Prof. Michael Sherwin o.p. spoke about "Conscience, Practical Reason, and the Apprenticeship of Love" the second day of the 3 days colloquium "The Body as Anticipatory Sign" (15-17 November 2018) that took place at The Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Washington.
At least formally, Paul VI’s Humanae vitae merely reaffirmed the Church’s perennial teaching. Yet its publication in late July of 1968 unleashed a torrent of criticism, perhaps unprecedented in its violence. These events laid bare the profound estrangement of that teaching from modern, liberal culture; it also provoked a fundamental ecclesial crisis. Misunderstanding and resistance to the teaching as a “discrete” norm of traditional sexual ethics could be anticipated. [...] Twenty-five years later, Saint John Paul II attempted to remediate these fragmenting tendencies in his own landmark encyclical, Veritatis splendor. [...]
The coinciding of these two major anniversaries affords a timely opportunity to engage in a deep and sustained reflection both on the shared ethical and anthropological teachings and missions of these seminal encyclicals and on the reasons why they have met such difficulty in our modern social and ecclesial environment.