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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Great Letter to the Editor on Marriage from My Friend Fr. Tom Collins

From my friend Fr. Tom Collins printed in the Virginia Review today, August 29th:

Dear Editor- 
Mary Woodell's letter concerning reproductive choice in last Friday's edition of the
Virginian-Review highlighted some of the key arguments being used by those, who accuse
the Roman Catholic Church of waging a "war on women". In order to set the record straight, I would like to point out that the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church has always held that: 
1) the purpose of sexual intercourse is to renew and to deepen the marriage
covenant between husband and wife and to participate with God in the sacred
ministry of creating, nurturing and guiding children in a stable family environment; 
2) entering into marriage is an act of obedience to God, Who is Love, wherein a man
and a woman, in a unique way, commit themselves for life to love one another as
Christ is loving them; 
3) each human life is sacred, and thus each child has the right to be conceived as the
fruit of holy marriage, in the context of the sacred covenantal love of husband and
wife; 
4) even if the basic right of a child to be conceived within marriage has been violated,
that child is still sacred and its dignity as a person must be respected and protected; 
5) although raising a child is very challenging at times, each child is a unique blessing
to his/her parents and to all humanity; 
6) the right to life is given by God, not by the consent of society or by the choice of
his/her mother; 
7) the dehumanizing assertion that a pre-born child is "just a fetus" is merely the latest
slur invented to permit the denigration, exploitation and killing of those groups of
humanity, whose basic human rights may impinge on the comfort and convenience
of those in power.
Fidelity to the sacredness of the marriage covenant, not sexual promiscuity, is the onlyreally solid foundation for a civilized culture. Without accountability to such covenantal love, our lives and relationships degenerate into a series of short-term symbiotic, but exploitive, trysts extolled by the Eurythmics in their song, Sweet Dreams: 
"Some people want to use you. Some people want to be used by you.
Some people want to abuse you. Some people want to be abused by you."
 In Deuteronomy 18:21-22, we read that a prophet can be determined to be authentic, if what he predicts comes to pass. For half a century, the proponents of contraception and abortion have promised that these two practices would promote healthier marriages, prevent domestic violence, and reduce the incidence of child neglect and abuse. They have asserted that the fickleness and perversion of fornication and adultery are "sexual freedom". And now they are calling the promotion of sexual experimentation among our youth an integral dimension of "health care" - even as that experimentation is leading to the pandemic spread of sexually transmitted diseases. We thus need to ask ourselves, "Do such proponents pass the Deuteronomic test for authenticity?"
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Thomas Collins
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Covington, VA