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The Catholic Route to Birth Control

ialmisry

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elijahmaria said:
ialmisry said:
elijahmaria said:
ialmisry said:
elijahmaria said:
The "natural law" in the understanding of the Church is nothing more than God's Providence in Creation...all driven by Caritas.
yes, sort of like how Descartes using "cogito ergo sum" to pay lip service to God, and then go dream up whatever he wants.

The Vatican's understanding is all driven by scholasticism, nothing more than pagan philosophy with a Christian veneer.
Only the very most ignorant will follow you in this.
It was brought to my attention recently that Noonan, in his magnus opus on the matter, points out that the Vatican's teaching on the subject matter of HV comes directly from Stoicism, a conclusion I have otherwise come to.  For one thing, that is starkly brought out by the CCC's quotation of the Stoic Cicero for its "Natural Law," the basis of HV.
This is all hocus-pocus since the Church over the centuries has Christianized many many more pagan philosophical concepts than just this.
Such as?  Do include other ones that form the basis of Christian theology. DO NOT include terms adapted from pagan philosophy to explain the Christian Faith.

elijahmaria said:
Your rants against natural law...are just that...rantings.
Ordinarily we would all have to defer to your experience and expertise in ranting, but you have an axe to grind in this one.

As for the evidence I've assembled and posted against "Natural Law", along with the arguments thereof, well, we can't be suprised that you continue to ignore that.

elijahmaria said:
And then you find someone who agrees with you...wow!!   :laugh:
Given the date on Noonan's work,
http://books.google.com/books?id=Vw_aAAAAMAAJ&source=gbs_book_similarbooks
it would seem he assembled his evidence before my conception.
 

elijahmaria

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ialmisry said:
elijahmaria said:
ialmisry said:
elijahmaria said:
ialmisry said:
elijahmaria said:
The "natural law" in the understanding of the Church is nothing more than God's Providence in Creation...all driven by Caritas.
yes, sort of like how Descartes using "cogito ergo sum" to pay lip service to God, and then go dream up whatever he wants.

The Vatican's understanding is all driven by scholasticism, nothing more than pagan philosophy with a Christian veneer.
Only the very most ignorant will follow you in this.
It was brought to my attention recently that Noonan, in his magnus opus on the matter, points out that the Vatican's teaching on the subject matter of HV comes directly from Stoicism, a conclusion I have otherwise come to.  For one thing, that is starkly brought out by the CCC's quotation of the Stoic Cicero for its "Natural Law," the basis of HV.
This is all hocus-pocus since the Church over the centuries has Christianized many many more pagan philosophical concepts than just this.
Such as?  Do include other ones that form the basis of Christian theology. DO NOT include terms adapted from pagan philosophy to explain the Christian Faith.

elijahmaria said:
Your rants against natural law...are just that...rantings.
Ordinarily we would all have to defer to your experience and expertise in ranting, but you have an axe to grind in this one.

As for the evidence I've assembled and posted against "Natural Law", along with the arguments thereof, well, we can't be suprised that you continue to ignore that.

elijahmaria said:
And then you find someone who agrees with you...wow!!   :laugh:
Given the date on Noonan's work,
http://books.google.com/books?id=Vw_aAAAAMAAJ&source=gbs_book_similarbooks
it would seem he assembled his evidence before my conception.
Your position has the gravitas of Jack Chick tracts.  Not worth discussing.  Plays right into the hands of modernism. 
 

ialmisry

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elijahmaria said:
ialmisry said:
elijahmaria said:
ialmisry said:
elijahmaria said:
ialmisry said:
elijahmaria said:
The "natural law" in the understanding of the Church is nothing more than God's Providence in Creation...all driven by Caritas.
yes, sort of like how Descartes using "cogito ergo sum" to pay lip service to God, and then go dream up whatever he wants.

The Vatican's understanding is all driven by scholasticism, nothing more than pagan philosophy with a Christian veneer.
Only the very most ignorant will follow you in this.
It was brought to my attention recently that Noonan, in his magnus opus on the matter, points out that the Vatican's teaching on the subject matter of HV comes directly from Stoicism, a conclusion I have otherwise come to.  For one thing, that is starkly brought out by the CCC's quotation of the Stoic Cicero for its "Natural Law," the basis of HV.
This is all hocus-pocus since the Church over the centuries has Christianized many many more pagan philosophical concepts than just this.
Such as?  Do include other ones that form the basis of Christian theology. DO NOT include terms adapted from pagan philosophy to explain the Christian Faith.

elijahmaria said:
Your rants against natural law...are just that...rantings.
Ordinarily we would all have to defer to your experience and expertise in ranting, but you have an axe to grind in this one.

As for the evidence I've assembled and posted against "Natural Law", along with the arguments thereof, well, we can't be suprised that you continue to ignore that.

elijahmaria said:
And then you find someone who agrees with you...wow!!   :laugh:
Given the date on Noonan's work,
http://books.google.com/books?id=Vw_aAAAAMAAJ&source=gbs_book_similarbooks
it would seem he assembled his evidence before my conception.
Your position has the gravitas of Jack Chick tracts.  Not worth discussing.  Plays right into the hands of modernism. 
IOW all that crowing of yours just laid another egg.  Typical.

 

ialmisry

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elijahmaria said:
ialmisry said:
IOW all that crowing of yours just laid another egg.
This particular egg is useful.  Your rants against natural law are not.
Sour grapes hatched from a rotten egg are useful only to raise the stench level.  And your defense of the Vatican smells funny enough.

Natural Law is a Stoic concept, one intimately connected with their materialism.  Useful for apologetics and polemics, as all philosophy, but not for theology.
The Stoic doctrine, of which Zeno laid the foundations, was developed by Chrysippus in 705 treatises, of which only some fragments have been preserved. In addition to the principles accepted by all thinkers of their age (the perception of the true, if it exists, can only be immediate; the wise man is self-sufficient; the political constitution is indifferent), derived from the Sophists and the Cynics, they base the entire moral attitude of the wise man conformity to oneself and nature, indifference to external things on a comprehensive concept of nature, in part derived from Heraclitus, but inspired by an entirely new spirit. It is a belief in a universal nature that is at one and the same time Fate infallibly regulating the course of events (eimarmene, logos); Zeus, or providence, the eternal principle of finality adapting all other things to the needs of rational beings; the law determining the natural rules that govern the society of men and of the gods; the artistic fire, the expression of the active force which produced the world one, perfect, and complete from the beginning, with which it will be reunited through the universal conflagration, following a regular and ever recurring cycle. The popular gods are different forms of this force, described allegorically in myths. This view of nature is the basis for the optimism of the Stoic moral system; confidence in the instinctive faculties, which, in the absence of a perfect knowledge of the world, ought to guide man's actions; and again, the infallible wisdom of the sage, which Chrysippus tries to establish by a dialectic derived from Aristotle and the Cynics.
Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14299a.htm
Among the Roman jurists natural law designated those instincts and emotions common to man and the lower animals, such as the instinct of self-preservation and love of offspring. In its strictly ethical application—the sense in which this article treats it—the natural law is the rule of conduct which is prescribed to us by the Creator in the constitution of the nature with which He has endowed us.
According to St. Thomas, the natural law is "nothing else than the rational creature's participation in the eternal law" (I-II.94). The eternal law is God's wisdom, inasmuch as it is the directive norm of all movement and action. When God willed to give existence to creatures, He willed to ordain and direct them to an end. In the case of inanimate things, this Divine direction is provided for in the nature which God has given to each; in them determinism reigns. Like all the rest of creation, man is destined by God to an end, and receives from Him a direction towards this end. This ordination is of a character in harmony with his free intelligent nature. In virtue of his intelligence and free will, man is master of his conduct. Unlike the things of the mere material world he can vary his action, act, or abstain from action, as he pleases. Yet he is not a lawless being in an ordered universe. In the very constitution of his nature, he too has a law laid down for him, reflecting that ordination and direction of all things, which is the eternal law. The rule, then, which God has prescribed for our conduct, is found in our nature itself. Those actions which conform with its tendencies, lead to our destined end, and are thereby constituted right and morally good; those at variance with our nature are wrong and immoral.
Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09076a.htm

...The Philosopher [Aristotle] proposes there to discover the genus of virtue; and since it is evident that virtue is a principle of action, he mentions only those things which are principles of human acts, viz. powers, habits and passions. But there are other things in the soul besides these three: there are acts; thus "to will" is in the one that wills; again, things known are in the knower; moreover its own natural properties are in the soul, such as immortality and the like....

....I [Aquinas] answer that, As stated above (Question 91, Article 3), the precepts of the natural law are to the practical reason, what the first principles of demonstrations are to the speculative reason; because both are self-evident principles. Now a thing is said to be self-evident in two ways: first, in itself; secondly, in relation to us. Any proposition is said to be self-evident in itself, if its predicate is contained in the notion of the subject: although, to one who knows not the definition of the subject, it happens that such a proposition is not self-evident. For instance, this proposition, "Man is a rational being," is, in its very nature, self-evident, since who says "man," says "a rational being": and yet to one who knows not what a man is, this proposition is not self-evident. Hence it is that, as Boethius says (De Hebdom.), certain axioms or propositions are universally self-evident to all; and such are those propositions whose terms are known to all, as, "Every whole is greater than its part," and, "Things equal to one and the same are equal to one another." But some propositions are self-evident only to the wise, who understand the meaning of the terms of such propositions: thus to one who understands that an angel is not a body, it is self-evident that an angel is not circumscriptively in a place: but this is not evident to the unlearned, for they cannot grasp it....
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2094.htm

Man is not a rational being, but a being with reason, which is why he longs for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and not for the God of the Philosophers.
 

Papist

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ialmisry said:
elijahmaria said:
ialmisry said:
IOW all that crowing of yours just laid another egg.
This particular egg is useful.  Your rants against natural law are not.
Sour grapes hatched from a rotten egg are useful only to raise the stench level.  And your defense of the Vatican smells funny enough.

Natural Law is a Stoic concept, one intimately connected with their materialism.  Useful for apologetics and polemics, as all philosophy, but not for theology.
The Stoic doctrine, of which Zeno laid the foundations, was developed by Chrysippus in 705 treatises, of which only some fragments have been preserved. In addition to the principles accepted by all thinkers of their age (the perception of the true, if it exists, can only be immediate; the wise man is self-sufficient; the political constitution is indifferent), derived from the Sophists and the Cynics, they base the entire moral attitude of the wise man conformity to oneself and nature, indifference to external things on a comprehensive concept of nature, in part derived from Heraclitus, but inspired by an entirely new spirit. It is a belief in a universal nature that is at one and the same time Fate infallibly regulating the course of events (eimarmene, logos); Zeus, or providence, the eternal principle of finality adapting all other things to the needs of rational beings; the law determining the natural rules that govern the society of men and of the gods; the artistic fire, the expression of the active force which produced the world one, perfect, and complete from the beginning, with which it will be reunited through the universal conflagration, following a regular and ever recurring cycle. The popular gods are different forms of this force, described allegorically in myths. This view of nature is the basis for the optimism of the Stoic moral system; confidence in the instinctive faculties, which, in the absence of a perfect knowledge of the world, ought to guide man's actions; and again, the infallible wisdom of the sage, which Chrysippus tries to establish by a dialectic derived from Aristotle and the Cynics.
Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14299a.htm
Among the Roman jurists natural law designated those instincts and emotions common to man and the lower animals, such as the instinct of self-preservation and love of offspring. In its strictly ethical application—the sense in which this article treats it—the natural law is the rule of conduct which is prescribed to us by the Creator in the constitution of the nature with which He has endowed us.
According to St. Thomas, the natural law is "nothing else than the rational creature's participation in the eternal law" (I-II.94). The eternal law is God's wisdom, inasmuch as it is the directive norm of all movement and action. When God willed to give existence to creatures, He willed to ordain and direct them to an end. In the case of inanimate things, this Divine direction is provided for in the nature which God has given to each; in them determinism reigns. Like all the rest of creation, man is destined by God to an end, and receives from Him a direction towards this end. This ordination is of a character in harmony with his free intelligent nature. In virtue of his intelligence and free will, man is master of his conduct. Unlike the things of the mere material world he can vary his action, act, or abstain from action, as he pleases. Yet he is not a lawless being in an ordered universe. In the very constitution of his nature, he too has a law laid down for him, reflecting that ordination and direction of all things, which is the eternal law. The rule, then, which God has prescribed for our conduct, is found in our nature itself. Those actions which conform with its tendencies, lead to our destined end, and are thereby constituted right and morally good; those at variance with our nature are wrong and immoral.
Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09076a.htm

...The Philosopher [Aristotle] proposes there to discover the genus of virtue; and since it is evident that virtue is a principle of action, he mentions only those things which are principles of human acts, viz. powers, habits and passions. But there are other things in the soul besides these three: there are acts; thus "to will" is in the one that wills; again, things known are in the knower; moreover its own natural properties are in the soul, such as immortality and the like....

....I [Aquinas] answer that, As stated above (Question 91, Article 3), the precepts of the natural law are to the practical reason, what the first principles of demonstrations are to the speculative reason; because both are self-evident principles. Now a thing is said to be self-evident in two ways: first, in itself; secondly, in relation to us. Any proposition is said to be self-evident in itself, if its predicate is contained in the notion of the subject: although, to one who knows not the definition of the subject, it happens that such a proposition is not self-evident. For instance, this proposition, "Man is a rational being," is, in its very nature, self-evident, since who says "man," says "a rational being": and yet to one who knows not what a man is, this proposition is not self-evident. Hence it is that, as Boethius says (De Hebdom.), certain axioms or propositions are universally self-evident to all; and such are those propositions whose terms are known to all, as, "Every whole is greater than its part," and, "Things equal to one and the same are equal to one another." But some propositions are self-evident only to the wise, who understand the meaning of the terms of such propositions: thus to one who understands that an angel is not a body, it is self-evident that an angel is not circumscriptively in a place: but this is not evident to the unlearned, for they cannot grasp it....
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2094.htm

Man is not a rational being, but a being with reason, which is why he longs for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and not for the God of the Philosophers.
Are you seriously splitting this hair? A rational being and a being with reason are the same blasted thing. And as for the silly "not the God of the philosophers" nonsense... The philosophers are not claiming to prove the truth fo the Christian faith. They are not claiming to prove the incarnation, or the Trinity, or any such thing. All That philosophy proposes to prove is that there is a God who is simple, one, eternal, unchanging, infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, good, perfect, willing, loving, etc. To know which religion is revealed by this by God, one needs faith.
 

ialmisry

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Papist said:
Are you seriously splitting this hair? A rational being and a being with reason are the same blasted thing.
No, it's not.  A computer is rational being, its being consisting of reason and logic.  A human being has the faculty of reason.  It does not determine his being.

Papist said:
And as for the silly "not the God of the philosophers" nonsense...
Folly to those who are perishing, as St. Paul said.

Papist said:
The philosophers are not claiming to prove the truth fo the Christian faith.
LOL. They are not so modest.

Papist said:
They are not claiming to prove the incarnation, or the Trinity, or any such thing. All That philosophy proposes to prove is that there is a God who is simple, one, eternal, unchanging, infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, good, perfect, willing, loving, etc. To know which religion is revealed by this by God, one needs faith.
Then Aquinas wouldn't have tried to prove the filioque by Aristotle's categories.
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1036.htm#article2
 

Wyatt

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ialmisry said:
DO NOT include terms adapted from pagan philosophy to explain the Christian Faith.
Why not? If Pagan philosophical terms can be adopted to explain the Christian Faith, why can't other philosophical terms be used the same way?
 

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ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Are you seriously splitting this hair? A rational being and a being with reason are the same blasted thing.
No, it's not.  A computer is rational being, its being consisting of reason and logic.  A human being has the faculty of reason.  It does not determine his being.

Papist said:
And as for the silly "not the God of the philosophers" nonsense...
Folly to those who are perishing, as St. Paul said.

Papist said:
The philosophers are not claiming to prove the truth fo the Christian faith.
LOL. They are not so modest.

Papist said:
They are not claiming to prove the incarnation, or the Trinity, or any such thing. All That philosophy proposes to prove is that there is a God who is simple, one, eternal, unchanging, infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, good, perfect, willing, loving, etc. To know which religion is revealed by this by God, one needs faith.
Then Aquinas wouldn't have tried to prove the filioque by Aristotle's categories.
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1036.htm#article2
Computer's are not rational beings because they can only store and compute data. They lack the first two acts of the mind, understanding essences, and judging whether propositions are true or false. You are using the cartesian definition of reason, which is a reductionist one.
And no, Aquinas did not prove the filioque. He specifically believes that the matters of the Trinity are matters of Divine Revelation and not reason. Get your facts straight.
 

ialmisry

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Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
DO NOT include terms adapted from pagan philosophy to explain the Christian Faith.
Why not? If Pagan philosophical terms can be adopted to explain the Christian Faith, why can't other philosophical terms be used the same way?
Borrowing a term is one thing, borrowing a concept is another.  We have, for instance, borrowed the pagan term for God, but anyone who borrows a pagan concept of God upon which to "build" a Christian theology is building on sand.

The number of terms borrowed can be listed, and run long. That's not what EM is claiming: she claims that Chrisitanity has adopted pagan concepts, much in the same way as historians of religion make claims that the Church borrowed the Resurrection from the cultus of Osiris, Tammuz and Adonis.

I was just asking her to back that claim with a list of a few, besides "natural law."  A list of borrowed terms won't serve that purpose.  That's "Why not."
 

ialmisry

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Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Are you seriously splitting this hair? A rational being and a being with reason are the same blasted thing.
No, it's not.  A computer is rational being, its being consisting of reason and logic.  A human being has the faculty of reason.  It does not determine his being.

Papist said:
And as for the silly "not the God of the philosophers" nonsense...
Folly to those who are perishing, as St. Paul said.

Papist said:
The philosophers are not claiming to prove the truth fo the Christian faith.
LOL. They are not so modest.

Papist said:
They are not claiming to prove the incarnation, or the Trinity, or any such thing. All That philosophy proposes to prove is that there is a God who is simple, one, eternal, unchanging, infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, good, perfect, willing, loving, etc. To know which religion is revealed by this by God, one needs faith.
Then Aquinas wouldn't have tried to prove the filioque by Aristotle's categories.
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1036.htm#article2
Computer's are not rational beings because they can only store and compute data. They lack the first two acts of the mind, understanding essences, and judging whether propositions are true or false. You are using the cartesian definition of reason, which is a reductionist one.
We're not bound by Aristotle, no matter what Aquinas held.
Papist said:
And no, Aquinas did not prove the filioque.
LOL. We Orthodox know that.

Papist said:
He specifically believes that the matters of the Trinity are matters of Divine Revelation and not reason. Get your facts straight.
I have. He didn't.

No Aristotelean categories here?
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1036.htm#article2
 

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ialmisry said:
 A computer is rational being, its being consisting of reason and logic.  A human being has the faculty of reason.  It does not determine his being.
The being of a computer also consists of hardware and data. Also, are you implying here that reason is nothing more than calculative competence? If so, that would seem to rule out intuitive expertise based on diverse real world experiences.
 

ialmisry

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stanley123 said:
ialmisry said:
 A computer is rational being, its being consisting of reason and logic.  A human being has the faculty of reason.  It does not determine his being.
The being of a computer also consists of hardware and data. Also, are you implying here that reason is nothing more than calculative competence? If so, that would seem to rule out intuitive expertise based on diverse real world experiences.
Only, perhaps, if you subsume intuitive expertise under/within the faculty of reason.  Intuition, however, would seem to be opposed (as in contrast to, not opposition against) to reason.  Otherwise it could be explained rationally.

Memory (experience) is not part of the faculty of reason.
 

elijahmaria

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ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
DO NOT include terms adapted from pagan philosophy to explain the Christian Faith.
Why not? If Pagan philosophical terms can be adopted to explain the Christian Faith, why can't other philosophical terms be used the same way?
Borrowing a term is one thing, borrowing a concept is another.  We have, for instance, borrowed the pagan term for God, but anyone who borrows a pagan concept of God upon which to "build" a Christian theology is building on sand.
I said "Christianized"...not adopted.
 

stanley123

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ialmisry said:
stanley123 said:
ialmisry said:
 A computer is rational being, its being consisting of reason and logic.  A human being has the faculty of reason.  It does not determine his being.
The being of a computer also consists of hardware and data. Also, are you implying here that reason is nothing more than calculative competence? If so, that would seem to rule out intuitive expertise based on diverse real world experiences.
Only, perhaps, if you subsume intuitive expertise under/within the faculty of reason.  Intuition, however, would seem to be opposed (as in contrast to, not opposition against) to reason.  Otherwise it could be explained rationally.

Memory (experience) is not part of the faculty of reason.
Reason comes in as part of the skill and expertise in dealing with real world experiences.
 

ialmisry

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elijahmaria said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
DO NOT include terms adapted from pagan philosophy to explain the Christian Faith.
Why not? If Pagan philosophical terms can be adopted to explain the Christian Faith, why can't other philosophical terms be used the same way?
Borrowing a term is one thing, borrowing a concept is another.  We have, for instance, borrowed the pagan term for God, but anyone who borrows a pagan concept of God upon which to "build" a Christian theology is building on sand.
I said "Christianized"...not adopted.
OK. How did they "Christianize" the materialism of the Stoics?

We of course know how the Vatican "Christianized" the office of pontifex maximus.
 

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ialmisry said:
OK. How did they "Christianize" the materialism of the Stoics?
You've mentioned this (about the Stoics) a number of times now, and Noonan also talks about the Stoic influence on some of the Fathers when it comes to contraception. Do you know of any texts off the top of your head that delves into this and shows evidence for the connection?
 

ialmisry

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Asteriktos said:
ialmisry said:
OK. How did they "Christianize" the materialism of the Stoics?
You've mentioned this (about the Stoics) a number of times now, and Noonan also talks about the Stoic influence on some of the Fathers when it comes to contraception. Do you know of any texts off the top of your head that delves into this and shows evidence for the connection?
Up this thread I posted a number of Stoic texts, links etc.  The same arguments that the Stoics use is the same ones that the Church Fathers recruited to support HV (SS. Clement Alexandria, Augustine, Jerome, etc.) are the same that the Stoics use.  Stoicism was the basic established religion of the upper Roman classes, particularly perhaps in the West.  The arguments on Natural Law also come from the same source (the providence is unmistakable, for one thing, the terminology: "Natual Law" doesn't come from the Epistle to the Romans but the Roman Stoics. They were also the ones who converted the Greco-Roman world to the "missionary position"), something that the CCC demonstrates in quoting Cicero as an authority for "the Natural Law."

One of the issues with the Stoics is that semen was taken to be produced from every part of the body causing the blood to froath, and was taken to be the essence of a man (along with the idea of a "little man" being in it).  Of course, semen cannot be the essence of man, as it only has half the chromosomes of a human.  Further, it was taken that the Logos which pulsated through creation was connected with procreation (though most Stoics were bashful about going into that in detail when it came to the issue of sex).

A few more links (unfortunately, the first has no preview):
"Stoicism in Early Christianity" Tuomas Rasimus, Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Ismo Dunderberg
http://books.google.com/books?id=OW-GcgAACAAJ&dq=Stoics+early+christianity&cd=1
Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism: a comparative study of ancient morality By Runar M. Thorsteinsson
http://books.google.com/books?id=4QK8hBL3ip8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
Backgrounds of early Christianity By Everett Ferguson
http://books.google.com/books?id=3tuKkxU4-ncC&pg=PA368&dq=Stoics+early+christianity&cd=2#v=onepage&q=Stoics%20early%20christianity&f=false
The Stoic Tradition from Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages: Stoicism in Christian Latin Thought through the Sixth Century By Marcía L. Colish
http://books.google.com/books?id=YYlcgOTk1OgC&pg=PA1&dq=Stoics+early+christianity&cd=3#v=onepage&q=Stoics%20early%20christianity&f=false

And what first prompted me to investigate the connection:The body and society: men, women, and sexual renunciation in early Christianity.By Peter Robert Lamont Brown
http://books.google.com/books?id=gIDeAhZG9a4C&pg=PA21&dq=Body+and+Society+eugenic+sex+gratuituous+acts&hl=en&ei=AZwxToOuBaOlsQKf5OiVCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
 

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Well darn, how did I miss that? There's quite a bit, some of it recent (but especially on pages 8 and 10)... anyway, thanks! :)
 

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Asteriktos said:
Well darn, how did I miss that? There's quite a bit, some of it recent (but especially on pages 8 and 10)... anyway, thanks! :)
It's a big thread.

I added some more^
 

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Ranke-Heinemann, U. 1990, Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven:
Clement employs the comparison from agricultural life that was popular with the Stoics. "Thus it is not right to become enslaved to the pleasures of love and to be lustfully intent on the fulfillment of one’s desires; just as it is wrong to give oneself up to excitement by irrational passions and to long to become impure. Like the farmer, the married man is permitted to sow his. seed only when the season allows" (Paedagogus II, 10. 102, 1). Adultery with one’s own wife also puts in an appearance, one of the theme songs of the rigorists, from Philo to John Paul II. Clement writes: "One commits adultery with one’s own wife if one has commerce with her in marriage as if she were a harlot" (Paedagogus II, 10, 99, 3). In keeping with his Stoic ideal of hostility to sexual pleasure, Clement rejects intercourse with pregnant spouses (Paedagogus II, 92, 2) or between older partners (Paedagogus II, 95, 3) as counter to the Christian ideal.

On September 16, 1968, Cardinal Frings gathered together in Cologne all the deans and university professors from his diocese and, while referring to, among others, Clement of Alexandria, he sought to hymn the praises of Humanae vitae. He pointed out that Clement had forbidden intercourse with an older wife, which clearly showed that from the beginning the Church had striven and spoken out for the encyclical on birth control. From the beginning, perhaps, but not from the very beginning, i.e., Jesus or Paul. Hostility to sexual pleasure is a Gnostic-Stoic legacy, which as far back as Clement was superimposed on the Christian Gospel ("Good News"), and which spoke of pleasure as if it were a source of pollution. Clement then comes to speak about the famous Stoic "finger," which would later assume great importance again, thanks to Augustine: "For if the reason taught by the Stoics does not even allow the wise man to move his finger any which way, how much more must the seekers of wisdom affirm their dominion over the organ of generation?" (Paedagogus II, 10, 90, 1).
http://theology1.tripod.com/readings/ranke-heinemann.htm
 

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Address to Midwives on the Nature of Their Profession
by Pope Pius XII
The primary end of marriage

Now, the truth is that matrimony, as an institution of nature, in virtue of the Creator's will, has not as a primary and intimate end the personal perfection of the married couple but the procreation and upbringing of a new life. The other ends, inasmuch as they are intended by nature, are not equally primary, much less superior to the primary end, but are essentially subordinated to it. This is true of every marriage, even if no offspring result, just as of every eye it can be said that it is destined and formed to see, even if, in abnormal cases arising from special internal or external conditions, it will never be possible to achieve visual perception.....All this is therefore true and desired by God. But, on the other hand, it must not be divorced completely from the primary function of matrimony—the procreation of offspring. Not only the common work of external life, but even all personal enrichment—spiritual and intellectual—all that in married love as such is most spiritual and profound, has been placed by the will of the Creator and of nature at the service of posterity. The perfect married life, of its very nature, also signifies the total devotion of parents to the well-being of their children, and married love in its power and tenderness is itself a condition of the sincerest care of the offspring and the guarantee of its realization.
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12midwives.htm
So much for the "unitative aspect."

The direct opposite of the Orthodox position of marriage.
 

ialmisry

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This is worrisome.
A British study suggests the Roman Catholic Church-approved "rhythm method" may kill more embryos than other methods of contraception.

It's believed the method works by preventing conception from occurring. But Professor Luc Bovens of the London School of Economics says it may owe much of its success to the fact that embryos conceived on the fringes of the fertile period are less viable than those conceived toward the middle.

Bovens says it can be calculated that two to three embryos will have died every time the rhythm method results in a pregnancy.

The study appears in the Journal of Medical Ethics
http://www.physorg.com/news67783446.html
 

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ialmisry said:
This is worrisome.
A British study suggests the Roman Catholic Church-approved "rhythm method" may kill more embryos than other methods of contraception.

It's believed the method works by preventing conception from occurring. But Professor Luc Bovens of the London School of Economics says it may owe much of its success to the fact that embryos conceived on the fringes of the fertile period are less viable than those conceived toward the middle.

Bovens says it can be calculated that two to three embryos will have died every time the rhythm method results in a pregnancy.

The study appears in the Journal of Medical Ethics
http://www.physorg.com/news67783446.html
Not really.  At least in the article it "can be calculated" which means that this is merely conjecture based on supposed mathematical odds.  To compound it, this is from the London School of Economics and not the Royal College of Surgeons.

Just more typical English anti-Roman propaganda.  Quoting this article should beneath you, Isa.
 

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Schultz said:
ialmisry said:
This is worrisome.
A British study suggests the Roman Catholic Church-approved "rhythm method" may kill more embryos than other methods of contraception.

It's believed the method works by preventing conception from occurring. But Professor Luc Bovens of the London School of Economics says it may owe much of its success to the fact that embryos conceived on the fringes of the fertile period are less viable than those conceived toward the middle.

Bovens says it can be calculated that two to three embryos will have died every time the rhythm method results in a pregnancy.

The study appears in the Journal of Medical Ethics
http://www.physorg.com/news67783446.html
Not really.  At least in the article it "can be calculated" which means that this is merely conjecture based on supposed mathematical odds.  To compound it, this is from the London School of Economics and not the Royal College of Surgeons.

Just more typical English anti-Roman propaganda.  Quoting this article should beneath you, Isa.
Is anything actually beneath Isa?
 

ialmisry

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Wyatt said:
Schultz said:
ialmisry said:
This is worrisome.
A British study suggests the Roman Catholic Church-approved "rhythm method" may kill more embryos than other methods of contraception.

It's believed the method works by preventing conception from occurring. But Professor Luc Bovens of the London School of Economics says it may owe much of its success to the fact that embryos conceived on the fringes of the fertile period are less viable than those conceived toward the middle.

Bovens says it can be calculated that two to three embryos will have died every time the rhythm method results in a pregnancy.

The study appears in the Journal of Medical Ethics
http://www.physorg.com/news67783446.html
Not really.  At least in the article it "can be calculated" which means that this is merely conjecture based on supposed mathematical odds.  To compound it, this is from the London School of Economics and not the Royal College of Surgeons.

Just more typical English anti-Roman propaganda.  Quoting this article should beneath you, Isa.
Is anything actually beneath Isa?
Plenty.

By as to the article, there are some interesting comments on it:
http://jme.bmj.com/content/32/6/355.full
Including a reply by the author to his critics:
Some of my critics draw a distinction between the rhythm method and natural family planning (NFP). I take the rhythm method to be any method that relies on abstinence around the time of ovulation. Of course there are various ways to determine when ovulation occurs, including the calendar method (Ogino Knauss), examining mucus (Billings) or checking basal temperature (STM). I do not take this method to cover the use of barrier methods during the fertile period, as some definitions of both ‘NFP’ and ‘the rhythm method’ seem to permit. I find reports on success rates for this method between 75% as the lowest number for typical use and 99.3% as the highest number for perfect use. Should one use numbers for perfect use or for typical use in moral arguments? On the one hand, one could say that a proponent of a method of contraception should not have to take responsibility for people failing to follow proper instructions. But on the other hand, recommendations are for real people and real people are not perfect users. To postulate a 90% success rate does not seem to be out of line with the available evidence. It is probably somewhat too low for perfect use and somewhat too high for typical use.
I know Wyatt is fond of making a distinction between the calendar rhythm method (it seems that is the only one you dispute) and what HV calls NFP. Perhaps it is because the Fathers he depends on for HV condemns the calendar rhythm method, St. Augustine in particular specifically condemns this method which he used to use.  Will Wyatt and other supporters of HV reclassify the calendar rhythm method as "ABC"?
If the method fails, then how does it fail? If the purpose is to avoid having sex around the time of ovulation, then the following seem to be reasonable answers. (1) The last time of having sex before the period of abstinence was too close to ovulation. (2) The first time of having sex after the period of abstinence was too close to ovulation. (3) Ovulation was atypically early or late during some cycle and though the users checked the markers for ovulation, they failed to determine its occurrence accurately. Or a combination of (1) and (3) or of (1) and (2) are also reasonable. Since we are talking about typical use, such failures could be due to self-deception and wishful thinking. (1) raises the problem of ageing sperm, (2) raises the problem of an ageing ovum and (3) raises the problem of an atypical cycle.

Now comes the main empirical point of contention. For my argument to work, it must be the case that the probability of viability given that a conception occurs with ageing sperm or ovum or during an atypical cycle is lower than the probability of viability given that a conception occurs with fresh sperm and a fresh ovum and during a typical cycle. Both Mark Witty and Anne Williams phrase the objection to this assumption very well. "There is no evidence that there is any variability of viability of the conceptus with time of fertilisation within this narrow window," writes Williams. “Any conception is as viable as the next, barring a fatal genetic or developmental defect; there is no truth to the 'old sperm' or 'old ovum' speculation...," writes Witty. So let us turn to the relevant empirical literature.

Tarin et al. (2000) review a fifty-year literature not only on the effect of ageing gametes on pre-menstruation embryonic loss, but also on fertilization, spontaneous abortions and the pathology of the offspring...As to ageing ova, I quote:"It appears that ... post-ovulatory ageing of oocytes is associated with: (i) decreased potential of oocytes for fertilization and pre- and / or post-implantation embryo/fetus development." (Tarin et al., 2000: 544) Table 1 (Tarin et al., 2000: 533) contains a range of studies documenting the effect of the ageing of the ovum on embryo/fetus development and mortality. To pick one example, Wilcox et al. (1998) study ovulation, hCG levels and intercourse patterns of a cohort of women attempting pregnancy and find an increase in post- implantation embryonic loss for intercourse on the day of ovulation in human populations. Considering the time-lag between intercourse and fertilisation, these data support the hypothesis that post-ovulatory ageing of ova compromises embryonic survival. (I should add that Wilcox et al. (1998) do not record any conceptions from intercourse after the day of ovulation.) Wilcox et al. (1999) compare late implantations and early implantations. Late implantations have levels of embryonic loss that are radically higher (82% after day 11) than early implantations (13% up to day 9) . However, it is not known what causes these late implantations....As to old spermatozoa, I quote from Tarin et al., 2000: 544: "Likewise the ageing of spermatozoa in ... the female reproductive tract ... is associated with decreased ... potential for fertilization and pre- and/or post-implantation embryo/fetus development." Table 2 contains entries with articles documenting the effect of in vivo ageing of spermatozoa in the female genital tract and increased embryo/fetal mortality with ageing spermatozoa. Tarin et al. (2000: 542) write: "This notion is supported by the high mortality rate observed in embryos/fetuses derived from sperm aged in stagnant environments, e.g in ... the] female reproductive tract." Parkening and Soderwall, in a study of golden hamsters, write that their data "indicate that inseminated spermatozoa are capable of penetrating the zona pellucida and fertilizing some ova after residing 14 to 16 h within the female reproductive tract, but that the viability of ova fertilized in this manner is greatly reduced." (1975: 627-8)

Whitty objects to my use of the figure of 50% of embryonic loss, claims that such high figures are based on old and questionable studies (from 1956 and 1975), and that animal studies give single-digit percentages. A standard source for embryonic mortality is Edmonds (1982). Edmonds assesses embryonic loss by the appearance and disappearance of hCG in the urine at the time of implantation and presents a figure of 62%. This underestimates the actual percentage since it does not count pre-implantation loss. In Wilcox et al.'s study (1999) the pre-menstruation embryonic loss plus miscarriages is at 33%. Why is there this discrepancy? The only explanation that I can see is that Edmonds samples from a normal population, whereas Wilcox restricts his population to couples without previous fertility problems. In any case, considering that this does not measure pre-implantation loss, a figure of 50% for normal populations does not seem outlandish in the face of these data... It may be the case that, say, the viability given conception is variable, but this variability is not sufficiently great to obtain meaningful differences between embryonic death rates for condom users and NFP users...
which goes right to the heart of the matter, condoms and "NFP" having comparable failure rates where "failure" results in a child.  Are they comparable for embryonic deaths?  I'm afraid the author has a point:
Maybe it is worse to remove edible plants and animals from an island to make it inhospitable and then to drop off someone on it than to carefully pick a time of the year to drop off someone when you know the island not to be hospitable for human habitation. But really, is it that much worse?
Miscarriages (technically termed "spontaneous abortions") are part of this fallen world.  Most are never even noticed.  We had one that even my ex didn't realize what it was. I've known couples to have 5 in a row before having a child who came to term.  Even those couples who followed SS. Clement, Augustine, Jerome and Lactantius etc. would have such occurences.  But now, given the increase in knowledge of the biology, would not a couple guilty be guilty for not determining the optimal time for conception, and limiting intercourse to them?  I've yet to see anyone in support of HV address that, and the questions of the odds of viability and the timing of intercourse that Bovens brings up have to be addressed.

As to it being the work of a professor at a school of economics, I'm a product of the U of C, which places a premium on interdisciplinary approaches, for which I make no apologies.

As to the peer reviewed journal
Journal of Medical Ethics is a leading international journal that reflects the whole field of medical ethics. The journal seeks to promote ethical reflection and conduct in scientific research and medical practice. It features original articles on ethical aspects of health care, as well as case conferences, book reviews, editorials, correspondence, news and notes. To ensure international relevance JME has Editorial Board members from all around the world including the US, Europe, Australasia and Far East.

The Journal of Medical Ethics is an official journal of the Institute of Medical Ethics
http://jme.bmj.com/site/about/index.xhtml

and on the author:
Dr Luc Bovens is a Belgian professor of philosophy at the London School of Economics, and former editor of Economics and Philosophy. His main areas of research are moral and political philosophy, philosophy of economics, philosophy of public policy, Bayesian epistemology, rational choice theory, and voting theory. Bovens attended the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, studying Social Sciences, before moving to the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Here he completed an MA in Sociology, an MA in philosophy and a PhD in philosophy in 1990.

He was a research assistant in the National Fund for Scientific Research in Belgium, before gaining a professorship in the department of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1990.

Bovens was Director of the Philosophy, Probability and Modeling (PPM) research group with Stephan Hartmann at the University of Konstanz, Germany from 2002–2005, and an editor of Economics and Philosophy from 2002-2007.

He has been a professor in and the head of the department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics since 2004
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luc_Bovens
It would seem he is a scholastic man, insisting on that intergration that my critics bring up when I criticize the scholastics' twining of theology and philosophy. I don't agree with many of his assumptions, arguments and conclusions, but unlike my critics, I cannot dissmiss his points on that basis.

The scientific method, including biology, involves hypostheses, of various origins, including statistics.

One thing I have wondered over the years, both from my own experience and others, that it seems for many women they must have a few attempts (ending in miscarriage) before succeeding to carry a child to term. Perhaps all women have to, but most of the miscarriages happen so early as to not be noticed.  I had a friend who had a child earlier on (after years of contraception) and then, trying again years later, kept on loosing the child in the fifth month (5 or 6), this in the midst of fertility treatments for her and her husband.  The morality isn't that simple, which is what Bovens is pointing out.
 

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Isa, I'm against the rhythm method because it is archaic and ineffective. We have already discussed how there are Fathers who are opposed to birth control, but the ones that are tend to be against it without distinction and do not allow any exceptions. Both of our Churches allow birth control now, we have just went different directions on which ones are allowed. If I understand the Eastern Orthodox position correctly, it allows all forms of birth control provided it is non-abortive. Our Church only allows Natural Family Planning and, even then, it must be open to life. It is still possible to use NFP sinfully.
 

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Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
 

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ialmisry said:
Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
Why are you so interested in discussing and defending unnatural sex acts?
 

ialmisry

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Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
Why are you so interested in discussing and defending unnatural sex acts?
Why is your all celebite "magisterium" interested in discussing sex at all?

As for "unnatural", according to the Patristics upon which you depend to defend Humanae Vitae, HV's "NFP" is nor more "natural" than coitus interruptus.  (maybe less:every coitus naturally has to withdraw at some point).
 

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ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
Why are you so interested in discussing and defending unnatural sex acts?
Why is your all celebite "magisterium" interested in discussing sex at all?
If something is a sin, the Church is obligated to inform the faithful. Likewise, the faithful are responsible in forming their consciences.
 

ialmisry

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Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
Why are you so interested in discussing and defending unnatural sex acts?
Why is your all celebite "magisterium" interested in discussing sex at all?
If something is a sin, the Church is obligated to inform the faithful. Likewise, the faithful are responsible in forming their consciences.
You answwered Papist's question.
 

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Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
Why are you so interested in discussing and defending unnatural sex acts?
Why is your all celebite "magisterium" interested in discussing sex at all?
If something is a sin, the Church is obligated to inform the faithful. Likewise, the faithful are responsible in forming their consciences.
Agreed. I should have clarified. Izzy is very much into defending unnatural sex acts.
 

ialmisry

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Papist said:
Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
Why are you so interested in discussing and defending unnatural sex acts?
Why is your all celebite "magisterium" interested in discussing sex at all?
If something is a sin, the Church is obligated to inform the faithful. Likewise, the faithful are responsible in forming their consciences.
Agreed. I should have clarified. Izzy
Who?
Papist said:
is very much into defending unnatural sex acts.
Not as much as your "magisterium" is unnaturally very much into speaking on sex acts of any sort, which they, natrually, as being celibates, know nothing about.  And it shows.
 

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Some time ago I read something by Suzie Orbach (who wrote "Fat is a Feminist Issue") who was an atheist feminist who spoke (maybe briefly)  in favor of Natural Family Planning. The idea was using NFP makes men wait for women's natural cycle, instead of using women as objects to be ready whenever for whatever. The idea presented was how it puts women in control and takes control away from men.  I can't find a source at this moment, but it did stick in my mind because it was an interesting perspective from a non-Catholic viewpoint.

It does seem there is a new trend in feminism which is in favor of NFP, such as this site:

http://www.myfemininemind.com/2010/04/why-i-am-passionate-about-topics-of-nfp.html

I've never had time to delve into Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, but once when I heard Christopher West speak it did seem to be very woman-friendly.


Regardless if you believe artificial birth control is a spiritual problem or not, we can see that the trend in society is away from stable marriages, to children having sex at earlier and earlier ages,  contraceptives being provided to young teens more and more, etc.  Definitely something is going wrong in our society and it doesn't appear to be because there isn't enough contraceptives.
 

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Adela said:
Some time ago I read something by Suzie Orbach (who wrote "Fat is a Feminist Issue") who was an atheist feminist who spoke (maybe briefly)  in favor of Natural Family Planning. The idea was using NFP makes men wait for women's natural cycle, instead of using women as objects to be ready whenever for whatever. The idea presented was how it puts women in control and takes control away from men.   I can't find a source at this moment, but it did stick in my mind because it was an interesting perspective from a non-Catholic viewpoint.

It does seem there is a new trend in feminism which is in favor of NFP, such as this site:

http://www.myfemininemind.com/2010/04/why-i-am-passionate-about-topics-of-nfp.html

I've never had time to delve into Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, but once when I heard Christopher West speak it did seem to be very woman-friendly.


Regardless if you believe artificial birth control is a spiritual problem or not, we can see that the trend in society is away from stable marriages, to children having sex at earlier and earlier ages,  contraceptives being provided to young teens more and more, etc.  Definitely something is going wrong in our society and it doesn't appear to be because there isn't enough contraceptives.
Unfortunately it is something that the absence of contraception will not solve.
 

ialmisry

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J Michael said:
When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?
This year.  Bp. Mathias of Chicago is a widower.
 

J Michael

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ialmisry said:
J Michael said:
When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?
This year.  Bp. Mathias of Chicago is a widower.
Was his wife alive when he became a bishop?  If not, that would have made him celibate, at least in theory, at the time of his elevation to the episcopate.

My understanding, and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, is that bishops in the Orthodox Church are chosen from the ranks of the *celibate* priesthood.
 

ialmisry

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J Michael said:
ialmisry said:
J Michael said:
When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?
This year.  Bp. Mathias of Chicago is a widower.
Was his wife alive when he became a bishop?  If not, that would have made him celibate, at least in theory, at the time of his elevation to the episcopate.

My understanding, and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, is that bishops in the Orthodox Church are chosen from the ranks of the *celibate* priesthood.
No.  As a matter of fact, the Antiochian ones don't even take monastic vows if they are not already a monk.

Bp. Matthias' memory of his wife and his marriage I am sure was not wipped clean from his mind by his consecration.
 
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