By John-Henry Westen

Bishop Robert Vasa PORTLAND, November 6, 2007 ( – As the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical regarding contraception approaches, Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Baker in Oregon,  is calling on Catholics to embrace the teaching of the Church regarding openness to life.  Speaking of the encyclical Humanae Vitae, and its teachings against contraception, the Bishop wrote, “Many Catholics have erroneously determined that the path they should follow is to disobey while trying to convince the Church that Her teaching is erroneous.”

“In choosing to disobey, they break faith with the Church,” warns the Bishop in the Catholic Sentinel.  “In that disobedience tremendous harm has been brought to many women. Tremendous harm to marriage. Tremendous harm to family life. Tremendous harm to society.”

  Bishop Vasa explains that the teachings of Humanae Vitae have proven prophetic and the “Catholic medical community is more and more recognizing something which has remained very much hidden from public view, that is that contraceptive hormones have an effect, and not a good one, on the health of women.”  Moreover, he says, “Catholic lay leaders and even some in government are recognizing that contraception and its logical backup abortion have a very serious effect on marriage and on families.”

  Catholics he says, “are now beginning to recognize that contraception strikes at the very heart of society because it strikes at the family which is the fundamental unit of all society.”

  As the 40th anniversary of the encyclical looms, the Bishop says he hopes for a general renewal of instruction and faithfulness to its teachings.  “I suspect and pray that there will be a very strong and concerted effort in the Church to engage in a comprehensive program of study and instruction surrounding this teaching,” he said.

To contact Bishop Vasa


  Most Reverend Bishop Robert Vasa
  911 SE Armour Rd
  Bend, OR 97701
  Ph: 541-388-4004
  Fax: 541-388-2566


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