Contraceptives and the Catholic Church

[email protected]

I am writing in response to the recent cartoon and article, discussing the Pope John Paul VI encyclical, Humanae Vitae and the so-called “need” for the Church to change her view on the issue of artificial birth control. I would first like to establish that I do not believe in premarital sex, but since that issue is not being addressed I will argue against contraceptives within premarital and/or marital sex. In 1968 Pope John Paul VI issued the encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which states that practicing Catholics must not exercise the use of artificial birth control, such as condoms, the pill, diaphragms, and others. Now, I know that this is an extremely controversial subject and in no way am I judging those who use birth control for medical reasons, but as a practicing Catholic I have come to understand why it is wrong to use it for personal pleasure before marriage. Pope Paul VI predicted all the problems that would exist if birth control became widespread and his predictions were right! We now have increased adultery, divorce, wife and child abuse, premarital sex, abortion, venereal disease and illegitimate births. The Catholic Church has been around for over 2,000 years; who are we to not accept its truths? It has survived the Protestant Reformation, two World Wars, and recently the corruption of many bishops and priests and yet still stands strong. What have we survived; we haven’t even finished college? I read a quote in my theology book last week stating that “Truth is not subject to the changing tides of roaring opinion.” Maybe we as a younger generation should listen to this, rather than thinking and writing about our “superiority” over the Church. Just because we live in a nation where sex sells and sexual intercourse occurs about as often as going to the bathroom doesn’t mean the Church must conform. In fact, the problem is that we feel guilty for the actions we commit, and when we turn to the church for a consoling hand, yet not receive it; we get mad and blame her. As young ambitious students we need to pick our battles. Why not fight to end hunger or to stop the killing of innocent unborn babies, rather than to satisfy our selfish desires? We have been given so many opportunities and we as a generation have the power to change the world. So we come back to Humanae Vitae, the encyclical that was written 30 years ago and angers so many Catholics today. Because this issue is so controversial and important it cannot really be covered in a letter to the editor. I invite readers to educate themselves on this important doctrine of our faith. I highly recommend a pastoral letter written by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver that explains it more on our level. Please go to, go to the bottom to “Archbishop Chaput”, then to “Pastoral Letters” and then to “Of Human Life”. Another great source is the book “Good News about Sex & Marriage” by Christopher West.