Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Pope Paul VI's Case Against Contraception


Underneath embattled Kyiv, babies born to foreign parents via surrogate shelter in a basement

You may have read this unexpected news coming out of Ukraine. It's very sad. You feel for the new-born and helpless babies and the nannies taking care of them. It's essentially a babies production factory that was being moved to safety. As I reflected on this story, I thought of Pope Paul VI. Once again, it just proved how prophetic his encyclical Humanae Vitae (HV) was.

HV, published in 1968, is the classic teaching of the Church against contraception. Whether the topic is contraception or surrogacy, the bottom line issue is the same: Who controls life, man or God? With surrogacy, the answer, immoral and wrong as it is, is clear: man. According to the news report, the rich people in Italy, China, Canada, etc. wanted to have babies. They had money; the surrogate mothers in Ukraine needed money. So, they paid $17,500 to $25,000 to "buy and manufacture" the lives they wanted. They had the control over life, or at least they believed they did. They wanted it; they got it - using their money. And that's how much a life was worth: $17,500 to $25,000. In the world of surrogacy, life is something money can buy. It's been downgraded to become a merchandise, an object obtainable and disposable according to human wish. It has no dignity that the sacredness of life is endowed with by nature.

That's surrogacy. The same underlying principle is also violated in contraception. The couple gets to decide whether they want life or not. Use contraception if they just want the fun of the marital act. No contraception if what they want includes a baby. They resort to every means available to science and human intelligence: condom, contraceptive pills, sterilization, etc., with no regards to the dignity of the human body which has its natural system of life that is designed, created, and controlled by God.

Pope Paul VI understood that contraception crossed the fine line of man taking - or attempting to take - control of life, which is a sacred role that only God can play. He opposed contraception because he knew it was a violation of this basic principle (which is also the very first sin committed by Adam and Eve - eating the forbidden fruit because they wanted to be "like gods who know what is good and what is bad" (Genesis 3:5)). When the role of creating life is taken over by man, the creature, the dignity and sacredness of life is bound to be violated. Once this basic principle is forfeited, then other immoral practices that also violate the same principle will follow. Surrogacy, abortion, suicide, euthanasia, you name it. 

Pope Paul VI is truly a prophet in this regard.

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