Investigating NFP: Pius XII

"Only the divine and eternal light of Christianity gives full life and meaning to the family and this is so true that right from the beginning and through the whole course of its history, large families have often been considered as synonymous with Christian families."

"Respect for divine laws has made them abound with life; faith in God gives parents the strength and vigor they need to face the sacrifice and self-denial demanded for the raising of their children; Christian principles guide them and help them in the hard work of education; the Christian spirit of love watches over their peace and good order, and seems to draw forth from nature and bestow the deepest family joys that belong to parents, to children, to brothers and sisters."

"Even externally, a large, well-ordered family is a kind of visible shrine: the sacrament of Baptism is not an exceptional event for them but something constantly renewing the joy and grace of the Lord. The series of happy pilgrimages to the Baptismal font is not yet finished when a new one to Confirmation and first Communion begins, aglow with the same innocence. The youngest of the children will scarcely have put away his little white suit among the dearest memories of life, when the first wedding veil appears to bring parents, children, and new relatives together at the foot of the altar. More marriages, more Baptisms, more first Communions follow each other like ever-new springtimes that, in a sense, make the visits of God and of His grace to the home unending."

Having more kids leads to experiencing more sacramental grace. :)

"But God also visits large families with His Providence, and parents, especially those who are poor, give clear testimony to this by resting all their trust in Him when human efforts are not enough. A trust that has a solid foundation and is not in vain! Providence – to put it in human words and ideas – is not a sum total of exceptional acts of divine pity; it is the ordinary result of harmonious activity on the part of the infinite wisdom, goodness and omnipotence of the Creator. God will never refuse a means of living to those He calls into being."

"The Divine Master has explicitly taught that 'life is worth more than food, and the body more than clothing' (cf. Matt. 6, 25). If single incidents, whether small or great, seem to contradict this, it is a sign that man has placed some obstacle in the way of divine order, or else, in exceptional cases, that God has higher plans for good; but Providence is something real, something necessary since God is the Creator."

I think here His Holiness would differentiate between being poor and being destitute. Having an income in the lowest tax bracket is not ipso facto sufficient serious motive for putting off conception of a/another child. Also, there's a difference between being poor in a rural area and having the resources to raise and preserve food readily and being poor in an urban area and not only lacking those resources, but also facing a high degree of crime and filth.

"The so-called problem of overpopulation of the earth is partly real and partly unreasonably feared as an imminent catastrophe for modern society; but undoubtedly the rise of this problem and the continued failure to arrive at a solution of it is not due to some mixup or inertia on the part of divine Providence, but rather to disorder on man's part – especially to his selfishness and avarice."

If a freely fecund population endangers health and happiness, and that is not a proven matter, it wouldn't be God's fault. If we'd just live more simply and share more, a population boom wouldn't tax our planet's resources. Of course, since the Earth is finite, resourses are also finite. Pius addresses this point, though.

"With the progress that has been made in technology, with the ease of transportation, and with the new sources of energy that are just beginning to be tapped, the earth can promise prosperity to all those who will dwell on it for a long time to come."

"As for the future, who can foresee what new and unsuspected resources may be found on our planet, and what surprises may be uncovered outside of it by the wonderful scientific achievements that have just barely begun? And who can be sure that the natural rhythm of procreation will be the same in the future as it is now? Is it not possible that some law that will moderate the rhythm of expansion from within may come into play? Providence has reserved the future destiny of the world to itself."

"It is strange to find that the fears of some individuals are able to change well-founded hopes for prosperity into catastrophic spectre at the very moment when science is changing what used to be considered the dreams of wild imaginations into useful realities."

Science is a panacea, except when it's not. People sing the praises of science when it suits them, and that's usually when science seems to disagree with the Church. Science has indeed brought man some wonderful advances. Who's to say that in God' Providence science will not aleviate our fears of running out of resourses?

"So overpopulation is not a valid reason for spreading illicit birth control practices. It is simply a pretext used by those who would justify avarice and selfishness – by those nations, for instance, who fear that the expansion of others will pose a danger to their own political position and cause a lowering of the general standard of living, or by individuals, especially those who are better off, who prefer the greatest possible enjoyment of earthly goods to the praise and merit of bringing new lives into existence. The final result is that they break the fixed and certain laws of the Creator under the pretext of correcting supposed errors on the part of His Providence."

I don't think this is an entirely fair description of those who monger fear about overpopulation. Many are harmless hippy types that sincerely see humanity as a danger to Mother Earth. I certainly don't think they'd qualify as seeking "justify avarice and selfishness". The worst minority among them, though, see humanity as a disease plaguing Earth. We cannot simply dismiss what they say, though. They are partly right. Every good lie has some truth in it. In this case, the truth is that, as Pius mentions, avaricious, selfish individuals and nations see population as a threat to their comfort and luxury. Still, much of this is moot given that the expected population boom never happened. In fact, thanks to a rampant contraceptive mentality, many nations fail to reproduce enough for replacement of dying citizens. If it weren't for immigration, many countries, including the U.S. and several western European nations, would have shrinking populations. In Europe, this is particularly problematic as Muslims immigrate and multiply as Christians once did, overtaking the native population. The dangers of this situation were well demonstrated by the recent riots in France. But I digress.

"It would be more reasonable and useful if modern society would make a more determined, universal effort to correct its own conduct, by removing the causes of hunger in the overpopulated or 'depressed areas,' through a more active use of modern discoveries for peaceful aims, a more open political policy of collaboration and exchange, a more far-seeing and less nationalistic economy; above all, by reacting to all suggestions of selfishness with charity, to those of avarice with a more concrete application of justice."

"God is not going to ask men for an accounting of the general destiny of mankind; that is His business; but He will demand an accounting of the single acts that they have deliberately performed in accordance with or against the dictates of conscience."

This is essentially a paraphrase of the Sermon on the Mount and the parable of the sheep and the goats.

"And now a few words on your third testimony – words that may give new strength to those who are fearful and bring you a little comfort."

"Large families are the most splendid flower-beds in the garden of the Church; happiness flowers in them and sanctity ripens in favorable soil. Every family group, even the smallest, was meant by God to be an oasis of spiritual peace. But there is a tremendous difference: where the number of children is not much more than one, that serene intimacy that gives value to life has a touch of melancholy or of pallor about it; it does not last as long, it may be more uncertain, it is often clouded by secret fears and remorse."

"It is very different from the serenity of spirit to be found in parents who are surrounded by a rich abundance of young lives. The joy that comes from the plentiful blessings of God breaks out in a thousand different ways and there is no fear that it will end. The brows of these fathers and mothers may be burdened with cares, but there is never a trace of that inner shadow that betrays anxiety of conscience or fear of an irreparable return to loneliness, Their youth never seems to fade away, as long as the sweet fragrance of a crib remains in the home, as long as the walls of the house echo to the silvery voices of children and grandchildren."

"Their heavy labors multiplied many times over, their redoubled sacrifices and their renunciation of costly amusements are generously rewarded even here below by the inexhaustible treasury of affection and tender hopes that dwell in their hearts without ever tiring them or bothering them."

"And the hopes soon become a reality when the eldest daughter begins to help her mother to take care of the baby and on the day the oldest son comes home with his face beaming with the first salary he has earned himself. That day will be a particularly happy one for parents, for it will make the spectre of an old age spent in misery disappear, and they will feel assured of a reward for their sacrifices."

"When there are many children, the youngsters are spared the boredom of loneliness and the discomfort of having to live in the midst of adults all the time. It is true that they may sometimes become so lively as to get on your nerves, and their disagreements may seem like small riots; but even their arguments play an effective role in the formation of character, as long as they are brief and superficial. Children in large families learn almost automatically to be careful of what they do and to assume responsibility for it, to have a respect for each other and help each other, to be open-hearted and generous. For them, the family is a little proving ground, before they move into the world outside, which will be harder on them and more demanding."

Pius' observations are very much in agreement with what I have heard from children of large families. They tell me that there was always an abundance of love to go around. Having more children to love and care for did not spread their parents thin. Rather, it expanded their capacity to love. Being one of only two children in my family and not having many cousins, I wouldn't know this experience. Having seen and experienced the difficulties of often not getting along well with a sibling in a small family, having no other siblings with whom to communicate and commiserate, I do not wish to expose my future children to the same.

"All of these precious benefits will be more solid and permanent, more intense and more fruitful if the large family takes the supernatural spirit of the Gospel, which spiritualizes everything and makes it eternal, as its own particular guiding rule and basis. Experience shows that in these cases, God often goes beyond the ordinary gifts of Providence, such as joy and peace, to bestow on it a special call – a vocation to the priesthood, to the religious life, to the highest sanctity."

"With good reason, it has often been pointed out that large families have been in the forefront as the cradles of saints. We might cite, among others, the family of St. Louis, the King of France, made up of ten children, that of St. Catherine of Siena who came from a family of twenty-five, St. Robert Bellarmine from a family of twelve, and St. Pius X from a family of ten."

"Every vocation is a secret of Providence; but these cases prove that a large number of children does not prevent parents from giving them an outstanding and perfect upbringing; and they show that the number does not work out to the disadvantage of their quality, with regard to either physical or spiritual values."

I am in great agreement with Pius on this matter. I have long thought that people with larger families are more willing to "sacrifice" one or more to the religious life. I think this has more to do with psychology and/or sociology than Divine Providence, but the result is the same. The desire for grandchildren is a very strong one. A parent with only a few children is unlikely to encourage any to enter the religious life for fear of not having grandchildren. That is not to say that they always, or even often, deliberately dissuade their children from becoming priests, nuns, etc., but that they make no point of raising their children to see that vocation as equal in worth and dignity as marriage.

"Be careful to imprint the seal of an ever more vigilant and fruitful dynamism on the action that you intend to carry out in behalf of the dignity of large families and for their economic protection."

"With regard to the first of these aims, keep in line with the directives of the Church; with regard to the second, you have to shake out of its lethargy that part of society that is not yet aware of its social responsibilities. Providence is a divine truth and reality, but it chooses to make use of human cooperators. Ordinarily it moves into action and comes to our aid when it has been summoned and practically led by the hand by man; it loves to lie hidden behind human activity. While it is only right to acknowledge that Italian legislation can legitimately boast of being most advanced in this area of affording protection to families and especially to large families, We should not close our eyes to the fact that there are still a considerable number of them who are tossed back and forth between discomfort and real privation, through no fault of their own. Your action must aim at bringing these people the protection of the laws, and in more urgent cases the help of charity. Every positive achievement in this field is like a solid stone set into the structure of the nation and of the church; it is the very best thing you can do as Catholics and as citizens."

"[T]here are still a considerable number of [families] who are tossed back and forth between discomfort and real privation, through no fault of their own." If there are couples who are worried about the prudence of conceiving a/another child, their society is largely to blame. As I've said previously,Christians, particularly those with governing power, should do everything in their power to remove causes of distress for families.

That concludes the majority of what Pius XII had to say about the regulation of births. While he did not elaborate on the nature of "serious" and "grave" reasons, he did tell us that the procreative aspect of marriage is greater and must take priority over the unitive aspect, large families are ideal, and to deliberately choose to have a small family (because of mere personal preference) is selfish. So those are at least two reasons (the desire of pleasure over fecundity or for a small family) that are not sufficiently serious or grave to licitly avoid conception. Also, fear of overpopulation, given current conditions, is not an acceptible reason. On the other hand, couples cannot be entirely blamed for fearing the burden of large families when their governments do little to support and encourage them. He does not elaborate on when such fears are justified or not. All in all, given Pius XII's praise for large families and his warnings about avoiding selfishness, I think I can safely state that he would have expected the birth-spacing aspects of NFP to be used sparingly and with great regret.

Click here to read the next post in this series.

Comments 18

  1. Squat wrote:

    your “these statistics” link is a dead-end.

    Posted 19 Mar 2006 at 4:42 pm
  2. Funky Dung wrote:


    Posted 19 Mar 2006 at 5:40 pm
  3. Squat wrote:

    I’m also reading some Pius XII encyclicals and addresses and found this in an address to a concourse of women of Catholic Action and all their helpers from all the Dioceses of Italy reguarding the raising of children on The Feast of Christ the King, Oct.26,1941.

    “Train their hearts. Frequently the decision of a man’s destiny, the ruin of his character, or a grave danger threatening him, may be traced to his childish years when his heart was spoiled by the fond flatter, silly fussing, and foolish indulgence of misguided parents. The impressionable little heart became accustomed to see all things revolve and gravitate around it, to find all things yeilding to its will and caprice, and so there took root in it that boundless egoism of which parents themselves were later to become the first victims! All this is often the just penalty of the selfishness of parents who deny their only child the joy of having little brothers and sisters who, sharing in the mother’s love, would have accustomed him to think of others besides himself”

    Posted 19 Mar 2006 at 9:50 pm
  4. Sean wrote:

    I’ve enjoyed reading these posts and comments. It has certainly been enlightening. But I have a suggestion for a new topic, once this one has been sufficiently beaten into submission… What about folks who are single? And I mean single for a long time, single beyond the point at which they are likely to have children, maybe single for life? The Bible says “be fruitful and multiply”, yet the Bible also says if you can do it, its better not to marry.

    Some of us have managed to hit 40 without being married, and without the supernatural graces of ordination or religious vows helping us along. Single folks are single for tons of different reasons… some good, some bad. And I’ve even heard “singleness” referred to as a vocation like marriage or the priesthood. I have a hard time accepting the “single as vocation” concept outside of vowed or ordained religious life.

    But anyway, I’d be interested in some discussion on that topic… if anyone else is. If not, I’ll happily read whatever topic’s up next. :)

    Posted 20 Mar 2006 at 12:12 am
  5. Stuff wrote:

    Just a couple quick thoughts:

    I’m not entirely sure about the use of the word “eugenics,” and maybe someone with more specifically medical training would know more, but I’m pretty sure that there are very rare instances in which both parents are carriers of recessive genes that can cause miscarriage and/or extremely serious disease in almost every pregnancy. Or, at least, this may have been the case at the time of Pius’ writings of these documents. In such a case, I think the Church’s stance on “eugenics” is such that if you are absolutely certain to only miscarry or that every child you bear will die within a few years of birth, your circumstances are grave enough to postpone conception pending medical advances or whatever. Again, just a thought, no real backing.

    Also, as much as we all like finding hard data to support conclusions, I don’t think any exists for Pius’ assertions about the relationship between large families and individual/societal health. I will mention here that I toyed with the idea of writing a report on the effects of birth order/family size in my pre-pharmacy days (trying out of mainly pride and vanity to prove that my family of 5 kids, as disfunctional as we are, is still healthier than yours with 1 or 2 ;)). I found that most of the psychology studies that were done were performed from the viewpoint of proving that small families were just as good as large families, not the other way around. My conclusion is that we only study things that are not familiar, or not the norm. For such a long period of history, large families were considered normal and healthy, so no one felt they needed to prove that; it’s only when people started trying to limit family size that we had to prove it was O.K.

    One last thought about large families being willing to “sacrifice” one or more children to religious vocations. While I think you make a valid point, I don’t think yours outweighs the Pope’s: when you look at the families of saints, they’re usually big and there are usually a bunch of them that are at least Blessed, whatever they’re vocation. We just watched the movie “Therese,” by the way, and every single one of the daughters of the Martin family was a religious.:)

    Hmmmm…if that was the last thought, I guess this one is an afterthought!
    Sean, there is a whole big section entitled “Virginity for the Sake of the Kingdom” in John Paul II’s Theology of the Body that might be helpful to you. I think your situation is worth discussing, too!

    Posted 20 Mar 2006 at 1:34 pm
  6. Jerry wrote:

    Sean, I’d also recommend checking out some of the literature surrounding Opus Dei and its founder, Jose Maria Escriva. BYOCT (Bring your own conspiracy theories)

    Posted 20 Mar 2006 at 2:03 pm
  7. Anonymous Poster wrote:

    Posted 20 Mar 2006 at 3:12 pm
  8. Spacemouse wrote:

    Re the Eugenics issue:

    It’d be nice if someone with a background in the original language (Italian, in this case, since it’s an address to Midwives?) could look at the word that’s translated as “eugenic.” Going from the English, eugenic can simply mean “Relating or adapted to the production of good or improved offspring.” The Church doesn’t forbid couples to seek to have healthy (“good”) offspring: genetic screening and in-utero diagnosis ARE allowed for that very purpose. The Church does forbid parents to abort children with genetic conditions, of course, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Presumably, as Stuff points out, we’re just talking about parents avoiding conception because of genetic abnormalities likely to affect their children. With genetic counseling, it is indeed possible to get a good idea (ahead of time) what the odds are that a couple will have children with various disorders.

    In such a case, I think the Church’s stance on “eugenics” is such that if you are absolutely certain to only miscarry or that every child you bear will die within a few years of birth, your circumstances are grave enough to postpone conception pending medical advances or whatever. Again, just a thought, no real backing.

    This was pretty close to what I was going to say, except that I don’t know that you have to be “absolutely certain” that all the offspring will be miscarried/will die shortly after birth. I don’t think there are hard and fast rules, but I think a strong likelyhood of producing children with serious diseases is sufficient to justify avoiding conception.

    The fact that there aren’t hard guidelines saying “there must be more than a 50% likelyhood that the child will die” or “there must be a 99% chance that the child will die” may seem frustrating, but different couples have different breaking points. One couple might be willing to conceive, bear, and lose several children because of the hope that a healthy child might arrive. Another couple simply might be so broken hearted over one lost child that they could not face the probability that their next one would be similarly lost. For the second couple, a mere probability (rather than a certainty) that a future child would be lost may constitute a grave reason.

    Like Stuff, though, I don’t have anything “hard” to back that theory up with. It’s just the impression I’ve gathered from what I’ve read.

    Posted 20 Mar 2006 at 5:36 pm
  9. Funky Dung wrote:

    “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” – Maragret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood


    Posted 20 Mar 2006 at 5:45 pm
  10. sibert wrote:

    On NFP, various addresses, and the aggregate of Catholic traditional writings:
    “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR COME and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.”
    Examine the symbolism of birds in the Bible…

    Posted 21 Mar 2006 at 9:26 pm
  11. Funky Dung wrote:

    Since I lack a concordance, could you humor us by at least pointing us to some verses?

    Posted 21 Mar 2006 at 10:31 pm
  12. Louise wrote:

    On the “eugenics” thing. I have a good friend who has four children. She and her husband use NFP and will be trying not to conceive any more children, because she now has a number of very serious medical problems which require her to take lots of prescribed medication which is seriously harmful to a growing baby in utero.

    If a child is conceived while she is taking such medication, there is a serious risk to the child’s life either in utero or after it is born. I think that in her situation, they are right to use NFP. It goes without saying, that if they do conceive, they will accept the child with love.

    Posted 21 Mar 2006 at 11:57 pm
  13. Tom Smith wrote:

    “And I’ve even heard ‘singleness’ referred to as a vocation like marriage or the priesthood. I have a hard time accepting the ‘single as vocation’ concept outside of vowed or ordained religious life.”

    Even though one inevitably sounds like an ass by saying this, I agree that it’s hard to see how there’d be a vocation to the single state. There are a few reasons that I don’t think that there exists a call to the single life. First, the three recognized vocations (priesthood, religious life, and matrimony) require one to take positive action (be it ordination, the vowing of the evangelical counsels, or nuptial vows) to enter, whereas all one need do to exercise single life is chill. Also, all three of the recognized vocations require a public profession of one’s desire to receive the status of that state of life (ordination, solemn profession of vows, or profession of marital vows). The approbation of the Church is required to enter the priesthood, religious life, or marriage, but not single life. Last, there is always a period of discernment before entering the priesthood (seminary training), religious life (one’s novitiate), and marriage (dating, pre-marital spiritual guidance), but not single life.

    We see that the single life does not share any of these things with the three known vocations; that’s why I think it’s rather clear that the single state does not represent a true vocation.

    Posted 26 Mar 2006 at 2:22 pm
  14. Laudemus wrote:

    But what about consecrated virgins? They are not members of religious congregations — they are laywomen, but consecrated to a life of chastity.

    Posted 26 Mar 2006 at 8:25 pm
  15. edey wrote:

    do they have to take any kind of action? do they have a public profession of vows? do they have a period of discernment? as far as i know, they don’t have a public profession of vows, but they might have the other two. enlighten me.

    Posted 26 Mar 2006 at 8:40 pm
  16. Spacemouse wrote:

    I know this is a late comment, but I’ve been meaning to comment on the “not rare” issue, since I do think this is crucial.

    If you spend any time at all dealing with probability and statistics, you’ll realize that “rare” and “not rare” are very vague concepts that need to be represented by numbers to be meaningful. Saying that difficulties “not rarely arise” only tells us that they might not be statistical outliers, which doesn’t tell us much.

    I think it’s worth asking whether Pius XII was a statistician, though. That is: is there any indication that he used the expression “not rare” (or rather, whatever the original was) in a statistical sense? I ask because if you look in a thesaurus, “uncommon” is listed as a synonym for “rare.” In English, the expression “not uncommon” would be a way of saying “common.” In other words, the reason that some people read “not rare” to mean that serious/grave reasons are common is because that’s what “not rare” DOES mean in normal English useage. I submit that an unbiased reader -one who came to the document with no opinion as to how common grave reasons are- would read “not rare” as roughly synonymous with “not uncommon.” (Perhaps there’s a rare to experiment on readers to find out?)

    It’s always possible that the translation is at fault, but to suggest that “not rare” simply means “not a statistical outlier” and that it’s thus possible that grave reasons are still pretty uncommon seems to me to be grasping at linguistic straws, unless there’s a reason for thinking that the translator had the statistical meaning rather than the commonly accepted meaning of the words in mind when he chose the phrase “not rare” instead of “not uncommon.”

    It’s true that “not uncommon” would still be vague, in that it wouldn’t give any indication of how much of the time an “average” couple might spend avoiding conception- but perhaps the vagueness is there because that Pius XII knew that it wasn’t possible for him (or any theologian) to predict how many times in the average couple’s life they’d have grave reasons to avoid.

    Posted 27 Mar 2006 at 12:03 am
  17. Jeremy Pierce wrote:

    For some women, pregnancy and/or childbirth could be fatal. How should they procede? Well, the answer seems to be that they should entirely refrain from the marital act. NFP is not perfect birth control. In fact, any such method might be forbidden by the Church as being hostile to fertility. Therefore, such an at-risk woman might unwittingly conceive and endanger her life and/or the life of her child.

    Getting on a plane could be fatal. So could going for a walk. In a case with similar chances of conception to the risk of dying on the highway in an accident, would you say that it thus makes it wrong to get on the highway? Or isn’t it just better to say that some things in life are worth doing, even if there’s a small chance of risking something serious happening?

    Posted 02 Apr 2006 at 8:21 pm
  18. Funky Dung wrote:

    That’s not quite the meaning I intended. My point was that if the danger of death for mother or child is great enough that one would periodically abstain (during fertile periods), one should totally abstain or not abstain at all (assuming that this health problem is the only grave reason for avoiding conception). That is, if you are so concerned about the health problem that you feel the need to rely on the 98%+ pregnancy avoidance success rate of correctly-used NFP, either you have underestimated the threat and should avoid intercourse entirely or you have overestimated it and should not be periodically abstaining. If it’s “a risk you are willing to take”, you’re essentially playing Russian roullete with one or more lives at stake. It’d be bad enough to endanger the mother’s life like that, but to play games with a child’s life is unconscionable.

    Posted 02 Apr 2006 at 11:10 pm

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 7

  1. From all kinds of time... on 06 Apr 2006 at 12:34 pm

    this idea is by use of Plato’s theory of forms. Are our emotions a test of our faith? Dory, of Wittenberg Gate argues that faith still abides, even during our darkest hours in Cold Emotions and Burning Faith. From Funky Dung at Ales Rarus -Investigating NFP: Pius XII – This is the third post in my series on natural family planning (NFP). It focuses on addresses given by Pope Pius XII. (Editor’s note: I have some good friends from my college days who recently got married. Apparently they hail from an NFP

  2. From A Song Not Scored For Breathing on 21 Mar 2006 at 4:34 pm

    capitalism, reflecting on what it means to see Christ in our neighbor and how the corporal works of mercy relate to labor rights. In a third post in his series on NFP, Funky Dung from Ales Rarus focuses on addresses given by Pope Pius XII inInvestigating NFP:Pius XII. The current emphasis on lay ministry concentrates on service provided inside the parish. Herb Ely, in his post called Dismissal Ratio – an Index of Parish Effectiveness estimates that for every person providing service to a parish there are 200

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  4. From Ales Rarus - A Rare Bird, A Strange Duck, One Funky Blog » Investigating NFP: Supporting Families on 25 Mar 2006 at 11:42 am

    […] Investigating NFP: Supporting Families By Funky Dung Those who have been following my series on NFP, especially Pius’ speech about large families, may find this short article interesting. […]

  5. From Ales Rarus - A Rare Bird, A Strange Duck, One Funky Blog » Investigating NFP: The Joy of Sex on 29 Mar 2006 at 4:30 pm

    […] Investigating NFP: The Joy of Sex By Funky Dung A good friend of mine introduced me to a bit of writing by Alice von Hildrebrand, whom I’m never read. The book is called By Love Refined and it’s a series of letters she wrote to her goddaughter when she was a newlywed. I thought the portions my friend related to me very neatly explained something that Pius XII had only briefly touched upon in his address to midwives. […]

  6. From Ales Rarus - A Rare Bird, A Strange Duck, One Funky Blog » Fruitful multiplication and care of God’s creation on 21 Apr 2006 at 11:13 pm

    […] Fruitful multiplication and care of God’s creation By Edey Earier, Funky explored Pius XII's comments on family size. However, one thing that seems to come up frequently when discussing the idea of having large families is how to reconcile a large family with preserving the earth for future generations and caring for God's creation. As I have said in the past, I think the problem lies in the impact per person rather than the number of people. If total impact on the environment = (number of people) * (impact per person), then by reducing the impact per person significantly enough, the environment can sustain more people. As Earth day fast approaches, I found it a fitting time to suggest 10 simple ways that each of us can help decrease the impact per person:1. Eat less animal products. Now, I'm not insisting that everyone go hardcore vegan, but if you eat animal products twice a day, try once a day. If you eat them once a day, try once a week. 2. Eat more organic. All the pesticides and hormones that can go into food production have a negative impact on the environment, particularly in terms of water pollution.3. Carpool/take public transport/bike/walk more. 4. Recycle and buy things with post consumer content. 5. Bring your own bags when you shop.6. Buy in bulk and with as little packaging as possible.7. Buy locally grown food and produced products.8. Buy reusable items with as little processing as possible. 9. Open the windows instead of using the a/c.10. Next time you purchase a car, buy one as fuel efficient as possible.This list is not even close to exhaustive but a starting point. Please add your own in the comments section. Also, please talk these and other ideas up to as many people as possible so that it's not just us tree huggers talking. We tend to get tuned out. […]

  7. From Ales Rarus - A Rare Bird, A Strange Duck, One Funky Blog » Investigating NFP: Pius XI on 11 May 2006 at 12:54 pm

    […] Click here to read the next article in this series. […]

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