From Humanae Vitae to Veritatis Splendour
by Monsignor Vincent Foy
This commentary was written in 1993 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of “Humanae Vitae”. It was written in two parts. The first appeared in the December 1993 issue of Challenge magazine and the second in January 1994. In 1994 it was published in booklet form by St. Joseph’s Workers for Life and Family.
I am by nature a rather slow and stupid reader. But, to my surprise, I read FROM Humanae Vitae TO Veritatis Splendor twice in a few hours. I think the reason was that it is the most trenchant and compelling explanation of Humanae Vitae which I had read in the past twenty-five years and it is also the clearest exposition of the irreparable damage to the Church, the family and consequently to society, which has resulted from the rejection of the teaching of this most important church document of the present century.
If I may be permitted to sum up the argument of Msgr. Foy for the fundamental evil of contraception, I would put it something like this: “When a man and a woman perform the act of sex while using contraception, they are claiming for themselves the right to decide whether or not a new human being – made in the image of God will come into existence. They are echoing the fatal promise made by Satan to Eve in the Garden of Eden, ‘You will be as Gods….’” (See pages 15&16).
About a year ago I heard Msgr. William Smith speaking at a conference in the U.S. , to an audience of about 500 Catholics. He asked the question, “How many of you have heard the subject of contraception mentioned from the pulpit in the past fifteen years?” Two hands went up and, as they were sitting together, it is possible that they were husband and wife. Some two hundred years ago in the British House of Parliament, Edmund Burke made the famous statement, “All that evil needs in order to flourish is that good men do nothing.” I wonder if it might be said with truth that the evil of contraception has flourished in the Church because good priests have said nothing!
Father Ted Colleton, C.S.Sp.
March 17, 1994
Feast of St. Patrick
Continue reading: From Humanae Vitae to Veritatis Splendour
Also see the website Catholics Against Contraception.