Wall said during his time doing marriage prep as a parochial vicar, couples would often be reluctant to pray together, even if they were receiving the sacraments. He said he would teach the couples a simple form of prayer, in which one of the members of the couple prays for the intentions of the other, and vice versa. This helps to develop the "spiritual personalities" of a husband and wife, and makes prayer an integral part of marriage.
"The greatest way that a husband and wife can love their children is by first loving each other," Wall told the audience. "Couples who are faithful to the Church's teaching, couples that are faithful to their own vocation, it spills out onto their children, so their children have a greater understanding of discerning their own vocation."
Paul VI wrote Humanae vitae following the so-called sexual revolution of the 1960s. The advent of oral contraceptives for women, 'the pill,' caused many to wonder if the Church would reconsider its traditional opposition to artificial contraception, even among married couples.
Paul VI established a commission, made up of both clergy and laypeople, to examine the issue.
The conclusion of many of the commission's members was to recommend that the Church declare it licit for married Catholics to use contraception in some circumstances. Subsequent leaks to the press built pubic expectations of a change, Wall said.
Many were surprised by the eventual contents of the encyclical, which disappointed those who wanted to see the Church adapt to the morals of the era. But, Bishop Wall suggested, no other conclusion was possible for the pope since it would have meant leading the Church into error.
Wall reminded listeners that the authority Christ invested in the Church, and in the popes, protects the Church from error in the areas of faith and morals.
"It's not the Church of St. Peter, it's not the Church of the Apostles, it's not your Church, it's not my Church, but Jesus says this is my Church, I will establish my Church," Wall said.
"And so no matter how dark or difficult things can become, we always want to make sure we remain in the Barque of St. Peter, that we remain in the Church that Jesus Christ founded."