Humanae Vitae – 40 Years After

5 08 2008

(Yes, even here)

But I don’t feel qualified enough to comment, so I will just push at the last minute the conference hosted by the St. Anthony of Padua Institute and the Diocese of Oakland that is to take place this Saturday, August 9th, in Moraga, California, on the beautiful St. Mary’s College campus. I’ll be there if you want to stalk me in the flesh. More information can be found by following this link. Pre-registration is required.

In the interest of sparking some reflection on the subject, I post this link to an essay on Catholic writer Ryan Grant’s blog where he gives a critical review from the traditionalist perspective on the papal encyclical. Here is a section of it so that you can wet your whistle a bit:

There is a reason why the Church had maintained since St. Augustine (and before him) that the primary end of marriage is the procreation of children, and that happiness of spouses is subordinated to that end (though by no means unimportant). If the happiness of spouses were the primary end of marriage, and children were subordinated to that end, there would be nothing logically barring homosexual unions based on such an understanding in natural law…

Thus, why did Paul VI not make explicit mention of this? Who knows. Regardless, I am not here arguing that if he had only formulated it right Catholics would have accepted the encyclical. That is false, nothing but a reinforcement of Catholic teaching on obedience, humility, and traditional moral teaching in every parish in every diocese with a constant prayer life and a strong authentic liturgical life could have prevented the onset of the resistance to Humanae Vitae. As Janet Smith surmised correctly responding to John Galvin, Paul VI might have just re-issued Casti Conubii. Not a bad idea, but given the assault on the liturgy in every parish it would not have done much good. People had been told for years that the teaching will change, the liturgy after all changed, the catechism changed, the appearance of doctrinal integrity coming from the apostles seemed removed when heretics were given pride of place in periodicals and pulpits, so why not contraception? If the state of affairs created by modernism were not in place, the effect of Humanae Vitae would have been far greater, in spite of its flaws.

Note: If you have a problem with what he says here, take it to his blog. I would rather not get into it here. I am just the messenger.