I am not sure where, in my meanderings, I picked this up over the last day or so, but it’s really good.
In 1998, on the 30th anniversary of the issuance of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical letter Humanae Vitae Archbishop Chaput (pronounced Shap-pew) wrote a pastoral letter that truly teaches and clarifies.
In an age where people are being routinely euthanized in Holland, where an “ethicist” like Pete Singer can advocate infanticide, and when embryos are in danger of exploitation, it seems a good time to re-read HV – or to perhaps read it for the very first time. Most of the people who rail against it, have never read it! :-)
ON HUMAN LIFE
A pastoral letter to the people of God of northern Colorado
on the truth and meaning of married love
Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
1. Thirty years ago this week, Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical letter Humanae Vitae (On Human Life), which reaffirmed the Church’s constant teaching on the regulation of births. It is certainly the most misunderstood papal intervention of this century. It was the spark which led to three decades of doubt and dissent among many Catholics, especially in the developed countries. With the passage of time, however, it has also proven prophetic. It teaches the truth. My purpose in this pastoral letter, therefore, is simple. I believe the message of Humanae Vitae is not a burden but a joy. I believe this encyclical offers a key to deeper, richer marriages. And so what I seek from the family of our local Church is not just a respectful nod toward a document which critics dismiss as irrelevant, but an active and sustained effort to study Humanae Vitae; to teach it faithfully in our parishes; and to encourage our married couples to live it.
Seriously – these days seem to warrant a closer look.
Gerald’s post on Germany is an interesting addendum.