W. H. Marshner
December 28, 1972
(Special to the Wanderer)
Fr. Robert Baumiller, S.J., whose role in the production of a Georgetown University student sex manual has drawn fire from Cardinal O’Boyle, has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).
According to documentation supplied to The Wanderer by Mrs. Frank Ayd of Baltimore, Md., Fr. Baumiller’s name appears in a listing of the 1971 Board of Directors of SIECUS, a notoriously amoral and anti-Catholic propaganda organization.
In the October, 1971, issue of the SIECUS newsletter, Fr. Baumiller published a review of the notorious Herder and Herder Sex Book, an encyclopedia of information on sex, clinical and perverse, and lavishly illustrated (including such gems as a two-page spread of the human scrotum). Fr. Baumiller found the Sex Book “a real contribution,” “noble,” and “a necessary part of a sex educator’s library.” Commenting in particular on the article concerning pre-marital intercourse, Fr. Baumiller wrote, “Three value positions are given and few, including myself, would hold for premarital abstinence, at least on the reasons given as basis for judgment. The arguments for total freedom are much more convincing, and the conclusion is that ‘in view of these various conflicting philosophies, it is impossible to provide generally binding recommendations’.”
The above is a brilliant piece of obfuscation. At first reading, one is certain that Fr. Baumiller has endorsed pre-marital indulgence.
On second look, however, one sees that Fr. Baumiller has left himself an out. He can plausibly claim that his meaning is this: the reasons given in the book against premarital sex are so weak that even I would not be convinced by them.
Fifty years ago, confronted with prose of this kind, a non-Catholic would have cried, “Jesuitry!” Today, apparently, it is Cardinal O’Boyle who must do the exclaiming.
An interesting footnote to the Baumiller affair is the somewhat favorable report given his sex manual in the Emko Newsletter of February, 1972. The Newsletter, which is put out by the Emko Company, manufacturers of Emko Contraceptive Foam, is dedicated to the dissemination of news about population control and family planning.