Could "the homily" happen in your Wisconsin parish?

A couple of weeks ago, our priest gave a homily about contraception. While speaking about the Health and Human Services mandate, our associate pastor, Fr. Jonathan Raia, made a few allusions to the fact that the Church believes that contraception is bad. There were over a thousand people packed into the building, and a slight but noticeable tension developed as he inched closer and closer to the subject. This most controversial of Catholic teachings had been splashed all over the news in recent days, ridiculed and denounced throughout popular culture, and the question hung in the air: “Is he going to go there?”
He did.

You can hear the whole homily on our parish website here. In the second half of his talk, he gently but unflinchingly explained that the Catholic Church teaches that contraception is wrong. He gave a bit of background about the reasoning behind this stance, cleared up some common misconceptions, and pointed people to resources where they could find out more about methods of Natural Family Planning. As he spoke, the thought came to mind:

I think we’re finally ready for this.

A telling story that the tides are turning.  The ship might just be correcting course in Catholic America.



  1. Aside from the self-defeating reference to NFP (the REAL "third rail" in Catholic circles today) I am overjoyed to hear what this good priest did. May he go from strength to strength.

    And I do hope that one day we will wean ourselves away from the above-mentioned NFP which, if we are to be completely and thoroughly honest with ourselves, has quickly morphed into "Catholic contraception". Those "grave reasons" for using this controversial procedure seem to be growing in number, but not in gravity. Catholics need to worry less about second jobs, nice vacations, better cars, etc. and start giving God more children. But that is a story for another day.

    God bless this courageous priest.

  2. We won't be hearing that Sermon anytime soon in my Parish... I attend the Latin Tridentine Mass at a Latin Tridentine only Church... besides, we wouldn't be able to hear it for all the babies crying.

    The problem you speak of is only a problem in AmChurch; the Novus Ordo.

    Traditional Roman Catholics don't need this Sermon.

    They are well catechized.

    The Padres spend much of their time on the Liturgical Year Sermons.

    I am glad to see some Priests are trying to pull their Sheep out of the Springtime abyss they have fallen into.

    May God grant them the graces they need.


  3. As a past teacher of NFP I could not disagree more with Dan. God provided the natural rhythms of a woman's cycle that make the use of NFP possible to plan or postpone pregnancy. I myself had a grave reason to avoid pregnancy when I had cancer at age 39 and was on chemo for about eight months. Since the chemicals attack the fastest growing cells (a rapidly growing baby would certainly be threatened) my husband and I were very conservative in our use of NFP to avoid pregnancy at that time. But marital intimacy is an important aspect of supporting one another when dealing with family crises.

    My husband and I found many of the couples we taught were using NFP to space rather than avoid pregnancies. When you have an overwhelmed mom of three or four under five years old, I think that is a sufficiently serious reason to delay the next pregnancy. Some women can handle that well; others cannot. Who is anyone to say that a couple would be wrong to wait especially if they have no extended family to help and are financially and emotionally strapped. It isn't always about "nice vacations" and "better cars."

    Yes, NFP can be used in a bad way. So can a match. So can knowledge of all sorts. Should we ban education because some people may use their knowledge of engineering and chemistry to build bombs for terrorist attacks or make illegal drugs? NFP is part of the good news. It is not as Dan says a "third rail" when properly understood and taught well.

    We always told are couples that NFP was about planning to have families. And we were never embarrassed to say that we had five. If I hadn't had cancer (chemo often causes early menopause), we would have been open to more.

  4. Dan is absolutely correct.

    NFP is catholyk birth control.

    It was packaged, sold and used as such all across America.

    Just like 'Annulments'.

    Not Roman Catholic.


  5. I disagree Pablo. Many do use NFP as their own personal birth control, but "grave reasons" do exist, even if wrongly applied.


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