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Document Details :
Title: Couples Practicing Contraception
Subtitle: A Call for Dialogue
Author(s): SUTTON, Agneta
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 20 Issue: 2 Date: 2014
The Roman Catholic Church has lost some of its credibility because of the encyclical Humanae vitae to which many Catholic couples turn a deaf ear. That so many Catholic couples pay no attention to the encyclical calls in question the status of the encyclical. Starting with a critical look at references to Augustinian authority in Pius XI’s and Pius XII’s arguments against contraception, this paper points to a trend towards an increasingly personalistic approach in twentieth-century discussions about marriage and sexuality. It then turns to the influence of Karol Wojtyla on Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae vitae. In this context it is argued that the most significant objection to contraception in Humanae vitae is not that it is unnatural but that it is anti-unitive. It is also argued that this is not a valid objection. For, if the Church listened to couples practicing contraception, she would learn that they do not generally experience it as anti-unitive.