Contraception and the Sexual Revolution

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March 12, 2012 5:09 pm

The modern world considers contraception one of the most important discoveries of the late twentieth century. And rightly so, in a sense, for our modern lifestyle is in large part made possible by contraception. Thus it is no surprise that the Church’s condemnation of contraception is one of its most controversial teachings.

The sexual revolution of the sixties was a true revolution; our understanding and practice of sex changed radically. Contraception made sex outside of marriage “doable” in an unprecedented way. The modern world thinks of sex as a momentary pleasure that requires no commitment to one’s sexual partner nor to any children that may result. Pregnancy is now considered largely an “accident” of sexual intercourse. The landscape of our lives is now cluttered with individuals damaged by unsuccessful “love” affairs (was true love really involved?), broken marriages, children born out of wedlock (1 in 3 are) and women and men hurt by abortions (nearly 1 in 3 pregnancies is aborted).

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Abortion, Contraception and the Church Fathers

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February 16, 2012 6:18 pm

Despite what some commentators and politicians think, Church teaching on abortion and contraception has remained unchanged.

The recent indignity by which the Obama administration wants to mandate everyone, including all Catholic institutions or their insurers, to pay for contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, has raised the issue of Catholic teaching on these issues.

Some commentators have mistakenly asserted that the Catholic ban on these practices only goes back to Humanae Vitae (On the Regulation of Birth), by Pope Paul VI in 1968, or as far back as Casti Connubii (Of Chaste Wedlock), by Pope Pius XI in 1931.

The latter encyclical was written in response to the change of moral doctrine by the Anglican Church, which undermined centuries of Protestant condemnation of contraception by permitting it at the Aug. 15, 1930 Lambeth Conference.

Paul VI wrote Humanae Vitae in response to the then newly invented birth control pill, rejecting it as a legitimate means of contraception for Catholics. However, these encyclicals, along with the 20th century’s nearly 100 other Vatican statements condemning artificial birth control, were simply restating the continuous history of moral theology on this topic.

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Just Follow Your Conscience

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February 8, 2012 12:00 am

Many couples have been told in reference to contraception that they should “just follow their conscience”. Is it true that we should ALWAYS follow our conscience? What is the conscience? How does one form it correctly and how do we know if it is leading us astray? Join Prof. Smith as she explores the role of the conscience in our moral decision making and looks at the dilemma we face when our conscience is leading us away from Church teaching.

To download Janet E. Smith’s accompanying powerpoint presentation for this talk Click Here.

Contraception: The History

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February 6, 2012 12:00 am

How many know that until 1930, all Christian churches and some non-Christian thinkers opposed contraception? Learn those facts and also get a fascinating look at the history behind the Church’s teaching on contraception. This presentation highlights the work of the Special Commission that advised Pope Paul VI to change the Church’s teaching, the shaky response of some bishops’ conferences, and the role that Karol Wojtyla played in the shaping of Humanae Vitae.

To download Janet E. Smith’s accompanying powerpoint presentation for this talk Click Here.

Contraception: Dissent

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February 5, 2012 12:00 am

What caused the dissent from the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception? In this presentation, Prof. Smith takes a close look at this question as she reveals the many factors and responses that contributed to the opposition to Humane Vitae (the Church’s official teaching on human sexuality and contraception).

To download Janet E. Smith’s accompanying powerpoint presentation for this talk Click Here.

Humanae Vitae and Conscience

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February 2, 2012 12:00 am

Since the publication of Humane Vitae in 1968, Catholics have continued to invoke what noted professor Dr. Janet Smith calls the “conscience clause” when it comes to ignoring the Church’s teaching on contraception. Yet most Catholics have never read Humane Vitae, and are ignorant of the teachings contained therein. What does it mean to dissent from the Church’s teaching? What is the conscience, and when is it permissible to follow it instead of the Church? How can we drown out the noise of culture, peer groups and our own desires when we are struggling to hear the voice of God?

In this challenging and thought-provoking talk, Professor Smith examines the role of modern theologians in encouraging dissent from Church teaching on contraception, and the proper role of conscience in determining how we are to act in accord with God’s will for our lives. Discover the beauty of the truths expressed in Humane Vitae, and learn how to follow your conscience while staying aligned with Church teaching.

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