The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.

                                                                                     (Dei verbum, 10)

The whole of Catholic teaching on the subjects of the human person, human sexuality, the virtue of chastity, marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood, and the good of procreation and the nurture of children arise from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (the Holy Spirit deepening the understanding of God's mysteries in every gneration and confirmed by the Magisterium). The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that this means "the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops incommunion witht he successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome" (CCC, 85). Papal teaching exists within this sacred authority and serves to call the faithfyul to right belief as welled by the Lord God.

In the modern period, the popes who have reflected and wrote on married love and the gift of life, including the natural methods of family planning, are Pius XI, Pius XII, St. Paul VI, St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis. Their writings can be found on the Church Teaching and NFP page.


The resources below include academic and popular articles and videos. They offer reflections on papal teaching on the topic of married love and the gift of life and NFP.

Please be advised that the content below represents the thought of the authors. Links to external websites are provided solely for the user's convenience. Reference to these sites do not imply USCCB official endorsement.

Please be patient with us as we continue to develop this page. Send your suggestions of articles on NFP and papal teaching to

Suggested Resources

Humanae Vitae page

John Paul II on Family and Sexuality
Richard M. Hogan and John LeVoir
Reflecting on the love of God and the love He intended for humanity, Hogan and LeVoir articulate Catholic teaching on the dignity of the human person as affirmed by the family. They reference Pope John Paul II and his Theology of the Body as it pertains to an interpretation of Vatican II and how it should be applied to NFP.

St. John Paul II and Humanae Vitae
Janet E. Smith
Pope John Paul II reflects on Humane Vitae and speaks to the Church about such things as the "gift of sexuality," and the body as an "expression of the person." Dr. Smith writes that the Holy Father's reflections reveal the connections between love and sex. Natural Family Planning, she argues, also provides a program that draws upon these similar connections.

Self Giving: The Heart of Humanae Vitae
This statement by Catholic theologians in support of Humanae Vitae was issued in 2016 as a response to a group of Catholic theologians and leaders who opposed the Church's teaching. Self Giving: the Heart of Humanae Vitae addresses the false claims of the latter group and masterfully highlights the truth of God's design for married love and the gift of life.

Videos of theological talks on Humanae Vitae from the 2018 fiftieth anniversary symposium.


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