Sunday 28 November 2010

Teaching young people about contraception may be abuse, says Maltese bishop

Malta, listed by the BBC as prohibiting abortion in all circumstances, has a clear-minded bishop, it seems, in Bishop Mario Grech, the bishop of Gozo (pictured).

He says that the education system may be abusing young people when it teaches them about contraception. (We have such abuse in schools here in Britain, including Catholic schools where it's taught  with the co-operation of the Catholic bishops of England and Wales through their agency the Catholic Education Service and where children are also given access to abortion "services").

If Malta has other bishops like Bishop Grech, who are clear-minded and outspoken, they have a far better chance of maintaining their law on abortion.

As Pope John Paul II taught in Evangelium Vitae [13]:
Indeed, the pro- abortion culture is especially strong precisely where the Church's teaching on contraception is rejected [My emphasis]. Certainly, from the moral point of view contraception and abortion are specifically different evils: the former contradicts the full truth of the sexual act as the proper expression of conjugal love, while the latter destroys the life of a human being; the former is opposed to the virtue of chastity in marriage, the latter is opposed to the virtue of justice and directly violates the divine commandment "You shall not kill".

But despite their differences of nature and moral gravity, contraception and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree. It is true that in many cases contraception and even abortion are practised under the pressure of real- life difficulties, which nonetheless can never exonerate from striving to observe God's law fully. Still, in very many other instances such practices are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfilment. The life which could result from a sexual encounter thus becomes an enemy to be avoided at all costs, and abortion becomes the only possible decisive response to failed contraception.
There is hard evidence for Pope John Paul II's teaching, as I have mentioned before. Professor David Paton, who holds a chair in Economics at Nottingham University, has shown in a paper entitled "The economics of family planning and underage conceptions" (this paper is not available free online, but if you would like a copy please contact me) that family planning, and increased access to it, increases the likelihood that teenagers will engage in sexual activity. Prof. Paton says: "I find no evidence that greater access to family planning has reduced underage conceptions or abortions. Indeed, there is some evidence that greater access is associated with an increase in underage conceptions..."

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