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Ziggamafu

Can a learned bibliophile help me out, here?

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Paphnutius
[quote name='jswranch' date='Apr 5 2006, 02:43 PM']Is it correct to say the use of contraception is a grave matter?
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Yes, I would say so.

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Ziggamafu
I think a part of my friend's reasoning stems from the fact that he and his fiance' have decided NOT to have children but rather to probably adopt, not because they are sterile but because he has a hereditary illness he wouldn't want to pass on to his offspring. Thus it would make sense that he wants procreation to be lowered to the level of the unitive purpose of marriage so he may feel free to choose unity over procreation in justification of a valid marriage.

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phatcatholic
that is a difficult situation............they should consult their priest or bishop

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jswranch
[quote name='jswranch' date='Apr 5 2006, 02:43 PM']Is it correct to say the use of contraception is a grave matter?
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[quote name='Paphnutius' date='Apr 5 2006, 08:13 PM']Yes, I would say so.
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I know Ratzinger wrote it was as CDF. Does it not require the assertion as BXVI to be a settled matter.

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Paphnutius
[quote name='jswranch' date='Apr 6 2006, 08:42 PM']I know Ratzinger wrote it was as CDF.  Does it not require the assertion as BXVI to be a settled matter.
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You've lost me...I would say that it is a grave matter. I could be mistaken, but I will look into it. Generally all sexual matters are grave due to their nature.

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Theoketos
[quote name='jswranch' date='Apr 6 2006, 08:42 PM']I know Ratzinger wrote it was as CDF.  Does it not require the assertion as BXVI to be a settled matter.
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NOPE~!

It is a matter for Moral Law not revelation, so the Pope does not need to settle the matter.

And Nick, forgive me if I am ignorant, but as I uderstand it procreation is indeed the first cause for marriage, but the unitive aspect has equal dignity. I will post more later, but I promised my wife that I would be in bed before midnight.

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phatcatholic
[quote name='Theoketos' date='Apr 6 2006, 11:21 PM']And Nick, forgive me if I am ignorant, but as I uderstand it procreation is indeed the first cause for marriage, but the unitive aspect has equal dignity. I will post more later, but I promised my wife that I would be in bed before midnight.[right][snapback]938539[/snapback][/right][/quote]
well, the passages i have been posting seem to indicate otherwise, and i'm not sure if our more recent documents from the second vatican council and john paul II were meant to change this understanding. for now, i guess i am undecided (does that make [i]me[/i] the ignorant one? :unsure:)

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Ziggamafu
yeah...could this be an issue that was never formally defined and thus subject to change? that's what my friend says...I've just developed the habit (probably unfortunate) of automatically writing off ANY doctrinal statement by a liberal as suspect. on social or health issues, it's pretty much reversed but on doctrinal or moral issues, I would never trust a liberal. Edited by Ziggamafu

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Paphnutius
[quote name='Ziggamafu' date='Apr 6 2006, 09:23 PM']wait...what? what's the grave matter we're talking about? jswranch's post threw me off, lol!
o_0
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[quote]Is it correct to say the use of contraception is a grave matter?[/quote]

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phatcatholic
[b]Arcanum (On Christian Marriage)[/b]
[url="http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13CMR.HTM"]http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/L13CMR.HTM[/url]
Pope Leo XIII[list][b]10.[/b] Furthermore, the Christian perfection and completeness of marriage are not comprised in those points only which have been mentioned. For, first, there has been vouchsafed to the marriage union a higher and nobler purpose than was ever previously given to it. By the command of Christ, it not only looks to the propagation of the human race, but to the bringing forth of children for the Church, "fellow citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God";[16] so that "a people might be born and brought up for the worship and religion of the true God and our Savior Jesus Christ."[17]
[/list]

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Era Might
Pope Paul VI writes in "Humanae Vitae":

[quote]And finally this love is fecund for it is not exhausted by the communion between husband and wife, but is destined to continue, raising up new lives. "Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and educating of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents."[/quote]

He goes on:

[quote]And if each of these essential qualities, the unitive and the procreative, is preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood to which man is called.[/quote]

Notice that he calls them both "essential". Why? Because a husband and wife can't enter into a full "communion" with one another unless they speak the language. (I don't need to go into detail, but obviously, the act of intercourse points to a "giving", or "donation".) This "donation" is as much physical as it is spiritual, which is why they form one act. Even if a human life does not actually result, this "donation" still expresses the total self-giving of each person, and also fulfills the natural end of intercourse.

So I wouldn't say the Church has changed what she taught, but rather, she has more fully rounded it out. I think someone cited "Love and Responsibility" above, where John Paul points to the primary order of procreation. This can be understood in the sense that grace builds upon nature. The unitive dimension is not so much subordinated to the procreative as it "builds" on it. Both are equal, in the same way that God's mercy and justice are equal. Yet mercy is always primary.

In other words, the Church hasn't changed the teaching, she has changed the perspective. Whereas before she spoke of "ends" and emphasized the natural order, she now speaks of "communion" and emphasizes man as a total person, body and soul. This may appear to contradict the natural law perspective, but it only integrates it as part of a fuller personalistic vision.

I would recommend checking out some of Alice and Dietrich Von Hildebrand's writings on the difference between the "meaning" and the "purpose" of marriage. It's something they drew from the philosophy of phenomenology, and it goes a long way to understanding John Paul's own teaching on this matter. Edited by Era Might

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Era Might
Here's the text from "Love and Responsibility", for reference:

[quote]As we come to the end of this part of the discussion, which was intended to give a correct interpretation of the sexual urge, in part by eliminating incorrect interpretation, some conclusions connected with the traditional teaching on the ends of marriage ask to be drawn. The Church, as has been mentioned previously, teaches, and has always taught, that the primary end of marriage is [i]procreatio[/i], but that it has a secondary end, defined in Latin terminology as [i]mutuum adiutorium[/i]. Apart from these, a tertiary aim is mentioned -- [i] remedium concupiscentiae[/i]. Marriage, objectively considered, must provide first of all the means of continuing existence, secondly a conjugal life for man and woman, and thirdly a legitimate orientation for desire. The ends of marriage in the order mentioned are incompatible with any subjectivist interpretation of the sexual urge, and therefore demand from man, as a person, objectivity in his thinking on sexual matters, and above all in his behavior. This objectivity is the foundation of conjugal morality.[/quote]

He goes on to make the point I alluded to above, about how conjugal love cannot be a "using" of the other for natural ends:

[quote]At the same time the personalistic norm contained in the Gospel commandment to love points to the fundamental way to realize the ends, which in themselves are also natural to man, and to which -- as the preceding analysis has shown -- he is oriented by the sexual urge. Sexual morality and therefore conjugal morality consists of a stable and mature [i]synthesis of nature's purpose with the personalistic norm[/i]. If any one of the above-mentioned purposes of marriage is considered without reference to the personalistic norm -- that is to say, without taking into account of the fact that man and woman are persons -- this is bound to lead to some form of utilitarianism in the first or second meaning of the word "use". To regard procreation in this way leads to the rigorist distortion, which the "libidinistic" distortion is rooted in a similar attitude to the tertiary end of marriage -- [i]remedium concupiscentiae[/i].[/quote]

So basically his point is that, whereas licentious people elevate the unitive to the exclusion of the procreative, Christians had a tendency to elevate the procreative to the exclusion of the unitive. This is why the Church has reframed her argument, so that marriage is not seen as a "baby-making machine", but as a communion of two persons which is so powerful that it has the potential to create. That way, it's easier for a married couple not to look at themselves and say "Well, we have to focus on the procreative, and worry about the unitive after", but to look at the "language" of the body, and see it entirely as one expression of personal love which is always open to that primary natural end of procreation.

He goes on:

[quote]If there is an intimate co-operation between the man and the woman in a marriage, and if they are able to educate and complement each other, their love matures to the point at which it is the proper basis for a family. However, marriage is not identical with the family, and always remains above all an intimate bond between people.[/quote]

In other words, "marriage" is a Sacrament, but "procreation" is not. Procreation is the primary END of marriage, but not the meaning. This is where the Church has developed her teaching; not by denying the primary end of procreation, but by assuming it into a more personalistic theology, as I explained above. Edited by Era Might

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