Clearly, the most controversial encyclical of the 20th century was the 1968 document Humanae Vitae, in which Pope Paul VI restated the Church’s teaching that the use of contraception to frustrate conception is gravely immoral. With so much pressure leading up to its release, the Holy Father knew that the encyclical would be rejected in various circles. Yet he had his ground troops, his priests, scattered all over the world. Could he not count on them?
Pope Paul VI made a fatherly plea to his priests at the end of the encyclical: “And now, beloved sons, you who are priests, you who in virtue of your sacred office act as counselors and spiritual leaders both of individual men and women...READ MORE