Detroit, Mich., Jul 25, 2018 / 12:16 pm (CNA).- Fifty years after Pope Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae, the landmark encyclical reaffirming Church teaching against contraception, many Catholics still don’t really understand the document and what it teaches.

“The woeful fact is that pathetically few have ever read Humanae Vitae or ever heard a homily or defense of it,” said Dr. Janet Smith, a professor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

However, she told CNA, “[t]here is encouraging evidence that when they do, they find it persuasive.”

Smith, who is also a consulter to the Pontifical Council on the Family, has written

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