Archive for the ‘Schools’ Category

Natural Family Planning: A Culture of Life Needed

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Shortly after watching multiple accounts of the Dayton killings just about an hour north of my home in Cincinnati, I have to wonder if this killer or the one in El Paso was ever the recipient of any effort to teach him the Ten Commandments.

Some people are well acquainted with President George Washington’s Farewell address in which he said that “religion and morality are the indispensable supports” of a democracy.  A bit later in the Address he responds to those who think otherwise.  Contemporary secularized USA certainly illustrates the truth of his statement.

It occurs to me that the time is ripe for a massive petition to the Supreme Court to enshrine somehow the Washington statements into Court decisions.  Wasn’t it sometime in the 1950s or so that a Court decision banned the reading of the Bible in public school classrooms etc.?  That just compounded the damage to our culture provided by the Blaine anti-Catholic amendments.

The atheists and the Planned Parenthood folks have been running the country’s educational system.  It’s time to get back to basics.  It’s time for the Courts to realize in practical ways that it is for the benefit of the country to have faith-based schools teach morality.  And it should take place now, before the rapidly multiplying Muslim communities make legal the teaching of Islam but not Judaism or Christianity in public schools.  Somehow, every student should learn the Ten Commandments.  They can learn them as divinely revealed or they can learn them as a natural development that is necessary for community peace and prosperity.  Or both.

I don’t know how to organize anything such as is needed, nor at 88 do I have the energy to do much about it.  But El Paso and Dayton certainly shout loudly about the need for such teachings as a start toward the redevelopment of a Culture of Life.

John F. Kippley


The Chickens Come Home to Roost: Contraception

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

The big news in our Cincinnati neighborhood is that the Catholic girls’ high school just down the street is closing.  After 102 years of educating girls on the west side of Cincinnati, its school population will no longer support this large school.

The official reason is that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati conducted a population survey and concluded that the declining number of students in its feeder schools no longer could support three Catholic girls’ high schools on this side of town, so one of them had to close.  The rationale for selecting our local school for closure has to do with things not relevant to this commentary.

The real reason is Comfortable Catholic Contraception.  Obviously, the local Church has not done a good job of teaching and preaching the truths of Humanae Vitae.  And its failure is not a secret.

In 1978, our oldest daughter was a freshman at this school, so early in the fall we went through the ritual “follow-your-daughter’s-schedule” evening.  When we visited her religion classroom and teacher, I asked this diocesan priest if he would be teaching about Humanae Vitae, and he replied that he would be teaching both sides of the issue.  I asked him if he would make any effort to teach the truths affirmed by the encyclical and to point out the errors of the dissenters.  He replied that he would not.

In 1972, I was teaching theology at a local college that was in the process of changing from all-girls to coed population.  After class one day, a student told me, “Mr. Kippley, you are the first person I have ever heard say a good word about Humanae Vitae.” Now, get the rest of this as she continued.  “In my school the priest came in to talk about it.  He showed us the little encyclical booklet, and then he showed us a stack of books by the dissenters.”  Essentially, he was teaching dissent from Catholic teaching right within that at least nominally Catholic school.

So I asked her where she want to high school, but she wouldn’t say.  “I don’t want you checking up on this, and besides, it wouldn’t make any difference.  I’ve talked with other girls in the dorm and all of them had the same experience.”

This is the situation that Pope John Paul II inherited when he was elected to the papacy in 1978.  For the first ten years of his pontificate, his primary issue was the truth of Humanae Vitae.  He made inroads, but the blockade set by the dissenters, including many priests and Catholic educators, prevented him from having any marked success.  It takes at least 2.1 children per fertile-age woman for any given civilization to survive, and about 2.4 children per married woman.

One of the biggest successes of St. John Paul II occurred in 1989.  In that year a committee of the U.S. Bishops issued a booklet on marriage preparation.  It urged that every engaged couple should be required to attend a full course on natural family planning, but it was mostly ignored.  Twenty years later, only a half dozen dioceses were implementing that recommendation.  It’s about 20 now, still a small fraction of the U.S. dioceses.  So when you see one school after another closing  and then one church after another closing , you really can’t say, “Hey, they put up a good fight but the secular culture was just too strong.”  No, it would be more accurate to say that they didn’t want to put on the gloves, with a few exceptions.

A priest in the Diocese of Peoria was forced by declining population and revenues to close his parish school, but he wasn’t afraid to tell why.  At the parish website, he posted a letter that clearly spelled out that Comfortable Catholic Contraception was the culprit.  When a parishioner strongly objected to the school closing, the pastor asked him how many children he had.  Two.  Case closed.

John F. Kippley