Diocesan News

Presentation on artificial birth control July 25 in Hastings

HASTINGS (SNR) – Bob Sullivan of St. Cecilia Parish in Hastings, attorney, writer, and columnist for the Southern Nebraska Register, will give a presentation July 25 at the Hastings Public Library, 314 N. Denver Ave.

The talk, entitled, “The Truth About Artificial Birth Control: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You,” will begin at 6:30 p.m. The free event is open to the public.

Sullivan will talk about the historical, legal, scientific and cultural facts regarding artificial contraception in the United States.

“My hope is that a fair number of people, Catholic and non-Catholic, come out that evening,” he said.

Sullivan said the topic of artificial birth control has come up frequently in the area in recent months.

“Contraception and Title X funds to Nebraskan health providers who provide abortions or abortion referrals has been in the news both statewide and in Hastings,” Sullivan said. “One of our local gynecologists wrote a very inaccurate letter in the Omaha World Herald after the governor signed the bill defunding Planned Parenthood earlier this spring. Then a local citizen wrote a letter to the editor of the Hastings Tribune which called for more contraception availability and use in Nebraska in order to help with overpopulation. She also said that parents should be taxed for having too many children!”

Sullivan responded to the doctor’s comments in a blog, and the Hastings Tribune published his response to the woman’s letter on reducing overpopulation in Nebraska.

“So contraception and abortion have been in the news lately in the Hastings area,” Sullivan said, “even though it has been the anti-life side of the debate who has brought it up.” He pointed out that a local bar recently held a contraception fundraiser, donating a portion of their profits to supply contraception to people in Central Nebraska.

Sullivan is not new to the discussion.

“I wrote an article for Crisis Magazine in which I explained a lot of the history behind the legalization and acceptance of artificial contraception,” he explained. “I was surprised at the number of people who commented… that they were not aware of all the history.

“There is a lot to learn about contraception,” Sullivan continued, “including the history, but for the non-Catholics, the medical facts can be quite a shock as well. A lot of people have no idea that contraception likely causes a staggering amount of abortions each year.”

A question-and-answer session will follow Sullivan’s presentation.

July 25 will mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Humanae Vitae, the 1968 encyclical Bl. Pope Paul VI issued after a commission of theologians and experts spent four years meeting to study in-depth whether the Church could be open to the contraceptive pill or other artificial forms of birth control. In his encyclical, Pope Paul VI reaffirmed the Church’s teaching against contraception in wake of the sexual revolution. The Vatican announced in May that he, with five other blessed, will be canonized Oct. 14. The canonizations will take place during the Oct. 3-28 Synod of Bishops on the topic of young people, the faith and vocational discernment.

Both miracles attributed to Paul VI’s intercession involve the healing of an unborn child.

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