The Scandal of the Century:
30 Years of Prophecy Ignored
The Scandal of the Century:
Humane Vitae and 30 Years of Prophecy Ignored
By John Mallon
"I don't preach on contraception because my archbishop doesn't preach about contraception." So the pastor of an affluent American parish told me. When I asked his archbishop about this, the archbishop rolled his eyes and shook his head with a sigh. Priests don't need their archbishop's permission to proclaim and preach the teachings of the Church. They are expected — indeed ordained to do so.
This example represents the rule rather than the exception in American and Western European parishes and dioceses in the last 30 years since Pope Paul VI's monumental and prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae was issued. Those who stood up for this teaching, both lay and clerical, soon became, and remained, outcasts. Parishioners who supported this teaching were called "judgmental," ridiculed even by their pastors. Priests who preached it were frozen out — even persecuted by their brother priests. Theologians who taught it were ostracized by their faculty colleagues, and began to fear for their jobs. Rejection of Humanae Vitae by Catholic theologians became the very linchpin of dissent, which, in search of ever greater novelty even went the route of neo-paganism. Those who prided themselves on denying the Church's version of the supernatural were soon welcoming practicing witches to their theology faculties and condoning occult practices on Catholic campuses.
The amazing irony remains that in many parishes, chanceries, and theology faculties, dissenters who have caused the deep divisions in our Church today, and split themselves off from the mind of the Church, accuse those who are faithful to Church teachings of being "divisive" — and are taken seriously — even by bishops. This bears repeating. Those who have remained faithful to Church teachings are accused of fomenting "disunity" by those who have split the Church with their dissent. Dissent's claim of representing the "mainstream" remains unchallenged still in too many chanceries.
This weird scenario continues to this day, but the tide is turning. Those who have dissented against Humanae Vitae since the beginning are now well beyond child-bearing years — even if many of them were celibates and religious. Young couples, and especially young women, are eager to learn — and teach — Natural Family Planning to their contemporaries, but often complain of their gifts being unwelcome in their parish or diocese — and not necessarily out of malice. It simply isn't a priority.
However, we could be witnessing the makings of the great clerical scandal of the 21st century. When pedophilia cases first started to emerge and enraged victims came of age, bishops were accused angrily of merely transferring offenders instead of removing and disciplining them. The response often given was, "We didn't know then what we know now about the seriousness of these things." Now, medical discoveries are vindicating Humanae Vitae on the medical dangers posed by the Pill, abortifacient contraceptives and devices like the IUD and even condoms. (Pores in the latex of comdoms are seventy times bigger than the AIDS virus.)
To give but one example, The research of Swedish Professor Erik Odeblad, M.D., Ph.D., has shown that the "Pill" ages a woman's cervix two years for every year she has been on the Pill. In other words, a 24-year-old woman who has been on the Pill since she was 12, (as is not uncommon) and is now married and wants to have children may be shocked to find that she has the cervix of a 36-year-old woman. This was unknown in 1968, but it was known that the teaching of Humanae Vitae, promulgated by the supreme authority of the Church enjoyed the infallibility of the ordinary Magisterium. Authority which dissident moral theologians tried (and still try) to discredit with theological shell games when the unpopular teaching was upheld by Humanae Vitae. God knew the dangers — and warned us in this encyclical which was to be taken on faith as well as the clear reasoning it demonstrated.
But this is only one of many medical dangers. There are also the spiritual, moral, psychological, sociological, and political problems the Pope predicted, predictions for which we are now paying the price for having ignored, including the abortion genocide — perhaps the greatest genocide in history, totaling well over one million deaths per year for over 25 years. The door to abortion was opened by contraception. Dissent from Humane Vitae, which deceived so many of God's people, proved to be one of the initial shots fired in the current war on the family, and indeed on human life itself, plunging us into what Pope John Paul II has so aptly called the Culture of Death.
Pope Paul prophesied with extraordinary precision what would happen if artificial contraception became widespread. Today we are even beyond those predictions. Nearly every social evil laying waste to the family and the social order today can be traced to the “Sexual Revolution” the door to which was opened by “the Pill.” Clergy who rejected, neglected, or denied outright the teaching of Humanae Vitae often draped themselves in the more fashionable banner of “social justice”at the expense of the Church's teachings on human sexuality which dissenting moral theologians openly mocked as the Church's “over-concern with ‘pelvic issues.’” This was a social injustice in itself, since contraceptive issues and practices have now emerged to be at the center nightmarish social injustices and major human rights abuses such as forced sterilizations of the poor in developing countries and coerced abortion in China — fitting right in with the predictions of the encyclical. (See HV No. 17.)
In the affluent nations of the West, marriage and family fell apart, divorce and abortion rates climbed, fatherless homes and the separation of the sexual act from procreation helped homosexuality to spread wildly, sexually transmitted disease commanded the world’s attention and resources, while sexual addiction and pornography hold many in bondage. Nary an evening newscast goes by without a story of a child who was abducted, sexually and physically abused and murdered. The predictions of the prophet-Pope came to pass with terrifying swiftness.
To delve into these and various other ramifications of the widespread disobedience of this teaching, Inside the Vatican interviewed experts, asking them all basically the same question, and allowing them to offer their comments and reflections on this disastrous scandal. Many of these experts, both clerical and lay, have dedicated their lives to the truth of Humanae Vitae, finding new vocations and apostolates in spreading this truth, warning of further dangers stemming from this disregard for the tragically vindicated truths of Humane Vitae, and trying to repair the damage — damage which the suffering Pope Paul VI foresaw so clearly, and whose prophecies were rejected so cruelly.