Fr Bloom,

I am a lifelong evangelical who finds himself in a "decaying orbit around Planet Catholicism," if you will. As with most other protestants, I have always looked upon the Catholic church's emphasis on Mary and reliance on the only-too-human Pope with suspicion. But today, taking stock of my world, I see that the Christian voice that most reliably calls for a return to responsibility, that most unflinchingly advocates for the vulnerable, and most diligently defends the Judeo-Christion tradition is the Catholic Church.

I have recently begun a modest effort to educate myself on the basis for Catholic teachings, and one of my starting points was human sexuality and birth control. Today, I read Ken Stuart's letter regarding the apparent inconsistency of the Catholic teaching on birth control and your response. What you wrote has helped me understand that difference between common birth control and "fertility appreciation" (a term that I think Humanizes modern birth control discussions), which seemed to be a primary thrust of Humanae Vitae.

Although those differences are difficult to articulate in a convincing manner, for me, they resonate of truth. The argument for NFP contains a mystical essence: it taps into the awesome reality (and fundamental importance) of procreation, while deflating the lesser purposes upon which we ignorantly base our need for sexual intimacy.

Mark Snell

Main Birth Control Article.

Exchange of Correspondence with Ken Stuart.

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