Laura Ballestrazzi

The Bishops and Humanae Vitae, between adhesions and reservations: some case studies

Laura Ballestrazzi

laura.ballestrazzi@unimore.it

Humanae Vitae was the most awaited and discussed encyclical of the ‘900. Misunderstood according to some, modernizing revolution failed for others, it still remains one of the most current. It experienced a controversial reception and in some cases a rather radical challenge. The questioning came from lay people, priests, but also from bishops and cardinals who expressed themselves privately or in public reinterpreting the content. This project aims to retrace the history of its reception starting from the collective declarations produced by the Canadian, South African and Italian Episcopal Conferences, and then moving towards the study of individual cases for each of them: Albino Luciani, then bishop of Vittorio Veneto, George Flahiff president of the Episcopal Conference of Canada and Denis Hurley, archbishop of Durban and important South African prelate. The project will try to analyze the troubled editorial process, up to the promulgation, making dialogue with the documents related to the birth of the encyclical with the cards contained in the institutional and personal archives of the prelates subject to research, so as to highlight the main issues of the discussion and analyze the directives addressed to the episcopates during the creation of the encyclical and following its publication.