Ruth Speaks Out

This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.

In celebration of Blessed Paul VI, Prophet and Pope

Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pope Francis beatified Pope Paul VI at the close of the Synod on the Family.  This means two things. First, the Church officially recognizes the personal sanctity of Paul VI. Second, the Church has no intention of backing away from its ancient teachings on artificial contraception. For Paul VI is the author of the 1968 surprise encyclical, Humanae Vitae.  He dashed any hope, inside or outside of the Catholic Church, about a “new day dawning” on the subject of contraception.  And this is why Pope Francis’ decision to honor Paul VI is especially significant. The rich and powerful who promoted the over-population hysteria back in 1968, don't look so smart today. Meanwhile, Paul VI's predictions have been proven correct. And we can see now, that he was the one defending the weak, against predatory governments. [caption id="attachment_16644" align="alignright" width="300"]Pope Paul VI: Prophet Pope Paul VI: Prophet[/caption] Against all the “winds of change,” Paul VI reiterated the ancient teaching of the Catholic Church. (In fact, the prohibition on contraception had been the universal teaching of all the Christian churches right up until 1930, but I digress.) In spite of all pressure arrayed in favor of artificial birth control, Paul VI predicted that this social experiment would end badly. In paragraph 17 of Humanae Vitae, called Consequences of Artificial Methods, Paul VI makes his predictions, all of which have come to pass. Who can deny that we have an “increase in marital infidelity?” Who can deny that there has been a “general lowering of moral standards?” Who can deny that we have obliterated the incentives for “young people to avoid temptation?” Who can deny that men have “lost their reverence for women?” But his analysis of the misuse of governmental power deserves special attention. He states:
Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone.
The one child policy in China is only the most obvious and long-standing example of the abuses of human rights that governments have inflicted on their people in the name of population control. Have you ever wondered how Paul VI got this idea? John D Rockefeller III was one of the leading proponents of population control in the 1960’s. Rockefeller went to great lengths to try to neutralize the opposition of the Catholic Church to his population control plans.  He cultivated relationships with faculty and staff at Notre Dame, where his Population Council held conferences in the 1960’s. His friend Notre Dame President Theodore Hesburgh arranged an audience with Pope Paul VI in July of 1965. This was during the period of time when the Catholic Church was holding commissions on the contraception question, and when Paul VI was considering what he would say on the subject. I just wonder whether this meeting caused Paul VI to realize the kind of power grab that John D Rockefeller III had in mind. I do not know exactly what Rockefeller said in that meeting. To the best of my knowledge Paul VI has never written about what Rockefeller said to him. We do know that the next day, Rockefeller wrote to the Pope, further expounding his views.  He took it upon himself to advise the Holy Father, “If I may speak perfectly frankly, the Church will be bypassed on an issue of fundamental importance to its people and to the well-being of all mankind. The flooding tide (of population stabilization) cannot be stopped or even slowed, but it can be guided.” In other words, “Mr. Pope Sir, History is moving along, and you are on the wrong side of History.” I can imagine the Holy Father listening quietly, while Rockefeller gushed about the need for population control (with him and his friends doing the controlling, of course.) I can imagine the Pope watching this very rich American, full of himself, accustomed to everyone taking his views seriously, even religious leaders. Perhaps it was this very meeting that persuaded Paul VI of the danger of morally sanctioned birth control in the hands of governments. And where are rich and powerful people today? They’re so proud of their sexual revolution. But the media, the politicians, the celebrities, the academics, seldom speak about the human rights abuses made possible by the widespread use, promotion and normalization of contraception.  Millions of men vasectomized by their government in India in the 1970’s.  Women strapped down and forced to have abortions in China due to the One Child Policy since 1979. Couples in the Philippines now required to obtain a “certificate of compliance” to prove they have been educated by the government on “family planning.”  And literally millions of missing girls worldwide, due to sex selection abortion, in part induced by government-imposed population control policies. Paul VI was a prophet. Soon he’ll be recognized as a saint. History will show that he was right. And Pope Francis is not backing away from the legacy of Paul VI. If you have Facebook page, you are a member of the New Media! Please share this post with your friends! And ask them to “Like” the Ruth Institute. Reference to Rockefeller’s letter to Paul VI can be found in Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control by E. Michael Jones, (South Bend IN: St. Augustine’s Press, 2000) pp. 435-7. Reference to Population Council conferences at Notre Dame, can be found in Donald T Critchlow, Intended Consequences: Birth Control, Abortion and the Federal Government in Modern America, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp 62-65.  
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