Philadelphia Clergy and Laity Mark 50th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae

As the 50th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae approaches, The Knights of the Immaculata, The Regina Academies and Generation Life, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office for Life and Family are raising awareness of this monumental and prophetic encyclical issued by Blessed, soon to be Saint, Paul VI on July 25, 1968.

In this encyclical, the Holy Father wrote of the beauty and power of married love which is not only fully human, but also very much divine in that a husband and wife share in God’s power to bring forth new human lives. He also warned the world of the dangers the use of contraception present to women, the family and the society at large

As part of the awareness campaign, members of the partnership are circulating a declaration in support of Humanae Vitae throughout the Archdiocese that urges clergy and laity to sign either the form being circulated or to do so on line ( ), and to share the invitation with parishioners, family and friends. It will likely run as an advertisement in the Philadelphia Inquirer and appear on a number of websites with the region and beyond. We are grateful that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput O.F.M. Cap. is one of the signatories

The Declaration notes that the encyclical’s author, Blessed Pope Paul VI, predicted that societies that ignore God’s plan for marital love and the transmission of human life through the use of contraception would see an increase in marital infidelity, a general lowering of morality, a growing disrespect for women, and coercive measures by governments to impose contraception on their citizens.

“Even secular elites now realize something has gone terribly wrong with the Sexual Revolution,” says author Mary Eberstadt. “The rise of the Me-Too movement has revealed an ugly truth: that 50 years ago a Pope got it right about what was best for women and families … and his many critics – both inside and outside the Church – were frightfully wrong.”

Along with the declaration, members of the partnership distributed to parishes homily suggestions for the clergy to consider as they prepare their homilies for the weekend of July 21 and 22. Parishes were also supplied with various flyers promoting the other components of the awareness campaign. One such flyer is regarding a documentary film regarding the sexual revolution, which will be shown at the Malvern Retreat House on Wednesday, July 25 at 7:30 PM. Admission is free.

Another flyer promotes the October 13 conference Humanae Vitae: the Prophetic Voice of Blessed Paul VI 50 Years Later at the Logan Hotel in Philadelphia featuring celebrated author Dr. Janet Smith, the Sisters of Life and others.

“This is what we call a ‘teaching moment’,” said Generation Life President, Father Joe Zaleski. “This is an opportunity to teach a new generation what God intends with respect to a married couple’s primordial privilege – to co-create human life with Him that is destined to live for all eternity”