06 September 2018
L’Osservatore Romano

Scaraffia, “A Novelty in the Life of the Church”

A special issue of “Women Church World” dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae

The September issue of L’Osservatore Romano’s monthly magazine “Women Church World” is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae.

In the opening editorial, Lucetta Scaraffia underlines that, for the first time, “a document from the Church is received differently by women and by men” and, to this difference “is added [the reception] in the West and in the Third World”. In fact, “while the advanced countries are obsessed with the ‘demographic bomb’ and women begin glimpsing their liberation in the pill, in the southern hemisphere demographic control presents itself in the not very liberal guise of forced sterilization.”

“The encyclical Humanae Vitae has marked a great novelty in the life of the Church: this is the first time that a papal document has been followed and commented by the world press with so much attention and such a critical spirit—expectations and forecasts even leaked out during the previous months—and it is the first time that the Pope is the object of humorous caricatures while the Catholic world—including the clergy—, above all, is publicly divided, over the document’s reception. Yet, it is also the first time that some female voices speak out and comment on the encyclical differently than men do,” writes the historian.