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Bishop Burbidge's statement on 50th anniversary of 'Humanae Vitae'

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On July 25, the Church marks the 50th anniversary of Blessed Pope Paul VI’s prophetic encyclical on human life (“Humanae Vitae”). In 1968, at a time of great social and moral confusion, the Holy Father confirmed the beauty of the Church’s teaching on married love and the transmission of life. He cautioned against the false spirit of the world that separates the marital embrace from its life-giving end. 

The wisdom of “Humanae Vitae” still rings true in our time and reminds us that marriage lived according to God’s plan brings happiness and fruitfulness to the couple and their relationship. Since the time it was published, the warnings contained within “Humanae Vitae” have been realized to a devastating and tragic degree as the negative societal consequences and disregard of the life-giving and love-giving aspects of marriage continue. 

The good news, however, is that the truths of “Humanae Vitae” are eternal. Its practical approach to intimate love, marriage, and the dignity of the human person can transform society and the Church, drawing all people closer to God through a proper understanding of how he made us to share life and love in the sacred bond of marriage.

To young people considering the vocation to marriage, I encourage you to discern your call prayerfully. If you are called to marriage, give yourself completely to your spouse without reservation; and nurture your friendship with Christ and with one another. I pray your hearts will be open to the gift of children free of fear and full of trust in the Heavenly Father who loves you and knows all your needs. God will bless your marriage and it will be a beautiful sign to the world of God’s love and fidelity. 

I hope this commemoration of “Humanae Vitae” inspires you to delve deeper into the treasures of the document and to read it thoroughly. It is very accessible to the reader and even those with no theological training will appreciate its substance. You can find the full text at bit.ly/1KSrQG2.

I invite you to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as we explore the foundations and teaching of the encyclical throughout the month of July. May Our Lord bless you, our families, and the Church he established.


Find out more

Follow @arlingtonchurch on Twitter and Instagram, and @arlingtondiocese on Facebook, for daily content related to “Humanae Vitae.” July 25, join the Diocese for a special “Twitter Symposium” where topics related to family life, sexuality, marriage, love and more will be discussed in open dialogue. Stay in touch with the Diocese for statements from Bishop Burbidge, news, events, videos/podcasts, and more by signing up for our e-newsletter. Read more about the legacy of “Humanae Vitae," from its prophetic nature to its influence on Pope Francis, and get more articles like this in your inbox.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018