Of Human Life: Humanae Vitae
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Of Human Life: Humanae Vitae

4.58 of 5 stars 4.58  ·  rating details  ·  951 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Pope Paul VI Aprophetic encyclical on the dangers of birth control, the problems it causes in society and the possible moral uses of natural family planning. Pope Paul VI saw clearly the problems inherent in the rising culture of death....more
Paperback, 16 pages
Published May 1st 1968 by Pauline Books & Media
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booklady
Oct 25, 2013 booklady rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone, but especially anyone contemplating marriage
Reading this prophetic document forty years after its initial publication, knowing the furor it caused then and especially in light of the wisdom we can now see proclaimed, I wonder if there is anything I can add in this review.

Of Human Life-Humanae Vitae warned of a number of severe social consequences which would result from the use of artificial methods of birth control. They are as follows:
1. Marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards
2. Less reverence due to women in one-on...more
Chris
It's interesting to see how highly this enecyclical by Pope Paul VI is rated since it has been pilloried since its promulgation in 1968. The people who were so vehemently dissenting from Humanae Vitae (the encyclical's Latin title) are still stuck in 1968 while the Church and those who embraced her teachings, so often critisized as being "old fashioned" or "medieval" (as if that has any bearing on whether they are true or not), are moving forward.

Pope Paul is clear and concise in his presentati...more
Tia
Unconvincing.
With the election of a new pope, I became curious about the dogma behind the Catholic Church's positions on abortion, contraception, and sex. Many friends have cited or mentioned this as a Catholic classic on the topic.

It fell short of my expectations. I was not expecting to be convinced, but I was hoping to at least be somewhat challenged by the ideas and seduced, as it were, by the poetry or grace of the writing.
It failed on both counts.
The tone is reminiscent of 12th-century "p...more
§--
Seamless theology; humble presentation; accurate predictions. This should be read as much as a response to schismatics (like the traditionalists) as to the secularists.
Fernando de Uña
Magnífica encíclica sobre la temática del uso de anticonceptivos dentro de la vida conyugal. Se lee muy fácil, y la exposición es clara una vez llegado el núcleo del problema.

Como puntos de especial interés, aquellos en los que (1) se describe la verdad del amor humano, cómo ha de ser un amor desinteresado entre los cónyuges, (2) se establece una diferenciación clara y bien razonada entre los llamados "métodos naturales" y los métodos anticonceptivos, con un razonamiento sencillo y profundo sob...more
Krzyś Pius
Good book, really set in a clear message the official, un-changing, teaching of the Church regarding sex,contraception, abortion, and marriage. It also presented a call to lay people, doctors, and clergy what their mission as Catholics are to further advance these teachings.
Benjamin
There isn't much to offer by way of a "review" when it comes to papal encyclicals. Because of how often this particular encyclical is thrown around in contemporary Catholic discussions, I figured it would be a good idea to actually sit down and read it. It is relatively short and easy to read (being addressed to the Universal Church, after all). Those who are familiar with the current Catholic rhetoric surrounding contraception and human sexuality will not find anything in "Humanae Vitae" that t...more
Atlantis
Although this was published in 1968 this brief work is even more relevant than when it was written if that is possible.
Marie
Concise and to the point. More people would understand the Church's position on these relevant matters that surround procreation: its environment, nature and consequences if they read it. Alas, it might be "too much work" for some.
Jen
Written in 1968, it was actually surprisingly easy to read and very short. It feels like a pamphlet.

The most cool part was that the "law of the gift" and "the dignity of the person" and mutual respect of husband and wife were in it. Those are the exact same words Pope John Paul II uses in Love and Responsibility, published in 1960, when he was and archbishop or perhaps cardinal. Who gave the idea to whom? :D

It took until this year for me to read it. How education filters down so slowly...I hop...more
Sonja Maierhauser
Astounding, clear.
Ron
Humanae vitae is the encyclical issued by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968, “On the Regulation of Birth”. It re-affirms the traditional teaching of the Roman Catholic Church regarding abortion, contraception, and other issues pertaining to human life and the family. The encyclical has been controversial because of its prohibition of all forms of artificial contraception. The document is described as prophetic by those who believe that its predictions about the effects of contraception on society we...more
Noel
This is a landmark document - no doubt. It is a clear and authoritative statement of what the Catholic Church teaches regarding the dignity of Human Life (particularly the unborn) and that artificial contraception is wrong.
So please interpret my three stars (as opposed to five) to mean "I liked it" (as opposed to "meh, it was OK").
Papal documents are not exactly my favorite genre that will keep me up at night because I have to read one more page!
J.T. Therrien
Humanae vitae is the Catholic Church's (via Pope Paul VI) position on birth control, specifically, why the Church and the Magisterium cannot condone the use of contraception.

This religious text is as relevant today as when it was released in 1968.

Must-read for Catholics who seek clarity of understanding on the Church's definition of marriage (qua husband and wife), family life and social responsibilities.
Fr. Kyle
This is the document we need to go to as Catholics to get our understanding of contraception and the contraceptive mentality that has now become policy in our government.

Paul VI is very cogent, concise, and clear on the teaching of the Church regarding abortion and contraception. There's no ambiguity about it; both are objectively immoral and sinful.
Thom
This encyclical is astonishing in the contrast of its brevity and consequences, and also in its absolute refusal to make concessions to the popular morality of the modern world. Priests, seminarians, and theologians vocally rebelled in response to its publication in 1968, but time has vindicated it and proved its warnings true.
Candis
The book is amazing because it was written in 1968 and the Pope made accurate predictions about what would happen to society if people began the widespread use of contraception. This letter, because of its highfalutin translation, is best when coupled with the CD by Professor Janet Smith called "Contraception: Why Not."
Cecilia Gonzalez
Last century in the 60s, a lot of what this letter covers was not a big deal. It was only starting. 40 years later, the issues on respect of life from conception to tomb are boiling. A must read for Catholics and be prepared!
Trae Johnson
A compelling case against artificial birth control. I will have to re-read this soon. I would also like to get the reader edited by Janet Smith published by Ignatius, along with her book published by Catholic U.
Peter Mottola
A sometimes problematic translation of this important document. Janet Smith has a much better translation as an appendix to her book "Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later".
Ryan
Contraception is a violation of natural (and thereby Divine) law. Thank God for Paul VI and the Church's courageous stand against Modernity and its accompanying selfishness.
Michael
Prophetic in a sense, this encyclical laid out the Christian ethics on human life and sexuality, which became so deformed in the years)after it's promulgation(sexual revolution.
Denise
Beautifully written - hard to read on its own - do an ENDOW study to fully understand & live the docent!
Nancy
Before I read this, I thought I knew what it was. Boy was I wrong. A MUST READ for all Catholics.
Kayla
This letter gave me a new insight into why I practice NFP. Every person should read this book.
Steven
An excellent encyclical by Pope Paul VI that should be read and heeded by all Catholics.
Mandy Cholodewitsch
something every Catholic should read! It's great one to start reading encyclicals!
Angela9600
Had heard of this from Father Cook - read at Adoration, well worth the time.
Seth Holler
Reading Kindle version of Ignatius Press 30th Anniversary edition.
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“[On married love]

This love is above all fully human, a compound of sense and spirit. It is not, then, merely a question of natural instinct or emotional drive. It is also, and above all, an act of the free will, whose trust is such that it is meant not only to survive the joys and sorrows of daily life, but also to grow, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul, and together attain their human fulfillment.

It is a love which is total—that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience. Whoever really loves his partner loves not only for what he receives, but loves that partner for the partner's own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of himself.”
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