Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

7/27/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Amid the ruckus of the times, there was indeed a "still small voice"  (1 Kings. 19:12) that could be heard on July 25, 1968.  It was the voice of God.


By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (

7/27/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Humanae vitae, contraception, Paul VI, Andrew M. Greenwell

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - Let us suppose that artificial contraception is an intrinsic evil, that it violates the natural moral law. 

Let us suppose that right reason informs us that artificial contraception is intrinsically evil because it perverts the meaning, the purpose, the end of the human sexual act and therefore is a palpable misuse of the sexual faculty. 

Let us suppose, further, that this is the teaching of the Scriptures as well as the unanimous Catholic moral tradition.

Let us suppose, further, that, in addition to the pure moral reasons for rejecting artificial contraception (which are reasons enough in-and-of-themselves), there are a whole host of evil personal and social consequences that follow from the mindset that accepts artificial contraception, and practices contraception, and so abuses human sexuality.  Among these, we might include:

  1. Increased disrespect for the unique dignity of women, in particular the unique complementary expression of their humanity, which shows in a lowering regard for motherhood. 
  2. Increased disregard for human life, shown in rising rates of child abuse and abortion, the ultimate child abuse.
  3. Moral, familial, and social imbalances caused by the vice of unchastity, which show themselves in weakened virtue, giving rise to weakened marriages, increased consumption of pornography, an explosion of pre-marital sex, and rising rates of infidelity, divorce, and single-parent families.
  4. That the use of artificial contraception and the egoism it engenders would result in a virtual generational collapse which forebodes a "demographic winter."  Birth rates are inadequate to the point where developed nations are not even replacing their populations, and this will lead to fiscal catastrophes in particularly in societies which socialistic policies.
  5. That the social acceptance of contraceptive sex (and the severance of sex from procreation through technical means) would weaken any sensitivity to the perversion of homosexual activity, inasmuch as homosexual sexual activity is nothing other than sexual acts that are perpetually and permanently sterile not unlike the less permanent, but equally perverse, contraceptive sexual activity.
  6. That, as a result, there would be the virtual banishment of reason from sexuality and it would be replaced by the pleasure principle, so that any sex goes, so long as consensual.
Let us suppose, finally, that only one institution in the whole world--the Catholic Church, in fact, even more narrowly the institution of the Papacy, the successor of Peter, the Pope, in the person of Paul VI--warned us of all this forty-five years ago and was reviled for it by virtually everyone, including many of his own household.

Now we need suppose none of these things.  They are all true.  With the hindsight of 45 years, they are manifestly true.

What we can see with hindsight, Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae vitae, promulgated 45 years ago on July 25, 1968, saw with great foresight. 

Any honest person, applying any honest assessment, must come to the conclusion that societies are much less happy as a result of the widespread use of artificial contraception.  Contraceptive sex has not been the panacea it was touted to be.

It is incontestable that the promises made by the sexual revolution and its virtual "sacramental" of artificial contraception, are, in fact, false.  Contraception has proved very damaging to the mores of the population and familial and social life.

The detrimental effects of artificial contraception on marital life, on social life are so well documented by social studies as to be virtually incontestable.  For those who care to know, they are well-reviewed by Mary Eberstadt in her book Adam and Eve After the Pill

In light of the personal, marital, and social facts, anyone who says that artificial contraception is good for society is lying, is a blind ideologue, or is simply ignorant.

The reasons, already stated in germ in Humanae vitae, are based both on the nature of things and divine revelation.  These have been fully and convincingly (and beautifully) developed by John Paul II in his so-called Theology of the Body

Right reason only points one way.  Contraception is against the natural moral law.  It is also manifestly against all traditional Christian sexual teaching, Catholic and Protestant.

Historians speak of historic events, often called "turns" or "revolutions."

There was the "epistemological turn" between medieval and modern world views, often attributed to Descartes, where the relationship between the senses and knowledge was severed. 

There was the "critical turn" of Kant, where knowledge of things was given up as hopeless, there being no adequate relationship between thing and and thing thought, and the only knowledge known was what was in one's mind. 

There was the "linguistic turn" of the analytical and continental philosophers, which focused on language as the source of philosophical problems.

By 1968, the sexual revolution had resulted in such a massive "turn," a sociological turn, and amidst the millions of irresponsible and clamoring voices assuring this was the future, there was one prophetic if diminutive voice, that called, against the entire Spirit of the Times, for a "return." 

Paulus Sextus contra mundum.  Paul VI against the world.

Christ's promises to His Church--that He would send forth the Spirit of truth, and that He would guide His Church into all truth (John 16:13)--Christ's promise to Peter--that he was the rock upon whom He would build His Church, and that the "gates of hell would not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18)--have never been more apparent than on July 25, 1968, for those with eyes to see.

Amid the ruckus of the times, amid the raucous voices of lust-filled men, there was indeed a "still small voice" (1 Kings. 19:12) that could be heard on July 25, 1968.  It was the voice of God.

The voice of God, the voice of the Holy Spirit, worked through the Petrine office established by the Lord Jesus.  Through an intervention into human history of great grace, God taught all men and women of good will through the magisterium, the teaching voice, of Peter, on July 25, 1968.

"Peter has spoken to us through Leo," exclaimed the Council of Chalcedon.

Peter still speaks to us.

On July 25, 1968, in the encyclical Humanae vitae, Peter spoke to us through Paul VI.

We were fools not to listen then. 

We are greater fools not to listen now after we have had 45 years to appreciate the falsehood of the contrary teaching.

"Whoever has ears, let him hear."  (Matt. 11:15)

The ears we're talking about are the ears of the human heart.

If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
'Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me--
they put me to the test,
although they had seen all of my works.'
  (Ps. 94[95]:8-9)

For forty-five years, that generation that rejected Humanae vitae has wearied us and wearied God.

I said their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest. 
(Ps. 94[95]:10-11)

After forty-five years of not listening, let us hear.  After forty-five years of hardened, wandering hearts, let us soften them so that truth may enter.  Let us not test God.  Let us assuage his anger.  Let us enter into his place of rest, the place he has prepared for us.

Peter has spoken to us through Paul VI. 

Venite!  Audiamus! 
Come!  Let us listen!  And let us turn.


Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew at


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Living Faith

Top 5 Bible verses to turn to when you're angry Watch

Image of What does the Bible have to say about anger?

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What makes you angry? Maybe you don't like the way your boss talks to you at work or your spouse spends too much money. What do you do when you feel anger coming on? Who do you turn to? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When we get angry we can say or do things we ... continue reading

Megachurch Pastor's new book tells people to 'get over themselves' Watch

Image of Pastor Kyle Idleman (YouTube).


Megachurch Pastor Kyle Idleman claims that to live life, "everyone simply needs to get over themselves" to truly "experience abundant life with Jesus," a theory he promotes in his new book The End of Me: Where Real Life in the Upside-Down Ways of Jesus Begins. LOS ... continue reading

Parents of St. Therese of Lisieux to be canonized by Pope Francis Watch

Image of The canonizations of the married couple will coincide with the Synod on the Family, to be held on Oct. 4-25.


Pope Francis approved, earlier this year, the decrees necessary for Blesseds Louis and Zelie Martin - known for being the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux - to be declared saints. VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) - The two blesseds will be the first couple ever to ... continue reading

Phoenix bishop encourages Catholic men to 'step into the breach' Watch

Image of Calling on all Christian men to take a stand in the Church's spiritual battle, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix asked men in his diocese to courageously pursue their vocations as friends, fathers, and spouses.


Calling on all Christian men to take a stand in the Church's spiritual battle, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix asked men in his diocese to courageously pursue their vocations as friends, fathers, and spouses. Phoenix, Ariz. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Men, do not ... continue reading

Interview with Archbishop Chaput puts U.S. papal visit in perspective Watch

Image of Archbishop Chaput offered his take on the historic papal trip, the challenges facing family in the U.S., and the upcoming Synod of Bishops in Rome.

By Michelle Bauman, CNA/EWTN News

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia hosted Pope Francis in his highly anticipated first visit to the United States. As the dust settled after the departure of nearly one million participants in the final Mass for the World Meeting of Families, CNA had the ... continue reading

Pope Francis speaks truth to power Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

From celebrating Masses at Havana's Revolution Square in Cuba, Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia, to addressing the U.S. Congress and the United Nations - and with lots packed in between - the 78-year-old Pope Francis tirelessly proclaimed the Gospel ... continue reading

Pope Francis tells young people Jesus 'has so many things to say to each of you' Watch

Image of His Message for the 31st World Youth Day in Krakow 2016 invited young people to reflect on mercy and to visit the Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow.


With World Youth Day coming up next year, Pope Francis has a question for young people: "Do you realize how precious you are to God, who has given you everything out of love?" Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "You, dear young man, dear young woman, have you ever ... continue reading

Pope Francis understands why many victims are unable to forgive clerical sexual abuse Watch

Image of

By Ann Schneible, CNA/EWTN News

In his wide-ranging press briefing en route from the United States to Rome, Pope Francis spoke on the difficult subject of forgiving priests who have molested minors, saying that the strength to forgive, and to be forgiven, can only come from God. Vatican City ... continue reading

5 ways to live in love according to the Bible Watch

Image of Living with God's love (nrgtribe).


Love is a big word people use all too often. However, real love is tough and we may be living without the love we  profess to have and share with one another. Luckily, we have the Scripture to remind us what true love looks like. HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA (Catholic ... continue reading

Narrowing God's love 'is a perversion of the faith,' Pope Francis warns Watch

Image of


At the final Mass closing out the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Pope Francis warned against narrowing God's love and works to only a certain group of people. Philadelphia, Pa. (CNA/EWTN News) - "To raise doubts about the working of the Spirit, ... continue reading

All Living Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 4th, 2015 Image

St. Francis of Assisi
October 4: Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in ... Read More