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Family Planning (Church Teaching )

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1 Family Planning (Church Teaching ) on Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:48 pm



40th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae


Helping couples to deepen conjugal love and achieve responsible parenthood is part of the Church's total pastoral ministry to Catholic spouses. Fulfillment of this ministry includes both education and pastoral care. This means "instilling conviction and offering practical help to those who wish to live out their parenthood in a truly responsible way" (Familiaris consortio, #35).

Natural Family Planning (NFP)

NFP is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancies. These methods are based on observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman's menstrual cycle. Couples using NFP to avoid pregnancy abstain from intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the woman's cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy.

NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child. By respecting the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife.

(Standards for Diocesan Natural Family Planning Ministry, p. 23)

Permission is granted for copying and reprinting the NFP information on this website. Please cite the source of the information and unless otherwise noted, please include the following text: "Used with permission from the NFP Program, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved."

Contact Information:

Natural Family Planning Program
Secretariat for Laity, Marriage, Family Life & Youth
3211 4th Street NE
Washington, DC 20017

Email: nfp@usccb.org
Telephone: (202) 541-3040

Last edited by Admin on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:03 pm; edited 2 times in total

Yes, you are welcome here! Embrace life.

2 Church Teaching on Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:52 pm



Natural Family Planning Program ♦️ United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ♦️ 3211 Fourth
St., NE ♦️ Washington, DC 20017 ♦️ 202/541-3240 ♦️ nfp@usccb.org


The intimate partnership of married life and love has been established by the Creator and
qualified by His laws, and is rooted in the conjugal covenant of irrevocable personal
consent….For, God Himself is the author of matrimony, endowed as it is with various
benefits and purposes. All of these have a very decisive bearing on the continuation of
the human race, on the personal development and eternal destiny of the individual
members of a family, and on the dignity, stability, peace and prosperity of the family
itself and of human society as a whole. (GS, #48)

The well-being of the individual person and of human and Christian society is intimately
linked with the healthy condition of that community produced by marriage and family.
(GS, #47)

Families too will share their spiritual riches generously with other families. Thus the
Christian family, which springs from marriage as a reflection of the loving covenant
uniting Christ with the Church, and as a participation in that covenant, will manifest to all
men Christ's living presence in the world, and the genuine nature of the Church. This the
family will do by the mutual love of the spouses, by their generous fruitfulness, their
solidarity and faithfulness, and by the loving way in which all members of the family
assist one another. (GS, #48)

The family is a kind of school of deeper humanity. But if it is to achieve the full
flowering of its life and mission, it needs the kindly communion of minds and the joint
deliberation of spouses, as well as the painstaking cooperation of parents in the education
of their children. The active presence of the father is highly beneficial to their formation.
The children, especially the younger among them, need the care of their mother at home.
This domestic role of hers must be safely preserved, though the legitimate social progress
of women should not be underrated on that account. (GS, #52)

The mission of being the primary vital cell of society has been given to the family by
God himself. This mission will be accomplished if the family, by the mutual affection of
its members and by family prayer, presents itself as a domestic sanctuary of the Church.
(AA, #11)

Christian families bear a very valuable witness to Christ before the world when all their
life they remain attached to the Gospel and hold up the example of Christian marriage.
(AA, #11)

The family which is founded and given life by love, is a community of persons: of
husband and wife, of parents and children, of relatives. (FC, #18)

Thus the fundamental task of the family is to serve life, to actualize in history the original
blessing of the Creator - that of transmitting by procreation the divine image from person
to person. (FC, #28)

In our time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of
primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason the Second
Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia domestica. It
is in the bosom of the family that parents are “by word and example...the first heralds of
the faith with regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which
is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious vocation.” (CCC, #1656)

The conjugal community is established upon the consent of the spouses. Marriage and
the family are ordered to the good of the spouses and to the procreation and education of
children. The love of the spouses and the begetting of children create among members of
the same family personal relationships and primordial responsibilities. (CCC, #2201)

A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children, form a family. This
institution is prior to any recognition by public authority, which has an obligation to
recognize it. It should be considered the normal reference point by which the different
forms of family relationship are to be evaluated. (CCC, #2202)

“The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial
communion, and for this reason it can and should be called a domestic church.” It is a
community of faith, hope, and charity; it assumes singular importance in the Church, as is
evident in the New Testament. (CCC, #2204)

The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of
the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it
reflects the Father’s work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of
Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. The
Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task. (CCC, #2205)

The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and
wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and
a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security,
and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood,
one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family
life is an initiation into life in society. (CCC, #2207)

The family, a natural society, exists prior to the State or any other community, and
possesses inherent rights which are inalienable. (The Holy See, Charter of the Rights of
the Family, October 22, 1983, D)

The family constitutes, much more than a mere juridical, social and economic unit, a
community of love and solidarity, which is uniquely suited to teach and transmit cultural,
ethical, social, spiritual and religious values, essential for the development and well-being
of its own members and of society. (The Holy See, Charter of the Rights of the Family,
October 22, 1983, E)

On the Catholic side, efforts must be made to spread the conviction based on truth that
the physical and moral health of the family and of society can be protected only by a
generous obedience to the laws of nature, that is to say, of the Creator, and, above all, by
fostering a deep and sacred respect for them. (Pius XII, Allocution to the Italian
Association of Large Families, January 20, 1958)

The good sense of the people has always and everywhere seen in large families the sign,
the proof, and the source of physical health, while history makes no mistake when it sees
in the tampering with marriage laws and the laws of procreation the first cause of a
nation’s decadence. Large families, far from being a ‘social ill,’ are the guarantee of the
physical and moral well-being of a people. (Pius XII, Allocution to the Italian
Association of Large Families, January 20, 1958)

The family possesses and continues still to release formidable energies capable of taking
man out of his anonymity, keeping him conscious of his personal dignity, enriching him
with deep humanity and actively placing him, in his uniqueness and unrepeatability,
within the fabric of society. (FC, #43)

The child has the right to be conceived, carried in the womb, brought into the world and
brought up within marriage: it is through the secure and recognized relationship to his
own parents that the child can discover his own identity and achieve his own proper
human development. (CDF, DV, February 22, 1987, II A 1)

The family is the key element in the formation of a person’s character and attitudes
toward society. (PCF, From Despair to Hope: The Family and Drug Addiction, June 22,
1991, I B)

The Christian model of the family remains the primary point of reference upon which to
insist in any action for the prevention, treatment and recovery of the vitality of the
individual in society. The family must become once again the place where children can
experience the unity which strengthens them in their own particular personality. Families
must be both the object and subject of an education in togetherness and self-giving in
love. (PCF, From Despair to Hope: The Family and Drug Addiction, June 22, 1991, III

The natural family, stable and monogamous—as fashioned by God and sanctified by
Christianity—‘in which different generations live together, helping each other to acquire
greater wisdom and to harmonize personal rights with other social needs, is the basis of
society.’ (Paul VI, PP, March 26, 1967, #36)

The family environment is thus the normal and usual place for forming children and
young people to consolidate and exercise the virtues of charity, temperance, fortitude and
chastity. As the domestic church, the family is the school of the richest humanity. (PCF,
The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education Within the

Family, December 8, 1995, #48; Quoting GS, #52)

The family first of all should be a home of faith and prayer, in which God the Father’s
presence is sensed, the Word of Jesus is accepted, the Spirit’s bond of love is felt, and
where the most pure Mother of God is loved and invoked. (PCF, The Truth and Meaning
of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education Within the Family, December 8, 1995,

In the bosom of the Church the family is the natural setting in which new lives are
destined to regeneration through Baptism. Christian married couples have the task of
preparing people who will be purified and given rebirth by the sacramental washing,
becoming members of the Mystical Body. (John Paul II, Discourse to the Participants of
the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council on the Family: The Tasks of the Christian
Family, May 30, 1983, #5)

The family is the natural source from which a pro-life civilization springs, the center
where all the values that protect life converge, and the basic social unity of all
civilizations at the service of life. (John Paul II, Discourse to the Participants of the
Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council on the Family: The Family in the Mission of
the Laity, June 10, 1988, #2)

The family is the fundamental gift to humanity. It is the first, natural, living cell of
society, on which all other communities and societies are based and the first, living cell
of the Church. (The Second International Theological Pastoral Congress at the Second
World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families, The Family: Gift, Promise, and Hope
for Humanity, October 3, 1997, #2.1)

Family life is a daily gift that requires love, patience and sacrifice. But in this gift each
day, even in its simple unfolding, there are dynamics of transcendence and decisive
importance in formation, such as personalization or growth in humanity. It is a gift that
binds the different generations in an endless chain of reciprocity and solidarity. It is the
best school of humanity, where the mutual gift of the parents pervades the whole home.
Thus new members arise who are mature, respectful of others, grateful for solidarity that
helps them live in charity. (The Second International Theological Pastoral Congress at
the Second World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families, The Family: Gift, Promise,
and Hope for Humanity, October 3, 1997, #2.5)

The family is thus a necessary gift to society, to the whole of humanity. In this first
school of the virtues, we learn respect for others, mutual aid and self-restraint. (The
Second International Theological Pastoral Congress at the Second World Meeting of the
Holy Father with Families, The Family: Gift, Promise, and Hope for Humanity, October
3, 1997, #2.6)

Yes, you are welcome here! Embrace life.

3 More Information on Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:59 pm


click on The link above to learn more about these:

What is NFP?
Find an NFP Class
Where to Train As An NFP Teacher
Diocesan NFP Ministry
National Survey of Diocesan NFP Ministry (Profile)
Standards for Diocesan NFP Ministry
National NFP Awareness Week: July 25-31, 2010
Photo Gallery
Pro-Life Activities
Laity, Marriage, Family Life & Youth
NFP Home

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