The Diocese of Fargo reported that with the upcoming fifth anniversary of Bishop Samuel Aquila implementing a Natural Family Planning policy for all engaged couples in the diocese, over 1,100 men and women have gone through the instruction. In 2009, the diocese had a 92 percent compliance rate.
In September of 2005, Bishop Aquila began the diocesan policy requiring all couples preparing for the sacrament of marriage to take a full course an a method of natural family planning (NFP).
The bishop explained his intent behind the policy on June 2, stressing that the training makes for happier marriages.
“It is important that couples see the beauty and joy in marriage and the grace they can receive through the sacrament itself and in living out God’s plan for them,” Bishop Aquila said. “Learning a method of NFP is not just about avoiding or achieving a pregnancy, but about the couple’s relationship.”
“It’s all about learning to love each other in a way that reflects God’s covenant of commitment, love and faithfulness to us,” he added, saying, “My desire and longing for married couples of the diocese is that they experience God’s love in their married life and come to understand the truth, dignity and beauty of human sexual intimacy.”
The Diocese of Fargo said that the policy requires each couple meeting with a priest to discuss the Theology of the Body, a collection of teachings from the late John Paul II on the Catholic beliefs about human sexuality.
The diocese reported a 92 percent compliance rate among all participants in 2009.
After compiling questionnaire results from marriage preparation weekends in 2009 where NPF was taught, the diocese found they had “encouraging” numbers.
Though 83 percent of the couples reported being sexually active before the marriage prep weekend, at the end of the seminar, 32 percent said they would now save sex for marriage. The diocese also said that 38 percent of the couples had been planning on using contraception before the sessions, yet after the weekend, 36 percent said that they now want to practice NFP in their marriage. EWTN News