Infallible Nature of Blessed Paul VI's Teaching on Moral Matters
R.M. Lamb’s Discourse on the Humanae Vitae Encyclical and his two essays relating thereto. This correction by Richard M. Lamb himself of his serious error is unprompted and timely nevertheless.
I have particular regard to my two short polemical essays on this Encyclical: -
- Abortion and Contraception
“Roman Catholic Teaching on Abortion and Contraception.” written by R.M. Lamb on 28th June 2013 (The first essay of 28th June 2013)
- Paul VI (Blessed)
“Giovanni Montini who became Blessed Paul VI” written on 28th February 2015 (The second essay of 28th February 2015).
I repeat two quotes from each of these essays:
In the former essay I write in Section 3: 1st paragraph: “The Encyclical (Humanae Vitae) was not ex Cathedra and not infallible doctrinal teaching.”
In the latter essay I write in the conclusion: “Not every Pope has the confidence to speak ex Cathedra (infallibly). This Holy Father did in Humanae Vitae I submit.”
2. My Personal Reply to the Accusation of Contradiction in These Two Essays
I admit this charge in the knowledge of my clear and actual error in the first essay of 28th June 2013. The charge is sound, but I aver the truth of every word of the second essay of 28th February 2015 and where there is conflict between these two essays in composition, the second is relied on by myself. I should not have denied Pope Paul VI’s infallible essence in his 1960’s moral Encyclical. Mea Maxima Culpa! I was in grave error.
3. What Mitigation May I Pray in Aid?
That my thinking and literary product underwent a radical, almost revolutionary change with my first death sentence essay of 2nd July 2013, and my EU and ECHR essay of 28th July 2013 later that month. On 2nd July 2013 I declared for the restoration of Capital Punishment. In the 28th July 2013 essay I argued for seceding from the EU and repealing the Human Rights edifice built on that convention to enable the death penalty to return. This was a revolutionary programme, and with subsequent essays the stand was reinforced and entrenched. Moreover I put the people first and mailed over 20,000 member of the public with these policies – tripartite between 1st July 2014 and the end of October 2014. The repercussions of this ground breaking programme affected R.M. Lamb’s thinking from top to bottom, and his essay writing issued post 1st November 2014. Writing resumed following R.M. Lamb’s rest from essay writing between 1st March 2014 and 31st October 2014. The first phase was 19th June 2013 to 1st March 2014.
There is no denying my original thinking and analysis had been ratcheted up since the very early essays of 2nd July 2013 (Death Sentence) and 28th July 2013 (EU & ECHR). Like it or not we are allowed to change our mind, especially where it is done to support the infallible interpretation of the Papal Encyclical Humanae Vitae in preference to mere formal guidance of a non-infallible and “food for thought” kind. Such a change of mind is a human liberty. I am, however, still bound to accept that the accusation I make against myself is true and well founded. What is more I have misled the readers by my errant writing. My fault is thus compounded. Pope Paul VI was speaking infallible and I had nonchalantly denied he was so speaking. What terrible pomposity, pride and presumptuousness by myself!
4. The Mechanics of My Mentality
My strong line on these three political policies made me determined to go the whole hog and declare for infallibility in this Encyclical’s teaching by Blessed Paul VI in my second essay of 28th February 2015. I had advanced so far, my first essay of 28th June 2013 had been left behind. I do not resile from any word of my later essay of 28th February 2015. Like any radical thinker I must have a proper moral backbone to my ideas. But I will not tolerate anything unlawful by myself or others. I agree I have now conspicuously relinquished my previously overt stand to refuse the infallible teaching interpretation a hearing regarding this Encyclical. I was wrong in that refusal I now realise. My case is embodied in the 28th February 2015 essay as supported, where applicable, by the earlier essay of 28th June 2013.
I concede others may be reluctant to accept the bold interpretation I put on this Pope’s brave Encyclical. What am I? An ex-lawyer of 38 years who has studied at University: politics and modern history. Yes I am a practising Roman Catholic since birth in 1952 and so educated in that devout religion. I am no theologian nor am I a moral philosopher. I bring only what I may to my essays. The earlier 28th June 2013 essay is to some extent strengthened by the later 28th February essay. They feed off each other. I abide by the earlier 28th June 2013 essay except for the stand enunciated therein for the Pope’s teaching in this Encyclical to be not considered ex Cathedra i.e. not infallible teaching. Newman (Blessed Cardinal) stated truly the Popes may speak ex Cathedra and thus infallibly on matters of faith and morals. This Encyclical is all about morals. Blessed Paul VI was within his rights to speak infallibly in this Encyclical and he fully intended that result. He would be acting contrary to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to denude this Humanae Vitae moral teaching of infallibility. Then he, the Pope, would be in serious error. We can rely on Blessed Paul VI in this Encyclical, to speak infallibly, and we should be grateful he did so utter.
I have made my admission; I will not recant of it. I stand by my confession and enlist the help of all my 168 essays written between 19th June 2013 and 5th March 2015. I will not play with words and indulge in sophistry. I knew this Pope and his Encyclical of the 1960’s needed further thought and written expression by me on 28th February 2015 when I wrote the second essay. The contradiction struck deeply at the first essay of 28th June 2013 and in my heart and soul. Nevertheless, in many respects this first essay of 28th June 2013 was very sympathetic to this Encyclical and its thesis albeit trenchant. The gap between these two essays was twenty months – 28th June 2013 to 28th February 2015. A lot happened to R.M. Lamb’s essay writing life in those twenty months. What are we left with? The post War Popes and this closely angled and phrased Encyclical. Do they support this Humanae Vitae teaching paper to a man? Only two alive – four, nay five dead. It is for the Catholic laity to decide this issue I submit, not the papacy. Currently they are opposed. Will the Holy Ghost move across the waters as Christ stepped across the Sea of Galilee? I say yes. Then we will know the Spirit of the Lord lives in each one of us. Come Holy Spirit! Come!