CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 September 2018

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British priests support prophetic Humanae Vitae

MANCHESTER (CNS): Nearly 500 British priests signed a statement in support of the encyclical of Blessed Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, (Of Human Life) that forbade married couples from using contraception.
 
They said the prophetic warnings contained in the encyclical, published on 25 July 1968, have proved to be accurate.
 
“We propose discovering anew the message of Humanae Vitae, not only in fidelity to the gospel, but as a key to the healing and true development of our society,” they said in the statement sent to the Catholic Herald on June 14, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the encyclical’s publication.
 
The statement said Humanae Vitae represented a “re-affirmation of central aspects of the Church’s traditional teaching on human sexuality,” including that the conjugal act was “always open to procreation and always unitive.”
 
The statement said, “Humanae Vitae predicted that if artificial contraception became widespread and commonly accepted by society, then we would lose our proper understanding of marriage, the family, the dignity of the child and of women, and even a proper appreciation of our bodies and the gift of male and female.” 
 
It said, “The Holy Father warned that governments would begin to utilise coercive methods to control what is most private and intimate.” 
 
The statement noted that, “At the time of the …  many rejected its message and its warnings… Many found the teaching that the use of contraception was in all cases ‘absolutely excluded’ and ‘intrinsically wrong’ difficult to accept and challenging to proclaim.”
 
But 50 years after its publication, “so much has unfolded in our society that has been to the detriment of human life and love,” the statement said.
 
Pope Paul warned that women would be treated as sexual objects even by their own husbands and that governments would seek to solve social problems by imposing the use of contraception “on everyone.”

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