Humanae Vitae: A stone rejected that has become the corner stone in the fight for marriage, family, and culture
Editor's note: This talk was given in Rome on May 8, 2015 during the Rome Life Forum.
ROME, June 24, 15 (LifeSiteNews) -- According to the Papal Nuncio to USA Archbishop Carlo Vegano two years before he became Pope, Cardinal Wojtyla said to the American Bishops:
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realise this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church... must take up.
Nowhere is this confrontation now more marked than in the culture war of the anti-church against the family, most specially on the primary right of parents to educate their children. This sinister culture is being subtly imposed on our families in the West and brutally enforced upon families in poor countries by the West.
This, the greatest confrontation humanity has ever known leaves parents the only protectors of their children. But, with the help of God. Increasingly good parents will have little moral alternative to civil disobedience and indeed imprisonment. Some British Catholic parents in Austria have been paying 1000s of euros in fines for several years because they prefer to home school their children.
Marriage and the family and therefore the Church and civilisation now depend upon the clearest possible proclamation of Humanae Vitae of Blessed Pope Paul VI and of Familiaris Consortio of Saint John Paul the Great if we are to survive and replace a developing one world Culture of Death.
Pope Benedict confirmed Familiaris Consortio calling it the Gospel on the Family.
Forty years of experience as a family doctor with a special interest in actively defending the family have left me in no doubt that the heart of this Culture of Death is the artificial separation in sexual intercourse of life, the procreative from love, the unitive by contraception.
This separation of life from love has spread from contraception, to in vitro fertilisation and now logically and even theologically to homosexual "marriage."
Contraception is associated with a rise not a fall in the surgical abortion rate ... and hormonal contraception of itself has been known to have an abortifacient pharmacological action since 1926! In 1926, Pincus, the inventor of the oral contraceptive discovered that administration of estrogen interrupted pregnancy.
Furthermore contraception can also separate life, the life of the child from the love of the parent. Let me explain. Contraceptive indoctrination of children in schools, often resulting in confidential contraceptive provision, separates vulnerable children from the protective love of their parents. But, very sadly, how can Catholic parents who contracept, perhaps acting in conscience because of the silence, incompetence or worse of their shepherds convincingly protect their children from contraception and its moral, social, health and evangelical consequences?
Significantly both of these separations of life from love are promoted by the birth control lobby one of the wealthiest multinationals in the world and, I have been told, second only to the armament industry in size.
In Humanae Vitae we were very clearly taught.
That teaching, often set forth by the Magisterium, is founded upon the inseparable connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning. (N12)
This is quite simply the truth and through its rejection generations have been lost to the Church. Our children are paying an enormous price for the silence, obfuscation and political accommodations of so many of our Bishops. Yes our children have paid for their policies.
The international removal of parents rights: Firstly in the Common Law Jurisdiction
In 1974 in the UK parental right to know about a child of whatever age being given contraceptives by a doctor were removed by a government directive which had been written with the advice of the Birth Control Lobby. A legal challenge followed but the parents lost when the case went to the House of Lords. This legal decision which largely removed parent's rights over medical treatment, not simply contraception rapidly spread throughout the Common Law Jurisdiction. Common Law covers a quarter of the world.
The official Catholic support for parents had been negligible fundamentally because of their attitude to Humanae Vitae. Protestant support was much greater.
Interestingly in the period of the legal process during which doctors had been prohibited from giving contraceptives to underage children without parental knowledge or consent contraceptive uptake, abortion and illegitimacy fell. Subsequently in 1994 the Courts removed the parental right to know about their under age child having an abortion. This in spite of the fact that all high quality clinical studies show that parental notification in the case of abortion requests reduces underage abortion by 10-20%. The removal of parent's rights started with contraception. Again we had been warned in Humanae Vitae:
Who could blame a government for applying to the solution of the problems of the community those means acknowledged to be licit for married couples. (N 17)
Yet I have never heard a pastoral letter supporting Humanae Vitae or the God given inalienable rights of parents who as a result of contraception have become legal outcasts.
With same sex "marriage" legislation parents went from legal outcasts to outlaws. Let me explain. Same sex marriage and sexual orientation legislation has outlawed English Catholic adoption agencies which cared in loco parentis for our most vulnerable Catholic children. Same sex marriage legislation has outlawed the right of the parent, the primary educator to remove his children from general classes on marriage in which homosexual "marriage" is promoted. The 1996 Education Act because of the legal duty it imposes to promote equality obliges the school to refuse permission.
Sexual orientation legislation has outlawed the right to teach Christian sexual morality as objective truth in schools. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has stated that, "... a curriculum which teaches a particular religion's doctrinal beliefs as if they were objectively true. The latter is likely to lead to unjustifiable discrimination against homosexual pupils."
With the exception of the very few Bishops who believe and announce Humanae Vitae the action of our Episcopate on homosexualist law reform has been minimal or much, much worse particularly in Catholic schools.
The Named Person Law
In 2016 the Scottish Government will, without parental consent assign to every child under the age of 18 a state-employed Named Person. If there is judged to be a risk to the child’s well-being, including under age sex, teachers should inform the child’s Named Person. If the child disagrees the teacher should explain the reasons for sharing it with the Named Person. Thus the child has no absolute right of confidentiality with the State's Named Person. However government advice makes no mention of telling mothers or fathers and indeed informing parents is absent from the entire section on confidentiality in the relevant state guidance document Conduct of Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood Education in Schools which is predicated upon the Scottish Government’s very anti-parent National Guidance on Under-age Sexual Activity. There has been wide public opposition including from the Scottish Bishops who are increasingly clear on Humanae Vitae.
The School Inspectorate
Since 2013 Government inspectors have been told officially to ask primary school children about "transphobia". They had previously been briefed that they could quiz pupils aged four to eleven about the word “gay”, same-sex families and "homophobia". The inspectorate has been advised by Stonewall the radical homosexualist pressure group.
Australia “No jab, no pay” policy
Parents who are conscientious objectors to childhood vaccination will lose benefit payments and tax rebates of more than $11,000 per year per child.
In Konrad v. Germany the European Court of Human Rights upheld the position of the German Government that German Christians did not have the right to home school. The German Government's position was that home schooling would set up “parallel societies of separate philosophical position”.5
In 2009 ten German Evangelical Christian parents who refused to allow their 10 year old children to attend compulsory sex education classes were imprisoned for a second time (43 days) during which the state exercised control over their children. The school was Catholic. I am not aware of any statement from the German Catholic bishops opposing this legalised crime. Happily the children of these courageous Christian parents have now been allowed to opt out of the offensive classes.
In 2013 a team of 20 social workers, armed police officers and special agents armed with a battering ram forcibly seized all four of the Wunderlich family's children (ages 7-14). Neither abuse and nor educational failure were alleged.6 Their offence? They home educated because on grounds of their Christian consciences they refused to send their children to a State school where they feared their children's indoctrination in paganism, homosexuality and witchcraft. A German family court judge subsequently refused to give the Wunderlich parents custody of their children saying: “The request of the parents to reinstate their right to determine the location of the children, the right to make educational decisions for the children, as well as the right to file legal applications for their children is being refused.” The children’s passports were seized to ensure they could not again flee the country. In order to keep their children, parents Dirk and Petra had no choice but to comply with German social services and put their children in the state schools.
Happily in spite of the Obama Government's legal intervention the Romeike family were granted asylum in the USA on the grounds that the German government's refusal to permit them to home school for religious reasons amounted to persecution.
The president of the Swedish Association for Home Education has had to flee to the Finnish Aland Islands claiming the safety of his family could no longer be guaranteed and he could not afford the 15,000 USD fine for one year of home schooling.
US and Canada
I greatly admire the determination of so many North American home schooling families who have so often successfully resisted intrusive social workers, threats of fines, subpoenaing of materials and records, harassment by officials, threats of reduction of services and benefits and illegal arrests.
Here the situation of home schooling is relatively healthy largely because a Labour move against home schooling resulted in the largest number of petitions to parliament ever recorded.
But "who done it"? Who removed your parental rights?
First hard terrorism. The Communist Manifesto which Karl Marx wrote in 1848 in the West. I quote three points from Chapter 2:
Abolition [Aufhebung] of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.
But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home education by social.
The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation of parents and child.
In 1920, two years after the October Revolution Alexandra Kollontai, the first Soviet People's Commissar for Social Welfare wrote:
Communist society will take upon itself all the duties involved in the education of a child.
Two years later in 1922 Lenin (who had been smuggled into Russia from the West) initiated a grouping which was to become the Frankfurt School of Western cultural Marxism. The intention was to destroy the obstacle of Western Christian culture to the spread of Marxism. Their methods included the promotion of sexual instinct as a weapon of social destruction and the promotion radical negative destructive criticism in all aspects of culture. They targeted our families against the background of growing liberalism in the state and in religion. Some argue that this meeting was more important than the October Revolution itself.
The very recent interview with Ion Mihai Pacepa, former General of Communist Romania’s secret police published in the in the Catholic News Agency describes a not dissimilar “Party-State Dezinformatsiya Program" by means of which the Soviets under Khrushchev tried to export Communism to Latin America by means of Liberation Theology.
Secondly soft terrorism. The eugenic and birth control lobby. Compare this quotation of Alexandra Kollontai -- "Communist society will take upon itself all the duties involved in the education of a child." -- with this from Brock Chisholm, the first director of the World Health Organisation in 1948: "Children have to be freed from... religious and other cultural “prejudices” forced upon them by parents, civil and religious authorities [...] sex education should be introduced in the 4th grade, [i.e. 9 to 10] eliminating “the ways of elders” by force if necessary.”
And compare it with this by Lady Helen Brook: "It is now the privilege of the Parental State to take major decisions - objective, unemotional, the State weighs up what is best for the child...”
Lady Helen Brook started the “secret” provision of contraceptives to the young, the very first step in the usurping of parental rights on education and medication.
Compare with: “Parents – the most dangerous people of all.” (A Family Planning Association spokeswoman)
Compare “Communist society will take upon itself all the duties involved in the education of a child” with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women which instructed nations to ensure the right to sexual education, to contraception and abortion for girls and adolescents without parental knowledge or consent.
Yet again we had been warned. Addressing Catholic parents in Nazi Germany Pope Pius XI told them that their rights and duties as educators are conferred on them by God and no one can free them from the responsibility God has placed on them over their children. And quoting St John he continued: "May every one of you be able to answer: "Of them whom thou hast given me, I have not lost any one" (John xviii 9).”
How much greater is our responsibility today where we are faced with soft tyranny rather than the Gestapo.
The third and most important factor between the family and what Cardinal Wojtyla called "the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel" is, I believe, clerical liberalism.
In 1930 for the first time in two thousand years of Christian history a Christian body, the Church of England morally sanctioned on Christian principles the use of contraceptives:
Where there is clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, the method must be decided on Christian principles...the Conference agrees that other methods (other than abstinence) may be used, provided that this is done in the light of the same Christian principles.
Only ten years before the same body had condemned contraception as unnatural, morally and religiously dangerous, a danger to the nation and an incentive to vice which was basically the position of Luther, Calvin and Wesley.
Pope Pius XI rapidly responded in his Encyclical "Casti Connubii" (Chaste Marriage). He stressed the sanctity of marriage. He prohibited the use of artificial birth control. This was, of course, consistent with all previous magisterial teaching: "The family is more sacred than the State and that men are begotten not for the earth and for time, but for Heaven and eternity."
I have earlier referred to Humanae Vitae. Four days after its publication there was its official press conference led by Mons. Ferdinando Lambruschini, Professor of Moral Theology at the Lateran University. He stated that: "This decision binds the consciences of all without any ambiguity."
He then three times stated that it was not infallible.
Significantly, L’Osservatore Romano omitted this last point from its report.
(I) "A careful reading of the document indicates that it is not an infallible definition."
(ii) "The decision has been given, said Mons. Lambruschini, "and it is not infallible."
(iii) "Only definitions strictly so-called command the assent of theological faith."
Then the moral deconstruction really began e.g. in England. On the whole the English Bishops were sound on Humanae Vitae until on 6th December 1968 Cardinal Heenan said on television:
Now it's the duty of a Catholic to inform his conscience. But it could happen easily, particularly after this long period of dispute and doubt, it could happen that a couple might say conscientiously: I'm quite sure that this is the right thing for me to do. And if that can be said conscientiously, then, of course, they must follow their conscience. There is no dispute about this.
Regarding "this long period of dispute and doubt," Father Paul Marx told me that the hesitation over the publication of Humanae Vitae was rapidly brought to an end when three theologians convinced Pope Paul VI that the oral contraceptive had an abortifacient mode of action.
I personally became aware of clerical undermining of Humanae Vitae (25 July 1968) in my first year as a family doctor in the Scottish Highlands when a priest who was a patient told me that priests had been instructed not to ask a penitent about contraception in confession and subsequently told if a penitent did mention contraception he or she was to be told not to bring this up in confession and not to seek further advice on this matter from another priest. We both thought that it was odd.
The Washington Case
In 1968 the Cardinal Patrick O'Boyle Archbishop of Washington disciplined a number of his priests who had publicly dissented from the encyclical Humanae Vitae. A number of them appealed against his injunction to the Congregation of the Clergy.
In 1970 the Congregation issued a directive which read as follows:
1) Humanae Vitae must be received as the teaching of the Church.
2) The doctrine of the Church is that conscience must always be followed.
There was no third conclusion, urging that conscience be formed in the light of the teaching of the Church. Cardinal O'Boyle was informed that if his priests were prepared to subscribe to this directive, he must reinstate them.
1) Priests worldwide were now able to encourage their flock to 'follow their conscience',
while admitting the teaching of the Church as 'an ideal'.
2) An effective nullification of the authority of the Bishop as a teacher of the Apostolic
3) The resultant chaos and silence of the Church through the promotion of a false doctrine of conscience which has never been effectively redressed. In 1989 Cardinal O'Connor of New York commented that 'Conscience' was previously taken to refer to the Ten Commandments but was now taken to mean literally "what you will".
Cardinal Caffara has said that exactly one month before his death in 1978 Blessed Pope Paul VI declared, “One day you will thank God and me for Humanae Vitae”. Thank God for his defence of our marriages, families and the Church.
They betrayal of truth and of our families by clerics continued. On the very day the Charter of the Rights of the Family of Saint John Paul was to go to press it was found that the section on the Parent the Primary Educator had been removed by a national hierarchy and the section aid to third world countries not being contingent on population control had been removed by "IPPF's friends in the Vatican". Cardinal Eduard Gagnon reported this to Pope John Paul who ordered that they be immediately put back.
Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.
A priest who worked in the Curia told me that he got talking with a fellow passenger who turned out to be a senior executive of the world birth control and abortion multinational. He told the priest that things had been going very well for them until Pope John Paul arrived on the scene and reawakened Catholic consciences.
The opposite has now happened and with this reckless and scandalous synod it has come to a head.
In addition to the infamous soundbite "Who am I to judge" Pope Francis has said in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg:
Keeping democracy alive in Europe requires avoiding the many globalizing tendencies to dilute reality: namely, angelic forms of purity, dictatorships of relativism, brands of ahistorical fundamentalism, ethical systems lacking kindness, and intellectual discourse bereft of wisdom. 
And he has said:
We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.
This is not possible I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that.
I will make no comment on these public utterances save to say that they have left many members of the National Association of Catholic Families deeply distressed, frightened and angry.
Cardinal Walter Kasper has said: "The Church is not against birth control at all."
Here I will comment. Does Cardinal Kasper not really know or care that contraception facilitates extra marital sex, promiscuity, the inability to commit to marriage, marital breakdown, family disintegration and of course abortion? Would he even be alarmed that it has been estimated that between 350 to 750 million chemical abortions have occurred in US alone due to the abortifacient mode of action of the Pill?
Or Bishop Jean-Michel di Falco of the diocese of Gap who has written that France's massive pro- marriage demonstrations Manif pour Tous perpetrated “violence against homosexuals.” Did this former spokesman for the Bishops' Conference really not understand that Christiane Taubira, the French Minister of Justice declared war on Catholic families when she said:
We are very conscious of all the philosophical and anthropological dimensions attached to marriage. But we consider that they cannot and should not clash with the requirements of equality.
We are in a state of law; the civil code will be modified, it will be imperative for everyone.
She continued that this would constitute a “societal and legal revolution.”
Or Bishop Galantino, Pope Francis's new appointment to be Secretary General of powerful Italian Bishops' Conference who has said:
My wish for the Italian Church is that it is able to listen without any taboo to the arguments in favour of married priests, the Eucharist for the divorced, and homosexuality.
And: “In the past we have concentrated too much on abortion and euthanasia. It mustn’t be this way."
But in the real world 1.7 billion babies have been decapitated, dismembered and eviscerated by surgical abortions worldwide and 30 to 150 million unborn lives lost by IVF.
Are we to have no mercy on the poorest of the poor?
Are we not to notice a World Culture of Death is taking place in front of our noses? Such reckless folly.
Contrast the words of these clerics with those of the realistic Cardinal Francis George of Chicago:
I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilisation, as the church has done so often in human history.
Ladies and gentlemen, the moral watershed between Catholicism and Modernism was the acceptance or the rejection of Humanae Vitae.
The late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini of Milan, the leader of the modernist party denied that he was an anti-pope but "an ante-pope, a precursor and preparer for the Holy Father." He supported the anti Humanae Vitae policies of the German and Austrian bishops calling them a new culture of tenderness and an approach to sexuality that is more free from prejudice.
He thought it probable the pope of whom he was to be precursor would not revoke the Humanae Vitae, but he might write an Encyclical that would be its "continuation". He told us that St. John Paul the Great had not wanted there to be any doubts on Humanae Vitae and that he had considered making a declaration that would enjoy the privilege of papal infallibility.
Ladies and gentlemen, Saint John Paul told us that “we are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. It is a trial which the whole Church... must take up.”
For the sake of marriage and the family and therefore the Church and civilisation the highest definition of Papal infallibility for Humanae Vitae and the God given inalienable right of the Parent the Primary Educator are essential no matter how many decades or generations it takes.
To be precise: “That teaching, often set forth by the Magisterium, is founded upon the inseparable connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning.” (Humanae Vitae N12)
“The right and duty of parents to give education is essential, ... it is irreplaceable and inalienable, and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others.” (Familiaris Consortio N36)
The freedom of our children's children will depend upon this.