Religion: Catholic Freedom v. Authority

COVER STORY JULY 29, 1968, may prove to be a major landmark in the long history of the Roman Catholic Church—as significant, perhaps, as the moment when Martin Luther decided to post his theses on indulgences at Wittenberg Castle Church. On that day last summer, Pope Paul VI promulgated his seventh encyclical, Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life), which condemned all methods of contraception as against God's natural law. Since it reflected the views of a distinct minority of Catholic theologians and moralists, the encyclical created an unprecedented storm of protest and dissent within the church. Millions of laymen, priests and even...

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