“Openness to Life and Responsibility” by Bishop DiMarzio

August 20, 2014 – Excerpted from “Put Out Into the Deep,” Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

In the final article of my three-part series on the preparatory document on the Synod of the Family, Part III is entitled: “An Openness to Life and Parental Responsibility in Upbringing.” It can be seen that the difficulty and thorny issues facing the family, and in fact individuals today, for the Synod are directly brought into the process of evaluation and consideration.

The pastoral challenges concerning the openness to life are truly at the heart of the issues for families today. The publication of Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical “Humanae Vitae” in many ways was prophetic. Even in its promulgation, the Holy Father knew that it would cause intense negative outcry because, as he said, “But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a sign of contradiction.” The difficulties in the document “Humanae Vitae” reveals “the agonizing situations of people today when faced with the subjects of love, the generation of life, the reciprocity between man and woman, and fatherhood and motherhood.”

One of the questions asked in the initial interrogatory was, “Do couples know and accept the Magisterium of the Church regarding the openness of life?” In two senses, the positive aspects are unknown, while the negative aspects seem to be known and characterized as an “intrusion in the intimate life of the couple and an encroachment on the autonomy of conscience.”

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.