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Two errors in editorial on contraception


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:09:00 03/13/2010

Filed Under: Education

THE INQUIRER?S EDITORIAL OF March 5, titled ?Intolerance,? had two errors, and the first error is glaring.

The editorial stated that the Catholic teaching on contraception is ?only? a religious teaching. I?m sorry, but the Catholic hierarchy is not the only one that understands the immorality of contraception; the secular BBC also perceives it. And this provides 15 secular reasons to make the moral case against contraception. BBC?s Ethics Guide (http://www.bbc. co.uk/ethics/contraception/ against_1.shtml), which covers differing angles, argues that contraception prevents potential human beings from being conceived. And people who might benefit humanity will be included among these.

Aside from stressing that contraception leads to widespread immorality, the BBC also argues that contraception is unnatural. It explains that the natural consequence of sexual intercourse is conceiving a child, and contraception interferes with this natural purpose of sexual intercourse. For sure, one can glean from this sampling that there is nothing biblical nor magisterial in these arguments. Nothing religious, really, that a reasonable secular State cannot adopt.

The second error, hidden under the nuanced position taken by the editorial, is the false impression given when it said that Catholic teaching on the intrinsic evil of contraception ?took its present shape over 40 years ago, with ?Humanae Vitae.??

Of course, the theologically precise terminology can be dated quite recently, but let?s not forget that language is but the expression of ideas. And the idea on the evil of contraception took shape from the very beginning of the Catholic Church. We just have to read what Clement of Alexandria, an early Church Father, wrote around 191 AD: ?Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted.? And it is good for everyone to know that all the Christian denominations agreed with this idea?both secularly rational and theologically grounded?until 1930, the era when the dictatorship of relativism was imposing itself on the world.

?RAUL NIDOY,

ranidoy@gmail.com



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