Contraception and Our Abdication of Fatherhood, by Michael Pakaluk

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*Image: First Steps by Jean-François Millet, c. 1858-66 [Cleveland Museum of Art]

By Michael Pakaluk, The Catholic Thing, June 24, 2021

Michael Pakaluk, an Aristotle scholar and Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, is a professor in the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America. …

Note: The Papal Posse – Raymond Arroyo, Fr. Gerald Murray, and Robert Royal – will appear again this evening at 8 PM on ETWN’s “The World Over” to discuss the U.S. bishops’ debates on Communion, recent personnel changes in Rome, and the growing resistance among Catholics to Church teaching.  Consult local listings for broadcast and re-broadcast times. Programs are also available shortly after airing on EWTN’s YouTube channel.

Michael PakalukIn the Year of St. Joseph, the celebration of Father’s Day last Sunday stands, to the days that come after it, in much the same way as a feast day like Easter Sunday conditions the “ordinary time” in the rest of the year.  This year, fatherhood is simply too important a topic of reflection, to relegate to one Sunday in early summer. On such a premise, I want to investigate the connection between contraception and fatherhood.

My thesis is that contraception negates fatherhood, is at war with it, undermines what it means to be a father. Where widely adopted, it works out that effect in all aspects of society.  We are familiar with the idea, championed by St. John Paul II, “the Great,” that contraception attacks the unity of husband and wife. The unitive dimension of the sexual act will not survive, he taught, if separated from the procreative.  I want to add: fatherhood will not survive if the sexual act is separated from its fatherly aspect. …

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