The Fruits of Dissent from ‘Humanae Vitae’

Fruits of Dissent

The Fruits of Dissent from ‘Humanae Vitae’

By Judie Brown

Pope Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae 50 years ago. The opening sentences of this inspiring encyclical set the tone: “The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.”

These difficulties and hardships—these crosses to be borne—challenge everyone to whom the sacrament of matrimony has been administered.

Pope Paul VI knew and understood this. He recognized that, with the emergence of contraception and its widespread acceptance, even among Catholics, married couples might lose sight of what the Church has always held to be an infallible teaching as stated by Pope Pius XI in Casti Connubii and countless others down through the years. The message has always been clear: Nothing should ever be done to confound the unitive and procreative aspects of the marital act, as they are inextricably bound together.

The Catholic Church teaches, though few these days have learned it, that the expression of sexual union between husband and wife is sacred. This is why sex outside of marriage is a sin against God. This is why infidelity within marriage is a sin against God. This is why contraception, sterilization, abortion, and homosexual activity are all sins against God. They are sexual immoralities—defiant acts against the Lord, His laws, and most of all His undeniable love for us as His children.

So why do so many people want to hurt God and offend Him with these insolent acts? I humbly submit to you that the reason is quite simple: It is too difficult to obey the moral law. This is a cross to be borne that can only be accepted when a man and a woman look first to the Lord and His expectations.

It really is that simple.

But today the fruits of these failures to teach that truth, let alone practice it, have taken on an entirely new identity as we witness the scourge of homosexuality in the priesthood—a practice that has led to the sexual abuse of children, the sexual abuse of adults, and worse. Sins of the flesh have a way of doing that; others always get hurt.


Professor Janet Smith, one of the world’s leading experts on Humanae Vitae, recently told us:

The price the Church has paid for neglecting to preach the truths of Humanae Vitae and to promote Natural Family Planning is incalculable. . . .

Lives have been ruined, vocations have been lost, priests have left the priesthood, families have been destroyed, conversions have been stymied, and the culture has been deprived of the bold witness that the Church could and should give to the spectacular vision God has for human sexuality.

Another prominent expert, Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg, a member of the newly formed John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family, recently stated:

As a matter of fact, from what happened in the world, we can learn that the promotion of contraceptive sex has for a large part been the work of people driven by the wish to normalize their own abnormality and impose their immorality on the society at large. Now it is rather probable that the existing attempts within the Church to amend the doctrine of Humanae Vitae is likewise strongly motivated and orchestrated by gay priests. Not out of compassion with parents, for whom observing Humanae Vitae would be too difficult. Because gay men, having little affinity with and understanding of adult marital love, are motivated in this issue by more ego-centered feelings: Humanae Vitae stands in the way of their own, dubious ideals.

The situation is grave, but it is not by any means hopeless. The challenge is to turn toward Christ and do the things that can begin to heal our marriages, our families, and the Church.

St. John Paul II wrote that the family comprised of husband, wife, and children is a “little domestic church” and that this little church “needs to be constantly and intensely evangelized.”

Let us start there to heal the brokenness we witness all around us. Let us resolve to pray the family rosary and ask the Blessed Mother to heal our Church and our nation of the scourges of abortion, contraception, homosexuality, and all those sexual offenses that are today so painfully and publicly displaying the work of Satan.

Let us resolve to be evangelists of the good news, following the prescription of St. John Paul II by becoming better servants to our loved ones with joy, fidelity to Christ, and love for one another.

May the Lord guide us, one by one.


Learn the facts.

Teach the truth.

Protest the evil.

image: Jakob Esben H. via Flickr | CC-2.0