Archive for April, 2019

He is Risen!

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

He is Risen

The first Glorious mystery

Jesus is risen from the dead

Our Christian faith is not a philosophy of ideas with which we happen to agree. Rather, true faith is based upon the person of Jesus Christ and upon his teaching, his death and his resurrection. So crucial is the resurrection that St. Paul wrote, “If Christ is not risen, your faith is in vain and you are still in your sins” (1 Cor 15:17).

The saving death and resurrection of the Lord are the foundations of our faith. They are also the reasons for our being faithful to our Savior in the everyday things of life.  We pray for an increase in faith and in daily fidelity to Jesus.

Our Father
1. After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulcher.
Hail Mary
2. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled back the stone and sat upon it.
Hail Mary
3. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing white as snow.
Hail Mary
63
4. For fear of him, the guards were terrified and became like dead men.
Hail Mary
5. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
Hail Mary
6. “He is not here; for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.
Hail Mary
7. “Go quickly and tell his disciples that He has risen from the dead. He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him.”
Hail Mary
8. They departed quickly from the tomb in fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Hail Mary
9. “I am the resurrection and the life.
Hail Mary
10. “He who believes in Me, even though he die, yet he shall live.”
Hail Mary
Glory be

References: Matthew 28: 1-10; John 11:25

Taken from the Seven Day Bible Rosary by John Kippley

Natural Family Planning: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI essay

Sunday, April 14th, 2019

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:  The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse

At long last Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has commented on the priestly sex abuse scandal.  Publishing this on April 10, just six days before his 91st birthday, he has a long view of what has happened in the last 60 years.  Although I have witnessed much of this period, some of the content was surprising.   This document does not have paragraph numbers, so I have added my own (1-80).

1.  The effect of the sexual revolution on the Church (7-15). I had not realized how bad sexuality instruction was in Germany in the Sixties and perhaps even earlier.  That contributed greatly to what Benedict calls the Revolution of 1968, the year of Humanae Vitae—a battle to have an “all-out sexual freedom, one which no longer conceded any norms”(12).  We can see this reflected in the Majority Report of the papal birth control commission.  They proposed a big-picture morality in which contraceptive acts had no intrinsic morality but were to take their morality from those other non-contraceptive acts including those that caused pregnancy.  St. Pope Paul VI saw that their proposal could not say NO to any imaginable sex act between two consenting partners of legal age.  He called contraceptive acts “intrinsically dishonest” (HV n. 14).

2.  Problems in moral theology (16-31). I was interested in his comments about the post-Vatican II efforts to abandon a natural-law theology and to focus on a biblical theology. I’m glad that I wasn’t aware of this battle; it might have cowed me into never articulating the covenant theology of the marriage act—“Sexual intercourse is intended by God to be, at least implicitly, a renewal of the marriage covenant.”  “Covenant” is a basic biblical theme, and this brief theological statement applies to all the sexual acts condemned as sinful in the Bible.

3.  Seminaries and canon law (32-49). I had no idea how bad the situation was in some seminaries. “In various seminaries homosexual cliques were established, which acted more or less openly and significantly changed the climate in the seminaries…”(33).  In the seminary I attended, the rule book instructed us not to engage in “particular friendships” if I recall the word correctly.  At the time I assumed that meant no special cliques that break up overall community.  The idea that men could be sexually attracted to other men simply did not occur to me.  After three years in the military and graduate school, I had my first real job in New York.  I replied to an “apartment to share” ad.  After a few other questions, the two guys asked me if I was gay.  I told them that I supposed I liked a good party as well as the next guy.  I did not receive an invitation to move in with them.

4.  Meaning (50-61). I very much appreciated Benedict’s emphasis on the need for meaning.  The covenant theology of the marriage act is an effort to describe the meaning that God has built into the human sexual act.  With the biblical condemnation of all non-marital sexual acts, God makes it clear that the human sexual act is meant to be exclusively a marriage act.  And God’s Church has clarified that within marriage, the sexual act ought to be a true marriage act, for better and for worse including the imagined worse of possible pregnancy.

5.  The Holy Eucharist (62-66). It may seem strange that in a document dealing with sexual abuse Benedict has five paragraphs on the Holy Eucharist.  Perhaps this struck me because my first article was titled “Holy Communion: Eucharistic and Marital.”  Here I proposed a five-fold analogy between the worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist and the worthy marriage act.  It was published 17 months before Humanae Vitae.  (See http://nfpandmore.org/Holy%20Communion%20-%20Eucharistic%20and%20Marital.pdf ).  This is also Chapter 4 in Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality.

The Church (67-80).  In one sense, I can understand why the priestly sexual abuse of children and young men has led some people to lose their faith in the Church.  I have a 100% different take on the matter.  To me the Scandal shows what happens when priests do not accept the teaching of the Church about sexual morality.  The fundamental idea that is behind the acceptance of marital contraception is that modern men and women can take apart what God has put together in the marriage act—making love and making  babies.  Once you accept the idea that you can take apart what God has put together in the order of love, marriage, and sexuality, there is no logical stopping point short of the practical—messing with minors is against the law.

We have  been convinced from the time we started our NFP apostolate in 1971 that it is important to explain the Church’s teaching without being bashful about our Catholicity.  In recent years we have become even more clear.  That’s why we let our clients/students read and hear the threefold promise of Jesus at the Last Supper to send the Holy Spirit to lead the Apostles and their successors into the fullness of the truth.  The question is really this:  Do we believe the promises of Jesus?  Every person taking an NFP course under any sort of Catholic auspices ought to know these promises.

I recommend reading the commentary by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.  If you have read other papal documents, you may be pleased with this: it is actually easy to read.

The good news.  Putting these things on the table for all to see is a positive step towards remedying the situation and authentic renewal within the Church, ourselves, and our culture.

John F. Kippley
Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality (Ignatius)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Family Planning and Ecological Breastfeeding

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

Why am I doing this? I have been blogging for NFP International for 13 years.  Sometimes I wonder why I bother writing a blog for NFP International. Is it really important to spend time promoting eco-breastfeeding for spacing births?  Who cares?  Well, we do.  In the NFP International mission, we think it is important to teach this form of breastfeeding which spaces babies without abstinence and offers so many benefits to both mother and baby.

That is why we bother and frequently blog on this topic.

We are also in need of donations so this ministry can continue.  I am a volunteer.  So is my husband.  But we also have a full-time, hard-working Executive Director.  Please consider donating this Lenten season.

Thank you,
Sheila Kippley