Thanks for your question,
Amy. The Church properly teaches that the Natural Law is accessible
to human reason. The Church's teaching on birth control, however,
such as in Humanae Vitae and such as articulated in the minority
report of the papal birth control commission, dwells mostly on
issues of tradition and authority when giving its most substantive
defense of its position and doesn't give depthful or substantive
reasons to defend its apodictic statements about the natural law.
In fact, the Minority Theologians of the Papal Birth Control
Commission wrote, in their report: "If we could bring forth
arguments which are clear and cogent based on reason alone, it would
not be necessary for our commission to exist, nor would the present
state of affairs exist in the Church as it is."
So, as to
whether or not artificial birth control contradicts natural law,
don't expect a clear and cogent argument from the ordinary
magisterium setting forth their reasons.
Most of the
discussions in this forum will involve one of two major thrusts. One
thrust involves issues of authority and tradition, questions about
dispersion of the Magisterium and the sense of the faithful, issues
regarding infallibility and the possibility of dissent, moral
probabilism, etc The other thrust precisely involves Natural Law
interpretations and the reasons defending one position or another,
some totally for Church teaching and some totlly against, and,
interestingly, some sort of in between (would you say, Michael?).
Often, a third thrust involves the nature of sin, itself, and issues
of exculpability, parvity of matter, fundamental option theory,
conscience formation, knowledge and consent and will,
metastabilization (where did you get that word, Michael, from
chemistry or physics? or moral theology?), etc
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Doesn't artificial birth control contradict natural law?