John the Baptist and Humanae Vitae

Crisis Magazine | 6/26/2018 | John M. Grondelski
JimmyJoe (Posted by) Level 3
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2018 is one of those years where June 24 falls on a Sunday and, therefore, one of the rare occasions when the Sunday liturgy is preempted by a Solemnity: the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

2018 is also the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, the papal encyclical that became the lightning rod for much dissent in the Catholic Church on matters of family and sexual ethics. The encyclical will mark its golden anniversary in a month.

Events - Things

The two events have at least three things in common.

Humanae Vitae taught that “each and every marital act must remain open to the transmission of life” (# 11). The Church does not teach that one must want to have children in every sexual act. Nor does it teach that sexual intercourse exists only for procreation.

Question - Attitudes - Book - Renewal - Vatican

What it does teach is a question of “attitudes” or “postures.” In his book on the renewal of the Second Vatican Council, Sources of Renewal, Karol Wojtyla (the future St. John Paul II) speaks about “attitudes” that should mark the Christian, i.e., ways of thinking about what it means to be and live as a Catholic Christian. They’re not “attitudes” in the sense of “opinions” or “feelings.” They are postures or perspectives that ground our way of looking at the world, the frame within which we see the painting.

One of those is our attitude towards creation. Creation means that: (a) God is the Creator; (b) we are creatures; (c) there is a difference between Creator and creature; (d) nonetheless, God invites us to collaborate with him in the work of creation, most preeminently through parenthood and through work; but (e) in collaborating with God, the Creator remains Creator and the creature a creature, the latter in a dependent relationship of loving piety.

Humanae - Vitae - God - Lord

Humanae Vitae does teach that God is the Lord and...
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