Cheap at twice the price

A Vatican spokesman in the shape of a priest (a celibate male, in other words) called the open letter to the pope ‘paid propaganda to promote the use of contraceptives’. Well, yes: it was paid in the sense that it was a paid advertisement in the Corriere della Sera and it was propaganda in the sense that it was an attempt at persuasion – but nevertheless calling it that is 1. somewhat tendentious and 2. a bad joke coming from the not exactly unpaid Vatican which spends quite a lot of time and effort on its own propaganda, well backed up with commands which are in turn backed up with threats of excommunication and burning in hell for eternity. And then, ‘Father’ Federico Lombardi isn’t going to have to live with the consequences of any unwanted pregnancy or any sexually transmitted disease that comes into being as a result of the Vatican’s paid propaganda to forbid the use of contraceptives – unless of course he’s a celibate priest in name only. Either way there is and always has been something very repellent about the Vatican’s passion to impose conditions on other people that it is itself exempt from. It is of course a great deal more repellent that the Vatican is so irresponsible about this – that it insists on pretending to think that an invented theological scruple about contraception is worth imposing involuntary childbirth and childrearing on millions upon millions of women all over the planet. The disproportion there is disgusting. Does the Vatican even stop to think, to name just one obvious item, of the parents who have to see their children die of starvation or malnutrition or malaria or diarrhea or other childhood diseases because the parents have more children than they can raise in healthy conditions? If it does, it doesn’t act on the thinking. The Vatican is an arbitrary authoritarian heedless callous essentially frivolous outfit that preens itself on bogus moral scruples while causing real (and appalling) suffering on poor people in their millions. The Vatican has a nerve, and so does its spokesman.

“First and foremost,” said Fr. Lombardi, “the authors are a part of a number of groups that are well known for their dissenting positions which are not limited to the mere teaching of marital morality but are also concerned with many other subjects (for instance the ordination of women) and that therefore for some time have been against the Magisterium of the Church.”

Yeah. And for good reason. The ordination of men-only just perpetuates this arrangement where unmarried men impose absurd laws on women while remaining immune themselves. The ‘Magisterium of the Church’ is a racket, and a sadistic one at that.

Above all, the Vatican’s spokesman highlighted that the letter “does not remotely broach the true issue that is at the heart of the Humanae Vitae, i.e. the connection among the human and spiritual relation between husband and wife, the practice of sexuality as its expression, and its fecundity.” In the “letter,” pointed out Fr. Lombardi, “the word ‘love’ never appears. It seems the groups that wrote the letter are not interested in it at all. It seems the only hope of the couples and the world lies in contraception alone.”

What true issue? What true issue is that? What about its ‘fecundity’? What makes you think the Vatican is interested in ‘love’? What makes you think ordering people to risk pregnancy every time they have sex somehow produces more ‘love’ in the world? What makes you think it doesn’t work exactly the other way? Why do you skate right past the obvious likelihood that an intentional pregnancy is much more likely to lead to a loved child than an inadvertent one is? Anyone would think that the Vatican had never heard there are incompetent or unkind parents in the world, and that it’s safer to improve the odds than it is to worsen them.

After all, concluded Lombardi, “it’s clear it is not an article that expresses a theological or moral position, it is paid propaganda to promote the use of contraceptives. One should also wonder who paid for it and why.”

Okay – and who paid for Lombardi? And why?

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