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Humanae Vitae: Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Paul VI Paperback – June 30, 2002

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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (June 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898707285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898707281
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Brad Shorr on May 8, 2006
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With barbarians at the gate (and many, sad to say, inside the gate) clamoring for moral license, Pope Paul VI responded with this famous encyclical reconfirming the Church's position on the regulation of births.

It is a beautiful document that glorifies marriage and will inspire any couple to deeper, fuller spirituality. Anyone who is looking for understanding with regard to marriage, relationships, or sexuality will find much wisdom here.

Pope Paul presents the Catholic case against artificial birth control with precision and sound logic. Eerily, he forsees how easy access to birth control will corrupt man and society:

"Let them consider, first of all, how wide and easy a road would thus be opened to conjugal infidelity and to a general lowering of morality. One does not need much experience to know human weakness and to understand that human beings--especially the young, who are so vulnerable on this point--have need of encouragement to be faithful to the moral law, and must not be offered an easy means to evade its observance." You wonder how things would be if schools taught this point of view instead of sex education that facilitates and reinforces immoral actions ...

"Consider also the dangerous weapon that would thus be placed in the hands of those public authorities who have no concern for the requirements of morality." While China is notorious for forced birth control of its population, you wonder if we are not far behind when schools and other public institutions pass out condoms and our government legislates against life.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on June 18, 2008
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Few teachings of the Church are so challenged as the teaching on artificial birth control. Yet few who malign the Church have made the effort to read this monumental but brief document that explains the beauty that underlies that teaching. Those who would malign would do well to read and understand this great work first. Better to understand than criticize with false assumptions concerning what it contains. It is not, as some contend, an enslavement to blind obedience but an affirmation of the dignity of man. Not a shallow assertion of political sound-bites but real food and real medicine for a wounded human condition. Read it and see the higher calling to which you have been called. Not as mere beasts driven and enslaved by their passions and selfish desires, but as men and women created in the image of God for good works. The brevity of the document and simplicity of the foundational principles it contains make it an easy read. Every Christian, Catholic or Protestant, will find a wealth herein. A must read also for any seeking to understand the later development of the Theology of the Body from Pope John Paul II, the great. Do not presume to understand a Christian view of birth control without first understanding the content of this encyclical. Read it as many times as it takes to grasp the deep beauty and profound significance it contains for our day.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mark Hennicke VINE VOICE on October 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
For the way His Holiness was vilified when this document came out in 1968, Pope Paul VI should be known as Paul the Confessor. He truly suffered for the Church over this encyclical letter. And that is quite a shame, for his teaching in Humanae Vitae has turned out to be prophetic. A must read for anyone interested in life issues today. With the state of much of the world in our time( about 70% of all conceptions in Russia end in abortion) Paul's wisdom is sure help and a much needed path to a more caring and holy world. The sanctity of life is paramount.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James P Pennell LLC on July 30, 2011
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I remember the criticism that met the publication of this Encyclical. The people who considered themselves the most informed, who thought they possessed the keenest minds agreed that Pope Paul VI got it all wrong. How could he be so out of touch with reality?

This 30 page teaching to the Church and to the world could not have been more correct. It presents the truth of Church teaching and it tells us what would happen if the teaching was ignored. Well, the teaching was largely ignored. Guess what? The dire predictions actually came true, we have seen all the evil consequences that were foretold more than two generations ago.

If you want to help save the world, then get this and give it to as many young couples as possible.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ed Kern on June 20, 2012
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Probably no other teaching in the history of the Church has been vilified as Pope Paul VI's encyclical, "Humanae Vitae". Theologians and laity were recommending relaxing the teachings on artificial birth control; and Paul VI caused quite a furor when Humanae Vitae came out. Growing up Protestant, I was well aware of birth control, but as a Catholic, I didn't know what to do. I decided that a real Catholic would take the time to try to understand the Church's teaching, so years ago I read Humanae Vitae, and then I saw the beauty of marital love. Before 1930, ALL churches forbid artificial birth control, citing the "sin of Onan". If people would only take the time to read this encyclical, they, too, would see the beauty of marital love and see how artificial birth control frustrates the will of God and tarnishes the beauty of the marriage act; and they would see why it is a grave sin to introduce something artificial. They would also see how artificial birth control has cheapened human life, which has lead the way to abortion through all nine months of a pregnancy, has opened the door to infanticide and euthanasia. Catholic or Protestant, all should read this short, well written, beautiful encyclical on Human Life. Only then will you understand why.
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