Hundreds of priests support Humanae Vitae

Hundreds of priests in Britain support Humanae Vitae – the encyclical affirming traditional Christian teaching on the family and sexuality.

The encyclical, written by Pope Paul VI and issued in July 1968, specifically deems artificial contraception as being “absolutely excluded” and “intrinsically wrong”.

The British clergy have signed a statement endorsing the encyclical as its 50th anniversary nears.

They argue that Humanae Vitae was prophetic.

“[It] predicted that if artificial contraception became widespread and commonly accepted by society then we would lose our proper understanding of marriage, the family, the dignity of the child and of women, and even a proper appreciation of our bodies and the gift of male and female,” they say.

The priests say many people rejected the encyclical’s message and warnings when it was published, finding them “difficult to accept and challenging to proclaim.

“Fifty years later, so much has unfolded in our society that has been to the detriment of human life and love”, so that “Many have come to appreciate again the wisdom of the Church’s teaching,” the priests say.

One of the priests commented: “We hope that the Church here will now recognise the importance of Humanae Vitae and place it at the forefront of our pastoral strategies and evangelisation. This marks an important moment for the Church in this country.

“It is hard to get 100 priests – the size of an average diocese – to do anything together but to get 500 is very significant indeed”.


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