Cardinal Stafford wrote a lengthy text about events of little interest to a non-Catholic. In this text there is a paragraph in which the heart of the Cardinal’s reasoning lies, and this paragraph is more interesting. The Cardinal says that “family and education had given me a Christian (scr. Catholic) understanding of sex”, thanks to which he came to understand that “the unitive and procreative meanings of marriage cannot be separated. Consequently, to deprive a conjugal act deliberately of its fertility is intrinsically wrong. To encourage or approve such an abuse would lead to the eclipse of fatherhood and to disrespect for women. Since then, Pope John Paul II has given us the complementary and superlative insight into the nuptial meaning of the human body. Decades afterwards, I came across an analogous reading from Meister Eckhart: ‘Gratitude for the gift is shown only by allowing it to make one fruitful’.”
Meister Eckhart spoke about how a person receives the Christ and in his turn gives birth to Him in the Fatherly womb. The Cardinal preferred to ignore this. Let’s have a closer look at his sense of gratitude:
“The unitive and procreative meanings of marriage cannot be separated. Consequently, to deprive a conjugal act deliberately of its fertility is intrinsically wrong.”
The Cardinal was troubled, I guess, by cases when couples can not make kids, not because they don’t want, not because they use contraceptives, but just because they can’t?, and decided to absolve such couples by adding the word “deliberately”. Easy to add and remove little words according to one’s convenience! Reality is not that easy. Who is going to absolve God?, the great responsible for the lack of fertility and gratitude in such couples? Or, if there are other ways of having fertility and gratitude in marriage, then the procreative meaning of marriage can exist even when a couple decides not to have children.
The Cardinal goes on as if lack of gratitude and fertility were not already enough to condemn these marriages, and speaks about “the eclipse of fatherhood and disrespect for women”! Yet, are women more respected where contraceptives are not used and abortion is not practised? Or, do monks cause an eclipse of fatherhood by denying not only children but the whole marriage affair?
A praise to the pope follows, who “has given us the complementary and superlative insight into the nuptial meaning of the human body”, thanks to which insight the Cardinals are able to say without any feeling of shame, all this nonsense. Finally Meister Eckhart is made to confirm somehow the confusion of the Cardinal’s mind. Why? Obviously Stafford is not interested in him.
If he were interested, he would have known what Eckhart said and he wouldn’t use his words to support the opposite of what Eckhart said. He would have learned by now what Christian fertility is, if he were interested, but perhaps he used Eckhart just to appear somehow ‘modern’… I don’t know. What I do know is that the Catholic church can not prevent contraception, abortion or gay marriages with nonsense and pretension. After all those centuries Catholicism doesn’t seem to gain some knowledge examining so many historical mistakes and grave crimes made by the Catholic church, thus remaining estranged even from the meaning of Christianity.