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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Humanae Vitae - July 25, 1968

Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life)
Pope Paul VI
July 25, 1968
"May the lively debate aroused by our encyclical
lead to a better knowledge of God's will
(Pope Paul VI)

In 1968 I was eleven, growing up in a West Coast community considered highly intelligent, progressive and liberal. That summer, Palo Alto embraced a new social phenomenon filtering down from its glamorous neighbor San Francisco, called, The Summer of Love. 
This social experiment became a defining moment of the 1960’s, its effects enmeshed in the lives of generations to come.   Into that mix, Pope Paul VI submitted, in peace and communion, a highly controversial encyclical on human life, Humanae Vitae.  Forty-four years later, the complexity of its assertion is still debated.  
As with most pre-teens trying to fit in, I was heavily influenced by my surroundings, and would not truly understand the ramifications of Humanae Vitae when it was presented, but the ensuing fallout and debate both inside and outside the Church would form my catechesis for years to come.
Forty-four years later, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical on human life, marriage and the regulation of birth continues to have validity.  It may have even proved prophetic.
Whether or not you agree with the Pope (and ultimately the Catholic Church), this short Encyclical Letter, though challenging and still contentious, continues to be worth contemplation.

It is my hope, as Pope Paul VI stated years ago, that the "lively debate aroused by" this encyclical will "lead to a better knowledge of God's will."

Blessings and Peace from Lynn's Timeless Treasures a Catholic Store Speaks.

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