I wasn't planning to post anything for NFP Awareness Week because, well, just because. But then I read this article last night, and everyone needs to go read it. Really, go.
When there's a contradiction between Translation X of an encyclical and the Vatican's translation, the Vatican is right. Period, end of story. There are quite a few Catholics opposing NFP on the interwebs that need to get off their high horses and stop worshiping the phrase "grave reason," because them just ain't the right words, y'all. And yammering on about the majority of NFP-users going to hell, based on your favorite inaccurate translation of Humanae Vitae, just isn't good evangelization.
If you didn't go read the whole thing, do it! But here's a quick recap:
- There are several English translations of Humanae Vitae available, but the Pauline Edition is the most widely circulated.
- The Pauline Edition is a transliteration from the Italian and is published by the Daughters of St Paul; the Vatican Edition was translated from the official Latin and is put forth by (surprise!) the Vatican.
- The two editions have, shall we say, "grave" differences which can substantially affect the meaning of certain passages.
- Such differences occur in paragraph 10 and paragraph 16, the paragraphs most commonly used to support the claims of those suspicious of or objecting to NFP use.
- If you didn't actively seek out the Vatican Edition when you read Humanae Vitae (or looked for the Church's teachings on NFP), you probably read the Pauline Edition instead... and you should go read the Vatican Edition, because it doesn't say the same thing. And the version from the Vatican is the correct version, because it's the Vatican.
Really, go read it. If you're Catholic, even if you aren't married, this is an area of Church teaching that is in the forefront of many people's minds with the ongoing HHS Mandate kerfuffle, and it's important for all Catholics to be able to clearly articulate what the Church actually teaches.