K.C. Schnitker

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Let’s practice MFP - Moral Family Planning

K.C. Schnitker
By K.C. Schnitker

August 19, 2013 (Defend Life) - I am an instructor of NFP—Natural Family Planning—but I’d really like to call it “MFP,” Moral Family Planning.

Moral Family Planning is the use of one of the fertility awareness methods (I teach the Ovulation Method); “periodic continence;” to achieve pregnancy; or for a serious reason, to postpone pregnancy. It is also living your married life open to the children God may send; all of these are “moral” family planning.

I think MFP makes proper priorities clear—not that the No. 1 element of family planning should be “natural” so much as it should be “moral.”

It also highlights that if there is a “moral family planning,” there is also an “immoral family planning,” and it prompts the question, “What might that be?”

The sharing of information with couples about this topic by pastors is an absolute moral and practical imperative these days because, as Fr. Daniel McCaffrey of NFP OutReach says, “The battle is nuclear.”

At every turn couples are bombarded, pressured, harassed, terrified, and guilted to contracept. If NFP/MFP instruction is not a priority for pastors, couples are pretty much sitting ducks—practically helpless against the pressure. With basic knowledge about fertility and his support they can stand against it.

Because of this nuclear battle, I’m constantly calling and visiting area priests to introduce myself and offer classes, and asking whether they require a course for engaged couples.

If not, I encourage them to do so, because the use of NFP or MFP truly defends life, promotes life and brings life to marriages, the Church, and society.

It defends life, because it is not at all contraceptive. Most contraceptives—the pill, patch, shot, IUD and ring—act as abortifacients. There are about 10 times more chemical abortions every year than there are surgical abortions. Wherever the contraceptive rate is highest, the surgical abortion rate is the highest.

Combine the surgical and chemical abortion rates, and we have a staggering loss of life.

The contraceptive methods that are not chemical abortifacients—condoms, withdrawal, sterilization, etc.—feed the abortion mills. When a couple sterilizes the ultimate act of love they can share, their fertililty is cut off, and the idea and natural end/purpose of the marital act, the potential child, is cut off.

As a result, life, fertility, conception, pregnancy, babies, children are seen as unwanted: diseases, parasites, too much work, burdens, unwelcome guests in a couple’s “pleasure act.”

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So, life and children are devalued and dehumanized and become a kind of commodity to be disposed of at will.

MFP promotes life. When couples use moral family planning, the potential child and motherhood/fatherhood are always connected to the ultimate act of love they share—the physical renewal of their wedding vows—a source of actual grace for the couple when the vows are renewed honestly: either because they are willing to parent the child should they conceive during the fertile time (about 100 hours) or if they have serious reasons to postpone pregnancy, they are willing to abstain from the marital embrace (sexual intercourse).

The couple who use MFP recognize and respect the unitive/procreative nature of sexuality, and so in a very short time this constant connection changes the way the couple sees children.

Fears are diminished and they begin to see them through the lens of the ultimate act of love they share and as the fruit of their love.

Finally, the use of MFP brings life. Couples who use moral family planning tend to have larger families, not because MFP isn’t effective to postpone pregnancy (it’s 98-99 percent effective), but because they begin to see children as a blessing, and so become open to new life.

Through their practice of self-denial and self-control and willingness to sacrifice out of love for each other and our Lord, they lose their fears of responsibility and even of suffering.

I recently spoke with a priest who told me that because the parish has a school, he doesn’t have time to promote moral family planning. I suggested that if it was not promoted, in ten years he would not have a school.

I could name many parents I have taught whose children attend that parish school. These couples came to me with two, three or four children and were “done,” but wanted to postpone or even avoid pregnancy morally.

Through the use of MFP and how it changes the way couples see children, they now have six or seven, five of whom attend that school.

MFP, as Blessed John Paul II said, facilitates a conversion, and their faith becomes a priority; so much so that they are willing to make the financial sacrifice to send their children to Catholic school.

I am a big fan of MFP! It changed my marriage. After being married 22 years, my husband says his favorite time of day is coming home and kissing me (that’s pretty romantic after 22 years!)

It’s not because I am particularly fabulous; it’s because moral family planning boots lust right out the door, reorients the way the couple see each other, and purifies their intentions, especially sexually.

This is so important, especially for women, who after a while, when lust is the dominant factor in the marital embrace, as happens with the use of contraception, well, we get—headaches, because “Real Women Don’t Like Lust.” 

This is part one of a series on the topic. Check back soon for part two, "Real Women Don't Like Lust."

This article originally appeared in the publication Defend Life and is reprinted with permission.

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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