• Chrism Mass, April 1

    Bishop John Noonan invites you to participate in the celebration of the Chrism Mass on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

    Read More
  • Free Concert

    with ValLimar Jansen and John Angotti on Wed. April 8

    Read More
  • Day of Reconciliation - March 30

    All parishes will offer the Sacrament of Penance to help believers journey back to God this Lenten Season.

    March 30, 2015
    Read More
  • The Way, The Truth and The Life

    Videos to help Catholics in their Walk of Faith.

    Read More
  • National Catholic Educational Association Convention and Expo, April 7-9, in Orlando

    In partnership with the National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors Convocation and the Catholic Library Association

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Latest Events

Bishop Noonan on Twitter

BishopNoonan By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we seek forgiveness and repentance, let go of sin, grow in virtue, and witness to a joyful conversion.
17hreplyretweetfavorite
BishopNoonan Has your prayer and devotion drawn you out of your “prayer space” to make a difference in another’s life? #BeFaithFit
BishopNoonan Jesus prepares us to receive Him free from serious sin, with a lively faith, earnest hope, and sacrificial love in the Eucharist.

Safe Environment Program
Victim Assistance Coordinator:
407-246-7179

Find a Parish

Finding your place in the Catholic community is key to feeling right at home in the Diocese of Orlando. Let us help you locate the right parish for you.

Search Parishes

Find a School

The Diocese of Orlando prides itself in offering the best in Catholic education. Access to our top schools is just a click away.

Search Schools

Becoming Catholic

Want to become Catholic or have a few questions about the Church? Click below for answers or feel free to send us your question via email for a response.

Learn More

Directory

Download information about the people, ministries and entities that are part of the Diocese of Orlando.

Visit the Directory

Humanae Vitae - July 2008

This past July 25th marked the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s controversial and still little heeded encyclical, Humanae Vitae (On the Regulation of Birth).  Many both within and without the Church – heady from the many changes initiated by the Second Vatican Council – fully expected that the Church would change her clear and constant teachings on human sexuality and procreation.  Proponents of change then argued that the development of the contraceptive pill made such change in teaching not only possible but imperative.

However, Pope Paul VI (advised closely by the then Cardinal Wojtyla) realized that while much in the Church was rightly changeable (for example, liturgical rites and languages had changed often in the Church’s two thousand year history) no one – even the Pope – could change the received teachings of the Church in matters of faith and morals.

In Humanae Vitae, giving an ecclesiastical example of a profile in courage, Paul VI reaffirmed the immorality of recourse to artificial means of birth regulation. While Pope Paul VI and the Catholic Church practically stood alone in reaffirmation that the procreative and unitive ends of the conjugal act could not morally be arbitrarily separated, it is important to remember that up until the early 20th century this was also the constant teaching of all other Christian ecclesial bodies – Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant.

Of course, the Church is not against sexual pleasure as some of her opponents allege; but, more importantly, we are for the happiness of the human person. The fostering of that happiness requires understanding the gift of our sexuality as God has intended it.  Sex, in God’s plan, is more than just a “recreational activity”.  As Catholic feminist and philosopher, Janet Smith says:  “…sex is for babies and bonding.  If people are not ready for babies and bonding, they ought not to be engaging in acts of sexual intercourse.”  And what are nuptials but the public expression of a couple’s readiness to do just that?

A careful rereading of Humanae Vitae – especially in the light of the “sexual revolution” unleashed in society over the past 40 years –can help us appreciate how prescient the Pope was in his warnings of the dire consequences that a “contraceptive mentality” would have on society.  The numbers of unwanted pregnancies and abortions did not decreased with the widespread acceptance of contraception – they increased.  And the “pill” far from freeing women from male domination made them more likely to be victims of sexual exploitation by men.  The break up of families and the epidemic of divorce in our culture, the increasingly high incidence of women bearing children out of wedlock, the flight from adult responsibility and the extended “adolescence” of men, all point to – in hindsight –the rightness of Paul VI’s and the Church’s teaching on human sexuality.

The Church condemns artificial contraception not just because of its bad consequences.  She condemns artificial contraception because it is intrinsically evil (and because it is evil it has bad consequences). Contraception is evil because it violates the very purpose and nature of the sexual act – and in doing so violates the dignity of the human person.

Pope John Paul II reaffirmed Humane Vitae throughout his pontificate. His “Theology of the Body” has sought to represent the perennial teachings of Church on human sexuality in an idiom more accessible to our contemporaries.  The sexual act, he teaches, implies self-giving, a self giving denied in the very act of contraception.  One’s “body language” should mean as much as one’s words do. Happiness and human flourishing cannot be built on insincere language or lies.  Contraception – like pre-marital or extra-marital sex - is a lie because it denies the unconditional “yes” of one to another implied in the very act of love making.

Contact Us  

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1800
Orlando, Florida
32802-1800

Physical Address:
50 East Robinson
Orlando, Florida
32801

Telephone:
407-246-4800

Fax:
407-246-4942

E-mail:

 

Our Location