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...]

Preaching to the Young Casualties of the Sexual Revolution

For over 40 years, it has been my privilege, challenge, and joy to teach Catholic theology. I began with the somewhat maligned Junior High level (seventh grade in my parish elementary school lingo), and then Catholic high school (Grades … [Read more...]

How the Synod of 2015 Ignored the Real Problem, 50 Years in the Making

It’s hard to believe now, but at the beginning of the year, Synod 2015 was predicted to be a possible game changer for the Church. According to various media reports, the Synod promised to be: “stormy,” “intense,” a time of “great expectatio … [Read more...]

Contraception and Original Sin

Alice von Hildebrand wrote, regarding Satan, “Abortion is his greatest victory since original sin.” (New Oxford Review, "To the Editor," May 2015). May I demur? Artificial contraception is. Why? Because it repeats the original sin of Adam an … [Read more...]

The Gift of Law and the Law of Gift

“I can’t understand why your Church makes you live that way,” a friend of mine once said to me, “it’s just not natural!” I fear that many, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, have a similar misunderstanding about nature, law, and the foundati … [Read more...]

A “Categorical Silence” in the Preparatory Questionnaire for the 2015 Synod

“Make no mistake, my brothers: those who corrupt families will not inherit the kingdom of God.” —Ignatius of Antioch, To the Ephesians In his 2007 autobiography, Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, retired Archbishop of Bologna, recalled his surpr … [Read more...]

The Resolution of Conflicts in Priestly Life and Relationships

Loving, supportive and mutually encouraging relationships among priests are essential to the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of priests and to their ministry[1. Richard Fitzgibbons. “The Origins, Manifestation, and Resolution o … [Read more...]