5. NFP week – 45th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae

My husband worked hard to spread our NFP apostolate.  Some of the biggest obstacles were right within the diocesan structure.

That fall [1995] the couple invited me to meet with the bishop, so up to Benton Harbor I went, and then to the chancery office in Kalamazoo. Around the table were the bishop, the priest, the couple, and myself. When I could see that all was lost, I thought I might as well go for broke. So I said to the bishop something like this: “Your Excellency, when your NFP priest and I talked down in Cincinnati, he spoke as if he did not believe the teaching of Humanae Vitae, and I wonder about the feasibility of having a non-believer as head of your NFP program.” Then I turned to the priest and said, “Father, if I have in any way misinterpreted your remarks, please correct me here and now.” There was a very long silence. Everyone in the room knew I had not misinterpreted the NFP director. Finally, the bishop rather awkwardly cleared his throat and said something to this effect: “Mr. Kippley, you have made some serious statements. Father and I will have to discuss this matter.” Some days later the NFP priest wrote me. A dissenter would remain in charge of the diocesan NFP program.

Another early rejection was based on our advocacy of ecological breastfeeding. We recruited an enthusiastic couple in Columbus, Ohio and early in their teacher training they contacted the diocesan NFP-related person. He was opposed to our advocacy of ecological breastfeeding and told them that if they wanted any cooperation from his office they would have to become certified in his diocesan program. Wanting to teach and not engage in fruitless fights, they went with his program.
(Excerpts from Battle-Scarred, pages 122-123) Battle-Scarred: Justice Can Be Elusive by John F. Kippley is available at a 50% discount at lulu.com during NFP Week.

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