“The #MeToo movement, emotional wreckage, sexual disease and date rape are the realities we’ve inherited from the sexual revolution. Paul VI would not be surprised,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput in a speech Wednesday.
“The Church in Humanae Vitae identified and rejected sexual exploitation of women years before that message entered the cultural mainstream,” said Chaput.
The Archbishop of Philadelphia spoke April 4 on the need to heal the wounds in human sexuality and marriage by embracing God’s vision for love and marriage. He was delivering the opening keynote for a symposium at the Catholic University of America celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of Humanae vitae.
The April 4-6 conference gathers scholars from across the US in Washington, D.C., to discuss the encyclical, from the philosophical underpinnings of the Church’s teaching on contraception to pastoral initiatives with natural family planning.
Chaput pointed out how prescient was Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical on the regulation of birth in its predictions of the societal effects of widespread use of contraception.
Humanae vitae predicted that the pill would contribute to increased objectification of women and conjugal infidelity.
The encyclical also accurately predicted and warned that governments would implement birth control as a form of population control (ten years before China introduced its One Child Policy).
Bl. Paul VI expressed concern that contraception would “mislead human beings into thinking they had unlimited dominion over their own bodies, relentlessly turning the human person into the object of his or her own intrusive power,” said Chaput.
“Much of the moral conflict, broken family life, social unraveling, and gender confusion that seems so common today stems – directly or more subtly – from our disordered attitudes toward creation, and our appetite to master, reshape and even deform nature to our wills. We want the freedom to decide what reality is. And we insist on the power to make it so,” he said.
“Each of his [Paul VI’s] warnings has come true, in ways more tragic than he could imagine,” said Chaput.
He argued firmly against the popular narrative that Christian sexual morality is repressive, pointing out an irony that “beneath all of today’s enlightened talk about liberating human sexual behavior is a contempt for the weakness and inefficiency of the flesh.”
It is contraception that “presupposes that a woman’s body should work like a man’s in order for a woman to flourish and be free,” with its treatment of “her fertility and biological rhythms are problems and weaknesses; in effect, a disease that needs to be managed,” said Chaput.
“And yet it’s the Church – not the pharmaceutical industry with its profits and manufactured infertility, or the doctors who deal with the pill’s collateral health damage, or the abortion industry that cashes in lavishly on the failures of contraception, but the Church – that gets criticized as abnormal and intrusive. Nothing speaks more nakedly to the doublethink we now accept as the rhythm of our daily lives,” he said.
Full story at Catholic News Agency.