25 July 2008

Humane Vitae - 40 Years Later

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Humane Vitae and I couldn't be more proud to be Catholic. In the rebellious world of the late 1960's, amidst the pressure to "progress" and move beyond the "outdated" restrictions of the past, Pope Paul VI, to the surprise and disapproval of many, issued his encyclical On the Transmission of Human Life (HV), affirming the Church's stance against birth control. So much more than that, it is a chilling and prophetic vision of a future where life is insignificant, where the human person is just some bones and flesh, another means to an end. Enter the modern day - divorce rates through the roof, abortion a mere procedure, almost 10 times the number of STD's, pornography addiction, and women still missing out on the respect God made them for. What does all this have to do with regulating birth? As soon as you take the procreative part of sex out of the act you get disaster. Paul VI knew that somehow. Despite the pressure to conform as most other Christian churches did. Birth control is not a way to avoid pregnancy. There already is a way to do that - abstinence. Birth control is a way to have sex without worries, without attachment. It is a license to have the promiscuous, casual sex that our grandparents missed out on. And that is what sex has become - a recreational act. Pope Paul VI wasn't trying to take away our rights. He was trying to save the sexual act, God's greatest gift to man, from the chains of a culture of death.

If you are in the NY-Long Island area there is a really exciting event tonight in tribute to Humane Vitae happening at St. Kilian Parish in Farmingdale. More info... here.

And if you didn't catch the other two links, you can read Humane Vitae... here.

Pope Paul VI, pray for us.

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