Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Contraception: The Problem?

I've got a question that I'd like the posters and readers of this blog to comment upon.

I know a good number of people who are passionate and excited about JPII's Theology of the Body and Christopher West's "popularization" thereof, and in many ways, I share that passion. But there's one particular argument which is attributed to Chris West (I cannot say I've personally heard it from him myself, and hence "attributed to") that peaks my curiosity...

In brief, the argument is that contraception, by virtue of what it is, "stops up" the flow of grace in a marriage; that is, it prevents the full graces of matrimony from freely flowing, and hence inhibits the growth in holiness of the couple and -- indirectly -- their family. Relatedly, the selfishness intrinsic to contraception "boils over" to other areas of life, and prevents each person from freely giving themselves to one another and others, in innumerable ways. To focus upon one of those ways, the contracepting person is unable to give their assent of faith to the Church. In other words, their contraception intensifies their disobedience to the Magisterium.

The conclusion that is drawn is that contraception is essentially the primary obstacle to the full flowering of the Catholic faith among the faithful, and therefore the primary duty in catechetical activity and indeed ministry in general must be help the faithful see and understand the truth of human sexuality, that is, the theology of the body (although TOTB is broader than sexuality).

What do you think? Is contraception among the faithful the primary obstacle to the faith in our time? In my case, I see the logic of the argument, but I'm not completely convinced that it is the case. But because I do see its plausibility, I'm wondering what the take of posters and readers here is.
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