LETTER: Editorial got it wrong on Catholic church and contraception
Your editorial (Feb. 12, “Contraception and conscience") noted that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church led the opposition to the Obama administration’s “plan to require religiously affiliated employers to provide birth control coverage to workers.”
The editorial followed with, “The flock, however, long ago abandoned church teachings on this question, adopting contraception as an indispensable necessity of modern life.” And, it cited an often repeated claim that “98 percent of Catholic women who have had sex have used contraception.”
The use of 98 percent as the number to describe Catholic women who have had sex have used contraception is patently false.
According to LifeSiteNews.com, the claim “has touched off a firestorm of controversy, with some contending that the statistic is not only irrelevant to the legitimacy of the HHS birth control mandate, but also grossly inaccurate. Critics of the statistic point out that the study on which it is based was conducted by the research organization founded by Planned Parenthood, and that the study was explicitly designed to include only women who were most likely to use contraception – and excluded those most likely to follow Catholic teaching on the issue.”
And, the Washington Post’s Glen Kessler stated that” while the study says that 98 percent of ‘sexually experienced Catholic women’ have ‘ever used a contraceptive method other than natural planning,’ the data shown in the report does not actually back up that claim.”
Your editorial went on to say that, “The national stage of a presidential election provided a very large megaphone for official Church doctrine. Still, we can’t help but return to that fact about the use of contraception by Catholic women.”
And it further stated that “Catholic institutions all across the nation already were complying with remarkably similar mandates in 28 states for contraceptive insurance coverage.”
The moral teachings of the Catholic Church are not dependent on the actions of its members (“the flock”) or by institutions complying with state mandates under duress.
The magisterium is the Church’s teaching authority vested in the bishops as successors of the Apostles, under the Roman Pontiff as successor of St. Peter (the first pope). Continued...
The Catholic Church teaches that, “The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).”
One way the birth control pill works is interference with the uterine lining, which causes it to thin, whereby the embryonic child cannot attach to the wall of the uterus and thereby dies. If this occurs, it is a chemical abortion.
Natural Family Planning is supported by the Catholic Church. Contraception is not supported by the Church and is considered immoral.
Catholic women have to understand what the Church teaches. And regardless of whether they decide to use their free will to obey that teaching or reject it, Catholic Church teaching is still Catholic Church teaching.
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