July 25, 2018 marked the 50th Anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humane Vitae which translates to “On Human Life.” Like few others, this document stirred-up the world in argument over the “rightness” and “wrongness” of the sexual revolution —and the feud continues from all sides, including from inside the Church itself.
Family Planning or Prudish Priests?
But the questions are still valid. Did the Pope get the teaching on birth control and “family planning” right or is this just the Catholic Church sticking its nose into our bedrooms where it doesn’t belong? Can this document written 50 years ago by a celibate Pope really give us authoritative guidance over our sexual lives?
“Of such [moral] laws the Church was not the author, nor consequently can she be their arbiter; she is only their depositary and their interpreter, without ever being able to declare to be licit that which is not so by reason of of its intimate and unchangable opposition to the true good of man.” — Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae (18)
Is Catholic Teaching Authoritative OR Just a Suggestion?
First, if you haven’t read the encyclical yet, you should. Today. It’s only about 15 pages and free online. You can read it online HERE or get a print copy from Amazon for under $5 HERE.
What you’ll find once you break into the pages of Humanae Vitae is Pope Paul VI offering out a big, fat dose of reality to a desperate and confused world. He didn’t create new teaching. Instead, he took a look at the problems of the world and gave us healthy, faithful guidance through age-old moral law from the authority given to him by Christ.
Related Post: “Green, Natural and Authentic Holy Catholic Sex!“
“Why Humanae Vitae is Still Right”
In this post, we’ve asked some direct and difficult questions. Through her new book, “Why Humanae Vitae is Still Right” and her earlier 25th-anniversary work, “Why Humanae Vitae Was Right,” Janet E. Smith along with a collection of experts and scholars, set out to answer these all important questions that I can’t even begin to approach.
Quoting the book’s Amazon summary, Janet’s “new volume shows how the ethical, theological, spiritual, and sociological case for Paul VI’s controversial document remains strong—indeed, how it’s in some ways even stronger today, following Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and in light of the problems caused by the sexual revolution.”
I would highly recommend anyone who is challenged by the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexuality to buy this book and explore the truth given to us through the legacy of Humane Vitae.
Get your copy here: “Why Humanae Vitae is Still Right” edited by Janet E. Smith
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