can hardly carry!