The Catholic Church is the only real hope of this country. The Protestant churches have all caved on the matter of birth control, most of the them have caved on abortion, and I’m not sure how many will stand firm against sodomy as marriage. Logically, the acceptance of contraception entails the acceptance of sodomy, as was predicted and then fulfilled in the Church of England.
The importance of the Catholic Church is what makes our work so frustrating.
Also frustrating is the fact that the US Bishops started the Human Life Foundation in 1968 which then succeeded in getting the NIH to run a comparative study of the Ovulation Method (OM) and the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) in 1976-1978. What they found was that the STM was so superior to the OM that they discontinued the study early. The professional ethics of the investigators would not allow them to put people into the OM side after they were certain that the STM was superior. As the study reported, “It is of interest that after couples were informed in August, 1978, that a statistically significant trend in the pregnancy rates between the OM and STM groups had been found, almost all of the STM volunteers continued in training and virtually all of the OM volunteers requested to be, and were, thoroughly trained in STM.”
Drs. John Billings and Thomas Hilgers raised objections, apparently forgetting that any faults of the study applied to both sides, and their comments had no effect on the final report in 1981. So after the bishops got this study, the various diocesan offices seem to ignore it. It seems to me that dioceses do more promotion of the OM than any other program. The user effectiveness of the OM in that study was just under 61%. The Joanne Doud study of the Creighton Model reported a user effectiveness of 96% but when standard statistics were applied (counting the pregnancies that the couples themselves said were unplanned), the rate was 67%. Yet dioceses seem to think that this is the way to go.
I have to wonder if one reason for the failure of the Church to persuade great numbers of couples to use only natural methods might be that the imperfect-use rates of the most touted systems are in the same ballpark as the Calendar Rhythm that they sometimes compare and criticize.
I am convinced that the bishops need to adopt a core curriculum for NFP that will give couples sufficient information so that they will be able to make informed choices about which signs they want to use or not use. What we have had for the last 45 years has not been working. I think it’s time to have both a mandated course and that such a course be sufficiently complete.