Sunday, July 20, 2008

Humanae Vitae: two score later

Forty years ago, Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical Humanae Vitae

The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy celebrated the anniversary of this prophetic document at its 33rd annual convocation which met in Baltimore, MD, July 14-17. Dr. Janet Smith was the keynote speaker and she gave a concise and erudite synopsis on why this encyclical was written and what it meant. She also gave an illuminating post-mortem on the dissent from Humanae Vitae, from 1968 to 2008. Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, President of HLI (Human Life International), spoke on the diabolical dimensions of abortion and contraception. Just as individual bodies can be possessed or obsessed by demonic forces, so, too, corporate bodies (like society) can also be infected. Abortion and contraception, he maintains, are demonic obsessions plaguing our civilization. Intrinsic evils like these which seek to destroy the divine plan of marriage (i.e., love & life; unity & procreation), also affect the whole of society since innocent unborn human life becomes the direct and unjust victim. Fr. Peter West of Priests for Life spoke on the political response to abortion and the moral culpability of the faithful not voting (which can be a grave sin of omission). Bad enough when so-called Christians vote FOR pro-abortion candidates. Equally bad when pro-life Christians do not vote at all and by their absence in the voting booths, allow pro-abortion candidates to win by default. Fr. West pointed out the difference between candidate-oriented endorsements and issue-oriented endorsements. Clergy cannot endorse any specific candidate or party from the pulpit BUT they can and MUST condemn immoral policies, platforms, laws, and any issue which threatens the lives of innocent human beings.

The following resolutions were approved at this year's meeting:

1. We resolve as priests and deacons of the Catholic Church to reaffirm our unequivocal and complete acceptance and support of the magisterial teachings contained in the papal encyclical 'Humanae Vitae' (by Paul VI) as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of this prophetic document. Furthermore, we pledge to explain and encourage our faithful to fully know, understand and comply with authentic Christian morality contained in this encyclical, especially on the intrinsic evils of abortion and contraception.

2. We resolve as pastors and spiritual leaders to aggressively engage our people to defend and protect the sanctity of marriage as a union of one man and one woman. We strongly urge the faithful to exercise their political power as tax paying voters to elect and influence governors and legislators so they will enact state amendments to prevent the alteration, expansion or redefinition of marriage.

3. We resolve to express our profound gratitude to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for his first pastoral visit to the United States this past April and for his pastoral love and concern for the clergy. We appreciate his paternal words of support for priests and deacons as he spoke to the bishops of our nation. The CCC also thanks the Pontiff for his visit to Australia for World Youth Day since his love and concern for young people is a model for all pastors.

4. We resolve to follow the lead and continue the work begun by the Holy Father in his efforts to reintroduce more of the sacred into divine worship. The Pope teaches us by example in the gestures,materials, and manner in which he celebrates the Holy Mass. By emulating him in reverently and accurately following the rubrics as well as prayerfully saying the correct words (in other words say the black; do the red), we hope to offer fitting worship and to edify the faithful with the sacred mysteries we celebrate

5. We resolve to urge and exhort our bishops to give us an accurate and eloquent translation of the Roman Missal as soon as possible. Reverent worship of God, which edifies and nourishes the faithful, demands sacred language and sacred ritual (words & gestures). Therefore, we ask for a translation that is not patronizing to the intelligence of our people but instead inspires them to aspire to seek and embrace holiness.

6. We resolve to support every bishop who courageously defends the sanctity and integrity of the Holy Eucharist by denying Communion to notorious and unrepentent politicians who are openly supportive of abortion and/or euthanasia. We applaud those shepherds who make every effort to persuade and dialogue with these politicians in hopes of converting their minds and hearts to be completely Pro-Life. We also acknowledge that those whose obstinate hardness of heart prevent them from abandoning their allegiance to the so-called "pro-choice" defense of abortion make themselves ineligible to receive Holy Communion.

unanimously approved 7-17-08

Rev John Trigilio, Jr (president)

1 comment:

GoodForm said...

Wonderful post, Fr. John. I'm so glad to see these resolutions. I'm posting a link to this on my various social networking sites.

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