Link to Springfield, Illinois Diocese on Natural Family Planning: https://www.dio.org/familylife/nfp.html
P.O. Box 2392, Orange Grove, TX 78372, (361) 384-0067,www.facebook.com/nfpandmore
November 2021 Newsletter
Today I would like to promote our NFP manual, Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach. In a way, this manual summarizes what we have learned and taught in support of the encyclical Humanae Vitae.
Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach
· This is the only American NFP text that teaches ecological breastfeeding as a form of natural baby spacing. NFPI instruction does not force anyone to breastfeed for any specific duration, but it does empower a couple to make a well-informed choice.
· It is the only American NFP text that uses the simple-to-grasp covenant statement of sexuality to explain and support the teaching of Humanae Vitae. It takes only 17 words: "Sexual intercourse in intended by God to be, at least implicitly, a renewal of the marriage covenant."
· Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach is the only American NFP text that teaches couples how to determine the earliest start of post-ovulation infertility that is consistent with all the evidence. That means that they can recognize the start of post-ovulation infertility one or two days earlier than with other systems. Couples have a natural right to know these things so they can act with the freedom that is based on adequate knowledge.
· This text clearly teaches that NFP is not Catholic birth control. The two-child family does not sustain a population. The Church clearly teaches that couples are called to be generous in having children, and this text helps to transmit that teaching.
May your Thanksgiving Day be a happy one.
John F. Kippley, Co-Founder
October 2021 Newsletter
In a world in which some claim that there are multiple genders by which a person can self-identify herself or himself, it is more necessary than ever to understand the traditional Christian teaching on human sexuality.
The Old Testament of the Bible teaches by a process of elimination that the human sexual act should be exclusively a marriage act. In alphabetical sequence, it condemns adultery, bestiality, contraception, fornication, incest, masturbation, prostitution, and sodomy. The Sin of Onan in Genesis 38 is a form of contraception and masturbation. That leaves only the normal sexual act between a male husband and a female wife as the God-intended marriage act.
In the New Testament, Jesus strongly affirmed the permanence of marriage and taught that divorce and remarriage is a form of adultery. (Mt 19:3-9; Mk 10:1-12). St. Paul clearly teaches against adultery, fornication, prostitution, and sodomy (Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor:6-9, and more.)
In recent years, St. John Paul II taught positively as follows: “In the conjugal act, husband and wife are called to confirm in a responsible way the mutual gift of self which they have made to each other in the marriage covenant” (Letter to Families, 12.12, 1994, italics in original). The built-in meaning of the marriage act is related to the spouses’ own marriage covenant. It should affirm and renew what the couple promised on their wedding day.
When the Pope teaches that contraceptive marriage acts are “intrinsically dishonest,” we are led to ask, “What is an intrinsically honest marriage act?” Is there a divinely built-in meaning of the human sexual act? And can we know it? Certainly yes. God has not left us in darkness. We have not only the biblical teaching but also the Church’s teaching of 20 centuries.
To be an honest sexual act, first it must be a marriage act of a male husband and female wife. Second, it needs to reflect the “for better and for worse” of the marriage covenant including the sometimes imagined worse of possible pregnancy. That is, it must not be closed to life. Third, it should reflect the caring, self-giving love pledged at marriage.
Yes, there is a divinely built-in meaning of the human sexual act. Very briefly:
Sexual intercourse is intended by God to be, at least implicitly, a renewal of the marriage covenant.
John F. Kippley, Co-founder
August 2021 Newsletter
Bill Taylor died July 6th with family present. Bill will be missed among many in the NFP movement. He and his wife, Donna, were dedicated to promoting ecological breastfeeding. Some of their work is noted below.
H. William Taylor was an NFP teacher with his wife, Donna. Bill was the first regional field director for our NFP organization in the 1970s. Both Bill and Donna promoted ecological breastfeeding and natural mothering through their research. In 1989 his doctoral dissertation was titled Effect of Nursing Pattern on Postpartum Anovulatory Interval. (University of California, Davis)
Below are quotes taken from their research dealing with breastfeeding amenorrhea. His work supports the Seven Standards of ecological breastfeeding.
The results [of this study] “indicate that supplementation and scheduling of breastfeeding, as well as episodes of mother/baby separation, all increase the mother’s chance of ovulating after childbirth.” (“Ovulation Rate after Childbirth: The Effect of Mother-Baby Closeness,” January 2, 1991, School of Science & Technology, New Mexico Highlands University)
“Mothers following the natural mothering program…bring their baby into bed at night so that nursing can take place there. A style of nursing develops whereby the mother takes clues from the baby and offers the breast before crying begins. In bed, rooting and latching onto the breast takes place without either mother or baby fully waking. The mother who gets up at night to nurse her baby and then puts her back in a crib (which may be in a separate room) may be behaving so as to hasten the return of her ovulatory cycles…..Results..indicate that supplementation and scheduling of breastfeeding, as well as episodes of mother/baby separation, all increase the mother’s chance of ovulating after childbirth.” (“Human Population Ecology,” 2nd Scientific Conference on Overpopulation, International Population & Family Association, June 10, 1995)
However, sometimes not everything that is found in a study is published. In personal correspondence, Dr. Taylor gave us some further refined results regarding this study (Journal of Biosocial Science above published in 1999). He wrote: “When we eliminated [from our study results] mothers who returned to work outside the home, did not let their baby sleep with them at night, introduced solids before six months and nursed less than a median of 9 times a day in the first three months, we ended up with a group that might be said to follow the natural mothering norm. For these 55 mothers the median wait to their first menses was 15.9 months.” (May 27, 1998)
Sheila Kippley, Co-founder
July 2021 Newsletter
Is it morally permissible for spouses to abstain from the marriage act during the fertile time for the specific purpose of avoiding pregnancy? That issue didn’t become a live question until 1853. About 1850 French veterinarians realized that mammals have a fertility cycle, and they speculated about humans. For some time, they thought that the fertile time was the time of menstruation. They could have been spared that error if they had paid attention to the biblical rules against the marriage act during menses and for another five days—rules inspired by God to help them have children.
Despite the factual error, the issue reached the Vatican, and in 1853 the Vatican stated that it is morally permissible for spouses to abstain during the fertile time for purposes of avoiding pregnancy provided they had serious reasons and did not engage in immoral activities during the time of abstinence. The issue was raised again in Spain, and in 1880 the Vatican reaffirmed its 1853 statement. In Casti Connubii Pope Pius XI not only condemned contraceptive behaviors but also mentioned “virtuous continence which Christian law permits in matrimony when both parties consent…” (n. 53. Dec 31, 1930).
With regard to intent, I cannot think of any action, physical or spiritual, that cannot be made bad by a bad intention. That’s why it is important for dioceses and parishes to require that NFP instruction provided under their auspices should include Catholic moral teaching including the call to generosity. NFP instruction that is essentially just an amoral organ recital is seriously deficient.
John Kippley, Co-founder