Archive for January, 2020

Natural Family Planning: What is Good NFP Instruction?

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

Being faithful to Catholic teaching requires us to teach “both this and that.”  Both that NFP is not “Catholic birth control” and that the Church recognizes the moral correctness of deliberately spacing babies via the practice of chaste abstinence during the fertile time— for sufficiently serious reasons.  Also, teaching Ecological Breastfeeding— which naturally delays the return of fertility for, on average, a two-year spacing of babies without recourse to periodic abstinence— is not only teaching a form of parenting that is eminently health-supporting but also is not a form of contraception in the sense in which that term is used in Humanae Vitae and Catholic moral theology.

In our user manual, Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach, we present what we think is a faithful approach.  We directly teach, “Systematic NFP is not ‘Catholic Birth Control.’ …Children are gifts from God…”  We note that Genesis 1:28 has not been cancelled.  In a section titled “What does the Catholic Church teach about marriage and having children?” we quote five numbered sections from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  That includes CCC 2368:  “For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children.  It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood.” We also include the beautiful statement made by Pope John Paul II at Mass on the Washington Mall  (Oct 7, 1979).  “Decisions about the number of children and the sacrifices to be made for them must not be taken only with a view to adding to comfort and preserving peaceful existence….”  And he reminds couples of the values of additional siblings.

Fidelity to Catholic teaching requires that we teach the need for sufficiently serious reasons and the call to generosity.  Fidelity also requires that we teach that practicing chaste NFP for a sufficiently serious reason is not a form of contraception or acting with a “contraceptive mentality.”  And for those couples who have a serious reason to avoid or postpone pregnancy, we are convinced that we should give them sufficient knowledge so that they—not their doctor or NFP teacher–can make an informed decision about what fertility signs and system they want to use.

John Kippley
Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach

Natural Family Planning: The Marital Act

Sunday, January 19th, 2020

Today we need to keep emphasizing the obvious.  Namely, the covenant meaning of the marriage act.  It starts in Genesis; it is confirmed by the response of Jesus to the Jews of his day that marriage is for keeps.  Now, that was so radical that the response of some was, “Better not to get married.”  So the teaching of the Lord Jesus is that marriage itself is indissoluble, a latinized way of saying permanent, unbreakable, “for keeps.”  So also with the marriage act.  It ought to reflect the reality of marriage itself as made by God.

A few questions help to make this clear.  Who put together in one act what we call making babies and making love?  Who else but God?  What the God-man taught about marriage itself also applies to the marriage act.  What’s wrong with adultery, incest, prostitutes and sodomy? There are sociological reasons why they are wrong, but the bedrock reason is first and foremost they they are not marriage acts.  They are essentially dishonest.  They contradict the divine teaching about human love and sexuality.  And that applies to marital contraception. As Pope Paul VI taught in Humanae Vitae, marital contraception is intrinsically dishonest (n.14).

John Kippley
Sex and the Marriage Covenant

Natural Family Planning: An Excellent Home Study Course

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

I have three volunteer jobs.  My favorite one is working with couples who are taking the NFP International Home Study Course.   Here are some of their comments below.

Thank you! It was great working with you. We will contact you if we have any questions.

We have gained a lot of new knowledge and have benefited from this course!

Very in depth, informative, and thoroughly explained with great constructive feedback for each section.    We had a basic understanding of how the cycle worked; however, we were not aware that it was this easily quantifiable and predictable.

Thank you so much for guiding us and teaching us for the future of our marriage. We really appreciate all your help to help us learn NFP.

The course has prepared us for a married life honoring God in everything we do including in the act of marriage.

We have gained an understanding of the teaching of the Catholic Church and a new profound love for our relationship, our bodies, God love for each other and for ourselves as we bear children in the near future.

The course was very helpful having practice charts and examples throughout the manual.

Awesome! Thank you for helping us along in this course. We definitely learned a lot of things throughout this.

We learned a lot as a family and were able to discuss some of the topics in the book.  We have gained a lot of knowledge of the female cycle and how to prepare for our family planning.

Thank you very much. I appreciate you working to get us through this. We had a lot of setbacks in the last few months and we certainly had to play catch up. That being said, it was nice to be reminded that Nate and I are at our best when working together 🙂  (finished in 5 days)

This course has been very eye-opening for both of us. We are very excited to start a family together, and we believe NFP will help us do that.

We both gained more knowledge and feel more educated on Natural Family Planning. We will continue to chart and plan for our children while praying for guidance.

Sheila Kippley
Home Study Course Information Sheet