Participants Glad for Humanae Vitae Symposium
“Fifty years after its release, the teachings of Humanae Vitae are more relevant and necessary for the life of the Church than ever, participants at a recent symposium on the encyclical said.”
This is how Mary Rezak describes the 7th Annual Symposium on the New Evangelization at Benedictine College which focused on the theme “Humanae Vitae 50 Years Later: A Call to Self Gift.”
The Gregorian Institute, which sponsors the Spring conference, described the highlights of the conference’s keynote addresses here.
In her report for Catholic News Agency, Rezak focused on participants in the conference and what they discovered about Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical on “On the Regulation of Birth” and openness to life.
The encyclical by Pope Paul VI affirms, among other things, the Church’s teaching on natural family planning methods and rejects contraception as a morally valid method for the planning and spacing of children.
She interviewed Joel Feldpausch, a missionary with The Culture Project International.
“The most fascinating thing about my job in dealing with middle schoolers and high schoolers is that Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s vision, the warnings of Our Lady of Fatima, the writings of John Paul II – they become more relevant,” he told Rezak.
“You’re finding now in our world, people are accomplishing those things that they think will make them happy, and they’re getting to that point and they’re realizing that they’re not happy,” he added.
Reghan Methe, a student at Benedictine College, told Rezak that she came to the symposium to learn how she could practically apply the teachings of Humanae Vitae in the world.
“I am interested in how to implement all these things that we’re learning here, because we have all of these great classes but that can keep it in a very abstract or intellectual level,” she told CNA. “So a lot of people here, with the primary focus being evangelization, it helps to make what you’re learning more concrete.”
A Lincoln, Neb., Natural Family Planning teacher, Michele Chambers, said the Symposium is a service to those dioceses that participate.
“To have these myriads of people here all on the same team – which when you’re in your individual dioceses and parishes, you don’t see that as much – it’s nice to come and get filled so you can go back and try and do your job a bit better,” Chambers said.