Do I look amused by this nonsense? Lombardi on HV Dissenters.

It does not touch – in anyway – the true question at the center of ‘Humanae Vitae’, which is the connection between spouses’ human and spiritual relationship and the exercise of their sexuality as an expression of it and its fruitfulness.

In the entire letter,” he said, “the word ‘love’ does not appear once.

“He” is Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson. “It” is a protest letter published in Corriere della Sera by various disparate dissenting groups such as Catholics for Choice and We are Church. You can read about it here. A more damning assessment would be hard to imagine.

The dissenters’ letter used the old chestnut that the church’s ban on artificial contraception had “catastrophic effects on the poor and the weak throughout the world, placing in danger the lives of women and exposing millions of people to the risk of contracting HIV.” This, said Fr Lombardi quite simply, “is demonstrably unfounded.”

Finally, regarding the appearance of the letter in the Italian magazine as a commercial advertisment, he ended with the question: “One also could ask who paid for it and why.”

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0 Responses to Do I look amused by this nonsense? Lombardi on HV Dissenters.

  1. Past Elder says:

    What a celibate who wouldn’t even have the faintest idea of what even sharing planning meals and shopping for groceries with a woman has to say about sharing a sexual life and having a family with a woman contributes is entirely unclear. Or maybe it’s quite clear — nothing. Once again, his only claim is Rome, Rome, Rome.

    Why don’t these guys ever say something like this. The primary issue in artificial contraception, as argued by its advocates, is control. The right of a woman to control her own body. Which here specifically means the control over whether sexual intercourse can result in pregnancy or not. For the male, the answer is always no — a male will never become pregnant as a result of having sexual intercourse, whereas a woman can. So what is characteristically female is devalued and what is male elevated to the only thing of value, the ability to engage in sexual intercourse with no thought of becoming pregnant. This elevation of what is male goes entirely unsuspected, freedom being defined as the ability to function as a male does, not unlike other aspects of “freedom” which are put forth as the good so far available only to males but now through liberation available to both. In fact though, it elevates maleness as the only standard ever as much as their opponents, not only thereby devaluing what is female but ignoring for males and females alike in the quest for “freedom” and “choice” the responsibilities that are part of maleness.

  2. Christine says:

    What a celibate who wouldn’t even have the faintest idea of what even sharing planning meals and shopping for groceries with a woman has to say about sharing a sexual life and having a family with a woman contributes is entirely unclear. Or maybe it’s quite clear — nothing. Once again, his only claim is Rome, Rome, Rome.

    Hmmmm. Unless one wants to accept the nonsense of the DaVinci Code, the same could be said of our Lord. He wasn’t married either.

    After the great and glorious expectation of the ’60’s we are now finding out about how harmful chemical contraceptions can be to a woman’s far more complex reproductive system. So much for
    “liberation”. Pay some close attention to all the things that can go wrong in those chemical contraceptive ads on TV.

    My own mother was told that hormonal therapy to relieve the symptoms of menopaus would be very beneficial — until she developed uterine cancer.

    Pardon me if I don’t always trust the medical establishment. And of course for those babies who are aborted when contraception fails, well — they never have a choice in the matter.

  3. Past Elder says:

    Judas with onion rings, I know Rome says you can’t think or read for yourself, but does that mean you can’t read or think at all?

    Did I say anything against the message of HV? No.

    Jesus had a few more things going for him besides not being married. Oh I forgot. Rome is Jesus. Rome is god.

    St Paul expressed to Timothy that how can a man be trusted to manage the family of God who cannot mannage his own family.

    When I was finishing my dissertation, I often though I can see why the original academics were celibate clerics (well, unmarried anyway, celibate being another matter) as it would be nearly impossible to do justice to a wife and/or kids with all this.

    But doctoral students do it all the time, and hold jobs too. Yes one can argue that celibacy frees the celibate to exclusively focus on whatever. It does. But just like with the Exposition thing on a previous post, reasonable human argument wins over what God has actually said.

    Take and eat, not stand back and adore. One can assemble all kinds of pious human arguments for standing back and adoring, but the fact remains, he didn’t say that, he said take and eat. One can assemble all kinds of pious arguments for celibacy, but the fact remains, he didn’t say that, and neither did Paul though he did it himself. So human wisdom replaces the Word of God once again for Rome.

    To the extent one stands back and adores, one does not take and eat. To the extent one mandates celibacy, one does not manage either one’s own or God’s family well.

    And to the extent that Rome listens to human wisdom rather than the wisdom of God, it compromises even what it gets right, as well as promotes what it gets wrong.

    Unless of course Rome is god, above all else and the arbiter of all else — precisely where Rome places its Imperial religion loosely based on the religion of Christ.

  4. Mike says:

    Bloody hell, some proddy arguments are tiresome and weak. They just keep coming back!

    Christ didn’t say “Take and Eat, Not Stand Back and Adore”. He just said “take and eat”. We do that. That last part of the couplet is your own. It’s your own “human wisdom” as much as anything in the Catholic Church is. Well, it’s human anyway. I’m not sure about wisdom.

    Christ didn’t actually say “Worship Me” or “Pray to Me every day” either. But once we knew He was God, it didn’t take a genius – or a prophet – to put it all together.

    No, if it comes down to “Human wisdom” or “Human bloody idiodicy” I’ll take the former.

  5. Schütz says:

    Well said, Mike.

    PE, are you telling me you are actually a proponent of artificial birth control? I agree with you that the issue is indeed “control” (as in “I want control over my own – and my partner’s – body” and “I don’t want God to have control in this intimate area of my life”), but I think you read it quite wrong. It is as much in the interest of the male of the species to be able to prevent each and any women he has sex with (including his wife) from having babies. And all the evidence appears to show that contraceptive sex leads to the objectification of woman – such that she is hardly left in “control”. In fact one could say that since “1968 and all that” everything in this arena has been spiralling OUT of control!

  6. Past Elder says:

    After all these years, it should no longer surprise me that in a Catholic context, if one says something other than the party line from the politburo in Rome, it will not be understood and often simply will not be heard.

    No, I am not a proponent of artificial birth control, nor did I say Jesus said “Take and eat, do not stand back and adore”.

    Re the former, the point was, there are other arguments against artificial birth control that one never hears from Rome, which I think is attributable to their having exempted themselves from normal human living with mandatory celibacy, which in turn compounds the rejection by those who do not so exempt themselves. The short form is, male biology allows the male to engage in sex with no thought to pregnancy, however, that does not mean he should ignore pregnancy, and a control which artifically allows the female to engage in the same neglect possible for the male is no control at all and will lead to the spiralling out of control you mention with both sexes able to engage in the same neglect biologically possible to the male.

    Re the latter, even if it were possible to devise out of human thought other uses for the Eucharist than those for which Christ instituted it, why would one do that? He said take and eat. That’s what it’s for, that’s all it’s for — not in a reductive sense, because indeed who would not but faint for joy at the thought of such a Saviour, if I may be allowed an indirect quote from Luther. One does not take and eat by standing back and adoring. It’s like getting a gift and parading around with it unopened thinking this somehow honours the giver, who wants you to open it and enjoy, not carry on like this.

  7. Schütz says:

    Glad that at least we see eye to eye on the contraceptive “control” thing, PE.

    Re the Eucharist (how did that get into this conversation?), adoration is hardly a “use” of the Eucharist. It seems pretty odd to talk about “using” the Blessed Sacrament anyway. It has a purpose, but not a “use”. Its purpose (like all the sacraments) is to bring us into communion/fellowship with the Holy Trinity. The sacramental action is indeed “taking, blessing, giving, eating/drinking”. No-one is saying anything about “standing back and adoring” as a “use” for the Blessed Sacrament. One is simply saying that if the sacrament is present, because it is Christ, only an Arian heretic would fail to adore it (as Luther himself said). There may indeed be times when it is right and proper to “stand back and adore” – esp. if one is not rightly prepared to receive the sacrament (another notion common to Catholicism and Lutheranism). And from a Catholic point of view, every opportunity for adoring the reserved Blessed Sacrament (whether exposed or not) is a call NOT to stand back, but to COME and take and eat etc. Eucharistic adoration is a part of the Lord’s invitation to “Do this”. Thus, adoration is also an invitation to fellowship/communion with the Lord. The Protestant objection arises from understanding Adoration as a separate “use” from that purpose for which Christ instituted the sacrament in the first place.

  8. Past Elder says:

    There is no end to Roman word play. Call it use, purpose, whatever. The Eucharist is more than you say, or rather, it is what you say but in a way proper to it as distinguished from the other sacrament(s).

    What manifest nonsense to say this is part of “Do this” when it is no part of the “this” he said to do.

    Of course one has reverence for the elements during the Eucharist.

    But to invent times when there is no taking and eating and claim it has anything to do with taking and eating is, well, Catholic!

  9. Schütz says:

    Deary me, old chap “reverence for the elements of the Eucharist”? Luther would turn in his grave. It’s the Body and Blood of Jesus our Lord, for goodness sake, and a confessional Lutheran would not regard the “elements” as otherwise. And I think I have pointed out that the Church never consecrates the sacrament without the intention that every last crumb and drop will be consumed. How we regard it in between the time it is consecrated and the time it is consumed is completely in accord with what the sacrament is: namely, our Lord Jesus Christ!

    “Inventing times when there is no taking and eating”? A pedant would be able to argue that, in reserving the sacrament to be taken to the sick, one is doing something that Christ did not command us to do. And yet the Church (the whole Church – not just the Roman Church) of all history has done this.

    The bottom line, old boy, is whether or not the consecrated elements are or are not the very Body and Blood of Christ or not. If they are, then you are under complusion to adore the sacred species. If they are not, you must not under any circumstances do so. But it is you who are “inventing times” – times when you should adore (eg. during the liturgy itself) and times when you should not. On what basis? It is what it is, and it doesn’t change just because most of the congregation go home after the concluding blessing.

  10. Christine says:

    David, there’s a bit of disagreement on this issue among Lutherans. In the Lutheran churches I attended it was pretty much “receptionist” — the Body and Blood are present as long as there are communicants. Once the service is over, the Body and Blood no longer remain. So one can throw out those little plastic cups with the leftover “wine”.

    Of course, this is not the teaching of this historic catholic Church, East and West. As a wise Catholic cleric once observed, “God doesn’t take back his gifts.”

  11. Christine says:

    On the other hand, LCMS and ELCA Lutherans here in Northeast Ohio contribute articles to the local Lutheran Messenger and join together in charitable work.

    A German-speaking LCMS pastor even celebrates common prayer with a German-speaking Catholic priest at events held by the local Donau Schwaben organization. And boy do those ladies know how to cook!

  12. Past Elder says:

    Judas in an arcade.

    Do you really think Exposition is just how we regard it between consecration and consumption — it just happens, some was left out, someone walks by and says “Holy crap, there he is, call everyone to come regard it”. It’s a deliberate event, apart from Communion, for God’s sake. Did he say, take and eat, well some of it, and save some for later so you can adore it until then.

    As Christine points out, not all Lutherans, by which I mean confessional ones, agree on the continuing presence. Some pastors take consercrated communion to the sick, some take the elements and consecrate them there. Some say the presence is given for that for which it is given, the eating and drinking, all of piece, and does not exist apart from that use — which is not a commercial term as you bloody well know, your own blog uses the term similarly with reference to Anglican Use. Others say there is no shelf life, so to speak, and the presence endures, which in turn leads to whether to comsume all of what was consecrated or not.

    I have no opinion either way. And either way, what one does not do is hold services where what is given to be eaten and drunk is not eaten and drunk.

    There are absolutely not times to adore and times to not adore. That is a typically Roman obfuscation of the whole point. What there are not, is times invented to adore. Nor did he say take, adore, and eat.

    Why is it so difficult for the Roman Church to just do what he says without trying to do him one better?

  13. Schütz says:

    “Some say… Others say…”

    And what do you say, PE?

    I have no opinion either way.

    a) that is a cop out. What if Peter had said that?

    b) if in fact you did think that the reserved sacrament was Jesus body, you would then understand why we adore it.

  14. Louise says:

    David, I’ve said it before; you have the fortitude of a Saint.

  15. Past Elder says:

    What you have is the circumlocution of a Roman.

    What I have to say is I do not side with either and I side with none on the matter, as in either and all cases no room for a use of the Eucharist apart from the one instituted by Christ is open to consideration, and that is the question.

    For those who reserve the Sacrament, it is not for adoration but consumption, take and eat.

    And in no wise is it seen as having any part of taking and eating until it is taken and eaten, not put in a monstrance and adored. That’s why those who do it call it reservation.

    What if? How about what did? What did Peter say about Exposition? Nothing. He did not complicate Take and Eat. He learned his lesson about augmenting God’s observances with his own at the washing of the feet.

    Judas at the mall.

  16. Christine says:

    As Christine points out, not all Lutherans, by which I mean confessional ones, agree on the continuing presence.

    And, it seems to me, that’s a pretty significant sticking point.

    And a very Protestant one.

    If the Presence does remain (and I believe it does) there simply is no excuse for chucking those little plastic cups into the garbage if the Blood remains in them.

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