NFP & HHS: Why The Church Needs Chaste Singles


You’re pro-abstinence? Oh. You’re one of “those” people.

That’s what a friend of mine, Gretchen, heard from a co-worker one day. A conversation about sex and contraception was taking place among three single women in the break room. When Gretchen, who was heating up her lunch in the microwave, interjected that abstinence and natural family planning were the best methods to use, the women became nasty.
“A brood of vipers” is how she described it. These women didn’t try to engage Gretchen in a thoughtful debate by presenting logical reasons why they believed their way was the right approach. Instead, they bombarded her with vile and insulting comments about being a faithful Catholic.

With this scenario becoming much more common and our religious freedoms being trampled upon every day, there’s obviously great cause for concern. However, as we fight the good fight as individual members of the Body of Christ and as the Church as a whole, we should pause to consider the not-so-surprising correlation this suffering and persecution has to Jesus’ Good Friday Passion.

We know that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is perpetuated through the Mass and in that way, we can unite ourselves with His saving grace. We also unite ourselves with His Passion through our Lenten observances and reflecting on His suffering and death.
Yet the suffering Christ experienced 2000 years ago in His physical body is still being experienced today in us – His mystical Body – as the scenario with Gretchen so aptly illustrates for us.

The high priests and scribes demanded Jesus be put to death because He claimed to be God – He claimed authority and righteousness. Society attacks Catholics today in exactly the same manner because the Church claims moral authority. Society’s response is: “Don’t shove your values down my throat! Stay out of my bedroom! Don’t tell me what to do with my body!”
The Catholic standards of morality are perceived as too high, too rigid and impossible to abide by for many people today. Moreover, society concedes that living a good life is boring. If only these people could experience the joy that comes from living a moral life, one where happiness is real and your conscience lets you sleep at night! Moving from partner to partner, treating fertility like it’s a disease, avoiding the responsibilities that come with monogamy and having children only lead to a self-centered, selfish lifestyle and the only thing that comes from that type of living is emptiness.

You know, if Jesus had just claimed to be a prophet and not claimed to be God, his enemies would have left Him alone. If He had only performed miracles and just not taught people about right and wrong, they would have left Him alone. “If you would only give in on some things like sex, abortion, and contraception, Catholics, we’ll leave you alone” seems to be the name of the game now.
Yes, Jesus is still suffering through us as we stand together for morality.
Single Catholics, I stand with you in your good fight. Everyone, married or single, is called to be chaste. But you, as you wait for your future spouse, are in the spotlight. Your patience, your perseverance, your hope and your moral example are a light to the world, despite what others may want you to think.



  1. Jim N. May 9, 2012 Reply

    “The Catholic standards of morality are perceived as too high, too rigid and impossible to abide by for many people today.” No, they’re just perceived as wrong, at least when it comes to sexuality. As for your idea that “avoiding the responsibilities that come with monogamy and having children only lead to a self-centered, selfish lifestyle and the only thing that comes from that type of living is emptiness,” I think that’s an interesting perspective on the lifelong celibacy of the religious, to say the least.

    • Lisa Duffy
      Lisa Duffy May 9, 2012 Reply

      No, Jim, my statement is a commentary on all the people who view monogamy and procreation as a worthless, out-dated and old-fashioned idea. My statement has nothing to do with the lifelong celibacy of the religious.

  2. Greg-258663 April 16, 2012 Reply

    One of the ‘outspoken progressives’ at my work deliberately (I believe) tried to embaras me in the break room with the contraceptive question (Being Catholic, you must only have sex to procreate isn’t that right?) My answer was: ” If you are asking me if I ever sin? Of course the answer is yes. However what I will NEVER do is to deny that a thing is NOT a sin, simply because I want to do it.” Amazingly, that silenced her. And amazingly to, she claims to be a ‘pro choice’ Christian. Just my thoughts.

  3. Stacy-546551 April 16, 2012 Reply

    If procreation is such an important part of the marriage picture, then is it necessary to still have sexual relations post menopause? What is the church’s stance on viagra?

    • ED-47515 April 17, 2012 Reply

      Sexual union is for unity and procreation – if God so chooses. Openness to life is an important part of the picture – procreation is up to God. We cannot act directly to impede our fertility – however, God has designed our bodies with limited fertility, so that at certain times of the month, or at certain times of our life (puberty to menopause) we are fertile, and the rest we are not. Sexual union continues to be an expression of love, whether or not a person is fertile at the time…… as for Viagra, generally speaking it is ok to use – it does not act to suppress a natural function, but assists it (like a hearing aid might).

      • Lisa Duffy Author
        Lisa Duffy April 17, 2012 Reply

        Thanks, Ed!

    • Lisa Duffy Author
      Lisa Duffy April 17, 2012 Reply

      Hi, Stacy – Marriage is intended for the good of the spouses as well as procreating. So sexual relations before, during and after menopause is good for the spouses. As far as Viagra goes, if it’s used for helping someone with a real problem it should be fine. But if it’s used for purposes inconsistent with marital intimacy there’s a problem.

  4. Bob-779266 April 5, 2012 Reply

    Great topic —I heard a great lecture on Catholic Family Radio by Dr. Janet Smith from I think Boston University wherein she has a series of in-depth defense of chastity and NFP — it is a very informative series if it is like the hour lecture presented on the Catholic Family Radio which is an affiliate of EWTN.(Eternal Word Television Network)

  5. Kate-749265 April 2, 2012 Reply

    Wowm I can totally relate to the author of this article as most of my friends are using birthcontol instead of abstinance. Although I was “active” prior to my first marriage, I discovered why it’s refered to a “martial embrace” during the course of it because I allowed myself to be open to bringing new life into our family. But on the birthcontrol topic, I wish I knew how to convey the message “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” to my friends, as I see them now after using birthcontrol for 10-15 years, having all sorts of “female problems” and suffering through multiple miscarriages. I just wish they’d dump the BC.

  6. Kate-749265 April 2, 2012 Reply

    I can totally relate to the author, as the vast majority of my friends

  7. Ronique-499294 March 31, 2012 Reply

    One of the smartest activities I participated in during the initial phases of our divorce was a “Rebuilding” series ( 6 weeks of classes focusing on why, how and what to do now). They emphasized abstinence …and I’m very glad they did. When God sends the man who will be my husband my way, I will be honestly ready for the beautiful sexual relationship “He” intends. No short term thinking for long term gain…that’s God’s plan. Happy Lent!

  8. Naomi-698107 March 30, 2012 Reply

    I’d lay more blame at the foot of the American catholic church then The Church. It was american bishops and clergy who refused Humane Vitae and decided to stand against the no-contraceptive business. Its American parishes who are having “Gay masses” and giving the Sacred Eucharist to pro-abortion politicans. There are plenty of good, God fearing, loyal Catholic Parishes around the world. Americans need to stop looking so inwardly as if they’re the be all and end all of Catholicism.

    The European nations are falling to atheism and secularism and they too have added to the trauma, but American catholicism is starting to fall prey to the heresy of protestantism.

    Purity and abstienence are being taught in faithful parishes, and The Church’s leadership should be supported to provide the tools to its clergy to preach these messages.

    Point out the flaws, offer suggestion to line up with the Church, support our clergy and then move on.

    • Stephen-725391 March 30, 2012 Reply

      That is exactly what my brother did as his divorce was unfolding 17 years ago, no support of any kind from the Church and so he did – MOVE ON AND OUT from the Church!

      • Naomi-698107 April 1, 2012 Reply

        People need to own their situations. Whether or not your brother was responsible for the marriage break down, an equal partner in it, or the victim, how much support does anyone expect from the Church?

        He can go to confession for his sins if he was responsible. He can continue to recieve the Eucharist. He cannot re-marry without an annullment, he cannot fornicate or co-habitate. The Church offers the sacraments. It offers the information regarding annullments.

        What do people want? Support groups? WHere people sit around a table with biscuits and cheap coffee complaining about how its other people’s fault? People should make these suggestions for such a group to their own Parishes.

        We suffer for the sins of others. No Church can remove that suffering. Our Church’s role is to provide the truth, adminster teh sacraments and educate us well enough that we can find Heaven.

        • Stephen-725391 April 3, 2012 Reply

          “… how much support?” The same amount that the Church expects from it’s members! A human body does not ignore that part of it that is injured or sick, the entire body rallies to the repair that part. The Church is the body of Christ, if I remember that correctly. That is the level of support that is NOT there!

  9. Ali-788574 March 29, 2012 Reply

    “Consider also the dangerous weapon that would thus be placed in the hands of those public authorities who have no concern for the requirements of morality. Who could blame a government for applying, as a solution to the problems of the community, those means…Who will stop rulers from favoring and from even imposing upon their peoples, if they should consider it necessary, the method of contraception that they judge to be most efficacious? In this way men….would come to place at the mercy of the intervention of public authorities the most personal and most reserved sector of conjugal intimacy.” (Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, p.14, par 17-2)

    I think we’re there, folks. Be strong.

    • Stephen-725391 March 30, 2012 Reply

      What do you think the “Hunger Games” movie and book series is all about. It’s a tripwire. If you don’t know what that means, get the books, read them and if it still does not register – go back to sleep!

  10. Stephen-725391 March 29, 2012 Reply

    Catholics DON’T know what CHASTE means. The Church certainly doesn’t do a very good job of it, in fact, IHMO Dr. Laura does a better job of teaching CHASTE single and marital sexuality and she’s JEWISH!

    • Lisa-727959 March 29, 2012 Reply

      Great observation, Stephen. I think there both crowds in all religions… the ones who understand and take a stand and others who just don’t care.

      • Stephen-725391 March 29, 2012 Reply

        Lisa, I don’t think it’s really about NOT CARING, it’s more about intentional ignorance of the issues by the CHURCH. When I get home, I’ll give a quote and reference that shocked me and indicates this (IMHO) abject denial on the part of the Church’s hierarchy in this area to assist the flock and it is in may estimation the reason for the divorce rate among Catholics and it will continue until the hierarchy puts the resources and emphasis on the issue of the PRACTICAL acts of the man and woman in the marriage relationship like Dr. Laura DOES!

        • Stephen-725391 March 30, 2012 Reply

          During the time between writing the above and getting home, the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness of ever being free, of not lonely my bad choices but because of the arrogant refusal of the Church to own it’s complicity in those choice, of those bad choices and to enjoy a meaningful relationship with a woman. I am not going to go there – the Church does not in action support the post marital relationship and it grinds you down with Catholic Guilt. Before you marry, read and agree on what Dr. Laura has to say in her books on care and feeding of marriage and husband – if you do, the Catholic part falls into place.

  11. Will-836097 March 29, 2012 Reply

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had “discussions” just like the one described above, even amongst fellow Catholics. It can be incredibly disheartening at times.

    I was recently inducted into the St. Thomas Aquinas Angelic Warfare Confraternity, whose goal it is to promote chastity among singles and married couples alike. I am hoping and praying the blessings I receive from it will help keep me strong and that my prayers will likewise keep others strong, as well.

    • Lisa-727959 March 29, 2012 Reply

      Will – WOW! What a great association to be involved with (STAAWC). My kids are constantly bombarded with horrible messages even with my constant filtering. Glad to know there are people out there like you promoting the right message!

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