Archive for the ‘NFP Week 2019’ Category

Natural Family Planning and Humanae Vitae 17 and Sodomy

Saturday, July 27th, 2019

The text of Humanae Vitae 17 from the website with my boldface:

Consequences of Artificial Methods

  1. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

“Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.”

Good books and many lectures have focused on the four boldfaced phrases above. The Pope was scorned for these predictions in 1968 but history has proved that he was indeed a prophet.

There is, however, a significant omission that is highly relevant to the sexual Scandal so publicized since 2002.  The Pope makes no reference to sodomy.  This is surprising for three reasons.  First, when the Anglicans were debating marital contraception in 1930, their conservative bishops warned that the acceptance of contraception would lead to the acceptance of sodomy.  How right they were; they now have bishops in same-sex marriages. Second, Fr. John Ford, SJ, a member of the papal birth control commission, had written about the Anglican discussion in a book on marriage morality.  Third, the Minority or the birth control commission clearly warned, as the conservative Anglicans had done, that the acceptance of marital contraception could not say “NO” to sodomy.  The Majority members replied that they did not accept sodomy, but that was only their personal preference.  They could not show that the logic of accepting contraception would not also allow sodomy.

The logic becomes clear if you ask yourself some basic questions.  1. Who put together in one act what we commonly call “making love” and “making babies”?  A theist has to answer, “God Himself.”  2.  What is contraception except the studied effort to take apart what God Himself has put together in the human sexual act?  That’s precisely what every form of contraceptive behavior is.  Thus the acceptance of marital contraception is not just the acceptance of a behavior.  It also entails the acceptance of the principle that modern man and woman can take apart what God has put together in the area of love, marriage and sexuality.  There is no question: the dissent from Humanae Vitae opened the door to the acceptance of sodomy.  In fact, that dissent opened the door to the acceptance of any imaginable sexual behavior between parties of legal age and mutual consent.

This is certainly not a secret.  In 1971, a theological journal published an article that showed that the decision-making principles of the dissenters could not say NO to spouse swapping,  And in 1977 a group of dissents published a book in which they confirm what I have written here.

Please pray for the bishops of the Church Universal that ALL of them soon preach and teach what the Lord Jesus teaches about marriage and which applies just as much to the marriage act as to the covenant of marriage: “What God has put together, let no one take apart.“

John F. Kippley
Sex and the Marriage Covenant









Natural Family Planning and Humanae Vitae #14

Friday, July 26th, 2019

The importance of Humanae Vitae section 14 cannot be overstated.  First, here’s the text from the Vatican website:

“14. Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. (14) Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. (15)

“Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means. (16)

“Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good,” it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (18)—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.”

The Latin for those last two words is intrinsece inhonestum,

Here’s the context:  The pro-contraceptive party had presented the Pope with a big-picture morality that is referred to in the first boldfaced phrase above.  They argued that the contraceptive acts took their morality from the non-contraceptive acts in the marriage.  It is still difficult for me to understand how Father Jozef Fuchs, S.J. and the others could put forth such an argument.  It seems to me that anyone with common sense could see that on that principle almost anything could be “justified” by the big-picture.  The traveling spouse tempted to adultery could “justify” it by saying the non-marital act would take its morality from the spouses’ mutual fidelity when neither one of them was traveling.  Why wasn’t this pointed out by the dissenters?  Surely they were not stupid.  Their subsequent writings make it clear that they DID know what they were doing.  Some are now dead; I hope they repented.

There is absolutely no way in which St. Pope Paul VI could have accepted their argument.  So in the second boldfaced text, he affirmed the basic moral principle that it is never right to do wrong even for a good purpose.  The end does not justify the means.  Thus he reaffirmed what he had previously taught in sections 11, 12, and 13.

In the third boldfaced text, he clearly teaches that each and every contraceptive act is intrinsically dishonest, as the earlier official text translated intrinsece inhonestum. The word “dishonest” implies that there must be an intrinsically honest marriage act, and there is.  That occurs when the spouses engage in the marriage act that is at least implicitly a renewal of their marriage covenant, an act that implicitly reaffirms the faith and love and for-better-and-for-worse commitment they pledged when they married—including the sometimes imagined “worse” of possible pregnancy.  “Implicitly” means that the spouses do not have to be thinking explicitly in these terms, good as that might be.  What is required is that they not be contradicting the divinely built-in meaning of the marriage act.

Tomorrow: a close look at Humanae Vitae 17 and sodomy

John F. Kippley
Sex and the Marriage Covenant





Natural Family Planning and Humane Vitae #13

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

Text from the translation:

  1. Men rightly observe that a conjugal act imposed on one’s partner without regard to his or her condition or personal and reasonable wishes in the matter, is no true act of love, and therefore offends the moral order in its particular application to the intimate relationship of husband and wife. If they further reflect, they must also recognize that an act of mutual love which impairs the capacity to transmit life which God the Creator, through specific laws, has built into it, frustrates His design which constitutes the norm of marriage, and contradicts the will of the Author of life. Hence to use this divine gift while depriving it, even if only partially, of its meaning and purpose, is equally repugnant to the nature of man and of woman, and is consequently in opposition to the plan of God and His holy will. But to experience the gift of married love while respecting the laws of conception is to acknowledge that one is not the master of the sources of life but rather the minister of the design established by the Creator. Just as man does not have unlimited dominion over his body in general, so also, and with more particular reason, he has no such dominion over his specifically sexual faculties, for these are concerned by their very nature with the generation of life, of which God is the source. “Human life is sacred—all men must recognize that fact,” Our predecessor Pope John XXIII recalled. “From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God” (13).

In section 13, St. Paul VI  makes two appeals to a common moral sense.  First he points to a common recognition, at least among Christians, that marital rape and other imposed sexual acts are not true acts of love.  That is, the marriage act is not automatically a good thing.  There are conditions.  The marriage act ought to be a true marriage act, one which reflects the love and commitment of their marriage covenant.  If someone admits that there are conditions for moral goodness, they cannot rule out the condition of the act being open to the transmission of life.

The second appeal builds on the first.  Once we recognize that there are conditions for the marriage act to be morally good, we ought to recognize that these conditions come from our Creator and that we are called to respect His order of creation.  Our bodies are not our own playthings; we are called to be stewards of creation, and that includes our sexual powers.

The famous statement of St. Augustine when his conscience finally forced him to admit that he was not his own god certainly applies here:  “You have made us for Yourself alone, O Lord, and our heart is restless till it finds it rest in you.”

The recognition that we should be looking for and following God’s plan runs against the spirit of secularism that has been so strong in Western culture for the last 60 years.  Thus it is all the more important for parents and educators to teach the basic lessons of being a creature of God and being a disciple of the Lord Jesus.

Tomorrow: a close look at Humanae Vitae, section 14.

John F. Kippley
Sex and the Marriage Covenant