Washington D.C., Apr 6, 2018 / 16:14 pm
"The Church, from the very beginning, has always recognized the special and unique role of Peter," said Cardinal Donald Wuerl at the closing Mass of a Catholic University of America symposium on the 50th anniversary of papal encyclical Humanae Vitae.
The role of Peter - as an authoritative teacher of faith and morals - was reaffirmed, Wuerl believes, by the US bishops' response to initial controversy over Humanae Vitae.
During the Mass, celebrated in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Wuerl spoke of his personal experience as a young priest at the time of Humanae Vitae's promulgation. He noted that he was taken aback by negative attitudes towards the encyclical.
"As a newly-ordained priest, I came very quickly in ministry to recognize that not every encyclical or apostolic exhortation meets with immediate acceptance," he said, to laughter among the congregation.