Garden of Earthly Delights - Bosch
I found an excerpt from Vittorio Messori's book The Ratzinger Report on Spiritual Friendship blog, part of an extended discussion on the relationship between same sex marriage and contraception as viewed through the writings of Cardinal Ratzinger and Rowan Williams. I've chosen to emphasize the Ratzinger Report:
“The issue is the rupture between sexuality and marriage. Separated from motherhood, sex has remained without a locus and has lost its point of reference: it is a kind of drifting mine, a problem and at the same time an omnipresent power.”
After this first rupture he sees another, as a consequence: “After the separation between sexuality and motherhood was effected, sexuality was also separated from procreation. The movement, however, ended up going in an opposite direction: procreation without sexuality. Out of this follow the increasingly shocking medical-technical experiments so prevalent in our day where, precisely, procreation is independent of sexuality. Biological manipulation is striving to uncouple man from nature (the very existence of which is being disputed). There is an attempt to transform man, to manipulate him as one does every other ‘thing': he is nothing but a product planned according to one’s pleasure.
If I am not mistaken, I observe, our cultures are the first in history in which such ruptures have come to pass.
“Yes, and at the end of this march to shatter fundamental, natural linkages (and not, as is said, only those that are cultural), there are unimaginable consequences which, however, derive from the very logic that lies at the base of a venture of this kind.”
In his view we will atone already in our day for “the consequences of a sexuality which is no longer linked to motherhood and to procreation. It logically follows from this that every form of sexuality is equivalent and therefore of equal worth.” “It is certainly not a matter,” he specifies, “of establishing or recommending a retrograde moralism, but one of lucidly drawing the consequences from the premises: it is, in fact, logical that pleasure, the libido of the individual, become the only possible point of reference of sex. No longer having an objective reason to justify it, sex seeks the subjective reason in the gratification of desire, in the most ‘satisfying’ answer for the individual, to the instincts no longer subject to rational restraints. Everyone is free to give his personal libido the content considered suitable for himself.”
He continues: “Hence, it naturally follows that all forms of sexual gratification are transformed into the ‘rights’ of the individual. Thus to cite an especially current example, homosexuality becomes an inalienable right. (Given the aforementioned premises, how can one deny it?) On the contrary, its full recognition appears to be an aspect of human liberation.”
There are, however, other consequences of “this uprooting of the human person in the depth of his nature.” He elaborates: “Fecundity separated from marriage based on a life-long fidelity turns from being a blessing (as it was understood in every culture) into its opposite: that is to say a threat to the free development of the ‘individual’s right to happiness’. Thus abortion, institutionalized, free and socially guaranteed, becomes another ‘right’, another form of ‘liberation’.” - The Ratzinger Report
Contraception, the original sin of the sexual revolution.
Before 1960 there was no magic pill to regulate birth. Contraception was clumsy. The contraceptive mentality was there, the convenience wasn't. Then the pill came along. Clinical abortion is a consequence of failed contraception. Sexual liberty, and therefore 'equality' is the consequence of the cultural revolution; “the consequences of a sexuality which is no longer linked to motherhood and to procreation. It logically follows from this that every form of sexuality is equivalent and therefore of equal worth.”
I'm not sure why that is so difficult to understand, or why or how Church leaders in Ireland can be so surprised that same-sex marriage was so easily approved by so many. In the west, dissenting theologians and clergy have been free to present the teaching on artificial contraception as a matter of personal conscience, ignoring and criticizing Paul VI's Humanae Vitae, which condemned artificial contraception as well as foretelling what some of the consequences would result.
Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. - HV 17