Washington D.C., Apr 10, 2018 / 04:00 am
The Catholic University of America played host last week to a symposium celebrating the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI's encyclical Humanae vitae, reflecting on the prophetic nature of the document, and on the lessons it still offers.
"In 1968, our university was at the center of a controversy regarding the document in the church in the United States," said Catholic University of America President John Garvey during the symposium. "The fact that 50 years later, we're hosting a conference to draw attention to what we now see as the wisdom Paul VI might be seen as a sign of the times."
Humanae vitae took the world by storm when it was published in 1968. In the height of the sexual revolution, then-Pope Paul VI wrote that the use of prophylactics and hormonal birth control - which had only been on the market in the United States for less than a decade, and wasn't legal for unmarried women until just three years prior - was morally unacceptable in the marital act.
"Consequently," wrote Paul VI, "it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong."