home
RSS
My Take: Why I’m a Catholic for contraception
February 10th, 2012
02:30 PM ET

My Take: Why I’m a Catholic for contraception

Editor's Note: Karalen L. Morthole is a senior majoring in political science at Catholic University of America.

By Karalen L. Morthole, Special to CNN

I have been a Catholic my whole life. Baptized as a baby and confirmed in the seventh grade, I attended weekly catechism classes and received a Jesuit education. Never once did the opinion of the church on a person's use of contraceptives surface.

In high school, I was prescribed birth control to balance my hormones. I suffered from terrible mood swings that had negative effects on my relationship with my family and got me into trouble with teachers. I also experienced menstrual cramps so painful as to be debilitating; sometimes, they left me unable to move.

My mother, a devout Catholic, had no problem with my taking birth control, because she recognized the dramatic effects this simple medication had on my life. Birth control gave me a new, healthy and balanced way to live. As a 22-year-old woman, I am able to think more rationally because of birth control.

Teachers at the Jesuit high school I attended urged students to protect themselves when they became sexually active, to use condoms to stamp out the risk of contracting a viral sexually transmitted disease that would affect the rest of their lives. Some would criticize my teachers for that, but I thank them. My peers and I were taught by caring and realistic teachers with experience making decisions to promote their own health. Some had seen the horrors of sexually transmitted diseases.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

Birth control, condoms and emergency contraception have all served their purpose in my life, because each work in different preventative ways. Birth control has aided my mental health, giving me a clearer head; condoms have protected me from contracting diseases from sexual partners. Emergency contraceptives were there when I was uncertain about whether I’d become pregnant and needed reassurance. I’m not ready to raise a child on my own.

Even though the official Catholic Church teaches against contraceptives, I do not feel immoral using them. They’ve allowed me to live my life without the fear of unwanted pregnancies or deadly diseases.

My religion has played a large part of my life, laying the groundwork for my personal relationship with God. It has taught me how to respect others, be a human with integrity and help those in need. Catholicism is a beautiful religion that supports family values and tolerance of others and leads us to serve others, a teaching I’ve adapted into my everyday living. The Catholic Church does an exceptional job standing up for those who live in poverty and suffer injustices.

But on contraception, the Catholic bishops have taken a stance that violates the basic rights that affect millions of Catholics across the country and shows a lack of concern for women's health.

It is disheartening that the Catholic bishops were so opposed to the Obama administration's decision to require religious institutions like hospitals and colleges to provide their faculty, staff and students with access to reproductive health care, which includes birth control, emergency contraceptives and condoms. Even after the White House announced a revised policy Friday that exempts religious institutions from having to pay for the contraception coverage, at least one bishop voiced disgust. The U.S. bishops said in a statement Friday that it's "too soon to tell whether and how much improvement (there's been) on core concerns."

The bishops have gone so far as to threaten to cease health care coverage to the faculty and staff at my college if it’s forced to comply with the Affordable Health Care Act.

Even though the church will not support women's health needs and denies them opportunities to care for their physical and mental health, it does apparently condone other uses for condoms. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI endorsed the use of condoms for male prostitutes, saying condoms “can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility,” and could help “in the intention of reducing the risk of infection.”

In my view, any sexual activity that spreads deadly diseases is sinful because it shows complete disregard for human health and human life. The Catholic Church believes that condoms negatively impact the sexual lives of men and women, preventing reproduction and the creation of life.

I believe that condoms are, in fact, pro-life. They help women and men act responsibly in regards to the spread of HIV/AIDS. Condoms also prevent unintended pregnancies that could result in abortions, another issue that the Catholic Church has strong views about.

As a Catholic, I stand with President Obama's decision to require religious institutions to provide access to contraceptives. I believe that birth control can be used by religious people without having a negative effect on someone’s faith. Catholics value human life. I believe that includes acknowledging the rights of women to take care of our bodies.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Karalen L. Morthole.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • My Take

soundoff (1,826 Responses)
  1. SilverHair

    Another headline touts rejection by bishops. Looks like the conference of bishops has formally joined the bedroom republicans, tea party, and attempting return of the inquisition. No one but you (and your doctor) / (and your God) should know if contraceptives are used. All the talk has been about use of something by women. Where do the nut jobs stand on use of a condom by the male partner? Or men getting a vasectomy?

    February 11, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  2. Catholic Too

    Yes, you follow the Catholic faith and use it where it fits your needs. The medical reason for birth control – OK. But using condoms so you can have multiple partners, and emergency contraceptives so you could make sure you didn't have to take responsibility for your actions – those are caring Catholic beliefs and teachings. Those are choices taken so you can live without taking real responsibility for your actions. The potential unborn child that you disposed of was purely to benefit you. The freedom to sleep around and not share true love and devotion, again that was a decision for your enjoyment and benefit. The fact is you just don't want to have to actually live with real responsibility and think anything you decide should be OK. That is not real life. So, criticize where you may and put up your smoke screens about women's rights but your actions are for you not for God

    February 11, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  3. evolved

    The catholic church becomes more irrelevant every passing day. This is 2012 not 1212. While the church protests birth control, it hides and protects molesters in it's ranks. True hypocracy.

    February 11, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  4. ABCD

    The big thing that gets me is that the "devout catholic" says birth control coverage is a non belief being forced on "the church" by the gov't but when the table is turned they can't see that they are also forcing a non belief onto many employees who are not catholic and just needed a job and took one.
    Maybe the catholic church should get out of public business all together if they can't act like a public business. Think of all the blood money coming into them from people who are birth control users and pro life supporters. But I guess they can over look this for the sake of the almighty dollar.

    February 11, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  5. Mary

    Loved your article Karalen. You summarized my exact sentiment. I'm a Catholic as well and you are exactly correct about the protection of women's health as well as a women's right to make her own decision. I worry that the Catholic church is not changing along with the times...there very strict conservatism and eagerness to try to re create the "old days" is pushing the younger generation away. This is very sad and it is a beautiful religion as you stated.

    February 11, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Heath

      Let it be a woman's right then; let her pay for it herself; especially 'plan b' which begins to cross the line between contraception and abortion.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • GJP

      Why do some 'Catholics' think they can pick and choose what they want to believe in. This isn't like shopping for accessories at your boutiques. You might as well be a Protestant and just hang out with a bunch of people who you feel worship in the way that YOU WANT to worship instead of worshiping in the way God wants you to. After all...you've made this all about You and how it makes You feel instead of what you can do to please God.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  6. Russ139

    The list is long of positions taken by the Catholic Church, only later to be quietly changed. Everything from Adam and Eve to missing Mass on Sunday. They draw lines in the sand, only to change those lines at a later time. When the Church speaks, it does so with an air of absolute moralism and superiority, but most Catholics no longer fall for that.

    February 11, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  7. Kaci

    CNN looks like they are censoring, as usual.

    February 11, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Flinders, the butler

      Looks like you're too stupid to figure out the automated word filter. Actually it's proof of Intelligent Design.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • E

      see the report abuse button? people pressed it.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  8. Sue

    Amen

    February 11, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  9. Just my opinion

    The question is not "Why are you for contraception?" The question is "Then why are you Catholic?" Why do you claim to be Roman Catholic when you don't agree with or at least remain obedient to the decrees of the Pope? If you don't think that's really important....then we come back to, "Why are you Catholic?" I think people should be free to believe and practice as they do – but it's pathetic when they can't own up to what it is they are claiming to follow – it's hypocritical. Be strong enough to say, "I'm not Catholic either." I have much more respect for those who carefully weigh a religion and decide that is not what they believe in and do not label themselves with it than people who claim to be one thing and that don't even try....

    February 11, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • E

      She explained that, did you even bother to read the article?

      February 11, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Wonderfool

      The question is: Can any one be a catholic without accepting every dogma propounded by Pope? And that applies to every faith. Just because muslim women in Indonesia or Malasia or even in India do not wear Burqa, are they not muslims? If some Hindus like me eat beef, does that make us non-Hindu? And just because a Jewish person eats bacon (and I have some Jewish friends), is he/she not Jewish? No belief is and should be monolithic. One can understand Catholic Church's anti-abortion view. Extending that to anti-birth-control is applying the "Queen-of-Hearts" justice of "execute the (Potential) murderer BEFORE he commits a murder, why wait and take a chance?" Pope is wrong and so is his cardinals and bishop. They are using the Church's power to control the faithfuls, just like Ayatollah does in Iran. Every faith evolves with knowledge and education. The Pope and his coterie is afraid that they might lose control of his "flock". You should be a Christian first, then a Catholic. Yes, Pope can be wrong living in the wrong times, just like the Ayatollah is wrong and the Saudi Kong is wrong treating women as lesser people. You need to use you intellect to question Pope whether the Pope is really a Catholic or just a Power-Hungry head using his church to enjoy his glorious position.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Russ139

      That question applies to all believers of a faith. Christians

      Believers of a faith mirror the population in general. Only a small percentage follow, or practice, or believe in, all the teachings of that Faith. If such a litmus test were to be enforced, there would be 80% fewer churches in this country.

      \

      February 11, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • badlobbyist

      I agree with the other sentiments here. You would probably eliminate the majority of churches. Face it most people don't have a clue what their church actually teaches. Back to transubstantiation – >50% of Catholics don't beleive it.
      Churches can provide a great social benefit and promote community and cooporation. But none of them have a real clue what happens when we die.
      Please read Daniel Dennett 'Breaking the Spell' for a great explanation of all the good churches can do, along with the harm.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Just my opinion

      Sorry "E", I guess I must break this down further. How can she justify calling herself Catholic then? I assumed explaining why should include a good justification – I don't see it in this article. So there's the big "DUH" moment for you.

      And yes....the Pope is central to being a Roman Catholic. Hindus do not have a central figure that dictates what rules they must obey in order to be a Hindu. Anyone who thinks that "all Hindus must not eat meat" has not been born and raised Hindu – there is caste and even regional variation in this – most of all, Hindus have never had, and never will have, a "Pope". The reason why many people have broken away from the Roman Catholic church is because they see that they do not/cannot believe in Papism. This has been a very painful decision for many people. I think it is really irresponsible to go around saying, "I'm a Catholic who believes such-and-such" when you are going against the Catholic church. You are not Catholic. Get over it.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Just my opinion

      p.s. I do agree that these standards apply to members of all religions. But don't think that the Catholic standards (following the Pope) can be found in every religion. You need to read your history and understand how/why Protestants broke away from the Catholic church. And even earlier than that, how/why the entire Eastern Church refused to accept the concept of a Pope. Yes – people have to really think about what it is they are claiming to believe, that's how many folks decide to become angostic or atheist, or change their religion. But to sit high and pretty saying, "I'm Catholic and I don't believe this, and it's okay..." that is a slap in the face of the many who have done their research and made painful, life-changing decisions to leave, OR to live in obedience to the church, based on their true beliefs. If people's beliefs are just totally fuzzy anyway – then how does it matter that she claims to be Catholic? This article is essentially, well, it's okay to call yourself whatever you want, but not necessarily even try to follow through at the hard parts. Essentially, then, you are making YOURSELF your own Pope. I know people can jump to conclusions about me because they don't know me. They might read one sentence and think I am against Catholicism, another and think I am for something else. I am for people practicing whatever faith they want – I'm not against them. But try to actually practice the faith. And yes – a lot of people don't do this. I am of the opinion that it's a problem....if that's your personal life, fine. But to publish it as an article – well, of course the hypocrisy is going to be glaringly apparent. To be Catholic – there are lots of wonderful things that may come form this – but there are also sacrifices. If you only just do what you want, then really, you are just making your own religion anyway. There are many people who do this today – and don't pretend to be doing/being anything other than that.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  10. martog

    1. You believe that the pope has personal conversations with God (that nobody else ever hears) and is infallible when speaking on matters of Church doctrine. You then wistfully ignore the fact that Church doctrine changes and that former popes therefore could not possibly have been “infallible”. Limbo, for example, was touted by pope after pope as a place where un-baptized babies who die go, until Pope Benedict XVI just eradicated it (or, more accurately, so watered it down as effectively eradicate it in a face saving way). Seems all those earlier “infallible” Popes were wrong – as they were on Adam and Eve v. evolution, heliocentricity v. egocentricity, and a host of other issues that required an amendment of official Church doctrine. You also ignore the innumerable murders, rampant corruption and other crimes committed over the centuries by your “infallible”, god-conversing popes.
    2. You reject the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours. You are blissfully (or intentionally) blind to the fact, that had you been born in another part of the World, you would be defending the local god(s) and disdaining the incorrectness of Catholic beliefs.
    3. You begrudgingly accept evolution (about a century after Darwin proved it and after accepting Genesis as literally true for about 2,000 years) and that Adam and Eve was totally made up, but then conveniently ignore that fact that your justification for Jesus dying on the cross (to save us from Original Sin) has therefore been eviscerated. Official Church literature still dictates a belief in this nonsense.
    4. You disdain native beliefs as “polytheist” and somehow “inferior” but cannot explain (i) why being polytheistic is any sillier than being monotheistic. Once you make the quantum leap into Wonderland by believing in sky-fairies, what difference does if make if you believe in one or many?; nor (ii) why Christians believe they are monotheistic, given that they believe in god, the devil, guardian angels, the holy spirit, Jesus, many demons in hell, the Virgin Mary, the angel Gabriel, thousands of saints, all of whom apparently make Earthly appearances periodically, and all of whom inhabit their life-after-death lands with magic-sacred powers of some kind.
    5. You bemoan the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don`t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees or the 3,000 Israelites killed by Moses for worshipping the golden calf (or the dozen or so other slaughters condoned by the bible). You also like to look to god to for guidance in raising your children, ignoring the fact that he drowned his own – according to your Bible.
    6. You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that God impregnated Mary with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to “forgive” an ”Original Sin” that we now all know never happened.
    7. You disdain gays as sinners, but have no problem when Lot got drunk and committed father-daughter in.cest (twice) or offered his daughters to a mob to be gang ra.ped, or when Moses, time and again, offered his wife up for the “pleasures” of the Egyptians to save his own skin.
    8. You believe that your god will cause anyone who does not accept your Bronze Age stories to suffer a penalty an infinite times worse than the death penalty (burning forever in excruciating torture) simply because of their healthy skepticism, yet maintain that god “loves them”.
    9. You will totally reject any scientific breakthrough that is inconsistent with your established doctrine, unless and until it is so generally accepted as to back you into a corner. While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you of the deep inanity of your silly faith, some priest doing magic hand signals over bread and wine is enough to convince you it is thereby transformed into the flesh and blood of Jesus because of the priest’s magic powers (or “sacred powers” to the extent you see a difference).
    10. You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to Lourdes, Fátima and other magic places and prayers in general. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. The remaining 99.99% failure was simply “god moving in mysterious ways”. The fact that, if you ask for something repeatedly, over and over, year after year, sooner or later that thing is bound to happen anyway, has not even occurred to you. A stopped clock is right twice a day.
    11. You accept the stories in the Bible without question, despite not having the slightest idea of who actually wrote them, how credible these people were or how long the stories were written after the alleged events they record occurred. For example, it is impossible for Moses to have written the first five books of the Old Testament, as Catholics believe. For one, they record his death and events after his death. In fact, the chance of the Bible being historically accurate in any but the broadest terms is vanishingly small.
    Heavens, I could not fit them into ten. Maybe, if they pray hard enough to their sky-fairy, the Catholics can turn them into 10

    February 11, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • Hugo

      Who is "you?"

      February 11, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • boyamidumb

      Marog – you need help as much or more than she does. You seriously need to consider getting a real life and focusing your efforts and energy on that, as opposed to trying to "convert" someone who is already convinced of their own myths and beliefs.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • La Verdad

      You sure wasted a lot of space and effort to pigeonhole people.

      Why don't I say that ALL ATHEISTS HATE RELIGIOUS PEOPLE and use that rubber stamp for you and all atheists. It's the same as what you just did here.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • evolved

      I see you have mastered the art of cut and paste. Now try to master the art of not being annoying.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • JOHN MORTON

      WELL...SAID.....MARTOG, I PRINTED THIS OFF FOR FURTHER USE, HOPE YOU DON'T MIND.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • minkakross

      from one atheist to another your comments might have mattered if they were on topic. The article isn't about if you should be a christian or even a catholic but the catholic church's inconsistent stance against birth control and the political hot button they have pushed that even their own congregation doesn't support. It's actually pretty well written and obviously the writer used some of the critical thinking skills she learned in Jesuit school. birth control supports women's reproductive rights and is pro life. if she miss anything it would be that for a woman to have control over reproduction she can be happy and enjoy the two children she does have instead of miserable and possibly impoverished or neglectful to the eight she would otherwise have.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Angie

      Mortog. Your post is incredible. Most people, when they try to point out how ignorant one has to be to be, not just religious, but Catholic in particular, aren't able to articulate all the hypocricy, blatant ignorance, and sheer stupidity the way you have with facts, facts, facts. Citing the Bible! I love this. *hypothetical high-five*

      February 11, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Russ139

      I think the only person in modern times that claimed to have a personal conversation with God was Oral Roberts!! god told him to ask for $50 million to keep his ministry going. :)

      My other favorite was Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. God appeared to him in the forest, and gave him a Book of Laws (or something like that). He buried the book, and went back to town to tell everyone. When they went back to the forest to find the book... well, aw shucks... he could remember where he buried it. Small matter, and everyone still believed him anyway!

      February 11, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  11. Rozelle

    To a non-Catholic the argument is about whether or not the government can compel a private business (whether it be the employer or the insurance company) to provide a particular health benefit. This particular health benefit just happened to be one that stirs controversy. Freedom of religion protests churches. The question is, does freedom of religion protect church-sponsored hospitals, universities, etc. This is not really about whether birth control is right or wrong, unless you happen to be Catholic.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:59 am |
  12. Rinsewind

    I'm a Catholic myself, and frankly I don't feel compelled to follow rules about contraception made by a bunch of celibate old men, who would never have to deal the consequences (well, theoretically) of an STD or unwanted pregnancy anyway. Don't feel the least bit guilty about using birth control and neither does my husband.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • La Verdad

      What you and your Husband do in your bedroom is your business BUT the issue here is that the government is getting involved to force the church to pay for it.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • E

      No, the issue is Catholic affiliated hospitals and universities forcing a corporation's "religion" onto all of the employees while accepting billions of dollars in federal funds. The issue is that these companies have no problem treating STDs adn numerous problems that are also against thier teachings but single out women's health as something they refuse to allow into insurance. That is denial of equal access based on gender. And now that they are not having to cover it, they are still whining.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Heath

      By all means use birth control, just pay for it yourself and their is no problem. And especially 'Plan B', which is not just contraception.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • E

      This is about insurance coverage, which is supposed to cover all medical care. I don't want to have to pay more for fat people or smokers treatments, why don't they pay for their own medications? By your logic that is how it should work. Plan B prevents implantation, it is NOT abortion, and even if it was, it is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Insurance is business and other people's religion has no place in it.Women pay for insurance and deserve to have coverage. I spend $500 a year for my medically necessary pills and exams to get them because my insurance is NOT required to cover prevention of ovarian cysts because you Bible thumpers sticking your nose into my medical care.

      February 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  13. Lola

    I am very proud of you for such a beautifully worded statement, Ms. Morthole. Brave and true of heart. I commend you for your article. I also want to state that any demeaning or snarky comment anyone makes on this article should just stop and go away. Anyway, well done. Tell your mother for me, I am proud of you.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • kpccvc

      And a very well worded response! I agree with both of you!

      February 11, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  14. Scholary

    Very good writing skills :)

    February 11, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  15. Beth

    Karalen – your article is beautiful. Your opinion is shared by many Catholics. Thank you for expressing these views. I believe you speak for a majority of men and women who speak more softly than some, have a deep faith, and live a life in balance with the church.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  16. Frank

    But these decisions are not up to you and never were. You are God's and not your own. Obedience has been trampled on and the secular 'live my own life' and 'it's my body' has replaced it.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • JG

      As Catholics, we believe in free will. The choice is ours, not God's. It's his gift to us, it is how we are made in his image. The decisions are completely up to us.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Fran

      Don't you mean she is his (the man's)? Or she is the Church's? The Church's stance on birth control has as much to do with women's status in the Church (second class) and with putting more parishioners in the pews (parish population explosions) than with God.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Hugo

      Interesting perspective that appears to rely upon the New Covenant not existing. This makes sense if you are Jewish. But if you are Christian, shouldn't you accept the word of Christ? I'm baffled.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • badlobbyist

      Well Frank, most of us are in the 21st century now. We think that the earth is round and that the sun is the center of the solar system. The fact that the Catholic church has not been able to move forward is truly scary.
      The Mormons use Divine Revelation to correct for social and scientify change (They figured out that blacks ARE people in the 1970s).
      The Catholics need some mechanism to update their beliefs to stay relevent in the modern world. As the nice girl in the article pointed out, there is still value in many religous teachings. But the world has 6 billion people. Right now, the last thing we need in the first, second, or thirld world is any unwanted preganancies.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • K2

      One of the mistakes organized religion has made over the years, (I'm not talking about Christian Faith, but the Church establishment and not just Catholics) is they have passed so many rules and edicts through the years that proved not to be God centered but Church centered in that it was self serving and counter to the simple and uncomplicated basic truths Jesus tried to teach us. So it is hard for most knowledgeable people to listen to someone who is just a man, make statements and interpretations of the Bible and say it's Gods will to do what they say.

      Let's take one in particular and I'm paraphrasing, where Jesus is discussing the requirement to give money to the Jewish religious establishment. He picked up a coin and asked whose picture is on the coin, the reply was Caesar to which he said His Father is not interested nor wants what is Caesars (money) and only wanted what is God's. Organized religion has made it a point to shame people into giving money to them in particular to do God's will, which in fact it has built great wealth in these "Houses of God". We should be more interested in using our money to directly help those who need it with our individual resources instead of having it siphoned off by organizations that are most likely misusing those resources for worldly gain.

      In the four Gospels of the Bible, Jesus repeatedly slams the rules of the Jewish bureaucracy as getting in the way of genuine worship and designed to the selfish goals of the men who made the rules. I wonder what He would think of what we've done with the Church we built? It's not all bad, but certainly not all good either.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Will

      "As Catholics, we believe in free will. The choice is ours, not God's. It's his gift to us, it is how we are made in his image. The decisions are completely up to us." You are entirely correct to say that the choice is ours and that the decisions are completely up to us. However, this does not mean that you can choose to act in any given manner without consequences. See "God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions" (Catechism 1730) and "Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act to not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility." (Catechism 1731). Thus, "Freedom makes man responsible for his acts" (Catechism 1734). As a Catholic, you can choose to use contraceptives, but that doesn't change that to do so would be a sin.

      February 11, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  17. K2

    The view expressed in this article by this young woman is shared by every Catholic I know, and I know hundreds. The problem with this edict by the Catholic Church is in reality it is an edict issued by men, not God. The Bible says to be fruitful and multiply, it does not say do so recklessly. In a time in our human history, it served the selfish purposes of the Churches survival when infant mortality was such that a person could have 10 children and may 3 would live to be an adult. The world is a different place today and the Church is operating under archaic rules regarding women's health by men who have no personal real world knowledge of being married, having a wife or raising children.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • badlobbyist

      I'm truly not trying to be cynical, but then are you a Catholic? I have a hard time with the cafeteria style of religion.
      Recently the Pew Research Center did poll that found more than 50% of Catholics did not believe that the sacrament literally became the body and blood of Jesus. Doesn't that make you about 50% of the way to being a Luthern?
      And this contraceptive stance by the church is something that apparently no practicing Catholic believes. I know that I am a little naive sometimes, but then aren't you something else other than a Catholic?

      February 11, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • K2

      @badlobbyist – I am not Catholic, but am married to one for over 15 years and most of my friends are Catholic. I see so many of the rules of the Catholic Church as nothing more than self serving to the Church itself. As far as the Sacrament goes, at the Last Supper, he said to take the bread as his body and do this in remembrance of him. He knew it was bread and wanted us to take the time to stop and remember the Last Supper by having a little bread and a sip of wine on the night before He died on the Cross. I don't believe he meant that the bread we used would be literally transformed into his flesh or the wine transformed into His blood.

      What I do believe that in the early days of the Catholic Church, they used this "transformation" to the ignorant and uneducated masses of the day and all the rules around it to make one "worthy" to partake, as a way to keep their flock under the thumb of their hierarchy. Unfortunately, I believe this is one of the ways "organized religion" departed from the message Jesus tried to bring to us during his time here. That worship is personal between you and God and to beware of the rules of men when they attempt to speak to the will of God.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  18. La Verdad

    Good for her if she doesn't feel immoral for using contraceptives but how about for sleeping around? If you're going to be sleeping around that's your business but don't be forcing the Church to pay for this behaviour. That's the issue at stake here.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • kpccvc

      What an idiot! You're probably a man, and it's okay for you to sleep around because you don't have to worry about protecting yourself.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • kpccvc

      No responsibility is the issue here.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  19. gaby

    This article is appalling. Sleeping around and using birth control not to get pregnant IS NOT CATHOLIC.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • joewilson

      please. do not be disturbed by what you see.

      follow what is written in your magical book. and fulfill your role among the lower non-autonomous humans. you have a purpose beyond your control. fail to fulfill it and you will be punished by your sky man.

      do not interact with the upper humans. it requires mental autonomy. something you lower humans do not possess.

      carry on, citizen. serve as your magic book says. may your god give you purpose

      February 11, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • chief

      try reading the whole article and your comments will not make you look as big of a moron

      February 11, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • JG

      I'm in a completely monogamous, loving marriage with an incredibly intelligent, beautiful, and faithful young woman. We use condoms and birth control so that we may express our love for each other without being completely irresponsible with regards to family planning. I am a proud Catholic.

      Your response is simple-minded and insulting. You jump to conclusions based off of your own fears rather than any facts presented. It seems like you use religion as a crutch rather than a joy. This is a shame.

      I could be wrong about you though, that's what happens when you jump to anonymous conclusions.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  20. Jt_flyer

    The catholic church is filled with requirements intended to protect the church and have nothing to do with God. The reason catholic priest can't b married is the church saw it as a way of protecting assisted of the church. If you don't have dependents you have no one to leave your weath to therefore the church keeps it. This new policy began about 400ad. The wealth of the church grew at an accellerated rate.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • Jt_flyer

      *protecting assets*

      February 11, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • La Verdad

      As a Catholic I wouldn't want to have be supporting a Priest and their HUGE family if they had one.

      February 11, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Flinders, the butler

      He wouldn't have a HUGE family if they used birth control.

      February 11, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • La Verdad

      Birth control doesn't work 100% of the time.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Flinders, the butler

      La Verdad,
      So what ? Ever hear of a "non sequitur" ?

      February 11, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • evolved

      Lets examine how "protecting assets" is working out ... count the lawsuits and the huge expenses over the last decade or so cause d by priests not able to satisfy urges the normal way. I don't think your theory was ever true. Not in 400 and certainly not now.

      February 11, 2012 at 8:22 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.