My comment: and this was deleted from the Catholic Herald. Comments from readers?
We who have been married know what to do and that is to abstain. To separate the marital act from childbearing has caused all the sexual deviancy and loose morals we now see and encourages the use of women as objects merely. Humanae Vitae was a prophetic encyclical and also, is part of the infallible teaching of the Church. God truly inspired Paul VI to write this at a time when most of humanity was spinning off into the horrid sexual license which is only getting worse. To deny the connection between contraception and adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bigamy, polygamy and so on is simply a naivete, showing a lack of thought regarding the natural consequences of the separation of the marital act from childbearing.
The wisdom of Humanae Vitae has truly been the dividing line between faithful and reasonable Catholics and those who, for whatever lack of rationality, cannot see this connection. Plus, most means of artificial birth-control actually kill the newly formed zygote, which is a person with a soul, which means those things are actually aborifacients, adding murder to selfishness.
The idea of separating childbearing from sex is an evil in and of itself, and a gross misunderstanding of one of the main reasons for marital act-not only for the upbuilding of the relationship or the expression of love, but for the bringing of children into the world.
Those who contracept have fallen into an egotism, an attitude of selfishness, not being open to life, actually denying a spiritual reality of who that couple is. We are made in the image and likeness of God and as such, we take part in the sacred privilege of creation. A married couple who cooperates with the grace of creation actually cooperates with God in His plan for creation. This is awesome.
As to people crying poverty etc., I grew up in a Catholic world where my neighbors had eight, nine, eleven and even, yes, twenty children from one mom and dad; happy, simple households where the mom stayed at home, a home with a domestic church. The cultural push for consumerism had not yet affected these households of excellent, Catholic families, which not only created leaders for the next generation, but vocations.
Especially in Great Britain, it is obvious that the lack of priestly vocations comes from contraception. I really have little patience for men and women who cry "Where are the priests" when they decided to abort, or prevent the creation of one themselves in their families of one or two. Some of us would have wanted more children to give to God, but He did not allow this naturally. Those who are generous with God will not be outdone in generosity from Him. I know this personally. Grace comes from cooperation with grace.
Until Catholics truly see the beauty of the simple life and the beauty of life from conception to death, the pull to contracept will continue. And, priests who allow and give so-called permission for the attitude of death and selfishness are missing the point that we are on this planet to become saints, not to enjoy years of lifeless sex. Abstinence and even chastity bring tremendous graces to both individuals in a marriage, graces which will be seen only in the next life.
Can priests call their people to holiness and not merely to sexual gratification? Where is the call to perfection, to which we are all called, in the minds of those who counsel a path opposite of the wisdom of Humanae Vitae?
I can only say as a lay woman that when a priest does not think I can become a saint in marriage or in a state of permanent chastity, that I am being belittled, talked-down-to, pandered to....Do priests honestly think that Catholic marriages cannot sustain times of abstinence?
We are all called to great holiness and to be signs of contradiction in the world. This call to have children, to cooperate with God in creation, and to also have times of abstinence is the call to holiness.
Do not deny us heaven for a few years of selfish gratification outside of God's plan.