The Church’s Teaching on Marriage, Part Three

Go to Part I Go to Part II In Vitro Fertilization, Artificial Insemination, and Surrogate Motherhood It bears repeating that “‘[e]ach human person, in his absolutely unique singularity, is constituted not only by his spirit, but by his … [Read more...]

A Touch of Experience: Where Are You?

“In the light of the experience of many couples and of the data, . . . theological reflection is . . . called to study further the difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle: it … [Read more...]

Killed by the Dragon

The Effects of Contraception on Courtship and Marriage

The symbolism and words of the Book of Tobit strike us with surprising clarity, and in the manner of an “emperor with no clothes.” In our modern culture, with its “liberated” way of speaking about sex and sexuality, we have become used to su … [Read more...]

The New Acceptance of Sodomy

Why? And What Now?

How could a Catholic priest ever come to think that it was morally acceptable for him to engage in sodomy? In the light of more than a dozen events or factors affecting one’s thinking since 1960, a priest with a same-sex orientation might a … [Read more...]

Teaching Humanae Vitae in the “Front Trenches” — Where It Ultimately Counts

Tumult Late July, 1968; large-tiered classroom at a Jesuit university. New Testament scholar Max Zerwick, SJ, is expounding upon the prologue to John’s Gospel, word by word, pericope by pericope. We graduate theology students, 150 s … [Read more...]

The Inseparable Unitive and Procreative Purposes of Marriage — and Appropriate NFP Use

In 1946, theologian Fr. Mathias Scheeben’s The Mysteries of Christianity appeared and therein he wrote of married couples, “They can rightfully unite with each other in matrimony only for the end which Christ pursues in His union with the Ch … [Read more...]

Celebrating Humanae Vitae

On April 4, 5, and 6, this year, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput and twenty renowned theologians, lawyers, philosophers, and medical professionals celebrated Blessed Pope Paul VI’s visionary encyclical, Humanae Vitae, proclaimed 50 y … [Read more...]

Humanae Vitae: An Unwelcomed Anniversary in the West

Conceptually pastoral weaknesses in expression, not errors, within Humanae Vitae, might have led to its lack of reception on the part of some priests, bishops, and people. For a host of reasons, it did not turn hearts and minds to … [Read more...]

A Reflection on Humanae Vitae

Recently I watched a television interview with an eloquent defender of Humanae Vitae, but at its conclusion I was disappointed. To be sure, the speaker made a brilliant consequentialist defense of the encyclical, but this time the emphasis … [Read more...]

Misconceptions About NFP

When I heard the election results in 2012, my very first thought was that if Catholics had reacted appropriately to the invention of the pill, instead of the way they did, we would have won this election. It is a subject which has … [Read more...]

Humanae Vitae and the New Evangelization

Introduction This year sees the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae. Over the years, the encyclical has received quite a mixed response across the Church. Even now, we still have theologians, bishops, and others s … [Read more...]

Artificial Birth Control, the Sexual Revolution, and the Modern Collapse of Morality

Artificial Birth Control, the Sexual Revolution, and the Modern Collapse of Morality A generation ago, Blessed Pope Paul VI (the great) projected out of the infallible, bountiful treasure of God’s truths—that is, the formal Catholic tea … [Read more...]

Being Open to Life—Abstract Norm, or Embodied Word?

Preamble We have a temptation to separate a moral norm from its existential reality and, in so doing, to imagine that we have “an abstract norm”[1. Although the expression, ‘abstract norm’ (ncregi … [Read more...]

The Centrality of Love to the Teaching of Humanae Vitae

Introduction The approach of the 50th anniversary of Humanae vitae gives us the opportunity to once again meditate on the Church’s teaching on human generation, and on the magnificent articulation of this teaching in recent decades, coming … [Read more...]

Contraception as a Lesser Evil

From Modern Moral Problems

The following are excerpts from a new book which is a compilation of the writings of Msgr. William B. Smith who was a regular contributor to Homiletic and Pastoral Review, from October 1992 to July 2005, for the magazine's "Questions … [Read more...]