Has Pope Francis Established a "Secret Commission" for the Revision of "Humanae Vitae"
Does Pope Francis intend to erect a secret commission to dismantle Paul VI's Encyclical?
(Rome) According to leaks from the Vatican, Pope Francis intends (or has already implemented) to appoint a secret commission with the mission to examine possible changes in the position of the Church on artificial contraceptives. This was reported by the Vaticanist Marco Tosatti last week.
The demand was linked to the current pontificate by progressive Church representatives. Pope Francis so far made ambivalent signals on Humanae vitae .
Revision of Humanae vitae ?
Concretely, the issue was to examine the Encyclical Humanae vitae by Pope Paul VI. with a possible revision.The former Archbishop of Milan had reacted with the encyclical on the anti-baby pill, the sexual revolution and the killing of unborn children by abortion. He did it in the middle of the 68-Revolt, which had just broken loose. On July 25, 1968, he published the encyclical Humanae vitae, with a "prophetic message," as Pope John Paul II says in 1981 in the post-synodal letter Familiaris consortio. Pope Francis also spoke of "prophetic geniality" in an interview of March 5, 2014 with the Corriere della Sera. Contradictory signals from the current Pope, however, do not allow an exact classification of his attitude to ( Karnickel , Zika virus and what Paul VI never said). Although he praised the "geniality" of the encyclical on the one hand, he found praise for the German moral theologian Bernhard Häring, one of the sharp critics of Humanae vitae .
In 1968 the Encyclical made a clear counter-position to the outbreak of the Sexual Revolution, provoking an outcry from progressive Church circles, especially in the German-speaking world.
It thus signaled the break between the more radical progressive Church wing which was triumphant in the Second Vatican Council and even more by the resulting extravagant change in mentality following it, and the Roman pope. It was a break that could never really be fixed. Paul VI was considered to be one of them. As a cardinal, as one of them, which afforded him ascent to the papacy after the death of the Conciliar Pope John XXIII. The exact history of the pontificate of the Montini pope has yet to be written. It is clear that during his reign, there was a change that led to alienation between a part of his former supporters and the head of the Church. After the euphoric early years, with fierce upheavals in the immediate after the post-conciliar time which he had made possible, he was nothing more in the social political storms of the seventies, with their unstoppable march to the left and the dam break with by new divorce and abortion laws, the "lone" man in the Vatican.
The German contradiction
The rejection of contraceptives, which at the time led to the great baby crash, from which the Western world (except Israel) has not recovered so far, subjected Paul VI. not only to the massive mockery of anti-church, especially feminist circles, but signaled a deep aversion for certain theologians and Church representatives. The German language area was at the forefront. In the autumn of the same year, the bishops' conferences of the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland were quick to distance themselves from the pope. In three notorious declarations, the Royalsteiner, the Mariatroster, and the Solothurner Declarations, which in fact had the same wording, they said the opposite of what the Pope said: the use of contraceptives is the sole decision of the individual conscience.
The three explanations mark the turning-point with which the withdrawal and capitulation of the Catholic Church was initiated in bioethical questions. What was preexisting in the German language area spread to other countries and seeped into the world Church. Today the struggle is going on, whether the Church is officially turning to this unhappy "German" course. The silence of the Church on the mass murder of unborn children, which were supposedly to be prevented by means of contraceptive measures, is a direct consequence of the above-mentioned explanations in the German-speaking world, and has now been publicly effective for decades. New is the silence of Rome, if some do not yet want to believe it. It is no accident that two German and one Flemish Cardinal were at the cradle of the pontificate by Pope Francis. This does not mean that the Argentine pope could not withdraw from his godfathers, as Paul VI. did with Humanae vitae. At the moment there is nothing indicated that he will soon react just as Paul VI when he published the most important encyclical of his pontificate. The rumors about the formation of a commission on the revision of the Church's position on contraceptive means do not point to a foreseeable wind change in this direction.
Paul VI. wrote in Humanae vitae, not three years after the end of the Council, but ultimately only what the Council had expressed, but a progressive minority, who was adept at setting the scene in other questions, and who were driven by the wave of the social climate did not want to hear it.
Vatican: "Secret Commission" neither confirmed nor denied
So far there is no official confirmation of the existence of such a commission, which is why nothing is known about their composition. Tosatti made an official request to the relevant authorities and asked for confirmation or denial. Neither has been done so far. "What could be have already been a signal," said the Vaticanist. If the thing was utterly untenable, a denial would not be difficult.
It is rumored that the Archbishop of Verona, Vincenzo Paglia, has to deal with the presumed secret committee. Paglia, who was the first priest to be bishop from the ranks of the Community of Sant'Egidio , made a curious obituary for the late, radical politician Marco Pannella in the spring. Pannella was the embodiment of the radical Church and family foe. He was an abortion, aberromarriage, and euthanasia ideologist in the truest sense of the word. Against John Paul II, he made the slogan, "Wojtyla go home" and against Benedict XVI. the slogan: "No Taliban, No Vatican." In style, this recalled the despicable dubbing of Pope Paul VI. after the publication of Humanae vitae as "Pillenpaul." Nevertheless, Paglia said last February 17, "His death is a great loss for our country. His spirit lives on. I wish the spirit of Marco might help us."
Pope Francis had placed Paglia at the head of two Vatican institutions in August 2016, both of which are closely related to Humanae vitae. He became the Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Institute for the Studies of Marriage and Family and the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life . Prior to this, Paglia had been the chairman of the Pontifical Council for the Family for four years, and was therefore no less concerned with the subject.
Another potential member of the commission could be the Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, titular Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, who is omnipresent in the background , "the great, theological" shoulder of the pontificate, according to Tosatti. But the composition of the staff is pure speculation, as the Vaticanist emphasizes.
Unity: "Loving union and reproduction"
Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. have supported marriage and moral authority with Humanae Vitae, and resolutely defended the Encyclical, in contrast to the entire episcopates in western states.
The core of the encyclical is the unity between "the loving union and the reproduction." The whole movement of life, which seems to be a lost one in lost Europe, is based on Humanae vitae. The Catholic Church is the only remaining "global player" to oppose the mass killing of children. Under the Polish and the German pope, this was so. Whether this is so today, at least, may be at least doubted. It was also not unconditionally applicable to Francis. Not a few bishops have dodged their responsibilities, as did priests and theologians. And not a few Catholics fell into abortion and made themselves guilty.
Already fifty years ago, the expert commission established by Paul VI., which was to advise him on his decision, expressed an overwhelming majority in favor of the "Catholic pill," as they said. The conceptual analogy to the "Catholic divorce", which has been discussed since September 2015, when Pope Francis, one month before the beginning of the second family synod, singlehandedly modified the process of the euthanasia, was obvious.
Paul VI. was not impressed by the majority, but adopted the minority position of the expert commission:
"By holding the people to the observance of the natural law of morality, which is established in perpetual doctrine, the Church teaches that" every act of marriage "must be directed by itself to the production of human life. [...] According to these fundamental principles of human and Christian marriage, We must once more publicly declare that the direct abortion of a begotten procreation, especially direct abortion, even for medical purposes, is not a legitimate way to limit the number of children, and therefore absolutely to be rejected. In the same way, the direct, permanent, or temporally limited sterilization of the man or woman must be condemned, as the church magisterium has often shown. Likewise, any action which, either in anticipation or during the execution of the act of marriage, or in connection with it, expires upon its natural effects, is repugnant to preventing reproduction, either as an end, or as a means to the end."
Always in the Encyclical Humanae vitae, Paul VI. says the husband and wife have a "responsible parenthood" with regard to "health, economic, emotional and social situation", which also means the "necessary mastery" of "drive and passion" through "reason and will."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Photo: MiL / Notre Dame des Neiges / Les Observateurs (Screenshots)
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