26Jul Pope Paul’s encyclical banning artificial contraception is 45 years old

Recalling that today, July 25, is the 45th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae vitae makes me cringe. In fact, I am pained whenever the 1968 papal decree comes up for discussion. I feel like a person who has witnessed a tragic event and made an intense effort to turn over a key piece of evidence — the “smoking gun” — that would make the truth known only to see lawyers either misplace the evidence or fail to use it effectively. I contend the evidence I am talking about would have been climactic—making it virtually impossible for Pope Paul to ignore changing the church’s current birth control policy, or conversely, if used today, make it relatively easy for Pope Francis to correct the church’s second “Galileo affair.”

For readers not around 45 years ago when Pope Paul promulgated the decree that renewed the Catholic Church’s ban on all artificial forms of birth control, it may be helpful to offer a brief review of that history. The ban was first imposed by Pope Pius XI in 1930, six months after the Anglican Lambeth Conference allowed its church’s married couples to decide the issue by themselves. In October 1964, several Catholic bishops raised the issue of birth control during a discussion of marriage and the family at the Second Vatican Council. Cardinal Leon-Josef Suenens of Malines-Brussels pleaded with his brother bishops to study the issue and “avoid another Galileo affair. One (failure of the church to keep abreast of scientific advances) is enough.”

Pope Paul, however, had taken the birth control issue off the council’s table, announcing that it would be decided by his interaction with the Pontifical Birth Control Commission. In June 1966, the commission turned over its final report, asking the Holy Father to take into account “the fruitfulness of an entire marriage” rather than focusing on individual sexual acts. Two years later, Pope Paul published his decision in Humanae vitae, in which he acknowledges “the value of conjugal love in marriage and the relationship of conjugal acts to this love” but reasserts, “The church…teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.” (HV#11)

The late sociologist Father Andrew Greeley often pointed to the encyclical as the principal reason why the leadership of the Catholic Church lost credibility and why so many Catholic parishioners left the church. Now few seem to care. Polls indicate that more than 90 percent of Roman Catholics ignore the decree. They side rather with the pope’s commission, which voted overwhelmingly for change. In his decision, the pope argued that “within the commission itself there was not complete agreement.” (HV#6)

Well, yes, but in a preliminary vote of the inclusive body of 58 experts on the commission—clergy and laity, scientists, theologians, gynecologists, sociologists, three married couples and other scholars—an unofficial tally showed 52 to 4 in favor of reform with two abstentions. And despite the fact that the pope loaded the commission with 15 cardinals, archbishops and bishops as official members for the final week of discussion, the high-level prelates reportedly voted 9 to 3 with three abstentions that the use of contraceptives was not intrinsically evil. (I use the words “unofficial” and “reportedly” because the commission’s work was wrapped by the Vatican in a blanket of secrecy. Two of the final documents were leaked to the press, received wide publicity and undoubtedly fueled the firestorm that greeted the pope’s decision.)

We do have a good idea of what happened in the meetings from authors who subsequently pieced information together from interviews with commission members. The first and most complete book on that history is The Politics of Sex and Religion, by Robert Blair Kaiser, a former Time magazine correspondent. The journalist was covering the Vatican Council and in 1964 received a special assignment from his magazine to investigate growing speculation in Europe, generated by the introduction of “the pill,” for possible change in the church’s birth control teaching. In fact, I found a clue in Kaiser’s book that confirms some of the evidence I am talking about.

What is the evidence? In 1964, I was working in my office as editor of The Catholic Voice, the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Oakland, Calif., when the switchboard informed me that I had a visitor. The gentleman introduced himself as Dr. Thomas Hayes, a biophysicist working for the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory at the University of California–Berkeley. Without any fanfare, he announced that he had an answer to “the church’s birth control problem.”

I will not try nor would I be able to reconstruct our first 90-minute conversation and subsequent talks of nearly 50 years ago. Just for the moment, believe that he convinced me that insight from his scientific expertise could be of extreme value to the Birth Control Commission. I told Dr. Hayes that we needed to have his testimony published in a national magazine and get his information to the commission itself.

We succeeded on both counts. Hayes developed his argument in a 5,500-word essay, which I sent to Joe Cuneen, who at the time was managing editor of Cross Currents, an influential but not high circulation magazine of religious thought. Cuneen published the carefully worded, easily understood essay, entitled The Biology of the Reproductive Act in his Vol. XV, Fall 1965 issue.

Next, I contacted friends I knew who were advisors to Cardinal Suenens, who had urged Pope John XXIII to form such a commission in the first place. (Pope John died in 1963, but the initiative was endorsed by his successor Paul VI.) I was elated when Hayes received an invitation to address the commission’s three-member executive committee — Henri de Riedmatten, Pierre de Locht and Dr. John Marshall — in March 1966 in Malines, Belgium. The committee was preparing for the commission’s three-month final meeting in Rome the following month.

Hayes says the paper he read and submitted to the executive committee was essentially his essay in Cross Currents. His article contains the evidence I am talking about. He painstakingly lays out his information and uses effective examples to illustrate his explanation. I briefly report here the three principal points in his article.

First, a valid definition has to contain all the essential parts. He stated that the church has been using an incomplete definition of the reproductive act by emphasizing the male role and describing the possibility of procreation with every single act of intercourse. Relying on more accurate biology, Hayes wrote:

 “We are led to define the reproductive act as the relation between man and woman lasting for about one month, during which time the female produces one ovum, which finds its way to a spot suitable for combination with the sperm. The male sperm cells are delivered to this spot many times (acts of sexual intercourse), spaced at random during the reproductive act.”

Hayes’ second key point, related to the correct definition, concerns the randomness of the reproductive act. The scientist wrote:

 “The act always has a certain probability of procreation. The probabilistic nature, however, is due to the random spacing of the individual acts of intercourse rather than any probability within each act of sexual intercourse itself. This is an important point, since it supports the conclusion that not every act of sexual intercourse naturally tends toward procreation.”

His third point concerns the importance of distinguishing between a natural act and a human act. Dr. Hayes used the example of breathing, which is normally a natural act; however, by deciding to hold one’s breath for 30 or 40 seconds, a person can use one’s will to change the act of breathing to a human act. The scientist noted that randomness in human intercourse differs radically from animal behavior, whose biological drive occurs during specific times to perpetuate the species. But human marital intercourse serves another purpose beyond procreation, namely, as expressions of love, joy and mutual support.

For this reason, Pope Pius XII loosened the strictures imposed by Pius XI by ruling in 1951 that spouses who had legitimate reasons to limit childbirth could make use of what came to be called the “rhythm method.” Rhythm meant permitting intercourse during the female’s “natural sterile period,” when it would be highly unlikely for conception to take place, and, of course, without the use of any contraceptive.

Before deducing the logical conclusions from Dr. Hayes’ three points, let’s rewind the tape of history for a moment. On page 169 of his book, Robert Blair Kaiser reports:

 “Cardinal Suenens recalled (for the commission) how the church and the commission had come to their revisionist view… The discovery of the female cycle (Kaiser’s emphasis.). He [Suenens] said the church had labored under a masculine illusion, trying to define the conjugal act’s meaning from this side alone. On the feminine side the conjugal act is not aptus ad generationem. The conjugal act is not the act of one, but of two. And so, we cannot say that every conjugal act is open to generation. Once we learned that, the breach was made.”

While the above sounds like a paraphrase of Hayes’ corrected definition, Kaiser’s book has no footnote to denote Suenens’ source of information or bibliography. But it is not farfetched to conclude that the cardinal gleaned the argument from Hayes’ paper delivered at Malines. In all honesty, however, since no other commission member made mention of the female cycle or its consequences, it is quite possible that Hayes’ paper never made it from Malines to general circulation among commission members. Then again, perhaps his paper was a victim of information overload and ended up buried in the 12-volume commission material given to Pope Paul along with the final report.

I lament that Suenens, if he did read Hayes’ paper, did not drive through “the breach” with the rest of Hayes’ argument. I lament that the scientist’s information did not have wide circulation among commission members. And I kick myself for not doing more to publicize Hayes’ thesis, not even, for some untold reason, publishing an article in my own newspaper after the article had appeared in Cross Currents.

Logic, according to Hayes’ article, dictates that if a married couple purposely interfere with the randomness of sexual acts, they have transformed by an act of will what was a random natural act to a human act at a specific time in order to avoid conception. Thus his dramatic conclusion: the reproductive act practiced in the rhythm method is no more natural than the reproductive act as practiced with the use of condom, diaphragm, anovulatory pill or coitus interruptus methods. After all, if withdrawal, or “spilling the seed,” is condemned, why not “spilling the ovum”? The rhythm method is just one more form of birth control.

I am not blaming Cardinal Suenens. Far from it. Not being a scientist, the cardinal still came closer than any commission member to building a persuasive argument now regarded as impossible to refute scientifically. In retrospect, it’s hard to believe that a commission with no less than seven medical experts—five gynecologists and two internists—did not produce the same basic argumentation offered by Dr. Hayes.

As I’ve mentioned, the commission’s final report asks the Holy Father to take a holistic approach to marriage, that is, regarding the ”fruitfulness” of an entire marriage as “responsible parenthood,” adding, “It does not then depend on the direct fecundity of each and every particular act.” (Report, Chap 2, para.12) Why not? Unfortunately, the report does not say, and Pope Paul jumped on this fatal omission. In Humanae vitae, the pope asks a rhetorical question, “If one were able to apply the so-called principle of totality, could … it transform an action which renders natural processes infertile into a licit and provident control of birth?” (HV#3)

In other words, well and good to indicate that previous popes had too narrow a view of marriage, but the commission’s report seems to propose building a new home on a piece of property without first tearing down the old house. The popes built their cases by insisting that artificial means frustrated the natural procreative potency of each act. The commission failed to deliver a knockout punch to that argument in its final paper. Hayes does by demonstrating that “The probabilistic nature (of procreation) is due to the random spacing of the individual acts of intercourse rather than any probability within each act of sexual intercourse itself.”

At first glance, one might conclude that the facts now put the church between a rock and a hard place, either ban rhythm along with all artificial contraceptives or, after confessing that previous popes had mistakenly applied wrong moral principles, allow married couples to use their mutual judgment in choosing the method best for them. Not necessarily, according to Hayes. His article comes to the same conclusion as the commission’s final report, namely, the church’s constant teaching holds that each marriage should be fruitful and couples should avoid a contraceptive mentality, that is, avoiding childbirth for convenience or material gain. The tradition remains intact.

Hayes ends his article with two conclusions around which Pope Francis could resolve the birth control controversy.

  1.  “The church has already approved the use of the rhythm method. If this approval has relied upon biological naturalness to distinguish rhythm from other contraceptive methods, it would now seem possible for the church to extend its approval to all contraceptive methods of birth control (provided, of course, husband and wife have serious reasons for limiting births in their family).”
  2.  ‘The possibility of acceptance by the church of all contraceptive methods of birth control (provided that none of the latest methods prove to be abortifacient) has come about not by any change in moral principles but by the application of a more accurate picture of human reproduction as reported by current biological concepts.”

It took the church 359 years to resolve its Galileo affair, perhaps Pope Francis can resolve the birth control controversy in fewer than 50.

[Frank Maurovich, founding editor of The Catholic Voice, left priestly ministry in 1977. He is past editor of Maryknoll magazine and now writes for The Anthonian, publication of Holy Name Province of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor. ]

16 Responses

  1. Pól Ó Duibhir

    When Pius XII allowed rhythm it should have been realised that this effectively dispensed with the ban on all non-abortifacient methods of birth control.
    It is staggering to think that over half a century later this message has not got through to the Vatican, whatever about the people.

  2. Ann O'Connor

    I never understood why the rhythm method is permissible while artificial contraception is banned when the intention to avoid pregnancy is present in both methods.

  3. Gene Carr

    The ban on artificial method of birth control was not “first imposed” by Pius XI in 1931. Pius merely reiterated the age old teaching, until then shared by all Christian Churches, in the face of the Anglican Church’s decision to compromise that teaching.

    The analogy with the Galileo affair just does not wash. The issues are entirely different.

  4. Chris McDonnell

    After the Council, there was a real feeling of expectation and hope, the expectation of challenge that the Council Documents demanded and the hope they instilled.

    But within three years came the first significant disappointment, for in July 1968 Paul VI published Humanae Vitae and, in spite of the overwhelming majority view of the Commission set up to examine the issue in favour of change, this encyclical upheld the traditional teaching on contraception.

    It challenged many, both priests and laity, and caused a significant stir in the national press. I can still remember the full page of letters published in the aftermath in the London Times. A number of priests felt unable to accede to its teaching and were suspended by their Bishops. The church lost their ministry. At that time I asked a good friend of mine, ordained in 1954, what he intended doing. His reply? ‘If I leave, who is there to help and support the people?’ And so he stayed. Many others were caught between a rock and a hard place.
    The damage from that fateful date in July 1968 remains. The encyclical stands rejected by so many. The position is in urgent need of repair to restore credibility.

  5. Paddy Ferry

    The problem with the “age old teaching” argument that Gene refers to, is that such teaching was formulated in an age when there was little or no knowledge of the human sciences. When Pius XII, in his famous Address to the Midwives in 1951, dismissed the idea that sex fosters mutual love in marriage, he was, in effect, agreeing with St. Augustine’s view that sex comes from lust caused by original sin. Even though some people may still think that, these assertions were based on faulty physiology and psychology and make no sense in today’s world. I am grateful to Fr. Seán Fagan for explaining this so well in his excellent book, “What happened to sin

  6. Con Devree

    In relation to Frank Maurovich’s statement that “Pope Paul, however, had taken the birth control issue off the council’s table” the fact is that Pope John XXIII had withdrawn the subject of the Pill and contraception from the Council. Pope Paul VI inherited this decision. The Vatican II Fathers, on Nov. 20, 1964, by 1592 votes to 427, deferred decisions on marital morality to the Pope. What the bishops of Vatican II said was: “Married people should realize that in their behaviour they may not simply follow their own fancy but must be ruled by conscience … and conscience ought to be conformed to the law of God in the light of the teaching authority of the Church which is the authentic interpretation of divine law” (Gaudium et spes, n.50).

    Over the “two-year period” the Holy Father wrote to the bishops of the world asking for a detailed report on the issue, giving not only their opinions but those of the theological experts in their dioceses. This request was labeled “sub secreto.” The source of this infrmation helped one bishop in the preparation of his report.

    As Hayes is quoted as saying, “not every act of sexual intercourse naturally tends toward procreation.” So obviously, some acts of sexual intercourse do tend naturally toward procreation. Obviously contraception does frustrate the natural procreative potency of these latter acts. It leaves no room for the procreative intentions God might have. Should He have a say?

    There is a significant difference between not using a facility on the one hand, and actually using it in a manner that frustrates one of the purposes for which it was designed. This is the difference between natural family planning and artificial contraception. There is no law of any type that states couples should have to randomise their dates for sexual intercourse!

  7. Joe O'Leary

    Let’s resist all attempts to push the scandal of Humanae Vitae under the carpet. It is a massive symptom of how out of touch the church is with contemporary anthropology, the Galileo case of the modern church. We must draw all the conclusions of this massive mistake in order to create a wiser church more respectful of women, gays and freedom of conscience.

  8. James O'Kane

    I suspect that at least some of those born to Catholic parents in the years immediately after HV and not the first or second child in the family are furtively grateful to Paul VI.

  9. Nuala O'Driscoll

    James O”Kane @8.
    There are also babies, orphaned through AIDS, and victims themselves dying in the most appalling heartbreaking conditions who might not agree with your comment. And the Church still upholds that it is grievously sinful to use artificial contraception.

  10. Con Devree

    To Joe O’Leary (@7) (A comment on the submission not on the person)
    The underlying events of the Galileo case and those related to the formulation of Humanae Vitae bear practically no resemblance to each other. Given that “contemporary anthropology” will evolve in the medium term future, are not the said “conclusions” fixated on what you term elsewhere, “an arrested view of things” and consequently “a formula for blindness and intolerance?” After all the four predictions made by Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae have all been realised.

    Can Divine Revelation be diluted down to anthropology? There are many women, and also for that matter people of same sex attraction who believe in and claim to benefit from living by the teachings of the Church.

  11. Elizabeth

    Celibate men should occupy their minds with trying to alleviate poverty in the world and leave the reproductive choices of other people to those other people’s own consciences.

    Most Catholics in Ireland don’t even know that there is a ban on contraceptive use and most ignore the ban totally.

    Women will decide whether to have children or not and if they decide to have children they will decide how many to have and when.

    While there are children living on rubbish dumps in South America while at the same time bishops and popes are living in luxury there are plenty of projects to occupy the Church.

    Women simply will not be told what to do anymore and women will flock away from the Church unless the Church shapes up and accepts women as equal to men in every way.

  12. Soline Humbert

    From moral theologian and priest Kevin Kelly
    on Humanae Vitae ” For the influence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the faithful, as described by Pope Paul, is envisaged purely as disposing them to be receptive, whereas it might be a more positive one of refining, qualifying, or even correcting the papal teaching (p. 295).http://www.catholicireland.net/50-years-receiving-vatican-ii-a-personal-testimony/
    “The issue of conscience came up with a vengeance with the publication of Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae, in 1968. After outlining a very person-centred approach to marriage and sexuality, the Pope gave his decision on the very down-to-earth issue of birth control. He based it on a rationale which did not sit easily with the person-centred approach of the rest of the document. Moreover, his decision went against the advice of his so-called ‘Birth Control Commission’ which included moral theologians, social scientists and some extremely committed married people. Their final report carefully argued that a change in the Church’s teaching would do justice to the heart of what is contained in the Church’s living tradition and it even included a supplement proposing a way this change could be presented to the Church at large. Three moral theologians on the Commission privately submitted to the Pope their own document which argued that such a change would harm the credibility of the Church. Sadly, it was their unofficial advice which was heeded.

    Extensive reading and research had convinced me that there would be a change in the Church’s teaching. Hence, Humanae Vitae came as a great shock to me. I had actually supported Archbishop Beck in preparing the Liverpool clergy for such a change and in offering appropriate pastoral guidance to them. An inadequate grasp of ecclesiology and the role of authority in the Church led me to respond to the encyclical in a way which I can now see, with hindsight, was theologically inadequate and pastorally unhelpful. I feel I let people down on this point. Moral theologians like Charles Curran had foreseen such an eventuality and had anticipated and worked through the ecclesiological issues raised by it. Hence, they were able to disagree immediately and publicly with the Pope’s teaching and supported people in their conscience decisions to continue using birth control. I argued rather feebly in long articles in The Catholic Pictorial and The Clergy Review (1972, pp. 108-120, pp. 174-186, pp. 261-275, pp. 330-349 & pp. 803-808) that Humanae Vitae presented the Church with something new and that we needed time to weigh up and wrestle with its teaching. I recognised that, though it was a word spoken by legitimate authority, it might not be the last word or even the best word. I felt we needed to reflect on it before we could responsibly disagree with it and reject its teaching. However, I did recognise that it was a matter with immediate and practical consequences for the lives of married couples. Hence, their conscious decisions needed to be respected during this time of reflection and that they not be coerced into conduct which they considered harmful to the good of themselves and their children.

    A major learning experience for me in this matter occurred some months after the encyclical was published. I was asked to speak to a large group of married couples in Rockferry on the Wirral. They were very committed Catholics who used to meet regularly in cells to support each other in their married life. They asked me to explain the thinking of Humanae Vitae to them. Believing that the lived experience of such committed couples was an important source for theological reflection on marriage, I thought that my meeting with them could be a good learning experience for me. Hence, in addition to speaking to them about the encyclical, I asked them — a group of about two hundred — to write down for me how far the teaching of Humanae Vitae tied in with their lived experience. I was taken aback — and chastened — to find that pretty well all of them said that it did not fit in at all with their understanding and experience of marriage. Their response comes back to me every time I read that challenging passage in Jack Mahoney’s magnificent book, The Making of Moral Theology (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1987):

    In the case of Humanae Vitae … Pope Paul may appear to imply that the reception of his teaching by the Church at large will have, through the complementary influence of the Spirit, at least a confirmatory value in establishing the truth of his teaching. The possibility cannot be ruled out, however, that in such non-infallible teaching on a matter which is not contained in revelation the response of the body of the faithful will be less than whole-hearted in agreeing with the papal teaching and the considerations underlying it. For the influence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the faithful, as described by Pope Paul, is envisaged purely as disposing them to be receptive, whereas it might be a more positive one of refining, qualifying, or even correcting the papal teaching (p. 295).

    Cardinal Hume was surely right when, at the 1980 Rome Synod on Marriage, he said that the experience of married people can be ‘an authentic source of theology from which we, the pastors, and indeed the whole Church can draw’”.

  13. Paddy Ferry

    Soline, thank you for sharing that excellent piece by Fr. Kevin Kelly with us. Fr. Kelly refers to Humanae Vitae as ” non-infallible teaching”
    However, while on holiday recently, I re-read Hans Kung’s brilliant,little masterpiece “Infallible — an inquiry.” I had forgotten that Fr. Kung placed the blame for Pope Paul’s tragic blunder on the concept of the infallibility of the ” ordinary magisterium” which was given fresh emphasis at Vat. II.
    I now wonder is this also the reason Ratzinger could accuse Bishop Morris in Australia of questioning “infallible teaching” re women’s ordination when he sacked him. You must remember there was not a whisper of opposition from any bishop anywhere in the world, as far as I know, when JP II issued Ordinatio Sacerdatolis.(OS) Despite the fact that many bishops probably did not agree with OS, the silence meant that Rome could assume everyone was in agreement, hence the teaching on women’s ordination could be included as part of the “infalliblity of the ordinary magisterium”. I am just theorising here; I stand to be corrected.

  14. Joe O'Leary

    Con Devree, the HV-Galileo parallel is clear enough: then it was a quarrel with a new cosmology, now it is a quarrel with a new or renewed anthropology. Many then thought that Bellarmine would be proved right just as many now think that Paul VI will be proved right. To be sure the repression associated with HV is milder than that of Galileo and his ideas.

  15. Con Devree

    Reply Soline Humbert

    Fr Kevin Kelly’s testimony falls well short of an adequate argument against Humanae Vitae. Part of Fr Kelly’s argument could very well be OK outside of the context of Catholicism. One of the characteristics of Catholicism as noted by Blessed John Henry Newman is that the essence of revealed religion must be authority. That authority comes through Christ to Peter and his successors to us by direct line – the Magisterium.

    Fr Kelly’s testimony depends on at least three blunders.
    1. On a question of fact, Pope Paul VI did not decide on the basis of the “unofficial advice” of the three moral theologians on the Commission and their private submission. This commission did not play the major part in the evaluative process. Church teaching is not made in this fashion although a lot of moral theologians would like it to be so. In today’s world a similar commission would probably recommend the Church to accept the recent abortion legislation in Ireland.

    2. Church teaching is not decided by vote, by numbers. I am not in any way questioning the integrity of the 200 people in the Wirral. But many happily married couples have affirmed that they practised artificial contraception in the early stages of their marriages, but abandoned it later on foot of a deeper appreciation of their faith. This is related to a development of a more sensitive conscience. It would be easy today to assemble 200 people with attitudes different to those of the Wirral.

    3. Connected with this is an implication throughout Fr Kelly’s article that The Holy Spirit guides couples into artificial contraception. Unlikely given that Fr Charles Curran himself, in the aftermath of Humanae Vitae described artificial contraception as an “imperfection.”

  16. Con Devree

    To Joe O’Leary
    The HV-Galileo parallel is truly a parallel, they hardly intersect.

    1 Galileo had good relations with the first Pope, but it was the opposite with the second – Urban VIII . who succumbed to personal antagonism. No such issue arises in relation to Humanae Vitae

    2. Galileo did not have the instruments to prove his theory – they only became available 100 years later. No such issue arises in relation to Humanae Vitae

    3. In the aftermath of the Reformation with Martin Luther’s emphasis on sola scriptura, the reformed churches in northern Europe condemned Galileo. Given the uncertainty that prevailed in relation to the future of the Church Pope Urban, mistakenly felt impelled to uphold the teaching of the Bible as it then seemed, particularly in the absence of scientific proof. No such conditions prevailed in the case of Humanae Vitae.

    4. In other words the Pope was dabbling in matters foreign to his role as Pope. Pope Paul VI was dealing with a matter of moral theology, which he is expected to engage in which he did in accord with Lumen Gentium 22. Again there is no parallel.

    5. One area of parallel is that in a way both have been proved right. Pope Paul VI predicted the effects of the contraceptive mentality:
    a) Widespread use of contraception would lead to conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality.
    b) Man would lose respect for woman and would tend to consider her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment and no longer as his respected and beloved companion. Women throughout the world complain about this. Current day sociologists claim to affirm it.
    c) Widespread acceptance of contraception would be a weapon in the hands of public authorities who take no heed of “moral exigencies.”
    d) The more contraception was accepted, the more man would believe he had unlimited sovereignty over his body.

    6 In relation to anthropology your use of the term “now it is a quarrel with a new or renewed anthropology” bears out my contention that anthropology evolves. Nor do anthropologists agree with one another. There have always been those who have challenged the dominant paradigm at any one time. Divine Revelation cannot be diluted to anthropology

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