Archive for the ‘Priests & Parishes’ Category

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week (Church Bulletin Insert)

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week by Father Mark Watkins, pastor, St. Lawrence Church, Cincinnati

The purpose of NFP Awareness Week is to let all Catholics—and non-Catholics too—know that the Church provides very practical help for couples to live out the teaching of Humanae Vitae.  I hope that it also helps couples to believe and follow its tremendously necessary teaching.

On July 25, 1968 Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical that reaffirmed 2,000 years of Catholic teaching about birth control.  It became controversial simply because it reaffirmed what the Catholic Church has been teaching for some 2,000 years.  Why was that controversial?  Pope Pius XI had done the same thing in 1930, and there was no controversy within the Catholic Church.  Why were things so different 49 years ago?

The controversy was stirred up beginning in 1960 with the introduction of the hormonal birth control drugs.  The manner of operation of chemical birth control was different from the contraceptive devices that were common before then.  Some Catholics argued that Catholic teaching could accept this new mode of birth control because it wasn’t so obviously contraceptive.  (It turned out to be much worse because it affects the lining of the uterus to resist implantation of a newly conceived baby in its embryonic stage.  This is what is called the abortifacient potential of the Pill and other hormonal forms of birth control.)

Pope Paul VI reviewed the arguments of those on both sides of the issue.  He clearly saw that the arguments of those who wanted the Church to accept marital contraception could not say a firm NO to any imaginable form of sexual behavior between consenting adults.  Thus he was obliged by his responsibility as the Supreme Pastor of souls to reaffirm that all unnatural forms of birth control are the grave matter of mortal sin.

He also predicted that the widespread acceptance of marital contraception would have far reaching negative consequences.  For that he was also criticized, but the negative effects have been even worse than he foretold.

Still, some may ask, “Why is there all this fuss about Humanae Vitae and birth control?

The answer is very basic:  What is at stake is the divine truth about human love and your salvation!
(Continued and concluded next week)

Natural Family Planning International: Its Importance

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Do you know that NFP International is the only American NFP organization that teaches all of the following?

  1. Ecological breastfeeding and the Seven Standards as a form of natural family planning.
  2. The covenant theology of human sexuality as an easy way to grasp the teaching of Humanae Vitae.
  3. Systematic NFP with different answers for different situations.
  4. The need for a sufficiently serious reason to use systematic NFP to postpone pregnancy.
  5. The immorality of using masturbation and sodomy during the fertile time as a form of “NFP.”

Do you know that NFP International needs your help to grow as a corporal and spiritual work of mercy?

We believe that developing a culture of life requires a widespread rejection of marital contraception and conversion to God’s plan for life, love and family.  That entails generosity in having children, acceptance of ecological breastfeeding, when possible, for spacing babies, and using chaste systematic NFP when more spacing is needed.

If you share this conviction, please help the NFPI Humanae Vitae apostolate.  Please make your check to NFPI and send to:
NFP International, P. O. Box 861; Steubenville OH 43952
Or donate online at the website.

Thank you for reading this.  Please pray for us and for the NFP International apostolate.  Please donate; your gift will make a difference.  NFPI is a 501-c-3 not-for-profit organization.  Gifts are tax-deductible.

–John and Sheila Kippley
PS. Please visit the NFPI website. We are working to make it the “go-to” site for 1) practical help with NFP including a downloadable manual for a small donation and free charts, 2) theological support for Humanae Vitae and 3) breastfeeding research.

Natural Family Planning: A More Complete Approach

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Today there are many options available for using natural family planning…from apps to the teaching of all options to the teaching of temperature-only to the teaching of mucus-only.  We rarely receive calls for advice on NFP.  The few who call say they are using NFP but do not know what is going on in their cycle.  Then we learn they were using only one sign because that is all they learned.  They are dismayed that they were not taught the temperature sign.  The effectiveness of this sign for the start of Phase 3 (post-ovulation infertility) has been proved to be as effective as sterilization.  Yet many Catholic couples are completely unaware of this fact. (Analysis of Dr. Christopher Tietze of the Population Council)

We are often disappointed when Church employees promote a mucus-only approach.  Such persons are not providing the other fertility signs nor are they teaching God’s plan for spacing babies via the correct type of breastfeeding.  What follows is adopted from a letter sent to a correspondent.

You need to understand that the NaPro Technology is very good for women with such a serious case of infertility that it can be treated only with surgery.  That is, it is a moral alternative to in vitro fertilization and artificial reproductive technology.  It is, however, a last step that should be taken only after the couple has tried to improve their fertility with nutrition and improved fertility awareness.  Marilyn Shannon’s book, Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition, is an excellent source of information about fertility-related nutrition.  Sometimes the solution is as simple as taking a guaifenesin supplement – it liquifies both bronchial and cervical mucus.

Part of the usual workup for using NaPro Technology is to take the Creighton Model course on fertility awareness.  While this may be helpful for Dr. Hilgers’ research, we don’t think it is a good form of natural family planning for ordinary couples for three reasons.  1) It fails to teach the temperature sign; 2) it fails to teach ecological breastfeeding; and 3) It fails to teach standard Catholic sexual marital morality regarding the temptations faced by couples practicing abstinence during the fertile time.  And despite these significant omissions, it is expensive to take the whole Creighton Model course and follow-ups.

I invite you to make inquirers aware of Natural Family Planning International and its Home Study Course at www.nfpandmore.org.

John F. Kippley
Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach