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Priests, alarmed by the trend, took to their pulpits to attack birth control, but their sermons did little good.
For the first time, many Catholics began compartmentalizing their beliefs.
Still, the Catholic Church had no official position on birth control until 1930, when Pope Pius XI issued a papal encyclical called “Casti Connubii” (Latin for “Of Chaste Wedlock”).
The pope acknowledged that birth control was widely used “even amongst the faithful,” although he wasn’t happy about it, and called this trend “a new and utterly perverse morality.” He added that it amounted to a “shameful and intrinsically vicious” attempt to get around the natural “power and purpose” of the conjugal act.
Even his name connoted strength, solidity, and reliability.
Rock had one more thing going for him: He was Catholic.
But the best reason the project suited Pincus was that he had nothing to lose.
That’s why spilling seed, or losing semen, whether in sex or masturbation, was labeled a sin.He wanted society to provide safe and effective means of birth control, and he wanted married couples to have the right to use them. Carney of Cleveland called the doctor a “moral rapist.” But Rock would not budge. When Rock treated women for infertility, he would begin by taking a medical history and providing a complete physical exam.If the woman wasn’t menstruating, or if she wasn’t menstruating regularly, Rock might order an endometrial biopsy.For years the biologist Gregory Goodwin Pincus had been searching for a project that might establish his greatness, only to watch ideas come and go like love affairs, beginning with promise and ending in hurt feelings.His whole career had been a recovery process, one attempt after another to start over.