Archive for the ‘NFP Week 2013’ Category

4. NFP Week – 45th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

The college in Salina had a huge financial crisis, and the half-dozen new teachers hired in 1969 were given pink slips in the fall of 1970.  From there we went to a parish in St. Paul, Minnesota and started an NFP apostolate.

Prem and Religious Education
Dr. Konald A. Prem always stayed after class to help couples with the interpretation of their charts, but he did not use standardized Phase 3 rules as we do today. With his wide experience, he would simply tell the couples if they were now in pre-ovulation infertility, or the fertile time, or when Phase 3, the time of post-ovulation infertility, had begun. He would also tell them with great confidence that if he was wrong about a Phase 3 interpretation, he would deliver the baby free of charge. He also told them that no one had ever taken him up on that offer. We looked over his shoulder and not infrequently would ask him how he arrived at his interpretations. By listening to his explanations, we gradually developed the several rules that we still use today. The occasion of one of his interpretations still stays with me. At the end of the meeting, a couple who had been unable to get to the class on time dashed into the room. They wanted an interpretation, and when Dr. Prem told them they were in Phase 3, the wife raised the chart and cried out for all to hear, “Fun city tonight!” while her husband’s face turned beet-red.

Adult education was part of my job, but parish adult education by now was, for the most part, dead. It was now a half dozen years since the end of Vatican II. The theological left wing had been doing most of the adult education that was supposed to play a big part in renewing and reinvigorating the Church. Their courses and lectures, however, essentially
said in one way or another that Catholics really don’t need to heed the actual teaching of the Church. Oh, it might be good material for discussion, but it was not something to which the believing Catholic was obliged to conform his or her conscience. The actual documents of Vatican II were consigned to the dustbin of history, while the so-called liberals promoted what they called the “spirit of Vatican II.” I call them “so-called” liberals because the chief talking point of people who want to be known as liberals is the idea of letting all ideas be heard. What we soon found out was that the so-called liberals were more dogmatic than the dogmas of the Church in their heterodox refusal to let the actual teachings of the Church get a fair hearing.
(Excerpts from Battle-Scarred, pages 66-67)  Battle-Scarred: Justice Can Be Elusive by John F. Kippley is available at a 50% discount at during NFP Week.

3. NFP Week – 45th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

After our Canadian experience, John taught theology at a college in Salina, Kansas.

The Kansas Abortion Law
During the academic year of 1969-1970, we experienced three things of special interest. First, in 1969 the State of Kansas passed legislation that allowed a mother to kill her unborn child for any reason whatsoever up to the time of delivery. Most people are surprised to learn that Kansas had such a liberal abortion law prior to the Roe vs. Wade decision of January 22, 1973…. Not long after abortion was legalized, one of the hospitals in Salina offered to perform them. That called for a protest, and some of the religious sisters at Marymount agreed. They helped me paint a few picket signs, but
they would not join me in picketing the hospital because they feared such a public confrontation would have adverse consequences for the college. So I went there by myself with a couple of signs and started to picket. Soon I was joined by a woman who identified herself as a Jehovah’s Witness. I didn’t keep a diary at the time, and I have forgotten how often we picketed, but I do remember that not one other person joined us.

Kansas Labor Law
In the spring of 1970, I got involved in a second event of special interest. I read in the paper that the president of the Salina firefighters union had been suspended by the city safety director who felt that the union president had used inappropriate language. Suspended? And most likely without pay?… At the time I was teaching a course on Catholic social-justice doctrine, so one spring afternoon I went to the City Council meeting to give them a very short course on social justice. A photographer caught me in a classic prophetic pose with my forefinger making an emphatic point and my mouth
wide open. One of my students, however, found it very helpful. He said that he had been having some faith-related problems, but seeing that short presentation of Catholic teaching made him extremely proud to be a Catholic and had really increased his faith.

I had touched a sore point, and the controversy lingered.  I remember that a friend at the college told me repeatedly that I couldn’t accomplish any good and that I was only hurting myself by continuing to support the firefighters.  He was, of course, correct.  In my first meeting with Marymount’s new president, he told me that at his first meeting with some of the prominent city fathers whose cooperation he needed in fund raising, he was asked, “When are you going to get rid of the ‘perfesser’?”

Salina and Humanae Vitae
The third memorable event of our stay in Salina occurred in the spring of 1970… We decided to have a meeting with other likeminded couples. Sheila knew some through her breastfeeding contacts, but we wanted a few more. We advertised in the parish bulletins of Salina and some surrounding towns, and two couples and three breastfeeding mothers
showed up. We were excited to learn that some of them knew more about NFP and the budding NFP movement than we did. We said, “This is great. Can we work together to form an organized effort to spread the good word?” Utter silence. It turned out that our fellow NFP users were “closet NFPers.” The social pressure was so strong against Humanae Vitae that they didn’t want to be known as believers—even in their own parishes.
(Excerpts from Battle-Scarred, pages 60-63)  Battle-Scarred: Justice Can Be Elusive by John F. Kippley is available at a 50% discount at during NFP Week.

2. NFP Week – 45th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Based on his experience in the data-processing and office-system industry, John was hired by the Provincial Department of Health.  After three weeks, he was let go due to the influence of our pastor who wanted John out of town.

So what do you do when you’ve been fired without cause from your church job and had your state job dissolved?…. For some time, Fr. Mooney continued to deny he had anything to do with it, but eventually he admitted to the priests that he had been involved, and still later his attorney would tell a lawyer helping me that a parishioner in the Provincial Cabinet had blackballed me.

Maclean’s Reports
“It sounds admirably progressive when church leaders talk encouragingly about ‘participatory democracy’ at the parish level, as the Vatican II Encyclical did, for instance. Who, then, could have foreseen that a Roman Catholic lay worker who tried to put this concept into practice in Saskatchewan would not only lose one job with the parish and a second job with the government but would also become the target of an attempt to run him out of the province?…..”  (“Why do they want to drive John Kippley out of Saskatchewan?” by Linda Mitchell, page 1, full article, December 1968, Maclean’s, a national Canadian magazine)

In short, I think that God gave me the covenant insight when I was teaching the Faith in Santa Clara. I think He gave me the time to author a book around that basic concept to support the teaching of Humanae Vitae at a time when the encyclical needed support, even from theological nobodies. I know that God was watching over us in a special way during our stay in Regina. With the benefit of years of hindsight, I now like to think that my unemployment was providential. While I certainly did not feel that way at the time, I have thanked the Lord for it many times in later years.
(Excerpt from Battle-Scarred, page 41, 43-44, 57)  Battle-Scarred: Justice Can Be Elusive by John F. Kippley is available at a 50% discount at during NFP Week.