Pierangelo Sequeri, president of the John Paul II Institute and one of the most brilliant Italian theologians in the past fifty years, wrote the preface. The book has two parts. The second part is a selection of original documents from the Vatican archives made available to the special commission. Marengo presents some important new facts about the drafting of Humanae vitae. To begin with, an earlier version of the encyclical was approved by Paul VI and scheduled for publication on May 23,
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Paul VI, in October , during the first Synod of Bishops held in the Vatican, had the Cardinal Secretary of State ask for an opinion on contraception in view of the publication of the encyclical. Only 26 of the bishops present produced a written response. Of these, most said they were in favor of some opening to the pill, while 7 were against.
Humanae vitae in the light of the Vatican Archives published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana ; a search in the light of never consulted before documents, which allowed to reconstruct the genesis of the encyclical, its various drafts, the corrections made by Paul VI.
A painstaking work, which clears the field from imaginative reconstructions or assumptions based on individual testimonies that are not always well-balanced. During the First Synod of Bishops in autumn , and precisely on 4 October, Paul VI had Cardinal Jean Villot invite all the Synod Fathers to send him their reflections and suggestions on the theme of birth regulation.
The same would have happened if the thesis claiming that, under certain conditions, the spouses could use the contraceptive pill, had been accepted. Therefore, close to the publication of the encyclical, he had invited the Pope to postpone the decision, expressing his concern and foreseeing disastrous consequences. Two critical elements have been expressed. The paper grasped the limits of the positions of the minority that, taking for granted the authoritative profile of the ecclesial teachings already produced, considered useless any approach to the question that went beyond the mere repetition of the data traditionally present in the doctrinal patrimony of the church.
La famiglia di mia mamma era di Torino. Una copia era sul tavolo, tutti i giorni. Menu Top News. Aggiornato alle - 05 giugno. Argomenti vatican.
'Humanae Vitae' was a rewrite
The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships. The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings. The changes that have taken place are of considerable importance and varied in nature. In the first place there is the rapid increase in population which has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources, with the consequence that many families and developing countries would be faced with greater hardships.
Paul VI ‘agonised over Humanae Vitae’
The text was issued at a Vatican press conference on 29 July. In formulating his teaching he explained why he did not accept the conclusions of the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control established by his predecessor, Pope John XXIII , a commission he himself had expanded. Mainly because of its restatement of the Church's opposition to artificial contraception, the encyclical was politically controversial. It affirmed traditional Church moral teaching on the sanctity of life and the procreative and unitive nature of conjugal relations. It was the last of Paul's seven encyclicals.