Turning Point: The Inside Story of the Papal Birth Control Commission, & How Humanae Vitae Changed the

Robert McClory, Author
Robert McClory, Author Crossroad Publishing Company $19.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8245-1458-7
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-8245-1613-0
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In 1968, Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical, Humanae Vitae, upholding the Catholic Church's ban on contraception. His stance went against the majority opinion of the Papal Birth Control Commission, an unprecedented gathering of bishops, cardinals, gynecologists, physicians, psychiatrists, demographers, sociologists, economists and married couples, which met in Belgium and Rome between 1963 and 1966. In an expose unveiling intrigue and bitter controversy at the highest levels of the Catholic Church, Northwestern University journalism professor McClory charges that Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, head of the commission's final session, met privately with Paul VI, presented him with the ``Minority Report'' condemning birth control and personally swayed the pope to reverse his initial predisposition, which was toward approval of contraception within marriage. Pat and Patty Crowley, a married couple from Chicago, former leaders of the Christian Family Movement, served on the commission, voicing CFM members' desire for a change in Vatican policy. McClory skillfully interweaves the Crowleys' personal story with that of Humanae Vitae, tracing the couple's frustration and disillusionment with the Church's unbending position. Included is the full text of the commission's ``Majority Report,'' never officially released by the Vatican. Photos. (Mar.)
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