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John Kippley Says . . . About 20 Dioceses Now Require NFP Classes For Engaged Couples

June 20, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By PEGGY MOEN

MINNEAPOLIS – “They’re showing signs of exercising leadership,” said John Kippley about the U.S. bishops and the acceptance of natural family planning.
Kippley was at the Church of St. Helena here June 7 to keynote the Twenty-Second Annual Benefit Banquet for The Catholic Servant, a locally based Catholic publication. He is the founder and president of Natural Family Planning International, Inc.
Following his address to the banquet, The Wanderer asked Kippley if he sees any hopeful signs for the growth of NFP in the Church. Kippley noted that about 20 U.S. dioceses now require engaged couples to take an NFP course.
Kippley said the U.S. bishops are “aware they dropped the ball, pastorally and theologically,” on Humanae Vitae.
He referred to Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s remarks affirming that failure.
In a 2012 interview with James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal, Dolan said that Humanae Vitae “brought such a tsunami of dissent, departure, disapproval of the Church, that I think most of us — and I’m using the first-person plural intentionally, including myself — kind of subconsciously said, ‘Whoa. We’d better never talk about that, because it’s just too hot to handle’,” said Dolan.
“We forfeited the chance to be a coherent moral voice when it comes to one of the more burning issues of the day,” Dolan then added (see LifeSiteNews, April 2, 2012).
Also, in a November 2017 address to the USCCB, Cardinal Dolan stated: “For those who are willing to accept the wisdom and the vision of Humanae Vitae, as challenging as it may be, they found beauty and freedom in the Church’s teaching. We’d like to use the occasion of the 50th anniversary to lift up that truth, beauty, and freedom.”
Kippley, in his comments to The Wanderer, also pointed to the U.S. bishops’ lame acceptance of the encyclical in 1968. While supporting it, he said, the bishops also left the door open to dissent: “a weak document.”
Now, however, the U.S. bishops “little by little are waking up,” said Kippley.
But for NFP to prevail, it will take bishops, clergy, and laity working together with “the cooperation envisioned by Vatican II.”
In his address at St. Helena’s, Kippley explored the depths of the dissent against Humanae Vitae, and he gave his audience three take-away points.
First, he cited section 11 of Humanae Vitae as the encyclical’s key point, where it says “each and every act must be open to the transmission of life.” Paul VI had to state that to “directly counter the totality thesis,” said Kippley. That mistaken thesis said that, provided that your marriage was fundamentally sound and good, then “if you felt the need, you could use contraceptives.”
“But take that little phrase and apply it to adultery,” said Kippley, to show the fallacy behind the thesis.
To “directly counter the totality thesis,” Paul VI needed to reaffirm “the inseparable connection” between the unitive and the procreative.
Who put the two together, asked Kippley? “God.”
And what happens when we take the two apart?
“Moral chaos,” which is what we have now, Kippley said, and that chaos has “no logical stopping point” for anything if the people involved are of legal age and give consent.
Second, Kippley reminded his audience about what Jesus taught about marriage. It was Jesus who said: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:9). And God put together the unitive and the procreative.
Third, Kippley addressed the “intrinsic meaning of the sexual act” for married couples as “a renewal of the vows they made.”
Kippley explained that n. 14 in Humanae Vitae can be translated from the Latin as saying either that violating that meaning is “intrinsically dishonest” or that it is “intrinsically evil.”
“I like ‘dishonest’ better,” he said. “It implies there is a truth.”
If couples are “renewing their marriage covenant” with each marital act, then they are taking each other “for better and for worse.”
With a contraceptive act, however, said Kippley, the meaning is, “Yes, we take each other for love,” but not for the imagined worse of a possible pregnancy.
Kippley recalled the now forgotten theologian, Michael F. Valente, who in 1970 wrote a book, Sex: The Radical View of a Catholic Theologian and who “spilled the beans” on the meaning of contraception. The basis for his morality was “a radical subjectivism” that could be used to justify anything. At one point he asked about bestiality, “But in any case, where is the harm in it?”
“The dissenters didn’t want to advertise this guy,” said Kippley.
(Valente also wrote, in part, in a January 14, 1975 essay in The New York Times: “We have been tutored on a series of rather absurd myths about homosexual acts, and the myths really are frightening. In trying to narrow the breadth of human sexual potential, the myths distort reality. And they terrify people candid enough to acknowledge that anyone, including themselves, can commit a homosexual act.”)
Kippley said that his journey toward being a fulltime NFP apostle began with his getting fired by a Saskatchewan pastor in 1968. He told his listeners: “God can bring very, very good things out of very messy situations” — including the present situation with the Vatican.
“Have hope!”
The Catholic Servant Benefit Banquet also honored Dr. Paul Spencer, president of AALFA Family Clinic, for his pro-life and pro-family work.
Dr. Spencer referred to the “heroes in the audience”: “That’s what gives us the courage to do what we do.”
“All the thanks goes to God.”

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