Last night, I was the guest at a joint meeting organised by the Oxford University Pro-Life Society and the Oxford Newman Society. There was first of all a magnificent dinner at the Chaplaincy, attended by 24 students and cooked by members of the Newman Society. The Library was full for the talk with about 40 students attending. I spoke about Humanae Vitae, 40 years on.
I pointed out that Humanae Vitae was addressed particularly to married couples whereas now most people arguing about contraception are referring to non-married relationships. I looked at the breakdown of traditional Christian morality (as predicted by Pope Paul VI) and the response that we could make by upholding the teaching of Humanae Vitae and encouraging people to see that teaching as offering a nobler way of life.
It was really very encouraging to meet these students and I came away with great hope for the future. The chaplains kindly arranged for me to stay at Campion Hall, the Jesuit house in Oxford. This morning, in response to requests from the students, I celebrated Mass in the old rite. The Fathers were most helpful in providing everything for the Mass which I celebrated in the St Joseph's Chapel. Jospeh Shaw took a couple of pictures of the Mass - here is one:
After Mass and a quick cup of coffee at the Queens Lane Coffee House, I took the Oxford Tube back to London for the conference of the Association of Priests for the Gospel of Life