50 years after Humanae Vitae, the pill and abortion still stir ferment

Crux | 2/4/2018 | Staff
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LOS ANGELES - With the passing of Germain Grisez on Thursday, Catholicism has lost not only one of the most original theologians and ethicists of the last half-century, but one of the towering protagonists in what might be called the Church’s “wars of culture” over that span of time.

Through the prism of his reworking of Thomas Aquinas’s take on natural law theory, Grisez became one of the most outspoken and forceful defenders of traditional views on contested matters in sexual morality, such as birth control and abortion. The ongoing relevance of both of those debates is reflected in new ferment that surrounds each, although admittedly cutting in somewhat different directions.

Year - Humanae - Vitae - Pope - Paul

In this 50th anniversary year of Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s bombshell 1968 encyclical upholding the traditional Catholic ban on artificial birth control, there are clear signs the Catholic right fears Pope Francis is on the brink of eviscerating that teaching from the inside out.

Earlier this week, the respected longtime Italian Vatican writer Sandro Magister published a piece titled “Goodbye, Humanae Vitae,” which argues that the encyclical is being subjected to a “radical reinterpretation” under Francis, a “paradigm shift,” in which its teaching is no longer really absolute, because the message is that there are situations in which a path of discernment might legitimately lead a couple to make a different choice.

Bits - Data - Magister - Fact - Theologian

Among other bits of data, Magister cites the fact that an Italian theologian recently appointed by Francis to the Pontifical Academy for Life, Father Maurizio Chiodi, was given a platform to speak at a conference at the Jesuit-run Gregorian University in Rome, and that his position was commented on positively by Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference.

In a nutshell, Chiodi holds that natural family planning is not the only option for couples wishing to practice responsible procreation,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Crux
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