Aug 12, 2008
This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the encyclical Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life) promulgated by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968. As I look back personally on that moment, and on the reception that was given to the encyclical within the church and in society, a couple of things have become more clear to me.
First, there existed at the time a very weak and confused understanding of the role of the Holy Father as teacher of the faith. This lack of understanding is still prevalent today within and outside of the church. Second, those who did their best to promote and explain the pope's teaching seemed to lack a manner of speaking of the beauty of married love that could help many people of good will understand how to live in the midst of serious cultural changes.