June is the traditional time for weddings in the Church to take place. Married love has always been seen as an icon, a picture, which reflects the love that God has for humanity and also helps us understand the relationship that the Church, the bride, has with Christ, the bridegroom. In society today there have been successful attempts to move away from this understanding of marriage. What began in the 1960’s with the separation of procreative nature of marriage by the use of contraception, leads directly to the complete redefinition of marriage so it is no longer just between one man and one woman.
Fifty years ago Blessed Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” (on human life) where he restated the traditional teaching about Love and Marriage and the immoral use of contraception in marriage. Secular society promised many fantastic things with the advent of birth control – women would be more respected, there would be no unwanted children, poverty would be alimented and so forth.
However, Blessed Paul could see the falsehoods and warned against the use of contraception in marriage. He could see that marital infidelity would rise and there would be a lowering of moral standards of society. A man’s reverence for a woman would be destroyed. Power hungry governments may force contraception on a nation. (China’s one-child policy) Blessed Paul VI called all people to live lives based on the natural law and the divine law of love. Sadly his warning went unheeded even by the clergy and the lay faithful.
Blessings, Father Dooley
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT How do I understand married love? Does the use of contraception in marriage weaken love? Does the Church have a responsibility to proclaim hard truths about sex and marriage?