Though Humanae Vitae has faced frequent dissent in the 50 years since it was published, that dissent does not detract from its truth, [John Finnis] said at a recent conference on the encyclical.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae. It caused immediate shock waves in the Catholic world, followed by outright rebellion from millions of Church members, unfortunately abetted by many priests. In retrospect it was a watershed moment in the Church’s history in the 20th Century; the occasion that split the Church between its faithful members, now the “orthodox” Catholics, and a huge number of their fellows who, supposedly following their private conscience in using contraception, made the radical decision to choose which teachings of the Church to assent to, and which to give their “loyal dissent” – an oxymoron if ever there was one.
If you are reading this and sense that you have fallen into a bit of “Catholic pharisaism,” please do not worry, but simply go to confession and give your heart back to the Lord. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you in the Sacraments, in the Priesthood, in the maternal intercession of Mary our Mother, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit this Pentecost, and in the silence of your heart before the Thrice Holy God. Then you will truly be living the Catholic faith as taught by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It is my hope that these pages will prove helpful by enabling the whole Church to devote herself anew to promoting the desire for holiness. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us a fervent longing to be saints for God’s greater glory, and let us encourage one another in this effort. In this way, we will share a happiness that the world will not be able to take from us.