Page 8, 11th August 1978

11th August 1978
Page 8
Page 8, 11th August 1978 — Ten years of Humanae Vitae

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People: Simon Bryden, Paul


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Ten years of Humanae Vitae

Bishop Clark has recently reminded us that 10 years ago the Pope declined to invoke his infallibility when issuing Hurnanae Vitae. What was his reason for this? Would it not have been more prudent to end the matter?

Surely here was an excellent case for a once and for all, clearly infallible statement. which would close the debate for ever for those of us who loyally accept all infallible statements of the Church?

In fact. I have seen it suggested that the subject matter of that

encyclical does not fall within that body of faith and morals where the church has been guaranteed infallibility. The Pope's views on say, Marxism or whether priests should marry. are of interest to all Christians. particularly those less informed than His Holiness — but God never promised this sort of statement could be taken as gospel truth. Was this the reason Humanae Vitae was not an infallible pronouncement?

Simon Bryden-Brook



"The Herald" says on July 21, discussing Hanianav Vitae: "the absoluteness of the ruling has been modified and no longer 'applies except in ideal relationships." Since the only person who can modify the absolute ruling of the Pope is Pope Paul himself. 1 UM writing to ask if you are now in a position to inform your readers (or at least the less wellinformed of them) of the OMR sion on which His Holiness modified that ruling'?

Bishops and theologians who oppose the Holy Father's most solemn rulings in public are either in, or are very near to, schism.

Catholics who allow themselves to be readily influenced by such persons, hardly merit the admiration you seem to hold for the "well-informed" any more than those who base read and studied the clear teaching Of the Vicar of Christ (and thus by a logic peculiarly your own become less well-informed) and prefer to follow him rather than a host of self-appointed "popes". should mem the contempt you take such little pains to conceal.

Nor does your admiration for

Friglish law impress those who \ee it in action in the field of [flora Is. One milli on abortions were performed in 10 years following an Act whose supporters waxed eloquent about the need for compassion in cases of hardship.

Already we find doctors dis

pensing themselves from the "absolute ruling" and advising harried mothers who want their babies to have an abortion.

Humana(' Vitae said what the

ordinary and universal

Alagisterium of the Church has taught for centuries, and it is astonishing than an editorial in a paper calling itself Catholic has nothing to suggest about people who accept this teaching other than that they arc "less wellinformed and usually the less

well-off too". I.. E. Fuchter Chatham, Kent.

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