Monday, July 09, 2018 - Updated: 1:52 pm
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The church’s teaching on artificial contraception and the role of procreation in marriage isn’t about difficult-to-follow rules in the eyes of Alice Heinzen, a veteran of marriage and family ministry in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Heinzen said the long-held teaching found in Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae” (”Of Human Life”), is about understanding the beauty of family as created by God.
In La Crosse, the diocese has made natural family planning classes a mandatory part of its marriage preparation program. Heinzen called it a natural development that flowed from the encyclical and St. John Paul’s teaching.
“It’s the accompaniment we are providing. Even if they say (natural family planning) is ridiculous in an age of technology, we realize it’s a person that has yet to open their eyes to the beauty of the teaching. We pose questions for them to consider. We gently, charitably challenge,” Heinzen said.
The challenge facing the church is that the encyclical itself is rarely addressed by priests and as a result is little known, especially among young adults.