Category Archives: Birth Control
The Bishops Conference of England and Wales released the following statement on the 17th September, 1968, after a seven-hour emergency session held to discuss the fallout from the release of Humanae Vitae:
1. When Pope Paul issued the Encyclical “Humanae Vitae” he asked the bishops to see that his teaching was presented in its true light “that is, to show its positive and beneficent aspect.”
The Encyclical, nevertheless, concerning as it does the source of human life, was bound to arouse strong feelings. Whatever decision the Holy Father made was bound to be a test of faith. Some Catholics were convinced that a change in the moral teaching and practice of the Church was inevitable. Others were just as strongly convinced that any change would be a betrayal of the faith.
Debates at the Vatican Council are no longer secret, but discussions in the Conciliar Commissions remain confidential. It is not yet possible, therefore, to disclose full details of the agenda for the session due to commence in September. But speeches of the Pope and some of the cardinals in Rome make it fairly clear that certain subjects are bound to be debated. It seems likely, for example, that the Council will issue a statement on religious liberty and on the Jews. Decrees on Christian unity will be promulgated. These are eagerly awaited in this country, since they will enable the Hierarchy to draw up rules for the guidance of clergy and laity in ecumenical work.
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