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.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Humanae vitae at 40

As the piece in The Tablet, to which Michael linked the other day, suggests, it appears that most "practising Catholics" "ignore" the Church's longstanding teaching on contraception and think that it should be "revised."  (In my own experience, it is not always entirely clear that Catholics who "ignore" the teaching have ever been challenged, encouraged, and helped to embrace it, but let's put that aside for a minute.)

As Jody Bottum discusses, here, it also appears that Pope Paul VI's predictions, regarding the social and cultural effects of the widespread practice of contraception, and the views, premises, and attitudes that would accompany this practice, have proved prescient.  Todd Zywicki considers these predictions, at the libertarianish Volokh Conspiracy, here.

So . . . what?  Should it matter -- and if so, how -- that most Catholics are not willing to act in accord with the teaching of the Catholic Church on this matter?  (Most of us fail to live in accord with teachings like "love thy neighbor", after all, but I don't think revision is in the offing.)  Should it matter -- and if so, how -- that the universal given-ness of contraception in our society has, arguably, had some negative social effects?


Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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