The year was 1968, and the sexual revolution was underway, most formidably accelerated by the birth control pill.
What did it mean?
Pope Paul VI, and no doubt most of his counselors, saw quite clearly what it was and what it would become.
The Church knew and understood what the advent of that Brave New World would bring.
Paul VI published the encyclical Humanae Vitae on July 25, 1968. Forty years later it has proven to be essentially correct in its predictions.
But what is also all too clear is that Humanae Vitae came at late midstream in the breakdown of Western society, at the point where rationality was so abstracted from the facts of social organization that men and women had already begun to live theoretical lives, unattached to the moral boundaries that the traditions of civilization were then still capable of handing on to them.