The Party’s Over
The Party’s Over
By John Mallon
Editorial from the Sooner Catholic, August 28, 1994
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine Providence; it is a trial which the whole Church ... must take up.”
—From Karol Cardinal Wojtyla’s farewell speech after a visit to the United States in 1976, (two years before he was elected as Pope John Paul II), reprinted in The Wall Street Journal (November 9, 1978).
Why a special issue on Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul IV’s famous encyclical letter on the transmission of life? The Church document so many “love to hate” but which so few have read? Why this? Why now? Because one of the most serious prophecies contained in this remarkably prophetic document is on the brink of coming to pass this September at the United Nations Conference on Population and Development in Cairo.
Pope Paul warns of the widespread acceptance of contraception placing “a dangerous weapon...in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies.” This is the third in a series of prophecies in Humanae Vitae, and, as Nick Bagileo points in his book review in this issue of Dr. Janet Smith's book, Why Humanae Vitae was Right, (see p. 5, Supplement) the first two have already come true.
What the United States Government under the direction of the current administration is attempting to do with its influence at this conference is immoral. The attempt to export the ugliness of artificial birth control and abortion on demand to poor and third world countries is evil. There is no “population explosion.” It is a fabrication. This is well documented. (For just two examples see Dr. Jacqueline Kasun’s painstakingly researched book The War on Population, Ignatius Press; and a lengthy Dossier feature in the August/September issue of Catholic World Report, both available by calling 1-800-651-1531)
Birth rates in the more affluent countries, including the United States, are well below replacement rates. There is, in fact, a very dangerous birth dearth going on. The Sooner Catholic reported July 3, in an interview with missionary Father Tom McSherry that the people in the Oklahoma mission in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, are afraid of Americans—afraid that Americans will steal their children for adoption because there is a child shortage in America. Hmm. When the “Baby Boomers” reach retirement age who is going to be paying into Social Security? Hmm. Ever wonder why certain parties are pushing euthanasia as once they pushed abortion?
Locally, we are faced with the hideous suggestion by Tony Caldwell, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, that we offer women on welfare $5,000 to be voluntarily sterilized, as a way to save government money. The cynicism, insensitivity, and cruelty—not to mention how it adds insult to injury for these women—of such an idea is made even worse by the fact that to some people it sounds reasonable. This is what we have come to.
We have reaped the rotten fruits of the “Sexual Revolution” now in abortion, divorce, AIDS, pornography, and lonely, broken lives. We rejected the beautiful truth about the transmission of life and thus bequeathed to our surviving children a culture of death.
The rejection of Humanae Vitae also launched a very widespread and quite erroneous movement of dissent within the Catholic Church. To this day we hear so-called “Cafeteria Catholicism” spoken of as if it were legitimate. Theologians, priests, nuns, and religious educators all over the country—and even some bishops have been intimidated into silence—if not outright hoodwinked and taken in—by the rhetoric of dissent from Humanae Vitae. They avoid mentioning it from the pulpit and in their classrooms for fear of “turning people off” or “losing them.”
Such an attitude is an insult to the Faithful who have a right to the truth. The Gospel is hard, but it is our only hope. We question, we struggle, we sin, and we get up and start over, but I believe the time has come—and I think the signs of the time bear me out—to either be Catholic or stop calling ourselves Catholic. The world needs the Truth we bear witness to. Clearly the party is over for dissent on this and other issues. It’s time to clean up the mess, and support our pope and the bishops teaching in union with him. These are issues, as the pope said in his letter to President Clinton (see p. 8, Supplement) “upon which our societies stand or fall.” And, as he said to Secretary Nafis Sadik, “What is at stake here is the very future of humanity.”
In this issue we have reprinted this beautiful and life-giving document, Humanae Vitae, in its entirety. After 26 years, and lots of damaged lives as a result of its rejection, it’s time for another look. Or a first look.