Wednesday, July 30, 2008
THE 1968 PAPAL PLEA FOR UNITY ON HV
OTTAWA, July 29, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - During the tumultuous years of the 1960's Pope Paul VI published a controversial encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which addressed the issue of birth control in light of the arrival of the birth control pill.
Today LifeSiteNews.com is publishing a recently unearthed letter which was sent to Bishops with a pre-release copy of the encyclical. The letter, dated July 19, 1968, is signed by the late Amleto Giovanni Cardinal Cicognani, who was then-Secretary of the Vatican Secretariat of State.
The outright defiance of many priests and even bishops to Pope Paul VI's encyclical - which restated and reinforced the Church's long-time opposition to artificial birth control - is even graver in light of the carefully worded letter the bishops received specifically pointing to the urgent need for unity on the matter.
The letter begins: "When directing me to transmit to Your Excellency the enclosed document, publication of which is imminent, His Holiness strongly recommended that I draw your attention to its importance, and to the necessity of a concerted effort on the part of the entire Catholic Episcopate."
In the letter the Pope can be seen to plead for the world's bishops to stand with him on the matter, which is described as "one of the most delicate questions of Catholic morals."
There's more at the website.
We can easily note that the Pope stood relatively along among bishops in his prohibition against artificial birth control.