Archive for the ‘Abortion-Contraception’ Category

Natural Family Planning or Sodomy

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

As the world knows, Obergefell vs Hodges, the recent case that was used by the U.S. Supreme Court to forbid states to ban same-sex “marriage,” originated here in Cincinnati. Mr. Obergefell wanted to be listed as the surviving spouse on the death certificate of his partner in “marriage.” When that was originally denied, he took it to the courts, and the rest is history.

You have probably seen various analyses of this decision; some of the best are the dissenting opinions of the dissenting Justices. Chief Justice Roberts emphatically pointed out that the decision was not rooted in the Constitution but simply in the personal preferences of the Majority. That is, this is another sad case of Court-imposed legislation.

The Majority decision listed the Griswold v Connecticut (1965) and Eisenstadt v Baird (1972) as precedents. Those decisions forbade States from banning the sale and distribution of contraceptives to, respectively, married and then unmarried persons. To understand the impact of these decisions and their relationship to Obergefell, it is helpful to remember that in his commentary on the Sin of Onan in Genesis 38, Martin Luther called Onan’s form of contraception—withdrawal—a form of sodomy. That applies to any and all forms of contraceptive behaviors. It obviously includes those married couples who engage in the same sort of anatomical sexual acts as homosexuals; it also includes those who use the Pill etc.   Thus Griswold told the American people that it is so acceptable for married couples to engage in sodomy as contraception that States could no longer have any laws against this behavior.

According to the current NIH “Family Growth” statistics, about one-tenth of one percent of couples, married or not, are using natural methods of conception regulation. Let’s say that these figures don’t fairly represent married Christians. After all, do YOU know anyone who has ever been surveyed? And if asked, would you tell the details of your personal life to some survey-taker? So let’s say that the survey results were off by a factor of ten, yielding a rate of one percent of all those surveyed. Let’s imagine that churchgoing-Catholics were not well represented, so let’s double that figure. That would estimate that two percent of Catholic churchgoing parishioners were not using unnatural methods of birth control.

Conversely, that means that among fertile-age people, 98 percent of Catholics and 99% of the rest of the heterosexual population are engaging in various forms of sodomy as their way of preventing pregnancy. Unfortunately, there are no data from the natural family planning community to help us think that more than two percent of Catholic married couples are using only natural forms of conception regulation.

It is quite imaginable that homosexuals in our culture might have been thinking, “Since those doing heterosexual sodomy are calling it marriage, why shouldn’t we?” From that perspective, it appears that Obergefell is both a logical and sociological consequence of Griswold. In other words, from heterosexual sodomy as marriage we now have homosexual sodomy as marriage.

Shortly before the day of the decision, I was receiving emails calling for prayer and predicting that the acceptance of sodomy as marriage would spell the end of our culture. I don’t disagree, but I think that we all need to realize that “marriage” was redefined by Griswold in 1965 and that Obergefell has simply made clear what contraceptive marriage is all about.

The question of the day is this: What will the leaders of the Catholic Church in the United States of America do about this? What will they do to educate church-going Catholics about the beauty and truth of Catholic teaching on love, marriage and sexuality? As Timothy Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York has admitted, most bishops treated Humanae Vitae as a “hot potato,” i.e., something not to be handled. The result is in the statistics a few paragraphs above. The merciful Lord has given them another chance to get it right.

Also, this is certainly an opportunity for Protestants to realize that Luther was right about contraceptive behaviors as a form of sodomy and to return to the unity of teaching on this issue that prevailed until the Anglican revolution of 1930. After all, essentially Protestant state legislatures enacted the anti-contraception laws of the 1870s. Perhaps some or many will realize that the Catholic Church is the Guardian and authoritative teacher of the truth despite the failings of the majority of its Western laity and the laxity or timidity of too many of its clergy.

John F. Kippley

Natural Family Planning: Love and Life are Inseparable

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Below is an excerpt on natural family planning from Fr. Dwight Campbell’s pro-life homily showing the connection of contraception and abortion, January 18, 2015.

“January 22 marks the 42nd anniversary of the dreadful Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which overturned every state law in the country and permitted the killing of unborn children through abortion throughout the full nine months of pregnancy. Since that decision, between 55 and 60 million pre-born children have been killed in the womb – a veritable American Holocaust which still continues.

A few months ago Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the chairman of the U.S. Bishops committee on pro-life activities, reported under the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare), more than 1000 healthcare plans in our country now receive federal subsidies that cover for elective abortions – which means that our taxes dollars are being used by the federal government to kill unborn babies.

How did this happen? How did it come about that we, a largely Christian nation, have killed close to one third of all the children conceived in the womb over the past 42 years? In today’s homily, I’d like to “connect the dots” – that is, paint a picture and explain how we arrived at this point in our country.

To understand what has happened, we must go back to God’s plan for love, life, marriage and the family. In our 2nd reading today, St. Paul teaches: “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ, and whoever is joined to the Lord becomes on Spirit with him. [Therefore,] avoid immorality. . . the immoral person sins against his own body (1 Cor. 6:15 ff.).”  This applies above all in marriage.

In God’s plan for the marriage act, there is an inseparable link between love and life – between the unitive, or love-giving aspect of the marital act, and the procreative, or life-giving aspect. This is because we are made in God’s image and likeness, and in God Himself – the three persons of the Trinity – love and life are inseparable: God’s love is always life-giving; and human love, marital love, is intended by God to reflect divine love.

In other words, in the marital act there must be a total gift of self between the spouses; husband and wife cannot hold anything back, including their fertility. Every marital act must remain open to the possibility of cooperating with God’s life-creating love, and generating new human life:  a child. Vatican II teaches that in God’s plan, “authentic married love is caught up into divine love” (GS no. 48).

In God’s plan, because love and life are inseparable, one cannot have authentic marital love without openness to human life; and this is why the Church prohibits artificial birth control – whether it be contraception or sterilization.

If couples have a serious reason for postponing a pregnancy, they may use a natural means to do so. Natural Family Planning is based upon knowledge of a woman’s monthly reproductive cycle, and requires periodic abstinence – which actually helps to strengthen authentic love between spouses. When couples use NFP, every marital act remains open to life and to God’s potentially life-creating love.

To intentionally exclude the procreative aspect of marital love by some artificial means really de-forms the marital act, rendering it life-less, thereby excluding God from participating in the act. Contraceptive sex is lifeless sex, and lifeless sex is Godless sex.

Archbishop Listecki, in his “Love One Another” article from July 16, 2013, said:  “The contraceptive mentality attempts to separate the act of lovemaking from procreating. There is little doubt in my mind that contraception has created a type of selfishness, especially in the lives of young married couples. The child is seen as an afterthought to their security or convenience. Large families, and for many that is more than two children in a family, are often treated as an archaic concept.”

As Pope St. John Paul II teaches in his encyclical The Gospel of Life, when the two meanings of sexual relations, unitive and procreative, are artificially separated by contraception or sterilization, “the marriage union is betrayed and its fruitfulness is subjected to the caprice of the couple. Procreation then becomes the ‘enemy’ to be avoided in sexual activity” (no. 23).

And it is precisely this anti-child, anti-life mentality of contraception that leads to abortion. St. John Paul II makes this clear in The Gospel of Life when he says:  “The close connection, in mentality, between the practice of contraception and abortion is becoming increasingly obvious” (no. 13). I like to call abortion the “flip side” of contraception; people use contraception to avoid a child, and when contraception fails, as it often does, the “solution” is the “final solution”:  abort the child.

The great pro-life missionary, Fr. Paul Marx, O.S.B. – for whom I was privileged to work for two years while I was in the seminary – visited close to 100 countries preaching the pro-life message. Fr. Marx said, many times, “I never visited a country where there was with nice, clean contraception, and no abortion. In any country where there was contraception, there was always abortion. Always.”

Above is the first half of the homily.  For the full homily by Fr. Campbell, you may listen to the audio.
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For a good analysis of the right kind of natural family planning, review  “Your Right to Know.”  More information on love, marriage and sexuality is also available at the NFPI website.
Sheila Kippley

Natural Family Planning: VISION NOW + 20

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

The Need:  To restore the Culture of Life and to replace the Culture of Death

 By the “Culture of Death” is meant the widespread acceptance of:

  • contraception
  • sterilization
  • surgical abortion
  • abortifacient drugs and devices
  • widespread cohabitation without marriage
  • high rates of divorce
  • fatherless families
  • pornography
  • widespread adultery and fornication
  • an aggressive homosexual movement
  • euthanasia

Moral relativism has been enshrined and threatens to undermine Western Civilization.

The massive funding of the Culture of Death requires a cooperative response by the laity and the hierarchy alike.

Required: a vision, an organization, a plan, and sufficient resources.

Next week:  What is the Culture of Life?

John F. Kippley (September 2014)