Pontiff and Prophet: Pope Paul VI predictions in On Human Life ring true throughout the world
Rerelease of controversial encyclical written by recently beatified pope addresses adverse effects of artificial contraception
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21, 2014 – ON HUMAN LIFE, also known as Humanae Vitae, written by Pope Paul VI, who was beatified Sunday by Pope Francis, is perhaps the most controversial Church document ever written. It also might be the Church’s most prophetic document. Pope Paul VI explained in ON HUMAN LIFE why the Catholic Church rejects contraception and warned of the consequences if contraception became widely practiced — greater infidelity in marriage, confusion regarding the nature of human sexuality and its role in society, the objectification of women for sexual pleasure, compulsive “family planning” and contraceptive policies by government, and the reduction of the human body as an instrument of human manipulation, all of which have resulted in the implosion of our culture.
Ignatius Press has rereleased ON HUMAN LIFE, with a foreword by Mary Eberstadt, afterword by Dr. James Hitchcock and postscript by Jennifer Fulwiler, to coincide with the beatification of Pope Paul VI.
Pope Paul VI referred to two aspects or “meanings” of human sexuality — the unitive and procreative aspects. Neither the person-uniting aspect (the unitive meaning) nor the person-begetting aspect (procreative meaning) may deliberately be separated from the other in the act of sexual intercourse, argued Paul VI, without acting against God’s purpose and damaging the conjugal relationship.
Greeted by a firestorm of opposition, ON HUMAN LIFE greatly shaped debates in the Catholic Church. A movement of dissent emerged. While some Catholic leaders and others openly rejected Catholic teaching, others reaffirmed it and even developed it. St. John Paul II’s popular “Theology of the Body” drew deeply on the insights of Pope Paul VI. Pope Benedict and now Pope Francis have upheld the long-standing teaching. Indeed, a new generation of Catholics is embracing the truths of ON HUMAN LIFE.
For more information, to request a review copy, or to schedule an interview with Dr. James Hitchcock, please contact Kevin Wandra (866-777-2313, ext. 701 or KWandra@CarmelCommunications.com) of Carmel Communications.
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