Adopting better than
(The Mission of the Family)
Hello. I have been studying Catholicism recently and think I might want to become Catholic. There is only one area where I disagree with the Church. It is the matter of contraception. I believe that this practice should be taken in the greater context of family planning and history of the individual(s) concerned. For instance, God gave me the compassion to feel that I can love an adopted child as much as a natural born child. Because I would rather adopt than have natural children, it seems that the result will be that I can never have sexual relations with my husband - for fear of pregnancies that would prevent me from using my motherly resources for the needy children that already exist on the earth. this seems unfair! do you think the Church will ever begin to make exceptions to this rule?
The joy of the Lord be in your heart.
I would like to address the underlying problem of your dilemma. Your problem is not so much the question about unfairness regarding your motherly resources and the needy children. Your problem evolves around the mission of the couple and the authority of the Catholic Church.
By the way, your question suggests that you are married. So let’s assume it’s reality. Because if you are not it would be only question of observing the sixth commandment. Can we assume that you have been married some time? If that is the case, why haven’t you adopted yet?
Let’s look at the fundamentals. Perhaps you know that the Rabbis, wishing to do God’s will in every way have compiled all the commandments and prohibitions of the Bible and have reached 612. There are as many positive commandments as there are bones in the human body, they say. Every bone tells the faithful: "Please, I want to be at the Lord’s service. Please obey as I obey you". And there are as many prohibitions as there are days in a year. Every day begs the faithful: "Please, on this day don’t do what is wrong in the eyes of the Lord!"
Do you know what is the first commandment in this list? Open the Bible and read: " 26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it" (Gen 1)". The image of God is reflected in the couple.
Then you should read the meditations of the Church Fathers. They ask: "How is the couple the reflection of the Lord". They answer that only the NT gives the real explanation. The couple is the image of the holy Trinity when they give life to a child.
So, this is the mission of the couple.
Jesus states the exceptions: " 11 But He said to them, "All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: 12 "For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it" (Mt 19).
The two aspects of marriage – unitive and procreative – are inseparable according to the Catholic Church's doctrine.
Now I suggest that you are trying to change the mission of marriage according to your vision and desires. Perhaps you haven’t understood that the Church doesn’t originate a set of rules so that humankind be more or less socially compatible. She interprets the will of the Lord as it is exposed in the revelation. Being not in agreement with the teaching of the Church means, you are not in agreement with God’s will. The Catholic Church’s instructions are not the fruit of reason or philosophy but of faith.
You’ll have to make up your mind first regarding this fundamental doctrine. Then we can talk about the specific situations.
You can’t fondle you own ideas as the supreme tenet as someone fondles things at his free disposition. One indispensable ingredient of being member of the Catholic Church is obedience in faith. Not even the Pope can change these things. What he does is apply these immutable teachings to the concrete situation. Nobody talked about bioethics before. Now the Church has to react to cloning and conception in vitro. All very modern but all very wrong because it’s not God’s will. Can we agree that God’s will is that humankind be happy? So why do you think the Church has defended at all times unpopular tenets? She is a servant, not the master.
I hope you understand what I’ trying to tell you. You can’t build a house if there is no foundation to sustain it. Therefore, you have to resolve this question first.
Nevertheless, I do want to help you with your specific problem.
I have chosen celibacy for the love of God. At the same time and because of it I’m an enthusiastic defender of marriage and family according to the Lord’s will. That’s not only because I’m Catholic and know that real happiness results from doing God’s bidding. In addition, it’s because I’ve proof. I’m looking at Catholic families that have more than five children and are very happy. They do not limit the Lord. I could tell you about those families who additionally to their children adopted - how do you call them – discapacitated children on purpose because they know nobody wants them. You state " I believe that this practice (contraception) should be taken in the greater context of family planning and history of the individual(s) concerned". You are so right. What about considering it in the greater context of God’s will and revelation as guaranteed by the uninterrupted doctrine of the Church?
This "greater context" prompts some questions. Can you handle them or at least give them some attention?
Who assures you that the compassion you feel is from God?
Couldn’t there be some egotistic fundament?
Why can’t you have both, your own children and adopted ones?
Or are you member of the "maximum-two-children-club" because "pro-choice" dictate such dogma?
You don’t suggest you have some physical problem regarding childbearing.
Does your husband heartily agree with you?
Couldn’t your dilemma be the produce of the feminist tenet that the woman is the absolute master of her womb?
What dictates the rationale of your reserving of motherly (?) resources? Work, leisure, culture, public service, money?
One of the greatest privileges of a married woman is to give life, nurture 9 month the child with her own being and giving birth to a citizen of the eternal city in the everlasting presence of God. It’s very difficult to believe that a married woman easily and without overpowering reasons might renounce that privilege! And for me it’s easier to believe that a man worded your dilemma!
Enough for now.