Prophetic Voice of Paul VI in "Humanae Vitae" Went Unheeded

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BUENOS AIRES, JULY 31, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Pope Paul VI's anticipation of "evil that would follow... contraception," found in his encyclical "Humanae Vitae" 35 years ago, went unheeded, says Archbishop Hector Aguer of La Plata, Argentina.



"He spoke of the weakening of the family, of the ease with which conjugal infidelity would be introduced within the family, of a general degradation of customs and this is, in fact, what has happened," the archbishop said in the program: Keys for a Better World. "He also mentioned how human fragility needs to be reminded of the moral order, to be sustained in the struggle against disordered passions, especially in the case of youth," the archbishop continued.

"And there is something else which from the cultural and political point of view was fundamental: the Pope anticipated the disaster it would mean if the public power, especially when it is not subject to moral exigencies, were to make use of these contraceptive methods to undermine the sources of life," the archbishop said. "This is what has happened in many countries where today there is talk of a demographic winter!"

"I think that, to a large extent, because the Pope's voice was unheeded and because, unfortunately, also within the Church that call did not have the resounding echo it should have had, especially in the case of many priests who have not applied the encyclical's doctrine and, therefore, have deformed the conscience of the faithful," he stressed.

Archbishop Aguer concluded that "the Church is not afraid to seem unpopular. This is a question of recalling fundamental exigencies of the natural order and respect for what God has created and God knows how man should behave to reach his true end, to be fulfilled according to that order of creation and to reach true happiness."