Can Humanae Vitae be 'overturned'?


#1

With all the media talk about the next Pope ‘changing the direction of the Church on Birth Control’ it has me a bit worried. Could the next Pope issue another encyclical overturning Humanae Vitae? Or is it infallible. Here is how Humanae Vitae ends:

“Venerable brothers, most beloved sons, and all men of good will, great indeed is the work of education, of progress and of love to which we call you, upon the foundation of the Church’s teaching, of which the successor of Peter is, together with his brothers in the episcopate, the depositary and interpreter.”

But I can’t tell if he is invoking his authority as the Bishop of Rome. Indeed, can an encyclical declar something infallibly?


#2

[quote=Whalljim]With all the media talk about the next Pope ‘changing the direction of the Church on Birth Control’ it has me a bit worried.
[/quote]

Media talk cannot change Church doctrine. Neither can a Pope.

– Mark L. Chance.


#3

[quote=Whalljim]With all the media talk about the next Pope ‘changing the direction of the Church on Birth Control’ it has me a bit worried. Could the next Pope issue another encyclical overturning Humanae Vitae? Or is it infallible. Here is how Humanae Vitae ends:

“Venerable brothers, most beloved sons, and all men of good will, great indeed is the work of education, of progress and of love to which we call you, upon the foundation of the Church’s teaching, of which the successor of Peter is, together with his brothers in the episcopate, the depositary and interpreter.”

But I can’t tell if he is invoking his authority as the Bishop of Rome. Indeed, can an encyclical declar something infallibly?
[/quote]

Humanae Vitae is an encyclical, which means it is not promulgating new doctrine, but simply clarifying and explaining extant doctrine. So, while a new pope could write a new encyclical, he could never overturn the doctrines on which humanae vitae is built. So, in short, no future pope could overturn the encyclical.


#4

Humanae Vitae is an encyclical, which means it is not promulgating new doctrine, but simply clarifying and explaining extant doctrine. So, while a new pope could write a new encyclical, he could never overturn the doctrines on which humanae vitae is built. So, in short, no future pope could overturn the encyclical.

In other words, the encyclical is not technically infallible, but the doctrine it is explaining is. It’s the same with any Papal writings expounding on the sinless nature of Mary.


#5

In the way I understand it, encyclials explain Church doctrine which cannot be changed.
With the passage of time, some doctrines NEED to be ‘re-explained’ to a world that HAS TO hear the Truth. Encyclials can be written in styles that are more insightful, reflective, but yet in a language that the ‘common man’ can understand.

I thank God that His Word Never changes!


#6

[quote=Whalljim]With all the media talk about the next Pope ‘changing the direction of the Church on Birth Control’ it has me a bit worried. Could the next Pope issue another encyclical overturning Humanae Vitae? Or is it infallible. Here is how Humanae Vitae ends:

“Venerable brothers, most beloved sons, and all men of good will, great indeed is the work of education, of progress and of love to which we call you, upon the foundation of the Church’s teaching, of which the successor of Peter is, together with his brothers in the episcopate, the depositary and interpreter.”

But I can’t tell if he is invoking his authority as the Bishop of Rome. Indeed, can an encyclical declar something infallibly?
[/quote]

This is a papal document it can’t be turned or overturned it just is. What is being posited by the media is that the Church can reverse it’s moral teaching contained in the document. The answer would be no it can’t outright reverse itself on this teaching of the magisterium. Remember that Pope Paul didn’t declare this moral teaching himself. He simply states that this is and always has been the teaching of the Church.


#7

The principles underlying Humanae Vitae are Natural Law. Natural Law is not chageable.

There is an interesting comment in Scripture, to the effect that pharmakeia-users will simply be sent to Hell. Pharmakeia appears to have been the term used by the ancients to refer to the oral contraceptive silphium, and similar preparations.


#8

Why would any pope even consider doing that? Natural law is indeed unchangeable. Thank God for that!


#9

Assume for a moment that the teaching on ABC was legitimately overturned or repudiated. Would you than be required to use contraception or would things just go on as they are now when the vast majority of nominal Catholics of childbearing age use it? If you personally do not want to use ABC why would you care what others are doing? I my opinion we do not have to worry about most of the changes being ranted about in the media with the possible exception of ordination of married males.


#10

It’s infuriating how the media assumes these can be changed by a new pope. Pope John Paul is blamed again and again, by both the media and liberal Catholics (God have mercy on their souls!) for remaining loyal to traditional Catholic teachings. The thing is, however, that he has absolutely NO choice in the matter. He is completely POWERLESS to change the Natural Law and the teachings of the Church. The media, however, lumps Natural and Divine Law in with Church Law which can change. For example, women can never be ordained to the priesthood, because it violates the Divine Law; however, married men could (and are in some Eastern Rites) ordained to the priesthood as it would simply entail a change of Church (read: Canon) Law, not Divine Law. Someone should point out this confusion of the issues.


#11

The world is round, right? Can the words of a pope flatten it?

Can a pope repeal the law of gravity?


#12

[quote=STJOMO]The world is round, right? Can the words of a pope flatten it?

Can a pope repeal the law of gravity?
[/quote]

Of course. Would you like me to drop a request to alter the orbit of earth around the sun while we’re at it?


#13

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]Humanae Vitae is an encyclical, which means it is not promulgating new doctrine, but simply clarifying and explaining extant doctrine. So, while a new pope could write a new encyclical, he could never overturn the doctrines on which humanae vitae is built. So, in short, no future pope could overturn the encyclical.
[/quote]

It is less likely to be repudiated by the Church than Marbury vs. Madison by SCOTUS


#14

[quote=twf]It’s infuriating how the media assumes these can be changed by a new pope. Pope John Paul is blamed again and again, by both the media and liberal Catholics (God have mercy on their souls!) for remaining loyal to traditional Catholic teachings. The thing is, however, that he has absolutely NO choice in the matter. He is completely POWERLESS to change the Natural Law and the teachings of the Church. The media, however, lumps Natural and Divine Law in with Church Law which can change. For example, women can never be ordained to the priesthood, because it violates the Divine Law; however, married men could (and are in some Eastern Rites) ordained to the priesthood as it would simply entail a change of Church (read: Canon) Law, not Divine Law. Someone should point out this confusion of the issues.
[/quote]

Liberals don’t care about the details. They just want the Church to make herself irrelevant, like the Church of England.


#15

ohhhh all this nonsense! If someone wants to liberalize the Church’s teaching, let them convert to the Anglicans or Epsicoplican. Those denominations seem to be always changing along with the secular times. They will NEVER, as much as they hope, see any doctrines change. So, to answer the title of the post, NO. It can’t be overturn.


#16

The secular media is, IMHO, mainly liberal and also in need of ratings. It caters to the masses of americans who in large part stand on the side of liberalism (or at least sign the paychecks). To “challenge” the Church and her doctrine is for show and to boost ratings. To elude to the fact that the Church would so easily change (or even could change her doctrine) is meerly a ploy to get people talking and watch their station. Remember, it is very PC to be non-controversial these days and to say it’s OK for people to do whatever they want, whenever they want with out regard for the consequences.

I find it ridiculous that some of these shows think that the Church would so easily change Her stance on issues such as abortion, contraception, and the issues surrounding the priesthood (as these subjects seem to be the only things the secular media thinks we Catholics think about). One reason the Church is still around after over 2000 years is with the Grace of God and Her faithfulness to the teachings of Christ, She (the Church) moves slowly and cautiously. It would be a sad state of affairs if the Church constantly “changed” with the “modern” times.

I think, rather than listen to the secular media, which only tells one part (and a small one at that), that we should all pray for our cardinals as the prepare themselves to elect our new pope. We should all pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us and then we should TRUST that the Holy Spirit WILL guide us and get us through this time of change! Speak our truth when given the chance and then pray for those who don’t understand.

Just my 2 cents…well, more like a buck fifty! :slight_smile:


#17

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