communion between a man and a woman (more specifically between a husband and a wife) and to procreate new life. Homosexual acts can never ful- fill the twofold design of the Creator for genital sex.” In stating that homosexual acts are morally wrong, we are not saying that homosexual desires are morally wrong, unless of course, we deliber- ately will them.
”Homosexual persons are called to chastity” (C 2359). Just as single persons with a heterosexual orientation are called to live a chaste life, so are persons with a homosexual orientation. Of course, a major difference is that marriage is always an option for the single person with a heterosexual orientation. Persons with same-sex attraction can and should cultivate warm, loving and caring friendships with persons of the same and opposite sex. Such friendships are usually tremendously life-giving.
(Courage is a Catholic organization that ministers to persons with same-sex attraction.)
Pause: Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry that leads many teens and adults, especially men, to become sex addicts. What should or can be done about this issue? Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry and adopt children?
Part Three: FAMILY PLANNING (C 2366-2372, USC p. 409)
Co-creating a child with God is surely one of the great joys of married life. On the other hand, work- ing with God to determine the number of children a couple should have can be a big challenge. Regard- ing this issue, three points can be made.
The Church encourages couples to engage in fam- ily planning or responsible parenthood. In consid- ering how many children to have and when to have them, a husband and wife, according to a Vatican II document, “will thoughtfully take into account both their own welfare and that of their children, those already and those who may be foreseen” (Gaudium et Spes 50). Some couples may decide to have many children. Other couples may decide on a smaller number of children for reasons of health, temperament, energy or fi- nances. Either way, the Church encourages parents to be prayerful and responsible when it comes to this decision.
The Church teaches that parents should only en- gage in natural forms of birth control. Hence, all unnatural or artificial forms of birth control are contrary to natural law and not morally permissi- ble. These include the use of condoms, dia- phragms, the pill, and sterilization. The Church sees the use of unnatural forms of birth control as separating the procreative dimen- sion of sexual intercourse from its unitive dimen- sion (the aspect that nourishes the love of husband and wife). The Church believes that when couples are using natural methods of family planning (e.g., the Billings Natural Family Method), they are using the means God and nature have given them.
On hearing the Church say that contraception is wrong because it interferes with nature, some peo- ple ask: “What is the difference between using eyeglasses or corrective surgery and contracep- tion? All three interfere with nature.” To this ob- jection, the Church responds: “This line of reason- ing is false because the intervention of a lens or a medical surgeon is intended to restore a sick body or organ to what nature intended it to be, whereas, the use of contraception is intended to prevent a healthy body from operating as it was intended to by God.”
While the Church’s teaching on this issue may seem totally out of date, the following are worth consider- ing:
All Christian denominations embraced the Church’s traditional teaching until 1930.
Some Christians, including those who are non- churchgoing, are drawn to Natural Family Plan- ning because it is more in tune with nature and be- cause they want to avoid the negative conse- quences of using artificial methods of family plan- ning.
There is a very low rate of divorce (about 3%) amongst couples who practice natural family plan- ning methods of birth control. Many couples have found that natural family planning strengthens their relationship. Of course, it should also be stated that there are equally dedicated Catholic couples who have experienced natural family planning as hurtful to their relationship. This is es- pecially true when one spouse is resistant to using natural family planning methods of birth control. Sadly, all too many Catholics have seriously dis- regarded the Church’s teaching on this issue. All too many have explored the Billings Natural Fam-