86: How To Defend Humanae Vitae—Dr. Janet Smith

86: How To Defend Humanae Vitae—Dr. Janet Smith (video segment- full audio below)

What is Humanae Vitae, you ask? It’s the 1968 papal Encyclical by Blessed Pope Paul VI (who will be canonized this fall). I can still remember walking into the Daughters of St, Paul Catholic bookstore in Toronto when I was teaching high school there. My glance fell to a book titled, Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later by someone called Janet E. Smith. It had a huge effect on me. I was already on board with the norms of the Encyclical, but this Janet Smith person broadened and deepened my appreciation of the teaching, from multiple angles of consideration.

Well, I ended up meeting her at a couple of conferences through the years, and I’m so happy to present this interview with her. She is courageous, articulate, and knows the teaching inside and out.


In this episode you will learn:

  • The context in which Humanae Vitae was released and rejected
  • The level of authority with which the Encyclical is presented by the Church
  • A simple way to understand the why behind the what of the teaching
  • How soon-to-be-Saint Paul VI was vindicated as a prophet
  • How contraception paves the way for abortion
  • The moral difference between natural family planning (NFP) and contraception
  • Why NFP is good for marital longevity, happiness, and stability


Resources recommended in this episode:


Question of the week

Why is Humanae Vitae an excellent litmus test of Catholic orthodoxy?

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