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Moral failure

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 Contents - Oct 2013AD2000 October 2013 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Postscript on the Australian elections - Peter Westmore
Pope Francis to consecrate world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World
Frassati Australia and the New Evangelisation - Fr Paul Chandler
OSCE Conference: The new face of religious intolerance - Bishop Mario Toso
The Catholic Church is holy, despite its members' sins - Audrey English
Interview: Why science needs faith - Professor Dominique Lambert
The priesthood and the Catholic faith - Fr John O'Neill PP
Church of Divine Mercy in Singapore: an amazing discovery - Kazimierz Kozlowski
Blessed Jacinta Marto: heroine of Fatima - Cedric Wright
Letters: Dr Mobbs replies ... - Frank Mobbs
Letters: Exaggeration? - Noel Keith Roberts
Letters: Humanae Vitae - Ron Graham
Letters: Moral failure - John Wynter
Letters: Harmful effects - Richard Grant, Willie Chenhall, Maryse Usher
Letters: Creator's plan - Clare Ryan
Letters: Culture of life needed - Fr Bernard McGrath
Letters: Anti-religious bigotry - Peter Kamsma
Events: Spiritual Exercises in Bowral, December 2013
Books: A Book of Saints and Heroes, Heroines, by Joanna Bogle - Val Prendergast (reviewer)
Books: COURAGE AND CONVICTION, by Joanna Bogle - Peter Westmore (reviewer)
Books: ON THE LEFT BANK OF THE TIBER, by Fr Gerald O'Collins SJ - Frank Mobbs
Books: THE FREEDOM OF LOVE, by Rafael de Santiago - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Support: Launch of 2013 Fighting Fund - Peter Westmore
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Bishop Fisher: Young Catholics must be Christ in the world - Bishop Anthony Fisher

One aspect of Anne Lastman's powerful article (July AD2000) is the regrettable failure of many Catholics to heed the moral injunction of Humanae Vitae in relation to contraception. I suspect the view of moral judgment as being dependent on notions of benefit and harm (Dr Frank Mobbs, August AD2000) is a contributing factor in this failure.

Taking such a view, it is a short step to arrogate to oneself the competence to determine the moral law based on one's own perceptions of benefit and harm.

Of course, no one could really apply this approach for long in daily life, but it can provide a convenient rationale for rejecting the Church's moral teaching on contraception.

Is that teaching really so difficult to accept?

Dr Mobbs would not deny that there are times when telling the truth can lead to personal hardship. But that doesn't bring the morality of truthfulness into question. Neither should the self-denial required from time to time in accepting the Church's teaching on contraception.

As human beings, we don't prove our love by having things all our own way, neither do we grow very much. By rejecting contraception, spouses honour each other in the awesome God-given power that is theirs to bring new life into the world and, in that profound respect which they foster for each other as a woman and a man, they also honour everyone else.

Lockleys, SA

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 26 No 9 (October 2013), p. 14

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