OMAHA (PPI/SNR) – More than 2,700 pages of personal testimonials were sent to the Vatican July 25, the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, Bl. Pope Paul VI’s landmark encyclical reaffirming Church teaching against contraception.
The mailing was announced by Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers, MD, director of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction in Omaha.
Dr. Hilgers has been involved in the response to Pope Paul VI’s pastoral directives to “men of science” and to “physicians and health care professionals.” This is his 50th year of being involved in the research aspects of this approach to family planning.
He said the series of testimonials – comprising 2,750 pages – regard natural methods of family planning, particularly the Creighton Model FertilityCareTM System and women’s health science of NaPro Technology.
The testimonials were sent to the Vatican’s Vatican study group on Humanae Vitae chaired by Professor Gilfredo Marengo, of the Pontifical Theological Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.
In an interview with Catholic News Agency, Marengo said that “Humanae Vitae is an authoritative document of the Catholic Church, and it is part of the tradition. We are called to welcome it as it is, and to apply it with an intelligent pastoral plan.”
However, despite being “the most discussed encyclical in the last 50 years,” there is “no need to update it,” Professor Marengo stressed.
According to Dr. Hilgers, “the testimonials that we have sent — which represent all that we have in our files from 1978 until 2017 — are responses to student’s essays on the topic, ‘Why is Teaching Natural Family Planning Important to Me?’
When the research at the institute gained momentum, he said, the question was changed to “Why is Teaching the Creighton Model FertilityCareTM System Important to Me?”
“The responses to both questions are very moving,” he said, “as these perspective students explained some of their own personal motivation for wanting to share this with other potential users while at the same time wanting a more professional education for teachers of this system, so that the new users can have access to competent instruction.
“It is my hope,” he continued, “that the commission will have an opportunity to review these and truly be moved by the commitment of these individuals and by their very moving testimonials.”