Integrity of marriage lost out in 1960s

Archbishop O’Brien’s column, “Marriage Crossroads” (CR, Feb. 17), was excellent and made sense to me. He gave all the right arguments for maintaining the law that marriage is God’s design and is the union of a man and a woman capable of creating children. This column is an excellent complement to his earlier columns defending the teachings on marriage found in Humanae Vitae. It begs the questions: “How did we get to this point? Did anyone see this coming?”

Alas, the opening was created 43 years ago when the Catholic Church position against artificial birth control, reconfirmed in the encyclical Humanae Vitae, was widely rejected by the majority of American Catholic clergy and laity. We lost the only real argument against same-sex marriage right then. When American Catholics opted for widespread use of artificial contraception, the link between sex and procreation was severed. The culture then argued that if sex without openness to children is OK, then why should marriage and sex be constrained to a man and a woman? The push for same-sex marriage was an inevitable consequence of the rejection of Humanae Vitae and the widespread use of artificial contraception in our culture. It is going to get worse. So what do we do now? Be a witness to the misguided culture by living out an authentic Catholic, pro-life view of marriage without artificial contraception.

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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.