[Continuation of last week's blog]
Our concern then is how can the contraceptive mentality be overcome? The answer is not easy, to say the least. We feel that the Magisterium has addressed this issue and has emerged with a solid stance via Humanae Vitae.
- The Problem: many Catholics do not realize or believe that they have a need for a natural method of family planning.
- The Symptoms: evidenced by the incorrect attitude espoused by the child-bearing Catholics who feel that they have a “right” to practice child-spacing by whatever means they feel is best.
- The Reasons: First, the misuse of the “freedom of conscience” philosophy by many of the clergy and laity; Second, the incorrect assumption by some that the Church’s teachings on contraception will be changed sooner or later.
- Contributing Factors: Non-recognition of the problem by the grass roots level of the Church, unintentionally fostering the contraceptive mentality in two ways: First, by contributing to the belief by Catholics that through benign acceptance the grass roots level of the Church condones contraception; Second, by ignoring the issue, creating a void quickly filled with incorrect theology whose acceptance has spread and intensified into overwhelming proportions of today. The result is that Catholics have been unintentionally miseducated at almost every juncture on means of family planning.
It is our hope that at the conclusion of the Decade of the Family in 1990, we all may feel proud and satisfied with the gains made in improving this situation.
Thank you for the opportunity to present this concern to you.
John and Cathy Bloodworth, Chaircouple
Natural Family Planning Association of KY (1979)
(By John and Cathy Bloodworth in consultation with Rev. Joseph F. Hayden of the Archdiocese of Louisville)
PS: An update: Is there something “artificial” about natural family planning? See John’s response to Cardinal Walter Kasper at Homiletic & Pastoral Review.