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... ends up promoting and spreading the culture of death—worldwide. Via The Daily Mail:

Facing backlash from the Catholic Church on an already controversial issue, Bill Gates' wife Melinda announced this week that contraception will be the primary goal of their foundation, with plans to revolutionize it globally.

And from the May 7th Newsweek piece, "Melinda Gates' New Crusade: Investing Billions in Women's Health":

There’s currently very little investment in contraceptive research and development. The single biggest funder, Darmstadt says, is the U.S. government, through the National Institutes of Health. “It’s an area that’s really kind of stagnated,” he says. “One of the things that we see that we can do is to try to really stimulate that space.”

For reproductive-health advocates, this is terrific news. For some conservatives, though, it will likely seem almost dystopian. Indeed, in response to an item about contraceptive research on the Gates Foundation website, The Catholic Herald’s Phillips wrote, “A horrid image comes to mind, of white-coated boffins hard at work in diabolical laboratories, devising new ways of depriving men and women of their conjugal dignity, their culture and their traditions.”

Yet Gates can take comfort in the fact that even if the church hierarchy and its traditionalists don’t support what she’s doing, plenty of ordinary Catholics do. During her TEDxChange talk, she spoke of the Ursuline nuns who taught at her Dallas Catholic high school, nuns who “made service and social justice a high priority.” Through her work with the foundation, Gates said, “I believe that I’m applying the lessons that I learned in high school.”

Within an hour of returning to her hotel, she received a message from some of those nuns. “It was fantastic,” she says, her eyes misting for a moment. “They said, ‘We’re all for you. We know this is a difficult issue to speak on, but we absolutely believe that you’re living under Catholic values.’ And it was just so heartening."

That's a rather strange definition of "heartening": women religious involved in encouraging and promoting anti-human, anti-life, and anti-Catholic practices and perspectives around the world. (And how shocking to see that the Ursulines belong to the LCWR.) I am tempted to say that Gates has taken a very "cafeteria Catholic" approach to her beliefs and actions as a Catholic, but I have no need to; she openly admits such is her approach:

Perhaps more importantly, there’s her Catholic faith, which has always informed her work. “From the very beginning, we said that as a foundation we will not support abortion, because we don’t believe in funding it,” she says. She’s long disagreed with the church’s position on contraception, and the Gates Foundation did some family-planning funding early in its history. Still, she went through a lot of soul-searching before she was ready to champion the issue publicly. “I had to wrestle with which pieces of religion do I use and believe in my life, what would I counsel my daughters to do,” she says. Defying church teachings was difficult, she adds, but also came to seem morally necessary. Otherwise, she says, “we’re not serving the other piece of the Catholic mission, which is social justice.” [emphasis added]

Read the entire piece. In other words, Mrs. Gates believes it is imperative to disregard and disobey Catholic teaching in order to be true to Catholic teaching. And to think that some people are convinced that Catholics are irrational! Perhaps Mrs. Gates and the Sisters who taught her could spend a little time reading Evangelium Vitae, especially this passage:

 It is frequently asserted that contraception, if made safe and available to all, is the most effective remedy against abortion. The Catholic Church is then accused of actually promoting abortion, because she obstinately continues to teach the moral unlawfulness of contraception. When looked at carefully, this objection is clearly unfounded. It may be that many people use contraception with a view to excluding the subsequent temptation of abortion. But the negative values inherent in the "contraceptive mentality"-which is very different from responsible parenthood, lived in respect for the full truth of the conjugal act-are such that they in fact strengthen this temptation when an unwanted life is conceived. Indeed, the pro- abortion culture is especially strong precisely where the Church's teaching on contraception is rejected.

And so forth.

 
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Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight.
 
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