Ninety years ago, the modernist attacks on marriage and the family were reaping a foul harvest. In the words of Pope Pius XI, “a great number of men, forgetful of that divine work of redemption, either entirely ignore or shamelessly deny the great sanctity of Christian wedlock, or relying on the false principles of a new and utterly perverse morality, too often trample it under foot.”
Pope Pius recognized his sacred duty to defend the truths of the Faith, which most perfectly articulate the natural law that Saint Paul tells us is “written on our hearts” – the hearts of every human being since Adam and Eve. In his encyclical Casti Connubi, Pope Pius observes that “These most pernicious errors and depraved morals have begun to spread even amongst the faithful and are gradually gaining ground.”
They were indeed. The encyclical appeared following the decision by the Anglican Church that contraception was permissible, for grave reasons, within marriage. Pope Pius saw clearly what he had to do, and responded forcefully: “in Our office as Christ’s Vicar upon earth and Supreme Shepherd and Teacher We consider it Our duty to raise Our voice to keep the flock committed to Our care from poisoned pastures and, as far as in Us lies, to preserve it from harm.”
Today, ninety years later, it is our task to do the same, whatever our station in life.
Read “Casti Connubi” here: http://www.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19301231_casti-connubii.html