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Name withheld Winnipeg statement.

In your ongoing discussions about the Winnipeg Statement (see most recently, C.I. Sept. 2005. p. 37, and Jan. 2006, p. 32). may I inject an aside?

I am an eighty-year-old woman who has always been a practising Catholic. I became a registered nurse, was married and had eight children in fifteen years. I enjoyed being a mother and all children survived. The difficulty was my husband, who was an alcoholic--at times making it impossible for me to be an effective mother.

Although I had heard of the "Rhythm" method of spacing children, I only learned after of the new advanced plan that is in a booklet and is much more effective. I wished that I had had the opportunity to avail myself of it.

Could the C.W.L. perhaps take it upon themselves to read up on this procedure and explain it to prospective brides?

Theresa Smyth

Sarnia, ON

Theresa Smyth replies:

Thank' you for your poignant inquiry. The three contemporary methods of Natural Family Planning are far more effective than the "Rhythm" method; and unlike contraception, these methods can be used to both achieve and avoid pregnancy--for authentic family planning. There is the Sympto-Thermal method and then there are the two mucus-based methods; Catholic Insight featured the latter two methods in past issues. See our June 2000 (p. 30) article by the developer of the Billings method; and our January 2006 (p. 37) article on Naprotechnology, which is the medical application of the Creighton method. NFP is generally taught by professionals or volunteers affiliated with teaching and research agencies. The role of lay groups such as the CWL is essential to the funding and promotion of these efforts, which must continue to spread.

NFP is often introduced to prospective brides and grooms at marriage preparation classes, with referrals for instruction and follow-up elsewhere. It behooves the husband and wife to share responsibility for their fertility chart, which belongs to the couple together rather than to the married woman alone. In the situation of an alcoholic spouse, such mutual co-operation would be greatly compromised. Ideally, pastoral care and referrals would likewise be available through the parish for the alleviation of this grave circumstance.
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Author:Smyth, Theresa
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Feb 1, 2006
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