This unusual letter by Bob Muckle of  Connecticut Right to Life in Waterbury CT arrived in my email today.  It is addressed to Brian Brown (formerly of Connecticut)  who is currently president of the National Organization for Marriage [2029 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC  20006.]

I was impressed by the letter because Muckle, without half trying, gives a comprehensive overview of what has gone wrong in our country in his lifetime, since the Lambeth conference.


Long time no talk to.  I hope that everything is going well.  I hear all kinds of good things about you and what you are doing.

I would like to make some comments about the Council of Catholic Bishops and marriage. If this goes too long, forgive me, but I have a lot to say.
Over 44 years ago my wife and I became a teaching couple of Natural Family Planning.  In 1965 we became a teaching couple of the Symptothermal Method of NFP and taught it on a couple-to-couple basis to married and engaged couples.  We lived in complete awareness of our fertility for over 20 years.  We, or I, have attended many conferences and talks over the years.

My hero is the late Father Paul Marx, the founder of Human Life International.  Father Marx always said that every nation that accepted  contraception eventually legalized abortion.

In 1985 I attended a talk by Msgr. George Kelly in Bloomfield.  He is the author of the book “The Battle for the American Church”  During the Q and A period, the topic of contraception came up.  He quoted a comment by Anglican Bishop Charles Gore at the Lambeth conference of 1930.  This is the conference when for the first time in 1900 years of Christianity that a Christian church said that contraception would be OK in certain hard cases.  Bishop Gore voted against the majority.  His comment was, according to Msgr. Kelly, “Once you deny the presence of God in the marriage act and separate the loving relationship  from the life relationship with God, then not only is contraception allowable and permissible, but there is no reason why it has to be confined to married people. Once you separate sexual fulfillment, as a human value that is independent of God, then there is no reason why it has to be confined to members of the opposite sex.”  When I heard that, my ears perked up.  To me, he said that the acceptance of contraception would eventually lead to the acceptance of homosexuality.  I taped the talk, so I have it on a cassette.

After the American Federation of Churches followed suit with the Lambeth Conference in 1931, the Washington Post on March 22, 1931 editorially said, “Carried to its logical conclusion, the committee’s report, if carried into effect, would sound the death knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality.  To say that the use of legalized contraception would be careful and restrained is preposterous.

Within 30 years every Protestant Church legalized contraception.  The Catholic Church was the only holdout.  In the 1960’s the big move was put on the Catholic Church to follow suit.  The New York Times led the way with Catholic theologians like Father Charles Curran not far behind.  Everything was settled with the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae when Pope Paul VI reiterated the teachings of the Catholic Church.  The American bishops did not defend the encyclical the way they should have.  The only bishop that I know of who did was Bishop Glennon Flavin of Lincoln, Nebraska.  Because of his defense, he never lost a priest and his vocations flourished.  Most of the other dioceses fell by the wayside.  As years went by, a number of dioceses did follow bishop Flavin’s example and they too began to get many vocations to the priesthood.

The reason I am bringing this up is because I am convinced that until the American bishops defend Humanae Vitae 100 %, the battle against same sex marriage and homosexuality will never be won.  They can say all they want about Genesis and “A man leaving his mother and father and clinging to his wife and the two of them becoming one flesh” to no avail.

Listening to married couples who went from contraception to NFP over the years and the way it changed their lifestyle is very encouraging.  Many times I have heard about homosexuals making  the comment that if married couples could contracept, why couldn’t they live their lifestyle.  What’s the difference?

Keep up your good work, but every time I hear the bishops on this topic, I can’t help but wonder!

God bless,

Bob Muckle