This is a series of articles on the blog of the Couple to Couple League that are worth reposting here. You can find the originals at www.artofnfp.org.
Humanae Vitae (On Human Life) 45 Years Later: Is it still relevant?
Part 5 of 5: Dissenters and Living Martyrs
Bob & Gerri Laird
History is worth repeating. On the 25th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae, a story of the courage and humility of Archbishop J. Francis Stafford described the surrounding days, weeks, months, and years after Humanae Vitae. On the 40th Anniversary, Cardinal Stafford updated the original story. It is obvious that dissenters are still among us. Contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs are the norm among large elements of the clergy and laity within the Catholic Church, and religious freedom can no longer be taken for granted. On this 45th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae, it is worthwhile to re-consider the impact of the dissenters and the charitable response by today’s living martyrs.
Humanae Vitae was issued on July 25, 1968, and on July 30th, rebellious clergy had gathered over 200 signatures from prominent theologians and Catholics on a petition of dissent that was published in the New York Times. It was a “pivotal day in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States.” Continue reading