According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis received Cardinal Angelo Amato SDB, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on the afternoon of Friday, May 9, and approved the promulgation of the decree for the cause of beatification of Pope Paul VI.
On Saturday, the Vatican announced that October 19 was the date chosen for the beatification ceremony as this will mark the conclusion of the III Extraorindary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the family.
Pope Paul's pontificate lasted 15 years and he is perhaps best known for authoring the historic encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which enshrined the Church's teaching against the use of artificial contraception. The document, which was promulgated in 1968, contained several prophecies about what would happen to the relationship between men and women should they resort to these means to control birth, such as how it would open the door to marital infidelity, the lowering of moral standards and reduce women to "mere instruments of satisfaction" for men. Should the use of artificial contraception fall into the hands of the state, Pope Paul predicted it would lead to forced use and to crossing boundaries "beyond which it is wrong to go" such as creating life in the laboratory.
Every prediction made in the document has come true with almost chilling accuracy.
It is most fitting that the beatification ceremony of such a champion of human life will take place at the end of an historic Synod where the bishops of the world will gather to discuss many of the challenges the Church is facing today because that prophetic document was not heeded more than 40 years ago, such as cohabitation, same-sex marriage, single-parenting, polygamy, surrogate motherhood, and the reformulation of the concept of family.
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