Canadian controversy over Humanae Vitae began long before Pope Paul VI issued his controversial encyclical.
Humane Vitae was released 50 years ago, on July 29, 1968, at a time when the pill had become commonplace and expectations were high that the Church would relax its teaching on contraception. Instead, Humane Vitae reaffirmed the Church’s teaching on married and family life and rejected artificial contraception. The encyclical was greeted with protests and petitions across the Catholic world. In Canada, the national bishops conference held their annual plenary meeting that September and, in an attempt to maintain unity in the Canadian Church, issued what