Official Vatican Document on the role of the Bishop in the Catholic Church

CONGREGATION FOR BISHOPS

DIRECTORY
FOR THE PASTORAL MINISTRY
OF BISHOPS

“APOSTOLORUM SUCCESSORES”

Read it at the Official Vatican website

Official Vatican Document: Declaration On Procured Abortion

A Christian’s outlook cannot be limited to the horizon of life in this world. He knows that during the present life another one is being prepared, one of such importance that it is in its light that judgments must be made.

From this viewpoint there is no absolute misfortune here below, not even the terrible sorrow of bringing up a handicapped child.

This is the contradiction proclaimed by the Lord: “Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted” (Mt. 5:5). To measure happiness by the absence of sorrow and misery in this world is to turn one’s back on the Gospel.

Read the entire document

Verbum Domini: Theologian Pope Releases Apostolic Exhortation On the Bible


It is addressed to the Bishops, Clergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful and considers “the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church”.

Pope Benedict XVI presents the depth of Catholic teaching on the Word of God in an accessible language which can be read and understood by all to whom it is addressed. It is masterful!

Verbum Domini is Masterful, Mystical, and Missionary. What is clear from beginning to end is that the current occupant of the Chair of Peter is a theologian of the highest order. He must have delighted his many students as “Professor Ratzinger”. This exhortation gives us all a chance to join them and be taught by this extraordinary Pope.

Read the article

Read Verbum Domini (PDF file)

Was Humanae Vitae Prophetic? A look at 40 year old message.

NFP Q&A 102: Was Humanae Vitae Prophetic?
A look at 40 year old message.

By Allison LeDoux

In the 40 years since Humanae Vitae was released on July 25, 1968, it has become clear that this was a prophetic document. We can see that our culture has followed a path not unlike that of our ancestors in the faith. This quickly becomes evident when we recall what life was like when faith and family had priority, and when we see the effects of humanity’s rejection of God’s design manifest in today’s society.

Remember the days when doors were left unlocked at night? Cars were left running for a quick stop at the corner market? Families had both a mother and father in the same home and lived comfortably on one income? This safer, simpler world may seem like a fairy tale by today’s standards, but in fact, this was the norm, it was the reality of the majority of Americans. One needn’t look far to hear the common sentiment that the world seems to be going down hill.

But what does this have to do with the Church’s teaching on contraception? The connections become apparent when we look at the prophetic vision of Humanae Vitae.

What did Pope Paul VI say would happen if the use of contraception became widespread? He predicted that there would be a general lowering of morality in society, increased infidelity, a disregard for the integrity and well-being of the person because of the treating of our bodies as objects to be manipulated, and governments would use family planning programs for coercive purposes.

Over the last 40 years contraceptive use has become widespread; and this is the root of the breakdown of the family and society. By contradicting the unity inherent in the gift of sexuality and by separating sex from procreation, marriages are under assault. Increased rates of divorce, adultery, premarital sex, abortion, and a host of other social ills have been exacerbated by the acceptance of contraception. The sacredness of self-giving love, fidelity, and trust has been betrayed. This has left a trail of broken hearts and subsequently, broken families.

Science, too, has documented the harmful effects of contraception. People who viewed “the pill” as a means to have sex without consequences have experienced its side-effects. Studies have shown that the pill does not only suppress ovulation, but also creates a chemically hostile uterine environment, and can cause the death of a newly conceived baby in the first weeks of life. Consider the vast numbers of lives lost to these unintended silent abortions that women are not even aware are taking place within their own bodies, and the inevitable consequences of this violation of God’s love.

Contraception’s promise of “freedom” has instead become enslavement.

God wants to give us true freedom and wholeness. The Holy Spirit has guided the Church to teach this truth. While the message of Humanae Vitae may not be a popular teaching, we are nonetheless called to pay heed to these Spirit-inspired words. When we truly listen, we see that the Church’s teaching is reasonable, and corresponds with the deepest desires of the human heart.

Throughout the Scriptures, God sends His prophets to call His beloved people back. The history of Israel is also our history. When the people heeded the Lord’s words they were blessed and when they disobeyed they were cursed. As the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah: “This is the fasting I wish: releasing those bound unjustly…setting free the oppressed… and not turning your back on your own.” Our culture has been bound, broken, and oppressed and we have turned our backs on our own children in their earliest stages of life. Yet our Church has courageously proclaimed the message that we can be freed from brokenness and oppression. By his prophetic words in Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI can be seen as someone whom Isaiah called “repairer of the breach” for all who are mindful of his warnings. “…Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday; … the Lord will guide you always…He will renew your strength and you shall be like a spring whose water never fails.”

It is well worth taking the time to read the prophetic Humanae Vitae on this 40th anniversary of its issuing. Both Popes Paul VI and John Paul II have warned us of the culture of death and guided us toward its alternative: the Kingdom of God and eternal life.

Read the complete text of Humanae Vitae

Mrs. LeDoux is the director of the Respect Life Office and Office of Marriage and Family for the Diocese of Worcester. MA.

Article courtesy of The Catholic Free Press

Submitted by Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB and Karen B.