In the life of the Catholic Church, the papal encyclical Humanae vitae represents a deepening of understanding regarding the nature of married love and the transmission of life. Despite fifty years (1968-2018) since it’s promulgation, many Catholics have yet to discover the treasure of these rich teachings. This volume therefore seeks to elucidate the encyclical’s reaffirmation of the divine plan. It does this in a unique way by providing essays from experts of various disciplines that include history, theology, science, medicine, law, and governmental policy.
The occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Humanae vitae offers a teaching moment. In this compendium, experts representing a variety of disciplines including history, culture, theology, medicine, law, and psychology present their reflections upon God’s divine plan as described in Humanae vitae. The authors first presented this work in an abbreviated form at a symposium held at The Catholic University of America (April 4-6, 2018). Here, their presentations are substantively developed and hopefully will encourage further scholarly work. Ultimately, their purpose is to help the reader arrive at a more positive understanding of the teachings found in Humanae vitae. Although designed for the educated reader, the essays presume that when the teachings of Humanae vitae are embraced by men and women, they can contribute to the healing of the wounds of a world broken by sin but redeemed by Christ.
"The human and societal devastation that has occurred in these last fifty years since the issuance of St. Paul VI’s landmark encyclical on the regulation of human life, Humanae Vitae, have given many pause for a reassessment of a teaching once despised but more and more proving its timeless wisdom. The present volume is a treasure trove of this wisdom from deep thinkers who provide a variety of perspectives on it. Kudos to The Catholic University of America Press for an invaluable contribution to making this wisdom more readily available to a wider audience."~Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco
" Humanae Vitae, like all prophetic texts, grows with time. This is why we need this book. It sheds on the encyclical a light stemming from 50 years of theological reflection, scientific research, and pastoral practice. What emerges is a horizon of hope: in the unity between the mutual gift of self and the transmission of life, there lies the sure path to follow in the urgent task of humanizing and evangelizing sexual intimacy."~Rev. Jose Granados, DCJM, Vice President of the Pontifical Institute of John Paul II (Rome)
"This is an outstanding compendium, necessary reading for anyone who seeks to think seriously about the Church’s rich teachings on—and the cultural distortions of—love, sexuality, and life. The expert contributors cover new ground, from fresh analyses of H umanae Vitae’s teachings to the latest developments in fertility care to thoughtful explorations of the contraceptive mentality’s impact on relationships, medicine, and even foreign policy. This book shows why, fifty years on, Humanae Vitae is needed now more than ever."~Mary Rice Hasson, Director, Catholic Women’s Forum, Ethics and Public Policy Center