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Young Catholics sign letter in support of Humanae Vitae

Picture: Mazur/Catholicnews.org.uk

Nearly 200 young Catholics have signed an open letter expressing their support for the teaching of Humanae Vitae.

The letter, published in this week’s Catholic Herald, praises the document’s call to chastity, describing as “beautiful and prophetic”.

“Living out chastity is counter-cultural and difficult, but rewarding for relationships,” the signatories say. “It reminds us how the person to whom we are attracted is not a thing to be used, but an equal to be loved, honoured and treated with reverence.”

While they admit that Humanae Vitae’s teachings may be “unfashionable”, they add that this does not make them untrue.

“Sex can never be truly casual, because it is so inherently filled with meaning – namely, the mutual love of the couple and openness to new life. That is why respecting the integrity of the sexual act matters. It is in allowing sex to convey its full meaning that we can give oneself to one’s spouse completely in love.”

The letter comes just ahead of October’s Youth Synod, when bishops will examine the Church’s pastoral outreach to young people. A working document for the synod said Young Catholics were divided on issues such as sexuality and gender.

The letter also comes after a similar statement signed by 500 British priests to mark the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae. The clergy said that a “proper ‘human ecology’, a rediscovery of the way of nature and respect for human dignity is essential for the future of our people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.”

“We propose discovering anew the message of Humanae Vitae, not only in fidelity to the Gospel, but as a key to the healing and true development of our society.”

The full letter:

It has been suggested that Catholic teaching on contraception has failed to “engage with social change” (Letter, June 22). Yet one must not confuse being unfashionable with being untrue.

Living out chastity is counter-cultural and difficult, but rewarding for relationships.

It reminds us how the person to whom we are attracted is not a thing to be used, but an equal to be loved, honoured and treated with reverence. The philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe rightly observed that “in this contraceptive day”, however, sex becomes seen as “no more than a sort of extreme kiss, which it might be rather rude to refuse”.

At the heart of chastity is the simple yet revolutionary idea that we are made for love, and our sexuality has been given to us in order to fulfil this call. Hence, as Pope Francis puts it, “The image of God is the married couple”. Sex can never be truly casual, because it is so inherently filled with meaning – namely, the mutual love of the couple and openness to new life. That is why respecting the integrity of the sexual act matters. It is in allowing sex to convey its full meaning that we can give oneself to one’s spouse completely in love.

As young, lay Catholics living in Britain who find this teaching on sexuality beautiful and prophetic, we therefore wish to affirm the relevance of Humanae Vitae for our generation – and indeed for generations to come.

The full list of signatories:

Michelle Allan
Johannes Arens
Ray-Mallero Baquiran
Damian and Margaret Barker
Joao Barroca
Vivienne Barrow
Lorna Begley
Antonia and Chris Braithwaite
Anna Branford
Sean Biggins
Gerald Bonner
Joanna and Stephen Bullivant
Hugh Burling
Ruth Bushell
Elena Cahill
Christopher Cahill
Joshua Caminiti
Philip and Clara Campbell
Thomas and Rebecca Carrott
Sara Chan
James Channer
Gregory Chilson
Johnny Church
Dominic Ciftci
Georgia Clarke
Dominic Clearkin
Elizabeth Cohen
Patrick Connell
Mollie Cornell
Angela Costley
Rebekah Curran
Catherine Dalzell
Henry Darlison
Edward David
Tudur David
Christopher Dean
Grace Deighan
Simone Delzin
Alisa and Gregor Dick
Luke Dowle
David and Katie Edwards
Emmi Egbuonu
Sina Fackler
Selina Fang
James Farrell
Eve Farren
John and Rosemary Fetherston
Catherine Fleischer
Andrew Ford
Maria Freeman
Raphaella Gabrasadig
Joseph and Julie Geoghegan
Rafael Gibbons
Conor and Naomi Gildea
Annie Glasspool
Chris and Marie-Therese Glover
Antonia Goddard
Anastasia Gomes
Naoise Grenham
Ryan Hawkes
Eleanor Hall
Angela and Paul Hammond
Rachel Hammond
Lucy Healy
Jonathan Henry
Rachael Henry
Josephine Holt
Joseph Hopkins
James Howe
Andrew and Irene Hutchinson
Thomas Hutchinson
Jacob Imam
Gregory and Grace Jackson
Guy Jackson
Jo Jackson
Emma John
Bonnie and Dennis Johnson
Michael Jones
Leslie and David Keating
Rory Kennedy
William Kent
Jack Kilday
Evangeline Kozitza
Ilona Lahdelma
Brian M. Lapsa
Matt Lavelle
Visitation Lesterpearson
Martin and Roisin Macgregor
Pui Yiu Carol Mak
Kathleen Malkin
Claire Maloney
Julia McCourt
James McKee
David Mitchell
Caisen Mirassou
Riccardo Monni
John Morris
Lauren and Greg Morrison
Marya Morrison
Peter Morrison
Narquita Navarro
Thomas and Catherine Neal
Michael and Margaret Nicholson
Isabel Ng
Angela Mui Nouillan
Darren Nouillan
Niall and Ruth O Coinleáin
Christopher and Rebecca Oldroyd
Francis and Annabel Osborn
Maria Overy
Tanya Park
Fraser and Jane Pearce
Helena Penfold
Benjamin and Jutta Portelli
Michal Pruski
Liam and Patricia Rafferty
Gavin Rice
Theresa Rowland
John Saladino
Gerrie Serpell
Paul Shakeshaft
Ruby Shao
John Shinkwin
Rebecca Short
Edward Smith
Brian and Elizabeth Sudlow
Caroline and Matthew Sutherland
Madeleine and Dominic Strezynski
Wojciech Szymczak
Saumya Thomas
Brenden Thompson
Gregory Treloar
Joseph and Bethany Treloar
Grace Shih-Chia Tseng
Monica Underwood
Hannah Vaughan-Spruce
Ailsa and James Walton
Ian and Kristiina Watt
Matthew and Rachael Ward
Thomas and Sarah Ward
Michael and Elisabeth Wee
Elizabeth Wilkinson
Alithea Williams
Matthew Williams
Jamie Wilmore
William Woodall