Archive for the ‘Morality’ Category

Same-sex marriage didn’t just happen.

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

The first key step towards the acceptance of same-sex marriage was the societal acceptance of marital contraception by the Church of England in 1930.  The dissenting Anglican bishops pointed out to their fellow bishops (who approved it) that accepting marital contraception would lead logically to the acceptance of sodomy. The history of the Church of England has proved their correctness all too well.  Not only that, it led to the acceptance of sodomy by their own bishops.  That, in turn, led to the acceptance of sodomy within marriage.  It’s largely an unspoken subject, but heterosexual sodomy is practiced and even recommended.

I recall reading a book about pregnancy in which the author clearly recommended that the wife do oral copulation on her husband in the later months of pregnancy.  I have read a book on natural birth control in which the author clearly condemned anal copulation as unsanitary but also clearly recommended oral-genital copulation as a way of not having to abstain during the fertile time.  I think I remember a direct quote: “Try it; you’ll like it.”  A Catholic priest was in dialogue with this non-Catholic author, and she deleted that from her book.  When she later lectured at a conference, during the Q and A period I asked her if the change in her text represented a change in her thinking, and she said it did not.  Then she explained that she really didn’t understand the Catholic objection to this sort of thing.

The second huge step towards the acceptance of same-sex marriage came with the acceptance of no-fault divorce.  As Maggie Gallagher put it so well some years ago, the courts won’t let you get married for keeps.  Oh, we can still marry for keeps in the Catholic Church, but if one spouse says he or she wants out, the courts will allow it.  No arguments are needed.  As I have read many times that same-sex marriage will destroy or greatly harm traditional marriage, I have wondered if it can have any more deleterious effects than the societal acceptance of marital contraception and no-fault divorce.

So what can be done?  The war will be won only by fighting in the trenches.  That entails having every engaged couple participate in the right kind of preparation for marriage, and that includes the right kind of NFP instruction, the kind that is found almost exclusively in NFP International.  There was recently a discussion on the NFP professionals e-list in which it became clear that many, perhaps even most, NFP programs and teachers do not teach Catholic morality.  That is, they do not teach explicitly about the evil of masturbation and marital sodomy.  Teaching that you should “avoid genital contact” simply will not do.  It is all too open to a strictly pragmatic (avoiding pregnancy) interpretation.

If you would like to help your diocese do what it should be doing for the benefit of couples and the institution of marriage, encourage the diocese to offer an invitation to NFP International.

(Sheila: For more on this same topic, see John’s excellent commentary at

John Kippley



Some Natural Family Planning Questions

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

A man wrote asking several questions about NFP.  Here are John’s response to those questions or concerns.

Thanks for writing.  I will try to help.

1.  Couple with a serious reason to avoid pregnancy.  You have described a very difficult situation, and I can empathize with your priest.  However, he erred in saying that the couple in that situation can use contraception.  He should read my book, Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality.  In a chapter on the formation of conscience, I quote Pope John Paul II over and over again to show that the teaching reaffirmed by Casti Connubii and Humanae Vitae is binding and cannot be changed.  It is not a matter of situation ethics.  In the situation you describe, I would recommend that the couple abstain from relations from the beginning of menstruation until a combination of signs indicate that she is in postovulation infertility.  A woman who is ovulating will have a temperature shift after ovulation as well as having her mucus dry up.  The couple might want to wait for what we call a Rule C interpretation or add one day to the other rules.

I highly recommend that you get a copy of our current manual, Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach at You can download it, but I recommend getting the paper copy with the spiral binding.

2.  Comparative research has shown that the cross-checking sympto-thermal method is more effective than mucus by itself.  I don’t know what you mean by a normal sleep pattern.  We have seen “ideal” charts from a nurse who worked constantly changing shifts.  We address these issues in our manual.  Few mothers of young children have no interruptions of sleep for weeks on end, and that is usually not a problem.  The important thing is to follow the temperature-taking guidelines in our manual.

3.  The question about menopause is too vague for an answer.  Menopause can be a difficult time because ovulation becomes less frequent.  If a woman is well experienced in both the mucus and cervix signs, she can identify the fertile and infertile times very well and can engage in the marriage act with a relative lack of abstinence.  However, if they are very fearful of pregnancy, then the best thing to do, barring gaining confidence in her observations, is to abstain until her signs say she is in post-ovulation infertility.

The Gospel for this past Sunday dealt with the teaching of Jesus about the need to accept and carry our cross daily.  There is no doubt that the practice of marital chastity provides a cross, sometimes light and sometimes heavy.  It is also true that the cross is the price of discipleship.

If you have more questions after you have studied our current manual, feel free to write or call.

In His service,
John F. Kippley
PS:  The man’s Response to John:  “Your response gets to the heart of the matter and helps much. Thank you. (and thanks for the prompt reply).”

Modesty and Chastity

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Maybe one reason for the idea that most women are considered to be sex objects is the way that too many women dress.  Both men and women wear shorts in the summer, but men typically wear knee-length shorts.  Women — well, it seems that lots of them can’t get them any shorter.

Men and women play basketball and volleyball.  Look at the difference in dress.  So as long as lots of women dress in such a way that draws public attention to their private parts, it is hardly surprising that lots of men think that such dress suggests a lustful willingness to get sexually involved.  I don’t buy the alleged need for more skin exposure for proper ventilation.  Male basketball players used to wear shorter shorts, but now they are knee-length.  I suspect a major reason is comfort — when you’re sweaty, it’s more comfortable to have long shorts especially when sitting on the bench.

Modesty has traditionally been considered the handmaid to chastity.

John Kippley