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The Catholic Route to Birth Control

J Michael

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ialmisry said:
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.
So Orthodox bishops are *not*, as a matter of course and of policy, chosen from the ranks of the celibate priesthood (memories nothwithstanding)?

What about this: "On the Eastern Orthodox side, it is sometimes forgotten that those who were called hiereus and sacerdos by the Fathers (i.e. the bishops) are also under a discipline of clerical celibacy . According to the canons, Orthodox bishops are elected from the monastic ranks, but in practice, celibate priests are often chosen as well. As a result, it is disingenuous to say that the question of clerical celibacy is only a Roman Catholic issue, especially because the Eastern discipline of episcopal celibacy has also been challenged by respected Orthodox bishops and theologians"?
http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/celibacy

Or this: "Priesthood, in all three of its degrees, according to the canonical tradition in force (canon 3 of the Council in Trullo), constitutes an impediment to marriage."?
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm

There is also this discussion about bishops and celibacy: http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2757-Why-are-bishops-celibate

Is it therefor not correct to state that it is the *norm*, in which there are exceptions, that Orthodox bishops are celibate and have been chosen from the ranks of celibate priests?

The fact of the matter is that most Orthodox bishops are celibate, and that there are a great number of celibate Orthodox priests.  That being the case, how are they better qualified to discuss sexual matters than celibate Catholic priests and bishops, of whom you wrote that they are "... very much into speaking on sex acts of any sort, which they, natrually, [size=10pt]as being celibates[/size], know nothing about?"?
 

ialmisry

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J Michael said:
ialmisry said:
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.
So Orthodox bishops are *not*, as a matter of course and of policy, chosen from the ranks of the celibate priesthood (memories nothwithstanding)?

What about this: "On the Eastern Orthodox side, it is sometimes forgotten that those who were called hiereus and sacerdos by the Fathers (i.e. the bishops) are also under a discipline of clerical celibacy . According to the canons, Orthodox bishops are elected from the monastic ranks, but in practice, celibate priests are often chosen as well. As a result, it is disingenuous to say that the question of clerical celibacy is only a Roman Catholic issue, especially because the Eastern discipline of episcopal celibacy has also been challenged by respected Orthodox bishops and theologians"?
http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/celibacy

Or this: "Priesthood, in all three of its degrees, according to the canonical tradition in force (canon 3 of the Council in Trullo), constitutes an impediment to marriage."?
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm

There is also this discussion about bishops and celibacy: http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2757-Why-are-bishops-celibate

Is it therefor not correct to state that it is the *norm*, in which there are exceptions, that Orthodox bishops are celibate and have been chosen from the ranks of celibate priests?
You might say it is "the norm," but what you can't say is that it is a hard and fast rule.

"Impediment to marriage."  Never heard that phrase used in an Orthodox context.  Someone is still living it seems in the Western Captivity.

You asked "When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?"  You were given the truthful answer.  Is there a reason why you do not want to accept it?
 

witega

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J Michael said:
ialmisry said:
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.
So Orthodox bishops are *not*, as a matter of course and of policy, chosen from the ranks of the celibate priesthood (memories nothwithstanding)?

What about this: "On the Eastern Orthodox side, it is sometimes forgotten that those who were called hiereus and sacerdos by the Fathers (i.e. the bishops) are also under a discipline of clerical celibacy . According to the canons, Orthodox bishops are elected from the monastic ranks, but in practice, celibate priests are often chosen as well. As a result, it is disingenuous to say that the question of clerical celibacy is only a Roman Catholic issue, especially because the Eastern discipline of episcopal celibacy has also been challenged by respected Orthodox bishops and theologians"?
http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/celibacy
The canons (in particular canon XII of Trullo) only require that a bishop be celibate once elected. Indeed, the relevant canon even speaks of married men being elected to the episcopacy--but requires that in such cases the wife agree to go live separately in a monastery. I don't believe that happens very often (though I seem to recall ROCOR had a bishop in just that circumstance in the middle of last century). But selection of widowed priests to the episcopacy is quite common in Orthodoxy (and even more common in previous centuries when the dangers of childbirth resulted in considerably more widowers than we see today).

Or this: "Priesthood, in all three of its degrees, according to the canonical tradition in force (canon 3 of the Council in Trullo), constitutes an impediment to marriage."?
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm
That canon is only about marriage *after* ordination. Once a man has been ordained to the diaconate (or higher), he cannot marry. And if he was already married and his wife dies, he cannot remarry. But it has nothing to do with those who are already married.


There is also this discussion about bishops and celibacy: http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2757-Why-are-bishops-celibate

Is it therefor not correct to state that it is the *norm*, in which there are exceptions, that Orthodox bishops are celibate and have been chosen from the ranks of celibate priests?
Depends on your definition of 'norm and exceptions'. All Orthodox bishops are celibate post-ordination. And the majority are certainly drawn from celibate clergy. But widower bishops are not so uncommon that I would consider them an 'exception'; it's not like one is surprised to come across one (my definiton of an exception--the ROCOR bishop who actually was married, assuming I am remembering correctly, I would consider an exception). Indeed, I believe the 'norm' would be that there is usually at least one widower on the synod of any given Church at any given time.

 

J Michael

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ialmisry said:
J Michael said:
ialmisry said:
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.
So Orthodox bishops are *not*, as a matter of course and of policy, chosen from the ranks of the celibate priesthood (memories nothwithstanding)?

What about this: "On the Eastern Orthodox side, it is sometimes forgotten that those who were called hiereus and sacerdos by the Fathers (i.e. the bishops) are also under a discipline of clerical celibacy . According to the canons, Orthodox bishops are elected from the monastic ranks, but in practice, celibate priests are often chosen as well. As a result, it is disingenuous to say that the question of clerical celibacy is only a Roman Catholic issue, especially because the Eastern discipline of episcopal celibacy has also been challenged by respected Orthodox bishops and theologians"?
http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/celibacy

Or this: "Priesthood, in all three of its degrees, according to the canonical tradition in force (canon 3 of the Council in Trullo), constitutes an impediment to marriage."?
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm

There is also this discussion about bishops and celibacy: http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2757-Why-are-bishops-celibate

Is it therefor not correct to state that it is the *norm*, in which there are exceptions, that Orthodox bishops are celibate and have been chosen from the ranks of celibate priests?
You might say it is "the norm," but what you can't say is that it is a hard and fast rule.

"Impediment to marriage."  Never heard that phrase used in an Orthodox context.  Someone is still living it seems in the Western Captivity.

You asked "When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?"  You were given the truthful answer.  Is there a reason why you do not want to accept it?
Oh, I accept your answer, and trust that you're telling me the truth.  I'm not arguing whether celibacy of the Orthodox episcopate is a hard and fast rule.  I'm fairly aware of how it works.  The point I'm making, which you seem unwilling to accept, is that celibacy is a norm and common in Orthodoxy, and that makes, according to what you wrote that I quoted above Orthodox celibates, according to what you wrote,  no better than Catholic celibates in discussing sexual matters, because they are celibate.  That's all.  My only point, really.

As for "impediment to marriage", etc. , in an Orthodox context, go to this link: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm
 

J Michael

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witega said:
J Michael said:
ialmisry said:
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.
So Orthodox bishops are *not*, as a matter of course and of policy, chosen from the ranks of the celibate priesthood (memories nothwithstanding)?

What about this: "On the Eastern Orthodox side, it is sometimes forgotten that those who were called hiereus and sacerdos by the Fathers (i.e. the bishops) are also under a discipline of clerical celibacy . According to the canons, Orthodox bishops are elected from the monastic ranks, but in practice, celibate priests are often chosen as well. As a result, it is disingenuous to say that the question of clerical celibacy is only a Roman Catholic issue, especially because the Eastern discipline of episcopal celibacy has also been challenged by respected Orthodox bishops and theologians"?
http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/celibacy
The canons (in particular canon XII of Trullo) only require that a bishop be celibate once elected. Indeed, the relevant canon even speaks of married men being elected to the episcopacy--but requires that in such cases the wife agree to go live separately in a monastery. I don't believe that happens very often (though I seem to recall ROCOR had a bishop in just that circumstance in the middle of last century). But selection of widowed priests to the episcopacy is quite common in Orthodoxy (and even more common in previous centuries when the dangers of childbirth resulted in considerably more widowers than we see today).

Or this: "Priesthood, in all three of its degrees, according to the canonical tradition in force (canon 3 of the Council in Trullo), constitutes an impediment to marriage."?
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm
That canon is only about marriage *after* ordination. Once a man has been ordained to the diaconate (or higher), he cannot marry. And if he was already married and his wife dies, he cannot remarry. But it has nothing to do with those who are already married.


There is also this discussion about bishops and celibacy: http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2757-Why-are-bishops-celibate

Is it therefor not correct to state that it is the *norm*, in which there are exceptions, that Orthodox bishops are celibate and have been chosen from the ranks of celibate priests?
Depends on your definition of 'norm and exceptions'. All Orthodox bishops are celibate post-ordination. And the majority are certainly drawn from celibate clergy. But widower bishops are not so uncommon that I would consider them an 'exception'; it's not like one is surprised to come across one (my definiton of an exception--the ROCOR bishop who actually was married, assuming I am remembering correctly, I would consider an exception). Indeed, I believe the 'norm' would be that there is usually at least one widower on the synod of any given Church at any given time.
I'm well aware of all this.  That wasn't my point.
 

ialmisry

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J Michael said:
ialmisry said:
You asked "When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?"  You were given the truthful answer.  Is there a reason why you do not want to accept it?
Oh, I accept your answer, and trust that you're telling me the truth.  I'm not arguing whether celibacy of the Orthodox episcopate is a hard and fast rule.  I'm fairly aware of how it works.  The point I'm making, which you seem unwilling to accept, is that celibacy is a norm and common in Orthodoxy, and that makes, according to what you wrote that I quoted above Orthodox celibates, according to what you wrote,  no better than Catholic celibates in discussing sexual matters, because they are celibate.  That's all.  My only point, really.
I knew (or maybe you would say I "suspected") that was your "point."  One of the valid points that Uta Ranke-Heinemann's "Eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven: women, sexuality, and the Catholic Church"
http://books.google.com/books?id=-FomAQAAMAAJ&q=eunuch+for+the+kingdom+of+heaven&dq=eunuch+for+the+kingdom+of+heaven&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kgSfT57FLpLpggfV0N3fDQ&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAA
makes is that the mandated clerical celebacy of the Vatican, from the lowest orders up to its supreme pontiff, creates a universe totally divorced from women in general and married and family life in particular.  And it shows in their writings on the matter.  In contrast, Orthodox celibate bishops not only have to deal with married clergy, but with colleagues who have experienced marriage.  It creates a totally different dynamic: I cannot envisage the Vatican explicitely ordering priests, as the Russian Holy Synod did, NOT to counsel their flock to abstain from marital relations.
J Michael said:
As for "impediment to marriage", etc. , in an Orthodox context, go to this link: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm
Like I said
ialmisry said:
Someone is still living it seems in the Western Captivity.
 

elijahmaria

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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.
This is why the kinds of arguments that al Misry uses are so insidious.  It has been my observation over time that he is not a friend of women, and it is clear in all that he writes but most me who are as snarky and controlling as he is generally do no love women in any kind of profound way...and that is, I believe, what most women want from a man.  The von Hildebrands have some excellent comments about purity and continence and desire, and they had a beautiful and stimulating marriage at all levels.  There is a book that I had some years ago that talks about celibacy and chastity in much the same way that you describe here. 

It would be interesting to talk about it but al Misry moves in to derail all positive discussion between Orthodox and Catholic.  It would take some pretty strong concentration to ignore his posts but if you'd like to start a thread on the subject I would be happy to participate.

Mary
 

ialmisry

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I'm reposting, with permission, something posted by "an Orthodox Christian (albeit one in communion with Rome)" (his wording), Stuart L. Koehl, on "Evangelicals and Contraception" in Augustin717's favorite magazine Touchstone.
http://touchstonemag.com/merecomments/2006/08/evangelicals_an/
I have a problem with this approach, in that it is not consistent with the Orthdodox perspective on marriage (see John Meyendorff, “Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective”, according to which marriage is first and foremost a “mysterion” or sacrament that has (to use Meyendorff’s words), “no utilitarian purpose”. By this, he meant that marriage cannot have as its rationale either procreation or securing of property, or any other “secular” objective. Its sole purpose is to serve as a sign of the relationship between God and man, Christ and the Church and the persons of the Trinity with each other. He points out that before the New Covenant opened immortality to all, man attempted to gain vicarious immortality through progeny (and also by increasing the fortune of his house through advantageous unions). With the New Covenant, this rationale falls away.

From this starting point, I will go on to address the issue of artificial contraception. As an Orthodox Christian (albeit one in communion with Rome), I do not think that the kind of absolute, legalistic position being espoused here is consistent either with the Orthodox theology of marriage (in which the begetting of children is a fruit of marriage, not a purpose of marriage), or with the principle of oikonomia whereby the Church has an obligation, in its “stewardship” of souls, to take into account individual circumstances and human frailties. In other words, one size may not fit all. The assumption seems to be that a married couple ought to use natural family planning, or none at all. Yet even the most sophisticated methods of NFP are not effective for all women, and some women may have very good reasons NOT to become pregnant. Similarly, there may be very good reasons for a man to use a barrier method of contraception (i.e., a condom) within marriage; e.g., the man (or woman) is infected with HIV, and the use of a condom would reduce the risk of cross-infection (to defuse incipient moments of sanctimony, let us assume that the infection was received through a blood transfusion). Now, in Latin moral theology, this would (or should) be covered by the principle of double effect, but there are many absolutists who would say that the rule against contraception is absolulte, and that the only alternative for the couple is continence. But that, of course, imposes upon them an heroic lifestyle (celibacy) that is not for every person, and should not be imposed in any case.

The late Melkite Archbiship Joseph (Raya) of Nazareth (may his memory be eternal), was a very wise and gentle man, a spiritual father to many people, Catholic and Orthodox alike. In his book, “Crowning–the Christian Marriage”, which is used by the Melkite Greek Catholic Church as a wedding preparatory text, he wrote at some length about contraception in a balanced and humane way:

From Crowning: The Christian Marriage, by Archbishop Joseph (Raya)

Birth Control

In a world where eroticism dominates the hearts and minds of men and women, it is almost impossible to honor the Christian vision of a sexuality more precious than pleasure and more honorable than social necessity. In our days, the problems of birth control are heart rending.

In his praiseworthy attempt to counteract a sexual morality falsified by a secularized society and atheistic propaganda, Pope Paul VI, who at the time of the Second Vatican Council had reserved to himself the final decision on birth control, called upon a papal commission to advise him before publishing the official Church doctrine.

Over three quarters of the members, chosen by the Pope for their wisdom and reliability, offered the majority opinion endorsing a carefully qualified use of birth control, and proposed a revision of the current unqualified condemnation.

Pope Paul VI, however, disregarded their advice and published the Encyclical Humanae Vitae, maintaining the negative position. There is a present a painful tension between the supporters of rigidity in this matter, and those who believe it is unjustified.

The Byzantine ceremony of Crowning glorifies Christian chastity. Chastity means integrity of the human relation, integration of the forces of life into the personalistic aspects of nuptial love, which leads the couple into the Kingdom, into the peace and harmony of life. Both fertile and childless couples go beyond the mere functional: the combine the instinctive and passionate movements of their love, integrating them into a single act of ascent of pure goodness. It is not in spite of marriage, but in its fulfillment in peace, harmony and supreme joy that couples live the supernatural and holy reality of their union, chastity.

In the embrace of love, Christian couples are chaste. They are perfectly and entirely for each other. “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine” (Canticle of Canticles). In genuine faith, they assume their human and spiritual responsibilities, and choose the best ways, pleasing to God, to achieve what they have set out to do. Birth control is in some way their responsibility. Vatican Council II has clearly established that conscience is the most sacred core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, whose voice echoes in his depths.

The theologian Paul Evdokimos, in his study on the “Sacrament of Love”, summarizes the attitude of Eastern theology on birth control: The Church “addresses herself to evangelical metanoia, and hopes to change man and woman into a new creation, to render them charismatic; She exorcises demonic powers and protects the Gate of Life; She discerns among the spirits, and shows the pathways to ultimate liberation; She does not define the rules of social life, and does not prescribe panacaeas. . . “ (p.175). The Church should never refuse to advise when advice is sought, but should not try to manipulate the intimacy of husband and wife. Patriarch Maximos IV of Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem proclaimed at the Council of Vatican II, “The Church does not penetrate into the nuptial chamber. She stands at the door.”

The Byzantine Church does indeed believe that the Sacrament of Crowning establishes the man and woman as prophets, king and queen of supernatural worth, and robes them with the Royal Priesthood of Christ. Their dignity is real. Consequently, their vocation will be to form personal decisions, and to judge situations, in order to find solutions to the individual circumstances of their lives.
 

ialmisry

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elijahmaria said:
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.
This is why the kinds of arguments that al Misry uses are so insidious.  It has been my observation over time that he is not a friend of women, and it is clear in all that he writes but most me who are as snarky and controlling as he is generally do no love women in any kind of profound way...and that is, I believe, what most women want from a man.  The von Hildebrands have some excellent comments about purity and continence and desire, and they had a beautiful and stimulating marriage at all levels.  There is a book that I had some years ago that talks about celibacy and chastity in much the same way that you describe here.  

It would be interesting to talk about it but al Misry moves in to derail all positive discussion between Orthodox and Catholic.  It would take some pretty strong concentration to ignore his posts but if you'd like to start a thread on the subject I would be happy to participate.
Some never tire of slander it seems, particularly when it is ill founded.  Btw, the post above I find a rather postitive discussion between Orthodoxy and the Vatican.  Do you agree?

Btw, do you believe that the absence of contraception WILL solve that "something [that] is going wrong in our society"?

And how do you have inside information on von Hildebrand's marriage (I take it you are talking about with his second wife)?  It is so out of character for you do name names, so unlike your usual anonymous expert quoting style.
 

ialmisry

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I was reminded that someone here on this thread asked about Noonan and Stoicism's impact on the Vatican's teaching.
Code:
[pre]
[/pre]
ialmisry said:
...Aquinas' strawman objector then appeals to the authority of the philosophers as he did to revelation.  Philosophical schools tend to cause problems because, having studied the issues, they tend to dogmatize their answers, and the lack of the wall of separation between School and Church under the Vatican allowed Scholasticism to flourish as a religion much as Confucianism or Taoism.  Aristotle and Plato become the peer of Moses and the Apostles.  Rather than "the rational creature's participation of the eternal law," Natural Law means here no more than rational creature suspending his reason and accepting the Philosophers' opinions as revealed dogma, rationalizing with a religious veneer notions not revealed.  Noonan, to return to the example of contraception which spawned this thread, sums this up nicely:
If one asks, then, where the Christian Fathers derived their notions on marital intercourse—notions which have no express biblical basis — the answer must be, chiefly from the Stoics. In the case of such an early and influential teacher as Clement of Alexandria, the direct descent is obvious; his work on the purposes of marriage is a paraphrase of works of Musonius. In the second century, Origen’s standard for intercourse in pregnancy is clearly Seneca’s. In the third century, Lactantius’ remarks on the obvious purpose of the generative faculties echo Ocellus Lucanus. In the fourth century, Jerome’s most austere remarks are taken from Seneca. It is not a matter of men expressing simply truths which common sense might suggest to anyone with open eyes. It is a matter of a doctrine consciously appropriated [from the Stoics, ephasis added]. The descent is literary, the dependence substantial.
John T. Noonan, Jr., Contraception (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966), 48.

This continues to crop up as a leitmotiv throughout the Summa, positing the problem: does it use Aristotelian categories to elucidate divine truth into manageable bites, or does it pigeon hole divine truth into such categories so as to make it comport with Aristotelianism?
Orthodoxy should raise the objection that the Scholastics do the latter.  As Noonan notes (p. 46) as to Stoicism "Stoicism was in the air the intellectual converts to Christianity breathed. Half consciously, half unconsciously, they accommodated some Christian beliefs to a Stoic sense."  The adoption of transsubstantiation as a dogma and the conception of the "Immaculate Conception" stem from the same confusion of philosophical speculation for divine revelation.  The "Eternal Law" of God not revealed, but postulated, can not command the same authority as the Tablets of the Law nor the Sermon on the Mount....

...IOW, what Natural Law is not: It is not "present in the heart of each man and established by reason."
A preview of Noonan's important (and revealing) work is finally available:
http://books.google.com/books?id=S-fBxgQoYQ0C&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=If+one+asks,+then,+where+the+Christian+Fathers+derived+their+notions+on+marital+intercourse%E2%80%94notions+which+have+no+express+biblical+basis+%E2%80%94+the+answer+must+be,+chiefly+from+the+Stoics&source=bl&ots=nz3HS_853O&sig=WY76S2k0RWNEi2jXxQFhKQYWrS4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=FwoxUeKaMqGp2gXksYGICQ&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=If%20one%20asks%2C%20then%2C%20where%20the%20Christian%20Fathers%20derived%20their%20notions%20on%20marital%20intercourse%E2%80%94notions%20which%20have%20no%20express%20biblical%20basis%20%E2%80%94%20the%20answer%20must%20be%2C%20chiefly%20from%20the%20Stoics&f=false
 

ialmisry

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Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
 

Papist

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ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
 

Wyatt

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Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
 

ialmisry

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Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
 

Wyatt

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ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
::)
 

Papist

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ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
 

Charles Martel

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Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
Enter the Culture of Death.
 

ialmisry

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Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
so it would seem to those who swallow camel sized Corban, whether the non-existence of decades long marriages with numerous children as fruit, or making scholastic hair splitting with the artificial division of NFP and ABC.  Sanctimony isn't sanctity.
 

Papist

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ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
so it would seem to those who swallow camel sized Corban, whether the non-existence of decades long marriages with numerous children as fruit, or making scholastic hair splitting with the artificial division of NFP and ABC.  Sanctimony isn't sanctity.
Doctor, heal thyself.
 

ialmisry

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Charles Martel said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
Enter the Culture of Death.
 

ialmisry

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Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
so it would seem to those who swallow camel sized Corban, whether the non-existence of decades long marriages with numerous children as fruit, or making scholastic hair splitting with the artificial division of NFP and ABC.  Sanctimony isn't sanctity.
Doctor, heal thyself.
I'm on a Corban free diet, prescribed by the Great Physician Himself.
 

Charles Martel

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ialmisry said:
Charles Martel said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
Enter the Culture of Death.
Alright paparazzi, you wanna explain this one to me?

A picture is not always worth a thousand words.
 

mike

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ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
so it would seem to those who swallow camel sized Corban, whether the non-existence of decades long marriages with numerous children as fruit, or making scholastic hair splitting with the artificial division of NFP and ABC.  Sanctimony isn't sanctity.
Doctor, heal thyself.
I'm on a Corban free diet, prescribed by the Great Physician Himself.
I see your mutual love-hate relationship has been developing for a last few days.
 

J Michael

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Michał Kalina said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
so it would seem to those who swallow camel sized Corban, whether the non-existence of decades long marriages with numerous children as fruit, or making scholastic hair splitting with the artificial division of NFP and ABC.  Sanctimony isn't sanctity.
Doctor, heal thyself.
I'm on a Corban free diet, prescribed by the Great Physician Himself.
I see your mutual love-hate relationship has been developing for a last few days.
They could start a reality (??) t.v. series, eh  ;D?
 

mike

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J Michael said:
Michał Kalina said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
so it would seem to those who swallow camel sized Corban, whether the non-existence of decades long marriages with numerous children as fruit, or making scholastic hair splitting with the artificial division of NFP and ABC.  Sanctimony isn't sanctity.
Doctor, heal thyself.
I'm on a Corban free diet, prescribed by the Great Physician Himself.
I see your mutual love-hate relationship has been developing for a last few days.
They could start a reality (??) t.v. series, eh  ;D?
I have an impression they already did on this board. Not, that anyone needs that.
 

ialmisry

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J Michael said:
Michał Kalina said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
so it would seem to those who swallow camel sized Corban, whether the non-existence of decades long marriages with numerous children as fruit, or making scholastic hair splitting with the artificial division of NFP and ABC.  Sanctimony isn't sanctity.
Doctor, heal thyself.
I'm on a Corban free diet, prescribed by the Great Physician Himself.
I see your mutual love-hate relationship has been developing for a last few days.
They could start a reality (??) t.v. series, eh  ;D?
 

J Michael

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ialmisry said:
J Michael said:
Michał Kalina said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
so it would seem to those who swallow camel sized Corban, whether the non-existence of decades long marriages with numerous children as fruit, or making scholastic hair splitting with the artificial division of NFP and ABC.  Sanctimony isn't sanctity.
Doctor, heal thyself.
I'm on a Corban free diet, prescribed by the Great Physician Himself.
I see your mutual love-hate relationship has been developing for a last few days.
They could start a reality (??) t.v. series, eh  ;D?
Is that on the History channel or the Discovery Channel?  And I'll bet it doesn't star you and Papist  ;D!
 

ialmisry

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On another thread, someone linked to an analysis by Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe, the analytic philosopher and devout convert to the Vatican who bested C.S. Lewis on miracles.

Although I found the thing rather poorly written, it does touch on a number of aspects of the Vatican's argument of its contraceptive position, and was written evidently a few years after the Vatican issued its statement on that, Humanae Vitae.  I began to comment on the original thread, but I think it might take it further off topic there, but might be more on topic here.

In commenting, I passed over a number of points in the beginning of the piece that perhaps I ought to state here.  One the opening itself raises:
I will first ask you to contemplate a familiar point: the fantastic change that has come about in people's situation in respect of having children because of the invention of efficient contraceptives.
I would first contemplate an unfamiliar point, at least in being brought up in this context.  Having children in this modern age does constitute one of the few, if not the only, area where modernists might be modestly right in their contention that the world of today differs from the world of the past, but not in the way Anscombe here contends.  For a variety of methods of contraception have always been available-just withdrawal has a 73% up to 96% success rate of preventing conception.  What has changed and shook the earth lies in the fall in infant and child mortality: we live in a very different world where we expect to keep every child we conceive and live to see them live into adulthood and produce grandchildren for us, than the world our greatparents and their ancestors lived in, where one might have a half dozen to a dozen children expecting to bury half of them.  My great grandparents were lucky: they had 7 and 5 survived.

I'll continue, but first I'll post what I'll already said:


ialmisry said:
truthseeker32 said:
Thanks everyone for this discussion! You have given me a lot to think about. Because I fear I am making a poor argument for the Roman Catholic position I will appeal to the philosopher GEM Anscombe:
You are not making a poor argument, it is just a poor argument to make.

truthseeker32 said:
"Here, however, people still feel intensely confused, because the intention where oral contraceptives are taken seems to be just the same as when intercourse is deliberately restricted to infertile periods. In one way this is true, and its truth is actually pointed out by Humanae Vitae, in a passage I will quote in a moment. But in another way it's not true.

The reason why people are confused about intention, and why they sometimes think there is no difference between contraceptive intercourse and the use of infertile times to avoid conception, is this: They don't notice the difference between "intention" when it means the intentionalness of the thing you're doing - that you're doing this on purpose - and when it means a further or accompanying intention with which you do the thing. For example, I make a table: that's an intentional action because I am doing just that on purpose. I have the further intention of, say, earning my living, doing my job by making the table. Contraceptive intercourse and intercourse using infertile times may be alike in respect of further intention, and these further intentions may be good, justified, excellent. This the Pope has noted. He sketched such a situation and said: "It cannot be denied that in both cases the married couple, for acceptable reasons," (for that's how he imagined the case) "are perfectly clear in their intention to avoid children and mean to secure that none will be born." This is a comment on the two things: contraceptive intercourse on the one hand and intercourse using infertile times on the other, for the sake of the limitation of the family.

But contraceptive intercourse is faulted, not on account of this further intention, but because of the kind of intentional action you are doing. The action is not left by you as the kind of act by which life is transmitted, but is purposely rendered infertile, and so changed to another sort of act altogether.

In considering an action, we need always to judge several things about ourselves. First: is the sort of act we contemplate doing something that it's all right to do? Second: are our further or surrounding intentions all right? Third: is the spirit in which we do it all right? Contraceptive intercourse fails on the first count; and to intend such an act is not to intend a marriage act at all, whether or no we're married. An act of ordinary intercourse in marriage at an infertile time, though, is a perfectly ordinary act of married intercourse, and it will be bad, if it is bad, only on the second or third counts.

It may help you to see that the intentional act itself counts, as well as the further or accompanying intentions, if you think of an obvious example like forging a cheque to steal from somebody in order to get funds for a good purpose. The intentional action, presenting a cheque we've forged, is on the face of it a dishonest action, not be vindicated by the good further intention."

More can be read here: http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/AnscombeChastity.php  
I'll get down to that, but before I've noticed a few problems as we go along:
The prohibition was issued in the same breath as the merely temporary retention of Judaic laws prohibiting the eating of blood - no black pudding!
Who says it is "merely temporary" or "Judaic?  The Council of Jerusalem, i.e. Scripture, gives no such indication.

In one word: Christianity taught that men ought to be as chaste as pagans thought honest women ought to be; the contraceptive morality teaches that women need to be as little chaste as pagans thought men need be.
An assertion which she begs throughout the piece.  Again, in this she follows most apologists of HV, who seem to think contraception means "sex on demand" 24/7, and couples engaging in contraception are permanently joined at their hips (or thereabouts).  

And if there is nothing intrinsically wrong with contraceptive intercourse, and if it could become general practice everywhere when there is intercourse but ought to be no begetting, then it's very difficult to see the objection to this morality, for the ground of objection to fornication and adultery was that sexual intercourse is only right in the sort of set-up that typically provides children with a father and mother to care for them. If you can turn intercourse into something other than the reproductive type of act (I don't mean of course that every act is reproductive any more than every acorn leads to an oak-tree but it's the reproductive type of act) then why, if you can change it, should it be restricted to the married? Restricted, that is, to partners bound in a formal, legal, union whose fundamental purpose is the bringing up of children? For if that is not its fundamental purpose there is no reason why for example "marriage" should have to be between people of opposite sexes. But then, of course, it becomes unclear why you should have a ceremony, why you should have a formality at all. And so we must grant that children are in this general way the main point of the existence of such an arrangement. But if sexual union can be deliberately and totally divorced from fertility, then we may wonder why sexual union has got to be married union. If the expression of love between the partners is the point, then it shouldn't be so narrowly confined.
Only the mentality which dreams up the Corban of annullments could dream up such a paragraph.  She seems to deny the fact that children can and are produced from reproductive types of act outside of marriage all the time (whether they should is another issue).  Would she argue, for instance, that woman-on-top or dorsal intercourse "turn[s ] intercourse into something other than the reproductive type of act"? Because the Stoic philosophy which formed the basis of HV's position and the meagre patristics and canons which nurtured it argued just that.

People shouldn't marry to have children: that renders the husband a sperm donor and the wife a baby maker.  Marriage should result in children, but they are the result, not the aim, of the marriage.  Her argument, as other apologists for HV, reduce couples to breeders.

Lord willing, I'll return to this later.  But in the meantime, her dismissive parenthesis do not dispense of the objection: every intercourse would have to be reproductive for her to be correct.  Once you allow "types" of the act, contraception (artificial or natural) has its license.
ialmisry said:
To continue:
The only objection, then, to the new heathen, contraceptive morality will be that the second condition I mentioned - near-universality of contraception where there ought not to be begetting - simply won't be fulfilled. Against the background of a society with that morality, more and more people will have intercourse with little feeling of responsibility, little restraint, and yet they just won't be so careful about always using contraceptives. And so the widespread use of contraceptives naturally leads to more and more rather than less and less abortion (The exception to this in the short term is where abortion has been encouraged and contraceptives not available, making contraceptives available then produces an immediate but only temporary reduction in abortions.) Indeed, abortion is now being recommended as a population control measure - a second line of defence.
getting through this very poorly written paragraph, she seems not to know that most, if not nearly all, married couples who practice contraception do in fact beget and bear (the exclusive use of "begetting" seems to belie the Stoic fetish that underlies the "reasoning" of HV) children.

Of course, she continues to beg the issue that "contraceptive mentality" leads to "intercourse with little feeling of responsibility" and "little restraint," rather than the other way around.  I don't think the Netherlands lagged behind the US in that in the '60's, although contraception, information on contraception, and contraceptive propaganda like Planned Parenthood were illegal until 1969.  Nor does it lead to homosexuality, btw, which was legalized in the Netherlands nearly two centuries before.

I don't think she has the facts to back up her assertion that "the widespread use of contraceptives naturally leads to more and more rather than less and less abortion", or even the theory: if contraception removes all restraint, as she argues, then there are more instances of intercourse, and the number of abortions would have to go up to keep up and not drop in the ratio of abortion/intercourse.  Intercourse hasn't gone down in the US, but the abortion rate has, and I think that has been the case in most countries' statistics I have seen except for Japan-where contraception has been available but no one uses it, preferring abortion as a back up.  Conversely, contraception is available in Egypt, and is used, but big families remain the norm.

She pretty much condemns the POV she is advocated when she says
Now if this - that you won't get this universal "taking care" - is the only objection then it's a pretty miserable outlook. Because, like the fear of venereal disease, it's an objection that's little capable of moving people or inspiring them as a positive ideal of chastity may.
as she doesn't get much beyond the fear of pregnancy as a check on promiscuity, if at all.

The Christian Church has taught such an ideal of chastity: in a narrower sense, and in a broader sense in which chastity is simply the virtue whose topic is sex, just as courage is the virtue whose topic is danger and difficulty. In the narrower sense chastity means continence, abstention. I have to say something about this - though I'm reduced to stammering because I am a mediocre worldly person leading an ordinary sort of worldly life; nevertheless I'll try to say it even with stammering.

What people are for is, we believe, like guided missiles, to home in on God, God who is the one truth it is infinitely worth knowing, the possession of which you could never get tired of, like the water which if you have you can never thirst again, because your thirst is slaked forever and always. It's this potentiality, this incredible possibility, of the knowledge of God of such a kind as even to be sharing in his nature, which Christianity holds out to people; and because of this potentiality every life, right up to the last, must be treated as precious. Its potentialities in all things the world cares about may be slight; but there is always the possibility of what it's for. We can't ever know that the time of possibility of gaining eternal life is over, however old, wretched, "useless" someone has become.
"every sperm is sacred"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptTwi6-ii-s
Now there are some people who want this so much that they want to be totally concerned with it and to die to their own worldly, earthly and fleshly desires. It is people who are so filled with this enormous desire and are able to follow it, who pursue the course of chastity in the narrow sense - this is the point, the glory, of Christian celibacy and virginity and of vows of chastity. I think one has to know about it in order to appreciate the teachings of Christianity about chastity in a wide sense. But as I say I speak stammeringly because I'm not very well qualified.
Her stammering spits out the confusion of chastity with celibacy.  Many who have embraced Christian celibacy without being called to it have tarnished monasticism rather than giving it luster, while a Christian marriage is truly a glory to behold-even the Muslims in Egypt admit it so.

It is surprising that the writings of monks in the golden age of monasticism dwell mostly on bellies and fasting, rather than reproductive organs and their use or misuse.

The frustration of desired celibacy haunts much HV apologetic.

Btw:
a penetrating moral analysis of marriage and sexuality that will benefit any reader who rejects the secularist reduction of marriage as merely a union that sanctions sexual activity between partners
the reduction of marriage to merely a means of breeding isn't better.
ialmisry said:
Cont:
Turning to chastity not in the narrower sense but in the sense in which it is simply the virtue connected with sex, the Christian Church has always set its face against contraception from the earliest time as a grave breach of chastity. It inherited from Israel the objection to "base ways of copulating for the avoidance of conception", to quote St Augustine. In a document of the third century a Christian author wrote of the use of contraceptives by freeborn Christian women of Rome. These women sometimes married slaves so as to have Christian husbands but they were under a severe temptation because if the father was a slave the child was a slave by Roman law and this was a deterrent to having children; and they practised some form of contraception. This was the occasion of the earliest recorded explicit Christian observation on the subject. The author writes like a person mentioning a practice which Christians at large must obviously regard as shameful.
this paragraph is so choked full of factual errors that its no wonder that she was misled.

First, in Roman law, in contrast to the English Common law that Anscombe evidently did assUme to be universal, status was inherited from the mother, not the father (as in English law: it wasn't until the American colonies passed legislation adopting Partus sequitur ventrem (Latin "that which is brought forth follows the womb") from Roman civil law in 1662 that it entered English law, which comported with Roman legal theory, which held slavery was not a natural state but a convention universally adopted and subject to local civil law).  In fact, if a woman was free for a single moment from conception to birth, the child was freeborn, regardless of the mother's status before conception or after birth.  Such a colossal blunder commits a fatal error in her argument here.  

Of course, she doesn't identify said "document of the third century,' so we can't analyze it much.  All that I have seen condemn abortion and abortifacients. But not all contraception is abortifacient.  In fact, as an abortifacient has to have a conception to occur in order to work, contraception and abortifaceints are two different things-which HV and its supporters continue to insist on conflating.

"It inherited from Israel the objection to "base ways of copulating for the avoidance of conception", to quote St Augustine."  Unfortunately, she can't quote the rabbis on it: the Talmud bears the mark of being written by married men, and they allow quite a lot.  Orthodox Jews, for instance, aren't bothered by using the pill, and it hasn't led to a plague of promiscuity among them (in fact, the genetic studies on the Levites/Cohens has led to pride among the Jews on their wives fidelity: since it traces lineage in the male line, the fact that non-Levite women married to Levites/Cohens have born genetically Levites/Cohens some took as indication of this fidelity).

"the Christian Church has always set its face against contraception from the earliest time as a grave breach of chastity" Oh?  Hard to tell as, unlike abortion which has been vigorously opposed by Christians ever since the time of the Apostles and explicitly so, contraception (as opposed to abortifaicents) is barely mentioned in passing, if indeed mentioned at all, let alone condemned.

I perhaps should say that I have a nagging doubt about her logic on chastity being to sex what courage is to danger.  Courage doesn't embrace danger like chastity embraces sex in marriage.
 

ialmisry

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From then on the received teaching of Christianity has been constant. We need only mention two landmarks which have stood as signposts in Christian teaching - the teaching of Augustine and that of Thomas Aquinas.
It seems that she is unaware that Orthodox Christianity has little use for either (although Augustine can be appreciated more than is usual-it just takes separating Augustinianism from him).
St Augustine wrote against the Manichaeans. The Manichaeans were people who thought all sex evil. They thought procreation was worse than sex; so if one must have sex let it be without procreation which imprisoned a soul in flesh. So they first aimed to restrict intercourse altogether to what they thought were infertile times
IOW, the only method that Humanae Vitae approves.
and also to use contraceptive drugs so as if possible never to have children. If they did conceive they used drugs to procure abortions; finally, if that failed, in their cruel lust or lustful cruelty, as St Augustine says, they might put the child out to die. (The appetite for killing children is a rather common characteristic in the human race.)
The last point is true enough.  Despite that, and despite the prevalence of post birth infanticide in the Greco-Roman world (the Manichaeans portrayed here did not differ from the population at large), people still had children.  In fact, St. Augustine had a son while a Manichaean.
 

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The Catholic position on birth control is straightforward in a sense: the ends of sex in marriage are procreative and unitive, just as form and matter, and to intrinsically remove either via BC or rape, respectively, is to degrade the sacramental union by corrupting the ends for which God ordained.

I have never received a clear answer as to the EO and OO position(s) on contraception. I am sure that abortifacient contraceptives are prohibited but what about condoms? How about BC?

I am honestly not interested in arguing moral theology. I would rather clarify the RC position and inquire about the Orthodox position.
 

ialmisry

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Surnaturel said:
The Catholic position on birth control is straightforward in a sense: the ends of sex in marriage are procreative and unitive, just as form and matter, and to intrinsically remove either via BC or rape, respectively, is to degrade the sacramental union by corrupting the ends for which God ordained.

I have never received a clear answer as to the EO and OO position(s) on contraception. I am sure that abortifacient contraceptives are prohibited but what about condoms? How about BC?

I am honestly not interested in arguing moral theology. I would rather clarify the RC position and inquire about the Orthodox position.
The problem the Vatican faces is that it contradicts what patristics it can gather for its position on BC (said Fathers do not make the distinction of "ABC" and "NFP," explicitly condemning the latter), and depends on its creation, "Natural Law," to achieve its end.
As to clarity, the EO and OO position on contraception is at least as clear as whether Humanae Vitae are ex cathedra or not, infallible or not.  Some of the Vatican's followers say yes, others say no.

Condoms are BC, as so is "NFP."  Yes, they are overwhelmingly allowed in Orthodoxy, and widely used among the followers of the Vatican.
 

ialmisry

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Maria said:
I would hope that the Roman Catholic Church would hold to its encyclical on human life, especially the one condemning birth control.

It used to be that the Orthodox Church held a similar view with the Catholic Church on birth control.
Unfortunately in 1920, Orthodoxy caved into the same position as the Anglican Church, changed its teachings and started allowing birth control. This happened at the same time that the Orthodox Church forced the horrific New Calendar on an unsuspecting Orthodox people. Coincidence? No.
Factual? No.
 

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Maria said:
However, if that couple were to use mechanical (condoms, sponges), chemical (spermicides, IUDs) and biological warfare (the pill, depo-provera shots, RU), then sperm and any life created would be murdered.
Is cutting nails also forbidded in your religion since it "murders" them? Or hair?

Maria said:
St. John Chrysostom said somewhere that killing of sperm is akin to homicide.

I take him at his word as sperm are alive. When we deliberately kill any living thing that God has created, be it sperm, spiders, or ducks, we are not acting in a very Christian manner.
You would better take some biology classes in grade school.
 

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Michał Kalina said:
Maria said:
However, if that couple were to use mechanical (condoms, sponges), chemical (spermicides, IUDs) and biological warfare (the pill, depo-provera shots, RU), then sperm and any life created would be murdered.
Is cutting nails also forbidded in your religion since it "murders" them? Or hair?

Maria said:
St. John Chrysostom said somewhere that killing of sperm is akin to homicide.

I take him at his word as sperm are alive. When we deliberately kill any living thing that God has created, be it sperm, spiders, or ducks, we are not acting in a very Christian manner.
You would better take some biology classes in grade school.
Nails and hair are dead cells with no potentiality for life or transmitting life. Sperm, while not sentient or alive in the same sense as a multicell organism, has as its God ordained end the transmission of life. Note I am not stating that I believe that killing sperm is murder, just pointing out your woefully flawed analogy.

Perhaps you could also benefit from a Biology 101 class.....or a class in metaphysics, logic or rhetoric.
 

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#1Sinner said:
Sperm, while not sentient or alive in the same sense as a multicell organism, has as its God ordained end the transmission of life.
No. Unless you believe in preformationism.
 

#1Sinner

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Michał Kalina said:
#1Sinner said:
Sperm, while not sentient or alive in the same sense as a multicell organism, has as its God ordained end the transmission of life.
No. Unless you believe in preformationism.
Sperm don't have as their ordained end the transmission of life when united to an egg? That's news to me.

I sense you know what I'm saying and are trying to deflect criticism away from your above "analogy." Not surprising.
 

#1Sinner

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Michał Kalina said:
"When united with egg". Unless that occurs sperm is as life-giving as snot.
I stated that sperm had potentiality as opposed to hair and nails which you used in your original analogy. If you are going to argue with me over that point I'll assume you're just trolling.

Good day.
 

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What? You mean the view that it's somehow wrong to use "artificial birth control/contraception" like condoms or the pill, but it's okay to "pull-out" or study the woman's menstrual cycle like a book so that you can only have relations on days when she's least fertile because for some odd reason, birth control is only bad when you bring in "artificial" methods?

This is something I don't get about RC/Latin thinking; it applies to marriage as well. How come it's not okay to divorce and get separated, but it's okay to cop-out and say "well, it was never a real marriage in the first place" and thus cause uncertainty to arise about the validity (or lack of) of the Sacraments?

It's all basically just the same thing, just a different means. If your problem is with the concept--preventing pregnancy and/or a man and woman separating--then how come you only attack the means of doing so while permitting other means to do it? Shouldn't all means, by default, be condemned, since your real problem is with the concept?
 
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