PopeWatch: Humanae Vitae


The next shoe to drop in this Pontificate?


Father George Woodall, who teaches moral theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, outlined what he called “grave” concerns about a papal commission recently set up by Pope Francis that will, he says, “re-examine Humanae vitae (HV) in the light of Amoris laetitia.” The article was published on the National Catholic Register September 12. 

Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae taught that “each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of human life,” calling the use of contraception (including the pill, condom, withdrawal, and other methods) “intrinsically wrong.” The encyclical celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. 

Woodall listed the “precise points of doctrine” in the encyclical that he suspects the commission will re-examine. These include: 

  • “The principle of the inseparability of the unitive and procreative meanings of the conjugal act (HV, n. 12), stated by Paul VI to be the basis for the condemnation of contraception (HV, n. 14).”
  • “The teaching that each and every conjugal act must remain open to procreation (HV, n. 11).”
  • “The condemnation of contraception as intrinsically morally disordered and hence incapable of being justified even for a good intention in pressing circumstances on the basis either that it might be the lesser evil or that it might partake of the goodness of those conjugal acts before and/ or after, during the whole of the married life, which had been or would be open to procreation, the reason being that what is intrinsically immoral may never be done even for a good intention (HV, n. 14).”
  • “The fact that this teaching, as the constant teaching of the Magisterium on this matter, is unchanged and unchangeable because the Magisterium has no power to decide what should be true, but only to proclaim what is true (HV, nn. 6, 18).”

Woodall predicted that if the commission were to use the moral principles and language found in Pope Francis 2016 Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, it would recommend that Humanae vitae “should be rejected or, more likely, should not be interpreted legalistically.”

The commission would likely say, he said, that the encyclical should not be “imposed as burdens on couples unable to bear them by those wishing to cast stones at people in difficulties, but should be presented to them as mere ‘ideals’, which married couples should seek to fulfill, but which they might not be able always to fulfill in pressing circumstances and which, for a good intention — and perhaps through discernment, assisted by a pastor in the light of their unique circumstances — they might violate, set aside, or interpret creatively,” he said. 

Just as the “pastoral approach” in Amoris Laetitia was used to suggest that the 6th commandment against adultery does not apply to some couples in “irregular” situations, so too in this case, said Woodall, a similar approach would be used to suggest that Humanae vitae does not “really apply to some couples because, in their circumstances they could not be expected to abide by them.”


Go here to read the rest.  This pontificate largely consists of demanding that Catholics follow the Pope’s leftwing political agenda, while pointing out how traditional Catholic moral teachings, anathema to the Left, may be dodged.  May God forgive this Pope, his enablers and his fans.

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  1. This encyclical, is the the one they hate. (Imagine asking married person to abstain during fertile times in light of the 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th commandments.)

  2. What’s involved in schism? Can there be an American Catholic Church? Is it possible the Holy Spirit did NOT guide the Cardinals in their election of a pope? Is Benedict XVI’s resignation effective or could it be rescinded?

  3. I’ve come to know that while it’s true the Holy Spirit guides the cardinals in the selection of a pope, it’s also true that the human cardinals choose a pope. The guarantee we have is that neither the cardinals or the pope will ruin the Project/Church. We have His Promise.

    Taking that assurance, these are strangely hopeful times, HV dissent has risen to the top, thank God.., because that must mean that it will soon in God’s Time come to an end.

  4. “May God forgive this Pope, his enablers and his fans.”

    Why should we wish this? They don’t want it or think it necessary or possibly don’t believe any of it. I want His will to be done and if that means his justice so be it. We can only point to the Truth and what the Church has always taught.

  5. Bob and David,
    I’m pretty sure, no where does the Church teach that Holy Spirit guides the Cardinals in their selection of a new Pope. I guess you could say the Holy Spirit acts no different in guiding them in that choice than any other of their desisions. And we Know that many of them make bad decisions because they have free will. There have been many bad popes in the past as a clear example of their ability to get it wrong.

  6. “Christ taught us to pray for our adversaries.”

    We should pray for their conversion, not only for their forgiveness. Without their conversion, they should see God’s justice.

  7. It may in fact be the next shoe to drop, but make no mistake; it is simply one more stepping stone toward the final goal….the ‘sanctification’ of sodomy.

  8. Bob Kurland, there are a couple of good arguments that Bergoglio was not validly elected and is in fact an antipope. The first, put forward by Ann Barnhardt, demonstrates that Benedict’s resignation was invalid due to “substantial error,” as he believes the papacy to currently be a diarchy with an “active” and “contemplative” aspect, which is of course impossible- there can only be one pope. So, Benedict remains the pope and Francis is not. The other theory concerns the existence of a group of cardinals known as the “St Gallen Mafia” who entered into a pact to reform the Church by getting Bergoglio elected as pope. Under canon law, this invalidates the conclave and thus the papal see remains vacant. Also, despite Benedict’s denials, there may have been some kind of coercion placed on him to resign, which would also invalidate his resignation. There is also the question of whether Amoris Laetitia contains formal heresy, and if it does, Francis ceases to be pope automatically. So, there are a number of reasons to believe that Bergoglio is not actually the pope. Unfortunately it will be the task of the next pope to determine this conclusively, so we can only wait and pray until then.

  9. If there are ‘revisions’ to Humanae Vitae, here is how it will be ‘interpreted’: It will be based on ‘discernment’ of ‘conscience’ with the help of ‘pastoral care and guidance’ (with plenty of ‘dialogue’) and as an ‘ideal’ to be working toward. (gradualism) The ‘goal’ will ‘in some cases’ be never actually reached because of ‘specific situations’ that are just ‘insurmountable’ or just as a matter of ‘conscience’ which of course is never to be ‘trumped’. In other words, he will completely trash Humanae Vitae, and people will then have full license to live in a perpetual state of mortal sin and march up to Communion (there is no rail left) and receive the precious body and blood of Our Lord and Savior (in the hand of course) to be desecrated. It’s just another ‘step’ toward the goal of ‘sanctification’ and indeed ‘glorification’ of SODOMY. FULL……STOP

  10. Only the begetting of another human being and being open to the begetting of another human being fulfills the marital act. The rest is exercise in futility bordering on irresponsibility to oneself, one’s spouse and one’s Creator.

  11. Sodomy, the addiction to sodomy is a violation of man’s free will. Sodomites cannot perform the marital act, therefore, there is no marriage. There is only abuse and battery of the partner, denial of the human soul with its conscience and perjury in a court of law. Male brides and female husbands have nothing to do with consummation of the marital act.. Sodomites have assigned themselves a place in hell, never to know the JOY of life, never to know Jesus Christ.

    Better than abstinence, the best contraception is chastity, giving oneself over to the will of God in procreation and the marriage of minds and bodies in the Holy Spirit. The virtue of chastity will provide, through Divine Providence the wonder of love, the miracle of life within and without the procreation of a new human being in the presence of God.
    Fulfillment of the marital act in chastity is the gift of oneself in body and soul, a gift that may only be consummated through the Holy Spirit. Letting oneself be fully human and accomplishing oneself in transcendent sexual maturity, the reality of human love; experiencing oneself in the embrace of love for God and man.
    The ecstasy of such wondrous love does not need consummation. It is the gift of consummation.

  13. Mary De Voe.
    Your 8:56am post is inspired.
    Beautifully written.
    So poetic; “The ecstasy of such wondrous love does not need consummation. It is the gift of consummation.”

    The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is love.
    Who better to nurture us than the spouse of that love..Our Lady. Similar to rays of light beaming through the clouds, I long too bask in that light, however I still do act in ways that betrays God’s Truth.. hence the clouds.
    Practicing… always practicing.
    One Hail Mary for your intentions-

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