Sunday, July 15, 2012

The London Family Planning Summit and my pastoral experience

I was in Honduras some weeks ago.

I had an unexpected pastoral opportunity which gave me an insight into the difficulties women there face.

Several women had received the contraceptive injection (or vaccine - as if pregnancy were an illness). One did not know she was pregnant at the time and the contraceptive injection provoked the abortion of her pregnancy. She was naturally very upset and racked with guilt. Did the compassionate family planning "professionals" not take the trouble to do a pregnancy test? What care do they take over the women whose interests they claim to have at heart?

Several other women who had received this "treatment" desired to have children but were currently unable to because of the contraceptive. Presumably they bowed to professional advice from doctors and "experts" and went along with it, and now regret it. Might this have been a subtle form of coercion?

Others who had received the injection found that their husbands were now being unfaithful. I wonder whether the men were consulted about their wives being neutered in this manner? Were they helped in any way to understand the need for self-control and respect? Or does a woman's right to control over her body trump any right of the husband to be consulted before his wife is rendered infertile? Does this policy contribute to the stripping of men of their responsibilities and actually enable behaviour that is irresponsible from a sexual health point of view as well as resulting in damaging family breakdown?

I also have to report that I learnt of methods of abortion carried out by women on themselves that I never knew about. The women were, again, racked with guilt but faced at the time with a pregnancy they for some reason felt unable to carry forward, most likely because of fear from the husband who did not want a child as a result of his irresponsible behaviour. Such actions are bound to be prejudicial to the health - physical, spiritual, psychological - of any woman involved. THERE IS A PROBLEM! We cannot deny it, and cases such are these are precisely the ones that the likes of the Gates Foundation (Melinda Gates: I'm a Catholic but women need access to contraceptives) will appeal to in justification of their crusade, and of course will help them promote the cause of "safe abortion."

And now a question that should prod all of us who are pro-life and faithful to the Church's teaching on this matter: how is it that the "family planners" make it to these remote mountain villages to effectively sterilise the populace but we, the Church, and others have not been able to get the good news of Natural Family Planning and true Responsible Parenthood and healthy marriage to these villagers?

The Gates Foundation is clearly successful in getting mega-bucks to promote contraception (Melinda Gates pledges $560M for contraception). If we are to be truly a compassionate Church, we need to find some way of getting this message to these remote areas.

Bear in mind that the villages such as the one I visited get a priest once a year, and during that annual visit the priest will regularise marriages, administer baptisms, hear confessions, anoint the sick... What chance have these people of receiving sound instruction on NFP and the true dignity of marriage and human sexuality?


  1. What are the grave reasons that require them to all know NFP?

  2. No one needs grave reasons to 'know' NFP and their use of NFP is between them and God. These women need the access to NFP knowledge that is being recommended here for health reasons, to help develop a pro life mentality and as a positive witness in the face of activities such as those proposed by Ms Gates. Thank you Father for drawing attention to this 'need' and assuring you of any help I can give (although I do not have the means only prayers) in promoting the NFP message in those countries

    1. Mrs Gates is fueling great evil and wickedness.
      But Holy mother church mentions use of nfp ONLY for grave or serious reasons.Not blanket.If it's only twixt us and God all round what DO we need holy mother church for?

      I do not believe that among Nigaragua's many aching, wrenching, problems, spiritual and temporal, some uniquely local, some common to Spanish -speaking America, are too many babies me.
      Or has the Almighty been making a mistake in sending too many Irish, too many Nigaraguans, too many ....?
      Ireland with NFP has not done itself the damage it would have done with artificial contraception. But we have lost a lot of useful Irish. Blanket NFP has done visible, palpable damage.
      NFP MAY be used wisely, and as far as I know, unsinfully, in particular, limited, cases.
      It can also , as I have known it be, be an insidious entry of the contraceptive mentality . The very name, for starters, whenever someone runs a course....the insistence on how efficient it is , which conveys the message that not having a baby is a desirable good...
      Enough damage has been done south of the rio grande by bringing culture to the superstitious catholic-roots abos. Catholics shouldn't join in with anything other than catholicism.

    2. Errata:Fr was in Honduras, I put Nicaragua on account of something bad Catholic charities fund, apologies.Otherwise, stet.

    3. Mike, giving people the knowledge of NFP is empowering them (I know that's a loaded word sometimes, but I don't mean it in that way) to use that knowledge in accordance with right reason and guided by the moral teachings of the Church. There are many reasons why the women I encountered are struggling. E.g.: contraception has rendered them (temporarily) infertile. Had they and their husbands knowledge of NFP, they might not have succumbed to the contraceptive injection. They could have said: we're fine, we're educated even if we are poor, and we don't want these horrible hormones injected into our bodies.

      THEY can decide what's best for themselves, rather than "experts" coercing them into "treatments" they would rather not have if there is another option presented to them.

      NFP is used both ways: to avoid - for serious reasons - the conception of a child, and to plan appropriately and accept the possible conception of a child.

      You need to witness the poverty and suffering of these women to realise the need. If we had $560M at our disposal, think what educational work we could do!

    4. No problem! I know I'm firmly Catholic, as I'm sure you are too. Room for us all.

  3. Amen Father Boyle. You are a true man of God and I too appreciate your candid and thoughful reporting of the continued evil being cultivated as "good for women"--not. Will somebody please have Melinda Gates look at the grave devestation to the billions of unborn, countless post abortion women & men and society as a whole that contraception has caused. Such a travesty of justice, humaness, and God's will for His children. Ms. Gates and others will have to go before the Lord someday and try to justify this evil that man has brought on his neighbor.

  4. All excellent points, Fr. John. As regards NFP being taught in remote areas, it isn't widely taught in the urban parishes in the US with huge resources either.

    Planned parenthood has as its roots hatred for the 'poor/minorities/etc' Margaret Sanger is the patron saint of eugenicists. She didn't want 'those people' breeding.

    One can not help but wonder about the falling fertility rates of modern women in the sense that those who've taken artificial BC in their late teens/early twenties who later get married and want to start a family have much more difficulty - one has to wonder why so many young couples today DO [finally] want to start a family, but then have so much difficulty conceiving.


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