Showing posts from July, 2013

HUMANAE VITAE AFTER 45 YEARS (Part 4: Why Bother?)

( Click here for Part 1 , Part 2 or Part 3 ) [Note: This final installment of my examination of Humanae Vitae comes on the 45 th anniversary of the encyclical’s release to the public, July 29, 1968.] Forty-five years after Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae surveys show that it has been overwhelming ignored or rejected by most Catholics, especially in the West. Study after study has shown that Catholics are no different than their Protestant or non-believing counterparts when it comes to issues of sexual morality. Just recently a poll found that 50% of US Catholics (55% of white US Catholics) support abortion on demand in “all or most” cases. According to a 2012 Gallup poll 82% of US Catholics responded that artificial birth control was morally acceptable. Does it even matter what or why the Church teaches as it does about contraception if so many don’t seem to care? Yes it does! Although I have no empirical evidence to support it, I suspect that the majority of Catholi

HUMANAE VITAE AFTER 45 YEARS (Part 3: The Vindication of Humanae Vitae)

 (Click here for Part 1 and Part 2 ) Within Humanae Vitae Pope Paul VI included a dire warning about the “dire consequences of artificial birth control”. He listed four specific consequences: conjugal infidelity and a general lowering of morality, loss of respect for women, possibility of governmental coercion, and the temptation for man to exercise illicit dominion over his body. To quote Mary Eberstadt from her book Adam and Eve after the Pill : “Four decades later, not only have the document’s signature predictions been ratified in empirical force, but they have been ratified as few predictions ever are: in ways its authors could not possibly have foreseen, including by information that did not exist when the document was written, by scholars and others with no interest whatever in its teaching, and indeed even inadvertently, and in more ways than one, by many proud public adversaries of the Church.” Conjugal Infidelity & Lowering of Morals Paul VI f

HUMANAE VITAE AFTER 45 YEARS (Part 2: A Closer Look)

(Click here for Part 1) On July 25, 1968, Paul VI promulgated the much anticipated encyclical Humanae Vitae . While simply maintaining the position held by the Catholic Church for nearly 2,000 years, and reaffirming the teachings of the popes since Pius XI in 1930, Paul VI’s pronouncement was met with shock and incredulity by the self-proclaimed experts who had anticipated a change of course. Professional reputations were at risk and many felt that the pope had betrayed them. Open revolt was about to take place as those who were hoping for change scrambled to push back against what they perceived as a serious mistake by Paul VI. The encyclical was released to the public on July 29 th and on July 30 th Fr. Charles Curran, a theologian at Catholic University, and a group of Catholic theologians held a press conference to address the world with their opinions of Paul VI’s work. They began by attacking the authority of the document itself, calling into question the weight a pap