Diocese Combats Contraceptive Culture With Mandatory NFP Marriage Prep Course

Wed Jul 20, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST

FARGO, N.D., July 20, 2005 ( – On July 18 Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo announced a new policy that will see all engaged couples in his diocese instructed in the theology of the body as well as Natural Family Planning (NFP). The policy will come into effect starting Sept. 8 of this year.

Bishop Aquila said the policy arose “out of a genuine concern for the right formation of conscience, the understanding of the truth, dignity and meaning of human sexuality and the responsibilities a couple accepts in married life.”

“Young adults are bombarded with negative images of sexuality, with attitudes that demean the marital commitment and with lies about the so-called ‘freedom’ contraception provides,” he continued. “They need to know and they deserve to know the plan that God has for them regarding their sexuality and the conjugal love they will share as husband and wife.”

In NFP a couple monitors signs that indicate when a woman is or is not fertile, thus enabling the couple to choose when to engage in intercourse to either increase the chances of conceiving or temporarily delaying the conception of a child. The Catholic Church teaches this method as a legitimate means of family planning that increases communication between a couple if used responsibly and in accord with Church guidelines. The divorce rate of couples that use NFP is dramatically below that of the societal norm at a mere 5%.

According to the policy the theology of the body course will be largely based upon Pope John Paul II’s extensive teaching on the matter.

With the July 18th announcement the Fargo diocese will become the second United States diocese to implement measures to combat the contraceptive culture from which the Church itself has not been immune, despite Church teachings that condemn the use of artificial contraceptives.

Read the Fargo Diocese policy with bishop Aquila’s statements in PDF format:


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