The NFP files

"The only difference between a prostitute and a contracepting wife is one sells her body to many men, the other to only one."
      Mohandas Gandhi


Occasionally a CCL teacher will be accused of teaching an immoral / questionable method because we teach internal observations. This started with a statement by Dr. John Billings about 1980 that he had heard reports that some women found that the internal observations provided a masturbatory stimulus. Soon his disciples lobbied the Vatican to call such examinations "immoral".  The Pope replied on July 3,1982, at a meeting of NFP teachers. "It is necessary that various groups dedicated to this noble work appreciate their respective work and mutually exchange experiences and results, firmly avoiding tensions aud disagreements which could threaten so  important and difficult a work. Since the conditions of couples are so diverse due to diverse cultures, races, personal situations, etc., it is providential that diverse methods exist, capable of better responding to such diverse situations" (LOR, l2 July 1982, 4, emphasis added). Sometimes we still hear this old and discredited criticism.

"Lust is disordered desire for inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure.  Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated for its procreative and unitive purposes."

Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 2351

"So, chastity is not to be understood as a repressive attitude. On the contrary, chastity should be understood rather as the purity and temporary stewardship of a precious and rich gift of love, in view of the self-giving realized in each person's specific vocation. Chastity is thus that 'spiritual energy capable of defending love from the perils of selfishness and aggressiveness, and able to advance it towards its full realization".

-- (Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio)

The Embryo: A Sign of Contradiction
By Bishop Elio Sgreccia
vice president of the Pontifical Academy for Life

"....At the present day there are two other great questions which have brought bioethics and biolaw to the center of public attention:

a) the question of in vitro procreation which involves the phenomenon of the surplus production of embryos which come to be termed "supernumerary" (a new category of human being) and where a number of abuses take place: freezing, transfers which cause death, experiments, periodic destruction ordered by governments, and the removal of cells;

b) the question of new products, methods and vaccines which are deemed contraceptive, interceptive or anti-pregnancy but which are in reality techniques of abortion because they prevent the implanting or the process of implanting of an ovum which has already been fertilized.
Among these, reference should be made to the IUD, the morning-after pill, Norplant and vaccines.

I would like to draw attention to a passage from the instruction "Donum Vitae" which is in turn quoted by the encyclical "Evangelium Vitae":

"From the time that the ovum is fertilized, a new life is begun which is neither that of the father nor of the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being with his own growth. It would never be made human if it were not human already. ... Right from fertilization is begun the adventure of a human life..." ("Donum Vitae," I,1; "Evangelium Vitae," No. 60).

The proof of this statement is to be found above all else in biological facts:

1. From the moment of fertilization we are in the presence of a new, independent, individualized being which develops in continuous fashion. There is no moment which is less necessary than another, and each stage is strictly dependent upon the stage which precedes it and which determines it.

2. Objections based upon the fact of gemination, upon the appearance of the primitive streak and of the nervous system bud, and upon the relevance of the implanting as a decisive event for the continuation of development, do not bear in the least upon the individuality of the embryo or the continuity of development... The two moments of real discontinuity in the life of an individual are to be found in the acts of fertilization and of death...

R. Colombo, a molecular biologist, observes: "None of the scientific knowledge available to us allows certain support for the objections raised to the rational nature of the human embryo and the human fetus and its individualization."

The original text is at:

"Contraception is to be judged so profoundly unlawful as never to be, for any reason, justified.  To think or to say the contrary is equal to maintaining that, in human life, situations may arise in which it's lawful not to recognize God as God".

John Paul II   L'Osservatore Romano, October 10,  1983

"It is a very great poverty to decide that a child must die that you might live as you wish"

--Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"Because it is in the divine plan to use the love of the flesh as a stepping stone to the love of the divine, it always happens in a well-regulated moral heart, that as time goes on, the erotic love diminishes, and the religious love increases.

That is why in true marriages the love of God increases through the years, not in the sense that husband and wife love one another less, but that they love God more. Love passes from an affection for outer appearances, to those inner depths of personality which embody the divine Spirit."

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Watch this space!

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Last Inspiration 1/22/2007