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The teaching lacks rational appealBirth Control in the Catholic Church

November 05, 2002, 07:09 PM
The teaching lacks rational appeal

It always saddens me to see the NFPonly crowd, after having exhausted their salvo of arguements in favor of NFP, eventually fall back on the "You have to believe it to be Catholic." arguement. This shows how desperate their side really is. There is no logical way to destinguish NFP from ABC and they concede this by going the route of "Its an infallible teaching." So we are expected to believe anything the Ordinary Magesterium says (nonconsolidated in the teaching and perhaps even coerced to teach it no less) and abandon all logic for the greater good of Mother Church? That proposterous notion is what is intrinsically evil. The desperation to control the educated masses. Is this what it has all come down to?
November 06, 2002, 08:20 AM
maybe you're right
I suppose that what it will eventually come down to is that rationalism will dilute the scandal of the Incarnation, symbolism will displace the mystery of the Eucharist and the Resurrection event will succumb to empiricism, all drowned in this rising tide of skepticism of the Magisterium, which is increasingly viewed as less reliable, less credible, less trustworthy and less authoritative. Can they get anything right, then? If so, why some things but not others?

Maybe you are right.
That's what saddens me.

N.F. - moving on, thanks
November 06, 2002, 04:26 PM
N.F., there's a difference between Magisterial teaching based on divine revelation such as the Christian mysteries, and moral teaching based on Natural Law. I think we can trust that they will get the former right, although their manner of expressing these revealed truths might change from age to age. Ultimately, however, these are not assailable by rationalism as they are historically grounded and constitute the contents of our faith. To place the teaching on birth control or even others like the death penalty on the same level as these truths of the faith is a huge mistake. You need not fear that a change in a moral teaching based on Natural Law will ultimately undermine the Church's teaching on the Christian mysteries unless you believe that to err in one level is to be suspect in all. This view fails to account for the fact of a hierarchy of truth in the Catholic Church. See CCC #90, 234.

No moral teaching which hopes to persuade reason and volition to embrace the goods it affirms ought to be based primarily on authority and obedience. Resorting to such appeals, including your erroneous and exaggerated reference to infallibility, only shows how unconvincing the present teaching is.