Humanae Vitae and the Dissenters

June 24th, 2018

The dissent position can’t say NO to any imaginable sexual activity between two consenting adults.

My impression is that the primary criticism of the dissent position and positive support of Humanae Vitae has come from the laity.  I’m thinking of people such as Germain Grisez, Mary and Robert Joyce, William E. May, Ralph McInerney, and Janet Smith over the years.  More recently we have seen good things from Mary Eberstadt and George Weigel and others.  Then there are all the leaders in the natural family planning movement.  Sheila and I have had our part in this effort, both theological and practical with publications and other efforts, starting before Humanae Vitae.  And, of course, all of laity who have been public in our support for HV have also been supported intellectually, spiritually and emotionally supported by believing Catholic priests.

Germany plays a special role in all of this.  It was in a German medical journal in February of 1930 that the article of Kyusaku Ogino was published concerning the fertile time and explaining his calculations of the infertile time—the beginnings of Calendar Rhythm.  When folks properly understood it, they could practice it with great effectiveness.  Our landlord in 1964 told us that he and his wife had practiced the Ogino-Knaus method with 100% effectiveness and only three children in the Thirties and Forties.  I have long wondered if the Anglicans were informed about it in 1930.  About six months after its publication, the offered only two options for couples who did not want more children: either complete abstinence or contraception.  Sad.

It was also in Germany that a Catholic priest in the early thirties put together the rhythm calculations with medical information about a post-ovulation temperature shift to give birth to the more effective Calendar-Temperature system.

In 1967, just after the conclusion of the initial birth control commission documents but before Humanae Vitae, the study of Dr. G. K. Doering was published in a German medical journal.  It showed a 99% percent level of effectiveness among those who followed the post-ovulation rules of his temperature-only system, and a 97% effectiveness among those couples who also engaged in the marriage act during the time of pre-ovulation infertility and some who had relations at the most fertile time.  We have that study at the NFPI website.  My question:  is it possible that the German bishops were completely ignorant about this ground-breaking 1967 study?  Did they then share that information with Pope Paul VI?  Or were they so moved by the already widespread contraceptive mentality of the mid-Sixties that they did not so inform the Pope?

John Kippley
NFPI President and Volunteer

 

The Covenant Theology of Marriage

June 17th, 2018

My own remedy for a stop to abortion is ecclesial.  First, the titular leaders of the Catholic Church should stop being ashamed of its biblically-based teaching against all unnatural forms of birth control and against all forms of sexual intercourse outside of marriage.   They should have a campaign to educate and solicit cooperation from non-Catholic churches to spread the covenant theology of the marriage act.  Every sexual act ought be be exclusively a marriage act.  Within marriage, the marriage act ought to be a TRUE marriage act, a renewal of the faith and love and permanence of the marriage covenant, for better and for worse—including the imagined worse of possible pregnancy.

If this were taught loudly and widely to students beginning in their adolescence, they would see that there is real meaning in the human sexual act.  They would see that it is dishonest to engage in that act outside of marriage.  And they would also see that unnatural methods of birth control are essentially dishonest because the contradict the “for better and for worse” of the marriage covenant.

When the out-of-wedlock pregnancy rate drops to what it was in 1965 when Daniel Patrick Moynihan raised the issue of the black family that had an illegitimacy rate of 24%, eight times higher that the white rate of only 3%—when that happens, the repeal of Roe v Wade may be possible.  When the illegitimacy rate drops to what it was about 1940 or so when the black rate was lower than the white rate, then there would be no perceived “need” for abortion, and repeal of Roe v Wade would be certain, and state laws would become effective once again.  That, of course, would still leave New York, California, and Kansas with liberal abortion laws on the books, but those laws would soon be changed by a relatively chaste culture.

John Kippley
NFPI President and Volunteer

 

Breastfeeding is life-saving for babies.

June 10th, 2018

Moemi Weis has produced a documentary on “Milk” which shows the importance of breast milk for the health of the baby.  The lives of 1.4 million babies could be saved by breastfeeding.  Breastfed infants are six times more likely to survive the early months than those babies not breastfed.  In a crisis formula should not be given to mothers who are breastfeeding.

The Pope has offered support for her project.  Please encourage your NFP instructor, your clergy, your church leaders, and any missionary group you support to promote breastfeeding, especially ecological breastfeeding which improve the health outcomes with extended breastfeeding.  Look for the promotion of breastfeeding in their literature or magazines.  Ecological breastfeeding is also God’s plan for spacing babies.  As one African man stated at a family conference we attended years ago in Rome, their women depended on breastfeeding for natural spacing.

For more information on the necessity of breastfeeding, see or click “Milk.”

Sheila Kippley