Cardinal Müller: The Pope has no power to change Humanae Vitae

LifeSiteNews | 3/8/2017 | Staff
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ROME, March 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Pope has no power to change or relax the Church’s ban on artificial contraception, just as he can never allow women to be ordained, Cardinal Gerhard Müller said on Wednesday.

The former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith was speaking at a book launch at the Lateran University in Rome. The launch was hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute and was attended by key Vatican figures.

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His remarks on the infallibility of Humanae Vitae’s teaching were supported by comments made at the same event by Professor Livio Melina, who served as president of the John Paul II Institute in Rome from 2006-2016.

Prof. Melina said that while the Church’s ban on contraception has never been dogmatically defined ex cathedra, nonetheless the teaching “belongs to the universal ordinary magisterium,” and as such is infallible.

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He also called media attempts to recast Karol Wojtyła (St. John Paul II) as a “rigid” traditionalist, in contrast to a “more open” Paul VI, “fake news.”

The new book by Fr. Paweł Stanisław Gałuszka, entitled “Karol Wojtyła and Humanae vitae,” examines the contribution that Karol Wojtyła and the Polish bishops made to the editing and reception of Humanae Vitae when Wojtyła was Archbishop of Krakow. The book contains several never-before-published documents, including a letter that Wojtyła sent to Pope Paul VI in 1969, after numerous episcopates had spoken out critically of Humanae Vitae.

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In the letter to Pope Montini, Wojtyła suggests that the Holy See “contemplate a series of provisions aimed at helping priests and laity” to resolve difficulties arising from “harmful” interpretations of the papal document.

To this end, Wojtyła includes with the letter several detailed proposals for an “instruction addressed to priests engaged in the ministry — above all confessors, catechists and to preachers.”


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