Sorry for the slow blogging, and a few other parts of the website aren’t up to date, like current teaching offerings. I’ve been really busy. But I do have something to offer you: My latest at First Things, entitled “Ban Contraception?” Alternate title was “Contraception and the Common Good.” Basically, I suggest that those concerned for the common good who are merely seeking a little breathing room for the Catholic Church in the HHS Mandate have failed to ask the question about whether indeed contraception serves the common good. Excerpt:
In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI dealt not so much with issues of particularly Catholic morality but with the profound issues of the human person and human culture, arguing—indeed, prophesying, as it turns out—that contraception would lead to a “general lowering of morality” and the treatment of women as “mere instruments of selfish enjoyment.” He warned, too, of “the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law” who “may even impose their use on everyone.” When dealing with sexuality, we are not merely in the realm of religion but the realm of reason. These are not matters of religious scruples, but matters of public concern concerning the common good.
Thus, when Michael Gerson writes, “It is a valid public health goal to promote the broad availability of contraception” so long as it doesn’t trample fundamental rights, the faithful Catholic must object. For the widespread availability of contraception involves risks to women and consequences for society even beyond those envisioned by the prophetic Pope Paul VI.