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Author Topic: The Catholic Route to Birth Control  (Read 27748 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« Reply #495 on: July 27, 2011, 10:52:23 PM »

DO NOT include terms adapted from pagan philosophy to explain the Christian Faith.
Why not? If Pagan philosophical terms can be adopted to explain the Christian Faith, why can't other philosophical terms be used the same way?
Borrowing a term is one thing, borrowing a concept is another.  We have, for instance, borrowed the pagan term for God, but anyone who borrows a pagan concept of God upon which to "build" a Christian theology is building on sand.
I said "Christianized"...not adopted.
OK. How did they "Christianize" the materialism of the Stoics?

We of course know how the Vatican "Christianized" the office of pontifex maximus.
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« Reply #496 on: July 27, 2011, 10:58:32 PM »

OK. How did they "Christianize" the materialism of the Stoics?

You've mentioned this (about the Stoics) a number of times now, and Noonan also talks about the Stoic influence on some of the Fathers when it comes to contraception. Do you know of any texts off the top of your head that delves into this and shows evidence for the connection?
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ialmisry
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« Reply #497 on: July 28, 2011, 01:14:12 PM »

OK. How did they "Christianize" the materialism of the Stoics?

You've mentioned this (about the Stoics) a number of times now, and Noonan also talks about the Stoic influence on some of the Fathers when it comes to contraception. Do you know of any texts off the top of your head that delves into this and shows evidence for the connection?
Up this thread I posted a number of Stoic texts, links etc.  The same arguments that the Stoics use is the same ones that the Church Fathers recruited to support HV (SS. Clement Alexandria, Augustine, Jerome, etc.) are the same that the Stoics use.  Stoicism was the basic established religion of the upper Roman classes, particularly perhaps in the West.  The arguments on Natural Law also come from the same source (the providence is unmistakable, for one thing, the terminology: "Natual Law" doesn't come from the Epistle to the Romans but the Roman Stoics. They were also the ones who converted the Greco-Roman world to the "missionary position"), something that the CCC demonstrates in quoting Cicero as an authority for "the Natural Law."

One of the issues with the Stoics is that semen was taken to be produced from every part of the body causing the blood to froath, and was taken to be the essence of a man (along with the idea of a "little man" being in it).  Of course, semen cannot be the essence of man, as it only has half the chromosomes of a human.  Further, it was taken that the Logos which pulsated through creation was connected with procreation (though most Stoics were bashful about going into that in detail when it came to the issue of sex).

A few more links (unfortunately, the first has no preview):
"Stoicism in Early Christianity" Tuomas Rasimus, Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Ismo Dunderberg
http://books.google.com/books?id=OW-GcgAACAAJ&dq=Stoics+early+christianity&cd=1
Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism: a comparative study of ancient morality By Runar M. Thorsteinsson
http://books.google.com/books?id=4QK8hBL3ip8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
Backgrounds of early Christianity By Everett Ferguson
http://books.google.com/books?id=3tuKkxU4-ncC&pg=PA368&dq=Stoics+early+christianity&cd=2#v=onepage&q=Stoics%20early%20christianity&f=false
The Stoic Tradition from Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages: Stoicism in Christian Latin Thought through the Sixth Century By Marcía L. Colish
http://books.google.com/books?id=YYlcgOTk1OgC&pg=PA1&dq=Stoics+early+christianity&cd=3#v=onepage&q=Stoics%20early%20christianity&f=false

And what first prompted me to investigate the connection:The body and society: men, women, and sexual renunciation in early Christianity.By Peter Robert Lamont Brown
http://books.google.com/books?id=gIDeAhZG9a4C&pg=PA21&dq=Body+and+Society+eugenic+sex+gratuituous+acts&hl=en&ei=AZwxToOuBaOlsQKf5OiVCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 01:28:26 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #498 on: July 28, 2011, 01:20:40 PM »

Well darn, how did I miss that? There's quite a bit, some of it recent (but especially on pages 8 and 10)... anyway, thanks! Smiley
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« Reply #499 on: July 28, 2011, 01:29:12 PM »

Well darn, how did I miss that? There's quite a bit, some of it recent (but especially on pages 8 and 10)... anyway, thanks! Smiley
It's a big thread.

I added some more^
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« Reply #500 on: July 28, 2011, 08:04:43 PM »

Ranke-Heinemann, U. 1990, Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven:
Quote
Clement employs the comparison from agricultural life that was popular with the Stoics. "Thus it is not right to become enslaved to the pleasures of love and to be lustfully intent on the fulfillment of one’s desires; just as it is wrong to give oneself up to excitement by irrational passions and to long to become impure. Like the farmer, the married man is permitted to sow his. seed only when the season allows" (Paedagogus II, 10. 102, 1). Adultery with one’s own wife also puts in an appearance, one of the theme songs of the rigorists, from Philo to John Paul II. Clement writes: "One commits adultery with one’s own wife if one has commerce with her in marriage as if she were a harlot" (Paedagogus II, 10, 99, 3). In keeping with his Stoic ideal of hostility to sexual pleasure, Clement rejects intercourse with pregnant spouses (Paedagogus II, 92, 2) or between older partners (Paedagogus II, 95, 3) as counter to the Christian ideal.

On September 16, 1968, Cardinal Frings gathered together in Cologne all the deans and university professors from his diocese and, while referring to, among others, Clement of Alexandria, he sought to hymn the praises of Humanae vitae. He pointed out that Clement had forbidden intercourse with an older wife, which clearly showed that from the beginning the Church had striven and spoken out for the encyclical on birth control. From the beginning, perhaps, but not from the very beginning, i.e., Jesus or Paul. Hostility to sexual pleasure is a Gnostic-Stoic legacy, which as far back as Clement was superimposed on the Christian Gospel ("Good News"), and which spoke of pleasure as if it were a source of pollution. Clement then comes to speak about the famous Stoic "finger," which would later assume great importance again, thanks to Augustine: "For if the reason taught by the Stoics does not even allow the wise man to move his finger any which way, how much more must the seekers of wisdom affirm their dominion over the organ of generation?" (Paedagogus II, 10, 90, 1).
http://theology1.tripod.com/readings/ranke-heinemann.htm
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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ialmisry
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« Reply #501 on: July 31, 2011, 09:43:16 PM »

Address to Midwives on the Nature of Their Profession
by Pope Pius XII
Quote
The primary end of marriage

Now, the truth is that matrimony, as an institution of nature, in virtue of the Creator's will, has not as a primary and intimate end the personal perfection of the married couple but the procreation and upbringing of a new life. The other ends, inasmuch as they are intended by nature, are not equally primary, much less superior to the primary end, but are essentially subordinated to it. This is true of every marriage, even if no offspring result, just as of every eye it can be said that it is destined and formed to see, even if, in abnormal cases arising from special internal or external conditions, it will never be possible to achieve visual perception.....All this is therefore true and desired by God. But, on the other hand, it must not be divorced completely from the primary function of matrimony—the procreation of offspring. Not only the common work of external life, but even all personal enrichment—spiritual and intellectual—all that in married love as such is most spiritual and profound, has been placed by the will of the Creator and of nature at the service of posterity. The perfect married life, of its very nature, also signifies the total devotion of parents to the well-being of their children, and married love in its power and tenderness is itself a condition of the sincerest care of the offspring and the guarantee of its realization.
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12midwives.htm
So much for the "unitative aspect."

The direct opposite of the Orthodox position of marriage.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #502 on: July 31, 2011, 09:55:12 PM »

This is worrisome.
Quote
A British study suggests the Roman Catholic Church-approved "rhythm method" may kill more embryos than other methods of contraception.

It's believed the method works by preventing conception from occurring. But Professor Luc Bovens of the London School of Economics says it may owe much of its success to the fact that embryos conceived on the fringes of the fertile period are less viable than those conceived toward the middle.

Bovens says it can be calculated that two to three embryos will have died every time the rhythm method results in a pregnancy.

The study appears in the Journal of Medical Ethics
http://www.physorg.com/news67783446.html
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« Reply #503 on: July 31, 2011, 10:01:51 PM »

This is worrisome.
Quote
A British study suggests the Roman Catholic Church-approved "rhythm method" may kill more embryos than other methods of contraception.

It's believed the method works by preventing conception from occurring. But Professor Luc Bovens of the London School of Economics says it may owe much of its success to the fact that embryos conceived on the fringes of the fertile period are less viable than those conceived toward the middle.

Bovens says it can be calculated that two to three embryos will have died every time the rhythm method results in a pregnancy.

The study appears in the Journal of Medical Ethics
http://www.physorg.com/news67783446.html

Not really.  At least in the article it "can be calculated" which means that this is merely conjecture based on supposed mathematical odds.  To compound it, this is from the London School of Economics and not the Royal College of Surgeons.

Just more typical English anti-Roman propaganda.  Quoting this article should beneath you, Isa.
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« Reply #504 on: August 01, 2011, 12:38:03 AM »

This is worrisome.
Quote
A British study suggests the Roman Catholic Church-approved "rhythm method" may kill more embryos than other methods of contraception.

It's believed the method works by preventing conception from occurring. But Professor Luc Bovens of the London School of Economics says it may owe much of its success to the fact that embryos conceived on the fringes of the fertile period are less viable than those conceived toward the middle.

Bovens says it can be calculated that two to three embryos will have died every time the rhythm method results in a pregnancy.

The study appears in the Journal of Medical Ethics
http://www.physorg.com/news67783446.html

Not really.  At least in the article it "can be calculated" which means that this is merely conjecture based on supposed mathematical odds.  To compound it, this is from the London School of Economics and not the Royal College of Surgeons.

Just more typical English anti-Roman propaganda.  Quoting this article should beneath you, Isa.
Is anything actually beneath Isa?
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ialmisry
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« Reply #505 on: August 01, 2011, 11:09:46 AM »

This is worrisome.
Quote
A British study suggests the Roman Catholic Church-approved "rhythm method" may kill more embryos than other methods of contraception.

It's believed the method works by preventing conception from occurring. But Professor Luc Bovens of the London School of Economics says it may owe much of its success to the fact that embryos conceived on the fringes of the fertile period are less viable than those conceived toward the middle.

Bovens says it can be calculated that two to three embryos will have died every time the rhythm method results in a pregnancy.

The study appears in the Journal of Medical Ethics
http://www.physorg.com/news67783446.html

Not really.  At least in the article it "can be calculated" which means that this is merely conjecture based on supposed mathematical odds.  To compound it, this is from the London School of Economics and not the Royal College of Surgeons.

Just more typical English anti-Roman propaganda.  Quoting this article should beneath you, Isa.
Is anything actually beneath Isa?
Plenty.

By as to the article, there are some interesting comments on it:
http://jme.bmj.com/content/32/6/355.full
Including a reply by the author to his critics:
Quote
Some of my critics draw a distinction between the rhythm method and natural family planning (NFP). I take the rhythm method to be any method that relies on abstinence around the time of ovulation. Of course there are various ways to determine when ovulation occurs, including the calendar method (Ogino Knauss), examining mucus (Billings) or checking basal temperature (STM). I do not take this method to cover the use of barrier methods during the fertile period, as some definitions of both ‘NFP’ and ‘the rhythm method’ seem to permit. I find reports on success rates for this method between 75% as the lowest number for typical use and 99.3% as the highest number for perfect use. Should one use numbers for perfect use or for typical use in moral arguments? On the one hand, one could say that a proponent of a method of contraception should not have to take responsibility for people failing to follow proper instructions. But on the other hand, recommendations are for real people and real people are not perfect users. To postulate a 90% success rate does not seem to be out of line with the available evidence. It is probably somewhat too low for perfect use and somewhat too high for typical use.
I know Wyatt is fond of making a distinction between the calendar rhythm method (it seems that is the only one you dispute) and what HV calls NFP. Perhaps it is because the Fathers he depends on for HV condemns the calendar rhythm method, St. Augustine in particular specifically condemns this method which he used to use.  Will Wyatt and other supporters of HV reclassify the calendar rhythm method as "ABC"?
Quote
If the method fails, then how does it fail? If the purpose is to avoid having sex around the time of ovulation, then the following seem to be reasonable answers. (1) The last time of having sex before the period of abstinence was too close to ovulation. (2) The first time of having sex after the period of abstinence was too close to ovulation. (3) Ovulation was atypically early or late during some cycle and though the users checked the markers for ovulation, they failed to determine its occurrence accurately. Or a combination of (1) and (3) or of (1) and (2) are also reasonable. Since we are talking about typical use, such failures could be due to self-deception and wishful thinking. (1) raises the problem of ageing sperm, (2) raises the problem of an ageing ovum and (3) raises the problem of an atypical cycle.

Now comes the main empirical point of contention. For my argument to work, it must be the case that the probability of viability given that a conception occurs with ageing sperm or ovum or during an atypical cycle is lower than the probability of viability given that a conception occurs with fresh sperm and a fresh ovum and during a typical cycle. Both Mark Witty and Anne Williams phrase the objection to this assumption very well. "There is no evidence that there is any variability of viability of the conceptus with time of fertilisation within this narrow window," writes Williams. “Any conception is as viable as the next, barring a fatal genetic or developmental defect; there is no truth to the 'old sperm' or 'old ovum' speculation...," writes Witty. So let us turn to the relevant empirical literature.

Tarin et al. (2000) review a fifty-year literature not only on the effect of ageing gametes on pre-menstruation embryonic loss, but also on fertilization, spontaneous abortions and the pathology of the offspring...As to ageing ova, I quote:"It appears that ... post-ovulatory ageing of oocytes is associated with: (i) decreased potential of oocytes for fertilization and pre- and / or post-implantation embryo/fetus development." (Tarin et al., 2000: 544) Table 1 (Tarin et al., 2000: 533) contains a range of studies documenting the effect of the ageing of the ovum on embryo/fetus development and mortality. To pick one example, Wilcox et al. (1998) study ovulation, hCG levels and intercourse patterns of a cohort of women attempting pregnancy and find an increase in post- implantation embryonic loss for intercourse on the day of ovulation in human populations. Considering the time-lag between intercourse and fertilisation, these data support the hypothesis that post-ovulatory ageing of ova compromises embryonic survival. (I should add that Wilcox et al. (1998) do not record any conceptions from intercourse after the day of ovulation.) Wilcox et al. (1999) compare late implantations and early implantations. Late implantations have levels of embryonic loss that are radically higher (82% after day 11) than early implantations (13% up to day 9) . However, it is not known what causes these late implantations....As to old spermatozoa, I quote from Tarin et al., 2000: 544: "Likewise the ageing of spermatozoa in ... the female reproductive tract ... is associated with decreased ... potential for fertilization and pre- and/or post-implantation embryo/fetus development." Table 2 contains entries with articles documenting the effect of in vivo ageing of spermatozoa in the female genital tract and increased embryo/fetal mortality with ageing spermatozoa. Tarin et al. (2000: 542) write: "This notion is supported by the high mortality rate observed in embryos/fetuses derived from sperm aged in stagnant environments, e.g in ... the] female reproductive tract." Parkening and Soderwall, in a study of golden hamsters, write that their data "indicate that inseminated spermatozoa are capable of penetrating the zona pellucida and fertilizing some ova after residing 14 to 16 h within the female reproductive tract, but that the viability of ova fertilized in this manner is greatly reduced." (1975: 627-8)

Whitty objects to my use of the figure of 50% of embryonic loss, claims that such high figures are based on old and questionable studies (from 1956 and 1975), and that animal studies give single-digit percentages. A standard source for embryonic mortality is Edmonds (1982). Edmonds assesses embryonic loss by the appearance and disappearance of hCG in the urine at the time of implantation and presents a figure of 62%. This underestimates the actual percentage since it does not count pre-implantation loss. In Wilcox et al.'s study (1999) the pre-menstruation embryonic loss plus miscarriages is at 33%. Why is there this discrepancy? The only explanation that I can see is that Edmonds samples from a normal population, whereas Wilcox restricts his population to couples without previous fertility problems. In any case, considering that this does not measure pre-implantation loss, a figure of 50% for normal populations does not seem outlandish in the face of these data... It may be the case that, say, the viability given conception is variable, but this variability is not sufficiently great to obtain meaningful differences between embryonic death rates for condom users and NFP users...
which goes right to the heart of the matter, condoms and "NFP" having comparable failure rates where "failure" results in a child.  Are they comparable for embryonic deaths?  I'm afraid the author has a point:
Quote
Maybe it is worse to remove edible plants and animals from an island to make it inhospitable and then to drop off someone on it than to carefully pick a time of the year to drop off someone when you know the island not to be hospitable for human habitation. But really, is it that much worse?

Miscarriages (technically termed "spontaneous abortions") are part of this fallen world.  Most are never even noticed.  We had one that even my ex didn't realize what it was. I've known couples to have 5 in a row before having a child who came to term.  Even those couples who followed SS. Clement, Augustine, Jerome and Lactantius etc. would have such occurences.  But now, given the increase in knowledge of the biology, would not a couple guilty be guilty for not determining the optimal time for conception, and limiting intercourse to them?  I've yet to see anyone in support of HV address that, and the questions of the odds of viability and the timing of intercourse that Bovens brings up have to be addressed.

As to it being the work of a professor at a school of economics, I'm a product of the U of C, which places a premium on interdisciplinary approaches, for which I make no apologies.

As to the peer reviewed journal
Quote
Journal of Medical Ethics is a leading international journal that reflects the whole field of medical ethics. The journal seeks to promote ethical reflection and conduct in scientific research and medical practice. It features original articles on ethical aspects of health care, as well as case conferences, book reviews, editorials, correspondence, news and notes. To ensure international relevance JME has Editorial Board members from all around the world including the US, Europe, Australasia and Far East.

The Journal of Medical Ethics is an official journal of the Institute of Medical Ethics
http://jme.bmj.com/site/about/index.xhtml

and on the author:
Quote
Dr Luc Bovens is a Belgian professor of philosophy at the London School of Economics, and former editor of Economics and Philosophy. His main areas of research are moral and political philosophy, philosophy of economics, philosophy of public policy, Bayesian epistemology, rational choice theory, and voting theory. Bovens attended the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, studying Social Sciences, before moving to the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Here he completed an MA in Sociology, an MA in philosophy and a PhD in philosophy in 1990.

He was a research assistant in the National Fund for Scientific Research in Belgium, before gaining a professorship in the department of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1990.

Bovens was Director of the Philosophy, Probability and Modeling (PPM) research group with Stephan Hartmann at the University of Konstanz, Germany from 2002–2005, and an editor of Economics and Philosophy from 2002-2007.

He has been a professor in and the head of the department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics since 2004
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luc_Bovens
It would seem he is a scholastic man, insisting on that intergration that my critics bring up when I criticize the scholastics' twining of theology and philosophy. I don't agree with many of his assumptions, arguments and conclusions, but unlike my critics, I cannot dissmiss his points on that basis.

The scientific method, including biology, involves hypostheses, of various origins, including statistics.

One thing I have wondered over the years, both from my own experience and others, that it seems for many women they must have a few attempts (ending in miscarriage) before succeeding to carry a child to term. Perhaps all women have to, but most of the miscarriages happen so early as to not be noticed.  I had a friend who had a child earlier on (after years of contraception) and then, trying again years later, kept on loosing the child in the fifth month (5 or 6), this in the midst of fertility treatments for her and her husband.  The morality isn't that simple, which is what Bovens is pointing out.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 11:15:15 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #506 on: August 01, 2011, 11:36:45 AM »

Isa, I'm against the rhythm method because it is archaic and ineffective. We have already discussed how there are Fathers who are opposed to birth control, but the ones that are tend to be against it without distinction and do not allow any exceptions. Both of our Churches allow birth control now, we have just went different directions on which ones are allowed. If I understand the Eastern Orthodox position correctly, it allows all forms of birth control provided it is non-abortive. Our Church only allows Natural Family Planning and, even then, it must be open to life. It is still possible to use NFP sinfully.
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« Reply #507 on: April 30, 2012, 11:19:39 AM »

Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
Quote
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
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« Reply #508 on: April 30, 2012, 12:38:48 PM »

Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
Quote
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
Why are you so interested in discussing and defending unnatural sex acts?
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« Reply #509 on: April 30, 2012, 01:27:00 PM »

Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
Quote
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
Why are you so interested in discussing and defending unnatural sex acts?
Why is your all celebite "magisterium" interested in discussing sex at all?

As for "unnatural", according to the Patristics upon which you depend to defend Humanae Vitae, HV's "NFP" is nor more "natural" than coitus interruptus.  (maybe less:every coitus naturally has to withdraw at some point).
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« Reply #510 on: April 30, 2012, 01:28:43 PM »

Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
Quote
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
Why are you so interested in discussing and defending unnatural sex acts?
Why is your all celebite "magisterium" interested in discussing sex at all?
If something is a sin, the Church is obligated to inform the faithful. Likewise, the faithful are responsible in forming their consciences.
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« Reply #511 on: April 30, 2012, 01:31:01 PM »

Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
Quote
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
Why are you so interested in discussing and defending unnatural sex acts?
Why is your all celebite "magisterium" interested in discussing sex at all?
If something is a sin, the Church is obligated to inform the faithful. Likewise, the faithful are responsible in forming their consciences.
You answwered Papist's question.
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« Reply #512 on: April 30, 2012, 01:38:56 PM »

Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
Quote
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
Why are you so interested in discussing and defending unnatural sex acts?
Why is your all celebite "magisterium" interested in discussing sex at all?
If something is a sin, the Church is obligated to inform the faithful. Likewise, the faithful are responsible in forming their consciences.
Agreed. I should have clarified. Izzy is very much into defending unnatural sex acts.
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« Reply #513 on: April 30, 2012, 02:36:49 PM »

Just came across an interesting assertion (though I recall hearing it before):
Quote
A really sore point in France for Catholic men was contraception. If the married couple practiced coitus interruptus, the wife was blameless; the sin was solely the husband’s. The French bishops in 1870 at the First Vatican Council were going to ask the Council to allow priests to give absolution to a man if he was practicing coitus interruptus, but the Council adjourned because of  the political situation before the matter could be discussed.
http://www.podles.org/dialogue/women-and-confession-420.htm
Why are you so interested in discussing and defending unnatural sex acts?
Why is your all celebite "magisterium" interested in discussing sex at all?
If something is a sin, the Church is obligated to inform the faithful. Likewise, the faithful are responsible in forming their consciences.
Agreed. I should have clarified. Izzy
Who?
is very much into defending unnatural sex acts.
Not as much as your "magisterium" is unnaturally very much into speaking on sex acts of any sort, which they, natrually, as being celibates, know nothing about.  And it shows.
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« Reply #514 on: April 30, 2012, 02:53:53 PM »

When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?
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« Reply #515 on: April 30, 2012, 03:19:04 PM »

Some time ago I read something by Suzie Orbach (who wrote "Fat is a Feminist Issue") who was an atheist feminist who spoke (maybe briefly)  in favor of Natural Family Planning. The idea was using NFP makes men wait for women's natural cycle, instead of using women as objects to be ready whenever for whatever. The idea presented was how it puts women in control and takes control away from men.   I can't find a source at this moment, but it did stick in my mind because it was an interesting perspective from a non-Catholic viewpoint.

It does seem there is a new trend in feminism which is in favor of NFP, such as this site:

http://www.myfemininemind.com/2010/04/why-i-am-passionate-about-topics-of-nfp.html

I've never had time to delve into Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, but once when I heard Christopher West speak it did seem to be very woman-friendly.


Regardless if you believe artificial birth control is a spiritual problem or not, we can see that the trend in society is away from stable marriages, to children having sex at earlier and earlier ages,  contraceptives being provided to young teens more and more, etc.  Definitely something is going wrong in our society and it doesn't appear to be because there isn't enough contraceptives.
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« Reply #516 on: April 30, 2012, 03:52:09 PM »

Some time ago I read something by Suzie Orbach (who wrote "Fat is a Feminist Issue") who was an atheist feminist who spoke (maybe briefly)  in favor of Natural Family Planning. The idea was using NFP makes men wait for women's natural cycle, instead of using women as objects to be ready whenever for whatever. The idea presented was how it puts women in control and takes control away from men.   I can't find a source at this moment, but it did stick in my mind because it was an interesting perspective from a non-Catholic viewpoint.

It does seem there is a new trend in feminism which is in favor of NFP, such as this site:

http://www.myfemininemind.com/2010/04/why-i-am-passionate-about-topics-of-nfp.html

I've never had time to delve into Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, but once when I heard Christopher West speak it did seem to be very woman-friendly.


Regardless if you believe artificial birth control is a spiritual problem or not, we can see that the trend in society is away from stable marriages, to children having sex at earlier and earlier ages,  contraceptives being provided to young teens more and more, etc.  Definitely something is going wrong in our society and it doesn't appear to be because there isn't enough contraceptives.
Unfortunately it is something that the absence of contraception will not solve.
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« Reply #517 on: April 30, 2012, 03:53:03 PM »

When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?
This year.  Bp. Mathias of Chicago is a widower.
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« Reply #518 on: April 30, 2012, 03:56:59 PM »

When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?
This year.  Bp. Mathias of Chicago is a widower.

Was his wife alive when he became a bishop?  If not, that would have made him celibate, at least in theory, at the time of his elevation to the episcopate.

My understanding, and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, is that bishops in the Orthodox Church are chosen from the ranks of the *celibate* priesthood.
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« Reply #519 on: April 30, 2012, 04:02:24 PM »

When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?
This year.  Bp. Mathias of Chicago is a widower.

Was his wife alive when he became a bishop?  If not, that would have made him celibate, at least in theory, at the time of his elevation to the episcopate.

My understanding, and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, is that bishops in the Orthodox Church are chosen from the ranks of the *celibate* priesthood.
No.  As a matter of fact, the Antiochian ones don't even take monastic vows if they are not already a monk.

Bp. Matthias' memory of his wife and his marriage I am sure was not wipped clean from his mind by his consecration.
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« Reply #520 on: April 30, 2012, 04:09:00 PM »

When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?
This year.  Bp. Mathias of Chicago is a widower.

Was his wife alive when he became a bishop?  If not, that would have made him celibate, at least in theory, at the time of his elevation to the episcopate.

My understanding, and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, is that bishops in the Orthodox Church are chosen from the ranks of the *celibate* priesthood.
No.  As a matter of fact, the Antiochian ones don't even take monastic vows if they are not already a monk.

Bp. Matthias' memory of his wife and his marriage I am sure was not wipped clean from his mind by his consecration.

So Orthodox bishops are *not*, as a matter of course and of policy, chosen from the ranks of the celibate priesthood (memories nothwithstanding)?

What about this: "On the Eastern Orthodox side, it is sometimes forgotten that those who were called hiereus and sacerdos by the Fathers (i.e. the bishops) are also under a discipline of clerical celibacy . According to the canons, Orthodox bishops are elected from the monastic ranks, but in practice, celibate priests are often chosen as well. As a result, it is disingenuous to say that the question of clerical celibacy is only a Roman Catholic issue, especially because the Eastern discipline of episcopal celibacy has also been challenged by respected Orthodox bishops and theologians"?
http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/celibacy

Or this: "Priesthood, in all three of its degrees, according to the canonical tradition in force (canon 3 of the Council in Trullo), constitutes an impediment to marriage."?
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm

There is also this discussion about bishops and celibacy: http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2757-Why-are-bishops-celibate

Is it therefor not correct to state that it is the *norm*, in which there are exceptions, that Orthodox bishops are celibate and have been chosen from the ranks of celibate priests?

The fact of the matter is that most Orthodox bishops are celibate, and that there are a great number of celibate Orthodox priests.  That being the case, how are they better qualified to discuss sexual matters than celibate Catholic priests and bishops, of whom you wrote that they are "... very much into speaking on sex acts of any sort, which they, natrually, as being celibates, know nothing about?"?
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« Reply #521 on: April 30, 2012, 04:42:01 PM »

When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?
This year.  Bp. Mathias of Chicago is a widower.

Was his wife alive when he became a bishop?  If not, that would have made him celibate, at least in theory, at the time of his elevation to the episcopate.

My understanding, and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, is that bishops in the Orthodox Church are chosen from the ranks of the *celibate* priesthood.
No.  As a matter of fact, the Antiochian ones don't even take monastic vows if they are not already a monk.

Bp. Matthias' memory of his wife and his marriage I am sure was not wipped clean from his mind by his consecration.

So Orthodox bishops are *not*, as a matter of course and of policy, chosen from the ranks of the celibate priesthood (memories nothwithstanding)?

What about this: "On the Eastern Orthodox side, it is sometimes forgotten that those who were called hiereus and sacerdos by the Fathers (i.e. the bishops) are also under a discipline of clerical celibacy . According to the canons, Orthodox bishops are elected from the monastic ranks, but in practice, celibate priests are often chosen as well. As a result, it is disingenuous to say that the question of clerical celibacy is only a Roman Catholic issue, especially because the Eastern discipline of episcopal celibacy has also been challenged by respected Orthodox bishops and theologians"?
http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/celibacy

Or this: "Priesthood, in all three of its degrees, according to the canonical tradition in force (canon 3 of the Council in Trullo), constitutes an impediment to marriage."?
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm

There is also this discussion about bishops and celibacy: http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2757-Why-are-bishops-celibate

Is it therefor not correct to state that it is the *norm*, in which there are exceptions, that Orthodox bishops are celibate and have been chosen from the ranks of celibate priests?
You might say it is "the norm," but what you can't say is that it is a hard and fast rule.

"Impediment to marriage."  Never heard that phrase used in an Orthodox context.  Someone is still living it seems in the Western Captivity.

You asked "When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?"  You were given the truthful answer.  Is there a reason why you do not want to accept it?
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« Reply #522 on: April 30, 2012, 04:49:44 PM »

When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?
This year.  Bp. Mathias of Chicago is a widower.

Was his wife alive when he became a bishop?  If not, that would have made him celibate, at least in theory, at the time of his elevation to the episcopate.

My understanding, and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, is that bishops in the Orthodox Church are chosen from the ranks of the *celibate* priesthood.
No.  As a matter of fact, the Antiochian ones don't even take monastic vows if they are not already a monk.

Bp. Matthias' memory of his wife and his marriage I am sure was not wipped clean from his mind by his consecration.

So Orthodox bishops are *not*, as a matter of course and of policy, chosen from the ranks of the celibate priesthood (memories nothwithstanding)?

What about this: "On the Eastern Orthodox side, it is sometimes forgotten that those who were called hiereus and sacerdos by the Fathers (i.e. the bishops) are also under a discipline of clerical celibacy . According to the canons, Orthodox bishops are elected from the monastic ranks, but in practice, celibate priests are often chosen as well. As a result, it is disingenuous to say that the question of clerical celibacy is only a Roman Catholic issue, especially because the Eastern discipline of episcopal celibacy has also been challenged by respected Orthodox bishops and theologians"?
http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/celibacy

The canons (in particular canon XII of Trullo) only require that a bishop be celibate once elected. Indeed, the relevant canon even speaks of married men being elected to the episcopacy--but requires that in such cases the wife agree to go live separately in a monastery. I don't believe that happens very often (though I seem to recall ROCOR had a bishop in just that circumstance in the middle of last century). But selection of widowed priests to the episcopacy is quite common in Orthodoxy (and even more common in previous centuries when the dangers of childbirth resulted in considerably more widowers than we see today).

Quote
Or this: "Priesthood, in all three of its degrees, according to the canonical tradition in force (canon 3 of the Council in Trullo), constitutes an impediment to marriage."?
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm

That canon is only about marriage *after* ordination. Once a man has been ordained to the diaconate (or higher), he cannot marry. And if he was already married and his wife dies, he cannot remarry. But it has nothing to do with those who are already married.


Quote
There is also this discussion about bishops and celibacy: http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2757-Why-are-bishops-celibate

Is it therefor not correct to state that it is the *norm*, in which there are exceptions, that Orthodox bishops are celibate and have been chosen from the ranks of celibate priests?

Depends on your definition of 'norm and exceptions'. All Orthodox bishops are celibate post-ordination. And the majority are certainly drawn from celibate clergy. But widower bishops are not so uncommon that I would consider them an 'exception'; it's not like one is surprised to come across one (my definiton of an exception--the ROCOR bishop who actually was married, assuming I am remembering correctly, I would consider an exception). Indeed, I believe the 'norm' would be that there is usually at least one widower on the synod of any given Church at any given time.

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« Reply #523 on: April 30, 2012, 04:50:56 PM »

When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?
This year.  Bp. Mathias of Chicago is a widower.

Was his wife alive when he became a bishop?  If not, that would have made him celibate, at least in theory, at the time of his elevation to the episcopate.

My understanding, and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, is that bishops in the Orthodox Church are chosen from the ranks of the *celibate* priesthood.
No.  As a matter of fact, the Antiochian ones don't even take monastic vows if they are not already a monk.

Bp. Matthias' memory of his wife and his marriage I am sure was not wipped clean from his mind by his consecration.

So Orthodox bishops are *not*, as a matter of course and of policy, chosen from the ranks of the celibate priesthood (memories nothwithstanding)?

What about this: "On the Eastern Orthodox side, it is sometimes forgotten that those who were called hiereus and sacerdos by the Fathers (i.e. the bishops) are also under a discipline of clerical celibacy . According to the canons, Orthodox bishops are elected from the monastic ranks, but in practice, celibate priests are often chosen as well. As a result, it is disingenuous to say that the question of clerical celibacy is only a Roman Catholic issue, especially because the Eastern discipline of episcopal celibacy has also been challenged by respected Orthodox bishops and theologians"?
http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/celibacy

Or this: "Priesthood, in all three of its degrees, according to the canonical tradition in force (canon 3 of the Council in Trullo), constitutes an impediment to marriage."?
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm

There is also this discussion about bishops and celibacy: http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2757-Why-are-bishops-celibate

Is it therefor not correct to state that it is the *norm*, in which there are exceptions, that Orthodox bishops are celibate and have been chosen from the ranks of celibate priests?
You might say it is "the norm," but what you can't say is that it is a hard and fast rule.

"Impediment to marriage."  Never heard that phrase used in an Orthodox context.  Someone is still living it seems in the Western Captivity.

You asked "When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?"  You were given the truthful answer.  Is there a reason why you do not want to accept it?

Oh, I accept your answer, and trust that you're telling me the truth.  I'm not arguing whether celibacy of the Orthodox episcopate is a hard and fast rule.  I'm fairly aware of how it works.  The point I'm making, which you seem unwilling to accept, is that celibacy is a norm and common in Orthodoxy, and that makes, according to what you wrote that I quoted above Orthodox celibates, according to what you wrote,  no better than Catholic celibates in discussing sexual matters, because they are celibate.  That's all.  My only point, really.

As for "impediment to marriage", etc. , in an Orthodox context, go to this link: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm
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« Reply #524 on: April 30, 2012, 04:53:52 PM »

When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?
This year.  Bp. Mathias of Chicago is a widower.

Was his wife alive when he became a bishop?  If not, that would have made him celibate, at least in theory, at the time of his elevation to the episcopate.

My understanding, and I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, is that bishops in the Orthodox Church are chosen from the ranks of the *celibate* priesthood.
No.  As a matter of fact, the Antiochian ones don't even take monastic vows if they are not already a monk.

Bp. Matthias' memory of his wife and his marriage I am sure was not wipped clean from his mind by his consecration.

So Orthodox bishops are *not*, as a matter of course and of policy, chosen from the ranks of the celibate priesthood (memories nothwithstanding)?

What about this: "On the Eastern Orthodox side, it is sometimes forgotten that those who were called hiereus and sacerdos by the Fathers (i.e. the bishops) are also under a discipline of clerical celibacy . According to the canons, Orthodox bishops are elected from the monastic ranks, but in practice, celibate priests are often chosen as well. As a result, it is disingenuous to say that the question of clerical celibacy is only a Roman Catholic issue, especially because the Eastern discipline of episcopal celibacy has also been challenged by respected Orthodox bishops and theologians"?
http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/celibacy

The canons (in particular canon XII of Trullo) only require that a bishop be celibate once elected. Indeed, the relevant canon even speaks of married men being elected to the episcopacy--but requires that in such cases the wife agree to go live separately in a monastery. I don't believe that happens very often (though I seem to recall ROCOR had a bishop in just that circumstance in the middle of last century). But selection of widowed priests to the episcopacy is quite common in Orthodoxy (and even more common in previous centuries when the dangers of childbirth resulted in considerably more widowers than we see today).

Quote
Or this: "Priesthood, in all three of its degrees, according to the canonical tradition in force (canon 3 of the Council in Trullo), constitutes an impediment to marriage."?
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm

That canon is only about marriage *after* ordination. Once a man has been ordained to the diaconate (or higher), he cannot marry. And if he was already married and his wife dies, he cannot remarry. But it has nothing to do with those who are already married.


Quote
There is also this discussion about bishops and celibacy: http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2757-Why-are-bishops-celibate

Is it therefor not correct to state that it is the *norm*, in which there are exceptions, that Orthodox bishops are celibate and have been chosen from the ranks of celibate priests?

Depends on your definition of 'norm and exceptions'. All Orthodox bishops are celibate post-ordination. And the majority are certainly drawn from celibate clergy. But widower bishops are not so uncommon that I would consider them an 'exception'; it's not like one is surprised to come across one (my definiton of an exception--the ROCOR bishop who actually was married, assuming I am remembering correctly, I would consider an exception). Indeed, I believe the 'norm' would be that there is usually at least one widower on the synod of any given Church at any given time.



I'm well aware of all this.  That wasn't my point.
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« Reply #525 on: April 30, 2012, 05:34:31 PM »

You asked "When's the last time there was a non-celibate Orthodox bishop/archbishop/patriarch?"  You were given the truthful answer.  Is there a reason why you do not want to accept it?

Oh, I accept your answer, and trust that you're telling me the truth.  I'm not arguing whether celibacy of the Orthodox episcopate is a hard and fast rule.  I'm fairly aware of how it works.  The point I'm making, which you seem unwilling to accept, is that celibacy is a norm and common in Orthodoxy, and that makes, according to what you wrote that I quoted above Orthodox celibates, according to what you wrote,  no better than Catholic celibates in discussing sexual matters, because they are celibate.  That's all.  My only point, really.
I knew (or maybe you would say I "suspected") that was your "point."  One of the valid points that Uta Ranke-Heinemann's "Eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven: women, sexuality, and the Catholic Church"
http://books.google.com/books?id=-FomAQAAMAAJ&q=eunuch+for+the+kingdom+of+heaven&dq=eunuch+for+the+kingdom+of+heaven&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kgSfT57FLpLpggfV0N3fDQ&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAA
makes is that the mandated clerical celebacy of the Vatican, from the lowest orders up to its supreme pontiff, creates a universe totally divorced from women in general and married and family life in particular.  And it shows in their writings on the matter.  In contrast, Orthodox celibate bishops not only have to deal with married clergy, but with colleagues who have experienced marriage.  It creates a totally different dynamic: I cannot envisage the Vatican explicitely ordering priests, as the Russian Holy Synod did, NOT to counsel their flock to abstain from marital relations.
As for "impediment to marriage", etc. , in an Orthodox context, go to this link: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/misc/damaskinos_celibacy.htm
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« Reply #526 on: April 30, 2012, 06:01:34 PM »

Some time ago I read something by Suzie Orbach (who wrote "Fat is a Feminist Issue") who was an atheist feminist who spoke (maybe briefly)  in favor of Natural Family Planning. The idea was using NFP makes men wait for women's natural cycle, instead of using women as objects to be ready whenever for whatever. The idea presented was how it puts women in control and takes control away from men.   I can't find a source at this moment, but it did stick in my mind because it was an interesting perspective from a non-Catholic viewpoint.

It does seem there is a new trend in feminism which is in favor of NFP, such as this site:

http://www.myfemininemind.com/2010/04/why-i-am-passionate-about-topics-of-nfp.html

I've never had time to delve into Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, but once when I heard Christopher West speak it did seem to be very woman-friendly.


Regardless if you believe artificial birth control is a spiritual problem or not, we can see that the trend in society is away from stable marriages, to children having sex at earlier and earlier ages,  contraceptives being provided to young teens more and more, etc.  Definitely something is going wrong in our society and it doesn't appear to be because there isn't enough contraceptives.

This is why the kinds of arguments that al Misry uses are so insidious.  It has been my observation over time that he is not a friend of women, and it is clear in all that he writes but most me who are as snarky and controlling as he is generally do no love women in any kind of profound way...and that is, I believe, what most women want from a man.  The von Hildebrands have some excellent comments about purity and continence and desire, and they had a beautiful and stimulating marriage at all levels.  There is a book that I had some years ago that talks about celibacy and chastity in much the same way that you describe here. 

It would be interesting to talk about it but al Misry moves in to derail all positive discussion between Orthodox and Catholic.  It would take some pretty strong concentration to ignore his posts but if you'd like to start a thread on the subject I would be happy to participate.

Mary
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« Reply #527 on: April 30, 2012, 06:33:53 PM »

I'm reposting, with permission, something posted by "an Orthodox Christian (albeit one in communion with Rome)" (his wording), Stuart L. Koehl, on "Evangelicals and Contraception" in Augustin717's favorite magazine Touchstone.
http://touchstonemag.com/merecomments/2006/08/evangelicals_an/
Quote
I have a problem with this approach, in that it is not consistent with the Orthdodox perspective on marriage (see John Meyendorff, “Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective”, according to which marriage is first and foremost a “mysterion” or sacrament that has (to use Meyendorff’s words), “no utilitarian purpose”. By this, he meant that marriage cannot have as its rationale either procreation or securing of property, or any other “secular” objective. Its sole purpose is to serve as a sign of the relationship between God and man, Christ and the Church and the persons of the Trinity with each other. He points out that before the New Covenant opened immortality to all, man attempted to gain vicarious immortality through progeny (and also by increasing the fortune of his house through advantageous unions). With the New Covenant, this rationale falls away.

 From this starting point, I will go on to address the issue of artificial contraception. As an Orthodox Christian (albeit one in communion with Rome), I do not think that the kind of absolute, legalistic position being espoused here is consistent either with the Orthodox theology of marriage (in which the begetting of children is a fruit of marriage, not a purpose of marriage), or with the principle of oikonomia whereby the Church has an obligation, in its “stewardship” of souls, to take into account individual circumstances and human frailties. In other words, one size may not fit all. The assumption seems to be that a married couple ought to use natural family planning, or none at all. Yet even the most sophisticated methods of NFP are not effective for all women, and some women may have very good reasons NOT to become pregnant. Similarly, there may be very good reasons for a man to use a barrier method of contraception (i.e., a condom) within marriage; e.g., the man (or woman) is infected with HIV, and the use of a condom would reduce the risk of cross-infection (to defuse incipient moments of sanctimony, let us assume that the infection was received through a blood transfusion). Now, in Latin moral theology, this would (or should) be covered by the principle of double effect, but there are many absolutists who would say that the rule against contraception is absolulte, and that the only alternative for the couple is continence. But that, of course, imposes upon them an heroic lifestyle (celibacy) that is not for every person, and should not be imposed in any case.

 The late Melkite Archbiship Joseph (Raya) of Nazareth (may his memory be eternal), was a very wise and gentle man, a spiritual father to many people, Catholic and Orthodox alike. In his book, “Crowning–the Christian Marriage”, which is used by the Melkite Greek Catholic Church as a wedding preparatory text, he wrote at some length about contraception in a balanced and humane way:

 From Crowning: The Christian Marriage, by Archbishop Joseph (Raya)

 Birth Control

 In a world where eroticism dominates the hearts and minds of men and women, it is almost impossible to honor the Christian vision of a sexuality more precious than pleasure and more honorable than social necessity. In our days, the problems of birth control are heart rending.

 In his praiseworthy attempt to counteract a sexual morality falsified by a secularized society and atheistic propaganda, Pope Paul VI, who at the time of the Second Vatican Council had reserved to himself the final decision on birth control, called upon a papal commission to advise him before publishing the official Church doctrine.

 Over three quarters of the members, chosen by the Pope for their wisdom and reliability, offered the majority opinion endorsing a carefully qualified use of birth control, and proposed a revision of the current unqualified condemnation.

 Pope Paul VI, however, disregarded their advice and published the Encyclical Humanae Vitae, maintaining the negative position. There is a present a painful tension between the supporters of rigidity in this matter, and those who believe it is unjustified.

 The Byzantine ceremony of Crowning glorifies Christian chastity. Chastity means integrity of the human relation, integration of the forces of life into the personalistic aspects of nuptial love, which leads the couple into the Kingdom, into the peace and harmony of life. Both fertile and childless couples go beyond the mere functional: the combine the instinctive and passionate movements of their love, integrating them into a single act of ascent of pure goodness. It is not in spite of marriage, but in its fulfillment in peace, harmony and supreme joy that couples live the supernatural and holy reality of their union, chastity.

 In the embrace of love, Christian couples are chaste. They are perfectly and entirely for each other. “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine” (Canticle of Canticles). In genuine faith, they assume their human and spiritual responsibilities, and choose the best ways, pleasing to God, to achieve what they have set out to do. Birth control is in some way their responsibility. Vatican Council II has clearly established that conscience is the most sacred core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, whose voice echoes in his depths.

 The theologian Paul Evdokimos, in his study on the “Sacrament of Love”, summarizes the attitude of Eastern theology on birth control: The Church “addresses herself to evangelical metanoia, and hopes to change man and woman into a new creation, to render them charismatic; She exorcises demonic powers and protects the Gate of Life; She discerns among the spirits, and shows the pathways to ultimate liberation; She does not define the rules of social life, and does not prescribe panacaeas. . . “ (p.175). The Church should never refuse to advise when advice is sought, but should not try to manipulate the intimacy of husband and wife. Patriarch Maximos IV of Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem proclaimed at the Council of Vatican II, “The Church does not penetrate into the nuptial chamber. She stands at the door.”

 The Byzantine Church does indeed believe that the Sacrament of Crowning establishes the man and woman as prophets, king and queen of supernatural worth, and robes them with the Royal Priesthood of Christ. Their dignity is real. Consequently, their vocation will be to form personal decisions, and to judge situations, in order to find solutions to the individual circumstances of their lives.
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« Reply #528 on: April 30, 2012, 06:40:04 PM »

Some time ago I read something by Suzie Orbach (who wrote "Fat is a Feminist Issue") who was an atheist feminist who spoke (maybe briefly)  in favor of Natural Family Planning. The idea was using NFP makes men wait for women's natural cycle, instead of using women as objects to be ready whenever for whatever. The idea presented was how it puts women in control and takes control away from men.   I can't find a source at this moment, but it did stick in my mind because it was an interesting perspective from a non-Catholic viewpoint.

It does seem there is a new trend in feminism which is in favor of NFP, such as this site:

http://www.myfemininemind.com/2010/04/why-i-am-passionate-about-topics-of-nfp.html

I've never had time to delve into Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, but once when I heard Christopher West speak it did seem to be very woman-friendly.


Regardless if you believe artificial birth control is a spiritual problem or not, we can see that the trend in society is away from stable marriages, to children having sex at earlier and earlier ages,  contraceptives being provided to young teens more and more, etc.  Definitely something is going wrong in our society and it doesn't appear to be because there isn't enough contraceptives.

This is why the kinds of arguments that al Misry uses are so insidious.  It has been my observation over time that he is not a friend of women, and it is clear in all that he writes but most me who are as snarky and controlling as he is generally do no love women in any kind of profound way...and that is, I believe, what most women want from a man.  The von Hildebrands have some excellent comments about purity and continence and desire, and they had a beautiful and stimulating marriage at all levels.  There is a book that I had some years ago that talks about celibacy and chastity in much the same way that you describe here.  

It would be interesting to talk about it but al Misry moves in to derail all positive discussion between Orthodox and Catholic.  It would take some pretty strong concentration to ignore his posts but if you'd like to start a thread on the subject I would be happy to participate.
Some never tire of slander it seems, particularly when it is ill founded.  Btw, the post above I find a rather postitive discussion between Orthodoxy and the Vatican.  Do you agree?

Btw, do you believe that the absence of contraception WILL solve that "something [that] is going wrong in our society"?

And how do you have inside information on von Hildebrand's marriage (I take it you are talking about with his second wife)?  It is so out of character for you do name names, so unlike your usual anonymous expert quoting style.
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« Reply #529 on: March 01, 2013, 04:02:27 PM »

I was reminded that someone here on this thread asked about Noonan and Stoicism's impact on the Vatican's teaching.

...Aquinas' strawman objector then appeals to the authority of the philosophers as he did to revelation.  Philosophical schools tend to cause problems because, having studied the issues, they tend to dogmatize their answers, and the lack of the wall of separation between School and Church under the Vatican allowed Scholasticism to flourish as a religion much as Confucianism or Taoism.  Aristotle and Plato become the peer of Moses and the Apostles.  Rather than "the rational creature's participation of the eternal law," Natural Law means here no more than rational creature suspending his reason and accepting the Philosophers' opinions as revealed dogma, rationalizing with a religious veneer notions not revealed.  Noonan, to return to the example of contraception which spawned this thread, sums this up nicely:
Quote
If one asks, then, where the Christian Fathers derived their notions on marital intercourse—notions which have no express biblical basis — the answer must be, chiefly from the Stoics. In the case of such an early and influential teacher as Clement of Alexandria, the direct descent is obvious; his work on the purposes of marriage is a paraphrase of works of Musonius. In the second century, Origen’s standard for intercourse in pregnancy is clearly Seneca’s. In the third century, Lactantius’ remarks on the obvious purpose of the generative faculties echo Ocellus Lucanus. In the fourth century, Jerome’s most austere remarks are taken from Seneca. It is not a matter of men expressing simply truths which common sense might suggest to anyone with open eyes. It is a matter of a doctrine consciously appropriated [from the Stoics, ephasis added]. The descent is literary, the dependence substantial.
John T. Noonan, Jr., Contraception (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966), 48.

This continues to crop up as a leitmotiv throughout the Summa, positing the problem: does it use Aristotelian categories to elucidate divine truth into manageable bites, or does it pigeon hole divine truth into such categories so as to make it comport with Aristotelianism?
Orthodoxy should raise the objection that the Scholastics do the latter.  As Noonan notes (p. 46) as to Stoicism "Stoicism was in the air the intellectual converts to Christianity breathed. Half consciously, half unconsciously, they accommodated some Christian beliefs to a Stoic sense."  The adoption of transsubstantiation as a dogma and the conception of the "Immaculate Conception" stem from the same confusion of philosophical speculation for divine revelation.  The "Eternal Law" of God not revealed, but postulated, can not command the same authority as the Tablets of the Law nor the Sermon on the Mount....

...IOW, what Natural Law is not: It is not "present in the heart of each man and established by reason."

A preview of Noonan's important (and revealing) work is finally available:
http://books.google.com/books?id=S-fBxgQoYQ0C&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=If+one+asks,+then,+where+the+Christian+Fathers+derived+their+notions+on+marital+intercourse%E2%80%94notions+which+have+no+express+biblical+basis+%E2%80%94+the+answer+must+be,+chiefly+from+the+Stoics&source=bl&ots=nz3HS_853O&sig=WY76S2k0RWNEi2jXxQFhKQYWrS4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=FwoxUeKaMqGp2gXksYGICQ&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=If%20one%20asks%2C%20then%2C%20where%20the%20Christian%20Fathers%20derived%20their%20notions%20on%20marital%20intercourse%E2%80%94notions%20which%20have%20no%20express%20biblical%20basis%20%E2%80%94%20the%20answer%20must%20be%2C%20chiefly%20from%20the%20Stoics&f=false
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« Reply #530 on: March 01, 2013, 04:12:39 PM »

Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
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« Reply #531 on: March 01, 2013, 04:17:15 PM »

Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
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« Reply #532 on: March 01, 2013, 04:23:57 PM »

Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
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« Reply #533 on: March 05, 2013, 02:19:37 PM »

Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
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« Reply #534 on: March 05, 2013, 02:24:24 PM »

Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
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« Reply #535 on: March 05, 2013, 02:30:17 PM »

Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Roll Eyes
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« Reply #536 on: March 05, 2013, 03:00:14 PM »

Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
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« Reply #537 on: March 05, 2013, 03:45:24 PM »

Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
Enter the Culture of Death.
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« Reply #538 on: March 05, 2013, 04:26:22 PM »

Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
so it would seem to those who swallow camel sized Corban, whether the non-existence of decades long marriages with numerous children as fruit, or making scholastic hair splitting with the artificial division of NFP and ABC.  Sanctimony isn't sanctity.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #539 on: March 05, 2013, 04:33:49 PM »

Oh good. Isa's back to his advocacy of onanism.
I don't approve of fraud, marriages of convenience, marriages under false pretence, and  using your sister-in-law as a sex toy.


This seems to be something else, however:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Leah
But you do approve of onanism.
He seems to approve of many things that our Church disapproves of.
yes, like the Gospel Truth.
Using a condom or the pill is gospel truth? Strange gospel.
so it would seem to those who swallow camel sized Corban, whether the non-existence of decades long marriages with numerous children as fruit, or making scholastic hair splitting with the artificial division of NFP and ABC.  Sanctimony isn't sanctity.
Doctor, heal thyself.
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