BIRTH CONTROL


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Views of Pope John Paul II on Birth Control and AbortionWojtyła definitely disagreed with the traditional Church concept that sexuality and marriage are only good because they lead to procreation. Intercourse, according to Wojtyła, “is necessary to love, not just to procreation,” otherwise procreation in the absence of love also leads to treating a person as an object for use. He pointed out further that there can be two kinds of love: love as desire and love as goodwill. Love as desire is necessary for the attraction between man and woman that leads to procreation, but it is not sufficient in itself. A person must above all be concerned not with one’s own well being, but with the well being of the other person. Wojtyła warned that “it is not enough to long for a person as a good for oneself, one must also, and above all, long for that person’s good. In this context, Wojtyła saw any attempt to exclude the possibility of conception by artificial means as changing the emphasis of a relationship from love to enjoyment, and therefore again making the person an object for use. He was only willing to accept the natural method of birth control, i.e. the rhythm method, which does not directly interfere with fertility. Even then husband and wife, according to Wojtyła, must be totally willing to accept the possibility of pregnancy.

John Paul II never modified his opposition to “artificial” birth control – birth control introducing foreign agents into the reproductive process – which he linked very closely with the anathema of abortion and euthanasia. Not only was abortion categorically unacceptable to John Paul II, but he wanted to leave the legacy into the next millennium of treating abortion, as well as euthanasia, as primary human rights issues on which there could be absolutely no compromise within the Catholic Church. He was certainly hoping that his successor would continue this legacy, and he will almost certainly be proven right. For Catholics who believe in the sanctity of life, there is hardly any room for a compromise on abortion using John Paul II's line of reasoning. Many Catholics, however, have rejected the Church's teachings on birth control. Some Catholics also make a distinctions between personal opposition to abortion and supporting a legal ban on abortions.

Ted Lipien also looks in his book at the secular feminist views on birth control and abortion and how they clashed with John Paul II's firm positions.


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This book is worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the personal network of highly influential women who shaped John Paul II's attitudes, particularly on the debate of women's roles. Dr. Nancy Snow, author of Information War

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Ted Lipien has written an incisive and penetrating book on the role remarkable women, played in shaping John Paul II's outlook on important and controversial issues that defined his papacy. One of them was the Albanian-born nun and Nobel laureate Mother Teresa. Dr. Elez Biberaj, author of Albania in Transition: The Rocky Road to Democracy

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