Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is the Teaching of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae Taught and Practiced in the Church?

From Totus Tuus:

Fr. John A. Nariai (成相明人) of Humanae Vitae Research Institute (フマネ・ヴィテ 硏究會) in Japan gave a great speech at the Love, Life and Family Conference hosted in Daegu, Korea in 1998. The respectable Japanese father reported a quite deplorable reality of Catholic Church on the issue of contraception. His criticism on Catholic Church in Japan was also translated into Korean language.

Is the Teaching of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae Taught and Practiced in the Church? ?

"Now, Japan is not counted as one of the dissenting nations, however, in the statement of Japan Bishop's Conference of 1968, there is one too many "if." Listen carefully to the statement which I quote now: "If somebody, notwithstanding his good will to fulfill the directives of the encyclical Humanae Vitae, is unable to observe it in some matters because of objective and necessary circumstances, he should never think himself separated from the love of God...Rather we advise them to deepen their trust in God, and to participate fervently in the works of the Church and to receive the sacraments." Unquote. The words are open to a catastrophic interpretation of the worst kind. They could mean that those who think they must contracept are invited by the bishops to receive the Sacraments―confession and Holy Communion―without making a firm purpose of amendment. Are the bishops of Japan not seducing its people to sin? It looks like it. And that seems to be the practice for many in Japan. Martin Luther once gave this blasphemous advice; "Pecca fortiter, et confide fortius" (Sin bravely and trust even more strongly.) Regrettably our bishops in Japan acted like Luther. Japan's Catholic population is not growing at all. It is around 430 thousand since many years ago, and the seminaries are empty if I may exaggerate. Something drastic needs to be done. How can the Church in Japan expect God to give more baptisms and priestly vocations, while she is not fully faithful to the teachings of Humanae Vitae? She is only partially Catholic, if not heretic."

I cannot say that the situation of Church in Korea has been better than that of the Church in Japan. Although Catholic Bishops conference in Korea (CBCK) has occasionally made statements objecting abortion, the teaching of Humanae Vitae has been widely neglected and silenced. Actually, abortion and contraception has been very uncomfortable teachings for the most clergy in Korea and most Korean pastors let lays decide following whatever their own conscience tells them is right.

As a result of the pastoral neglect, Korean Catholics recorded almost the same rate of abortion as that of general population in Korea. According to Fr. Stephen Jae-Bong Jang's article that appeared on weekly bulletin of Pusan Archdiocese on May 27, 2007, 66% of Korean Catholic women have had abortions.

"Contraception facilitates the kind of relationships and even the kind of attitudes and moral characters that are likely to lead to abortion." - Professor Janet E. Smith, The Connection between Contraception and Abortion.

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