Vatican Bishop: ‘Humanae Vitae’ Foresaw Today’s Technological Dangers

From the National Catholic Register.


:thumbsup: A very timely reminder of the Church’s timeless wisdom.

I find this article to be much better researched and more apt:


Excellent article in the OP!

P.S. - I recommend ignoring post #3’s article by the National “Catholic” Reporter. NCR is a totally unfaithful and heterodox publication.

Here’s a review of the National “Catholic” Reporter website:

The National Catholic Reporter is a lay-edited Catholic newsweekly. This website is an online version of the Reporter. Its self-described mission is to “report, comment and reflect on the church and society. It strives for excellence in its publications, supporting a full, honest and open exchange of ideas. It works out of a Roman Catholic tradition and an ecumenical spirit.” Unfortunately, the Reporter’s version of honest and open exchange is to criticize the Church and many of its most central teachings.

Because of the ever changing nature of this site, specific examples may vary. However, every visit to this site confirms its commitment to dissent. For example, a visit on July 11, 2007, reveals a fund raising effort which includes a free copy of the notorious dissident Sr. Joan Chittister’s book, From Where I Stand. We recommend that you resist the urge to contribute.

First Evaluated: 07/31/1997; Last Updated: 07/05/2010

**Fidelity: Danger!**
Resources: Poor
Useability: Excellent


None Reported.


Fidelity: Not-so-Catholic newsletters 
Fidelity: Subscribes to liberation theology 
Fidelity: Supports priesthood as a gay vocation 
Fidelity: Criticizes the institutional church 
Fidelity: Attacks the priesthood 
Fidelity: Dissidents as regular columnists 


I just read the article and comments. They are simply driven by pure evil. It really drives me bonkers when I see that some people choose to think that way. Total lack of understanding of the Church and of science.

The so-called “critique” you linked to seems to be from an organization committed to the status quo. The website I linked to tends to think forward a bit more. From his actions and words, Pope Francis isn’t pleased with the status quo either.

The website you linked is very unorthodox. What you call the “status quo” is the deposit of faith given by Christ to his Church which Pope Francis has maintained. I would tell you about how the Pope is protected by the Holy Spirit from teaching error with regard to faith and morals, but since you don’t identify your religion I don’t know if I’m talking to an atheist. If you are an atheist there is no way you can begin to understand higher concepts of faith if you are starting with the assumption that God doesn’t exist (one possible exception being Penn Jillette).

Copying from my own prior post on this topic:

NCR has been reprimanded by at least two Bishops, in 1968 and again in 2013.

Excerpt from 1968 statement by Bishop Helmsing:
As the editors of the National Catholic Reporter know, I have tried as their pastor, responsible for their eternal welfare, and that of those whom they influence, to guide them on a responsible course in harmony with Catholic teachings. When private conferences were of no avail, as is well known, I had to issue a public reprimand for their policy of crusading against the Church’s teachings on the transmission of human life, and against the Gospel values of sacred virginity and dedicated celibacy as taught by the Church.

NOW, AS a last resort, I am forced as bishop to issue a condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter for its disregard and denial of the most sacred values of our Catholic faith. Within recent months the National Catholic Reporter has expressed itself in belittling the basic truths expressed in the Creed of Pope Paul VI; it has made itself a platform for the airing of heretical views on the Church and its divinely constituted structure, as taught by the First and Second Vatican Councils. Vehemently to be reprobated was the airing in recent editions of an attack on the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the virgin birth of Christ, by one of its contributors.

Finally, it has given lengthy space to a blasphemous and heretical attack on the Vicar of Christ. It is difficult to see how well instructed writers who deliberately deny and ridicule dogmas of our Catholic faith can possibly escape the guilt of the crime defined in Canon 1325 on heresy, and how they can escape the penalties of automatic excommunication entailed thereby.

In fairness to our Catholic people, **I hereby issue an official condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter. Furthermore, I send this communication to my brother bishops, and make known to the priests, religious and laity of the nation my views on the poisonous character of this publication. **

Full text here:

Excerpt from 2013 statement by Bishop Finn:

In a different way, I am sorry to say, my attention has been drawn once again to the National Catholic Reporter, a newspaper with headquarters in this Diocese. I have received letters and other complaints about NCR from the beginning of my time here. In the last months I have been deluged with emails and other correspondence from Catholics concerned about the editorial stances of the Reporter: officially condemning Church teaching on the ordination of women, insistent undermining of Church teaching on artificial contraception and sexual morality in general, lionizing dissident theologies while rejecting established Magisterial teaching, and a litany of other issues.

My predecessor bishops have taken different approaches to the challenge. Bishop Charles Helmsing in October of 1968 issued a condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter and asked the publishers to remove the name “Catholic” from their title – to no avail. From my perspective, NCR’s positions against authentic Church teaching and leadership have not changed trajectory in the intervening decades.

When early in my tenure I requested that the paper submit their bona fides as a Catholic media outlet in accord with the expectations of Church law, they declined to participate indicating that they considered themselves an “independent newspaper which commented on ‘things Catholic.’” At other times, correspondence has seemed to reach a dead end.

In light of the number of recent expressions of concern, I have a responsibility as the local bishop to instruct the Faithful about the problematic nature of this media source which bears the name “Catholic.” While I remain open to substantive and respectful discussion with the legitimate representatives of NCR, I find that my ability to influence the National Catholic Reporter toward fidelity to the Church seems limited to the supernatural level. For this we pray: St. Francis DeSales, intercede for us.

Full text here:

They think so much forward that they are acting in open disobedience to their bishop. On top of that the Reporter is not a Catholic publication.

NCR is an anti-Catholic publication.

Nice article in the OP, Humanae Vitae is an amazing document :thumbsup:

Is this the Bishop Finn you are referencing above?

Yes, this is the same Bishop Finn referenced above.

At the risk of derailing the thread even further (and I admit that I am partially to blame for the derailing that has already occurred):

  1. It is noteworthy that the Holy Father did not elect to remove Bishop Finn from office, although he certainly did remove Bishops from office in other cases. Thus, one could reasonably deduce that mitigating factors may exist in the case, which are not known to the general public at this time, but which are/were known to the Holy Father himself.

  2. Careful readers of my previous post will also note that not just one, but two different Bishops have condemned NCR. If one wishes to dismiss Bishop Finn’s statements, one might also consider that 2013 was not the first time that NCR was condemned by their jurisdictional Bishop.


Please stay on the topic of the original post

Please do not attack Catholic clergy (see forum rules at top of forum)

The bishop lays out some ways in which the contraceptive culture has played out, especially in the trend toward the destruction of family. It may be somewhat overstating the case to say that Paul VI “foresaw today’s technological dangers.” He did not so much foresee technological dangers as recognize, with the the assistance of the Holy Spirit, that technological change does not abolish moral law.

He did accurately predict many of the moral disasters that have befallen us as a result of the acceptance of contraception.

Humanae Vitae has always been for me, evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in guiding the successor of Peter in preserving faithful doctrine and true morality. Paul VI was not a particularly strong personality. He was not as charismatic as some popes. There was strong pressure from many quarters for him to cave in on the the issue of contraception and approve the pill. He did not cave in. He preserved the constant teaching of the Church. I am sure that he he had the help and protection of the Holy Spirit.

The results of ignoring his reiteration of Catholic morality have been disastrous. Many of those disastrous results are documented in Mary Eberstadt’s book, “Adam and Even After the Pill.”


Bishop Tosso says the following, as cited in the article:

“[T]he true social issue” today is about how our way of thinking is being effected by technology. According to Bishop Toso, the spread of technology has come into conflict with the principles of Humanae Vitae in “two important ways.”

The first is the perception of procreation being changed by technological and medical developments. Bishop Toso noted, “When the generated child is considered a mere product, the couple is deprived of the finality of welcoming a new life, which is one of the most important finalities of the family.”

The second way technology has challenged the teachings of the Church is by making sexual differences something that can be subjective. Benedict XVI spoke about the “philosophy of gender” in his last address to the Roman Curia for Christmas, on Dec. 12, 2012. He noted that, according to the philosophy of gender, “sex is no longer a given element of nature that man has to accept and personally make sense of: It is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society.” This led human beings to deny their “own nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”

I strongly disagree. First, parents do not think of their child as a mere “product” simply because the choose to limit the size of their family through the use of contraceptives. Where does such an idea come from? Popes have permitted Catholic families to choose to have fewer children since the 1950s, when, for the first time, we understood the reproductive cycle. According to the teaching of the Church, limiting family size is not only the right of Catholics, but is their responsibility and a moral good.

I also disagree with the notion that technology has led people to believe that homosexuality is a “social role that we choose for ourselves.” To the contrary, science has helped us understand that homosexuality is primarily determined by our genetic make up, not a social role that people choose. Even with greater societal acceptance of homosexuals, few people would choose to be homosexual as a “lifestyle choice.”

Such ignorant statements, whether by the Pope or by an influential bishop, do nothing to promote Catholic teaching on sexuality. Catholic teaching must be grounded in the truth if it is to be persuasive. Church leaders lose all credibility when they appear so grossly uninformed.

You may wish to reconsider your assertions as to whose statements are “Ignorant”

Only if there is grave reason. Reasons of convenience are not sufficient.

The translation of Humanae Vitae from the Vatican website uses the term “serious” reasons, not “grave” reasons. Most couples are thinking about more than convenience when they decide to limit their family size. Humanae Vitae itself referred to “physical, economic, psychological and social conditions” that may prompt the decision to not have additional children:

“With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.” Humanae Vitae n. 10.

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