Pope Paul VI would not have been surprised by the #MeToo movement and the problems in sexual behaviour we witness today, according to Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.
“The Church in Humanae Vitae identified and rejected sexual exploitation of women years before that message entered the cultural mainstream,” he said last week in a keynote speech at a symposium at the Catholic University of America, celebrating 50 years since the encyclical’s publication.
“The #MeToo movement, emotional wreckage, sexual disease and date rape are the realities we’ve inherited from the sexual revolution. Paul VI would not be surprised,” Archbishop Chaput said.
The widespread use of contraception had led to increased objectification of women and infidelity, he said, and Humanae Vitae had foretold this.
“Much of the moral conflict, broken family life, social unravelling and gender confusion that seems so common today stems – directly or more subtly – from our disordered attitudes toward Creation, and our appetite to master, reshape and even deform nature to our wills. We want the freedom to decide what reality is. And we insist on the power to make it so,” the archbishop said.
“Each of his [Paul VI’s] warnings has come true, in ways more tragic than he could imagine,” he continued.
But Humanae Vitae spoke also of the beauty of marital love, the archbishop said.
“Men and women fall in love with each other because they see a reflection of God’s beauty and goodness in each other – body, mind, and soul.
“Humanae Vitae is remembered for the great ‘no’ that Paul VI uttered, and rightly so. But we often forget that his ‘no’ came only after an even more powerful ‘yes’ to the beauty of marital love.”
Pope Paul VI could be the patron saint for the protection of the unborn when he is canonised later this year, the postulator of his Cause has hinted.
Fr Antonio Marrazzo told CNA that, given that the miracles attributed to Blessed Paul both involved unborn babies, “Paul VI might be invoked as the protector of unborn life.”
In both cases, there was no mortal danger to the mother’s life, but the children could have suffered severe deformities, and doctors suggested abortion. However, the children were born healthy.
Women priests might one day be possible, says cardinal
A cardinal close to Pope Francis has said that women priests and bishops might one day be possible.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn was asked by the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten whether the Church needed to change. The cardinal – whose words were translated by Maike Hickson of OnePeterFive – said: “One of the key questions is the role of women in the Church.
“The question of ordination is a question which clearly can only be clarified by a council. That cannot be decided upon by a pope alone. That is a question too big for it to be decided from the desk of a pope.”
When asked whether he was talking about women priests, the cardinal said: “As deaconesses, female priests, and female bishops.”
St John Paul II taught in 1994 that “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful”. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith later stated that the doctrine was irreformable.
Pope Francis has praised Cardinal Schönborn as an authentic interpreter of his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.