Moral failure

Moral failure

John Wynter

One aspect of Anne Lastman's powerful article (July AD2000) is the regrettable failure of many Catholics to heed the moral injunction of Humanae Vitae in relation to contraception. I suspect the view of moral judgment as being dependent on notions of benefit and harm (Dr Frank Mobbs, August AD2000) is a contributing factor in this failure.

Taking such a view, it is a short step to arrogate to oneself the competence to determine the moral law based on one's own perceptions of benefit and harm.

Of course, no one could really apply this approach for long in daily life, but it can provide a convenient rationale for rejecting the Church's moral teaching on contraception.

Is that teaching really so difficult to accept?

Dr Mobbs would not deny that there are times when telling the truth can lead to personal hardship. But that doesn't bring the morality of truthfulness into question. Neither should the self-denial required from time to time in accepting the Church's teaching on contraception.

As human beings, we don't prove our love by having things all our own way, neither do we grow very much. By rejecting contraception, spouses honour each other in the awesome God-given power that is theirs to bring new life into the world and, in that profound respect which they foster for each other as a woman and a man, they also honour everyone else.

Lockleys, SA

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