To [Christian married couples] the Lord entrusts the task of making visible to men the holiness and sweetness of the law which unites the mutual love of husband and wife with their cooperation with the love of God the author of human life [Pope Paul VI, Humanae vitae, ¶25].
It may seem odd to take a pledge to do what we are supposed to do anyway — follow the teachings of the Church. By our baptism and confirmation we are already vowed, at least implicitly, to do so. But we are living under special circumstances in a secular society where many Catholics have, knowingly or unknowingly supplanted their faith with another code by which they live, deeming it more “realistic.” But nothing is more realistic or “practical” than eternal salvation and living this life in accord with God’s designs.
So why do we pledge to assent to something as beautiful as God’s natural designs? Something, which in a less darkened world, ought to go without saying? For two reasons, at least: First, as an act of reparation for forty years of public dissent that led so many people astray by treating this ignorance of our Church as some kind of “enlightenment” or “liberation.” Second as an act of witness and assent to counter the anti-witness of this dissent, which brought so much incalculable damage to our Church and world, and indeed the witness of the Church. We stand up as confessors of the Faith. In the ancient Church, after the great martyrdoms ceased, those who stood for the Faith in a hostile climate were known as confessors of the Faith.
In taking this pledge we stand with the martyrs and confessors of the past in giving public witness not only to the Truth of our Church but her beauty.
Human Life International has an ongoing campaign of collecting this Pledge from clergy members and seminarians. This week we announce and offer a similar pledge to members of the lay faithful.
We recommend pastors include it as a bulletin insert and lay people distribute it among friends and family.