Humanae Vitae -- Of Human Life
Encyclical Letter of Paul VI, July 25, 1968
Paragraph 14) “In truth, if it is sometimes licit to tolerate a lesser evil in order to avoid a greater evil or to promote a greater good, (Pius XII, 1953) it is not licit, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil so that good may follow therefrom, (Romans 3:8) that is, to make into the object of a positive act of the will something which is intrinsically disorder, and hence unworthy of the human person, even when the intention is to safeguard or promote individual, family or social well-being.”
Paragraph 18) “To tell the truth, the Church is not surprised to be made, like her divine founder, a ‘sign of contradiction,’ (Luke 2:34) yet she does not because of this cease to proclaim with humble firmness the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical. Of such laws the Church was not the author, nor consequently can she be their arbiter; she is the depositary and their interpreter, without ever being able to declare to be licit that which is not so by reason of its intimate and unchangeable opposition to the true good of man. ………..Faithful to both the teaching and the example of the Savior, she shows herself to be the sincere and disinterested friend of men, whom she wishes to help, even during their earthly sojourn, ‘to share as sons in the life of the living God, the Father of all men.
III. Pastoral Directives
Paragraph 19) “The Church, in fact, cannot have a different conduct towards men than that of the Redeemer. She knows their weaknesses, has compassion on the crowd, receives sinners; but she cannot renounce the teaching of the law which is, in reality, that law proper to a human life restored to its original truth and conducted by the spirit of God.” (Romans 8)
Paragraph 29) To diminish in no way the saving teaching of Christ constitutes an eminent form of charity for souls. But this must ever be accompanied by patience and goodness, such as the Lord himself gave example of in dealing with men. Having come not to condemn but to save, (John 3:17) He was intransigent with evil, but merciful toward individuals.
In their difficulties, may married couples always find, in the words and in the heart of a priest, the echo of the voice and the love of the Redeemer.
And then speak with confidence, beloved sons, fully convinced that the spirit of God, while He assists the magisterium in proposing doctrine, illumines internally the hearts of the faithful inviting them to give their assent.