Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Human Development and Humanae Vitae

A couple of weeks ago, Eduardo posted the disturbing results on Human Development in the U.S.  The authors of the report stated:  “The report shows that although America is one of the richest nations in the world, it is woefully behind when it comes to providing opportunity and choices to all Americans to build a better life.”

There are many contributing factors, I suspect, to a person’s or a group’s lack of thriving.  One cause, predicted by Pope Paul VI forty years ago last week (Michael P., Rick, and Fr. Araujo have each posted on this anniversary), is the widespread acceptance and use of contraceptives.  Mary Eberstadt lays this out in her article, “The Vindication of Humanae Vitae, in the September 2008 First Things.

Paul VI warned that widespread acceptance of artificial contraception would result in four trends, as Eberstadt reminds us:  “a general lowering of moral standards throughout society, a rise in infidelity, a lessening of respect for women by men, and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments.”

Eberstadt writes:  “Four decades later, not only have the document’s signature predictions been ratified in empirical force, but they have been ratified as few predictions are:  in ways its authors could not possibly have foreseen, including by information that did not exist when the document was written, by scholars and others with no interest whatever in [the Church’s] teaching, and indeed by many proud public adversaries of the Church.”  She then lays out the evidence, which I encourage you to read here for free.

The other day, I read the obituaries of a 21 year old male with three children bearing two different last names and an unrelated 17 year old with six siblings carrying four different last names.  (May they rest in peace).  As I read, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a connection between the lack of human development (flourishing), the predictions of Paul VI concerning the widespread acceptence of contraceptives, and the complicated family situations of so many people, including these two young people. 


Scaperlanda, Mike | Permalink

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