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“Wary Of A Sexual Ethic Formulated Entirely By Celibates”

February 20, 2012

One of the clearest and most well-stated opinions regarding the current dialogue over contraceptives was found this morning in the Wisconsin State Journal. Above the partisan nature of the controversy aided by Rick Santorum’s puritanical campaign comes the question concerning why celibates think their sexual ethic is an appropriate one for the entire nation?

One thing is for sure in the discussion of a government mandate for  contraceptives. The experience and opinion of Catholic couples seems to have no  bearing on the issue. After all, they can go to confession and be easily  forgiven.

But keep in mind the small percentage of Catholics who still go to  confession, and the much smaller percentage who would even think to mention  contraception as a matter of moral conscience.

I speak from experience. I changed my outlook and pastoral practice 40 years  ago, and it has been regularly affirmed by pastoral experience. When enough  Anglican bishops got married, they changed their teaching on contraception. I  suppose we Catholics need to wait until we have enough married bishops,  including a good percentage of women, for things to change.

In the meantime, I am wary of a sexual ethic formulated entirely by  celibates. It lacks personal lifetime married experience. And I would never lay  moral burdens on people that are too heavy to bear.

– the Rev. Ken Smits, Capuchin, Fond du Lac


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