Humanae Vitae

Perpetuating the Gender Myth in Sports

On Saturday, September 8, 2018, Serena Williams had a mental breakdown at the US Open women’s finals. Her behavior was inexcusable and demonstrated a great disrespect for the game, the officials, and her opponent, Naomi Osaka. The umpire, Carlos Ramos, issued her three code violations: first, a warning for receiving coaching (which her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, [...]

Defending Marriage at the Youth Synod

When Cardinal Carlo Caffarra was given the responsibility of starting Pope John Paul II’s Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, he wrote a letter to Sister Lucia de Santos of Fatima asking for prayers. Many Catholics by now are familiar with Sister Lucia’s response to Cardinal Caffarra’s letter in the form of this apocalyptic [...]

A New Film on Why Humanae Vitae Still Matters

At a time when there are persistent rumors emanating from the Vatican of a “revision” of Humanae Vitae, there comes a film showing why fifty years on the 1968 encyclical and what it teaches needs greater proclamation not revision. Unprotected: A Pope, the Pill, and the Perils of Sexual Chaos is a new film produced [...]

Sexual Scandals Reveal A Problem of Belief

Sooner or later, in some way or another, there will be an investigation as a result of the revelations concerning Cardinal McCarrick. The idea seems to be to discover what, within the structure of the Church, went wrong to allow for the abuse scandal to happen. I’m not certain that’s the problem. The problem, to [...]

You Do Not Know What You Ask

The other day, when I probably should have been working, I read with interest more outrageous remarks from Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines. So that good may come of evil, and my procrastination bear fruit, we do well to ponder those remarks, since they disclose all that is lost when we repudiate the [...]

Paul VI’s Response to Margaret Sanger’s Sexual Revolution

In September of 1966, Margaret Sanger, the outspoken public voice of the Sexual Revolution and founder of Planned Parenthood, died in Tucson, Arizona. Sanger was a passionate sexual libertine whose selfishness extended even towards her own family. Finding child-rearing tedious, she abandoned her three children to caretakers so that she could move about in the [...]

Humanae Vitae: Blessed Paul VI’s Miracle

I am hurtling in a high-speed train from Glasgow to London, with a heavy heart saying farewell to my native land, a sentiment that should live within us all. It is the memorial of Saint Charbel Maklouf, a Lebanese priest, ascetic, and mystic, as well as the vigil of Saint James the Greater, whose feast [...]

Humanae Vitae’s Challenge to Modernity

July 25, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae (HV). This encyclical, and its subsequent contestation in certain “Catholic” circles, has been a defining moment of the past half-century. The central teaching of HV (#12) is that there is an “inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative [...]

LGBTQIA: It’s the Taxonomy, Stupid*

“Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us, we are not discouraged. Rather, we have renounced shameful, hidden things; not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God, but by the open declaration of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Cor. 4: 1-2) It [...]

On Defying the Majority When They Are Wrong

“The majority can often be wrong.”  ~ Charlan Nemeth John Mulaney’s grandmother is my new hero. I admit it’s an odd claim because I don’t know much about her—not even her name. But, based on John’s testimony, I know this much: His grandmother is no respecter of persons. She cares not a speck for popular [...]

John the Baptist and Humanae Vitae

2018 is one of those years when June 24 falls on a Sunday and, therefore, one of the rare occasions when the Sunday liturgy is preempted by a Solemnity: the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. 2018 is also the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, the papal encyclical that became the lightning rod for much dissent [...]

Bishops of Kazakhstan Reaffirm Humanae Vitae

Editor’s note: The following document is a pastoral letter issued May 13 by the bishops of Kazakhstan on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Humanae Vitae. Praised be Our Lord Jesus Christ! Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! The current year is marked by the memorable event of the 50th anniversary of [...]

The Man Who Was “Ante-Pope”

Before his death in 2012, Cardinal Carlo Martini eerily called himself an “ante-pope,” a “precursor and preparer for the Holy Father.” Martini was the leading antagonist to Popes John Paul II and Benedict—a Jesuit famous for groaning that the Church was “200 years behind.” In Night Conversations with Cardinal Martini, he cringed at the “major [...]

Germain Grisez’s Defense of Orthodox Faith

Germain Gabriel Grisez, 88, died February 1, 2018. Philosophy and Catholic theology in the United States lost a giant in his passing. After Karol Wojtyła, I probably owe my greatest intellectual debt to Germain Grisez and the late William May and their work in ethics/moral theology. Their work in defense of Catholic teaching on sexual [...]

Yes, Holy Father, You Are Right: “Let Us Not Play With Truths”

The position of Pope Francis in regard to homosexual “marriage” has not changed since he became a bishop in Argentina, according to John Allen Jr. on the Crux news site last year. Allen writes that, while the pope is against homosexual "marriage," he is willing to tolerate homosexual acts under the title of “civil unions.” [...]

Reconsidering Contraception and the Way of Life

Contraception was not always as widely accepted as it is now. This is important to remember, especially for those of us born after the so-called Sexual Revolution, when contraceptives have become nearly ubiquitous, even farcical to the point of absurdity, just ask the Little Sisters of the Poor. However, in the not-so-distant past, in the [...]

Is a “Winnipeg Statement” Lurking in Amoris Laetitia?

Hey, Amoris Laetitia, the 1968 Canadian bishops phoned and they want their strategic ambiguity back. That line may not mean much to anyone who isn’t familiar with the Canadian Conference of Bishops’ statement in response to the birth control encyclical Humanae Vitae. Dubbed the “Winnipeg Statement” for the last 49 years, it represents in the [...]

Three Feasts and Contraception

The flow of time in which we find ourselves, between Pentecost and Corpus Christi, is a bit strange liturgically. Pentecost ends the Easter Season and launches us back into Ordinary Time. The first weeks of post-Pentecost Ordinary Time include two major solemnities: Trinity Sunday (which used to be connected with Pentecost by a suppressed octave, [...]

Debate Continues Over Amoris Laetitia

The ambiguities of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, continue to provoke a lively debate even as we pass its one-year anniversary. Allies of the pope marked the event by rallying to his support as they beseeched the faithful to contemplate this maligned papal document. On the other side of the ledger, orthodox theologians continue [...]

Procreation: Still the Primary End of Marriage

“The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children; its secondary end is mutual help and the allaying of concupiscence.” (Canon 1013, 1917 Code of Canon Law) Anyone familiar with the history of contraception and the Church in the 1960s will know the name of John T. Noonan. His singular 1965 work [...]

Does History Repeat With Amoris Laetitia Confusion?

The Holy Father actually said to the College of Cardinals: “In a matter of such importance it seems right that Catholics desire to follow one single law propounded authoritatively by the Church. So it seems advisable to recommend that for the present no one should arrogate to himself the right to take a stand differing [...]

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