Thursday, November 16, 2006

Baltimore Catechesis and contraception

Most married Catholics -- a whopping 96% according to the estimate of United States Bishops -- use artificial birth control.

In other words, most married Catholics are in the state of mortal sin.

That is, if they know that contraception is a mortal sin.

But do they?

'Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper': On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist," is one of the documents issued by the US Bishops in Baltimore. The document states that any Catholic who "knowingly and obstinately" rejects "the defined doctrines of the church" or repudiates "definitive teaching on moral issues" would not be in communion with the church and therefore should not receive Communion.

In order to receive holy Communion we must be in communion with God and with the church," the document says. "If we are no longer in a state of grace because of mortal sin, we are seriously obliged to refrain from receiving holy Communion until we are reconciled with God and the church."

Examples of mortal sin:

Among examples of such sin, the document cites "committing murder, including abortion and euthanasia; harboring deliberate hatred of others; (and) sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult, or physical or verbal abuse of others that causes grave physical or psychological harm."

Other "serious violations of the law of love of God and of neighbor" listed in the document included swearing a false oath, missing Mass on Sundays or holy days without a serious reason, "acting in serious disobedience against proper authority," "sexual activity" outside the bonds of a valid marriage," stealing, slander or involvement with pornography.

Where's the mention of contraception?

Here's the thing. Until our bishops and their brother priests come down -- hard and publicly -- on the deliberate prevention of conceiving children, all the talk in the world about "respect for life" and "protection of marriage" isn't going to do squat.

Sources: CNS and the Boston Globe