Since a week ago last Saturday, we can no longer expect them to defend the law of God....
Bishop Fulton Sheen was clearly a man who could see far into the future. He almost with amazing pinpoint accuracy predicted the outcome of this one decision on both the Catholic Church and the Churches that adopted this 1931 proposal. Today we will take another look at the results of the decision by the National Council of Churches and the prediction of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.
A few months after the Anglican Church's Lambeth Conference, a committee of the Federal Council of Churches (a predecessor of the National Council of Churches) endorsed "the careful and restrained use of contraceptives by married people."
The next day March 22, 1931, the newspapers in the United States went wild. Todays liberal Washington Post declared that "carried to its logical conclusion, the committee's report ... would sound the death-knell of marriage as a holy institution, by establishing degrading practices, which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be 'careful and restrained' is preposterous."
The Washington Post said that? Yes, they did. The Washington Post, in an editorial on March 22, 1931, said of the Federal Council of Churches' endorsement of Lambeth:
“It is impossible to reconcile the doctrine of the divine institution of marriage with any modernistic plan for the mechanical regulation of or suppression of human life. The Church must either reject the plain teachings of the Bible or reject schemes for the ‘ scientific’ production of human souls.
Carried to its logical conclusion, the committee’s report, if carried into effect, would sound the death knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be ‘ careful and restrained’ is preposterous.”
In 1931, the Council of Churches in America "endorsed 'the careful and restrained use of contraceptives by married people,' while at the same time conceding that 'serious evils, such as extramarital sex relations, may be increased by general knowledge of contraceptives."
The morals values of the country hung in the balance and some of the Churches of the United States instead of being on the right side of the moral question became cheerleaders for the other side. What was going on there? How did the decision they made impact America of that day and America of today?
This prompted an almost immediate smackdown of their evil by a young Catholic priest by the name of Fulton Sheen. He said in response, "Since a week ago last Saturday, we can no longer expect them to defend the law of God. These sects will work out the very logic of their ways, and in 50 or 100 years there will be only the Catholic Church and paganism. We will be left to fight the battle alone, and we will."
How could Bishop Sheen see what was coming when the other Churches could not? How did the Washington Post editors see what coming when today that newspaper appears to be an organ of the ultra-liberal left in our country today?
The answer is very simple and can be summarized in three mere points.
First, America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance - it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded. The broadminded decision by the Protestant Churches here led to their eventual downfall. Can you be so liberal that you lose your fundamental faith or your fundamentals of your faith? Clearly the Prostantant Churches who approved this almost 89 years ago have suffered because of this decision- they have lost the concept of family and purpose of the family in the first place. Without families what is the Church? Without a Church what is a family? These have become real questions since the adoption of this standard on birth control.
Second, Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right. It is clear and people can clearly see what is going on here. You do make moral through pick and choose style cafeteria-style menu. Morals are taught by the Church not voted on by the Church if people tell the Church what to do. If you do the latter your Church will not be existing for much longer. Why go to a Church with no standards, no leadership, no direction, and no future?
Third, the refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction. (Bishop Sheen) - This is what the Churches did here- exactly. They refused to take a moral stand and decided rather to makeup to the individual. Basically approving the next great 1960s moto- if it feels good do it. A society can not and will not exist in this condition.
Birth control was strongly countered Pope Pius VI in his Dec. 31, 1930, Casti connubii that was a response to the Lambeth Conference of 1930 in which the Anglican Church approved the use of birth control in limited circumstances. It covered four major topics: the sanctity of marriage, opposition to eugenics, positions on birth control and the purpose of sexuality, and reaffirmation of the prohibition on abortion.
Pope Pius VI began his remarks with two wonderful paragraphs:
How great is the dignity of chaste wedlock, Venerable Brethren, may be judged best from this that Christ Our Lord, Son of the Eternal Father, having assumed the nature of fallen man, not only, with His loving desire of compassing the redemption of our race, ordained it in an especial manner as the principle and foundation of domestic society and therefore of all human intercourse, but also raised it to the rank of a truly and great sacrament of the New Law, restored it to the original purity of its divine institution, and accordingly entrusted all its discipline and care to His spouse the Church.
In order, however, that amongst men of every nation and every age the desired fruits may be obtained from this renewal of matrimony, it is necessary, first of all, that men's minds be illuminated with the true doctrine of Christ regarding it; and secondly, that Christian spouses, the weakness of their wills strengthened by the internal grace of God, shape all their ways of thinking and of acting in conformity with that pure law of Christ so as to obtain true peace and happiness for themselves and for their families.
Bishop Sheen as a young priest stood up for orthodoxy, stood up the Catholic Church, and most all stood up for a moral decision that others failed to do. Now almost 90 years later, what has taken place? Who was right? We need more people like Bishop Fulton Sheen to stand up today. We need people like Fulton Sheen to rise up and do what is right. Saints be praised we need Bishop Fulton Sheen no more than ever. Amen.