A Vital, Life-Giving Message
FREE Catholic Classes
by Monsignor Charles M. Mangan
Humanae Vitae, the July 25, 1968 Encyclical authored by the Servant of God Pope Paul VI (1963-1978), offers to all persons a meditation on the mystery of life and love. This important teaching was reconfirmed dozens of times by the Servant of God Pope John Paul II (1978-2005).
Following are only a few of the points made by Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae that can help us better understand marriage and the family.
1) The Magisterium, or Teaching Authority of the Church, has every right to speak about procreation. Why? Because Jesus Christ bestowed upon Peter and the Apostles the divine authority to teach His commands and to interpret their meaning and application. This special authority extends not only to Sacred Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition but also to the Natural Law--which Saint Paul said can be known by everyone regardless of creed.
2) Husbands and wives are to share everything with each other. The love between spouses is faithful and exclusive until death. The "responsible exercise of parenthood" demands, in the words of Pope Paul VI, "that husband and wife recognize fully their own duties toward God, toward themselves, toward the family, and toward society, in a correct hierarchy of values."
FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything
3) The marital act is "noble and worthy" and has two dimensions--the unitive (love-giving) and the procreative (life-giving). The Church has constantly taught that each and every act of marital intercourse "must remain open to the transmission of life." God the Creator has established for all time the inseparable link between unity and procreation in the conjugal act.
4) The "totality" argument--that the marital act need not be open each and every time to the possibility of procreation but that married couples should be receptive at least some of the time during the totality of their marriage to the gift of children--must be rejected. It is immoral to do evil (for example, using contraception even for a time) so that a supposed good (for example, conceiving a child when a husband and wife are "ready") may result.
5) Direct, procured abortion is intrinsically evil, as are any actions that deliberately make procreation impossible. This includes the use of drugs and devices, such as Depo-Provera, Norplant, the Morning-after Pill and RU-486, which are clearly abortifacient. Many of these chemical abortions parade as contraceptives but actually prevent implantation of a conceived child.
6) Direct sterilization is intrinsically evil. To cure a disease, however, it is permissible for a man or a woman to undergo a medical treatment that will result in sterility, as long as the sterility is not directly intended.
7) For "serious" motives, husband and wife may have marital intercourse during the wife's monthly infertile period--even though procreation may not result--since there are "natural rhythms immanent in the generative functions." The Church teaches that a vast difference exists between contraception and Natural Family Planning (NFP). The former advocates unlimited sexual activity between spouses, while the latter makes use of the infertile period only when serious reasons warrant.
Catholic couples may be assured that the Church does not shirk her sacred duty to give direction and counsel to them about their grave responsibility to bring forth new life into the world.
While one Christian denomination after another has granted "permission" for their members to use contraception, the Catholic Church stands virtually alone as the major force that refuses to countenance contraception. This fact in itself speaks loudly about the Church's insistence on obeying God's law no matter the subsequent scorn and outcry.
Almost four decades after Humanae Vitae, the truth about the gift of children has not changed. Married couples are summoned by the Creator Himself to cooperate in the conception and birth of His sons and daughters.
The Servant of God Pope Paul VI was right. The Servant of God Pope John Paul II was right. The Church is right. To do the just and moral thing may be difficult, but God will not fail to reward those married couples who have--with His grace--hurdled the obstacles against procreation and generously accepted the treasure of human life.
Mary, Mother of God and Mother of All Life, pray for us!
(This article, which has been slightly edited, was originally published in the July 19-25, 1998 issue of Catholic Faith and Family on page sixteen. Used with permission.)
https://www.catholic.org , VA
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan - Official, 390 66616-1125
Humanae Vitae; Contraception
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Help Now >
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Help Now >
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
Mysteries of the Rosary
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saint of the Day for Saturday, June 25th, 2022
The Apostles' Creed
Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony
Saints & Angels
Saint Feast Days in June
Prayer for the Dead
- Daily Readings for Sunday, June 26, 2022
- St. Anthelm: Saint of the Day for Sunday, June 26, 2022
- Blessed Mother: Prayer of the Day for Sunday, June 26, 2022
- Daily Readings for Saturday, June 25, 2022
- St. William of Vercelli: Saint of the Day for Saturday, June 25, 2022
- The Apostles' Creed: Prayer of the Day for Saturday, June 25, 2022
Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.