The Importance of the prophetic encyclical “Humanae Vitae” in 1968 and today 2021

Dear Friends for Life:   Humanae Vitae”, the prophetic encyclical written by Pope Paul VI in 1968, warned Catholics about the culture of contraception and the deadly impact it would have on society. Over five decades later of killing innocent babies through surgical abortion, the pill, and abortifacients such as Norplant and RU-486, can there be any doubt that there is a real link between contraception and abortion?

Professor Janet Smith definitely thinks there is. “The connection between contraception and abortion is primarily this: contraception facilitates the kind of relationships and even the kind of attitudes and moral character that are likely to lead to abortion. The contraceptive mentality treats sexual intercourse as though it had little natural connection with babies; it thinks of babies as an “accident” of intercourse, as an unwelcome intrusion into a sexual relationship, as a burden. The sexual revolution has no fondness – no room for – the connection between sexual intercourse and babies. The sexual revolution simply was not possible until reliable contraceptives were available. ”

“On Human Life” explains why the Catholic Church rejects contraception. Pope Paul VI warned of dire consequences if contraception became widely practiced. He cautioned that there would be greater infidelity in marriage, confusion regarding the nature of human sexuality and its role in society, using women for sexual pleasure, compulsory government birth control policies, and the reduction of the human body to an instrument of human manipulation. In 2021, these warnings are a living reality.

55 years ago the arguments supporting contraception strongly claimed that abortions and births to unmarried people would decrease as a result of safe birth control methods. In reality, the opposite has occurred. According to WHO, every year there are an estimated 40-50 million induced abortions in the world. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 per day. AND with the introduction of chemical birth control, abortion statistics have not gone down – they’ve gone up – way up!

Our society treats sexual intercourse as a casual action; it is an act that one can engage in with a mere acquaintance. Our culture no longer believes that sexual intercourse is properly an expression of love between a male and a female committed to each other. Our culture no longer believes that those who engage in sexual intercourse should be prepared to be parents to any children conceived through intercourse.

People today speak of “accidental pregnancies” – they seem to think that getting pregnant through an act of sexual intercourse is an accident, not something that they should expect. But one can’t get pregnant by accident; one can get hit by a car by accident or can fall off a cliff by accident. Getting pregnant through an act of sexual intercourse means that something has gone right, not that something has gone wrong, with an act of sexual intercourse. The primary purpose of sexual intercourse is to create life. When this life begins is an objective scientific fact.

Contraception makes people think that one can have sex without any thought of having babies; the act of having sex seems very separate from the act of having babies.

Humanae Vitae prophetically defended the integrity of married love and warned us against the danger of reducing sexuality to a source of pleasure alone.

Pope Paul VI was remarkably accurate in his predictions. Why was he so accurate? It might be conjectured that he was not on his own with these prophecies, that he was enjoying the guidance of the Holy Spirit that Christ offered to his Church. The Church claims to be an “expert in humanity,” to have a unique understanding of the human person and of what is good and harmful for the human person. In spite of the opposition, the Catholic Church has remained adamant that contraception is an action that is seriously detrimental to the goods of marriage.

Catholics should condemn contraception because the use of contraception exhibits a bad evaluation of (1) the good of sexual intercourse, (2) the good of procreation, and (3) the good of complete union.

It is God’s plan that we achieve the happiness that such institutions as marriage are designed to provide. The Church is here to help us know, understand, and do God’s will. The consequences for our society and ourselves for our failure to do so have been very severe.

“There’s a lot of confusion in the world about sexuality and marriage,” Carrie Keating, a specialist in marriage, said, “Humanae Vitae can clarify our thinking about that and help future generations to be rooted in truth and love.

Gen 1:28, 9:1,7; 35:11 – from the beginning, the Lord commands us to be fruitful (“fertile”) and multiply. A husband and wife fulfill God’s plan for marriage in the bringing forth of new life, for God is life itself.

Gen. 28:3 – Isaac’s prayer over Jacob shows that fertility and procreation are considered blessings from God.

    God Bless
    Jerry Novotny, OMI


Websites by Fr. Jerry


(English) Fighting for the Culture of Life – Fr. Jerry’s Blog


(Japanese) Human Rights: The Road to a Happy Life – Fr. Jerry’s Blog

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