1. Natural Family Planning: Preparation for Marriage and What Couples Have a Right to Know

Introduction
The Synod of Bishops is almost over.  We have good reason to hope that it will affirm the received teaching about marriage and Holy Communion.
However, that’s not the end of it.  Marriage and the family are in need of help.  What will be done to help?  To paraphrase a section of the Epistle of St. James —  What does it profit, my brethren, if the Church affirms the faith in a synod but doesn’t do anything to preach and teach it in the parish?  (James 2:14-17)

Preparation for marriage has to improve.  Pastors need to ask themselves a very basic question:  What do young couples need to know and have a right to know?  Within that context, I want to focus on seven things that can be done in the right kind of course on natural family planning.  

The new Evangelization
A theology of the marriage act that supports Humanae Vitae
Specific moral teaching
The call to generosity
All the common signs of fertility and infertility
The many benefits of breastfeeding
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding as a natural way of spacing babies

John F. Kippley
(Fellowship of Catholic Scholars 2015 Convention, October 24, 2015; revised Oct. 30, 2015)
To be continued next week—-

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