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OXFORD, England, July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Two hundred young Catholics from the United Kingdom, several married couples among them, have signed a letter in support of Humanae Vitae, the 1968 encyclical reaffirming Church teaching against artificial contraception.  

The full letter and list of signatories are below.

The letter, the initiative of a young married couple, Michael and Elisabeth Wee, was published last week in England’s Catholic Herald. Wee is the education officer at the Anscombe Bioethics Centre near Oxford University. His writings on bioethics have often appeared in the Herald, England’s most-read orthodox Catholic newspaper.  

Alerted to the project by an email, people aged 35 or under from the Catholic Church of England and Wales and of Scotland signed a statement supporting chastity, including marital chastity, in response to a letter published in the Catholic Herald suggesting that Catholic teaching on contraception has failed to “engage with social change.”

“One must not confuse being unfashionable with being untrue,” stated the letter-writers.

They underscored the value of chastity for human love and dignity.  

“Living out chastity is counter-cultural and difficult, but rewarding for relationships,” they wrote.

“It reminds us how the person to whom we are attracted is not a thing to be used but an equal to be loved, honoured and treated with reverence,” they continued. “The philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe rightly observed that ‘in this contraceptive day,’ however, sex becomes seen ‘as no more than an extreme kiss, which it might be rather rude to refuse.’”

The young Catholics underscored that the marital act holds meaning, which is the expression of total and mutual self-giving of a married couple and openness to new life.

They stated as “young, lay Catholics” that they wanted to affirm the beauty and relevance of Humanae Vitae for their own generation.

The young people’s letter follows a similar declaration made by almost 500 Catholic priests in Britain last month. The clerics’ statement observed that the dire prophecies made by Humanae Vitae had come to pass, and that a “rediscovery” of a “proper human ecology” is necessary.   

Although LifeSiteNews contacted different signatories for comment, they prefered to allow the letter to speak for itself.  

Full Statement

It has been suggested that Catholic teaching on contraception has failed to “engage with social change” (Letter, June 22). Yet one must not confuse being unfashionable with being untrue.

Living out chastity is counter-cultural and difficult, but rewarding for relationships.

It reminds us how the person to whom we are attracted is not a thing to be used, but an equal to be loved, honoured and treated with reverence. The philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe rightly observed that “in this contraceptive day”, however, sex becomes seen as “no more than a sort of extreme kiss, which it might be rather rude to refuse”.

At the heart of chastity is the simple yet revolutionary idea that we are made for love, and our sexuality has been given to us in order to fulfil this call. Hence, as Pope Francis puts it, “The image of God is the married couple”. Sex can never be truly casual, because it is so inherently filled with meaning – namely, the mutual love of the couple and openness to new life. That is why respecting the integrity of the sexual act matters. It is in allowing sex to convey its full meaning that we can give oneself to one’s spouse completely in love.

As young, lay Catholics living in Britain who find this teaching on sexuality beautiful and prophetic, we therefore wish to affirm the relevance of Humanae Vitae for our generation – and indeed for generations to come.

Full list of signatories:

Michelle Allan

Johannes Arens

Ray-Mallero Baquiran

Damian and Margaret Barker

Joao Barroca

Vivienne Barrow

Lorna Begley

Antonia and Chris Braithwaite

Anna Branford

Sean Biggins

Gerald Bonner

Joanna and Stephen Bullivant

Hugh Burling

Ruth Bushell

Elena Cahill

Christopher Cahill

Joshua Caminiti

Philip and Clara Campbell

Thomas and Rebecca Carrott

Sara Chan

James Channer

Gregory Chilson

Johnny Church

Dominic Ciftci

Georgia Clarke

Dominic Clearkin

Elizabeth Cohen

Patrick Connell

Mollie Cornell

Angela Costley

Rebekah Curran

Catherine Dalzell

Henry Darlison

Edward David

Tudur David

Christopher Dean

Grace Deighan

Simone Delzin

Alisa and Gregor Dick

Luke Dowle

David and Katie Edwards

Emmi Egbuonu

Sina Fackler

Selina Fang

James Farrell

Eve Farren

John and Rosemary Fetherston

Catherine Fleischer

Andrew Ford

Maria Freeman

Raphaella Gabrasadig

Joseph and Julie Geoghegan

Rafael Gibbons

Conor and Naomi Gildea

Annie Glasspool

Chris and Marie-Therese Glover

Antonia Goddard

Anastasia Gomes

Naoise Grenham

Ryan Hawkes

Eleanor Hall

Angela and Paul Hammond

Rachel Hammond

Lucy Healy

Jonathan Henry

Rachael Henry

Josephine Holt

Joseph Hopkins

James Howe

Andrew and Irene Hutchinson

Thomas Hutchinson

Jacob Imam

Gregory and Grace Jackson

Guy Jackson

Jo Jackson

Emma John

Bonnie and Dennis Johnson

Michael Jones

Leslie and David Keating

Rory Kennedy

William Kent

Jack Kilday

Evangeline Kozitza

Ilona Lahdelma

Brian M. Lapsa

Matt Lavelle

Visitation Lesterpearson

Martin and Roisin Macgregor

Pui Yiu Carol Mak

Kathleen Malkin

Claire Maloney

Julia McCourt

James McKee

David Mitchell

Caisen Mirassou

Riccardo Monni

John Morris

Lauren and Greg Morrison

Marya Morrison

Peter Morrison

Narquita Navarro

Thomas and Catherine Neal

Michael and Margaret Nicholson

Isabel Ng

Angela Mui Nouillan

Darren Nouillan

Niall and Ruth O Coinleáin

Christopher and Rebecca Oldroyd

Francis and Annabel Osborn

Maria Overy

Tanya Park

Fraser and Jane Pearce

Helena Penfold

Benjamin and Jutta Portelli

Michal Pruski

Liam and Patricia Rafferty

Gavin Rice

Theresa Rowland

John Saladino

Gerrie Serpell

Paul Shakeshaft

Ruby Shao

John Shinkwin

Rebecca Short

Edward Smith

Brian and Elizabeth Sudlow

Caroline and Matthew Sutherland

Madeleine and Dominic Strezynski

Wojciech Szymczak

Saumya Thomas

Brenden Thompson

Gregory Treloar

Joseph and Bethany Treloar

Grace Shih-Chia Tseng

Monica Underwood

Hannah Vaughan-Spruce

Ailsa and James Walton

Ian and Kristiina Watt

Matthew and Rachael Ward

Thomas and Sarah Ward

Michael and Elisabeth Wee

Elizabeth Wilkinson

Alithea Williams

Matthew Williams

Jamie Wilmore

William Woodall


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