Tuesday 12 January 2010

Pope Benedict ushers into Catholic Church pro-Humanae Vitae Anglicans

I have mentioned before that I think that Pope Benedict's Apostolic Constitution and the entry into the Catholic Church of members of the Traditional Anglican Communion will greatly strengthen Catholic witness on pro-life matters. A recent post about contraception on The Anglo-Catholic confirms my view. It begins:
"It is an unfortunate — but not altogether infrequent — occurrence to find a 'traditional Anglican' who believes that his faith permits the use of artificial means of contraception despite the difficult moral teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. It is supposed (by the ignorant) that our acceptance of the courageous teaching of Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae and reinforced in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (the doctrinal standard proposed by Anglicanorum Coetibus) would be, at least, a novelty, a rigorous discipline beyond what has been required in the past. But it is important to understand that with respect to this now controversial point of moral teaching, the Church of England, and her daughter Churches throughout the world, followed the tradition of the Church Catholic from the earliest days."
The Anglo-Catholic article is timely, particularly in view of Pope Benedict's recent strong emphasis in Caritas in Veritate that the Catholic teaching on contraception is not just a matter of personal morality. As Archbishop Burke explained last year in the US:
"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)
For reasons I have frequently presented on this blog, to my own mind it’s quite clear* that countless human lives have been destroyed as a result of the rejection of Humanae vitae and its teaching on the wrongfulness of the separation of the unitive significance and procreative significance of the conjugal act, not least through birth control and IVF practices, including amongst Catholics.

(*Albeit on the question of the separation of the unitive significance and the procreative significance of the marital act, SPUC itself has no policy. The Society is made up of people of all faiths and none, and SPUC’s remit is solely concerned with defending the right to life from conception till natural death.)

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