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    AmP Countdown: Time left to demand that Congress make health care reform pro-life: 2009-11-07 18:00:00 GMT-05:00


    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Co-Creating with God conference a success!

    I've heard a few on-the-ground reports - all of them favorable - about Sacred Heart Major Seminary's "Co-Creating with God: Humanae Vitae Today" conference (previous AmP posts about it here).

    Evidently they had several hundred participants, which is a phenomenal turn-out. The local Free Press also noticed. At least one group of folks came from several states away, after seeing the event advertised here on AmP.

    Be sure to check back here in case SHMS decides to post a follow-up press release about the even - I'll be sure to give that a mention. As the organizers said, "Although this is a one-time event, we hope it will bear lasting fruit in the lives of those who attend." Amen!

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    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Note: John Allen (personally) and National "Catholic" Reporter on Humanae Vitae

    Fr. Z takes a look at both:

    I'm pleased to see the former, and not surprised to see the latter.

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    Friday, July 25, 2008

    "Papal spokesman calls Catholics for Choice ad 'paid propaganda'"

    Good to see the Vatican speaking out:

    Responding to an open letter from dissident groups asking Pope Benedict XVI to change church teaching on birth control, the pope's spokesman said the letter was "paid propaganda in favor of the use of contraceptives."

    The letter, sponsored by the U.S.-based Catholics for Choice and signed by dozens of its national chapters, sections of We Are Church and groups promoting women's ordination, was published July 25 in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

    ... Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the papal spokesman, told Vatican Radio that the ad was "nothing new" from a collection of small groups already known for their opposition to church teaching on a variety of topics."

    In addition, the harshest accusation -- that the Catholic position is the cause of the spread of AIDS and, therefore, of suffering and death, blocking enlightened policies of public health -- is demonstrably unfounded," he said.

    The spread of AIDS has nothing to do with someone's religion, he said, and policies responding to AIDS that rely chiefly on the distribution of condoms "have largely failed."

    "Responding to AIDS requires interventions that are much deeper and detailed," he said, and Catholic agencies and religious orders are actively involved in those projects.

    The most interesting thing about the protest letter, Father Lombardi said, was the fact that "it does not touch -- in anyway -- the true question at the center of 'Humanae Vitae,' which is the connection between spouses' human and spiritual relationship and the exercise of their sexuality as an expression of it and its fruitfulness."

    "In the entire letter," he said, "the word 'love' does not appear once."

    Father Lombardi said the letter does not "express a theological or moral position," but seemed to be "paid propaganda in favor of the use of contraceptives. One also could ask who paid for it and why." (CNS)

    I normally tend to not quote articles at great length, allowing instead my readers to follow through themselves if they have an interest. But I found everything Lombardi had to say to be topical and enlightening. Well done!

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    Humanae Vitae 40th Anniversary Post

    (this post will be updated throughout the day .... see below)
    Marcel LeJeune brought this to my attention:

    The Vindication of Humanae Vitae by Mary Eberstadt

    That Humanae Vitae and related Catholic teachings about sexual morality are laughingstocks in all the best places is not exactly news. Even in the benighted precincts of believers, where information from the outside world is known to travel exceedingly slowly, everybody grasps that this is one doctrine the world loves to hate. During Benedict XVI’s April visit to the United States, hardly a story in the secular press failed to mention the teachings of Humanae Vitae, usually alongside adjectives like “divisive” and “controversial” and “outdated.” In fact, if there’s anything on earth that unites the Church’s adversaries—all of them except for the Muslims, anyway—the teaching against contraception is probably it.

    Humanae Vitae was promulgated 40 years today.
    Also... Listen to a recorded debate between Dr. Janet Smith and Charlie Curran on contraception:

    Note: Each file is roughly 25mb, so they will take a little while to download even on a broadband connection.

    My description:

    Pro-Life activist Dr. Janet Smith debated the dissenter Dr. Charles Curran in front of a packed Dallas audience in 1994. I think the debate is well worth a focused listening because Dr. Smith and Dr. Curran are widely recognized as the top proponents of their respective positions on the contraception issue (at least in the US), and it's a rare occurrence indeed to hear two figures of their stature debating each other live.

    Perhaps this weekend would be a good chance to set aside a bit of time and give it a listen.

    And for a secular perspective: Forty years of 'Humanae Vitae' (Irish Times)

    Plenty of work to do.

    update: Cardinal James Francis Stafford shows us the path towards Humanae Vitae and since its publication from an insider's/scholar's perspective.

    The "Reproductive Health" blog, meanwhile, reminds us that the culture of death has set its sights squarely on squarely on the Philippines. Surprise, surprise: the author references Catholics for Free Choice.

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    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Confratenity of Catholic Clergy defends Humanae Vitae on its 40th anniversary

    Stories relating to Humanae Vitae (explicitly and implicitly, or tangentially) have been increasing lately in anticipation of its 40th anniversary on July 25th. Notably among these is the outrageous decision of "Catholics for Choice" to publish an open letter to Pope Benedict criticizing the church's constant teaching against artificial contraception.
    I'm happy to see, therefore, that the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (who generously invited me to their convocation in Baltimore last week) is jumping into the breach:
    The leader of "Catholics" for Choice argued that in some countries where Catholic institutions exercise great power, people "are dying as a result of the ban" on contraceptives. His statement presumably referred to the argument that AIDS is spread by the lack of access to condoms.
    However, the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a group of 600 orthodox Catholic priests and deacons, meeting in Baltimore last week, strongly endorsed the Church's teaching. Referring to the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae, in which Pope Paul VI reinforced the traditional teaching, the Confraternity approved a statement asking "all its brother clergy to teach, explain, and defend this timely encyclical."

    "While sometimes a difficult teaching to embrace and maintain, it is nevertheless the only means to uphold the natural law and to safeguard the sanctity of the human person, marriage, and the family as well as civilization itself," the Confraternity proclaimed. The group pointed out that in the 40 years since Pope Paul issued the encyclical, the steadily growing public acceptance of contraception has been associated with epidemics of sexual promiscuity, deviancy, venereal disease, divorce, illegitimacy, and other problems including sharp increases in breast cancer and uterine cancer. (CWNews)

    LifeNews has more on the story. You can also read more on the Catholic and Christian newswires.

    Please consider making a donation to the CCC or sponsoring your priest for a CCC membership to support the good work they are doing and spread awareness their joyful, firm obedience to the Church's teaching.

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    "Catholics for Choice" to publish open letter to Pope criticizing Humanae Vitae

    The nerve:
    A group of Catholic dissenters plans to publish an open letter to Pope Benedict XVI in a major U.S. and a major Italian newspaper criticizing Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae on the fortieth anniversary of its promulgation, July 25. The group Catholics for Choice (CFC) claims that the encyclical’s teaching against contraception has been an “utter failure” that endangers women’s lives and leaves millions at risk of HIV. However, a major pro-life leader said the group’s accusations were hard to take seriously. (CNA)
    Meanwhile, in the corridors of sanity:
    On 40th anniversary, 'Humanae Vitae' starts to gain more attention "Humanae Vitae" ("Of Human Life"), Pope Paul VI's encyclical on artificial contraception and the role of procreation in marriage, turns 40 July 25 and seems to be finding new life across the country.
    "There is an army of people out there right now who are desirous of getting this message out," said Janet Smith, professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Detroit Archdiocese.
    Smith, who has taken her "Contraception Why Not" presentation across the U.S. and Canada, is finding that while the numbers may not be overwhelming, a growing number of people are beginning to understand the connection between the sexual freedom that emerged in the 1960s and today's violence, depiction of women as sex objects and high incidence of divorce.
    "It seems to me that 40 years ago people thought that contraception would be advantageous. Now 40 years later, we'd better rethink that," she said. (CNS)
    There's nothing like having reality on your side when you're trying to make a point.

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