Thursday, 3 May 2007

God has been faithful during the past 39 years.

The gift of love and its fruits have been received and rejoiced in by a countless multitude. If we look back to the year 2000 we remember how twenty seven million people passed through the Jubilee Holy Door in St Peters - a sign of humanity's indebtedness to grace and the universal call to respond to God's love by living it in holiness.

Next year 2008 will see the 40th annivesary of the great teaching on love given by Paul VI in the Encyclical Letter "Humanae vitae". This teaching enquired into the proposal of love - what does it mean to love? So full of light is the teaching of "Humanae Vitae" about human love, that Paul VI shows how the teaching of Christ is compatible with with love. The teaching of "Humanae Vitae" is not therefore a specialised teaching for a distinct few, but is a universal teaching which goes to the very core of human life. Since everyone is called to make a gift of themselves in love, the teaching in "Humanae Vitae" affects everyone.

Yes, even though during the past thirty nine years we have seen how contraception has built a culture which is utterly at odds with the truth of human love, God has remained faithful to his creation and to his covenants. His gift of love and life have built a culture which we now dare to call the Civilisation of Love.

How can we, next year, celebrate the Encyclical "Humanae Vitae" of Paul VI? Have you read it? I ask especially, spouses, married people to consider in what way we might celebrate the truths which Paul VI taught, and express our own confidence in the teachings of the Church about human sexuality. The Civilisation of Love is called to honour God, who for the past 40 years, during which so much truth has been rejected, has been a faithful and loving Father to us all.

Paul VI promulgated this Encyclical in 1968 in response to the question about the use of contraception between spouses. In it he describes the nature of human love, the nature of responsible parenthood and teaches that the use of contraception between spouses is always wrong. This teaching has been largely rejected both inside and outside the Church, but for those who have embraced it, the blessing of the Civilisation of Love has been given. "Humanae Vitae" is a prophetic teaching.


Anonymous said...

Fabulous! Count me in!

Monica said...

Thanks for raising this, Father. I doubt many people will have been aware of next year's significance.

Presumably there will be some official commemoration arranged by Rome - or maybe something will come from our own bishops next year. Perhaps a celebration as the culmination of 'Home is a Holy Place' - which, I believe, is a part of an initiative from the Conference.

Whatever format the celebration is, it is something we should all celebrate and pray about.

The damage done by artificial contraception and by the contraceptive mentality (artificial or not) is incalculable.

Fr Richard Aladics said...

Thanks Monica for your comment. Yes, contraception and the mentality whch accompanies it stops God blessing us and it is the doorway to the culture of death.

John K said...

Maybe you can start a movement for prayer that Pope Benedict XVI will commemorate the 40th anniversary in a notable way. While Pope John Paul II made the reaffirmation of Humanae Vitae the top priority of the first ten years of his pontificate, he did not commemorate the 50th, 60th or 70th anniversaries of the great Casti Connubii (Dec 31, 1930. Nor did he issue any anniversary publications for Humanae Vitae. We certainly need a Quadragesimo Anno dealing with love, marriage, and sexuality.

John F. Kippley
Author, Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality
Co-author, Natural Family Planning: The Question-Answer Book, an e-book available at

Fr Richard Aladics said...

Thanks John. I like the idea of a movement of prayer (at grass roots level).I'm sure we can count on B16. If the last Pope was known as "the witness to hope", we can certainly expect this Pope to be known as "the witness to love"!