21 July 2018


There is a committee in Rome, we are told, researching the genesis of ... the events and processes leading up to ... Humanae Vitae. I wonder what is going on. If anybody actually knows I would be glad to be informed. But I suspect that we all have little to go on except for inferences to be drawn from the composition of the committee.

So ... a hypothesis ...

The committee's task is to construct a claim like this: "HV says ... apparently and on the surface ... X. But if you examine HV carefully in the context of the evolution of its text, it becomes obvious that HV really means non-X (or not-quite-X or not-always-X)."

Other hypotheses?

Less hypothetically: B Paul VI  is going to be canonised, unless the  Eschaton prevents it. Rather than letting the organisers make headway out of it as a celebration for the Bergoglian view of 'the Council', would it not be rather jolly if something could be done to present the positive aspects of that pontificate?

Seminars on the biblical typology of the concept of the Smoke of Satan ... that sort of thing, perhaps?

On the magisterial teaching of Paul VI on the Latin Language?


Ben of the Bayou said...


I admit from the gate to having no insider information. What I wish to do is to recall that HV was NOT the first papal pronouncement on the subject, NOT even the first in the 20th century. Pope Pius XI of happy memory also wrote very clearly and forcefully against the use of contraceptive means in Casti Connubii. In addition, how shall they deal with the papal affirmations, in continuity with his venerable Predecessors, of the same doctrine by S. John Paul II?

Jhayes said...

Dr. Peters sugges this:

"What one could imagine being discussed hereabouts is whether the rejection of contraception set forth (I would say, infallibly) in regard to conjugal relations is applicable to non-conjugal relations. Some theologians, solidly committed to defending Church teaching against conjugal contraception, have flagged the fact that the anti-contraception tradition, witnessed to in Humanae vitae, has been clearly articulated, so far at least, only in regard to conjugal sex"


Jhayes said...

DeMattei reviews the first publication of the committee:

"Monsignor Marengo’s study, nevertheless, contains some new things. The most relevant is the publication of the entire text of an encyclical De nascendi prolis (pp. 215-238), which, after five years of agonizing work, Paul VI approved on May 9th 1968, fixing the date of its promulgation for the Solemnity of the Ascension (May 23rd).

The encyclical that Monsignor Marego defines as “a rigorous pronunciation of moral doctrine” (p.194), was already printed in Latin when there was an unexpected turn of events. The two French translators, Monsignor Jacques Martin and Monsignor Paul Poupard, expressed strong reservations about the document’s too “traditional” approach. Paul VI, upset by the criticisms, worked personally on numerous modifications of the text, changing, most of all, its pastoral tone, which became more “open” to the cultural and social solicitations of the modern world. Two months later, De nascendi prolis, had been transformed into Humanae Vitae. The concern of the Pope was that this encyclical “would be received in the least problematic way possible” (p. 121), thanks not only to the reformulations of its language, but also to the lowering of its dogmatic nature (p.103).