John Paul II’s ‘Rule’ for married couples discovered, published by newspaper
John Paul II’s ‘Rule’ for married couples discovered, published by newspaper

.- In its Thursday printed edition, the Italian daily Il Messagero published an unknown booklet written by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla in 1968 to help married couples in his Polish diocese implement the Encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” released that same year by Pope Paul VI. The text, entitled “Rule for Spouses,” was never made public outside the Archdiocese of Krakow, but was recently discovered by a student from the John Paul II Institute for Life and Family in Rome.

The booklet will be officially presented on April 24, but on Thursday Il Messagero published a full version in Italian, as well as Wojtyla’s introduction to the Rule on its website (in Italian).

“In the future Polish Pope’s observation,” Il Messagero writes, “there is a prophetic concern for the crisis of values that affects the destiny of Western civilization and its models.”

In his introduction, Wojtyla wrote that “the present Rule sprouts from a series of pastoral experiences with some married couples and, at the same time, from the marriage experience of couples themselves.”

The Rule, he wrote, “is born simultaneously with the publication of the encyclical Humanae Vitae, which proposes to spouses and their pastors the Gospel’s demand for authentically Christian marriages.”

The future Pope also suggested that groups of spouses who apply the Rule can take the name “Humanae Vitae.”

“The Rule is aimed at married couples in their entirety and not to spouses as individuals. It is important, indeed, that it is adopted and put in practice by the couple, not solely the husbands or wives without the commitment of their spouses.”

The future Pope John Paul explains that “the specific goal of the Humanae Vitae groups is the continuing commitment toward a spiritual perspective, so that the integral teachings of Christ our Lord about marriage and family, announced by the Church, may become real in their marriages, with a full understanding and full love.”

“Therefore, it is about creating an adequate spirituality, that is to say, an interior life, that will allow the organization of marriage and family life in a Christian way,” Cardinal Wojtyla adds.

“Such spirituality cannot exist in a definitive manner based on the model of religious congregations, but must be constantly reworked,” the introduction concludes.

Announcements regarding an English translation of the “Rule for Spouses,” have not yet been made.

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