Contraception and the Church Term Paper by Nicky

A look at the Catholic Church's position on contraception.
# 151206 | 1,376 words | 10 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on May 29, 2012 in Religion and Theology (Christianity) , Hot Topics (Birth Control)

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This paper examines the Catholic Church's historic perspective on contraception, specifically considering various papal encyclicals on this topic. In particular, it addresses the encyclical written by Pope Paul VI in 1968, entitled "Humanae Vitae" which dealt with this topic. Next, the paper traces the Church's outlook on birth control, starting with the writings of St. Augustine. Then, the paper discusses the traditional Catholic view of sexuality within marriage. This outlook is then applied to modern times further exploring moral and ethical life of a practicing Catholic.


Summary of Humanae Vitae
Contemporary Implications

From the Paper:

"Paul VI used the encyclical to reaffirm the Church's basic position on marriage and reproduction, placing the responsibility for conception solely within the bounds of "God's Will." The views he expressed were historical in nature, documents from Popes Pius XI, Pius XII, and John XXIII, all of who maintained that there were divine obligations in marriage within the constructs of their partnership with God (Weigel, 1999)."
"Within the paradigm of marriage, sexual relations are much more than a union of two physical bodies. For Catholics, they constitute a union of a loving couple with a loving God, in which God's blessing is passed to humans through the gift of conception - the two bodies contribute the physical, God adds the soul. This transmission of human life is a responsibility of marriage, and must be held sacred (Humanae Vitae, 1968, 1; hereafter HV). Because this is a divine partnership, and each soul the responsibility of God, there is no leeway or human discussion about whether a new person should or should not be brought into the world. Marriage, Paul agrees, is difficult, but the notion of conception moves far beyond biology, demography, sociology, or even psychology and remains in the realm of the divine..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Benedict XVI. (May 10, 2008). "On the 40th Anniversary of the Encyclical 'Humanae Vitae'." The Vatican Archives. Cited in:
  • Campbell, F. (1960). "Birth Control and the Christian Church." Population Studies. 14 (2): 131-47.
  • "Humanae Vitae." (July 25, 1968). The Vatican Archives. Cited in:
  • McClory, R. (1995). Turning Point: The Inside Story of the Papal Birth Control Commission. Crossroads Press.
  • McCormick, R. (July 17, 1993). "'Humanae Vitae' 25 Years Later." America. Cited in:

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APA Format

Contraception and the Church (2012, May 29) Retrieved March 01, 2024, from

MLA Format

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