Skip to comments.'Humanae Vitae' author Pope Paul VI moves toward sainthood
Posted on 12/20/2012 4:30:47 PM PST by NYer
.- Pope Benedict XVI authorized an investigation on Dec. 20 which could result in proclaiming the late pontiff, Paul VI, a saint.
The Pope formally allowed the move as the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints wrote a decree stating that Paul VI had “heroic virtue,” the first step necessary in the canonization process.
The pontiff met with congregation head cardinal Angelo Amato on Thursday to let him begin the review of the “Humanae Vitae” author.
During their meeting, the Pope also authorized the congregation to continue several other canonization processes, which are usually long and complex.
They include Italian Blessed Antonio Primaldo and Colombia native Blessed Laura of St. Catherine of Sienna, as well as one Mexican, Blessed Maria Guadalupe, after miracles were attributed to all three.
He also gave the go ahead to continue the process for several martyrs, people with “heroic virtues,” and people who have had miracles proven to be attributed to them.
The list includes 33 Spaniards killed in the country's civil war between 1936 and 1939, a period when the revolutionaries killed numerous religious and practicing Catholics.
“It is more than likely that Paul VI will be beatified in 2013 at the end of the Year of Faith,” wrote La Stampa journalist Andrea Tornielli in Vatican Insider.
He noted that, just like with John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI “has closely followed the steps that has led to today's decree.”
Paul VI was the one who named Pope Benedict a cardinal, which allowed to participate in choosing a pope in two conclaves held in 1978.
The late pontiff, born Giovanni Battista Montini, was the son of a middle class lawyer, who was also a politician and journalist.
He was ordained a priest aged 22 and served as pope from 1963 to 1978, and ended the Second Vatican Council after his predecessor, pope John XXIII, had initiated it one year earlier.
He was the last pope to be crowned after he dissolved many of the Church's old traditions.
Paul VI also concluded the Second Vatican Council in 1965, the largest revision of the Church's Liturgy and the first major revision since the Council of Trent, held 400 years earlier.
He published the controversial encyclical “Humanae Vitae” in 1968 which reaffirmed the Church's stance against contraception, as well as firm affirmation of the merits of priestly celibacy.
According to Vatican journalist Tornielli, the congregation will investigate an alleged miraculous healing of a then unborn child took place 16 years ago in California.
Doctors told the pregnant mother to abort after finding a serious problem in the fetus, which normally results in brain damage.
But she entrusted her pregnancy to Paul VI and the baby, now around 15 years old, was born without problems.
The congregation may also investigate an alleged miracle after a nun with a tumor was suddenly cured.
The Church has three main steps in making a deceased person a saint, with the first providing proof that the person had “heroic virtue.”
This means the person has practiced outstanding faith, hope and charity as well as extraordinary virtuous actions with readiness over a period of time. The person who the Church declares to have had heroic virtue is given the title “Venerable,” and is also called a “Servant of God.”
The second step is “beatification,” which means the Church recognizes the person is in heaven after a miracle is proven titling them “Blessed.”
And the final step is “canonization,” where the Pope himself officially proclaims the person a saint.
Wow. I had a semi-private audience with him back in 1968 along with a bunch of Italians yelling “Papa.”
This will be an interesting story to follow.
He may be in heaven. If the Church declares he’s in heaven, I will believe it. Have to.
But nobody can change my opinion that he was the most disastrous Pope of the last 200 years.
Humanae Vitae was the best thing he did. Otherwise, he taught and governed as what he was: a moderate liberal.
well, it’s a long way to canonization...
18 October 1985:573
I DON'T KNOW whether the human race will last another 500 years. But if we manage to avoid blowing ourselves away with the Bomb, poisoning ourselves with toxic effluents, or erasing our identities, line by line, with genetic engineering -- that is to say, if there exist on this planet, 500 years from now, human beings who know they are human beings -- those human beings may well consider that they almost didn't make it. And they may look back in history to ask themselves, What was the single most important event which saved the human project on this planet -- our human dignity -- even, our human identity? What was the turning point?"
l suggest that the turning point will have been this: the publication, in the Year of Our Lord 1968, of the encyclical Humanae Vitae.
Well. Humanae Vitae wasn't any kind of turning point for me -- certainly not at the time it was promulgated. I graduated from the eighth grade in 1965, the closing year of Vatican II: and when Humanae Vitae came out. I was just entering my senior year of high school. If my grade school religious education featured a flashcard approach to doctrine, I must say that by my seventeenth birthday that deck had long since been tossed to the winds.
It was a hell of a year, anyhow, 1968. I was a single-issue fanatic against the war in Vietnam. 1 judged people (particularly public people) on this basis: are you opposed to the killing or are you not? There was the Tet Offensive in February of that year. Martin Luther King spoke out. King was murdered. Riots erupted. Bobby Kennedy triumphed in the California primary. Bobby was murdered. Allen Ginsberg celebrated the "'Prague Spring" with flowers in his hair; then the Soviet tanks crushed all the flowers. Then there was the Democratic Convention Police Riot Extravaganza ("Welcome to Czechago") and I fell in love with Leo Tolstoy and the Jefferson Airplane and a young dissident named Thom who used to wear a long trailing scarf and looked just like Emmett Grogan. You know, the Digger. From San Francisco. And I went to dances and handed out leaflets against the draft.
All this sets the stage for the way 1 accepted (read: didn't accept) Humanae Vitae at the time. The war had destroyed all moral authority for us. What was there to believe in? Not "Our Country," which had already napalmed Vietnam, and which might nuke our sweet home planet into a smoking briquet. Not "Our Church." a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Warfare State, holding up the Gospel Book with death, like rings, on all its fingers.
Anyway, when Humanae Vitae came out, it wasn't hard to see which side I'd be on. I saw the charts that showed the growth rate of the human population shooting damn-near vertically right off the page; I noted the hemorrhoidal looks on the faces of the Vatican Curia; I read the comment of some smart dissident priestling to the effect that the new encyclical was "an intellectual embarrassment." (I liked smart dissidents.)
So when, early in the school year, St. Mary Claire Kennedy asked me what did I think of Humanae Vitae, I threw up my hands and pronounced in tones of exasperated common sense. "Aw, geez, Claire. If we don't have contraception, we'll end up with abortion. Contraception was supposed to prevent abortion. It was possible to believe that, when you were only seventeen, and it was 1968.
"And besides," I opined solemnly, "Humanae Vitae is an intellectual embarrassment."
Being young, healthy, and heterosexual, and being, within the year, free of any adults with pretensions of governing me in loco parentis, I was soon in an excellent position to experience the personal and social benefits to be derived from sexuality liberated from fertility.
At first, 1 fared pretty well. My "'partner" (as the family planning literature called him) was a genuinely good guy, and I was carefree and pharmacologically infertile.
I was vaguely uneasy that I was putting chemicals into my body every day that I'd hesitate to put into my compost pile. Then I read that women with my kind of medical history who were on the Pill could end up with a stroke.
I got off the Pill. I investigated other contraceptives. I drew a garish diagram of my inner waterways with all of the available barriers and plugs, jellies and jams, and state-of-the-art devices in place, and 1 was positively dismayed. Plastic domes, copper shards. "Head 'em off at the Fallopian tubes!" "Poison gas at the pass! This wasn't Sexual Shalom -- it was a cervical Strategic Nuclear Defense.
Like Strategic Nuclear Defense, a lot of capitalist creeps invested a lot of money in developing and promoting these things. And like Nuclear Defense, you spent the money but you didn't end up being all that ever-lovin' safe. By 1972, the year before Roe v. Wade, about half of my female friends -- at least, of those whom 1 knew well enough to know such an intimate thing -- had had abortions. A miserable fate indeed.
So what was I to conclude? That females are a misbegotten breed? That our bodies are basically, finally, not in our own best interest?
No way. I still had a conservationist streak in me as regards my own waterways, which, more than any of the wild rivers of the world, have a right to be what they are: clean, that is, not spiked with toxic chemicals, not "'doctored" or "altered" or "fixed. There are some things in this universe that are sacred. Me, for instance. And who agreed with me? Nobody agreed with me. Nobody but the Church.
If every man, and every woman -- fully human, fully alive, and complete in every detail -- is made in the image and likeness of God, then we've got to protect and reverence what's natural and healthy. If we're sick or injured, we're to restore what's natural and healthy. That is therapy: restoring the natural.
Pope Paul VI asserted (actually re-asserted) that the human design is not arbitrary, but providential. In particular, our sexual design (with its pleasurability and its fertility and its bond-ability) is not sick. We don't need to be "'cured" of it. Our sexual powers are O.K. We don't need to be "fixed."
If the Roman Pontiff had been a politician, he would have OK'ed contraception. Virtually every social, political, scientific, and religious institution on earth was for it. Any politician can tell which way the wind is blowing; and any religious charlatan can get the drift and call it the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit isn't just anything that's blowing in the wind. And Paul VI was not a politician.
In the face of incomprehension, scorn, and outright opposition on the part of -- let's face it -- nearly everybody, the pope held up before our eyes the inviolability of the human design.
You can reorganize the government and restructure the university; you can retool the economy and redesign society. But human beings as such -- in our minds, our souls, our bodies, ourselves -- are not to be redesigned.
And this I hold to be decisive for the history of the human race. We must either perfect our wholeness, or repudiate it. If we repudiate it, there is little to prevent us from erasing ourselves finally, function by function, line by line. But if we perfect our wholeness, we will hold up before the eyes of the world the image and likeness of God.
That's what almost everyone has concluded, or simply accepted without sufficient thought to merit the term. From conception, women are wrong in the very essence of their being. Now why are so many women depressed?
'Amazing Grace for Those Who Suffer'
Natural and Unnatural (father of 5 shocks mother of 1)
NFP It Aint Your Mommas Rhythm
Responsible Parenthood in a Birth Control Culture, Part Two [Open]
Responsible Parenthood in a Birth Control Culture, Part One [Open]
Contraception v. Natural Family Planning Part 5 of 6 [Open]
Journey to the Truth (Natural Family Planning) [Open]
Enslaving Women One Pill at a Time (Birth Control Pills and Natural Family Planning)
New Study Shows Natural Family Planning Technique More Effective Than Contraception
Fargo) Diocese set to require pre-marriage course in natural family planning
Making Babies: A Very Different Look at Natural Family Planning
Clerical Contraception (Important Read! By Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer)
(Fargo) Diocese set to require pre-marriage course in natural family planning
Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, July 25, 2004
IS NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING A 'HERESY'? (Trads, please take note)
Thanks Doc: More (and Younger) Doctors Support Natural Family Planning
Couple say Natural Family Planning strengthens marriage
Reflections: Natural family planning vs sexism
British Medical Journal: Natural Family Planning= Effective Birth Control Supported by Catholic Chrch
Natural Family Planning
I will also but only if the definitions of heaven and hell have inverted.
Nothing against Humanae Vitae but wasn't that basically just a re-affirmation.