On the question of contraception in marriage, Dr Frank Mobbs is in error, as with his assertion (August AD2000) that "total love of husband and wife is quite compatible with the use of contraceptives" and "in the majority of cases would involve no harm to anyone".
Also questionable is his claim that among married contracepting Anglican prelates and Orthodox priests he finds it "hard to believe they are defying God and that they do not love their wives" and "may be acting in harmony with the teaching of Humanae Vitae (October AD2000).
Dr Mobbs fails to quote what follows immediately after his quote: "If they further reflect, they must also recognize that an act of mutual love which impairs the capacity to transmit life which God the Creator, through specific laws, has built into it, frustrates His design which constitutes the norm of marriage, and contradicts the will of the Author of life. Hence to use this divine gift while depriving it, even if only partially, of its meaning and purpose, is equally repugnant to the nature of man and of woman, and is consequently in opposition to the plan of God and His holy will."
Humanae Vitae also teaches under "Unlawful Birth Control Methods" (14), that "Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong."
Such an attitude towards the Church's definitive teaching against contraception also overlooks the fact that after nearly 2,000 years of agreement, the Anglican capitulation to contraception in 1930 at the Lambeth Conference was followed in the same year by Pope Pius XI's encyclical Casti Connubii which condemned contraception.
Neither Anne Lastman's article on Humanae Vitae (November AD2000) nor the abridged text of Bishop Egan's statement in the same issue, refer to Casti Connubii, but the clear and definitive nature of this condemnation is worthy of recall.
The need is for the clear formation of youth in families, schools, parishes and Catholic media of these virtues and values so clearly taught by the Magisterium for virtuous family life, and for that to be re-emphasised by pastors.
PETER D. HOWARD