It’s pretty interesting that our post from Fr. Sauppé continues to capture people’s interest and stir discussion in so many places. Today, a Missouri Synod Lutheran page linked to it, and nearly 1000 people came to read and discuss whether contraception is really at the heart of the mess. A few blog posts have spun off of it, too — not the least of which was this from an Evangelical Lutheran liturgy blog.
While the blog post is well done, on that page, I note this comment from Marcus Williams:
While I appreciated Rev. Matthew Harrison’s testimony to a table of congressional leaders it seemed troubling that he said “We are not opposed, in principal, to all forms of birth control” because in actuality our positioned is defined as “We hold no official position,” which to me the title should be “We are afraid to uphold God’s Word due to the fear of losing members so we take a seat at the table of indifference, with arms crossed.”
Things have changed since John Fritz’s 1932 publication “Pastoral Theology” printed by CPH where he says, in his heading “II. Arguments Against Birth Control” (point number one) “It is sinful.” It seems that if the Synod is not going to uphold God’s Word on this very important issue then the Pastor’s therein should be calling attention to the issue in such a way that they do not suggest that contraceptive measures are a bad thing and non-contraceptive measures are the better thing, but rather contraceptive measures are sinful and against God’s will and non-contraceptive measures and the bringing forth, and rearing of children, is God pleasing and listed among the chief works of women.
(!) It appears very similar to comments I’ve heard said of Catholic bishops and priests for most of my life. It’s sad. More surprising to me is to see this discussion among Lutherans, especially in regard to contraception. All I can say to Marcus, and the others struggling with the concept, is that the Fritz cite is correct in all Christian tradition. It has only been since the deliberate decision of the Lambeth conference in 1932 to change stance on this matter, and the subsequent changes in US laws in the late 60′s (made by none other than George Bush Sr.) that there has been mainstream acceptance of birth control (also called “magic” in early generations). The churches have allowed the world to tell them what God says doesn’t matter.
I’d like to cite again what I quoted from Fr. Hardon earlier this year:
The single most crucial need to stem this hemorrhage from the Catholic Faith is for the Church’s leaders to stand behind the Vicar of Christ in proclaiming the Church’s two millennia of teaching that no marital act can be separated from its God-given purpose to conceive and procreate a child.
I make bold to say that the Catholic Church, the real Roman Catholic Church, will survive only where her bishops are courageous enough to proclaim what the followers of Christ have believed since apostolic times. But the bishops are frail human beings. They need, Lord how they need, the backing and support of the faithful under their care.
It makes you feel like the crazy guy walking around with poster boards proclaiming that communists have taken over the phone company sometimes to repeat the truth of Humanae Vitae. Good thing we don’t mind feeling that way!
Also a thanks to Matt Abbott who called us “solidly Catholic.” We can’t think of anything we’d rather be — this is what we were founded to be in 1965! Thanks be to God!