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Humanae Vitae This encyclical, issued by Pope Paul VI in 1968, is probably the most talked about of any papal pronouncement. Paradoxically, few Catholics have actually read it, and although the encyclical is not lengthy, nor difficult to read or understand, even fewer have studied it. Yet from the day it appeared it provoked reactions and debate of historic proportions. The work is divided into three chapters. Chapter I, New Aspects of the Question and the Competence of the Magisterium; Chapter II - Doctrinal Questions; and Chapter III, Pastoral Directives. In the introduction to her 1991 book, Humanae Vitae - a Generation Later , Professor Janet Smith observed that " Humanae Vitae was written to reassert the Church's unbroken condemnation of the use of contraception. Humanae Vitae is terse and compact; clearly it is not designed to present a full-scale defense of Church teaching on the proper means of regulationg family size and related matters." Professor Smith's book, published by Catholic University Press, expands the encyclical's arguments and explains principles of Catholic moral thought on which Pope Paul VI based the document. (In 1993, Professor Smith, who teaches philosophy at the University of Dallas, edited another volume on the subject, Why Humanae Vitae Was Right , published by Ignatius Press . WFF most strongly recommends both these books for study and reflection by individuals or groups.) HUMANAE VITAE An encyclical letter on the proper regulation of the propagation of offspring To the Venerable Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops and to all the local Ordinaries, Who are in peace and communion with the Apostolic See, to the Clergy and the Christian Faithful of the whole Catholic realm and to all Men of goodwill Pope Paul VI July 25, 1968 Honored Brothers and Dear Sons, Health and Apostolic Blessing. The Transmission of Life God has entrusted spouses with the extremely important mission of transmitting human life. In fulfilling this mission spouses freely and deliberately render a service to God, the Creator.
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This service has always been a source of great joy, although the joys are, at times, accompanied by not a few difficulties and sufferings. The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings. I. NEW ASPECTS OF THE QUESTION AND THE COMPETENCE OF THE MAGISTERIUM 2. The changes that have taken place are of considerable importance and varied in nature. In the first place there is the rapid increase in population which has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources, with the consequence that many families and developing countries would be faced with greater hardships. This can easily induce public authorities to be tempted to take even harsher
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document - Humanae Vitae This encyclical, issued by Pope...

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