Document Deals With "Family and Procreation"

Echoes Teachings of "Humanae Vitae"

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 6, 2006 (Zenit.org).- A new Vatican document on "Family and Human Procreation" aims to "open the doors to the future research into these debated issues."



The Pontifical Council for the Family published the 57-page document today. Among other things, the document recalls that "the family is the only appropriate place for procreation."

The introduction quotes the words given by Pope John Paul II in Puebla, Mexico, in 1979.

The Holy Father had stated that "the family is inbred in man and has been established by God. But today man has become a riddle to himself and is experiencing the deepest crisis in history in his family dimension: The family is attacked as it has never been before; the new forms of union are destroying it; the fertilization techniques are totally ousting human love; the birth control policies are leading to today's 'birth winter.'"

The document later states that procreation, "which is the means of transmitting life through the loving union of man and woman, must be human"; that is, it must be "the fruit of man's actions."

"The act of union of man and woman," states the document, "cannot be separated by its inbred dimension, which is procreation and makes for responsible fatherhood and motherhood. The marital moral rests all on this ground."

Under attack

It continues: "Never before has the natural institution of marriage and the family been the victim of such violent attacks. The family and marital life models are changing … [and] if we look at the lengths people go to avoid having children, including contraception as well as abortion, the eclipse of any reference to God looks clear in the predominant view of responsible procreation."

The document also speaks of the "appearance of the apologia of the single-parent family, the broken, gay, lesbian family."

"Gay couples claim for themselves the same rights as those that are specific to husband and wife, they even claim the right to adopt," the document observes. "Lesbian couples claim for themselves the same rights, demanding laws that will give them access to heterologous fertilization or embryo implantation."

In the section on "responsible fatherhood and motherhood," the document insists on the doctrine of "Humanae Vitae" about contraception. That doctrine rules out "any contraceptive method" and demands that "the union and procreation factors be always matched to each other in any marital act," as it legitimates only "periodical continence," in other words "the use of marriage only in non-fertile periods."

"Man is a family being," states the document, "and as such he is a social, political, economic, cultural, legal and religious being. The family which touches on all of these essential aspects needs services, help, protection and endless promotion."