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Humanae Vitae Project

5 Talking Points on Humanae Vitae

There couldn't be a more important time for Humanae Vitae to be taught at parishes across the country. As part of PRI's mission to protect the sanctity of life, we urge all of our supporters to send letters of support to their priests to preach with confidence the teachings of Humanae Vitae.

1. Humanae Vitae is Divine Teaching

The teachings proclaimed by the Church in Humanae Vitae are the very laws of God Himself on matters concerning the proper regulation of births in marriage. God made man and woman such that they have the capability of uniting as husband and wife, cooperating together with God to bring forth new life.

  • “… a teaching which is based on the natural law as illuminated and enriched by divine Revelation.” (4)
  • “It is the whole man and the whole mission to which he is called thatmust be considered: both its natural, earthly aspects and its supernatural, eternal aspects.” (7)
  • “The teaching of the Church regarding the proper regulation of birth is a promulgation of the law of God Himself.” (20)

2. Humanae Vitae Blesses and Nurtures Marriage

The teachings of Humanae Vitae are vital for nurturing marriage and for fostering a true and authentic love between spouses.  When both the unitive or procreative aspects of the marriage act are embraced, the marriage act itself is preserved as a full and true expression of love.

  • “Marriage, then, is far from being the effect of chance or the result of the blind evolution of natural forces. It is in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator….” (8)
  • "Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents' welfare." (9)
  • “… if each of these essential qualities, the unitive and the procreative, is preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood to which man is called.” (12)

3. Priests and Bishops have an Essential Role in Teaching Humanae Vitae

Priests and bishops have the primary and sacred duty of proclaiming the Gospel to all people.  With respect to the Church’s teaching on marriage as promulgated in Humanae Vitae, priests have a “principle duty…to spell out clearly and completely the Church’s teaching on marriage.”  Humanae Vitae calls on priests to “speak with full confidence” in proclaiming the Church’s teachings on marriage and human sexuality.

  • “And now, beloved sons, you who are priests, you who in virtue of your sacred office act as counselors and spiritual leaders both of individual men and women and of families—We turn to you filled with great confidence.” (28)
  • “So speak with full confidence, beloved sons, convinced that while the Holy Spirit of God is present to the magisterium proclaiming sound doctrine, He also illumines from within the hearts of the faithful and invites their assent. Teach married couples the necessary way of prayer and prepare them to approach more often with great faith the Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Penance. Let them never lose heart because of their weakness.” (29)

4. Teachers and Parents are Called to Lead

Humanae Vitae calls on teachers and parents to embrace the teachings of the Church on marriage and human sexuality. Educators are urged to “create an atmosphere favorable to the growth of chastity” so that the young may learn to grow in morals and virtue and so that the morals of society may be safeguarded.

  • “… those who are engaged in education … need to create an atmosphere favorable to the growth of chastity so that true liberty may prevail over license and the norms of the moral law may be fully safeguarded.” (22)
  • “… married couples themselves by the leadership they offer will become apostles to other married couples. And surely among all the forms of the Christian apostolate it is hard to think of one more opportune for the present time.” (26)

5. Humanae Vitae Prophetically Warns of the Dangerous Social Consequences of Contraception

In Humanae Vitae, Paul VI prophetically warns about the dangerous consequences of contraception.

“Let them first consider how easily [artificial birth control] could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards…a man…may forget the reverence due to a woman…reduc[ing] her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” (17)

  • “Let them first consider how easily [artificial birth control] could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards…a man…may forget the reverence due to a woman…reduc[ing] her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” (17)
  • “Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law.” (17)

 

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