It seems that there may be a “silver lining” to the dark cloud that is the HHS mandate. Catholics–and others–are starting to learn what the Church really teaches about contraception and sterilization. We’ve heard for the past 40+ years that the pill will liberate women and change society for the better. Well, it has certainly changed society.
Joan Desmond writes an interesting article for the National Catholic Register. There is a whole new generation of Catholics who are ready to hear the teaching of the Church about contraception. The flood of news articles has generated interest in non-Catholics as well. People are starting to understand that the sexual revolution hasn’t freed women–it has enslaved them.
Archbishop-designate William Lori, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, says:
The main issue remains that of religious liberty. But this whole episode has provided a catechetical opportunity to speak about the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of life in its origins.
Helen Alvare, a professor of family law at George Mason University, has noted a shift in attitudes among Catholics:
“Women are ready to have this conversation. Who would guess that it would take over four decades of experience to get there?” she said. “The question of what they choose to do becomes very interesting when there are virtually no limits; and yet they still would like to be married at some point, or have some time to devote to their children.”
Humanae Vitae was an uncanny prediction of the future–the truth of the devastation wrought by artificial contraception. Clergy and laity alike publicly and harshly dissented from the 1968 encyclical of Pope Paul VI. Perhaps this HHS mandate is helping us to understand.