Over 50 Catholic organizations published a letter addressed to Pope Benedict XVI last week urging the Pope to lift the Church’s anti-contraception policy introduced in the Humanae Vitae, the1968 Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI. The letter was advertised in the Corriere della Sera, Italy’s largest circulating newspaper, according to Catholics for Choice.
The letter marked the 40 anniversary of the Humanae Vitae, which, according to the letter, “holds significant sway over many national family planning policies, obstruct[ing] the implementation of good public health policies on family planning and HIV prevention.” Teachings of the encyclical have been defended by late Pope Paul VI’s successors, John Paul and Benedict. At the end of the letter the Catholic organizations asked Pope Benedict to use the anniversary to lift the ban “to allow Catholics to plan their families safely and in good conscience.”
The anniversary also reignited the debate in the Philippines over the eight year contraception ban with the Conference Episcopal Commission on Family Life in Manila where Catholic Bishops renewed the Church’s support of the Humanae Vitae, according to GMA News.