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Fr. Peter Fehlner’s Last Word on Plan B


Here is the last word from Fr. Peter on this subject. It is meant to address comments in discussions going on here at AirMaria:

Father Peter Damian Fehlner, S.T.D. Weighs in on Plan B in Connecticut
Father Peter Damian Fehlner, S.T.D. Weighs in on Plan B in Connecticut. (Continued)
Fr. Peter vs. Plan B the Battle Continues

And at Mark Shea’s site Here?and Here

And at American Papist Here

Now for Fr. Peter:

On the Malice of Contraception or Onanism.

My critics, almost unanimously, define the malice of contraception in terms of the separation of procreative and unitive ends of marriage in the use of the marriage act or intercourse by the married.? As one of these critics put it, since in rape there is no unitive end, there is no possibility of separation, hence no possibility of contraception.

For the moment I will prescind from this point and merely note that I could find no standard or approved moralist writing before 1968 who defined the malice of contraception in such terms, or insisting that the sin was only possible for the married.

The authors I consulted are the following: St. Alphonsus, Lehmkuhl, Genicot-Salsman, Sabetti-Barrett, Tanquery, Prummer, Callan-McHugh, Rigatello-Zalba, Noldin-Schmidt, Jorio.? All of them hold that the malice of contraception consists in the perversion of the primary end of the marital act, a perversion which is contrary to the very nature of the act and therefore to natural law, a perversion rightly described by Gen. 38 as “detestable?? and inexcusable under any circumstances, viz., intrinsically evil.

The malice of contraception is identical with that of the sin of pollution or masturbation, hence akin to that of any “unnatural?? sin against the sixth commandment.? While its most grievous form is the practice of onanism by the married, most grievous because it destroys the unitive aspects of marriage and has serious consequences for the children, contraceptive actions, or actions which pervert the procreative end of the marriage act or human nature itself, are always grievously sinful.

Once the liceity of contraceptive actions is admitted in hard cases, it will only be a matter of time before “safe sex?? outside marriage involving the use of contraceptive devices and pills will be considered reasonable for “grave?? reasons, viz., “emergency contraception??.? Eventually, exceptions will be found for the married as well.? All this? clearly reflects a “philosophy?? or “mind-set?? concerning sex, very different from that traditionally associated with purity of heart, an anti-human mind-set fueling contemporary hedonism, an abnormally, fatally low birth rate, and the “culture of death??.

Finally, the definition of contraception found in pre-1968 manuals can hardly be described as mere theological opinion long since abandoned by the Church.? It reflects the received and unquestioned tradition of the Church when treating of the liceity of the contraceptives for the married.? They cannot be used, not only because they are disruptive of marriage, but because they are contrary to nature for everyone.

Father Peter Damian Fehlner