The Vatican’s conservative policies on birth control have received a blow
from one of the Roman Catholic Church’s most loyal regions after opinion polls
overwhelming support in Latin America for measures of contraception.
Contraception is not a conservative policy but part of the truth
of human sexuality. The truth can never receive a blow, the blow falls on those
who don’t follow the truth.
The move also represents an assault on US policies which, under George Bush,
have blocked aid to organisations supporting abortion.
The polls, released at an inter-governmental health conference in Puerto Rico,
show at least three quarters of those questioned in Mexico, Colombia and Bolivia
supporting contraception being made available to adolescents and even higher
majorities in favour of the use of condoms to prevent HIV/Aids.
And every country that starts by legalizing contraception will
also legalize abortion not long afterwards.
The surveys, carried out by separate polling organisations late last year,
questioned at least 1,500 respondents in each country with surprisingly similar
Although in each case those questioned supported the church’s humanitarian
and spiritual roles, they also wanted liberalisation of its policies and claimed
that using contraception did not prevent them from being good Catholics.
Help us with the poor and other humanitarian needs, but please don’t force
us to change our lifestyle. Latin America has often been economically poor
and unfortunately they are now becoming spiritually poor.
…Roberto Blancarte, a Mexican sociologist of religion
told the group Catholics for a Free Choice: "We are seeing a silent
revolution among Catholics in Mexico and Latin America. This is the first
survey on what Catholics really
think about sexual and reproductive health and rights and it shows us that
there is a big breach between Catholics and the bishops."
A US official at the conference was quoted as saying that criticism of the
Bush administration’s policies was unfair and that the president wanted to
support reproductive health measures, including family planning, but abortion
could play no part in that.
Story][Via Wired Catholic]
Saying that there is a breach between Catholics and the Bishops
is not much of a defense for supporting their views. After all there was a
breach between Judas and Jesus. It is good that the Bush Administration is
preventing funding for abortion but the code words family planning only mean
planning to not have a family. G.K. Chesterton has put it so much better.
"What is quaintly called Birth Control . . . is in fact,
of course, a scheme for preventing birth in order to escape control." ("The
Surrender upon Sex" The Well and the Shallows)
"Normal and real birth control is called self control." ("Social
Reform vs. Birth Control")
"Birth Control is a name given to a succession of different expedients
by which it is possible to filch the pleasure belonging to a natural process
while violently and unnaturally thwarting the process itself." ("Social
Reform vs. Birth Control")
"We can always convict such people of sentimentalism by their weakness
for euphemism. The phrase they use is always softened and suited for journalistic
appeals. They talk of free love when they mean something quite different, better
defined as free lust. But being sentimentalists they feel bound to simper and
coo over the word "love." They insist on talking about Birth Control
when they mean less birth and no control. We could smash them to atoms, if
we could be as indecent in our language as they are immoral in their conclusions." ("Obstinate
Orthodoxy" The Thing)