Cardinal Ladaria: Truth about humanity and sexuality doesn’t change because of changes in ideology

The fact about the human particular person and sexuality doesn’t change at the same time as prevailing ideology exalts “freedom without relation to truth,” the Vatican’s doctrine chief stated at a convention on Friday.

Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, SJ, prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave the opening remarks at a May 19–20 congress on Humanae Vitae, the 1968 landmark encyclical from St. Paul VI.

“The truth expressed in humanity does not change; even more precisely in the light of new scientific discoveries, its doctrine becomes more current,” Ladaria stated. It “prompts us to reflect on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Amoris laetitia,” (“The Joy of Love”) to rediscover the message of Paul VI’s encyclical, he stated.

“The encyclical Humanae Vitae addressed issues related to sexuality, love, and life, which are intimately interconnected,” the cardinal stated. “These are issues that affect all human beings in every age. For this reason, his message remains relevant today. Pope Benedict XVI expressed it in these words: What was true yesterday remains true today.”

The worldwide convention “Humanae Vitae: The audacity of an encyclical on sexuality and procreation” was organized by The Jérôme Lejeune International Chair in Bioethics. It was held on the Patristic Institute Augustinianum, a small convention middle near the Vatican.

Ladaria’s opening remarks gave an outline of the anthropology of man as introduced by Humanae Vitae, contrasting it with the prevailing anthropologies in Western society as we speak.

“The encyclical,” he stated, “bases its doctrine on the truth of the act of conjugal love, the inseparable connection that God has willed and that man cannot break on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act.”


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“If man is capable of recognizing and interpreting the unitive and procreative meanings of the conjugal act, he will fulfill his own existence correctly and bring it to its fullness.”

Like the voice of the Church, he stated, “we, too, in the midst of our world, are called to be a sign of contradiction, proclaiming with unity and firmness the truth of the human being, of love, of sexuality, and of life.”

The cardinal defined that rejecting the instructing of Humanae Vitae just isn’t solely a rejection of the immorality of contraception but additionally an acceptance of a “dualistic anthropology that sees in nature a threat to freedom and that considers that by manipulating the body the conditions of truth of the conjugal act can be changed.”

“For the encyclical, nature is not in tension with freedom, but gives freedom the meanings that make possible the truth of the act of conjugal love and allow its full realization,” he stated.

The separation of intercourse from procreation has, he continued, each trivialized human sexuality and reworked society’s understanding of sexual id and what sexual relations are, creating an incapacity to acknowledge the ethical variations between the sexual union of a person and a lady and intercourse between two males or two ladies.

Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, SJ, prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, gives the opening remarks at a May 19–20, 2023, congress on Humanae Vitae, the 1968 landmark encyclical from St. Paul VI. Credit: Daniel Ibañez/CNA
Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, SJ, prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, provides the opening remarks at a May 19–20, 2023, congress on Humanae Vitae, the 1968 landmark encyclical from St. Paul VI. Credit: Daniel Ibañez/CNA

The cardinal stated the concept that “my body belongs to me” displays an instrumentalization and materialization of the physique, thus making it an object to control.

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He known as this a “reification” of the physique and stated it has led to a lower in births and a rise in abortions.

Life has develop into manufactured, main it to not be considered as a present however as a product, valued in phrases of its utility, he stated. “Quality of life thus becomes a discriminating concept between lives worthy of being lived and lives unworthy of being lived.”

The manipulation of the physique can also be current in gender ideology and transhumanism, which “both start from the premise that there is no truth that can limit the implementation of their ideological postulates,” Ladaria stated.

The cardinal highlighted that this “contraceptive anthropology” current in gender ideology once more locations freedom in opposition to nature.

“This exaltation of freedom without relation to truth makes both ideologies present desire and will as the ultimate guarantors of human decisions,” he stated. “Therefore, the continuation of the phrase ‘my body belongs to me, I will do with it what I want’ is the expression of desire alone as the guarantor of moral decision. But it is precisely the human body itself that appears as an obstacle, as a limit to the realization of desire.”

Someone’s “personal identity is now based on his orientation, i.e., without connection to his own body and without relation to the body of the other, without relation to the opposite sex,” Ladaria continued. “It is an anthropology that has separated the vocation to love from the vocation to fecundity.”

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Humanae Vitae, as an alternative, “proposes an anthropology of the whole person, an anthropology capable of uniting freedom with nature,” he stated.

“Man is truly himself, when body and soul form an intimate unity.”

Speakers on the Humanae Vitae congress included physicians, theologians, lecturers, and monks from all over the world. Catholic {couples} additionally gave testimonies about the thrill and challenges of married love and openness to life.

Among the presenters had been U.S.-based ethical theologian Pia de Solenni; the president of Culture of Life Africa, biologist Obianuju Ekeocha; and the president emeritus of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, John Haas.

Haas can also be an strange member of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAL). Other strange and corresponding members of PAL who participated in the assembly had been Jean-Marie Le Méné, president of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation; Mounir Farag, founder and president of the St. Joseph Institute for the Family, Bioethics, and Pro Vita; Elena Postigo Solana, director of the Institute of Bioethics at Francisco de Vitoria University of Madrid; and Pilar Vigil Portales, OB-GYN.

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