The little known encyclical on Marriage that predated Humanae Vitae by almost 40 years

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When the Anglican church at the Lambeth Conference of 1930 became the first Christian church or sect to break ranks with the 2000 year belief and practice of the Christian Faith regarding contraception, there was massive scandal in religious circles.  

The breech in doctrine was roundly derided even by most other “mainline” liberal protestant sects.  Of course, Pope Pius XI responded with the seminal Casti Connubii, which just absolutely castigated the Anglican position and still is the most comprehensive Magisterial statement on the evils of contraception and the “sex for pleasure” mentality that has ever been released.

All Catholics should read it – the differences between Casti Connubii and Humanae Vitae are stark.

Link to article

Read  Casti Connubii

Read Humanae Vitae

Philippine politician invokes “Spirit of Vatican II” to promote culture of death

Speaking as author and co-sponsor of the Senate version of the RH bill, Senator Santiago said the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II), which convened from 1962 to 1965, has changed Church doctrines.

“With Vatican II, the seeds of a democratic revolution were sown. In the past, Catholics simply obeyed the bishops. But now, many Catholics are no longer willing to give blind obedience to the Church,” she said.

The senator said Humanae Vitae, the encyclical on which the Church bases its opposition to contraception, was based on the minority report. The majority report recognized that “in some cases, intercourse can be required as a manifestation of self-giving love” and not just for procreation.

She said the adoption of the minority report was opposed by some Catholic theologians. Santiago also cited a survey that found that 80 percent of Catholics in the United States do not follow Humanae Vitae.

“The teaching of the Catholic Church on contraception is one of the important reasons why the absolute authority of the Church has grown weaker over the years,” Santiago added.

Santiago, who has a master’s degree from the Maryhill School of Theology, said Humanae Vitae contradicts Vatican II, “which allowed for a wider basis for evaluating the morality of (sex).”

Santiago said contraception falls under liberation theology, which sees the Catholic Church as “an earthly community of human beings who have a mission that includes the struggle on behalf of justice, peace, and human rights.”

“I humbly submit that the struggle for an RH bill to protect the health and quality of life of the mother and child in the context of unspeakable poverty is part of liberation theology,” she said.

Santiago added that Vatican II taught the “primacy of conscience.”

“Conscience is inviolable, and the individual Catholic has a right to follow her own conscience, even when it is erroneous,” she said.

Editor’s note: There is so much wrong with this woman’s “take” on this that it’s hard to know where to begin!

The truth:

Vatican II did NOT change ANY church doctrines. Any “seed” of democratic revolution in the Catholic Church exists only in Ms. Santiago’s Marxist/Leninist mind. Humanae Vitae is absolutely consistent with 2000 years worth of church teachings, so it cannot be characterized as a “minority report”. Liberation theology has been thoroughly discredited by the Catholic Church and is totally illegitimate and heretical. Code words for abortion: “to protect the health and quality of life of the mother”.

As for conscience … Ms. Santiago should have said that the individual Catholic has a right to follow her own conscience, even when it is erroneous, all the way to Hell!

The Philippine RH bill is just another “big lie” being foisted on ordinary people by of the culture of death.

So much for the value of Ms. Santiago’s Master’s degree in theology!

Professor says: The main interest of Pope Paul VI’s birth control commission was to determine whether “the pill” could be licitly used.

February 24, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Documents now open to the public reveal a new story about the fascinating inner workings of the Pontifical Commission on Population, Family, and Birth-rate, commonly referred to as the “Birth Control Commission,” which was behind the critical papal encyclical Humanae Vitae.

Dr. Germain Grisez, emeritus Professor of Christian Ethics at Mount St. Mary’s University and a close friend and advisor to Commission member Fr. John Ford, S.J., has made the documents available on his website, along with a narrative of the events surrounding the Commission’s work from 1964 to 1966.

In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Dr. Grisez revealed further information about the significance of these documents, which he believes stand to correct mistaken public perceptions about the events leading up to the issuing of Humanae Vitae.

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A Philosophical Study On Contraception and Chastity – Circa 1972

Roman Catholic thinker (the late) Elizabeth Anscombe reflects on the theological implications of contraception and chastity.

This is a penetrating moral analysis of marriage and sexuality that will benefit any reader who rejects the secularist reduction of marriage as merely a union that sanctions sexual activity between partners.

Short excerpt:

Christianity was at odds with the heathen world, not only about fornication, infanticide and idolatry; but also about marriage. Christians were taught that husband and wife had equal rights in one another’s bodies; a wife is wronged by her husband’s adultery as well as a husband by his wife’s. And Christianity involved non-acceptance of the contemptible role of the female partner in fornication, calling the prostitute to repentance and repudiating respectable concubinage. And finally for Christians divorce was excluded. These differences were the measure, great enough, of the separation between Christianity and the pagan world in these matters. By now, Christian teaching is, of course, known all over the world; and it goes without saying for those in the West that what they call “accepting traditional morals” means counting fornication as wrong – it’s just not a respectable thing. But we ought to be conscious that, like the objection to infanticide, this is a Jewish Christian inheritance. And we should realize that heathen humanity tends to have a different attitude towards both. In Christian teaching a value is set on every human life and on men’s chastity as well as on women’s and this as part of the ordinary calling of a Christian, not just in connection with the austerity of monks. Faithfulness, by which a man turned only to his spouse, forswearing all other women, was counted as one of the great goods of marriage.

But the quarrel is far greater between Christianity and the present-day heathen, post Christian, morality that has sprung up as a result of contraception. In one word: Christianity taught that men ought to be as chaste as pagans thought honest women ought to be; the contraceptive morality teaches that women need to be as little chaste as pagans thought men need be.

And if there is nothing intrinsically wrong with contraceptive intercourse, and if it could become general practice everywhere when there is intercourse but ought to be no begetting, then it’s very difficult to see the objection to this morality, for the ground of objection to fornication and adultery was that sexual intercourse is only right in the sort of set-up that typically provides children with a father and mother to care for them. If you can turn intercourse into something other than the reproductive type of act (I don’t mean of course that every act is reproductive any more than every acorn leads to an oak-tree but it’s the reproductive type of act) then why, if you can change it, should it be restricted to the married? Restricted, that is, to partners bound in a formal, legal, union whose fundamental purpose is the bringing up of children? For if that is not its fundamental purpose there is no reason why for example “marriage” should have to be between people of opposite sexes. But then, of course, it becomes unclear why you should have a ceremony, why you should have a formality at all. And so we must grant that children are in this general way the main point of the existence of such an arrangement. But if sexual union can be deliberately and totally divorced from fertility, then we may wonder why sexual union has got to be married union. If the expression of love between the partners is the point, then it shouldn’t be so narrowly confined.

The only objection, then, to the new heathen, contraceptive morality will be that the second condition I mentioned – near-universality of contraception where there ought not to be begetting – simply won’t be fulfilled. Against the background of a society with that morality, more and more people will have intercourse with little feeling of responsibility, little restraint, and yet they just won’t be so careful about always using contraceptives. And so the widespread use of contraceptives naturally leads to more and more rather than less and less abortion (The exception to this in the short term is where abortion has been encouraged and contraceptives not available, making contraceptives available then produces an immediate but only temporary reduction in abortions.) Indeed, abortion is now being recommended as a population control measure – a second line of defense.

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Editor’s note: This great work, along with Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae ought to be required reading for Catholics … married or single … young or old … gay or straight.

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

Many people forget (and many more are too young to remember) how radically the introduction of the birth-control pill changed popular thinking and altered our approach to sexuality.


Not long ago, moral leaders of every description condemned contraception and agreed that if the practice ever became widespread it would inevitably lead to disaster.

Consider, for example, the words of Mohandas Gandhi: “There is hope for a decent life only so long as the sexual act is definitely related to the conception of precious life.”

Or listen to Sigmund Freud: “Moreover, it is a characteristic common to all perversions that in them reproduction is put aside as an aim. This is actually the criterion by which we judge whether a sexual activity is perverse–it departs from reproduction as its aim and pursues the attainment of gratification independently.”

In 1930, when the leaders of the Church of England broke from the previously universal Christian consensus and allowed for the use of contraceptives, an editorial in The Washington Post lamented that the move “would sound the death knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality.”

Gandhi, Freud and The Washington Post were obviously not promoting a “Catholic” or “Christian” position. Their opposition to contraception was based on a simple, age-old understanding of human nature. In the 1960s Americans ignored such warnings and plunged headlong into the sexual revolution. Now, with the casualties of that revolution visible all around us, are we still foolish enough to believe that this generation understands human nature–and in particular human sexuality–better than all its predecessors?

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Father Corapi speaks up about abortion, corruption, more

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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.