"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Humanae Vitae for priests

The following mass e-mail to priests from Fr. Thomas Euteneur, President of Human Life International, describes what needs to be done about the problem of contraception in the Church.

We are just five months away from the 40th anniversary of the papal encyclical on birth control, entitled Humanae Vitae, and I am writing to ask your assistance in a project that I hope will impact thousands of men responsible for this marvelous teaching—our priests and seminarians. The project is simple: to send to as many priests and seminarians as possible a new email newsletter that is dedicated to educating them on the teaching of this encyclical. In a moment, I will tell you how you can help me in this project, but first let me explain why this is important.

There are two complaints that I have heard in literally every one of the 50+ countries I have visited. Complaint one is that priests don't preach enough about abortion. That is painfully apparent to all of us. Complaint two is that they are almost totally silent about the issue of birth control as well. Some have described this as a "conspiracy of silence" in the face of one of the most important issues of our day.

Rome, thankfully, has not been silent on either one of these issues. Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI have been brilliant examples of preaching and teaching on the life issues. The problem comes down to the delivery of these teachings at the grass-roots level! It benefits the "average Catholic" very little if the pope writes a document on an issue of faith or morals only to have priests ignore it in their pastoral care of souls. This has been the de facto situation of our clergy for forty years on the issue of birth control, and it is not too strong to say that the teaching of Christ has been neutered by clerics who contracept its life-giving force!

Don't get me wrong. I am not judging this clerical contraception—I am condemning it! Priests who deprive their people of moral guidance on birth control dig their own graves. "My people perish for lack of knowledge," says the prophet Amos. Yes, and they also perish for the sins of contraception, which has apparently been adopted by the vast majority of Catholics—men, women and physicians—who see no contradiction whatsoever in contraception and the reception of Holy Communion.

HLI has never condemned this lack of clerical responsibility without at the same time offering a positive solution to it. We relentlessly supply bishops, priests, seminarians and religious all over the world with rock-solid information about the life issues, and in doing so, we know that we are helping to form the leaders of the Church Militant to fight the culture of death—and we will never relent in our mission!

In the lead up to the anniversary of Humanae Vitae on July 25th, HLI will publish a special e-newsletter for priests and seminarians dedicated exclusively to teaching them about Humanae Vitae. Here is what the e-newsletter will provide them:

* commentary on the cultural degradation that has been generated by contraception
* homily helps for preaching on birth control
* technical information about the abortifacient dimension of contraception
* resources for promoting natural family planning among your people
* feature-length articles exploring the beauty of Humanae Vitae
* straight-talk regarding priestly dissent on this issue and how it leads to loss of souls,
and finally
* a manifesto for priests to sign to demonstrate that we will never be silent about this issue!

This all sounds like an ambitious plan, I know, but their priestly souls are worth it aren't they?!

Now, here is how you can help us: send us the email addresses of priests and seminarians that you know so that we can invite them to receive this email newsletter. We already have a database of priests and seminarians who will receive this next week, but we want every present and future cleric to enjoy the benefit of this marvelous work.

All we ask is that you hit the REPLY button at the top of this email and send us the email addresses of any priests or seminarians you know. It is not necessary to include their names—just their email addresses. We will invite them to receive our new publication called Humanae Vitae Priests.

Help us take back our Church from the dissenters—it's time to hear the full teaching of our Church from the pulpit again!
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