On Catholic Exchange, Judie brown has a very interesting piece about the relationship between contraception and legalisation of homosexuality. She has the following arguments:
1) Contraception links sex to pleasure and thus opens the way for pleasure irrespective of his finality. Therefore, contraception is at the root of the increase of acceptance of homosexuality.
2) That most Catholic couples in the US use contraceptives doesn’t make their use less wrong; it merely exposes the inability of the clergy to convey Catholic values.
3) We might have had a different situation today, if the Church has preached the Truth about homosexuality (and contraception) instead of shutting up.
On 1) This is very profound. Homosexuality is a perversion, not a weakness and people don’t become perverts because you don’t insist on the way to have intercourse in the proper way. Still, it can be argued that the reduction of sex to pleasure has led to a higher acceptance of all those who see in sex only a way of seeking pleasure. This mentality will in itself not cause an increase in homosexuality, but probably an increase in its acceptance. The decline of the taboo of homosexuality (sins crying to heaven for vengeance? What’s this?) has certainly also played a massive role.
On 2) I found the remark absolutely spot on. It is time to repeat again and again that the Bishops must start doing their job again. Here in Blighty, I can’t name a single Bishop who wouldn’t deserve immediate dismissal. In the US the situation is probably better, but one wonders how much (one answers: not much).
On 3) I think the lady really hits the bull’s eye. Contraception is not unavoidable. Abortion is not unavoidable. Mickey Mouse “marriages” are not unavoidable. They have all come to pass because the Clergy were sleeping or more probably, cowardly looking for ways of being popular. That so many people nowadays see as “normal” what Christianity (and not only Christianity: ask the pre-Christian Romans!) always saw as a grave perversion says it all about the scale of the dereliction of duty from the Western clergy. Note that where the Clergy do their work, this problem is virtually non-existent (Africa, Asia).
The bottom line is that at the beginning of everything is Bishops doing their job and taking care that their priests do the same. Sound teaching attacks the secular mentality in all its mistakes and allows a more complete view of Christian Doctrine and of one’s own life, which in turn better equips Christians for the right reaction to secular challenges.
If the proper thinking about contraception had been hammered in the head of the faithful since Humanae Vitae, we would probably not be here today talking about Proposition 8.