CDU Blog

MA Thesis Reflects on Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 03:23 PM

In July 2018, the Church reached a remarkable milestone: the 50th anniversary of Pope Blessed (soon to be Saint) Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, “On Human Life,” that reaffirmed the Church’s perennial prohibition against contraception and gave a brief but powerful restatement of the Christian vision for marriage.

Looking back five decades, it is possible to see that Pope Paul was both sound in his decision to issue the encyclical and prophetic in what would happen should the world embrace a contraceptive culture.

Recent MA graduate Anne Marie Posella has taken on in her thesis, “Contemplating the Spousal Mystery through the Lens of the Fertile Window,” the challenge of reflecting on the anniversary of Humanae Vitae. She pays particular attention to another of the often overlooked aspects of Humanae Vitae: Pope Paul’s support of Natural Family Planning (NFP).

Her thesis is a timely and useful reminder of the fundamental reality of marriage as procreative and unitive. In her presentation, Anne Marie positively affirms Humanae Vitae and gives all of us one more dimension to consider when confronting the contraceptive culture.

Anne Marie works in collaboration with the local pregnancy resource centre and with Family Foundations Institute, a grassroots Catholic initiative in southwestern Ontario. Her concentration in philosophy at CDU, and in particular her study of personalism, continues to inform her practice on a daily basis.

Read the summer 2018 issue of Digital Continent on the Alumni page of our website at