Friday, March 10, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 222

222.  The pastoral care of newly married couples must also involve encouraging them to be generous in bestowing life.  "in accord with the personal and fully human character of conjugal love, family planning fittingly takes place as the result a consensual dialogue between the spouses, respect for times and consideration of the dignity of the partner.  In this sense, the teaching of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae (cf. 1014) and the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (cf. 14; 2835) ought to be taken up anew, in order to counter a mentality that is often hostile to life.,.  Decisions involving responsible parenthood presupposes the formation of conscience which is 'the most secret core and sanctuary of a person.  There each one is alone with God, whose voice echoes in the depths of the heart' (Gaudium et Spes, 16).  The more the couple tries to listen in conscience to God and his commandments (cf. Rom 2:15), and is accompanied spiritually, the more their decision will be profoundly free of subjective caprice and accommodation to prevailing social mores".248  The clear teaching of the Second Vatican Council still holds:  "[The couple] will make decisions by common counsel and effort.  Let them thoughtfully take into account both their own welfare and that of their children, those already born and those which the future may bring.  For this accounting they need to reckon with both the material and the spiritual conditions of the times as well as of their state in life. Finally, they should consult the interests of the family group, of temporal society and of the Church herself.  The parent themselves and no one else should ultimately make this judgment in the sight of God".249  Moreover, "the use of methods based on the 'laws of nature and the incidence of fertility' (Humanae Vitae, 11) are to be promoted, since 'these methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them and favour the education of an authentic freedom' (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2370).  Greater emphasis needs to be placed on the fact that children are a wonderful gift from God and a joy for parents and the Church.  Through them, the Lord renews the world".250

248 Ibid., 63.
249 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 50.
250 Relatio Finalis 2015, 63.