POPE PAUL VI:
Humanæ Vitæ
(July 5, 1968)
An encyclical letter on the proper regulation of the propagation of offspring
(de propagatione humanae prolis recte ordinanda)

 


tr. Janet E. Smith (mod.L.Dysinger). Acta Ap. Sed., 60 (1968), 481-503


Documents on Historical Background: Grisez PDF


CONTENTS [Nav.]    PREP. COMISSION

(1-3) Human Hardships and False Rationalizations(4-6) Principles and Studies; (8) CONJUGAL LOVE (9) Three Visions of Conjugal Love  (10) Biology & Conscience;  (11) PRESERVING the MEANING of ACTS [=Natural Law] (12-13) INSEPERABILITY of  PROCREATION and UNION(14) Impermissible Methods and Rationales (15-16) Permissible Means (17) Prophetic Consequences;  (18-22) Divine Law, Self-Mastery, Chastity (23-31) Various Appeals


2-3. Domination/control (moderatio) of nature; 8. Mutual self-giving/communio personarum; 10. self-mastery/dominatio; 12. unitive.procreat.


TO the Venerable Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops  and to all the local Ordinaries,  Who are in peace and communion with the Aposotlic See  to the Clergy and the Christian Faithful of the  whole Catholic realm [totius Catholici Orbis]  and to all men of good will on the proper regulation of the propagation of offspring.

Ad Venerabiles Fratres Patriarchas, Archiepiscopos, Episcopos aliosque locorum Ordinarios, pacem et communionem cum Apostolica Sede habentes, ad Clerum et Christifideles totius Catholici Orbis itemque ad universos bonae volontatis homines datae: de propagatione humanae prolis recte ordinanda.

To Our venerable brothers and beloved sons, Greetings and [Our] apostolic blessing  

Paulus PP. VI Venerabiles Fratres Et Dilecti Filii Salutem Et Apostolicam Benedictionem

ps » cont

 

 


GENUINE HUMAN HARDSHIPS
  and
 FALSE RATIONALIZATIONS
 

 

 

The Transmission Of Life

 

        1. God has entrusted spouses with the extremely important [gravissimum] mission [munus]2 of transmitting human life. In fulfilling this mission spouses  freely and deliberately [consciam] render  a service  to God, the Creator.3 This service has always been a source of great joy, although the joys are, at times, accompanied by not a few difficulties and sufferings.

1. HUMANAE VITAE tradendae munus gravissimum, ex quo coniuges liberam et consciam Deo Creatori tribuunt operam, magnis semper ipsos affecit gaudiis, quae tamen aliquando non paucae difiicultates et angustiae sunt secutae.

Fulfilling this mission  has always raised some difficult questions 4 for the consciences of married couples. Furthermore, in recent times, the evolution of human society has brought with it changes that raise new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions for they concern matters intimately connected with human life and happiness. 

Quod munus sustinere si omni tempore coniugum conscientiae arduas facessivit quaestiones, at recens humanae societatis cursus eiusmodi mutationes invexit, ut novae quaestiones sint exortae, quas Ecclesiae ignorare non liceat, utpote quae cum rebus conectantur, tantopere ad hominum vitam et felicitatem pertinentibus.

 

 

PART ONE  
New Aspects Of The Question
And The Competence Of The Magisterium

I

 

 

        2. The various changes that have taken place [in modern times] are truly of great importance.

2. Re enim vera inductae mutationes et magni momenti et varii generis sunt.

[1] In the first place, there has been a rapid increase in the population, an increase that causes many to fear that the population of the earth will grow faster than its available life-sustaining resources. This [disparity] could result in even greater hardships for many families and for many developing nations.

Agitur in primis de aucto celeriter nato­rum numero, ob quem extimescunt plures, ne mundi hominum multitudines celerius crescant quam vitae opes, quae praesto sint, admittant, atque adeo tot familiae totque populi, ad progressum nitentes, etiam maioribus incommodis exinde angantur.

Public authorities may easily be tempted to fight the danger by rather severe methods. 

Qua ex re ita sollicitari publicae Auctoritates facile possint, ut huiusmodi periculum vel maioribus rationibus propulsare velint. 

[2] Moreover, contemporary conditions of work and housing, as well as the increased expenses involved in providing for, raising, and educating children, often make it burdensome to support a large family adequately.

Accedit quod, non tantum operarum et habi­tationum condiciones, sed etiam increbrescentes necessitates sive in re oeconomica sive in erudienda docendaque iuventute id genus vitae statum praestant, in quo saepe onerosum sit hodie grandiori liberorum numero apte consulere.

[3] It must also be noted that there have been changes in how we view the person of woman and how we view her role [munere] in society; indeed there have even been changes in the value we place on conjugal love and on how we understand the meaning of acts of sexual intercourse [actibus coniugum]5 in light of this love.

Id quoque notatur, quodammodo mutatum esse sensum, praeterquam de mulieris persona deque eius munere in homi­num societate, etiam de amoris coniugum pretio in matrimo­nio, deque actibus coniugum iudicandis, si hunc amorem spectemus.

[4] Finally, and above all, it must be noted that because Man has made such remarkable progress in controlling  [moderandis] the forces of nature and in rationally organizing them, he also strives to extend this control [moderationem] to the whole of his life: that is, to his body, to the powers of his mind [ad sui animi vires], to his social life, and even to the laws that regulate the propagation of life.

Denique illud praesertim animadvertendum est, hominem tam mirifice profecisse in naturae viribus cum moderandis tum ad rationem scite componendis, ut hanc moderationem ad totam suam vitam proferre conetur : hoe est, ad suum corpus, ad sui animi vires, ad vitam socialem, ad ipsasque leges propagationem vitae regentes.

   3. This state of affairs gives rise to new questions. [Some ask:] Given the conditions of life today and given the importance of marital intercourse for marital harmony and fidelity, is it not appropriate to reconsider [recognoscere] 6 the moral norms that have obtained up to now? Is not a reconsideration especially appropriate if it is believed that these norms cannot be observed without serious sacrifices [gravia incommoda], sometimes heroic sacrifices?7

3. Ex quo rerum statu novae se erumpunt quaestiones. An, ratione habita sive vitae condicionum, quae nunc sunt, sive significationis, quam maritales amplexus quoad concordiam mutuamque fidelitatem coniugum habent, normas morales, quae hodie obtinent, recognoscere non conveniat, si praeser­tim reputetur, eas nonnisi per gravia incommoda, aliquando fortissimis viris digna, servari posse.

     Or, is it not possible to apply the so-called “principle of totality” to this problem? Would it not be possible to use this principle to justify using one’s reason to reduce one’s fertility? Would not an act that causes sterility become a licit and prudent way to limit [control-moderatio] one’s family size? That is, would it not clearly be right to consider the goal [finem] of having children to pertain more to the whole of married life than to each and every act of [sexual intercourse]? And, again, given the fact that moderns have an increased sense of their responsibilities, [they ask] if it is not right for them to entrust the mission [munus] of transmitting life more to their reason and will, than to the biological rhythms [certis . . . vicibus] of their bodies?

     An praeterea, principio totalitatis, quod appellant, in hac re adhibito, non liceat arbitrari consilium fecunditatis minus uberis, sed magis rationi consentaneae, posse actum, physice sterilitatem afferentem, in licitam providamque gignendae prolis moderationem vertere. An videlicet fas non sit opinari finem procreandae prolis potius ad totam coniugum vitam, quam ad singulos quosque eius actus pertinere. Quaerunt insuper num, ob suorum officiorum conscientiam, qua hodie magis homines fruuntur, tempus iam ipsos advenerit, quo tradendae vitae munus potius rationi et volunteti suae, quam certis sui corporis vicibus, sit tribuendum.

 (04-06) Principles » cont

 

 


PRINCIPLES and STUDIES
 

 

 

        4. Certainly, questions of this kind require that the Magisterium of the Church give new and deeper consideration to the principles of the moral teaching concerning marriage -- a teaching that is rooted in natural law, illuminated and made richer by divine revelation.

4. Cuius certe generis quaestiones ab Ecclesiae Magisterio novam eamque altiorem considerationem postulabant circa principia moralis doctrinae de metrimonio, quae in lege naturali, divina Revelatione illustrata ditataque, nititur.

Let no one of the faithful deny that the Magisterium of the Church is competent to interpret the natural moral law. For it is indisputable -- as Our predecessors have often declared 8 -- that when Jesus Christ imparted His divine authority [potestatis] to Peter and the other Apostles and sent them to all nations to teach His commandments,9 He established those very men as authentic guardians and interpreters of the whole moral law,

that is, not only of the [moral] law of the Gospel,

but also of natural [moral] law.

For natural law, [as well as revealed law], declares the will of God; [thus] faithful compliance [fidelis obtemperatio]10 with natural law is necessary for eternal salvation.11

Nemo sane christifidelium eat infitias, ad Ecclesiae Magisterium interpretation em legis moralis naturalis spectare. Haud namque dubium est - ut saepenumero Decessores Nostri pronuntiaverunt 1 - Christum Iesum, cum Petrum ceterosque Apostolos divinae potestatis suae participavisset, eosque ad omnes genies praeceptis suis docendas misisset, illos ipsos totius de moribus legis certos custodes interpretesque instituisse :

 hoc est, non solius legis evangelicae,

 sed etiam naturalis.

Nam naturalis quoque lex voluntatem Dei declarat, cuius utique fidelis obtemperatio ad aeternam salutem est hominibus necessaria.3

Moreover, the Church has always been faithful in fulfilling this command. In recent times, She has more amply provided an integrated teaching [congrua documenta]12 on the nature of marriage, on the moral use of conjugal rights, and on the duties of the spouses.13

Hoc autem mandatum Ecclesia persecuta, omni tempore, sed recentiore aetate copiosius, sive de metrimonii natura, sive de recto coniugum iurium usu, sive de ipsorum officiis congrua dedit documenta.4

   

Special Studies  

 

        5. Conscious of Our responsibility [muneris] in this regard, We approved and enlarged the commission established by Our venerable predecessor John XXIII in March of 1963. In addition to many experts in the relevant disciplines, the commission also included married couples. The commission was to consider opinions and views concerning married life and, in particular, [it was to reflect upon] the legitimate means of controlling family size [rectem progignendae prolis temperationem].14 It was to report the results in due time to the Magisterium so that it could provide a fitting response to the faithful and to people worldwide who were awaiting an answer.15

5. Efusdem vero muneris conscientia ducti, Coetum, a De­cessore Nostro ven. rec. Ioanne XXIII mense Martio anni MDCCCCLXIII constitutum, probavimus atque amplificavimus, qui praeter multos viros, disciplinarum ad hanc rem attinen­tium studiosos, paria etiam coniugum complectebatur. Hic autem Coetus non eo solum spectabat, ut consilia sententias­que exquireret circa quaestiones, vitam coniugalem in primis­que rectam progignendae prolis temperationem attingentes, sed exquisita insuper opportune referret, ut Ecclesiae Magi­sterium exspectationi, qua de hac re et christifideles et ceteri mundi homines tenerentur, apte responderet.”

The investigation of the experts and the opinions and advice from Our confreres in the Episcopate -- some spontaneously offered and some solicited by Us -- enabled Us to consider very thoroughly all aspects of this complex subject. For which reason We offer Our most sincere thanks to all.

Quibus peritorum investigationibus acceptis, atque senten­tiis consiliisque a non paucis Fratribus Nostris in Episco­patu partim ad Nos sponte missis, partim a Nobfs rogatis, licuit Nobis omnes multiplicis argumenti partes diligentius perpendere. Quam ob causam universis gratissimum animum Nostrum profitemur.

        6. We could not, however, consider the conclusions of the commission in themselves as carrying the force of a certain and definite judgment; nor could their judgment relieve Us of Our duty [officium] of deciding a question of such great importance through Our own consideration. There were several reasons why this was necessary. First, there was no full consensus within the commission concerning what moral norms ought to be proposed. And even more importantly, certain methods and criteria [viae rationesque] were used in answering the question which departed [discedentes] from the firm and constant teaching of the Magisterium on what is moral within marriage.

6. Attamen conclusiones, ad quas Coetus pervenerat, a Nobis tales existimari non poterant, quae vim iudicii certi ac definiti prae se ferrent, quaeque Nos officio liberarent, tam gravis momenti quaestionem per Nosmetipsos consideratione expendendi; his vel etiam de causfs, quod in Coetu plena sententiarum consensio de normfs moralibus proponendis afuerat, quodque praesertim quaedam quaestionis dissolvendae viae rationesque exstiterant, a doctrfna morali de matrfmonio, a Magisterio Ecclesiae firma conscantia proposita, discedentes.

We have carefully evaluated the findings sent to Us and most thoroughly considered this matter. Now, after assiduous prayer, We think it right, through the power given to Us by Christ, to give an answer to these weighty questions.

Quare, actis ad nos missis accurate expensis, re diligentis­sime mente animoque excussa, assiduisque Deo admotis pre­cibus, vi mandati, Nobis a Christo commissi, nunc gravibus huius generis quaestionibus responsum’dare censemus.

 

 

PART TWO  
Doctrinal Principles: A total vision of Man New

II

 

 

        7. The question of having children,16 like other questions regarding human life, cannot be addressed adequately by examining it in a piecemeal way, that is, by looking at it through the perspectives of biology, psychology, demography and sociology. Rather, [the question] must be addressed in such a way that the whole Man and the whole mission [munus] to which he has been called will be taken into account, for this [mission] pertains not only to his natural and earthly existence but also to his supernatural and eternal existence.

7. De propaganda prole quaestio, non secus atque quaelibet quaestio humanam vitam attingens, ultra particulares alias eiusdem generis rationes - cuiusmodi eae sunt, quae biologicae aut psychologicae, demographicae aut sociologicae appellantur - ita circumspicienda est, ut totum hominem, totumque, ad quod is voeatus est, munus complectatur, quod non tantum ad naturalia et terrena, sed etiam ad supernatu­ralia et aeterna pertinet.

        Many who attempt to defend artificial ways of limiting the number of children17 give as their reason the demands of conjugal love or their duty to responsible parenthood [paternitatis sui officii consciae]. [Therefore] it is necessary to provide a precise definition and explanation of these two important [gravia] elements of married life. As We undertake to do this, We will keep foremost in Our minds what was taught about this matter with the highest authority in The Church in the Modern World [Gaudium et Spes], the pastoral constitution recently issued by the Second Vatican Council.

Quoniamque, qui multi artificiosas vias defendere conantur, quibus liberorum numerus coercea­tur, iidem sive coniugalis amoris, sive paternitatis sui officii consciae requisita praetexunt, necesse idcirco est, duo haec gravia vitae matrimonialis elementa accurate definire atque illustrare. Quod sane facturi sumus, ea praecipue in memoriam redigentes, quae recens hac de re Concilium Vaticanum II, Constitutione pastorali edita a verbis Gaudium et spes inci­piente, summa auctoritate exposuit.

Conjugal Love

 

        8. Truly, conjugal love most clearly manifests to us its true nature and nobility when we recognize that it has its origin in the highest source, as it were, in God, Who “is Love18 and Who is the Father, “from whom all parenthood [paternitas] in heaven and earth receives its name.”19

8. Iamvero coniugalis amor tune nobis maxime veram suam naturam nobilitatemque ostendet, si illum, quasi a supremo quodam fonte, a Deo manare cogitaverimus, qui Caritas est, quique Pater est, ex quo omnis paternitas in caelis et in terra nominatur.

It is false to think, then, that marriage results from chance or from the blind course [cursu] of natural forces. Rather, God the Creator wisely and providently established marriage with the intent that He might achieve His own design of love through Men. Therefore, Tantum igitur abest, ut matrimonium e casu quodam vel e caeeo naturalium virium cursu nascatur, ut reapse illud sa­pienter providenterque Creator Deus ea mente instituerit, ut in hominibus suum amoris consilium efficeret.

through mutual self-giving, which is unique [propriam] and exclusive to them,

Quocirca per mutuam sui donationem, quae ipsorum propria est et exclusoria,

spouses seek a communion of persons [personarum communionem].

coniuges illam persequuntur personarum communionem,

Through this communion, the spouses perfect each other

qua se invicem perficiant,

so that they might share with God the task [operam socient]20 of procreating and educating new living beings.

ut ad novorum viventium procreationem et educationem cum Deo operam socient.

Moreover, for the baptized, matrimony is endowed with such dignity that it is a sacramental sign of grace representing the union of Christ and His Church.

Sacro autem baptismate ablutis, matrimonium eiusmodi praeditum est dignitate, ut gratiae sacramentale signum exsistat, cum Christi et Ecclesiae coniunctionem designet.

 (09) 3 Visions of Love » cont  

 


FOUR VISIONS of CONJUGAL LOVE
 

 

 

Characteristics of Conjugal Love

 

        9. When these matters are placed in the proper light, we can clearly see the characteristic marks and requirements of conjugal love. It is of the greatest importance to have an exact understanding of these.

9. Quibus rebus in sua luce positis, perspicue et notae et necessitates coniugalis amoris propriae patent, quas maximi est ponderis iustis aestimare momentis.

    (1) First of all, [this] love is human and therefore both of the senses and of the spirit. For which reason, it is a product not only of natural instinct and inclinations [affectuum], but it also and primarily involves an act of free will. Through this act of free will, [the spouses resolve] that their love will not only persevere through daily joys and sorrows, but will also increase. Therefore it is especially important that they become one in heart and soul, and that they obtain together their human perfection.

Est ante omnia amor plane humanus, hoe est sensibilis et spiritualis. Quare non agitur solum de mero vel naturae vel affectuum impetu, sed etiam ac praesertim de liberae volunta­tis actu, eo scilicet tendente, ut per cotidianae vitae gaudia et dolores non modo perseveret, sed praeterea augeatur; ita nimi­rum ut coniuges veluti cor unum et anima una fiant, suamque humanam perfectionem una simul adipiscantur.

     (2) Next, this love is total [pleno]; that is, it is a very special form of personal friendship whereby the spouses generously share everything with each other without undue reservations and without concern for their selfish convenience. One who truly loves his spouse, not only loves her for what he receives from her, but also loves her for her own sake. This he does joyfully, as he enriches [his beloved] with the gift of himself.21

Agit rr deinde de amore pleno, id est de peculiari illa personalis amicitiae forma, in qua coniuges omnia magno animo inter se partiuntur, neque iniustas exceptiones admittunt, vel suis dumtaxat commodis student. Qui coniugem suum re vera amat, eum profecto non tantum ob id quod ab eo accipit, sed propter eurn ipsum amat; idque libens facit, tit eum dono sui ditet.

     (3) Furthermore, conjugal love is both faithful and exclusive to the end of life. Such, in fact, do the bride and groom conceive it to be on the day of their marriage, when they freely and consciously [planeque conscii] unite themselves by means of the marital bond [matrimoniali se vinculo devinxerunt]. Even if fidelity at times presents difficulties, let no one deny that it is possible; [rather] fidelity is always noble and of much merit. The example of many spouses throughout the ages has proven that fidelity is in accord with the very nature of marriage; even more, it has proven that intimate and lasting happiness flow from fidelity, just as from a fountain.

Ad hoc, coniugalis amor et fidelis et exclusorius est, usque ad vitae extremum; qualem scilicet sponsus et sponsa eo die cogitatione comprehenderunt, quo liberi planeque conscii ma­trimoniali se vinculo devinxerunt. Quae coniugum fidelitas etsi interdum habeat difficultates, nemini tamen asseverare licet, ea,m non esse possibilem, cum contra quovis tempore nobilis sit meritisque uber. Posita enim volventibus saeculis a tot coniugibus exempla non tantum probant, eam esse ma­trimonii naturae corn sentaneam, sed insuper ex ea, veluti e fonte, intimam diuturnamque felicitatem fluere.

     (4) And finally, this love is fruitful, since the whole of the love is not contained in the communion of the spouses, but it also looks beyond itself and seeks to raise up new lives. “Marriage and conjugal love are ordained [ordinantur] by their very nature [indole sua] to the procreating and educating of children. Offspring are clearly the supreme gift [donum] of marriage, a gift which contributes immensely to the good of the parents themselves.”22

Hie denique amor lecundus est, quippe qui non totus in  coniugum communione contineatur, sed eo etiam spectet ut pergat, novasque exsuscitet vitas. Matrimonium et amor coniugalis indole sua ad prolem procreandam et educandam ordi­nantur. Filii sane sunt praestantissimum matrimonii donum, et ad ipsorum parentum bonum maxime conferunt.

10) Biology and Conscience  » cont  

 


FOUR VISIONS of CONJUGAL LOVE
 

 

 

Responsible parenthood

 

        10. For the above reasons, conjugal love requires that spouses be fully aware of their mission [munus] of responsible parenthood [paternitatem consciam]. Today’s society justly calls for responsible parenthood; thus it is important that it be rightly understood. Consequently, we must consider the various legitimate and interconnected dimensions [rationibus] of parenthood.

10. Quas ob causas amor coniugum ab ipsis exigit, ut munus suum probe noverint, paternitatem consciam attingens, quae, cum hodie optimo iure tantopere urgeatur, est idcirco recte intellegenda. Quapropter variis legitimisque rationibus inter se conexis ea consideretur oportet.

   [1] If we consider biological processes first, responsible parenthood [paternitas conscia] means that one knows and honors [observantiam] the responsibilities [munerum] involved in these processes.23 Human reason has discovered that there are biological laws in the power of procreating life that pertain to the human person.24

Si primum biologicas processus reputamus, paternitas con­scia significat cognitionem et observantiam munerum, ad eos attinentium ; quoniam humana ratio in facultate vitae procreandae biologicas deprehendit leges, quae ad humanam personam pertinent.’

   [2] If then we look to the innate impulses and inclinations of the soul, responsible parenthood asserts that it is necessary that reason and will exercise mastery [dominatio] over these impulses and inclinations of the soul.

Si deinde ad impulsus innatos et ad animi affectus spectamus, paternitas conscia necessariam declarat dominationem, quam ratio et voluntas in eosdem exerceant necesse est.

    [3] If we look further to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by[:]

 (1) those who, guided by prudent consideration and generosity, elect to accept many children.

 (2) Those are also to be considered responsible, who, for serious reasons [seriis causis] and with due respect for moral precepts, decide not to have another child either for a definite or an indefinite amount of time.

Si postea ad condiciones physicas, oeconomicas, psycholo­gicas et sociales respicimus, ii paternitate conscia fungi dicendi sunt, qui aut,

prudenti consideratione magnoque animo ducti, statuunt numerosiores suscipere liberos,

aut, seriis causis moralibusque praeceptis observatis, animum inducunt ut, vel ad certum vel ad incertum tempus, alium filium non gignant.

    [4] The responsible parenthood of which we speak here has an another intrinsic foundation [intimam rationem]25 of utmost importance: it is rooted in the objective moral order established by God -- and only an upright conscience can be a true interpreter of this order. For which reason, the mission [munus] of responsible parenthood requires that spouses recognize their duties [officia] towards God, towards themselves, towards the family, and towards human society, as they maintain a correct set of priorities.26

Porro ea, de qua loquimur, conscia paternitas praecipue aliam eamque intimam secum fert rationem, pertinentem ad ordinem moralem, quem obiectivum vocant, a Deoque statu­tum, cuius recta conscientia est vera interpres. Quapropter paternitatis consciae munus id postulat, ut coniuges sua officia erga Deum, erga seipsos, erga familiam, erga humanam socie­tatem agnoscant, rerum bonorumque ordine recte servato.  

For this reason, in regard to the mission [munere] of transmitting human life, it is not right for spouses to act in accord their own arbitrary judgment [arbitratu suo], as if it were permissible for them to define altogether subjectively and willfully [modo ominino proprio ac libero] what is right for them to do. On the contrary, they must accommodate their behavior to the plan of God the Creator, a plan made manifest both by the very nature of marriage and its acts and also by the constant teaching of the Church.27

Ex quo fit, ut in tradendae vitae munere iis integrum non sit, se arbitratu suo gerere, quasi ipsis liceat vias honestas, quas sequantur, modo omnino proprio ac libero definire; cum, contra, opera sua ad consilium Dei Creatoris accommodare te­neantur, quod hinc ipsa matrimonii eiusque actuum natura exprimit, hinc constans Ecclesiae doctrina declarat.l°

11) Preserving Meaning of Acts [Natural Law] » cont  

 


LIVING LIFE SO THAT THE  MEANING
 of 
ACTS is PRESERVED
[= NATURAL LAW!]
 

 

 

        11. The conjugal acts by which spouses intimately and chastely unite [copulantur], and by which human life is transmitted, are, as the recent Council reiterated, “good and worthy of human dignity.”28 11. Hi actus, quibus coniuges intime et caste copulantur, et per quos vita humana propagatur, quemadmodum recens Concilium admonuit, honesti ac digni sunt; 11
    Conjugal acts do not cease being legitimate if the spouses are aware that they are infertile for reasons not voluntarily caused by them; these acts remain ordained [destinatio] to expressing and strengthening the union of the spouses. Indeed, as experience shows, new life does not arise from each and every act of conjugal union. God has wisely arranged the natural laws and times of fertility so that successive births are naturally spaced  iidemque legitimi esse non desinunt, etsi infecundi praevideantur propter causas a coniugum voluntate nequaquam manantes, cum non cesset eorum destinatio ad coniugum coniunctionem significandam roborandamque. Revera, ut usu noscitur, non ex una­quaque coniugali congressione nova exoritur vita. Deus enim naturales leges ac tempora fecunditatis ita sapienter disposuit, ut eadem iam per se ipsa generationes subsequentes intervallent
But the Church, which interprets natural law through its unchanging doctrine, reminds men and women that the teachings based on natural law must be obeyed [observandis], and teaches that it is necessary that each and every conjugal act [matrimonii usus] remain ordained in itself [per se destinatus] to the procreating of human life.29 30 Verumtamen Ecclesia, dum homines commonet de observandis praeceptis legis naturalis, quam constanti sua doctrina interpretatur, id docet necessarium esse, ut quilibet matrimonii usus ad vitam humanam procreandam per se destinatus permaneat.12
(12-13) INSEPERABILITY of PROCREATIVE and UNITIVE MEANINGS» cont  

 


INSEPERABILITY of PROCREATIVE and UNITIVE MEANINGS
 

 

 

        12. The doctrine that the Magisterium of the Church has often explained is this: there is an unbreakable connection [nexu indissolubili] between:

[1] the UNITIVE meaning and

[2] the PROCREATIVE meaning [of the conjugal act],

and both are inherent in the conjugal act. 

12. Huiusmodi doctrina, quae ab Ecclesiae Magisterio saepe exposita est, in nexu indissolubili nititur, a Deo statuto, quem homini sua sponte infringere non licet, inter

[1] significationem unitatis et 

[2] significationem procreationis, 

quae ambae in actu coniugali insunt.

This connection was established by God and Man is not permitted to break it through his own volition.

Therefore, because of its intrinsic nature, [intimam rationem],31 the conjugal act, which unites husband and wife with the closest of bonds, also makes them capable of bringing forth new life according to the laws written into their very natures as male and female. And if both essential meanings [ratio] are preserved, that of union and procreation, the conjugal act fully maintains its capacity for [fostering] true mutual love and its ordination to the highest mission [munus] of parenthood, to which Man is called. Men of our time, we think, are especially able to understand that this teaching is in accord with human reason. 

Etenim propter intimam suam rationem, coniugii actus, dum maritum et uxorem artissimo sociat vinculo, eos idoneos etiam facit ad novam vitam gignendam, secundum leges in ipsa viri et mulieris natura inscriptas. Quodsi utraque eius­modi essentialis ratio, unitatis videlicet et procreationis, ser­vatur, usus matrimonii sensum mutui verique amoris suumque ordinem ad celsissimum paternitatis munus omnino retinet, ad quod homo vocatur. Putamus nostrae aetatis homines aptissimos esse ad perspiciendum, quam haec doctrina sit humanae rationi consentanea.

Faithfulness to the design of God

 

        13. People rightly understand that a conjugal act imposed on a spouse, with no consideration given to the condition of the spouse or to the legitimate desires of the spouse, is not a true act of love. They understand that such an act opposes what the moral order rightly requires from spouses.

13. Homines enim merito animadvertunt, usum matrimo­nii alteri coniugi impositum, nulla ratione habita eius status eiusque iustorum optatorum, non esse verum actum amoris, atque adeo iis adversari rebus, quas circa necessitudines inter coniuges moralis recte postulat ordo.

To be consistent, then, if they reflect further, they should acknowledge that it is necessarily true that an act of mutual love which impairs the capacity of bringing forth life contradicts both the divine plan which established the nature [normam] of the conjugal bond and also the will of the first Author of human life. For this capacity of bringing forth life was designed by God, the Creator of All according to [His] specific laws.

Pariter, si rem conside­rent, fateantur oportet, actum amoris mutui, qui facultati vi­tam propagandi detrimento sit, quam Deus omnium Creator secundum peculiares leges in ea insculpsit, refragari tum divino consilio, ad cuius normam coniugium constitutum est, tum voluntati primi vitae humanae Auctoris.

        Thus, anyone who uses God’s gift [of conjugal love] and cancels, if only in part, the significance and the purpose [finem] of this gift, is rebelling [repugnat] against either the male or female nature and against their most intimate relationship [intimae necessitudini], and for this reason, then, he is defying the plan and holy will of God. On the other hand, the one who uses the gift of conjugal love in accord with the laws of generation, acknowledges that he is not the lord of the sources of life, but rather the minister [ministerium] of a plan initiated by the Creator.

Quapropter cum quis dono Dei utitur, tollens, licet solum ex parte, significa­tionem et finem doni ipsius, sive viri sive mulieris naturae repugnat eorumque intimae necessitudini, ac propterea etiam Dei consilio sanctaeque eius voluntati obnititur. Qui vero amoris coniugalis dono fruitur, leges conservans generationis, is non quidem dominum se confitetur fontium vitae, sed potius mini­strum consilii a Creatore initi.

In fact, Man does not have unlimited power over his own body in general. So, too, for good reason, he clearly does not have power over his generative faculties as such [genitalium virium], for they by their very nature are directed to bringing forth human life, and God is the source of human life. Indeed, “Human life must be recognized as sacred by all Men” as Our Predecessor John XXIII declared, “indeed, from its very beginning it requires the creative action of God.”32

Sicut enim homo, in universum, corporis sui non habet infinitam potestatem, ita etiam, et sane peculiari ratione, ne genitalium quidem virium qua talium, quoniam hae suapte natura ad vitam humanam progignendam spectant, cuius Deus principium est. Etenim hominum vita pro sacra re est omnibus ducenda - commonebat Decessor No­ster f. r. Ioannes XXIII - quippe quae, inde a suo exordio, Creatoris actionem Dei postulet.

(14) » cont  

 


IMPERMISSIBLE METHODS
  and 
RATIONALES
 

 

 

       

        14. Thus, relying upon these first principles of human and Christian doctrine concerning marriage,33 we must again insist [edicere] that

14. Quare primariis hisce principiis humanae et christianae doctrinae de matrimonio nixi, iterum debemus edicere,

[1] the direct interruption of the generative process already begun must be totally rejected as a legitimate means of regulating [temperandi] the number of children. 

omnino respuendam esse, ut legitimum modum numeri libero­rum temperandi, directam generationis iam coeptae interruptionem, 

Especially to be rejected is direct abortion -- even if done for the reasons of health.34

ac praesertim abortum directum, quamvis curationis causa factum.14

[2] Furthermore, as the Magisterium of the Church has taught repeatedly, direct sterilization of the male or female, whether permanent or temporary, is equally to be condemned.35

Pariter, sicut Ecclesiae Magisterium pluries docuit, dam­nandum est seu viros seu mulieres directo sterilitate, vel per­petuo vel ad tempus, afficere.15

[3] Similarly there must be a rejection of all acts that attempt to impede procreation,36 both those chosen as means to an end and those chosen as ends. This includes acts that precede intercourse, acts that accompany intercourse, and acts that are directed to the natural consequences of intercourse.37

Item quivis respuendus est actus, qui, cum coniugale com­mercium vel praevidetur vel efficitur vel ad suos naturales exitus ducit, id tamquam finem obtinendum aut viam adhiben­dam intendat, ut procreatio impediatur.’I

 


MORAL RATIONALES -
FALSE  and  LEGITIMATE 
 

 

 

Nor is it possible to justify deliberately depriving conjugal acts of their fertility by claiming that one is choosing the lesser evil. It cannot be claimed that these acts deprived of fertility should be considered together as a whole with past and future fertile acts and thus that they [should be judged] to share in one and the same moral goodness of the fertile acts [of marriage]. Neque vero, ad eos coniugales actus comprobandos ex indu­stria fecunditate privatos, haec argumenta ut valida afferre licet : nempe, id malum eligendum esse, quod minus grave videatur; insuper eosdem actus in unum quoddam coalescere cum actibus fecundis iam antea positis vel postea ponendis, atque adeo horum unam atque parem moralem bonitatem participare.
Certainly, it is sometimes permissible to tolerate moral evil -- when it is the lesser evil and when one does so in order that one might avoid a greater evil, or so that one might promote a greater good.38 It is never permissible, however, to do evil so that good might result,39 not even for the most serious reasons. Verum enimvero, si malum morale tolerare, quod minus grave sit, interdum licet, ut aliquod maius vitetur malum vel aliquod praestantius bonum promoveatur,l’ numquam tamen licet, ne ob gravissimas quidem causas, facere mala ut eveniant bona:
That is, one should never willingly choose to do an act that by its very nature violates the moral order [ex propria natura moralem ordinem transgrediatur], for such acts are unworthy of Man for this very reason. videlicet in id voluntatem conferre, quod ex piopria natura moralem ordinem transgrediatur, atque idcirco homine indignum sit iudicandum,

   This is so even if one has acted with the intent to defend and advance some good either for individuals, or for families or for society. Thus, it is a serious error to think that a conjugal act, deprived deliberately [ex industria] of its fertility, and which consequently is intrinsically wrong [intrinsece inhonestum], can be justified by being grouped together with the fertile acts of the whole of the marriage.

 quamvis eo consilio fiat,  ut singulorum hominum, domesticorum convictuum, aut humanae societatis bona defendantur vel provehantur. Quapropter erret omnino, qui arbitretur coniugalem actum, sua fecunditate ex industria destitutum, ideoque intrinsece inhonestum, fecundis totius coniugum vitae congressionibus comprobari posse.

(15-16) » cont

 

 


PERMISSIBLE MEANS
 

 

 

   

UNINTENDED STERILITY is PERMISSIBLE

 
        15. The Church, moreover, does allow the use of medical treatment necessary for curing diseases of the body although this treatment may thwart one’s ability to procreate 15. Ecclesia autem illas medendi rationes haud illicitas existimat, quae ad morbos corporis curandos necessariae sunt, etiamsi exinde oriatur procreationis impedimentum,

   Such treatment is permissible even if the reduction of fertility is foreseen, as long as the infertility is not directly intended for any reason whatsoever.40,41

icet praevisum, dummodo Tie hoe impedimentum ob quamlibet rationem directo intendatur.”

THE MORALITY of RECOURSE
to the
INFERTILE PERIOD

 

   

 

        16. Nevertheless, there are some in our times who oppose the teaching of the Church concerning conjugal morality, as we noted above (HV 3). [They claim] that it is the right and function [munus] of human reason to restrain the irrational forces of nature and to direct them to achieving ends which are beneficial to Man. Now some may ask: in the present day, isn’t it reasonable to use artificial birth control in many circumstances? Suppose family peace and harmony might better be achieved, and better provisions might be made for educating the children already born?

16. Attamen, contra huiusmodi Ecclesiae doctrinam de co­niugii moribus dirigendis, quidam nostris temporibus oppo­nunt, ut supra animadvertimus (n. 3), rationi humanae ius ac munus esse, eas, quas irrationalis natura ipsi praebuerit, vires temperare easque referre ad assequendum finem hominis bono convenientem. Nunc enim nonnulli quaerunt : ad rein quod attinet, nonne rationi consentaneum est, in tot rerum adiunctis prolis generationem artificiose temperare, si hoc agen­di modo familiae tranquillitati atque concordiae melius con­sulatur, et filiorum, qui iam nati sint, educandorum magis idoneae condiciones parentur?

     This question deserves a clear answer: the Church, of course, is the first to praise and commend the use of the human intellect in an endeavor which allies Man, rational creature that he is, so closely with his Creator. But the Church affirms that this must be done in accord with the order of reality [rerum ordine] established by God.

Huic quaestioni clare respon­dere oportet : scilicet Ecclesiam ante omnes primam esse in laudando atque commendando humani intellectus usu in opere, quod hominem, ratione praeditum, tam arte cum Crea­tore suo consociat; at ipsam affirmare, id peragendum esse, servato rerum ordine a Deo statuto.

     Certainly, there may be serious reasons for spacing offspring;42 these may be based:
     
[1] on the physical
     
[2] or psychological condition of the spouses,
     
[3] or may be based on external factors.
The Church teaches that [in such cases] it is morally permissible [for spouses] to calculate [their fertility by observing the] natural rhythms inherent in the generative faculties and to reserve marital intercourse for infertile times. Thus spouses are able to plan their families without violating the moral teachings set forth above.43

Si igitur iustae adsint causae generationes subsequentes intervallandi, quae a coniugum corporis vel animi condicionibus, aut ab externis rerum adiunctis proficiscantur, Eeclesia docet, tune licere coniugibus sequi vices naturales, generandi facultatibus immanentes, in maritali commercio habendo iis dumtaxat temporibus, quae conceptione vacent, atque adeo nasciturae proli ita consulere, ut morum doctrina, quam modo exposuimus, haudquaquam laedatur.2°

It cannot be denied that the spouses in each case have, for defensible reasons [probabiles rationes], made a mutual and firm decision to avoid having a child; and [it cannot be denied] that each of them is attempting to ensure that a child will not be born. Nevertheless, it must also be acknowledged that only in the first case are the spouses strong enough to abstain from sexual intercourse during the fertile times, when, for good reasons [iustae rationes], offspring are not desired. And then, when the time is not apt for conception, they make use of intercourse for the sake of manifesting their mutual love and for the sake of maintaining their promised fidelity. Clearly when they do this, they offer a witness to truly and completely upright [recti] love.

Si infitiandum non est, coniuges in utroque casu mutua certaque consensione prolem ob probabiles rationes vitare velle, atque pro explorato habere liberos minime esse nascituros, attamen fatendum pariter est, in priore tantum casu fieri, ut ipsi coniuges se a maritali amplexu temporibus fecunditatem invehentibus abstinere valeant, quotiescumque ob iustas rationes liberorum procreatio optanda non sit; cum autem tempora conceptibus non apta redierint, fieri ut ipsi utantur commercio ad mutuum testandum amorem atque ad promissam sibi fidem servan­dam. lidem sane, haec agentes, vere et omnino recti amoris testimonium praebent.

The Church is not inconsistent when it teaches both that it is morally permissible for spouses to have recourse to infertile periods and also that all directly contraceptive practices are morally wrong, even if spouses seem to have good and serious reasons for using these. These two situations are essentially different. In the first, the spouses legitimately use a faculty that is given by nature; in the second case, the spouses impede the order of generation [ordo generationis] from completing its own natural processes.44

Ecclesia sibi suaeque doctrinae constat, sive cum iudicat, coniugibus licere rationem habere temporum, quae fecundi­tate careant, sive cum usum earum rerum ut semper illicitum improbat, quae conceptioni directo officiant, etiamsi haec al­tera agendi ratio argumenta repetat, quae honesta et gravia videantur. Etenim hae duae causae inter se maxime discrepant: in priore, coniuges legitime facultate utantur, sibi a natura data; in altera vero, fdem impediunt, quominus gene­rationis ordo suos habeat naturae processus.

17 Prophetic Consequences  

 


PROPHETIC CONSEQUENCES
 

 

 

Serious Consequences Of The Use Of Artificial Methods Of Birth Control

 

17. Responsible individuals will quickly see the truth of the Church’s teaching about [contraception], if they consider what consequences will follow from the methods of contraception and the reasons given [vias rationesque] for use of contraception.45 17. Probi homines satius etiam sibi persuaderi possunt de veritate doctrinae, quam Ecclesia hac in re proponit, si mentem convertant ad ea, auae secutura sunt vias rationesque, ad natorum incrementa artificio coercenda adhibitas,
They should first consider how easy it will be [for many] to justify behavior leading to marital infidelity or to a gradual weakening in the discipline of morals.46 Not much experience is needed to understand human weakness and to comprehend that human beings, especially the young, are so susceptible to temptation that they need to be encouraged to keep the moral law. It is wrong to make it easy for them to violate this law.   In primis secum recogitent, quam lata et quam facilis via hac agendi ratione patefieri posit, sive ad coniugum infidelitatem, sive ad morum disciplinam passim enervandam.  Neque diutunus rerum usus necessarius est, ut quis compertam habeat humanam infirmitatem, atque intellegat homines – ac praesertim iuvenes cupiditatibus tam obnoxious – incitamentis indigeread moralem legem servandam, ac nefas esse iisdem facilem praebere viam ad legem ipsam violandam. 
Indeed, it is to be feared that husbands who become accustomed to contraceptive practices will lose respect for their wives. They may come to disregard their wife’s psychological and physical equilibrium and use their wives as instruments for serving their own desires. Consequently, they will no longer view their wives as companions who should be treated with attentiveness and love. Id etiam reformidandum est, ne viri, hisce usibus conceptioni officientibus iam assueti,mulierum reverentiam obliviscantur, earumque corporis animique aequilibritate posthabita, easdem quoddam reddant instrumentum suae ipsorum cupiditati inserviens, nec iam eas ut consortes existiment, quas observantia et amore prosequi debeant.

this prophetic warning casts in the negative a profound insight into what NFP provides through spouses sharing insight with one another.  Each is regularly reminded of the other's vulnerability, and invited to protect it.

 
        And, then, let [reasonable individuals] also carefully consider that a dangerous power will be put into the hands of rulers who care little about the moral law. Would anyone blame those in the highest offices of the state for employing a solution [contraception] considered morally permissible for spouses seeking to solve a family difficulty, when they strive to solve certain difficulties affecting the whole nation? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring what they believe to be the most effective contraceptive methods and from mandating that everyone must use them, whenever they consider it necessary? And clearly it will come about that Men who desire to avoid the difficulties that are part of the divine law, difficulties that individuals, families, or society may experience, will hand over to the will of the public authorities the power of interfering in the most exclusive and intimate mission [munus] of spouses. `Denique diligenter perpendatur, quam periculosa potestas hoc modo iis publicae rei Moderatoribus concedatur, qui de legis moralis praeceptis minimae sint solliciti. Numquis reprehendat supremos Civitatis Moderatores, qui ad totius suae Nationis componendas difficultates id usurpent, quod coniugibus tamquam licitum adnoscatur ad quondam familiae difficultatem dissolvendam? Quid prohibeat, quominus publicae Auctoritates viis concipiendae prolix contraries faveant, quas efficaciores esse duxerint, immo eas omnibus adhibendas praecipiant, quotiescumque id necessarium reputaverint? Ita sane fiat, ut hominess, cum divinae legi insitas difficultates vitare percipiunt, quas singuli, vel familiae, vel socialis convictus experiantur, publicarum Auctoritatum arbitrio potestatem permittant, sese in coniugum maximae proprium et intimum munus interponendi.
       Therefore, if we do not want the mission [officium] of procreating human life to be conceded to the arbitrary decisions of Men, we need to recognize that there are some limits to the power of Man over his own body and over the natural operations [munera] of the body, that ought not to be transgressed. No one, neither a private individual nor a public authority, ought to violate these limits. For these limits are derived from the reverence owed to the whole human body and its natural operations [naturalibus muneribus], according to the principles acknowledged above, and according to a proper understanding of the so-called principle of totality, as explained by Our Predecessor, Pius XII.47 Quare, nisi velimus ut procreandae vitae officium hominum arbitratui concedatur, necessario aliquos fines, quos ultra pro­gredi non liceat, agnoscamus oportet illi potestati, quam homo in proprium corpus in eiusque naturalia munera habere po­test; fines, dicimus, quas nemini, sive privato sive publica auctoritate praedito, violare licet. Qui limites non aliam ob causam statuuntur, quam ob reverentiam, quae toti humano corpori eiusque naturalibus muneribus debetur, secundum principia, quae supra memoravimus, et rectam intellegentiam principh totalitatis, ut aiunt, quod Decessor Noster v. m. Pius XII illustravit.zl
(18-22) » cont  

 


DIVINE LAW, SELF MASTERY,
  and
CHASTITY
 

 

 

The Church, The Guarantor
Of Authentic Human Values

 

        18. It is possible to predict that perhaps not everyone will be able to accept a teaching of this sort easily. After all, there are so many critical voices -- broadcast widely by modern means of communication -- that are contrary to the voice of the Church. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Church finds herself a sign of contradiction48 -- just as was [Christ], her Founder. But this is no reason for the Church to abandon the duty entrusted to her of preaching the whole moral law firmly and humbly -- both the natural law and the law of the Gospel.

18. Praevideri potest, non omnes fortasse traditam huius­modi doctrinam facile accepturos esse, cum nimis multae ob­strepant voces, quae, recentioribus divulgationis instrumentis auctae, ab Ecclesiae voce discrepent. Ecclesia autem, cui mi­rum non est, se, haud secus ac divinum Conditorem suum, positam esse in signum cui contradicetur,” non idcirco iniunc­tum sibi praetermittit officium, totam legem moralem, cum naturalem tum evangelicam, humiliter ac firmiter praedicandi.

     Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot change them. She can only be their guardian and interpreter; thus it would never be right for her to declare as morally permissible that which is truly not so. For what is immoral is by its very nature always opposed to the true good of Man.

Cum Ecclesia utramque hanc legem non condiderit, eius­dem non arbitra, sed tantummodo custos atque interpres esse potest, eique numquam fas erit licitum declarare, quod revera illicitum est, cum id suapte natura germano hominis bono semper repugnet.

     By preserving the whole moral law of marriage, the Church knows that she is supporting the growth of a true civilization among Men. She encourages Man not to abdicate human duties by overreliance upon technology. In this way, she safeguards the dignity of spouses. Devoted to the example and teaching of the Divine Savior, the Church shows her sincere and generous love for Men as she strives to help them, even during their earthly pilgrimage, “to share, as sons [and daughters], the life of the living God, the Father of all Men.”49

Dum moralem coniugii legem integram servat, Ecclesia probe novit se adiutricem operam conferre ad verum civilem cultum inter homines instaurandum; ac praeterea hominem incitat, ne se officiis suis abdicet, technicis artibus sese committens; quo fit, ut ipsa coniugum dignitatem in tuto ponat. Hac agendi ratione Ecclesia, Divini Salvatoris exemplo et doctrinae inhae­rens, ostendit se sincero generosoque amore prosequi homines,  quos inde ab hoe terrestri itinere iuvare contendit, ut non secus atque AM vitam Dei viventis, omnium hominum Patris, participent.23

 

 

PART THREE  
The Church as Mother and Teacher

III

 

 

        19. We would hardly be adequately expressing the thoughts and solicitude of the Church, the Mother and Teacher of all nations, if after encouraging Men to keep and respect the law[s] of God concerning marriage, We did not also offer them support in morally permissible methods of regulating their family size; [after all] ours is a time when families and nations face harsh conditions. But the Church can only conduct herself as did the Divine Redeemer; she knows mankind’s weakness; she has compassion on the multitude, and she forgives their sins. She cannot, however, do otherwise than to teach the law which is proper to human life restored to its original truth and guided by the Spirit of God.50

19. Verba autem haec Nostra haud plane Ecclesiae, omnium gentium Matris ac Magistrae, cogitationes et sollicitudines ex­primerent, nisi homines, antea ad Dei legem de coniugio ser­vandam colendamque incitatos, in liberorum numero honeste ordinando etiam sustinerent inter ipsas asperas vitae condi­ciones, quibus domestici convictus ac nationes nostro hoe tem­pore premuntur. Ecclesia enim erga homines non aliter ac Di­vinus Redemptor se gerere potest : scilicet eorum infirmitatem cognoscit, miseratur turbas, peccatores excipit; facere autem non potest, quin legem doceat, quae reapse propria est vitae humanae ad suam germanam veritatem restitutae, atque a Dei Spiritu actae.”

The Possibility of Observing the Divine Law

 

        20. The teaching of the Church about the proper spacing of children is a promulgation of the divine law itself. No doubt many will think this teaching difficult to keep, if not impossible. And truly, just as with all good things outstanding for their nobility and utility, [keeping] this law requires strong motivation and much effort from individual Men, from families, and from society. Indeed, this law is not able to be kept without the abundant grace of God, upon which the good moral choices [bona voluntas] of Men depend and from which they get their strength. Moreover, those who consider this matter thoroughly will see that [their] efforts [to keep God’s law] increase human dignity and confer benefits on human society.

20. Ecclesiae doctrina de liberorum incremento recte or­dinando, quae legem divinam ipsam promulgat, sine dubio multis talis videbitur, ut nonnisi difficulter, immo etiam nullo modo servari possit. At revera, sicut bona omnia quae sua nobilitate et utilitate praestant, haec lex a singulis hominibus, a familiis et ab hominum consortione firma proposita multosque labores postulat. Immo eadem servari nequit nisi opitulante Dei gratia, qua bona hominum voluntas fulcitur ac roboratur. Iis autem, qui rem diligenter perpendant, labores illi profecto videbuntur hominum dignitatem augere et humanae societati beneficia conferre.  

   

Self-Mastery

 

        21. Moral family planning requires that spouses recognize and value the true goods of life and the family, and also that they acquire the habit of complete mastery [moderari]of themselves and their desires [motibus]. In order to control the drives of nature, the spouses need to become self-denying [asceseos] through using their reason and free will. Only then will the manifestations of love appropriate for married couples be what they ought to be. Self-mastery is especially necessary for those who practice periodic abstention.

21. Recta autem et honesta nasciturae prolis ordinatio id primum a coniugibus postulat, ut vera vitae familiaeque bona penitus agnoscant et existiment, itemque sibi ac suis motibus perfecte moderari consuescant. Nihil profecto est dubii, quin naturae impetibus, rationis liberaeque voluntatis ope, imperare asceseos sit opus, ut nempe amoris significationes, coniugalis vitae propriae, cum recto ordine congruant; quod praesertim ad usum continentiae, certis temporis intervallis servandae, requiritur.

Truly, discipline of this sort -- from which conjugal chastity shines forth -- cannot be an obstacle to love. Rather, discipline imbues love with a deeper human meaning. Although [such control] requires continuous effort, it also helps the spouses become strong in virtue and makes them rich with spiritual goods. And this [virtue] fosters the fruits of tranquility and peace in the home and helps in the solving of difficulties of other kinds. It aids spouses in becoming more tender with each other and more attentive to each other. It assists them in dispelling that inordinate self-love that is opposed to true charity. It strengthens in them an awareness of their responsibilities [munerum exsequendorum]. And finally it provides parents with a sure and efficacious authority for educating their children. As [their] children advance through life they will come to a correct appreciation of the true goods of Man and employ peacefully and properly the powers of their mind and senses.

Verum huiusmodi disciplina, unde coniu­gum castimonia elucet, adeo eorum amori non obest, ut maiore eundem humanitatis sensu perfundat. Quodsi huius­modi disciplina assiduam virium intentionem exigit, salutari tamen eius virtute coniuges seipsos plene excolunt spirituali­busque bonis ditantur : ea enim domestico convictui amplos tranquillitatis ac pacis fructus affert, atque solvendis alius generis diffcultatibus prodest; ea alterius coniuges curam et observantiam erga alterum fovet; coniuges in immodico sui amore depellendo, qui germanae repugnat caritati, adiuvat; eosdemque ad conscientiam munerum exsequendorum exigit. Ea denique parentibus intimam et efficaciorem auctoritatem ad liberol educandos confert, dum pueri et iuveres, aetate procedentes, vera hominis bona congruenter putant, et mertis sensuumque vires placide et apte exercent.

Creating an atmosphere favorable to chastity

 

        22. We would like to take this opportunity to advise educators and all others whose right and duty it is to be concerned about the common good. They need to work to create conditions favorable to the cultivation of chastity, so that the norms of the moral order might be kept and true freedom might prevail over license.

22. Hanc vero nacti opportunitatem, educatores, eosque omnes, quorum ius et officium est communi humanae consor­tionis bono prospicere, commonere volumus de necessitate eum rerum statum inducendi, qui colendae castitati faveat, ut scilicet germana libertas licentiam vincat, moralis ordinis normis plane servatis.

Therefore, all those who are concerned with improving civilization and all who wish to protect the most important human goods should condemn with one voice all the forms of entertainment in today’s modern society that arouse Man’s [base] passions and that foster dissolute morals -- such as obscene literature and corrupt theatrical and film productions. It would be perverse if anyone were to attempt to defend depravity of this kind by appealing to the needs of art or learning,51 or by appealing to arguments of “freedom of expression” concerning what authorities may permit in the public arena.

Quidquid ergo hodie in socialis, ut aiunt, communicatio­nis instrumentis sensus commovet dissolutosque mores alit, pariterque quaevis scribendi obscenitas turpiumque specta­ culorum forma palam atque uno ore iis omnibus improbanda sunt viris, qui tum civilis cultus provehendi, tum praecipuo­. rum animi bonorum tuendorum sollicitudine tenentur. Per­peram enim huiusmodi pravitates quis probare conetur, causas ex artibus doctrinisque quaerens,’’ vel argumenta sumens ex libertate, quam forte hac in provincia publicae Auctoritates permittant.

(23-31) » cont  

 


VARIOUS APPEALS
 

 

 

Appeal to public authorities

 

        23. And We must also address the rulers of nations since they have chief responsibility for the common good and are able to work towards safeguarding good morals. [We say to them:] Do not allow the worthy morals of your own people to be corrupted; Do not allow the law to be used to introduce into the family -- that primary unit of the state -- practices opposed to the natural and divine law. For surely civil authority can find and ought to use other means to resolve the problem of the increase of population: namely, they should legislate laws protective of the family and they should wisely educate the populace to safeguard both the moral law and the [true] liberty of the citizens.

23. Ita igitur Nationum Rectores alloqui placet, quippe quibus potissimum onus boni communis tutandi iniunctum sit, liceatque tantopere ad bonos tuendos mores conferre : ne umquam patiantur honestos corruere mores suorum populo­rum ; prohibeant omnino, ne per leges in familiam, quae pri­maria est particula Civitatis, ii usus incedant, qui naturali et divinae legi adversentur. Alia enim via civilis Auctoritas quae­stionem de multitudinis incremento dissolvere et potest et debet videlicet providas familiis leges ferendo populosque tam sapien­ter educando, ut sive morum lex sive civium libertas in tuto collocentur.  

Indeed We know well what a source of great difficulty [overpopulation is] for leaders of a state, especially in the developing nations. Indeed, We had these justifiable concerns in mind when We issued the encyclical letter Populorum Progressio. But here let Us reiterate the words of Our Predecessor, John XXIII:

Equidem probe novimus, quantum haec causa difficultatis afferat publicae rei Moderatoribus, in iis praesertim Civitati­bus quae ad progressum nituntur. Atque Nos, iustas, quibus afficiuntur, curas perspicientes, Encyclicas Litteras edidimus, quibus Populorum Progressio est index. Sed nunc una cum Decessore Nostro ven. rec. Ioanne XXIII haec verba iteramus eas quaestiones

. . . it is necessary to solve these problems in such a way that Man does not use methods and means opposed to the dignity of Man. [State authorities] ought not to fear rejecting [the views] of those who hold that Man himself and his life are in every respect only material realities. We think this problem ought to be resolved only through economic and social progress that both respects each and every individual and the whole of society and that also increases goods deserving of the name.52

... dissolvi oportere, ut neque vias homo neque rationes sequatur, a sua dignitate aversas; quales ii tradere non verentur, qui hominem ipsum eiusque vitam ad mate­riam omni ex parte re ferendos esse opinantur. Hanc quaestio­nem sic tantummodo dissolvi posse censemus, si rerum oeconomicarum et socialium progressiones cum singulorum civium tum universae humanae societatis servent et augeant veri no­minis bona.”

Truly it would be a grave injustice to attribute to divine providence [a state of affairs] which seems be the result of unwise government policies, or of a rather weak sense of social justice, or because there has been a hoarding of goods for one’s selfish use, or finally because of a careless negligence in undertaking the labors and tasks by which every people and all their offspring achieve a better standard of living.53 Certainly some authorities have already begun to renew impressive efforts in regard to these matters; all authorities should energetically join these efforts. All members of the great human family should increase their zeal for coming to one another’s assistance; [indeed] We think the opportunity for involvement by international aid organizations is nearly unbounded.

Neque profecto sine gravi iniuria fiat, si divinae Providentiae id tribuatur, quod, contra, proficisci videtur a minus sapienti reipublicae gubernandae ratione, vel a tenuiore quodam socialis iustitiae sensu, vel a bonorum copia sui com­modi causa congesta, vel denique a socordi neglegentia in  laboribus oneribusque suscipiendis, quibus populus omnesque eius filii ad amplius vivendi genus evehantur.” Utinam uni­versae Auctoritates, quas penes res est - quemadmodum earum quaedam tam egregie iam faciunt - incepta ac nisus excitatis viribus renovent ! Neque remittat studium mutua communicandi auxilia inter omnes magnae hominum familiae partes : hanc prope infinitam provinciam patere putamus, in qua maxima Instituta, ad plures nationes pertinentia, suam operam ponant.

Appeal to men of science

 

        24. Let Us also encourage scientists, who “are able to do much for the good of marriage and family and are able to assist peace of conscience if with their united efforts they attempt to clarify the conditions which favor a moral ordering of human procreation.”54 This ought especially to be hoped for -- a request made earlier by Pius XII -- that medical science, through the observation of natural cycles [of fertility], strive to establish a satisfactorily clear basis for the moral regulation of offspring.55 In this way scientists -- and especially those who proudly claim to be Catholic -- will make it clear through their own work that, as the Church teaches, “no true contradiction exists between the divine laws for transmitting life and those for fostering true conjugal love.”56

24. Nunc autem Nostrae cohortationis verbis viros scien­tiarum studiosos prosequi libet, qui multum bono matrimonii et familiae, pacique conscientiarum inservire possunt, si collatis studiis diversas condiciones, honestae ordinationi procrea­tionis humanae faventes, penitius elucidare conentur.” Id enim in primin exoptandum est - quod antea fuit Pii XII votum - ut medica ars ad honeste temperandae prolis satis certum fun­damentum statuere valeat, quod in perspectis naturalibus vicibus consistat.” Ita quidem docti homines, ii praesertim qui catholico nomine censentur, sua data opera res plane se habere ostendent, ut Ecclesia docet, nempe veram contradictionem in­ter divinas leges vitae transmittendae et germani amoris coniugalis fovendi adesse non posse.”.

Appeal to Christian spouses

 

        25. Now Our attention must be directed in a particular way to Our sons and daughters and especially to those whom God calls to serve Him in the state of matrimony. For the Church, who teaches the inviolable conditions of the divine law, also proclaims salvation and through the sacraments unlocks the sources of grace. [For it is by these means] that Man is made a new creature who responds with charity and true liberty to the heavenly plan of his Creator and Savior and who finds the yoke of Christ to be sweet.57

25. Nunc vero Nostra oratio peculiari modo ad filios Nostros convertitur, ad eos praesertim, quos Deus in matrimonii statu ad sibi serviendum vocat. Ecclesia enim, dum inviolabiles divinae legis condiciones tradit, salutem nuntiat viasque gra­tiae per sacramenta, reserat, unde homo nova efiicitur creatura, quae in caritate germanaque libertate superno sui Creatoris et Salvatoris consilio respondeat suaveque etiam Christi iugum sentiat.”

Therefore, let Christian spouses humbly obey the voice of the Church and remember that their proper vocation [vocationem] in the Christian life began with baptism, and was more fully specified and confirmed anew with the sacrament of marriage. For by the sacrament of marriage spouses are strengthened and, as it were, are consecrated so that they might faithfully fulfill their duties [munia], so that they might bring their vocation [vocationem] to its perfect end and so that, as befits them, they might openly offer the world a Christian witness.58 To them the Lord entrusts [committit] the mission [munus] of making manifest to Men the holiness and indeed sweetness of the law that unites their mutual love and generous service [adiutrice opera] closely to the love of God, the author of human life.

Eius igitur voci modeste obsecuti, christiani coniuges me­minerint, suam vocationem ad vitam christianam, e baptismate exortam, sacramento Matrimonii amplius et explicatam et confirmatam esse. Eodem namque ipsi roborantur et veluti consecrantur, ut fideliter munia sua exsequantur, vocationem ad expletam sui formam perficiant, christianumque testimo­nium, ut eos addecet, coram mundo edant.” Tale enim munus Dominus iisdem committit, ut hominibus patefaciant illius legis sanctitatem itemque suavitatem, qua mutuus eorum amor cum adiutrice opera ab ipsis data amori Dei, humanae vitae auctoris, arte coniungitur.

Certainly We do not wish to ignore the difficulties, the sometimes serious difficulties, that Christian spouses might encounter, since for them, as for everyone, “the gate is narrow, and the way is difficult that leads to life.”59 Nevertheless their way will be illuminated by the hope of this life -- just as by the clearest light -- as long as they strive courageously “to live wisely and justly and piously in this world,”60 knowing that “the form of this world passes away.”61

Nullo sane modo hic reticere volumus difficultates, inter­dum graves, in geas christianorum coniugum vita incurrit nam iis, ut unicuique nostrum, angusta porta, et arta via est, quae ducit ad vitam.” 9ttamen huiusce spe vitae tamquam clarissima luce eorum iter collustretur, dum forti contendunt animo, ut sobrie et iuste et pie vivant in hoe saeculo,” plane noscentes praeterire figuram huius mundi.”

Therefore, let spouses willingly take up the labors that have been assigned [destinatos] to them, strengthened both by faith and by hope, which “do not disappoint: because the charity of God is poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who is given to us.” 62 Let them constantly pray for divine assistance. And let them especially drink of grace and charity from the eternal font of the Eucharist. If, however, they are hampered by their sins, let them not lose heart, but let them humbly and constantly flee to the mercy of God, which the sacrament of penance abundantly provides. It is by this way of life that spouses will be able to advance towards perfection in their married life, which the Apostle explains in these words:

Quapropter coniuges destinatos sibi labores libenter su­scipiant, cum fide tum ea spe roborati, quae non confundit: quia caritas Dei di ffusa est in cordibus nostris per Spiritum Sanctum, qui dates est nobis; “ assidua deinde prece divinum auxilium implorent atque praesertim e perenni Eucharistiae fonte gratiam et caritatem hauriant. Si autem peccatis adhuc retineantur, ne concidant animo, sed humiles et constantes ad Dei misericordiam confugiant, quam abunde Paenitentiae sa­cramentum dilargitur. Huiusmodi profecto ratione ad coniugalis vitae perfectionem pervenire poterunt, quam Apostolus his verbis exponit :

Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church ( . . .) Therefore also husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. For he who loves his wife, loves himself. Indeed, no one is able to hate his own flesh; but he nourishes it and cares for it, as Christ does for the Church ( . . .). And this is true for each and everyone of you: let everyone love his wife as he loves himself; and let wives respect their husbands.63

Viri diligite uxores vestras, sicut et Christus dilexit Ecclesiam (...) Ita et viri debent diligere uxores suas ut corpora sua. Qui suam uxorem diligit, seipsum diligit. Nemo enim umquam carnem suam odio habuit : sed nutrit, et fovet eam, sicut et Christus Ecclesiam (...) Sacramentum hoc magnum est, ego autem dico in Christo et in Ecclesia. Verumtamen et vos singuli, unusquisque uxorem suam sicut seipsum diligat : uxor autem timeat virum suum.

Apostolate of spouses

 

        26. Moreover, great fruits are to be expected when the divine law is kept by a devout soul. The most outstanding of these fruits results from the frequent desire of spouses to share their experience with other spouses. Thus it happens that a new and especially worthy kind of apostolate is added to the already ample vocation of the laity: like will minister to like. That is, spouses fulfill their apostolic mission [munus] in behalf of other spouses by becoming guides for them. Among all the forms of Christian apostolate this apostolate seems most suitable today.64

26. Eorum autem fructuum, qui maturescunt si acri animi intentione lex divina custoditur, praestantissimus sane col­ligitur, cum ipsi coniuges hand raro alios quoque experientiae suae participes facere cupiunt. Inde fit, ut ipsa laicorum voca­tionis amplitudine novum quoddam ac perinsigne apostola­tus genus comprehendatur, quo pares paribus inserviunt : tum enim ipsi coniuges apostolicum pro ceteris coniugibus munus obeunt, quibus sese duces praebent. Quod profecto inter tot christiani apostolatus formas opportunissimum hodie esse vi­detur.38

   

To doctors and health care professionals

 

        27. Let Us express Our highest admiration for doctors and those health professionals, who, in performing their mission [munus], desire to safeguard what is compatible with their Christian vocation rather than what corresponds to some human advantage [utilitatem]. Therefore let them constantly pursue only those solutions that are in accord with faith and right reason. And let them strive to gain the agreement and the compliance [observationem] of their colleagues in this matter. Moreover, let them consider it their special mission [munus] to acquire all the necessary learning in this difficult area. Thereby they may be able to give good advice to spouses seeking their counsel and to direct them along the right path. Spouses rightly seek such direction from them.

27. Egregiam pariter reverentiam praestamus medicis artis­que salutaris ministris, qui, in suo quisque munere exse­quendo, ea quae ab ipsis praecipua christianae vocationis ratio postulat, potius quam humanam quamlibet utilitatem, servare student. Constantes igitur perseverent in proposito iis semper consihis favendi, quae et fidei et rectae rationi adhaerescant, eoque conten dant, ut iisdem in peculiari suo coetu assensionem et observantiam concilient. Praetereaque id tamquam proprium artis suae munus habeant, necessariam huiusce difcilioris pro­vinciae doctrinam sibi plane comparare, ut nempe sententiam exquirentibus coniugibus recta dare consilia iustamque osten­dere viam possint, quae iure ac merito ab ipsis postulentur.

To Priests

 

        28. With complete confidence We call upon you priests, Our beloved sons, you who are the advisors and spiritual guides of individuals and families. For it is your great and manifest mission [munere] -- and We address especially those of you who are moral theologians -- to promote completely and clearly the teaching of the Church concerning marriage. In performing your ministry you must be an example of the sincere obedience [obsequii] that must be given both inwardly and outwardly to the Magisterium of the Church. For truly, you know that you are bound to such obedience [obsequio] not only for the reasons given [in behalf of a teaching], but also on account of the light of the Holy Spirit, whose guidance the Fathers of the Church particularly enjoy when setting forth the truth.65 Nor let it escape you that it is of the utmost importance for safeguarding the peace of souls and the unity of the Christian people, that in moral as in dogmatic matters, all should obey the Magisterium of the Church and should speak with one voice. Wherefore, adopting the anxious words of the great Apostle Paul, We call upon you again with Our whole heart: “I beg . . . you brothers through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: that you might all speak as one and that there might be no division among you: that you may be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”66

28. Vos autem, dilecti Filii sacerdotes, qui pro sacro, quo fungimini, munere sive singulorum hominum sive familiarum consultores ac spiriteales duces agitis, magna Nos pleni fiducia compellamus. Vestrum namque praecipuumque officium est - vos praesertim alloquimur, qui moralem theologiam tra­ditis - Ecclesiae de matrimonio doctrinam integre aperteque proponere. Vos primi in ministerio vestro perfungendo exemplum sinceri obsequii edite, quod interius exteriusque eccle­siastico Magisterio tribuendum est. Etenim nostis tali vos ob­sequio devinciri non potius illis de caesis, quae allatae sunt, quam ob Sancti Spiritus lumen, quo praecipue Ecclesiae Pasto­res in explananda veritate fruuntur.” Neque vos fugit, summi esse momenti, ad animorum pacem populique christiani uni­tatem servandam, ut in re morali ita in re dogmatica, omnes Ecclesiae Magisterio parere eodemque uti sermone. Quam­obrem, sollicitiora verba magni Apostoli Pauli usurpantes, toto vos pectore iterum appellamus : Obsecro ... vos fratres per nomen Domini nostri Iesu Christi: ut idipsum dicatis omnes, et non sint in vobis schismata: sitis autem perfecti in eodem sensu, et in eadem sententia.4°  

cf. also "gradualness" in acquisition of chastity:
 [1] Fam Consort. ; [2] Laws of Growth CCC 23453

 [3] CCC 2359 [Hom]

        29. Refusal to compromise anything concerning the saving doctrine of Christ is an outstanding act of charity to souls; yet, at the same time it is necessary always to combine this with tolerance and charity. When He spoke and associated with Men, the Redeemer Himself exemplified this truth. Coming not to judge the world but to save it, He was severe against sin but patient and merciful to sinners.67

29. Porro si nihil de salutari Christi doctrina demittere prae­cellens quoddam caritatis erga animos genus est, at idem sem­per cum tolerantia atque caritate coniungatur oportet, quarum ipse Redemptor, cum hominibus et collogeens et agens, exempla prodidit. Is enim, cum venisset non ad iudicandum, sed ad salvandum mundum,” acerbe quidem severus in pec­cata, sed patiens ac misericors in peccatores fuit.

Therefore, let spouses in their times of trouble find in the speech and hearts of their priests, the image of the voice and love of our Redeemer.

Suis igitur difficultatibus afflictati, coniuges in sermone et in corde sacerdotis expressam veluti imaginem vocis et amoris nostri Redemptoris inveniant.

So Beloved Sons, preach with full confidence and be certain that the Holy Spirit of God, who guides the Magisterium in its teaching, will illuminate the hearts of the faithful and invite them to give their assent. Teach spouses the indispensability of prayer; instruct them properly so that they may come regularly and with great faith to the sacraments of the Eucharist and of Penance and that they may never become discouraged because of their weakness.

Fiduciae autem pleni loquamini, dilecti Filii, pro certo ha­bentes, Sanctum Dei Spiritum, dum adest Magisterio rectam proferenti doctrinam, intus corda fidelium illustrare eosque ad assentiendum invitare. Coniuges vero necessariam precandi viam edocete, apteque instituite, ut saepius magna cum fide ad Eucharistiae et Paenitentiae sacramenta accedant, neque umquam pro sua infirmitate animos demittant.

To Bishops

 

        30. Now, at the conclusion of this encyclical letter, Our mind reverently and lovingly turns to you [Bishops], beloved and venerable Brothers in the episcopal mission [munus]; with you We share very closely the care of the spiritual good of the people of God. We make this urgent request of you: We ask all of you to take the lead with the priests who assist your sacred ministry, and all your faithful. With complete zeal and with no delay, devote yourselves to keeping marriage safe and holy, so that the life of married couples may draw more closely to its proper human and Christian perfection. Truly consider this as the greatest responsibility [opus] of your mission [munus] and the greatest work [onus] committed to you at the present time. As you well know, [your] mission [munus] requires a certain coordination of pastoral ministry in all areas of human activity, including economic, social and cultural matters. If progress is gained on all these fronts at the same time, then not only will family life of parents and children be more tolerable, it will be easier and happier. Once the plan God conceived for the world is faithfully kept, fellowship in society will be richer in fraternal charity and more safely grounded in a true peace.

30. Sed nunc, Encyclicas hasce Litteras concludentes, ad vos, dilecti ac venerabiles in episcopali munere Fratres, quibus­cum curas de spirituali bono Populi Dei artius participamus, mentem Nostram reverenter amanterque convertimus. Ete­nim vos omnes instanti hac petitione invitamus, ut vestris praeeuntes sacerdotibus, sacri ministerii adiutoribus, vestris­que fideliums, omni studio nullaque mora in matrimonii tute­lam in eiusque sanctitudinem asserendam incumbatis, quo magis usque coniugalis vita humanam christianamque sui perfectionem assequatur. Id vero muneris tamquam maximum opus et onus, in praesenti vobis commissum, habetote. Nam, ut plane nostrs, idem munus certam pastoralis mini­sterii ordinationem postulat, quae ad omnes humanae indu­striae provincias, nempe ad res oeconomicas, bonas doctri­nas, socialesque rationes pertinet : quae omnia si magis simul­que progredientur, tum non solum tolerabilior, sed et facilior itemque laetior vita parentum ac liberorum in intimo familia­rum sinu evadet, atque fraterna uberior caritate veraque pace tutior fiet convictus in hominum societate, sancte servato con­silio, quod Deus de mundo mente concepit.

Final Appeal

 

        31. Venerable Brothers, most beloved sons, and all men and women of good will, We now call you to the splendid work of education and growth in charity. Relying upon the unshakable [firmissima] teaching of the Church, We, as the successor to Peter together with the whole brotherhood of bishops, faithfully guard and interpret it. Truly this is a great work, for it affects the good of the world and the Church. None can achieve true happiness, the happiness that they desire with the strength of their whole soul, unless they observe the laws inscribed on their nature by the Most High God. To be happy Man must prudently and lovingly cultivate these laws. Therefore, upon this important work and upon all of you and most especially upon married couples, We invoke a wealth of supernatural graces given by our most holy and merciful God. As a pledge of these graces, We freely give you Our Apostolic blessing.

31. Vos, venerabiles Fratres, vos dilectissimi Filii, vosque omnes bonae voluntatis homines, ad grande profecto opus et educationis et progressionis atque caritatis Nos nunc advocamus, firmissima freti Ecclesiae doctrina, quam Petri Suc­cessor, una cum catholici episcopatus Fratribus, fideliter custo­dit atque interpretatur. Quod magnum revera opus, ut persua­sissimum Nobis habemus, tum mundi tum Ecclesiae bono ce­dit, siquidem homo ad veram felicitatem, quam totis sui ani­mi viribus affectat, pervenire nequit, nisi leges observat, a summo Deo in ipsius natura insculptas, quae sunt prudenter amanterque colendae. Tanto igitur operi, nee non vobis omnibus ac potissimum coniugibus, a Deo sanctissimo et misericor­dissimo supernarum copiam gratiarum imploramus, quarum pignus Apostolicam Nostram Benedictionem libenter vobis impertimus.

Given at Rome, from St. Peter’s on the twenty-fifth day of July, on the feast of James the Apostle, in the year 1968, the sixth year of Our Pontificate.

Datum Romae, apud Sanctum Petrum, die xxv mensis Iulii, in festo S. Iacobi Apostoli, anno MCMLxvzu, Pontificatus Nostri sexto.

POPE PAUL VI

PAULUS PP. VI

  


  Notes

 

1 The claim that Humanae Vitae was written in Italian and French is made by Lucio Brunelli, “The Pill that Divided the Church,” Thirty Days no. 4 (July-August 1988) p. 66. A comparison of some of the Italian phrases with the Latin can be found in Innocentius Parisella, “Latinae Quaedam Voces Locutionesque in Encyclicis Litteris Humanae Vitae Occurentes cum Sermone Italico Comparatae,” Ephemerides Iuris Canonici 24 (1968) 265-270 and reprinted in Latinitas 17 (1969) 115-120.  In preparation for this translation reference was made to six English translations. The most commonly available translation is that first published in the English edition of the L’Osservatore Romano when Humanae Vitae was released and made widely available in this country through the Daughters of Saint Paul (hereafter referred to as the “usual translation” and designated by HV). Popular, too, is the translation by Rev. Marc Calegari. S. J., Humanae Vitae, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1978 (hereafter IP). The Catholic Truth Society sponsored a translation, done by Rev. Alan C. Clark D.D. and Rev. Geoffrey Crawfurd (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1968 [hereafter CTS] with a revised edition in 1970 [hereafter CTS2); a revised version of the CTS translation is also to be found in The Pope Speaks 13:4 (1969) 329-346 [hereafter CTS3]). (It is difficult to determine the extent of the revisions, but they seem not very significant, except for the crucial last line of Humanae Vitae 11; see the comment on this section in the following notes.) A text that seems to be identical to CTS2 is published in Vatican Council II v. II, ed. by Austin Flannery, O. P. (Northport, New York: Costello Publishing Company, 1982) 397-416, though the claim is made that the translation was done by the Vatican Press Office, p. 414). Although the CTS translation is accompanied by the notice that it was made on the basis of the Latin Text it seems to this reader to be truer to the Italian, except for in a few crucial passages. The only translation that used the Latin as the primary base is that by A. Durand, “‘The Encyclical’-A Fresh Translation,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review LXIX, 11 (August 1969) 851-864 (hereafter HPR), which seems to this reader to be quite a free translation. I am indebted to these translators for felicity of phrasing that I have “borrowed” on occasion. The translation published here is based on the Latin,though on a few occasions, when the Latin seemed irrecoverably obscure, recourse was made to the Italian.

 2 See Chapter Two, pages , for a discussion of the word “munus”.

 3 This second line has been translated “for which married persons are the free and responsible collaborators of God the Creator.” The Italian word for “collaborators” appears in the Italian and may be an echo of Gaudium et Spes

 50.2 that makes reference to the duty of transmitting and educating human life [in officio humanam vitam transmittendi atque educandi] and speaks of spouses as cooperators and interpreters of God’s love in this duty [cooperatores . . . amoris Dei Creatoris]. But in Latin the phrase is “tribuunt operam.” “Operam” is from “opera”, not “opus;” the Lewis and Short Latin dictionary notes that “opus is used mostly of the mechanical activity of work, as that of animals, slaves, and soldiers; opera supposes a free will and desire to serve.” “Opera” is more properly translated as “service.” “Tribuunt” has very much the sense of “pay back” or “render;” “transmitting life” is, indeed, something which the spouses do with God, but the way it is stated here puts some emphasis on the fact that in doing so, they perform a service or give a return to God for the munus He has entrusted to them. This interpretation coincides with the meaning of munus as a task which God delegates to Man, and, in a sense, needs him to do, so that He may advance His kingdom.  “Consciam” is the word which later in the document is allied with “paternitas” (paternity or parenthood) and with it is translated as “responsible parenthood;” unlike animal reproduction which takes place instinctively and involves little more than physical care for one’s offspring, human parenthood is of an entirely different order. Humans, when engaging in sexual intercourse are capable of knowing that a result of this intercourse may be the conception of a child. For them to engage in sexual intercourse responsibly they must be prepared to be good parents to a child. More is said about responsible parenthood in Section 10, but the presence of the word “consciam” here indicates that “transmitting human life” involves more than simple reproduction.

 4 This first sentence of the second paragraph has been translated: “At all times the fulfillment of this duty has posed grave problems . . . .” This translation again follows the Italian rather than the Latin. “Problems” is the English cognate of theItalian “problemi” but it is not perhaps the best translation even of the Italian. In Italian the word is closer in meaning to the English “questions” (a cognate of the Latin used here) which means a query that one might raise about something; it is more neutral than “problems” which connotes that one has some difficulty with something. Indeed, there is the suggestion here that it is not always easy for spouses to understand the munus which is theirs and that at times it can be difficult for them to accept it, but it is important not to stress the acknowledgement that a munus may involve difficulties without, at the same time, stressing what an honor it is.

 5 “Actibus coniugum” is variously translated as “conjugal acts” (DSP, IP, CTS3) and “intimate married life” (CTS1 and CTS2). Conceivably “conjugal acts” could refer to other activity in married life other than sexual intercourse, but it does not seem to be too presumptuous to assume that such is its meaning here.

 6 The Italian here refers to a need for a “revisione” of the norm. Both DSP and IP translate “recognoscere” as “revise” which, although a cognate of the Italian, perhaps in English suggests a greater change than the text intends to suggest. CTS uses “review” which I believe is closer to the Latin. “Revise” is certainly what many wanted the Church to do; “review” or “reconsider” is what in fact the Church did.

 7 The translation for “incommoda” as “sacrifices” has been adopted from DSP and IP which are following the Italian “sacrifici”. The Latin “incommoda” has the connotation more of “inconvenience” than of “sacrifice”; “difficulties” would perhaps be a more precise translation. A literal English translation would read: “serious difficulties which are sometimes a worthy [challenge] for the strongest men and women [fortissimis viris digna].” But, since it does not work in English to say “heroic difficulties”, I have stayed with the more idiomatic “heroic sacrificies.” The question of the morality of asking spouses to make heroic sacrifices was part of the concern of the Majority Report.

 8 1a Pius IX, encyclical Qui Pluribus, Nov. 9, 1846 in PII IX P. M. Acta, I, 9-10.

 1b St. Pius X, encyclical Singulari Quadam, Sept. 24, 1912 in AAS 4 (1912) 658.

 1c Pius XI, encyclical Casti Connubii, Dec. 31, 1930 in AAS 22 (1930), 579-581.

 1d Pius XII, “Address to the Episcopate of the Catholic World,” Nov. 2, 1954 in AAS 46 (1954) 671-672.

 1e John XIII, encyclical, Mater et Magistra, May 15, 1961 in AAS 53 (1961), 457.

 9 Cf. Matt. 28: 18-19.

 10 CTS translates “obtemperatio” as “observance”; DSP uses “fulfillment”; I have chosen “compliance” since I believe that “observance” seems somewhat weak and vague. “Obedience” would not be wrong, but since modern Americans, at least, seem to think all obedience is servile, I have selected “compliance” since this seems to capture both the sense of necessary adherence along with the notion of voluntary cooperation.

 11 Cf. Matt. 7:21.

 12 There is quite a variation on the translation of the phrase “Congrua documenta”: DSP reads “has provided a coherent teaching on . . .”; IP reads “has provided an integrated teaching on . . .” and CTS1 and 2 “has always provided consistent teaching” and CTS3 reads “has always issued appropriate documents.”

 13 4a Catechismus Romanus Concilii Tridentini, part II, ch. VIII.

 4b Leo XIII, encyclical, Arcanum, Feb. 19, 18880 in Acta Leonis XIII, II (1881)

 26-29.

 4c Pius XI, encyclical Divini Illius Magistri Dec. 32, 1929, in AAS XXII (1930),

 58-61.

 4d Pius XI, encyclical Casti Connubii in AAS 22 (1930) 545-546.

 4e Pius XII, “Address to the Italian Medico-Biological Union of St. Luke,” Nov. 12,

 1944 in Discorsi e Radiomessaggi VI, 191-192.

 4f Pius XII, “Address to the Italian Catholic Union of Midwives,” Oct. 29, 1951 in AAS 43 (1951) 857-59.

 4g Pius XII, “Address to the Congress of the Family Front and of the Association of Large Families,” Nov. 28, 1951; AAS 43 (1951) 857-59.

 4h Pius XII, “Address to the Seventh Congress of the International Society of Hematology,” Sept. 12, 1958 in AAS 50 (1958) 734-735.

 4i John XIII, encyclical Mater et Magistra in AAS 53 (1961) 446-7.

 4j Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, Dec. 7, 1965, nos. 47-52 in AAs 58 (1966) 1067-74.

 4k Code of Canon Law 1917, Canons 1067, 1068.1, 1076.1-2.

 14 All the translations use “birth regulation” or “regulation of births” which is true to the Italian. The Latin “Rectem progignendae prolis temperationem” which strictly translated reads “the correct regulation of having offspring” may be equivalent to “birth regulation.” Neither “birth regulation” nor “birth control” are equivalent to “contraception”, since they both refer to any methods which spouses might use to regulate the number of children that they are to have and therefore could include natural methods. Yet, this phrase “birth regulation” may be the cause of some confusion since in English it is too easily equated with birth control, which, in turn, is too easily identified with contraception. “Contraception,” refers to devices or drugs which actively work against conception and, therefore, does not include natural methods of family planning.

 15 5a Paul VI, “Address to the Sacred College of Cardinals, June 23, 1964 in AAS

 56 (1964) 588.

 5b Paul VI, “Address to the Commission for the Study of Population, the Family and Birth Regulation,” March 27, 1965 in AAS 57 (1965) 388.

 5c Paul VI, “Address to the National Congress of the Italian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology,” October 29, 1966 in AAS 58 (1966) 1168.

 16 The translation of the first clause of this section is problematic. The Latin reads: “De propaganda prole questio”. The Italian reads: “Il problema della natalita”. It is translated variously; DSP has “The problem of birth”; IP has “the problem of birth regulation” and CTS1 and 2 has “The question of the birth of children and CTS3 has “The question of human procreation.” I have chosen “The question of having children” since I think the question being addressed here is larger than the question of limiting how many children one has; it touches upon, for instance, why one should have children and the responsibilities of having children.

 17 This phrase differs considerably in the Latin and the Italian. The Latin phrase “artificiosas vias . . . quibus liberorum numerus coerceatur corresponds to the Italian phrase “i metodi artificiali di controllo delle nascite; the usual translation is: “artificial methods of birth control.” But the Latin is more concrete in speaking of the “artificial ways by which the number of children is limited.” I think this concreteness, that it is children who are being “limited” rather than the more abstract “birth” which is being controlled, is important.

 18 Cf. 1 John 4:8.

 19 Eph. 3:15.

 20 The phrase cum Deo operam socient is a bit peculiar. The Italian text speaks of the spouses being collaborators with God, as do several of the translations; others note that spouses “cooperate” with God. Again, I thought it important to note that “operam” is not the word for “work” but is the word for “service.” “Socient” means that there is a sharing of the service. This notion, again, is at the root of the word “munus” (mission) which refers to a task which God entrusts to others and needs them to do, and will help them to achieve.

 21 The final sentence presents difficulties to the modern translator who works in an atmosphere where all masculine pronouns are taken to refer to the male. This is especially awkward when speaking of marriage which clearly involves the reciprocal responsibilities of both sexes. The Latin easily includes the obligations of both sexes to each other, whereas it is impossible to convey this in modern day English.

 22 Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 50 in AAS 58 (1966) 1070-72.

 23 The phrase “munerum ad eos [biologicos processus] attinentium] is difficult to capture. “Munerum” is translated by DSP and IP and all the CTS versions have “functions” here which seem to reflect the Italian “funzioni”. Durand (translating from the Italian) renders its “obligations associated with these [biological processes].” See also Humanae Vitae 17 for two other instances of forms of “munus” being used in reference to physical processes.

 24 Cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 94, a. 2.

 25 It is difficult to determine a literal reading of “intimam rationem” (it is used again in HV 12); perhaps “most profound justification” would serve); “ratio” has many legtimate translations. Following the Italian “un piu profondo rapporto” DSP and IP have “a more profound relationship”. CTS1 and 2 have “a further and deeper significance of paramount importance” and CTS 3 has”one further essential aspect of paramount importance.” Durand has “is chiefly characterized by another and intimate quality.”

 26 This last phrase is translated a bit loosely. The Latin is “rerum bonorumque ordine recte servato” which literally means, “with the order of affairs and goods having been kept rightly.” DSP and IP, following the Italian “in una giusta gerarchia dei valori”, has “in a correct hierarchy of values.” All CTS versions have “keeping a right order of priorities” and Durand has “all in due order.”

 27 Cf. Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 50-51 in AAS 58 (1966)

 1070-73.

 28 Cf. Ibid., no. 49 in AAS 58 (1966( 1070).

 29 12a Cf. Pius XI, encyclical Casti Connubii in AAS 22 (1930) 560.

 12b Pius XII “Address to the Congress of the Italian Catholic Association of Midwives,” in AAS 43 (1951) 843.

 30 There is little doubt that the last sentence of this section has caused translators the most difficulty. See Chapter Three, p.

* for a discussion of this sentence. The DSP translation reads: “[the Church] teaches that each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life.” The IP translation is identical to the DSP translation. CTS1 reads: “[the Church] teaches as absolutely required that any use whatever of marriage must retain its natural potential to procreate human life.” CTS2 reads: “[the Church] teaches as absolutely required that in any use whatever of marriage there must be no impairment of its natural capacity to procreate human life.” CTS3 reads “[the Church] teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.” And the Durand translation reads: “[the Church] teaches the following necessary principle: every single act of marriage must retain all of its natural potential to generate human life.”

 31 In paragraph two of this section “intimam rationem” remains problematic. DSP and IP, following the Italian “intima struttura”, have “intimate structure.” CTS1 and

 2 have “fundamental structure” and CTS3 has “fundamental nature.” Durand has “inherent structure.”

 32 John XXIII, Mater et Magistra in AAS 53 (1961) 447.

 33 The Latin here reads “primariis hisce principiis” or “first principles.” The Italian reads “con questi capisaldi” or “with this foundation stone.” The English translations are disparate; DSP reads “landmarks”, CTS2 uses “first principles”; and IP uses “fundamental elements.” “First principles” should be the preferred translation since it captures the technical philosophical sense of “principiis”. A proper inquiry must proceed from first principles; without agreement on these principles, no progress can be made in reasoning about the matters which the principles undergird.

 34 14a Cf. Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part II, ch. 8.

 14b Pius XI, encyclical Casti Connubii in AAS 22 (1930) 562-4.

 14c Pius XII, “Address to the Italian Medico-Biological Union of St. Luke,” Nov.

 12, 1944 in Discorsi e Radiomessaggi VI, 191-192.

 14d Pius XII, “Address to the Italian Catholic Union of Midwives,” Oct. 29, 1951 in AAS 43 (1951) 842-43.

 14e Pius XII, “Address to the Congress of the Family Front and of the Association of Large Families,” Nov. 28, 1951; AAS 43 (1951) 857-59.

 14f John XXIII, encyclical Pacem in Terris, Apr. 11, 1963 in AAS 55 (1963)

 259-60.

 14g Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 50 in AAS 58 (1966) 1072.

 35 15a Pius XI, encyclical Casti Connubii in AAS 22 (1930) 565.

 15b Pius XII, Decree of the Holy Office, Feb. 22, 1940 in AAS 32 (1940) 73.

 15c Pius XII, “Address to the Italian Catholic Union of Midwives,” Oct. 29, 1951 in AAS 43 (1951) 843-44.

 15d Pius XII, “Address to the Seventh Congress of the International Society of Hematology,” Sept. 12, 1958 in AAS 50 (1958) 734-735.

 36 For the phrase translated here as actions that attempt “to impede procreation,” the Latin is “ut procreatio impediatur”; the Italian is “di rendere impossibile la procreazione.”

 37 16a Cf. Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part II, Chapter 8.  16b Pius XI, Casti Connubii AAS 22 (1930) 559-561. 16c Pius XII, “Address to the Italian Catholic Union of Midwives,” in AAS 43 (1951) 843.  16d Pius XII, “Address to the Seventh Congress of the International Society of Hematology” AAS 50 (1958) 734-735. 16e John XXIII, Mater et Magistra in AAS 53 (1961) 447.

 38 Cf. Pius XII, “Address to the Fifth National Congress of Italian Catholic Jurists, Dec. 6, 1953 in AAS 45 (1953) 798-99.

 39 Cf. Rom. 3:8.

 40 19a Cf. Pope Pius XII, “Address to the Congress of the Italian Association of Urology,” Oct. 8, 1953 in AAS 45 (1953) 674-675.  19b Pius XII, “Address to the Seventh Congress of the International Society of Hematology,” in AAS 50 (1958) 734-735.

 41 This is a short but important paragraph. I decided to cast the principle here in the positive rather than the negative. It may also be important to note that whereas most translators prefer “licit” and “illicit” which are cognates of the Latin, I have chosen to use “morally permissible” and “morally wrong.”

 42 The Italian speaks of “seri motivi” for spacing children whereas the Latin speaks of “iustae causae”; the translations which have been given for this are “serious motives,” “well-grounded reasons,” and “reasonable grounds.” (See the commentary on this section for a discussion of these various possible translations.) For the most part the Italian for this passage is much more translatable than the Latin.

 43 Pius XII, “Address to the Italian Catholic Union of Midwives,” in AAS 43 (1951)

 846.

 44 There are some interesting discrepancies between the Italian and the Latin in this paragraph. One choice of Latin seems to be inappropriate; where the Italian states “the two cases are essentially different” (tra i due casi esiste una differenza essenziale), the Latin reads “these two causes differ exceedingly” (hae duae causae inter se maxime discrepant). The meaning of “causae (reasons, motives, purposes, sources) does not seem appropriate here; it seems “casus” (cases) is what is needed, and “essentially” seems somewhat more precise than “exceedingly.”

 45 The second portion of this first sentence is translated variously. The Latin is “quae secutura sunt vias rationesque, ad natorum incrementa artificio coercenda adhibitas.” CTS1 and 2 has “the consequences of methods and plans for the artificial restriction of increases in the birth rate” (CTS); the other (IP), based on the Italian text (“alle conseguenze dei metodi di regolazione artificiale delle natalita”) is “consequences of the use of methods of artificial birth control.” While abortion may also be intended to be included here, it seems that contraception is the issue at hand and it would be the most succinct and accurate translation.

 46 The translation of this sentence has generally relied upon the Italian [“allo abbassamento generale della moralita”]. Most translations render this “a general lowering of morality”. The Latin reads “ad morum disciplinam passim enervandam” which literally means “to a little by little weakening of the discipline of habits.”

 47 21a Cf. Pope Pius XII, “Address to the Congress of the Italian Association of Urology,” Oct. 8, 1953 in AAS 45 (1953) 674-675. 21b Pius XII, “Address to the Directors and Members of the Italian Association of Cornea Donors and of the Italian Association of the Blind,” May 14, 1956 in AAS

 48 (1956) 46-62.

 48 Luke 2:34.

 49 Paul VI, encyclical, Populorum Progressio, Mar. 26, 1967, no. 21 in AAS 59 (1967) 268.

 50 Cf. Rom. 8.

 51 Cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree Inter Mirifica, Dec. 4, 1963, nos. 6-7: AAS

 56 (1964) 147.

 52 John XIII, encyclical, Mater et Magistra, May 15, 1961 in AAS 53 (1961), 447.

 53 Paul VI, encyclical, Populorum Progressio, Mar. 26, 1967, no. 21 in AAS 59 (1967) 281-84.

 54 Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 52 in AAS 58 (1966) 1074.

 55 Pius XII, “Address to the Congress of the Family Front and of the Association of Large Families,” Nov. 28, 1951; AAS 43 (1951) 859.

 56 Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 51 in AAS 58 (1966) 1072.

 57 Cf. Matthew 11:30.

 58 32a Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 48 in AAS 58 (1966) 1067-69.  32b Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, Nov. 21, 1964, no. 35 in AAS 57 (1965) 40-41.

 59 Matthew 7:14; cf. Hebrews 12:11.

 60 Cf. Titus 2:12.

 61 Cf. 1 Cor. 7:31.

 62 Romans 5:5.

 63 Ephesians 5:25, 28-29, 32-33.

 64 38a Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, Nov.  21, 1964, no. 35, 41 in in AAS 57 (1965) 40-45.  38b Gaudium et Spes, 48-49 in AAS 58 (1966) 1067-70.  38c Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, Nov. 18, 1965, no. 11 in AAS 58 (1966)  947-49. [Father Caligari persuasively argues that AAS pages for Lumen Gentium should be 40-41 and 45-47.]

 65 Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, Nov. 21,

 1964, no. 25 in AAS 57 (1965) 29-31.

 66 1 Corinthians 1:10.

 67 Cf. John 3:17.  


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