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Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 25, 2020

Msgr. Robert J. Batule
Pages 141-159

Humanae Vitae
Looking Back And Looking Ahead

Two years ago (2018) was the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Humanae Vitae. It was also the year Pope Paul VI was canonized a saint of the Catholic Church. The Pope who was once vilified for writing the encyclical has now become the Pope raised to the altar. We know what has become of the Pope, but what is to become of his encyclical? This article examines what was occurring at the time of the encyclical’s release and what it has been like to live with half a century of the encyclical’s rejection. The prospects are not very good for anything like a cultural conversion any time soon—maybe not for the foreseeable future. But we are encouraged now at this moment in history by what the prophet Habakkuk says in his Old Testament book. “The vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment and will not disappoint.”

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