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Humanae Vitae: Day 6

6. However, the conclusions arrived at by the commission could not be considered by Us as definitive and absolutely certain, dispensing Us from the duty of examining personally this serious question. This was all the more necessary because, within the commission itself, there was not complete agreement concerning the moral norms to be proposed, and especially because certain approaches and criteria for a solution to this question had emerged which were at variance with the moral doctrine on marriage constantly taught by the magisterium of the Church.

Consequently, now that We have sifted carefully the evidence sent to Us and intently studied the whole matter, as well as prayed constantly to God, We, by virtue of the mandate entrusted to Us by Christ, intend to give Our reply to this series of grave questions.

Humanae Vitae was controversial from the beginning.  The members of the commission were not unanimous in their recommendations.  It is said that some in the commission tried to take authority upon themselves to try and alter the Church’s long-standing teaching against contraception.  And so Paul VI bypassed the commission altogether and invoked the authority of Christ (see Mt 16:19) in writing Humanae Vitae.  Many openly dissented against the Encyclical and the effects snowballed from there.  We are still feeling its effects today.

Archbishop Charles Chaput (Philadelphia) said in his pastoral letter on the thirtieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae (written when he was the Archbishop of Denver): “Selective dissent from Humanae Vitae soon fueled broad dissent from Church authority and attacks on the credibility of the Church herself.”

Contraception: harmful to marriages, individual souls, the unity of the Church, and the well-being of society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Posted with permission from Fr. Lee Acervo at http://fatheracervo.wordpress.com)

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