The following comes from an Oct. 23 story by Valerie Schmalz in Catholic San Francisco.
An organic, chemical and device-free method of family planning presented as part of Catholic Church teaching on marriage and family may well be one of the most effective ways of evangelizing the Gospel in our world today.
That was one of the surprising takeaways from a presentation on natural family planning to deacons, soon-to-be deacons and couples who do marriage preparation. The presentation Oct. 9 at St. Mary’s Cathedral met with enthusiasm from the about 100 attendees, who were urged to return to their parishes and incorporate NFP into marriage preparation and into Mass homilies.
“No other organization on the face of the earth has been dealing with marriage for as long and as extensively as the Catholic Church,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said during introductory remarks to the presentation by California Association of Natural Family Planning president Dr. Lynn Keenan. “For 2,000 years we have been doing this; we have so many treasures of wisdom to share in so many different ways.”
Natural family planning is “a tool for building strong marriages and families, but it doesn’t have the billion-dollar advertising budget that other forms of ‘unnatural’ family planning have,” said Ed Hopfner, director of the archdiocesan Marriage and Family Life Office. “As our Holy Father says, quote ‘we must all take responsibility to evangelize,’” Hopfner said.
The church’s teaching on marriage, family and sexuality are based on the Gospel, guided by the Holy Spirit and are key to the new evangelization, Archbishop Cordileone said. The church’s teaching on responsible parenthood is “the best-kept secret,” he said, “because this is an area more than any other where the culture where we are living is so resistant, hostilely resistant.”
….The greatest advantage of using natural family planning, Dr. Keenan and Archbishop Cordileone said is that it works with the woman’s body, involves the husband, and fits with what Pope emeritus Benedict XVI called the human ecology in his encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”).
“Human ecology is the principle that all different aspects of life are interconnected,” Archbishop Cordileone said. “It’s not as if we have our bodies here, and our relationships over here, and our souls over here, our emotions here – it’s all interconnected.”
The archbishop said “everything about the woman is about conceiving a new life, supporting that life, nurturing that life, so our bodies, and the sexual complementarity of our bodies is geared for life. When young people understand this, the typical reaction is – ‘why didn’t anybody tell me this before? It would have saved me so much heartache.’”
“That’s how de-Christianized our world has become,” Archbishop Cordileone said. “People can’t even understand the basic facts of life, the facts of nature.”
Read the original story here.