Here is a June 16th press release from Human Life International (HLI):

HLI President Calls for a “Generation of Assent” to Humanae Vitae

FRONT ROYAL, VA — The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL, president of Human Life International (HLI), has announced a “Clergy Pledge of Assent to Humanae vitae,” as part of HLI’s Humanae Vitae Initiative, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the landmark papal encyclical, inviting “every Catholic bishop, priest, deacon and seminarian in the world to sign!”

Euteneuer said the pledge “is a veritable manifesto of priestly love for our beloved Magisterium, doctrine and priesthood, in the face of a whole generation of silence and dissent to this most critical of all papal encyclicals, HLI is endeavoring to form a new generation of assent, both from the ranks of the existing clergy and among those who are studying for Holy Orders.”

He continued, “It is our desire and purpose to tell the world that we will not be silent about this encyclical or its teaching. Nor will we stand by idly when Pope Paul VI’s predictions of cultural and spiritual degradation are manifesting themselves around us in broken marriages, devastated families and pernicious immorality.

“We believe that the Catholic clergy has a large part to play in turning this situation around, and only a full, conscious and active promotion of the teachings of this encyclical by the clergy will be a force for change in our present culture of death.”

Clergy and seminarians wishing to sign the pledge of assent may do so electronically here.

The pledge may be downloaded in pdf form here.

The main website for Humanae Vitae Priests is here.

Wow–assent to Humanae Vitae?  I find that most refreshing and encouraging!  You can hardly get more counter-cultural than that.  I feel that the majority of our clergy do support this encyclical, but it just seems like whenever you say the words “Humanae Vitae,” crazy dissenters come out of the woodwork!  It’s like their rallying cry, or something.  And that is a profound shame.

So, I am very excited and relieved to hear about HLI’s initiative to really take back Humanae Vitae for the faithful and make a stand by it.  I hope that all of our wonderful, faithful clergy and seminarians will take the opportunity to express their assent to it and to reaffirm their solidarity with our Magisterium.  They need to be heard by the laity and by the world.  We need their witness.  Badly.

Personally, I am baffled that there is still so much dissent against Humanae Vitae, given that everything Pope Paul warned against has clearly come about in our society: broken marriages and families, oppression of women and children, and a general lack of sanity when it comes to morality.  Pope Paul has been proven right.  Why can’t the opponents just throw in the towel?  Are they really that far gone?  Have they been totally consumed by arrogance so that they can’t admit they were wrong?  Are they so deranged that they believe the Culture of Death is a good thing?

I do know this: such dissenters need our prayers BIG TIME. I’ve heard Fr. Euteneuer say that much of the death- and evil-mongering of the last 40 years can be attributed to demonic attacks, and that prayer is our most powerful and crucial weapon against them.  That sounds about right to me.  Otherwise, I just can’t make any sense of it.  We humans are supposed to be creatures of reason.  I don’t see all that much reason when I look at the world around me.  Even within the Church there are pockets of madness.

I pray that the tide will begin to turn now in earnest.