The People Speak Out

Local voices connecting globally

This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.  (Pope Francis)

Canon Law 212 calls upon the laity to speak up:

2 - The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. - According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

July 25, 2018.

On the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of Humanae Vitae, We Are Church-International dedicate their commemoration of this milestone to all of the Catholics who have challenged the legitimacy of official teaching and honored their own consciences in making decisions about contraception and other important moral issues. We Are Church-International celebrates the integrity of all those who contribute to the Sensus Fidelium (“the sense of the Faithful”) in determining whether a teaching is truly inspired by the Holy Spirit, and therefore legitimate.

“Over the past 50 years, billions of Catholics have read or been taught what Humanae Vitae says about the use of contraception, and the vast majority, after careful consideration, have rejected this teaching,” said Colm Holmes, Chair of We Are Church-International. “Most have done so while believing they remain good Catholics. In doing so, they have asserted a new level of authority in our Church. We believe this is the real significance of this anniversary.”

Read more: The Integrity of Those Who Honor their Consciences Celebrated on the 50th Anniversary of Humanae...

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To: My Sisters and Brothers In Christ

From: JanStephen Cavanaugh, Ph.D., Human Development

Re: In the Matter of the Ordinary Teaching  of Conception

Conception is the defined as the moment that human life begins, male and female, female and male in the image of God (Gen 1, v27; Math 19, v4). On authority from above we are conceived at the moment we are male and female in God’s image.

At what moment in the sexual reproductive process do we become male and female and in that moment fully human?

In the matter of ordinary teachings of our Church … that moment established according to the understandings of sexual reproduction at the time of St. Augustine is the moment of male ejaculation into vagina. For according to the “theory” of sexual reproduction in his time … what the male ejaculated was “little people”, the homunculus theory. Any impediment to sperm meeting egg a mortal sin.

It makes sense that if little people are ejaculated with every emission then it is logical that semen must be inseminated only in a vagina.

Hence the Church's traditional standing that inception is the moment of conception.

But ordinary teachings change as we all know as new knowlegde comes on tap, and in the matter of sex this is no less so … for we now know the “homunculus theory “is no longer a valid understanding of reproductive physiology.   

Debate Topic: The “Homunculus theory”  the foundation of tradtitional teachings of sexual reproduction is scientifically discredited.

Thesis: The discredited “Homunculus Theory” changed the center of gravity in the matter of the moment when human life is conceived.”

Debate Question: What does scientifically base knowledge tell as the moment of conception?

Let the discussion and debate begin.

At least even Humanae Vitae did get as far as recognizing that our progress in inderstanding human sexuality sees that it is “natural Law” ƒor humans that conception can occur only when there was an egg present to be fertilized.

So P. Paul 6 approved the already established opinion that intercourse was permissable when conception is not posible. So he recommended Responsible Parenthood.

He just did not seem to realize – as many women and other people did – rhat his recommending having intercouse when conception was not possible contradicted the “principle” that every sexual act had “to be open to conception”.

If it doesn’t have to be open to conception – and the whole point is to attempt to not be open to conception – when using “natural” family planning, then the means really makes no difference.

The Virtue of Prudence is Primary. Responsible Parenthood is the goal imposed by God in practicing that virtue.{jcomments on}

Dear Mary, Thank you for your story. When are we human … male and female in God’s image?

I am 73, the oldest of eight children, my Catholic mother living with the reality that no impediment was to be placed between her husband’s seed and her egg or she risked damnation … living female born to serve her husband’s sexual needs. Whether she wanted to be impregnated was a secondary consideration for she was my father’s compliment, not his equal.
She was no fan of celibate male priests in general and loathed the hierarchy even more, even as she was a devote Catholic. “What do they know of my reality?” she would exclaim.
She tells a story of being so angry back in the 50s when her parish priest decried “shorts” on women in public. As he was speaking, she imagined showing up at Church next Sunday in hers shorts and dare him to give her communion. I wish the Church was filled with millions of women like her.
Do not get me wrong, she eschewed “feminists” and was always modest in her dress … but saw it as a women’s right to wear shorts in public.
She lived the prevailing fundamentalist moribund sexual teaching that the moment of inception is the moment of conception.
She was so very angry when she learned that the “inception as conception” teaching is based on a now completely discredited “homunculus” (little person) theory of human sexual reproduction … the male impregnated the female with a “little person”. Given that understanding, it was logical for St. Augustine (a man of great learning) and others to conclude inception as conception.
That teaching set in stone … St. Augustine would not approve of making him a false idol.
What sexual reproductive science tells us is the making of male and female is a process that starts months before and goes on for three months after inception. For those three months what the mother carries is not yet male or female … but some combination of both to unfold at three months.
At three months the miracle of human life … conception, meaning life male and female takes place.
We will know when our Catholic Church is truly on the path to reform when a commission to update Catholic teaching on human sex to bring Church teachings in line with science has concluded its work.
Let’s not let sex be another Galileo event. Perhaps the work of Vatican III to right it.{jcomments on}

I have had 10 pregnancies–9 living children obviously loved. I had no help. By the grace of God I made it through. My sister said she would commit suicide if she had more than two.I now believe in birth control. Women need to be able to choose how many children and they can afford and emotionally handle.I was given up for adoption because my Priest father took advantage of my mother, a maid in the rectory. The church talks about the natural law and then asks priests to be celibate ,for most un-natural.
God gives us a brain to make good changes using our conscious . Earth can no longer sustain the large population growth with shortage of water , lack of food, housing, and jobs. We are the church, all the Body of Christ within us enabling us to evolve for the good of humanity.{jcomments on}