Ad Te Levávi Ánimam Meam

To Thee have I lifted up my soul (Introit – 1st Sunday of Advent)

Humanae Vitae

Posted by james0235 on July 25, 2008

Forty years ago today Pope Paul VI released Humanae Vitae, his Encyclical Letter on the Regulation of Birth.

In article 17 of the Encyclical the Holy Father made several interesting predictions on the consequences of Artificial Birth Control:

Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

Marital infidelity, a general lowering of moral standards, the treatment of women as mere sex objects, and government coercion in matters of reproduction.

Pope Paul was a prophet. Not in the sense that he alone could predict the future. I am sure that many others could see the ultimate consequences of a contraceptive mentality. Pope Paul VI was a prophet in the sense that the word prophet means one who speaks the truth. In Hebrew the word literally means “spokesperson”. So, a prophet is the mouth of God.

Forty years ago today Pope Paul VI stood up to intense pressure and did what was right rather than what was popular. He made the decision to uphold the teachings of the Catholic faith on sexual morality and to proclaim these teachings to a world that wanted nothing less than to hear it.

One Response to “Humanae Vitae”

  1. mattie said

    Posted August 2, 2008
    Filed under: Church, Economy, Education, Ethics, God, Home school, Law, Media, Newspapers, Politics, School, Theology, history, in religion, news, relationship | Tags: Amnesty International, The electorate, election in 2000

    The millions of abortions in the United States since 1973 certainly affected the election in 2000. The millions of abortions probably explain why we were in Iraq.

    In America, one in three women experiences abortion. The argument is over. The young have been convinced on the morality of their decisions. It does not matter what men think. It does not matter what people beyond child bearing years think. Abortion is common. Over this time span Republicans have captured the presidency in 5 out of 8 elections. I am not certain why anyone makes this a campaign issue any more. But every four years the issues were still gun control and abortion.

    Since 1973, there have been more than 50 million abortions in the United States. The statistics according to one author are that 92% abort in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, 50% in the first eight weeks.

    Sorting out the fruits of this wave of feminism, it is the age of moral relativism when no one wants to be judged. Not in the free world. The Chinese legislate in a different way, limiting procreation to one child. Abortion is mandatory. Amnesty International would never raise this as a human rights issue based on their latest creed.

    America women do have complex lives. And no mater what your beliefs, no nation has learned how to legislate love. In the modern world, an unplanned pregnancy was a burden. An unplanned pregnancy was a choice. Life was hard. It was the human condition.

    The war was over. The world was a different place than the one in which people grew up in the 1950s. The environmental protection agency missed the change. I never quite noticed the affect all around me. It was why those without great means, who feel abortion is wrong, elect to home school their kids if they cannot afford private schools. It is why this society is polarized, why the electorate was.

    This campaign year the discussion of one camp was about the theme of change. Yet by September I do not really expect to see any real change. Campaigns will always be about control. Gun control and this new age form of birth control. But the young have already decided this one issue. The speeches were still canned, missing a freshness of another age. Many of those 50 million would have ben alive in 2000 and probably have affected a different outcome. Their silent voice has changed history.

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