While personally admiring of some principles of libertarianism, I’ve tended to think of libertarians as the partisans of employed, healthy, childless, college educated people. That said, America’s current political climate has had me rethinking my priorities for what should be done now.
“Do not say that you are interested in money for the sake of the poor, for two mites were sufficient to purchase the kingdom of heaven (cf. Luke 21:2).”
“The pretext of almsgiving is the start of avarice, and the finish is detestation of the poor. The collector is stirred by charity, but, when the money is in, the grip tightens.”
“A man who has embraced poverty offers up prayer that is pure, while a man who loves possessions prays to material images.”
“The man who has tasted the things of heaven easily thinks nothing of what is below, but he who has had no taste of heaven finds pleasure in possessions.”
“The man who thinks nothing of goods has freed himself from quarrels and disputes. But the lover of possessions will fight to the death for a needle. Sturdy faith cuts off cares, and remembrance of death denies the body. There was no trace of avarice in Job, and so he remained tranquil when he lost everything.”
My atheist buddy Peter (who long-time readers might remember as Theomorph) has provided a lot of food for thought recently. I’d like to know what my theist readers think of his ruminations.
I have recently come to the (re)realization that bishops are the authoritative teaching body of the Church. As such, it is their responsibility to properly and effectively teach such sticky subjects as the regulation of births. However, those teachings must be in accord with the Bishop of Rome and magisterium of the Church, so I still think there is merit in exploring the relevant papal documents. Let us then continue by hearing the thoughts of Pope Pius XII.
I had thought that Pius XII had written an encyclical about contraception. As it turns out, the only statements he made about the subject were in in various allocutions (addresses) to associations of doctors and the like. These don't carry nearly the same weight as encyclicals and are certainly not infallible. An exploration of the doctrinal authority of papal allocutions can be found here, but I cannot vouch for its accuracy. Nevertheless, Paul VI quotes from these addresses extensively in Humane Vitae, thus lending some of theauthority of an encyclical. I searched for the texts of these addresses and only found the 1951 Address to Midwives on the Nature of Their Profession and the 1958 Address to Officers and Representatives of the Associations for Large Families-of Rome and of Italy. If anyone knows where I might find the rest of them, I'd be indebted. Anyhow, here's the address to midwives.
It’s time to get our hands dirty by digging into the writings of recent popes to find out what they had to say about contraceptive issues. Let’s start with Pius XI’s 1930 Casti Connubii, which was written in response to the Anglican Communion’s decision that year to permit artificial contraception within marriage (general acceptance came later).