This Is Not Our Ruling: It Is God's Law

Author: Pope Paul VI


Pope Paul VI

A large gathering of pilgrims greeted the Holy Father in the courtyard of the Papal residence at Castel Gandolfo when he appeared on the balcony at noon on Sunday, August 4th. Before reciting the Angelus with them he addressed them briefly as follows:

Our Encyclical "Humanae vitae" has caused many reactions. But as far as We recall, the Pope has never received so many spontaneous messages of gratitude and approval for the publication of a document as on this occasion. And these messages have poured in from every part of the world and from every class of people.. We mention this to express Our cordial thanks to all those who have welcomed Our Encyclical Letter and assured Us of their support. May the Lord bless them.

We know, of course, that there are many who have not appreciated Our teaching, and not a few have opposed it. We can, in a sense, understand their lack of comprehension and even their opposition. Our decision is not an easy one. It is not in line with a practice unfortunately widespread today which is regarded as convenient and, on the surface, helpful to family harmony and love.

Once again We would remind you that the ruling We have reaffirmed is not Our own. It originates from the very structure of life and love and human dignity, and is thus derived from the law of God. It does not ignore the sociological and demographic conditions of our time. Contrary to what some seem to suppose, it is not in itself opposed to the rational limitation of births. It is not opposed to scientific research and therapeutic treatment, and still less to truly responsible parenthood. It does not even conflict with family peace and harmony. It is just a moral law, demanding and austere, which is still binding today. It forbids the use of means which are directed against procreation and which thus degrade the purity of love and the purpose of married life.

The duty of Our office and pastoral charity have led Us to speak out. We therefore send a paternal greeting to all married couples and to all families who seek and find their moral strength and true happiness in the order willed by God. From our heart We bless them and all of you, wishing you well in building a society based on the Christian way of life.  

Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
8 August 1968, page 7

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