Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vatican letter to Bishops on Humanae Vitae found

LifeSite has found and published a letter sent from the Vatican to all Bishops with a pre-release copy of Humanae Vitae. Even from a distance of these many years it is a hard letter to read knowing the vast distance between what was asked in this letter and the response it was given in return. If this paragraph doesn't absolutely eviscerate you:

The Holy Father knows full well the bitterness that this reply may cause many married persons who were expecting a different solution for their difficulties. It is precisely the solicitude for those souls in anguish, and the ardent desire to bring them light and solace, which caused the great delay in giving this reply. Mindful of the grave consequences entailed by a decision of this nature, the Common Father wished to study the entire question for Himself and in detail. For a long time He reflected, with respectful consideration, upon the results of the studies and discussions of the Commission charged with examining the various aspects of the problem; for a long time, He prayed. He consulted numerous wise and learned members of the Episcopate, of the clergy, of the laity; and all of this took months and even years.

this one will:
And now He turns to His Brothers, the Bishops of the Catholic world, asking them to stand beside Him more firmly than ever in this circumstance, and to help Him present this delicate point of the Church's teaching to the Christian people, to explain and justify its profound reasons. The Pope counts upon the attachment of His Brothers in the Episcopate to the Chair of Peter, upon their love for the Church, upon their concern for the true good of souls.
One can almost feel the pain in Pope Paul VI's heart as he likely knew that even this cover letter would be ignored. We tend to forget that the word "Pope" comes from the same etymological base as the term "Papa"; in reading words like this just how much of a Papa was Papa Montini, and indeed is every Pope, truly comes to light. We have much to do.