Monday, February 22, 2016

But Even If the "Nuns in the Congo" Story is True....

There is serious dispute over the "nuns in the Congo" story which was referenced by Pp Francis.  As it is told, nuns working in the Congo area were allowed to use birth control pills (NOT abortifacient pills, by the way) to prevent conception following a rape.

Prof. Janet Smith is, arguably, this country's foremost moral theologian on issues having to do with sexuality.  Here's her analysis of the "Congo nuns" situation.  (Smith takes for granted the truth of the story, by the way).

....It also confuses many that the officials of the Church many decades ago permitted nuns in the Congo who were in danger of being raped to take hormones that prevent ovulation (which is what the “pill” does). In this case the hormones would be taken with the intent of avoiding a pregnancy, but not a pregnancy that would be the result of a spousal act of sexual intercourse. They would not be altering the purpose of a spousal act of sexual intercourse. Rather, they would be defending themselves against the possible consequences of an act of rape. Keep in mind that it is justifiable for a woman to inflict great physical harm, even death, on a man threatening rape. Her act of killing the rapist is not justified as a “lesser evil” because killing is not a lesser evil than enduring rape. Rather, her act is an act of just and moral self-defense. 
Thus, for a woman to do something to prevent a rapist’s sperm from uniting with her ovum is a part of justifiable self-defense. Her act has nothing to do with violating God’s plan for sexuality. She is not choosing to use contraception to prevent a spousal act of sexual intercourse from achieving its natural end. She is not refusing to make a complete gift of herself to her spouse.  She is fending off a rapist and all his physicality. Clearly, her use of ovulation-suppressing hormones is not an act of contraception....

There is an implication to the way Smith analyzes the story:  "Rome" could have simply utilized the above analysis for the nuns who asked--thus "giving permission" under the specific outlined circumstances.  

Or, as the legal beagles will say:  it's facts and circumstances, folks.


GOR said...

As others have noted, the Pope has to stop giving these off-the-cuff interviews. Each time he does, he confuses people and makes matters worse. He talks too much and is not precise in what he says.

I don’t need a Pope who confuses the faithful instead of building up their Faith. I believe that history will judge this pontificate as a disaster and it will take more than one subsequent pontificate to set matters straight. But it won’t matter to me as I will be long gone before that happens and - please God - retaining my Faith.

Dad29 said...

Yah, well, I mentioned that above.

Here's a question, GOR: when will the USCC speak up?

(Don't hold your breath......)