In Humanae Vitae Pope Paul VI warned of the dangers of setting aside God's purpose for married love and all the horrors he described have come to pass: abortion, loss of respect for women, government coercion, etc.
As we honor Mary today, I want to share a bit from a talk by Malcolm Muggeridge on Humane Vitae which he gave in 1979. Even then, the disasters of contraception already loomed clearly on the horizon:
What I want to say tonight, as a non-Catholic [Muggeridge entered the Church in 1982 at the age of 79], as an aspiring Christian, as someone who, as an old journalist, has watched this process of deterioration in our whole way of life—what I want to say is that in that encyclical the finger is pointed on the point that really matters. Namely, that through human procreation the great creativity of men and women comes into play, and that to interfere with this creativity, to seek to relate it merely to pleasure, is to go back into pre-Christian times and ultimately to destroy the civilization that Christianity has brought about.
that. One thing that I know will appear in social histories in the future is that the dissolution of our way of life, our Christian way of life and all that it has meant to the world, relates directly to the matter that is raised in
Now, of course, when Humanae Vitae was published to the world and was set upon by all the pundits of the media, it was attacked as being a failure to sympathize with the difficulties of young people getting married. That was the basis on which the attack was mounted. But, it was perfectly obvious, and Colin Clark will remember from that symposium, with which the coming of Humanae Vitae was celebrated by the B.B.C.—it was mentioned then that contraception was something that would not just stop with limiting families. That in fact, it would lead inevitably, as night follows day, to abortion and then to euthanasia. And I remember that the panel jeered when I said particularly the last, euthanasia. But it was quite obvious that this would be so. That if you once accepted the idea that erotic satisfaction was itself a justification, then you had to accept also the idea that if erotic satisfaction led to pregnancy, then the person concerned was entitled to have the pregnancy stopped. And, of course, we had these abortion bills that proliferated through the whole Western world. In England, we have already destroyed more babies than lives were lost in the first World War. Through virtually the whole Western world there now exists abortion on demand. The result has been an enormous increase in the misery and unhappiness of individual human beings and again, the enormous weakening of this Christian family. (See the full keynote address at lospequenos.org.)And, of course, everything that Pope Paul VI and Muggeridge predicted has come to pass. The wreckage of dead babies, damaged women, destroyed marriages, child abuse, etc. illustrates it in spades! What a victory for Satan when he convinced couples that makes them most like God in the creation of new life is a curse instead of a blessing, a fulfillment of Luke's gospel, "For behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the breasts that never gave suck." (Luke 23:29)