Protestant students who love Humanae Vitae


My wife is teaching a brief (six-week) online intro to church history for a master’s program in youth ministry run by a Methodist college. It’s a small class, with six or seven students, all Protestants and several of them quite anti-Catholic. As part of her coverage of modern Christianity, she had them read a portion of Humanae Vitae and got an extremely positive response. Each week she asks them to name one figure from that particular part of church history whom they particularly admire (the week they did the Reformation I think everyone named Luther!), and this week two of the students (i.e., a third of the class!) named Paul VI, solely because of *Humanae Vitae. *They thought that the message of the encyclical about the purpose of sexuality was badly needed by Protestant young people.

I just thought I’d share this as good news on the ecumenical front!



Humanae Vitae is one of the documents I wish all Protestants to take a look at since it deals issues with human sexuality.


Thanks for posting that, Edwin.

That brings up a question: What is the history of birth control teaching in the Anglican Communion?

I read somewhere that all Protestant churches were opposed to birth control on moral grounds until sometime in the 1920s following some event within the Anglican Communion, after which Protestants all went over to a permissive standard on birth control.


Yes, because Protestants are lecherous low-lifes who can’t keep their pants on.


My immediate first thought, upon seeing this, was, “What about Ted ‘Where are my pants’ Kennedy?”

My immediate second thought was, “Ah, but by all accounts he’s a CINO (i.e. Catholic In Name Only)!”


No, but Protestants are deeply confused about sexuality and the recent teaching of the Catholic Church offers helpful guidance (at the very least).

Just for starters, the redefinition of virginity as “waiting for marriage” has had devastating effects among evangelical Protestants. I think it’s one of the main reasons that evangelicals have such bad statistics when it comes to divorce.



I was just sticking it a bit in Manny’s eye.

On the other hand, so much of what the Bible takes for granted in regards to a moral compass is lost that documents like HV can be very useful.


I had a roommate in college what was a very, very devout evangelical. In regards to pre-marital chastity, he was in line with what Catholics believe. But, he had this idea that basically anything goes once you’re married. I think this is the fundamental thing missing–the concept of a chaste marriage (chastity and celibacy are not the same thing). I was not well-versed in the faith at that point and didn’t really know how to explain our belief in the immorality of contraception as well as other acts within marriage that basically amount to sodomy.


Bravo to your wife for using Humanae Vitae. I think this is writing that everyone should read since the pope was not writing it just to theologians. He was writing it to the world and it is a very easy read. amazing how the things he said would happen have happened.



In many ways, it would seem that Pope Paul VI equiped everyone who believes in chastity with the intellectual reasoning behind it and the consequences if it wasn’t followed,…ie, today’s secular contraceptive thought.



HV was an amazing and prophetic document. But it only did half the job, which I think is part of why so many catholics rejected it. It does a masterful job of showing how contraception violates the procreative nature of human sexuality. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do nearly as good a job of demonstrating how it ALSO is a violence against the UNITIVE nature of sex. Not that anything in it is wrong in the document, just absent. (Infallibility is only a negative protection, you know). Fortunately, God is merciful and sent us JPII and the Theology of the Body. Unfortunately, you need an undergrad degree in theology to understand the original! Perhaps your wife should have them look into that as well. In the opinion of many, TOB is the crucial Part II to the explanation given in HV.

I have met evangelicals who embraced HV and am impressed. I have also met evangelicals like those you might find if you google “themarriagebed” and am downright alarmed.


The students may also be interested in a recent addition to the “And more…” section of our Home Page. It’s titled “Not just for Catholics.” Also, see “Understanding Humanae Vitae” in the same section.

John F. Kippley
Author, “Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality” (Ignatius, 2005) endorsed by Scott Hahn
Co-author, “Natural Family Planning: The Question-Answer Book” an e-book available at




Thanks Humanae Vitae. I had to take a lok at Humanae Vitae - I have no clue what it is.


:mad: Hnnf! I wish more *Catholics *would read it so there wouldn’t be so much dissent and laxity in the Church!

They always call Humanae Vitae the encyclical every objects to, but no one has read.:ehh:


:mad: Hnnf! I wish more *Catholics *would read it so there wouldn’t be so much dissent and laxity in the Church!

They always call Humanae Vitae the encyclical every objects to, but no one has read.:ehh:


Yup. It’s even sadder that reading HV isn’t hard or time consuming. The language is plain and anybody who legitmately graduated high school ought to be able to get through it in a few hours, tops.

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