Rorate Caeli

Pharisaic Debate

It surely seems that ... incontinence and effeminacy are evil and censurable. ... Knowing that certain of his actions are evil, the incontinent man nevertheless does them because of passion. *

... no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.
Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, "Intercourse even with one's legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Juda, did this and the Lord killed him for it."
Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine regarding this question, the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin. **
Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good, it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it —in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. ***
If acts are intrinsically evil, a good intention or particular circumstances can diminish their evil, but they cannot remove it. They remain "irremediably" evil acts; per se and in themselves they are not capable of being ordered to God and to the good of the person. "As for acts which are themselves sins (cum iam opera ipsa peccata sunt), Saint Augustine writes, like theft, fornication, blasphemy, who would dare affirm that, by doing them for good motives (causis bonis), they would no longer be sins, or, what is even more absurd, that they would be sins that are justified?".

Consequently, circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act "subjectively" good or defensible as a choice. ****
* Nicomachean Ethics, Book VII
**Casti Connubii
***Humanæ Vitæ
****Veritatis Splendor
We refuse to join this false discussion, kept alive by the prophets of hypocrisy and false love of this age, who have little esteem for people and souls and none for the Church; and whose sole aim, as mentioned here before, is to have the Church officially proclaim, by whatever means, especially if motivated by a distorted view of charity, that "It IS licit to do evil that good may come of it".

Many of those who earnestly join the debate believe that those who plant the seeds of doubt are honest and charitable. Alas, that is not the case! These "extreme" cases are always used to corrupt moral certitude and blur the clear principles involved in the great moral debates.

There has NEVER been any tergiversation in Catholic doctrine regarding the illicitness of such physical methods, which are onanism pure and simple, whatever are the "extreme" motives which would allegedly justify them. For historical purposes only, it is useful to remember that the great doubt which led to the reaffirmation of this core moral teaching by Paul VI in Humanæ Vitæ was raised by the invention of new methods which altered the female biological cycle itself and that, as such, seemed to be "natural" and "acceptable", and seemed to circumvent the inevitable illicitness of the physical methods.

[By the way, read the notes to par. 63 in Romano Amerio's Iota Unum; there one will notice that the great pharisee, the same pharisee, was publicly trying to destroy this Catholic moral teaching in 1980, before the great sexual disease of this age had even been discovered as an epidemic and before its viral agent and infection process had been discovered... It has never been about disease or charity... Whited sepulchres, indeed!]