Is teaching on contraception declared infallible?

I was just reading about the pontifical commission on birth control set up by John XXIII and that reported to Paul VI on birth control. Subsequent to this, Humanae Vitae was published.

So, before Humanae Vitae, the teachings on birth control must not have been considered infallible, or they would not have been studying them. Did Humanae Vitae declare the teachings to be infallible or not?

Most teachings are not accompanied by a declaration of infallibility. The teaching on contraception had been and continues to be consistent throughout the Church’s history. The only reason for the commission was due to the fact that some were saying that the newly developed hormonal contraceptives were not really contraceptives. But they are.


Jimmy Akin on the subject:

How could someone argue that a contraceptive isn’t a contraceptive? :confused:

As others have said, the issue was not whether or not contraception was immoral. That has always been the teaching. The issue was whether or not a pill that you take (whose effects are not visible to the naked eye) would fall into that same category as other things (like condoms) where the barrier it creates to the marital act is much more readily discernible.

Because you don’t see the barrier that the pill creates towards procreation. With other methods, you do.

It is an infallible teaching by virtue of the Ordinary Magisterium - that is, what has always been taught by the Pope and Bishops down through the centuries. It has not been dogmatically defined (Humanae Vitae did not promulgate a new dogma), as there was no need to do so. Infallibility goes beyond dogmatic decrees.

:thumbsup: Good explanation.

Everything the Teaching Magisterium of the Church teaches is infallible. God Bless, Memaw

Such would not be the case. There are various kinds of teachings.

As to the question posed here one can refer to the link from Jimmy Akin above

Such is the case! The Ordinary Teaching Authority of the Church, the Magisterium, is kept free from error by the Supernatural assistance of the Holy Spirit. It is the very basic theological issue facing the Church today. So many want to ignore it and put their own cafeteria style teaching in there. Guess who is wrong? God Bless, Memaw

No such is not the case.

There are various kinds of teachings. Not everything of the Ordinary Magisterium is infallible Such can yes be- when it is universal. Nor is everything of the extraordinary Magisterium infallible. But of course even in the case of that which is not infallible -there is still religious submission etc that is called for.

I am addressing principles here. As to the question of contraception -see the link from Jimmy Akin.


890 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium’s task to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church’s shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:

891 “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council.418 When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed,"419 and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith."420 This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.421

892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a “definitive manner,” they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent"422 which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.

Infallibility does take several forms but it’s still infallible, God Bless, Memaw

Yes infallibility is exercised in more than one way. And yes it is still infallible.

But not everything in the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church is infallible. THAT is the Teaching of the Church. There is absolutely no question here. Your confusing the “ordinary magisterium” with “ordinary and universal magisterium”. The ordinary magisterium* “can” *be infallible -but it is not always infallible.

Not everything the Pope teaches is infallible nor is that which individual Bishops teach necessarily infallible (though it can be due to teaching something that is already infallible).

To assert that the entire ordinary magisterium of the Church is infallible or that all the teachings of the Church are infallible is to actually assert something (in innocence not doubt) that is contrary to the Teachings of the Catholic Church.

There are various kinds and degrees of Teachings. That does not mean one may “pick and choose”.

Again I am not saying the teaching regarding contraception is not infallible. I provided a link to Jimmy Akin on that.

What Pope Paul VI reaffirmed has been and remains constant Church teaching on artificial contraception.

1960 The FDA approves the birth control pill for sale by prescription.

1967 Most Americans did not see a real marketing push for The Pill until Time magazine did a cover story for its April 7th issue. Read what the public was told at the time. “Freedom from Fear.” Fear of what? Those gifts from God. Babies. A lie.,9171,843551,00.html

1968 Pope Paul VI published Humanae Vitae just as the Sexual (without love) Revolution was taking off. He warned what would happen if his words were not heeded. He was right. We’re living through it now.


We certainly are and it just keeps getting worse !! Our Lady warned us at Fatima too. In 1931 when Birth Control was accepted by the Anglican Church, it opened the door to the destruction of Marriage and family. God Bless, Memaw

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