Pope Paul VI: March 2012 Archives
Today is the 45th anniversary of Populorum Progression (On the Development of Peoples) the 5th encyclical of the Servant of God Pope Paul VI. The 18,000 word letter deals with the socioeconomic issues of world sick building upon Blessed John XXIII's Mater et Magistra.
Populorum Progressio was long accorded as the humanist manifesto because it examines and urges a tailored response of the educated and wealthier nations toward those who live in poverty (subhuman standards).
The Pope questions many things among them the ownership of land that is not used for the good of people in need, of unbriddled capitalism, the regulation of markets, foreign aid to nations, the development of internal programs to aid citizens rather than exporting natural resources to other nations and the right of governments to develop performing lands for the good of others. Pope Paul urges some controversial things: higher taxes for the rich, the expansion of aid programs, higher prices for products from third world nations, a just wage for workers, and the establishment of just interest rates for monies loaned. Freedom, charity, justice, and peace are given to all by God.
Several weeks ago Jennifer Fulwiler published a story in the National Catholic Register, "Father, We're Ready for that Homily on Contraception Now" where she writes about a priest who dealt with Humane Vitae and the problems of contraception. Remember Humane Vitae from 1968? It was THAT encyclical written by the Servant of God Pope Paul VI that spoke about the beauty of human love and was roundly dismissed for for being out-of-touch with contemporary human experience. It is far from being draconian.
Well, one ought to read Humane Vitae without the ideological sunglasses and look around to see if Pope Paul was correct. Look at the Pope's predictions and see if they are readily present in society today. Consider, though, the whole document to see if what the Pope is speaking of is germane to an authentic life of faith and beauty of human love. Sexuality and love are indeed beautiful gifts of God given to us for our happiness today leading us, God-willing, to full communio with the Trinity in the life to come.
Just for the record, two Dominican priests at the Church of Saint Catherine of Siena in New York City in recent weeks have spoken of Humane Vitae in homilies. They advocated a new reappraisal of the letter and a grasp on its truth. So, you do hear the words "Humane Vitae" publicly at Sunday Mass and Vespers.
Fulwiler's article has a link to her priest's homily.