The bishop’s letter specially addressed Catholic physicians, pharmacists, and other health care professionals. He praised their efforts to help their patients, but at the same time he said no Catholic health care providers should engage in medicine “by undermining the gift of fertility.”
Health care, he noted, is “the art of healing,” while and contraception and sterilization “denigrate and degrade the body’s very purpose.”
John Brehany, executive director of the Catholic Medical Association, told CNA March 20 that he welcomed the pastoral letter as “a clear, compelling call to fidelity on an issue that is central to human happiness and health,” saying the letter has an “inspiring and constructive explanation” of Catholic teaching on contraception and sterilization.
Brehany said the letter can benefit faithful Catholic health care professionals through its “high-quality reaffirmation of Church teaching.”
“Even the choir needs to hear good sermons from time to time.”
The letter can bring clarity to health care professionals who are confused or ignorant of their moral obligations related to contraception and sterilization; Brehany said he knows many Catholic physicians who did not know about the immorality of these practices for many years.
“People respond to the truth, especially when it is spoken with clarity and love,” Brehany continued, encouraging lay Catholics to read the letter and to “share it with confidence.”