Again, Fr. Bernas is mistaken. Same with Fr. Aquino

By this article Fr. Joaquin Bernas (and those from whom he gets his advice) is again sadly mistaken. It is very evident that he compartmentalizes his reasoning, distinguishing the theological, philosophical, and constitutional points from each other. This is wrong. The arguments are actually unified and one. They are all constitutional arguments (and philosophical, and theological). The fact that he can't seem to see that is unfortunate.

His arguments on taxation, the nature of legislation, and the application of natural law are also myopic and, at times, quite fallacious.

Ultimately, how one understands the law, the nature of law, the nature of rights, and the nature of human beings would be determinative of how one ultimately views constitutional law. Though there would be occasions to properly discuss 'pluralism' and 'tolerance', there is still that point when one has to make a consideration of what is the objective standard (or else admit the lack of one) in determining what is constitutional or not and what what is right from wrong.

Far from helping achieve clarity on the issue, Fr. Bernas, I am grieved to say, continues to feed confusion to it.

I still stand on my previous comments on the issue, noting that Fr. Bernas has said nothing new that would give me cause to revise it. For a further exposition on natural law and how contraception violates it, see Catholic Sexual Ethics: A Summary, Explanation & Defense.

Lamentably, Fr, Ranhilio Aquino, also seems to not "get" natural law (see The Trouble With Natural Law). One can point to so many reasons why this is so. Suffice to say, however, that the fact that he does not seem to grasp that the very authority he mentions (i.e., John Finnis) is actually quite clear on his position that contraception violates natural law (see "Every Marital Act Ought To Be Open to New Life': Toward a Clearer Understanding"; co-written by John Finnis with Germain Grisez and William May) points to his inadequate depth on the matter.

Cutting through all the things he says, the logical consequence of his argument is that by denying contraception's contradiction to natural law, then the Catholic Church's stand on the matter is merely a theological eccentricity on its part, not based on reason. Which is completely opposite that of what the Church is saying about the 'reasonableness' of its teaching, a quite interesting position for a priest to take.

Having said that, here's another excellent (albeit, ironically, from a lay person) discussion on why contraception is a violation of natural law (see Contraception: Why not? by Dr. Janet Smith).