Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The spectre of 1930 stalks the halls of moral theology

All is not well in the halls of moral theology (specifically, the Roman corridor). An Anglican genie, bottled up in 1930, has escaped and, via Amoris Laetitia, begun stalking the corridor. At least that is what this post seems to be saying :)


Andrei said...

When Eve gave Adam the "apple" in the garden of Eden paradise was lost and the relationships between men and women became fraught.

Today nearly sixty years after the introduction of "the pill", the "sexual revolution" that it engendered, healthy life giving relationships between men and women are becoming a rarity, replaced by all out war between the genders

In fact things are so fraught the the God Given institution of marriage has been replaced by a grotesque travesty called "gay marriage" where people marry within their own gender - non fecund unions based upon sexual gratification rather than family formation

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter; there are two main problems, as I see it. First, the notorious footnotes in chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia can be used to justify all departures from Roman doctrine as long as it feels right and you have a liberal priest. Secondly, in subverting Catholic doctrine (which was approved by his predecessor Popes) Francis has impaired his own authority. For example, if Francis can ignore JP2, why should Francis’s successors take any notice of him.


Anonymous said...

Lambeth 1930 resolutions on sex--


The Conference believes that the conditions of modern life call for a fresh statement from the Christian Church on the subject of sex. It declares that the functions of sex as a God-given factor in human life are essentially noble and creative. Responsibility in regard to their right use needs the greater emphasis in view of widespread laxity of thought and conduct in all these matters.


The Conference believes that in the exalted view of marriage taught by our Lord is to be found thesolution of the problems with which we are faced. His teaching is reinforced by certain elements which have found a new emphasis in modern life, particularly the sacredness of personality, themore equal partnership of men and women, and the biological importance of monogamy.


[On divorce]


[On sex education]


The Conference emphasises the truth that sexual instinct is a holy thing implanted by God in human nature. It acknowledges that intercourse between husband and wife as the consummation of marriage has a value of its own within that sacrament, and that thereby married love is enhanced and its character strengthened. Further, seeing that the primary purpose for which marriage exists is the procreation of children, it believes that this purpose as well as the paramount importance in married life of deliberate and thoughtful self-control should be the governing considerations in that intercourse.


The Conference affirms:
1. the duty of parenthood as the glory of married life;
2. the benefit of a family as a joy in itself, as a vital contribution to the nation's welfare, and as a means of character-building for both parents and children;
3. the privilege of discipline and sacrifice to this end.


Where there is clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, the method must be decided on Christian principles. The primary and obvious method is complete abstinence from intercourse (as far as may be necessary) in a life of discipline and self-control lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless in those cases where there is such a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence, the Conference agrees that other methods may be used, provided that this is done in the light of the same Christian principles. The Conference records its strong condemnation of the use of any methods of conception control from motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience.

* * * * *

These all make more sense in the context of the Conference's prior resolutions on the doctrine of God.


Anonymous said...

On Amoris Laetitia.

Scott Eric Alt--

Edward N. Peters--


Anonymous said...

Father [Ezra] Sullivan, who said the thinking of Father Chiodi and others “is in line” with the Anglicans’ resolution [at Lambeth 1930], pointed out that the Anglican bishops at that time “famously declared that married couples may use contraceptives, albeit only when they ‘clearly felt’ it was a ‘moral obligation. Couples, he added, “were to avoid all ‘motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience,’ of course.”

But he said this “defiance of traditional orthopraxy” was also an “attack on orthodoxy, for every principled change of practice necessarily entails a change in principles.”

"Essentially, Anglican bishops taught that feelings can determine morality, and that a graven image can adequately substitute for Catholic Tradition,” he added.

-- Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register

Perhaps Mr Pentin misunderstood Fr Sullivan? If not, Fr Sullivan misunderstood the resolutions.


Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Peter, I cannot help but wonder how many of your correspondents who hold conservative views on the Church's openness to same-sex relationship would, themselves, refuse to use contraceptives in their own heterosexual marital relationship?

My question is not to differentiate between Roman Catholic And Anglican canonical differences on this important matter; but rather, to question whether your conservative commentators regard sexual activity that denies the possibility of procreation is, in ALL cases, indefensible.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter and Bowman, if the genie came out of the bottle at Lambeth, Rome did a spectacularly bad job of binding it. The paragraph below would be more accurate if we removed Anglican and inserted Catholic.
“Essentially, Anglican bishops taught that feelings can determine morality, and that a graven image can adequately substitute for Catholic Tradition”. This finds perfection in Chapter 8 of AL.
Humanae Vitae did not have anywhere near universal approval when Blessed Paul VI issued it and it has been honoured in the breach since then. Blaming Lambeth is risible.


Jean said...

Oh dear that 1930’s resolution sounds positively scandulous.... : ) ...

But the thing is... regardless of the Catholic stance in the matter a.k.a. The rules... On the ground most Catholic I know my age (and older) either use or used contraceptive or were/are incredibly restrained. So the discrepancy between rule and practice. It would be like having a rule against SSB and nobody in the Church taking any notice.... : )

I wish I could agree with you about the quality of marriage and the introduction of contraception Glen but not entirely I am afraid. Firstly, many women stayed in pretty abusive situations simply because they had no other economic alternative. I remember my Grandmother’s best friend who lived next door. She was so miserable that when her husband passed away at a good age, and she was a) forced to move b) broke two quite major bones which limited her health considerably, called this period of 2-3 years before she also passed on the happiest in her life. Now that is sad. Also, some marriage relationships are actually healthier in some aspects, in marriages that work
; ) .. often the Father is way more involved in the childcare than in times past resulting in better relationships.

The ‘free sex’ of the 60’s for sure and contraception made this more possible with fewer consequence, and walking away from a marriage is perhaps done too ‘easily’, however, contraception has also made some more humane and good things possible. Sometimes technology be it medical or otherwise is neither good nor evil option but it is how it is applied or why used that makes it one or the other.

The theological stance on contraception and the related idea of God having the ultimate say whether a couple is gifted with a child... I will let Peter address that : ) ...

Andrei said...

". Firstly, many women stayed in pretty abusive situations simply because they had no other economic alternative..." - this is a feminist narrative, Godless Marxism in disguise

Jean God in his wisdom create two genders - "male and female he created them"

The Bible tells us that God intends for men and women to be united as "one flesh" while human history, literature, the Bible itself and our own personal experiences reveal that in this fallen world we fall short of God's intentions for us in this regard, which allows for that feminist narrative to ring true and for you to produce anecdotes from your own observations to support it

We know from history that Tsar Nikolai II and his consort Alexandra Feodorovna came close to the ideal whilst the lamentable George IV of England treated his wife appallingly

But it cuts the other way Isabella of France consort to Edward II of England betrayed her husband who by legend was murdered by having a red hot poker inserted in his anus.

All this tells us that people have to negotiate life in a fallen world and some manage it better than others.

And perhaps that those that do manage it well are people who look to the Church and its teachings for their guiding principles - who knows, it holds for the last Tsar and his Tsarina...

But I'll tell you this I raised four children with my wife and that is the most important thing in my life...

And I'll tell you something else marriage breakups when there are children involved result in one or both of the parties involved reduced to poverty, usually the man and great harm to the children

What might seem like a mercy, easy divorce, is not a mercy at all.

Jean said...

Hey Andrei thanks for your comment, I am one of those children so I know the damage done in the break down of relationships. However, the economic imperative is true. My mother could not receive a benefit before I was born, that was only to be collected by the male household member. With no money and and a husband often absent who collected and spent any money received, her best alternative in order to care for her children was to return home. Your children are blessed to be the most important thing in your life. It was a feminist agenda or narrative it was practical reality that dictated the action.