It is heartwarming to read Father Tom Euteneuer's weekly Spirit and Life commentaries. As the president of Human Life International, Father travels the world spreading truth, embracing the reality of God's love for each human being and affirming the undeniable teachings that are the basis of Catholic doctrine. This week's commentary from Father is no exception. He is addressing a subject that is very near and dear to our hearts at American Life League, and I imagine, to the hearts of many faithful Catholics.
That is, of course, that in order to be totally pro-life, one must accept the connection between contraception and abortion and say so without hesitation.
As we know and have repeated many times over the past 29 years, Humanae Vitae's message is the core of our struggle to ending the culture of death not only in America, but in the world. Pope Paul VI's encyclical is profound, and the message cannot be repeated often enough, particularly in our age of rejecting God in favor of moral relativism. I think sometimes we fail to remember that even those in our midst who claim leadership roles can frequently, and with increasing bravado, claim to deny the fundamental facts as we know them. This is what we call moral relativism, and it is a cancer that has tragically attacked the body politic in America and in the Catholic Church in particular.
Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor, quotes a statement made by Pope Paul VI that is indicative of this sad but real problem:
Far be it from Christians to be led to embrace another opinion, as if the Council [Second Vatican Council] taught that nowadays some things are permitted which the Church had previously declared intrinsically evil. Who does not see in this the rise of a depraved "moral relativism," one that clearly endangers the Church's entire doctrinal heritage?
Depraved – a word that precisely fits the situation in 2008, and the reason why we are called to right this wrong with charity, with love, but most of all, with clarity of thought and word.
The problem is, particularly when dealing with the undeniable link between contraception and abortion, many Catholics in public life deny the intrinsic evil that is inherent in the practice of contraception. In addition, they obfuscate the reality by mouthing platitudes that appeal to the desires of the human being rather than the will of God. It is my firm conviction that this is perhaps a fundamental reason why the pro-life movement is stuck in neutral.
We have not accepted the responsibility we have to be ever-vigilant in sharing the facts and being unapologetic for what we know are basic principles that cannot logically be denied. And that, my friends, is a fact. Contraception leads to abortion; contraception creates a mindset that negates the value of children. Contraception is evil. It is, as is abortion, a direct offense against God.
It is for these reasons that I am so inspired to read the call Father Euteneuer is issuing to all of us as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae today (Friday, July 25, 2008):
This Friday is the 40th anniversary of this marvelous encyclical, and it deserves a special remembrance in our hearts and lives. Please join with us, spiritually, this Friday or the following week, in offering some prayer or tangible sacrifice in reparation for the many sins of the dissenters always keeping in mind that dissent never has the last word. The Truth always wins in the end!
Dissent from truth is, in essence, buying into a lie designed to placate consciences by refusing to recognize who we are as human beings and to Whom we owe our gratitude for being members of the human race. And when that dissent comes from those entrusted with feeding Christ's sheep, the result is always confusion, disbelief and alienation – which afflict so many people today, particularly those who call themselves Catholic but hardly know what that means.
This is what leads to the depravity referred to by Pope Paul VI. And the proper response from each of us is reparation: offering spiritual sacrifices to God in atonement for the sins of dissent. What better way to show our fidelity and love of truth than to offer our prayers and actions for those who have created the morass we are now wading through, even as I write? Let us praise God for the opportunity to offer Him these small but mighty gifts.
Praise God for truth, for justice and for the ability to correct error. I concur completely with Father Tom: Truth always wins in the end – nobody beats God!