Documents in the Vatican Secret Archives and the archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prove it was a “myth” that Blessed Paul VI largely set out on his own in writing “Humanae Vitae,” the 1968 encyclical on married love and the regulation of births.
To understand the surprising survival of “Humanae Vitae,” it is important to understand what the “pill” was promising to the world. “Humanae Vitae” was written just eight years after the pill was made publicly available. Many predicted that the pill could end poverty and “overpopulation” by dramatically reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.
Medical and legal experts addressing the damaging effects of artificial contraception and abortion on health care, law and society as a whole urged hundreds of attendees at a symposium to evangelize and transform the culture through the Catholic Church’s profound encyclical reaffirming the sanctity of marriage and human life.
On the threshold of the 50th anniversary of Blessed Pope Paul VI’s encyclical “Humanae Vitae” July 26, we have an opportunity to read and learn from this prophetic document.
The “liberating truth” of Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical “Humanae Vitae” is as relevant today 50 years after its promulgation, and maybe even more so, said Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila in his new pastoral, “The Splendor of Love.”
May we strive to illuminate our conscience, learning to understand the things we struggle to comprehend, to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in ways we can more closely conform our will to that of God, and for the wisdom to pursue a life following God’s plan.