Contraception and Catholicism

Author: William E. May


William E. May

Common Faith Tract No. 5

{c) Christendom Educational Corporation 1983 Christendom Publications, Route 3, Box 87, Front Royal, Virginia 22630


1.Foreword 2.Contraception and Catholicism

3.I. The Defense of Contraception •Mankind's Dominion Over Nature as a Basis for Contraception •The Nature of Human Sexuality as a Basis for Contraception •The Totality or Wholeness of Marriage and Contraception •Demographic Considerations and the Justification of Contraception

4.II. Critical Analysis of Arguments for Contraception •Human Person, Human Sexuality and Human Action •Human Persons and Human Sexuality •Consequentialism •The Whole of Marriage and Particular Marital Acts •The Demographic Problem and Human Freedom

5.Conclusion: The Teaching of the Church




"Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn recently said this about the Bolshevik Revolution and subsequent calamities. The statement however, is not less applicable to the general adoption of the contraceptive ethic, the consequent disintegration of the family and the acceptance of abortion and euthanasia. The relaxation of the Christian position on contraception has resulted from the erosion of belief through secularism and relativism. The secularist attempts to organize life as if God did not exist; His law is therefore irrelevant. Through relativism we deny that there is a knowable, objective order of morality. The result is a situational, consequentialist ethic which can justify every vice, including contraception. Relativism also leads to legal positivism, the theory that since no one can really know what is just, the decisions on disputed questions must be left to the political process. And the result of that process cannot be criticized as unjust, for who can say what is just? Auschwitz was a working out of these secularist and relativist tendencies. And so was Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's 1973 edict mandating abortion on request.

The acceptance of contraception can be seen to follow from the adoption of secularism and relativism. But contraception itself is a major cause of other contemporary evils. Contraception is wrong, Humanae vitae tells us, because it breaks the "inseparable connection" between "the unitive and procreative meanings" of the conjugal act. But abortion also involves the separation of the unitive and procreative aspects of sex. And a contraceptive society requires abortion as a "fail safe." For these reasons, a coherent pro-life policy cannot be neutral on contraception. The separation of the unitive and the procreative, the separation of sex from life, is evident, too, in pornography, homosexual activity and "in vitro" fertilization. The rise in divorce also may be traced to the practice of contraception, since, in the natural order of things, the main reason why marriage is permanent is because it is ordained to the begetting of children. If, through contraception, we affirm that sex has no inherent relation to reproduction, why should marriage be permanent? Similarly, teenage promiscuity may be explainable in part by parental example. If children see their contracepting parents behave as though sex had no inherent connection with reproduction, it should be no surprise that they conclude that there is no reason why it should be reserved for marriage. And so on. The theologians who reject Humanae vitae offer nothing but an avenue to the dissolution of the entire moral teaching of the Faith.

Although much of the effort to provide an intellectual justification for contraception is evidently a sham--similar to the result-oriented Supreme Court's opinions which marshal theories to support preordained conclusions-- nevertheless the theoretical arguments for contraception must be answered. A Church teaching, such as that on contraception, does not depend for its authority on the reasoning advanced in its support. But in the case of contraception an exposition of the reasons for the teaching is especially useful because the contraceptive ethic is the source of other evils. A refutation of the case for contraception can help to dissuade people from contraception itself as well as from its extensions. In this excellent tract, Professor May has admirably provided that refutation as well as a convincing exposition of the reasons for the Church's teaching on the subject. His work will be especially useful for students at universities which call themselves Catholic, where the apparently dominant orthodoxy is that of a parallel magisterium which rejects Humanae vitae and which tends to reject the major elements of Catholic teaching on sexual morality.

Of special importance in this tract is Professor May's explication of the distinction between contraception and the natural family planning which the Church approves when it is used, in the words of Humanae vitae, for "serious," "just" and "grave motives." His analysis will help to forestall the tendency to treat natural family planning as merely an alternate form of birth control. Professor May cogently refutes the basic arguments advanced for contraception, but the point of his tract is not that a mechanical means of contraception should be replaced by a "natural" method employed with a contraceptive attitude. Rather what is needed is a reorientation toward trust in God, toward respect for oneself and one's spouse as persons and away from the dehumanizing and anti- personalist materialism which masquerades as a "new personalism."

The ultimate issue is: who is in charge? In Familiaris consortio, Pope John Paul II said contracepting couples "act as 'arbiters' of the divine plan and they 'manipulate' and degrade human sexuality and with it themselves and their married partner by altering its value of 'total' self-giving."

We need to recognize the dominion of God. And, indispensably, we have to pray for His grace, especially through the intercession of Mary, His Mother.

Charles E. Rice, October 25, 1983


Today most people in Western societies approve of contraception. They believe that its use by married couples as a way of planning their families is certainly warranted and indeed commendable. Contraception by the unmarried, particularly by teenagers, is considered "prudent" and "responsible," even by those who may think that unmarried individuals ought to refrain from sexual activity. Using contraceptives has become, for a vast number of people today, as "natural" as brushing one's teeth, taking aspirin to get rid of a headache, or wearing glasses to correct vision.

These people--and among them are many Catholics, lay, priests, and religious--regard the teaching of the Church on the immorality of contraception as almost incomprehensible. It is considered dehumanizing and oppressive, a remnant of a bygone age. It is frequently said that the Church "bans" contraceptives, as it once "banned" eating meat on Fridays. It is time, so these people think, for the Church to enter the modern world, to "catch up" in its official teachings with the mind of its own people, and to life this arbitrary and oppressive "ban."

The primary purpose of this tract is to show that the teaching of the Church on this question, far from being dehumanizing and oppressive, is just the opposite, humanizing and liberating. It is so, it will be argued, because it is based on a true understanding of human persons, of human sexuality, and of the meaning of human choices and actions. The teaching is thus not an arbitrary, man- made rule, but the much needed affirmation of a God-given truth about human existence.

But this primary purpose cannot be adequately accomplished without first examining, fairly and comprehensively, the arguments in support of contraception. Thus the first part of this paper will set forth the principal arguments that have been advanced, in particular by Catholic writers, to defend contraception and to discredit the Church's teaching. Part Two will offer a critical assessment of these arguments in such a way as to make known the framework within which the Church's own teaching is cast. The conclusion will summarize the teaching of the Church and show why it is true and liberating.

I. The Defense of Contraception

Many reasons are advanced to support contraception and to show the alleged untenability of the Church's teaching. The arguments, although varied, can be put under distinct headings, depending on their focal ideas: (1) mankind's dominion over nature, with the associated claim that the Church's teaching is physicalist; (2) the nature of human sexuality; (3) the nature of marriage and its wholeness or totality; and (4) the demographic problem.

Mankind's Dominion Over Nature as a Basis for Contraception

A key idea in the defense of contraception is that human dominion over physical nature, willed by God, justifies the use of contraceptives, particularly by married couples, to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The authors of the celebrated "Majority Report" of the Papal Commission on the Regulation of Natality used this line of argumentation.|1\ They noted that, "in the matter at hand," namely contraception, there is a certain change in the mind of contemporary man. He feels that he is more conformed to his rational nature, created by God with liberty and responsibility, when he uses his skill to intervene in the biological processes of nature so that he can achieve the ends of the institution of matrimony in the conditions of actual life, than if he would abandon himself to chance.|2\

According to this idea, the biological fertility of human persons is a physical process given by nature, something that we share with other animals. Like other biological givens it needs to be "assumed into the human sphere,"|3\ that is, brought under the control of reason, which sets us apart from other animals and makes us to be persons.

The person, according to this idea, is not to be enslaved by his biology, to have his choices determined by the rules and conditions set in physiology. Quite to the contrary, the biological givens confronting the person are to be controlled and regulated by the person's intelligence and freedom. It is intelligent and reasonable for married persons to use their biological fertility to generate children when they want these children and are willing and able to care for them when they are born. It is likewise reasonable for married persons to choose to express their love for one another in the marital act at times when a pregnancy would be irresponsible. At such times they act reasonably and responsibly by using contraceptives to suppress the biological processes of fertility and thereby avoid an undesirable pregnancy.

The argument that contraception is justified by man's dominion over nature is associated closely with the charge that the position of the Church is dehumanizing and oppressive because it identifies moral norms with physical processes and biological laws. The Church's teaching, in other words, is physicalist or biologistic. This objection, voiced by many, is illustrated in the following statement by Daniel C. Maguire:

Birth control [i.e., contraception] was, for a very long time, impeded by the physicalist ethic that left moral man at the mercy of his biology. He had no choice but to conform to the rhythms of his physical nature and to accept its determinations obediently. Only gradually did technological man discover that he was morally free to intervene creatively and to achieve birth control by choice.|4\

This claim, moreover, is closely linked to the charge that the Church is inconsistent in permitting the regulation of birth by periodic abstinence or "rhythm" while condemning the use of artificial contraceptives. One Catholic theologian put the matter this way:

Of all these methods [of regulating conception] I should be tempted to think of rhythm as the most unnatural of all, since it inhibits not only conception but the expression of affection. It is ... a base theology that would want intercourse to harmonize with the involuntary endocrine rhythm of ovulation and menstruation, while forsaking the greater spiritual and emotional ebbs and flows which should also govern sexual union.|5\

The implication here is that there is no moral difference between the use of artificial contraceptives and the "natural" contraception of rhythm, which, as one critic noted, places a "temporal barrier" between sperm and ovum.|6\

Here a passage from the Majority Report is illuminating. It reads:

The true opposition is not to be sought between some material conformity to the physiological processes of nature and some artificial intervention. For it is natural to man to use his skill in order to put under human control what is given by physical nature. The opposition is to be sought really between one way of acting which is contraceptive and opposed to a prudent and generous fruitfulness, and another way which is in an ordered relationship to responsible fruitfulness and which has a concern for education and all the essential human and Christian values.|7\

This passage is instructive because it distinguishes between the use of contraceptives to regulate nature and what it calls "a way of acting that is contraceptive." Obviously, the term "contraceptive" is here being used not in a descriptive but in a morally pejorative sense. It is being used to refer to what the authors of this Report had earlier called a "contraceptive mentality," that is, a mentality that selfishly excludes children from a marriage.|8\ What the authors are here claiming is that married couples can responsibly and rightly use contraceptives in a non-contraceptive, i.e., unselfish, way, by ordering their use to "a prudent and generous fruitfulness." Thus both "artificial" and "natural" contraception are morally good if they serve a prudent and generous fecundity; and both are morally bad if they are opposed to such fecundity and manifest a "contraceptive" mentality.|9\ The Church inconsistently permits the former while condemning the latter.

We have now reviewed one major basis used to justify contraception. Yet before taking up the next major line of argument it is worth noting that many Catholic writers, in developing the guiding idea of the supremacy of the person over the physical and biological, also stressed the lived experience of the faithful. They noted that many faithful Catholics sought valiantly to limit their families by practicing rhythm. Yet many of these Catholics found this unreliable and frustrating. It not only resulted in "surprise" or "unplanned" pregnancies, it inhibited the spontaneous expression of marital affection and created tremendous tension within the marriage. In their experience--and in that of many sincere and good-hearted non- Catholics as well--the use of artificial contraceptives within a marriage responsibly to limit progeny ultimately came to be seen as the more "natural" choice.

This lived experience of married people could not, it was argued, be ignored. In fact, as Robert Hoyt put it, "the single most important kind of testimony influencing the papal commission's eventual recommendation for change in the Church's teaching was that dealing with the existential realities of sexual togetherness in marriage."|10\ This experience, it was urged, pointed to a new sensus fidelium, one respectful of the primacy of persons over physiological processes and of the human and Christian values involved in marriage and the generation of human life.|11\

The Nature of Human Sexuality as a Basis for Contraception

A closely related point in the defense of contraception is the idea that human sexuality, as distinct from animal sexuality, is above all relational, amative, or unitive in character. Its essence, as human sexuality, is to join persons, to enable them to break out from their shell of loneliness and enter into a deeply intimate fellowship with other persons.

There is, to be sure, a procreative or reproductive aspect of human sexuality. But--and here we see how this line of argumentation is linked to that previously considered--the procreative aspect is common to us and other animals. It is, as such, biological, not personal. The relational/amative/ unitive aspect of sexuality, on the other hand, is what is distinctively human and personal. It thus follows that it is morally justifiable to inhibit or impede or damage the biological aspect of human sexuality by using contraceptives in order to promote the flourishing of its personal aspect.

This basic idea is developed somewhat differently by humanist and Catholic supporters of contraception. Humanist authors, for instance Ashley Montagu and Alex Comfort, focus on this understanding of the nature of human sexuality in order to develop a new sexual ethic, one that justifies not only contraception but also nonmarital sex and homosexual activity under certain conditions. None of these authors advocates callous, cruel, or exploitative sex, for such activity would be counter to the interpersonal fellowship that sexual union is meant to express. They propose the norm of relational responsibility in sexual choices: sexual activity should manifest care and concern for the other; it should be sensitive to the needs of the other, tender and affectionate. In this view, contraception becomes morally mandatory, responsible behavior unless those choosing sexual union expressly desire to have a child and have the ability and willingness to care for it.|12\

Originally Catholic authors employing this idea of human sexuality sought to limit its applicability to contraceptive activity by married couples. Thus the authors of the Majority Report began by emphasizing the fundamental values of marriage and of human sexuality, both the fostering of love between spouses (the unitive, amative aspect) and the generation of human life (the procreative aspect). And they stressed, as has been seen, the obligation of spouses to avoid a "contraceptive mentality."|13\ But in urging that the Church change its teaching on the immorality of contraception they advanced as a major reason the "changed estimation of the value and meaning of human sexuality," one that led to a "better, deeper, and more correct understanding of conjugal life and of the conjugal act."|14\ By this they meant, as the Louvain theologian Louis Janssens correctly noted, that "the most profound meaning of human sexuality is that it is a relational reality, having a special significance for the person in his relationships."|15\

The authors of the Majority Report then coupled this notion of human sexuality with the dominion human persons have over the biological fertility of sexuality and with the wholeness of married life (a consideration to be taken up later) in order to defend contraception by married couples. Spouses, they argued, would respect the procreative meaning of sexuality and marriage by welcoming children into their married lives when considered as a totality, and they would serve both the good of children and the good of fostering marital love by using contraceptives in individual acts of marriage. Such acts would be ordered directly to the deepening of love and of the relational/unitive aspect of sexuality and indirectly to the procreative good itself.|16\

Although the authors of the Majority Report thus sought to limit their justification of contraception to married couples, it soon became apparent to other Catholic supporters of marital contraception that the reasoning employed could be used to justify other forms of sexual activity, including contraception by the unmarried, nonmarital sex, and homosexual activity. This fact has been frankly acknowledged by Charles E. Curran, himself a supporter of this development.|17\

The reason for this is that, according to these same thinkers, one can rightly intend what has been variously called "nonmoral," "premoral," or "ontic" evil in order to secure a proportionately greater "non-moral," "premoral," or "ontic" good.|18\ These Catholics recognized that some kind of evil is involved in contraception (and also in nonmarital and homosexual activity)-- after all, contraception does involve damaging or impeding human fertility, which is surely in some sense a good. But they reasoned that in general one can willingly do evil in its "premoral" sense so long as some greater good is served. In contraception the greater good served is the relational/amative/unitive meaning of human sexuality, its most profound significance.|19\

The Totality or Wholeness of Marriage and Contraception

Efforts to justify contraception by married persons alone have been developed by some on the basis of the nature of marriage in its totality. The authors of the Majority Report make use of this argument, which they fuse, however, with the arguments from mankind's dominion over nature and the notion that human sexuality is, in its most profound sense, relational and unitive.

What they do is to distinguish between individual acts of marriage and the marriage as a whole. They insist that procreation is one of the goods of marriage and that this good must be respected. But they argue that it is properly respected even when individual acts of marriage are deliberately made infertile, so long as those acts are ordered to a generous fecundity within the marriage as a whole and to the expression of marital love. They put the matter this way:

When man interferes with the procreative purpose of individual acts by contracepting he does this with the intention of regulating and not excluding fertility. Then he unites the material finality toward fecundity which exists in intercourse with the formal finality of the person and renders the entire process human.... Conjugal acts which by intention are infertile or which are rendered infertile are ordered to the expression of the union of love; that love, however, reaches its culmination in fertility responsibly accepted. For that reason other acts of union are in a certain sense incomplete and they receive their full moral quality with ordination toward the fertile act.... Infertile conjugal acts constitute a totality with fertile acts and have a single moral specification namely, the fostering of love responsibly toward generous fertility.|20\

A similar argument is used by the Methodist moral theologian, Paul Ramsey.|21\ Despite the fact that Ramsey argues that "human parenthood is not the same as that of the animals God gave Adam complete dominion over"|22\ (a point we shall return to in Part Two), he holds that contraceptive intercourse by spouses is morally permissible so long as husband and wife "do not tear their own one-flesh unity completely away from all positive response and obedience to the mystery of procreation--a power by which at a later time their own union originates the one flesh of a child."|23\

Demographic Considerations and the Justification of Contraception

A fourth principal consideration to justify contraception is that of population control. It is noted, time and time again, that it took the human race from the beginning of time to A.D. 1600 to reach the first 500 million inhabitants. It then took only 230 years to add the next half billion. By 1950, only 120 years later, world population had climbed to 3 billion, and only 30 years later, by 1980, it was over 4 billion! Predictions are that population will reach 6 billion by the end of this century, and possibly more if population control measures are not successful.|24\

It is, moreover, necessary and morally imperative to prevent the population bomb from going off. After all, the resources of this planet are finite. Unless population is effectively controlled, masses of human beings, particularly in the developing nations, will never be able to rise from the terrible and oppressive poverty that is their lot. While it is true that runaway population growth has been--thanks in large measure to the widespread use of effective contraceptives--curtailed in the developed nations of the West (even to the point where some Western nations now find it necessary to import foreign workers|25\), it is still much too high in the developing nations.

Not only is it morally imperative to check runaway population growth, it is morally imperative to use the most effective means to do so. "Rhythm," or "Vatican roulette" as it is sometimes called, is notoriously ineffective as a measure for regulating births, particularly for the largely illiterate and uneducated masses of the Third World.|27\ In fact, it is argued, the Roman Catholic Church's ban on contraceptives not only contributes to rampant population growth, it also contributes to the rise in abortions as a means for preventing the birth of children who cannot be properly taken care of. Thus the most humane and Christian way of meeting the challenge of controlling human population, particularly in developing nations, is the responsible use of artificial contraceptives.|28\

24. See, for instance, Arthur McCormick, "Demographic Aspects of the Population Problem," in The Population Report, ed. Joseph Moerman and Michael Ingram (London: Search Press, 1975), p. 9.

II. Critical Analysis of Arguments for Contraception

It is now necessary to analyze critically the principal arguments said to justify contraception and, in particular, to assess their underlying ideas about human persons, human sexuality, human choice and action.

Human Person, Human Sexuality and Human Action

In his magnificent Apostolic Exhortation on the role of the Christian family in the modern world, Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II at one key point made a very perceptive observation quite pertinent for our consideration of the first two major ideas underlying the justification of contraception, namely mankind's dominion over nature and the meaning of human sexuality. His Holiness noted that the difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle ... is a difference which is much wider and deeper than is usually thought, one which involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.|29\

In view of this we can begin our critique by showing why there is a significant moral difference between the regulating of conception by periodic abstinence and by using contraceptives. Here it is necessary to say, first of all, that it is possible for couples to act immorally and with a contraceptive and indeed anti- baby intent by preventing conception through the misuse or abuse of natural family planning methods (which are, as everyone now knows, or ought to know, much more developed than the rhythm method). Their precise intent and choice can be to make the act they choose, sexual union, to be the sort of act closed or opposed to the transmisson of life. If they do so, they are acting in a contraceptive way, and they may indeed be erecting a "temporal" barrier between sperm and ovum.|30\ But if they act in this way they are not doing something that the Church approves. Rather they are doing what the Church condemns in its condemnation of contraception. For the Church teaches that "every action which ... in anticipation of the conjugal act ... proposes to render procreation impossible" is "excluded."|31\

But this is not the extent or proposal of all (in fact, it needs to be said, of the vast majority of) married couples, Catholic and non-Catholic, who choose to regulate conception by periodic abstinence rather than contraception. Both may well agree in their purpose or further intention, for both may be seeking, for legitimate reasons, to avoid a pregnancy here and now. But the human acts they freely choose to do to realize this purpose or further intention are, as Elizabeth Anscombe and others have noted,|32\ quite different, and different too are their present intentions. Those who contracept, whether for selfish or unselfish motives or purposes, are after all contracepting. They are choosing both to have sexual relations here and now, i.e., to engage in the sort of act they know to be open to the transmission of human life, and to make this act to be closed to the transmission of human life. This is their present intent, the proposal they freely adopt by choice. And their act is contra- ceptive or anti-procreative precisely because of this present intention.

Those, on the other hand, who seek to meet parental obligations by practicing periodic abstinence choose to do different sorts of acts, and their present intentions are different. First of all, they choose to abstain from the marital act when to engage in it might lead irresponsibly to conception or would require them, by using contraceptives, to set aside its procreative meaning. And they refuse to make the marital act opposed to the transmission of human life by contracepting. In short, their present intent here is to abstain, and not to contracept. They then choose the marital act when the wife is not fertile because they intend or propose to participate in the unitive good of genital sexuality and of marriage; they intend presently to express marital love by the marital act. This present intent is not contraceptive. Such a married couple is being non-procreative in their behavior, but they are not being anti- or contra-procreative. (Moreover, it is worth noting that married couples can use natural family planning in order to become pregnant; true contraceptives are never so used.)

To put it briefly, the moral difference between contraception, whether "natural" or "artificial," and the practice of periodic abstinence as means of exercising responsible parenthood consists in the reality that different sorts of human acts are being done, different present intents are operative, and different proposals are being freely adopted by choice.|33\

What this shows us, too, is that the teaching of the Church, far from being physicalistic, is concerned with the nature of human choices and actions and their moral determinants. The Church does not condemn contraception because of the "physical structure" of the action but because of the intentions that are required on the part of those who contracept, namely, the intentions to set aside, get rid of, damage, or impede the procreative meaning of the marital act. Nor does the Church, as Maguire contends, leave "moral man at the mercy of his biology." Conception does not occur without the human choice to engage in coition.|34\ And coition is not a matter of biological or physical necessity, as are the elimination of wastes, blinking one's eyes, the swallowing reflex. It is a matter of free human choice, and human persons can choose to avoid pregnancies by foregoing actions that they know lead to conception. Moreover, married persons can choose to express their love for one another in an infinite variety of ways. The marital act is a unique, fitting way to express this love, and one that is proper and specific to marriage. But it is not the only way to express this love, nor is it necessarily the best.

There is then, a clear moral difference between contracepting and practicing periodic continence as ways of regulating conception. But how do these two ways involve irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality? In answering this question we shall see even more clearly the moral difference between contraception and periodic abstinence.

Human Persons and Human Sexuality

We have seen that advocates of contraception regard biological fertility as part of the physical world over which humans have dominion; they likewise regard the relational/amative/unitive aspect of sexuality as its personal and human aspect. In short, as Paul Ramsey has noted, they sunder in principle the two goods of human sexuality and of marriage, the unitive and the procreative, "regarding procreation as an aspect of biological nature ... while saying that the unitive purpose is the free, human, and personal end of the matter."|35\

This understanding of human sexuality, with its concomitant claim that procreation is of itself biological in nature and part of the world over which man has been given dominion, is what can be called a "separatist" understanding. Here the procreative aspect of human sexuality is not a good of the person which participates in the goodness of the person but is rather a good for the person, something to be used as the person chooses. It is regarded, in other words, as a useful or functional good, not a personal good. Thus human fertility becomes a personal good only when it is freely assumed into consciousness.|36\

Moreover, many who articulate this vision understand the human person as a free and conscious "subject" or "subjectivity" that is embodied in either a male body-structure or a female body- structure.|37\ The personhood of human beings, for these advocates of contraception, consists in their ability to relate to other persons or selves, and it is for this precise reason that for them the most profound meaning of human sexuality lies in the ability it gives these conscious subjects to reach out and to touch others in an intimacy of shared affection.

But this understanding of person is a dualism in the pejorative sense of that term, insofar as it places the body and the biological processes of human life beneath the person, regarding them as a material substrate distinct from and subordinate to the person. (Although this matter cannot be pursued adequately here, it is instructive to note that most of the Catholic authors who hold these views refrain from using the term person to describe the living, unborn human child. Indeed, several of these writers, for example Daniel Callahan and Daniel Maguire|38\ explicitly deny that the unborn child, whom they acknowledge to be a living member of the human species, is a person but is rather "on the way" to personhood.)

In the mind of the Church and of those who recognize as true the Church's teaching on contraception, we find much different conceptions of human sexuality and of the human person. First of all, the procreative aspect of human sexuality is regarded, along with its unitive aspect, as a personal good, not an instrumental good, for in the mind of the Church the human body is not an instrument of the person. Rather the body is an expression of the person; and a living human body, no matter how tiny or handicapped or senile or functionally unable to relate to others, is a person.|39\

Thus the proponents of contraception propose a dualistic understanding of the human person and a separatist understanding of human sexuality. The Church, on the contrary, proposes a holistic understanding of the human person as a unity of body and soul and an integralist understanding of human sexuality. While the entirety of a human person's being is not exhausted by the body, the body is nonetheless integral to the human person and is personally, not instrumentally, good.|40\


In this context, it will now be pertinent to contrast the different understandings of human choice and action proposed by the advocates of contraception and by the Church. It was noted that contraceptionists claim that one can rightly intend (premoral, nonmoral, ontic) evil for the sake of a greater (premoral, nonmoral, ontic) good. In short, they propose that we can do evil for the sake of good to come. In contraception, one intends the evil of damaging, impeding, or destroying the procreative aspect of coition so that one can participate in the allegedly higher or greater good of its relational/amative/unitive aspect.

This theory of human choice and action fits in well with the concepts of the human person and of human sexuality at the heart of their defense of contraception. For it holds that one has the right, indeed, the obligation, to act for the "higher" good even if this means that one must deliberately, of set intent, choose an act whose immediate intent is the destruction of a "lower" good. And for these thinkers the bodily goods of human life, insofar as of themselves they are not dependent upon consciousness and intersubjective relationships, are always of a lower order than the "personalistic" goods of human life, i.e., goods in which we can participate only as conscious subjects.

But this theory is a general moral theory and it goes well beyond contraception. On this theory it is morally right and good to intend any evil for the sake of an allegedly greater good. Thus one can rightly choose to kill an innocent person if this is demanded by some "higher" good.|41\

This moral theory is called consequentialism or proportionalism, and it proposes that the end, i.e., the higher good in question, can justify the means.|42\ It is a specious moral theory that seeks to rationalize our actions by redescribing them in terms of their intended results. Thus the contraceptionists holds that contraception by married persons is a "marriage- saving" or "marriage-stabilizing" act.|43\

This theory is specious because, as many authors have pointed out,|44\ it assumes that the various goods of human existence are commensurable and capable of being "weighed" and "measured" in an unambiguous way so that one can determine, prior to choice, which is indeed "greater" or "higher." But this is impossible, because the various goods of the human person are incomparable and incommensurable. To "compare," for instance, the good of human life itself with the good of knowledge or friendship is like trying to "compare" the number 786 with the length of a rainbow. It is impossible, unless the goods in question can be reduced to some common denominator, and this simply cannot be done. In fact, what these authors seek to do is to rationalize choices they have already made in terms of their own preferences among the goods of human existence.|45\

The understanding of human choice and action at the heart of the Church's teaching is quite different. With St. Paul (cf. Romans 3:8), the Church holds that we are not to do evil so that good may come. We ought not to choose evil, to intend that evil be, even for the sake of some alleged higher good.|46\ This moral theory is rooted in Scripture and in the entire Catholic tradition. The goods of the human person, goods such as life and our great sexual powers of giving life and giving love, are really good. They are gifts from a loving God, participated modes of His goodness; they are dimensions of the being of the precious and irreplaceable sexual persons who are His living images, His created words. We may have to suffer their loss or at times permit them to be destroyed through acts that are also effective of good that alone is intended,|47\ but we ought not to be willing to close our hearts, our person, to any of these goods. We ought not, in short, deliberately and of set purpose intend to set them aside. To do so would be to erect an alternative chosen good, itself a created good, into the Summum Bonum or Absolute Good. We would be, in effect, prostrating ourselves before a created good which we prefer. This is idolatry; this is sin.

In a word, the proponents of contraception have developed a moral theory that seeks to justify the doing of evil, a theory that rationalizes the deliberate intent to set aside something really good by redescribing the act chosen in terms of intended consequences. This moral theory is completely irreconcilable with the teaching of the Church (and the discoveries of human intelligence). For in truth we are to do good and avoid evil. In making good choices we are to be open to all that is really good and to be unwilling to damage, impede, or destroy something really good because its flourishing inhibits our participation in some other good.|48\

The Whole of Marriage and Particular Marital Acts

In Part One we encountered the claim that marriage as a whole should be procreative but that individual acts within the marriage could be contraceptive. This argument has been quite influential, and contains a grain of truth. Surely a married couple, who have generously given life to children and are devoted to caring for and educating these children, have a love for children and the procreative good in a significant way. Their attitudes sharply contrast with the attitudes of those who abuse natural family planning methods and avoid parental responsibilities by selfishly refusing to have children, even though they seek to prevent them by "natural" contraception rather than by "artificial" contraception.

Yet this argument does not take into account the whole truth, nor does it, particularly as set forward by the authors of the Majority Report, properly understand contraception. Actually, as we have seen, they redefine contraception exclusively as the selfish exclusion of children from a marriage. It is indeed wrong selfishly to exclude children from a marriage, but selfishness is not the only way of acting wrongly.

The fallacy of this argument is that it fails to take into account the relationship between our actions and our being. Contraceptive acts may or may not express a selfish mentality, because in and through the free choice to engage in contraceptive intercourse a person makes himself to be a contraceptor. Moreover, for contraception to be effective in a marriage, more than isolated, particular acts are in question. What is required is a policy, deliberately adopted, to contracept for very long periods of time. Such acts of contraception may not express a selfish mentality, but they definitely express a contraceptive mentality.

The argument is actually a begging of the question. Its underlying assumption is that contraception is morally neutral and becomes morally wrong if chosen for the wrong motives and becomes morally good if chosen for the right motives.

But this assumption relies on a fallacious understanding of the marital act. According to this argument the marital act is intended to foster love between spouses, to unite them. The act is not, as such, intended to be open to the transmission of life; rather the marriage as a whole in which particular marital acts occur is intended to be open to the transmission of life. To the contrary, the Church and right reason affirm that the marital act is by its nature open both to the expression of marital love and to the transmission of human life. Both these goods come into focus when one considers the marital act, the act that is meant to participate in the marital covenant.

Proponents of contraception would agree that spouses ought not, in choosing to unite genitally, freely intend to set aside its unitive aspect. Why, then, do they hold that spouses can freely intend, in choosing to unite genitally, to set aside its procreative aspect? They can do so only if they look on this aspect as a merely biological fact or a "lesser" good than the unitive aspect.|52\ But we have already seen the dualism that this entails.

The Demographic Problem and Human Freedom

The final major idea supporting contraception was that based on demographic considerations. The validity of this argument already faulty on consequentialist grounds, depends upon the validity of the assumptions it makes. These are: (1) population is growing at a disastrous rate, particularly in the developing countries; and (2) contraceptives are the most effective means of controlling population.

Both of these assumptions must be challenged. Reputable authorities (for instance, Colin Clark) have argued that the growth of populations in developed countries is now so low that their future well-being is in jeopardy and that the growth of population even in the developing nations is not the cause of the poverty and difficulties the masses of human beings in these countries suffer. Rather the cause for their suffering is the worldwide economic system and the distribution of resources available to us.|53\

But even if it be granted that there is a moral obligation to control population growth, prescinding from the Cassandra-like predictions of doom by those who allege that the population bomb is about to go off, does it follow that contraceptives are the most effective means for regulating conception?

It does not so follow. First of all, many of the "contraceptives" vigorously pushed by the affluent on the peoples of the developing nations are IUDs and pills which not only pose serious health hazards (vaginal infections, perforated uteruses, and death through cancer or blood clots), but also cause abortions. Second, the various types of (healthy) natural family planning now available are just as efficient in helping married couples to avoid pregnancies; they do not cost vast sums of money; and they can be learned easily by all, even the unlettered.|54\ These natural family planning methods, moreover, respect the physical integrity of married persons and the significance of the marital act. They likewise enable husband and wife to cooperate intimately in living their marriage and planning for their children.

One would think here that the massive efforts of the Indian government to check its population by the widespread distribution of contraceptives would be sufficiently instructive to show the shallowness of the demographic argument. Condoms by the millions were provided; pills and IUDs by the millions were given to poor women who were told little of their health hazards and nothing of their abortifacient character. But to no avail. The government then sought to solve its problem by initiating a massive sterilization campaign, treating its poor like barnyard animals. But still the "population" problem remained. This is a case study which contradicts the basic assumptions of the demographic argument.

Finally, the claim that the Church's teaching leads to the use of abortion to solve the problem of the "unwanted" child needs to be considered. According to this claim, abortion would not be necessary if people, particularly unmarried teenagers, made use of effective contraceptives. But this argument is quite fallacious. Evidence shows that the more widespread the use of contraceptives, the more sexually active unmarried teenagers become. And the more sexually active they become, the more "unwanted" pregnancies result, despite the availability of contraceptives. Evidence likewise shows that in every society where contraception becomes widely practiced abortions increase rather than decrease.|55\

The problems that the world faces, in short, will not be solved by spending vast sums of money, distributing unsafe products, misinforming individuals, and ignoring their personhood. It is time to try good choices, intelligently made.

Conclusion: The Teaching of the Church

Since we have already seen, in Part Two, that the Church proposes a holistic understanding of the human person as a unity of body and soul and an integralist understanding of human sexuality as inherently unitive and procreative, the basic framework within which its teaching on contraception is articulated should be clear. It remains now to summarize this teaching and to show why it is true and liberating.

Pope Paul VI clearly summarized the Church's teaching (one that has been consistent from the very first time the subject was raised until today|56\) when he said that "each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of human life."|57\ Since he knew that not every marital act can in fact result in conception and since he also taught that there is no moral obligation for spouses to have a positive intention to procreate whenever they express their love in the marital act, it should be obvious that when he said this he was not trying to provide a description of the physical structure of the act. His meaning is clear, for he continued by saying that what is wrong is the anti- procreative intent necessary in contraception: "excluded is every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, aims, whether as end or means, at making procreation impossible."|58\

Paul VI then states that this teaching of the Church is founded "upon the inseparable connection--which is willed by God and which man cannot lawfully break on his own initiative--between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive and the procreative meanings."|59\ What he is here saying is that the procreative and unitive meanings of human sexuality and of the marital act are both inherently good and, moreover, inherently and inseparably joined by God. They are meant to go together. And in truth they do, for the marital act is precisely the sort of act that is naturally apt both for expressing marital love and for giving life to new human persons.

Not that the Pope's concern is not with the physical structure of the act (as Catholic contraceptionists allege) but with its human meaning and with the human response to this meaning. He makes this clear in a passage that is frequently overlooked:

indeed, it is justly considered that a conjugal act imposed upon one's partner without regard for his or her condition and lawful desires is not a true act of love, and therefore it goes against the requirements which the right moral order calls for in the relationship between husband and wife. By the same token, it must also be acknowledged that an act of mutual love, which jeopardizes the possibility of transmitting life ... goes against both the divine design of marriage and the will of the First Author of human life.|60\

Here Pope Paul is teaching--and Pope John Paul II has firmly and incisively reaffirmed this teaching of the Church|61\--that what is wrong or immoral, contrary to right reason, are marital acts in which either the unitive or the procreative meanings of the act are deliberately, by human intention, repudiated.

The teaching is clear, and the basic framework for understanding it is also clear. Contraception is morally wrong because it is a human act in which a person deliberately intends to set aside the procreative aspect of human sexuality and of genital coition, which is something truly a good of persons (and which, in turn, need be marital if it is to respect the persons choosing it|62\). Therefore, since a person must respect and love what is really good and be unwilling deliberately and with direct intent to set aside what is really good, a morally upright person will not freely choose to do anything which so sets aside the good. Yet contraception is such a deed. Therefore, freely choosing to contracept is to do evil.

This teaching is grounded on the truth that human persons make or break their lives by their free choices, giving to themselves their moral identity, their being as moral persons. To become the beings they are meant to be they must choose to be open to everything that is humanly good and to the Absolute Good, God, from whom human goods come. Human choices are morally good when they "harmonize with the authentic interest [or true goods] of the human race, in accordance with God's will and design, and enable men as individuals and as members of society to fulfill their total vocation."|63\ That is, they are morally good when they are open to integral human fulfillment. They are morally bad when they shut persons off from integral human fulfillment and set aside, damage, or impede what is truly good.

This teaching, moreover, is grounded in the truth that human persons are bodily beings, and that the human body, with its fertility and its procreative and unitive powers of sexuality, is personally good, and not a mere instrumental good distinct from the person.

Finally, this teaching is liberating because it is personalistic in the most authentic and deepest sense. It differs profoundly from the shallow, superficial personalism of those who advocate contraception. That shallow personalism, which equates the personal with what is consciously experienced, denies personhood to the unborn, the severely retarded, the senile and comatose, regarding them as "vegetables." That personalism identifies love with feelings, so that a marriage "dies" when love is no longer felt.|64\

In contrast to the superficial personalism of those who advocate contraception as a way of coping with the problem of human existence, the integral personalism at the heart of the Church's teaching on contraception truly reverences human life in its plenitude. It is thus a liberating truth, for it summons human persons to be fully themselves, to be responsive to the authentic goods of existence and faithful to their commitments.

The slogan of the contraceptionists is that no unwanted baby ought ever to be born. The deeply personal and liberating truth at the heart of the Church's teaching is that no human person ought to be unwanted.|65\ But human persons will be wanted as they ought to be wanted only when human beings freely choose to shape their actions inwardly by an attitude of loving openness to the goods of human persons. Procreation, clearly, must be numbered among these goods; contraception, among the evils which destroy such goods.


1. There were actually three documents in the "Majority Report." Of these, the two most central to our purpose are those called in English "The Question is Not Closed" and "On Responsible Parenthood." Both are found in The Birth Control Debate, ed. Robert Hoyt (Kansas City, Mo.: Nat. Cath. Reporter, 1969).

2. "The Question is Not Closed," p. 69 in Hoyt.

3. Ibid., p. 71.

4. Daniel C. Maguire, "The Freedom to Die," in New Theology #10, ed. Martin Marty and Dean Peerman (New York: Macmillan, 1973), p. 188.

5. James Burtchaell, "Human Life and Human Love," in Moral Issues and Christian Response, ed. Paul Jersild and Dale Johnson (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), pp. 139-140.

6. Louis Janssens, "Morale conjugale et progeterones," Ephem. Theol. Lovanienses 39 (Oct.-Dec. 1963), 820-823.

7. "On Responsible Parenthood," pp. 90-97 in Hoyt.

8. Ibid., p. 88.

9. Bernard Hearing, The Ethics of Manipulation (New York: Seabury, 1975), pp. 92-96; Anthony Kosnik et al., Human Sexuality: New Directions in American Catholic Thought (New York: Paulist Press, 1977), pp. 292-296.

10. Hoyt, in his Introduction to The Birth Control Debate, p. 9.

11. See, e.g., Charles E. Curran, Ongoing Revision (South Bend, In.: Fides, 1975), pp. 75-79.

12. Ashley Montagu, Sex, Man, and Society (New York: Putnams, 1969), ch. 1; Alex Comfort, "Sexuality in a Zero Growth Society," in The Future of Sexual Relations, ed. Robert and Anna Francoeur (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice- Hall, 1974).

13. See note 8.

14. "On Responsible Parenthood," p. 89 in Hoyt.

15. Louis Janssens, "Considerations on Humanae Vitae," Louvain Studies 1 (1969), 249.

16. "On Responsible Parenthood," pp. 91-95 in Hoyt.

17. Curran, Ongoing Revision, pp. 77-78.

18. Richard A. McCormick, S.J., himself a proponent of this moral theory, traces its history in his Notes on Moral Theology from 1965 through 1980 (Washington, D.C.: University of Press America, 1980). See entries under "moral norms" in index.

19. Philip S. Keane, S.S., Sexual Morality: A Catholic Perspective (New York: Paulist Press, 1977), pp. 123-125.

20. "The Question is Not Closed," p. 72 in Hoyt.

21. Paul Ramsey, Fabricated Man (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970), pp. 33-35.

22. Ibid., p. 33.

23. Ibid., pp. 33-34.

25. Ibid., p. 11.

26. Ibid., pp. 11-12.

27. John A. O'Brien, "Responsible Parenthood," in Family Planning in an Exploding Population, ed. John A. O'Brien (New York: Hawthorn, 1968), pp. 45- 53. See also the other essays here.

28. Ibid.

29. Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, n. 32.

30. See note 6.

31. Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, n. 14.

32. Elisabeth Anscombe, Contraception and Chastity (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1977), pp. 17-18.

33. On this see also my Sex, Marriage, and Chastity: Reflections of a Catholic Layman, Spouse, and Parent (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1981), pp. 116-119.

34. If a woman is raped, of course, she does not choose coition, and she is terribly wronged. To seek to prevent her from becoming pregnant as a result of the rape is not to contracept.

35. Ramsey, Fabricated Man, p. 33.

36. See "The Question is Not Closed," pp. 70-71 in Hoyt.

37. Kosnik et al., Human Sexuality, p. 84.

38. Daniel Callahan, Abortion: Law, Choice, and Morality (New York: Macmillan, 1970), p. 398 f; Maguire, Death By Choice (New York: Macmillan, 1973), p. 204.

39. This is at the heart of the teaching of John Paul II. See Richard Hogan's brilliant summary of his thought in "A Theology of the Body," Fidelity 1.1 (Dec. 1981), 10-15.

40. It is for this reason that we believe in the resurrection of the body. God wills us to be fully human and personal in His kingdom.

41. See Timothy E. O'Connell, Principles for a Catholic Morality (New York: Seabury, 1978), p. 168.

42. Ibid., p. 172.

43. Richard A. McCormick, How Brave a New World?: Dilemmas in Bioethics (New York: Doubleday, 1980), pp. 426-428.

44. Germain G. Grisez, "Against Consequentialism," American Journal of Jurisprudence 23 (1978), 21-72; John M. Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights (Oxford: Ox. U. Pr., 1980), pp. 118-124.

45. In fact, McCormick, one of the leading advocates of this proportionalistic/consequentialistic approach, now admits that it is impossible to "commensurate" the goods. But he then says that "we adopt a hierarchy." By this he means that we choose arbitrarily among them. He thus admits that this theory, which was intended to offer judgments before choice, simply does not do so. See his "Commentary on the Commentaries," in Doing Evil to Achieve Good, ed. Richard A. McCormick, and Paul Ramsey (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1978), pp. 227.

46. See, for instance, Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, n. 66; Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, n. 14. Both refer to Paul's teaching in Romans 3:8.

47. Here I am referring to the principle of double effect. On this see my article on it in Encyclopedia of Bioethics, ed. Warren T. Reich (N.Y.: Macmillan/Free Press, 1978), 1.168-175.

48. For a good development of this, see German G. Grisez and Russell Shaw, Beyond the New Morality (Notre Dame, In.: University of NOtre Dame Press, rev. ed. 1980), ch. 9.

52. Note that Ramsey, who explicitly repudiates this notion, is in my judgment inconsistent in accepting contraception.

53. Colin Clark, "World Power and Population," In Politics and Environment, ed. W. Anderson (Pacific Palisades, Ca.: Goodyear, 1970), pp. 725-733.

54. The work of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her sisters in teaching the poorest of the poor how to appreciate their biological fertility is testimony enough.

55. On the link between contraception, teenage sexual activity and pregnancy see James H. Ford, M.D. and Michael Schwartz, "Birth Control for Teenagers: Diagram for Disaster," Linacre Quarterly 46 (Feb. 1979), 71-81. On the general link between contraception and abortion see Paul Marx, "Contraception, the Gateway," International Review of Natural Family Planning 1 (1977), 276-279.

56. See John T. Noonan, Contraception (Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press, 1965), p. 6.

57. Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, n. 11.

58. Ibid., n. 14.

59. Ibid., n. 12.

60. Ibid., n. 13.

61. Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, n. 32.

62. Ibid., n. 11.

63. Gaudium et Spes, n. 35.

64. See the comments of Joseph Ratzinger relative to the views of Bernard Haering in "Zur Frage nach der Unaufloeslichkeit der Ehe," in Ehe und Ehescheidung, ed. F. Heinrich and E. Eid (Munich, 1972), pp. 49-50.

65. Powerful historical, cultural, philosophical and statistical arguments can be adduced to prove that contraception is the gateway to abortion, which in turn leads to infanticide and euthanasia.


It is time for Catholics to come out of the bomb shelters on the contraception issue. Unfortunately, the "right-to-life" movement wasted the past decade and more by pretending that abortion has nothing to do with contraception. The issues are, indeed, distinct but they are related as indicated in the Foreword to this tract. We need to educate others as to the reality that a contraceptive society must be an anti-life society in every respect from womb to tomb. To follow up on the excellent analysis provided by Professor May, the following steps should be taken:

1. Read Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio and distribute them to others. They may be obtained from The Wanderer, 201 Ohio Street, St. Paul, Minnesota 55107.

2. Keep informed on the teachings of the Pope. The most convenient way to do this in the United States is to subscribe to The Wanderer, 201 Ohio Street, St. Paul, Minnesota 55107; The Pope Speaks, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, Indiana 46750; and Talks of Pope John Paul II, c/o Pro Ecclesia, 663 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10022.

3. If you desire to make an extensive study of this subject, books about it and other Catholic issues may be obtained from: Christendom Publications, Route 3, Box 87, Front Royal, Virginia 22630; Tan Publishers, Box 424, Rockford, Illinois 61105; Cashel Institute, Box 375, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556; Stella Maris Books, 2016 Wilshire Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76110.

4. Read and distribute tracts and pamphlets which present the teachings of the Church in these matters. You should obtain the entire series of Common Faith Tracts, of which this is one. Write to Christendom Publications, Route 3, Box 87, Front Royal, VA 22630. Keep the Faith, Box 254, Montvale, New Jersey 07645, is a good source of tapes on this subject. Another item I strongly recommend is The Dissenting Church by James Hitchcock, published by the National Committee of Catholic Laymen, 150 East 35th Street, New York, New York 10016. This is a sober, but mind- boggling bill of particulars in support of the conclusion that "dissent" is now the established orthodoxy in the American Church.

5. Subscribe to a weekly Catholic newspaper that will give you in- depth coverage of current developments in the "American Church." The Wanderer, 201 Ohio Street, St. Paul, Minnesota 55107, is absolutely indispensable here. The National Catholic Register, Box 25986, Los Angeles, California 90025, is also very useful.

6. Learn about Natural Family Planning as it is approved by the teaching Church. Write to The Couple to Couple League, Box 11084, Cincinnati, Ohio 45211; and Thomas Hilgers, M.D., School of Medicine, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska 68178.

7. Join an action organization devoted to the advancement of the position of the Church on these matters. For example: Catholics United for Life, Box 390, Coarsegold, CA 93614; Fidelity Forum, Box 5664, San Antonio, Texas 78201; American Life Lobby, Box 490, Stafford, VA 22554.

8. Most important: Pray, especially through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God.

William E. May holds his Ph.D. in philosophy from Marquette University and is professor of moral theology at the Catholic University of America. The father of seven children, Dr. May is the author of several books on Catholic moral teaching, including Becoming Human: An Invitation to Christian Ethics, studies in bioethics, and an analysis of the Catholic understanding of sexuality forthcoming from Christendom Publications. The Foreword and Afterward to this tract are by CF associate editor Charles E. Rice, D.J.S., Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School.

You may download this tract for your personal use only. Reprinted with permission.

{c) Christendom Educational Corporation 1983 Christendom Publications, Route 3, Box 87, Front Royal, Virginia 22630

Editor: Jeffrey A. Mirus Associate Editors: Thomas P. Mangieri, William H. Marshner, Charles E. Rice, Robert C. Rice Spiritual Advisor: Rev. Robert J. Fox Production Manager: Kathleen M. Satterwhite

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