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Humanae Vitae 50 Years Later: History of Dissent and Defense

Prof. Janet Smith

Janet Smith, Ph.D., a seminary professor and internationally-known author and speaker, provides important context for why Humanae Vitae is considered the most controversial, and one of the most important, encyclicals promulgated by the Church in modern times. She discusses how this document written by Blessed Pope Paul VI served to prophetically warn the world of the dire consequences associated with artificial contraception and faithfully witness to the beauty of God’s plan for sex within marriage.

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VIEW A SAMPLE!

The papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (On Human Life) made headlines worldwide. Many talked about the encyclical when it was issued in 1968, but few actually read it. Why is it perhaps the most controversial document in modern Church history?

On Human Life combines Humanae Vitae with commentary by popular and respected Catholic authors Mary Eberstadt, James Hitchcock, and Jennifer Fulwiler in order to address this question and shed light on the document’s enduring wisdom.

Humanae Vitae is Pope Paul VI’s explanation of why the Catholic Church rejects contraception. The pope referred to two aspects, or meanings, of human sexuality: the unitive and the procreative. He also warned of the consequences if contraception became widely practiced—consequences that have since come to pass: greater infidelity in marriage, confusion regarding the nature of human sexuality and its role in society, the objectification of women for sexual pleasure, compulsory government birth control policies, and the reduction of the human body to an instrument of human manipulation. The separation of sexuality from its dual purpose has also resulted in artificial reproduction technologies, including cloning, that threaten the dignity of the human person.

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About the Author

Pope Paul VI led the Catholic Church from 1963 until his death in 1978. The former Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, he succeeded Pope John XXIII and oversaw the Second Vatical Council, bringing it to completion in 1965. In October, 2014, Pope Francis beatified Paul VI, the first step toward his recognition as a saint.

Foreward by Mary Eberstadt
Afterward by James Hitchcock
Postscript by Jennifer Fulwiler


Product Details


• 111 pages
• 5.25 x 8"
• Cover: Paperback

 

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Customer Comments


Great overview of the history and the truth of Humanae Vitae. Pope Paul VI pray for us! Cory Jane - Baraboo, WI
Dr. Smith is so clear on what she is speaking of and made sense of fifty years of controversy in a short period of time. I loved it! Eric - Omaha, NE