Earlier this month, I mentioned Cardinal Turkson's conspicuous failure to condemn the use of condoms. I said that this was "disturbing", not least in the light of Pope Benedict's ringing endorsement of the teaching of Humanae vitae earlier this year:
“The truth expressed in Humanae vitae does not change; rather, in light of the new scientific findings, its teaching becomes even more up to date and induces reflection upon its intrinsical value ... The concern for human life and the safeguard of the dignity of the person impose upon us not to leave anything untried so that it may be shared with all people the genuine truth of responsible conjugal love in full adherence to the law written in the heart of every person.”I have been actively involved in the pro-life movement for 36 years. In my experience, the deafening silence of so many church leaders on the wrongfulness of the separation of the unitive significance and procreative significance of the conjugal act is the greatest obstacle we now face in the battle against abortion, IVF practices and euthanasia - for reasons I have explained elsewhere on this blog.
Pope Paul VI predicted that once contraception became “regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty” (HV, 17), brute power would be used by governments to impose birth control policies on their populations. Nowhere is this more true than in Britain where we face the prospect of the Brown government's final anti-life legislative push expected in November - promoting access to abortion for schoolchildren without parental knowledge and consent.
According to Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (the "supreme court" of the Catholic Church), Pope Benedict has emphasised in his latest encyclical Caritas in Veritate that the message of Humanae vitae is fundamental to achieving authentic human development:
"It is instructive to note that Pope Benedict XVI, in his most recent encyclical letter on the Church's social doctrine, makes special reference to Pope Paul VI's Encyclical Letter Humanae vitae, underscoring its importance "for delineating the fully human meaning of the development that the Church proposes" (Caritas in veritate, no. 15). Pope Benedict XVI makes clear that the teaching in Humanae vitae was not simply a matter of "individual morality," declaring: 'Humanae vitae indicates the strong links between life ethics and social ethics, ushering in a new area of magisterial teaching that has gradually been articulated in a series of documents, most recently John Paul II's Encyclical Evangelium vitae' (Caritas in veritate, no. 15).
" ... The respect for the integrity of the conjugal act is essential to the context for the advancement of the culture of life", said Archbishop Burke.In the light of his appointment as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, it's all the more vital that Cardinal Turkson, inspired by the example of Archbishop Burke, reiterates clearly papal teaching on condoms - "which is not simply a matter of 'individual morality'".
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