Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Encyclical that Condemned the Sexual Revolution

From TFP:
The context of the encyclical letter was the Sexual Revolution of the mid-sixties. Fashion, literature and the entertainment industry all contributed to an atmosphere where sexual mores were overturned. This was especially seen in Hollywood movies and television shows, the discovery of the contraceptive pill and the advent of the miniskirt.

In May 1968, the outbreak of student riots in most university campuses of the West gave the Sexual Revolution an ideological foundation, unifying and giving meaning to a whole range of disorderly tendencies turned against traditional morals. It was an anarchist ideology mixing Marxism with Freudianism. It denied all order, authority and moral norms. It can best be summarized in the slogan painted on the walls of the University of Paris’ Sorbonne campus: “It is forbidden to forbid.”

At the same time, liberal Catholic circles increasingly called upon the Church to “adapt to the world.” Countless theologians began to contend that the Church should change her perennial morals and forfeit her intransigence in sexual matters by accepting sexual ‘freedom’ and the use of contraceptives.

It was in this climate of contestation that Pope Paul VI, after a seemingly long hesitation, decided to publish his much-awaited encyclical on contraception, Humanae Vitae. To the relief of faithful Catholics and the consternation of liberals, the Pope reaffirmed the Church’s traditional doctrine on the nature of marriage and the sexual act and condemned the use of the pill or any other artificial means of contraception. (Read more.)

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