Humanae Vitae and Medjugorje

Over a decade ago, when I was still at University studying Theology, I remember learning about Pope Paul VI’s last Encyclical Humanae Vitae. The document was rather interesting between its history, teachings, and reception.

Concerning the history of this document, I learned that there was quite the lead-up to its publication. Pope John XXIII had established a study group to look at the question of Catholic doctrine on artificial contraception. John died, Paul VI succeeded him, and retained the study group. Meanwhile, there was a lot of buzz within the Catholic world that the Church was going to change its doctrine on artificial contraception. I was even told that priests were telling people in Confession to expect a change in the doctrine (with the obvious logical consequence that it was no longer a sin to use artificial contraception).

The findings from this group were to be drawn up in a dossier and sent to the Holy Father. In short, the study group recommended that the Church allow the use of artificial contraception. Unfortunately, we know that this was the recommendation from the study group because the dossier was leaked to the press (which greatly angered Paul VI, I recently read). The genie, as it were, was out of its bottle and people’s belief that the Church was going to change its doctrine on artificial contraception was reinforced.

Then came the publication of Humanae Vitae wherein Paul VI essentially rejected the study group’s recommendation and upheld the Church’s perennial teaching. Massive revolt ensued which, I was told, was the reason why Humanae Vitae was the last Encyclical written by Paul VI. The Church had a serious pastoral problem on its hand, the effects from which, arguably, we are still reeling.

What, you may be wondering, does the above have to do with Medjugorje?

The news has been all abuzz recently with Pope Francis’ recent revealing of the “guts” of the Ruini Commission’s findings. It was reported at the time that the Commission believed the first 7 apparitions were authentic, but not the later ones.

This morning, I read a news article dated July 23 (to which I shall not link lest I give any credibility to the site) that focused upon the Commission’s alleged recommendation that pilgrimages to Medjugorje be permitted. The July 23 article argued that if the Vatican had concerns about the later apparitions, then it would have to exercise caution about travel to Medjugorje.

The parallel lesson that I wish to make with Humanae Vitae is simple: don’t jump the gun. Consider the following:

  1. The Holy Father has issued no official judgment on Medjugorje,
  2. The 1991 Zadar Declaration is still in effect,
  3. Pilgrimages that presume a supernatural origin to the Medjugorje phenomenon are still not allowed.

We are Catholics, bound to obedience. If we violate that obedience then we sin and could very well imperil our eternal salvation. At the very least, we displease Our Lord Jesus Christ who we claim to serve.

Let us remember what Our Lady said at Fátima:
Do not offend our Lord God any more, for He is already much offended.”

-Kevin J. Symonds

Fr. Dollinger RIP

I learned two days ago that Fr. Dollinger has died. Requiem aeternam, dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis!

Regretfully, his passing leaves us with open questions about the story that he and Ratzinger had two conversations about the third part of the secret of Fátima.

Last year, I was told that a document with an account of his story was to be sent to him for his signature. No word has yet come to me as to whether or not this has happened.

Sr. Lúcia Predicted a Nuclear War?

Last year, I was interviewed by Goya Productions for the DVD documentary on Fátima entitled Fátima: The Last Mystery. During the course of the pre-interview discussions between the interviewer and myself, I had been asked about a claim attributed to Sr. Lúcia. It is said that she once stated that the 1984 Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary had averted a nuclear war that would have happened in 1985.

Having read this claim in a number of publications over the years, I confirmed it for the interviewer and spoke accordingly during the filming. My statement must have had an effect because it was put into the final product of the documentary. During my recent trip to Fátima, a friend brought the DVD for the “officially unofficial Fátima premier” of the documentary. Prior to the showing, my friend asked me about my source for the claim of the 1985 nuclear war. I was happy to discuss the matter with him, and now do so with you.

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