Tuesday, October 12, 2010

“Sexuality and relationships are misunderstood”

Published: October 12, 2010

Bishop of Sacramento writes about ill effects of contraception on culture

In a wide-ranging commentary published last month in the first edition of the diocese’s new bi-monthly magazine Catholic Herald, Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto observes that artificial contraception has become “the unquestioned default mode of marriage,” with disastrous results for society.

The bishop used as a starting point the counsel of Bl. Cardinal John Henry Newman: “He, then, is perfect who does the work of the day perfectly, and we need not go beyond this to seek for perfection. You need not go out of the round of the day.” “In the heated, partisan passions wrestling for political advantage in the trench warfare of abortion, we have to change hearts; as well as change laws,” wrote Bishop Soto.

“Creating that culture of life is more than a political agenda. The gospel of life has the power to transform hearts and habits as well as laws when the Christian follows Newman’s counsel and performs ‘the ordinary duties of the day well.’” Bishop Soto says we can “round our days” by observing routines in our lives that serve to sanctify us and evangelize others. Wearing one’s wedding ring or conversations around the dinner table with family are simple examples of this practice, he wrote, but they also include participation in the political process and more reflection and the cultivation of new habits “in the sexual practice of marriage.”

“One habit that has taken hold of many marriages is the use of artificial means of contraception,” wrote Bishop Soto. “The prevalence of the practice in and outside of the Catholic community has made contraception the unquestioned default mode of marriage. As a consequence, sexuality and relationships are misunderstood and misused; and their true purpose is misplaced.”

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