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EWTN Sex Counselor and Psychotherapist Outed as a Closet Jansenist?
Catholic Family News ^ | 8/15/2003 | Bridgette O'Donnell

Posted on 08/19/2003 3:12:40 PM PDT by Diago

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Is the Popcak Catholic? EWTN Sex Counselor and Psychotherapist Outed as a Closet Jansenist?
8/15/2003 8:25:00 PM By Bridgette O'Donnell - Catholic Family News

CCL: Too sexy for their jeans?
All the while appealing to Church teaching, contemporary Catholic psychologists constantly seek new ways to integrate their progressive views into Catholic thought. While evangelical psychologists seek to "co-opt psychology for their own purposes, making therapeutic concepts subordinate to the Bible,"[1 ]Catholic psychologists claim that they submit their particular branch of therapeutics[2] to Church teaching. Like the evangelical world-view that "undergoes a particular reworking" once submitted to "Christian" psychology,[3] Catholic Church teaching is similarly modified into the evolving "Catholic" psychological framework. Today, it appears that no contemporary Catholic psychologist makes better or more blatant use of that framework than Gregory Popcak, MSW, LCSW.

A rising star among Catholic progressives, Gregory Popcak is a "Catholic" psychotherapist and author who, presenting an amiable facade on Catholic radio and television, reserves blasphemous remarks and scandalous recommendations to the printed word. Popcak, who sports BA degrees in Psychology and Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH and a MA in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh, claims to assist Catholics in living "dynamic" and "faith-filled lives" by "integrating cutting-edge psychology with orthodox Catholic theology" in the realm of personal, marriage or family problems.[4] Yet one ultimately finds this "psychology/theology" mix means that sex is a frequent theme in Popcak's books.

The most obvious example is Popcak's Beyond the Birds and the Bees: The Secrets of Raising Sexually Whole (and Holy!) Kids by Our Sunday Visitor Press (OSVP). Popcak's Pastoral Solutions website advertises the book's "7 principles," with the word "RESPECT" as an acronym. The advertisement concludes, "Using these seven principles, parents can help their children become sexually whole and sexually holy! Using humor and timely examples, author Gregory Popcak enables parents to develop their own understanding of the Catholic vision of love, and he provides practical guidance for having age-appropriate discussions about sexual issues with kids -- from toddlers to teens."[5] (all emphasis mine)

Not only does Popcak think that parents must develop their "own" understanding of the "Catholic vision of love," (a play on words, considering OSVP published both Popcak's Beyond the Birds and the Bees and the highly controversial catechetical series, Catholic Vision of Love), it seems he also believes that even toddlers need "sexual guidance".

The "Brother" Chart

Popcak also advocates that parents should spend quite a few years teaching their teens about Natural Family Planning (NFP) "in preparation for married life".

In Beyond the Birds and the Bees, Popcak wrote, "Explain to your sons that as God is giving them the gift of their sexuality, He is asking them to spend the next several years learning how to use that gift properly. Part of that means that if he marries, he will be responsible for working with his wife to determine God's will for their lives, including when to have children and how many children to have. These are decisions that need to be made every month in collaboration with his wife and with prayer. After he is married, part of his responsibility will be to help his wife do something called charting, which means that he will write down the different signs that tell how healthy his wife is and when they could have a baby. I am aware of some families where the brother may chart his sister's temperatures for her, or even some cases where the mother shares her own NFP chart (minus the coitus record, of course) with the intent of acquainting the young men and women of the house with NFP. I also know some families who object to this idea on privacy or modesty grounds."[6]

First, Popcak wrongly assumes that the practice of NFP is a natural obligation of marriage. Despite the fact that Popcak's choice of words is misleading -- i.e., NFP does not check for signs of a woman's health but tracks her fertility cycle -- the Church has never officially declared that abstinence from the marital embrace is a constant responsibility for husband and wife. Quite the contrary.

Second, the Church has proclaimed and oft repeated that the primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children. The secondary end (or ends) of marriage is mutual help and conjugal love (along with alleviation of concupiscence). The secondary ends are essentially subordinated to the primary end.[7] Yet Popcak assumes the first thing a teen needs to know about marriage is how to practice NFP.

Far from exhorting parents to "limit family size", Pope Pius XII, in line with traditional papal teaching, encouraged and praised large families: "Now the value of the testimony offered by the parents of large families lies not only in their unequivocal and forceful rejection of any deliberate compromise between the law of God and human selfishness, but also in their readiness to accept joyfully and gratefully these priceless gifts of God-their children -- in whatever number it may please Him to send them." Pius XII continues, "In the modern civil world a large family is usually, with good reason, looked upon as evidence of the fact that the Christian faith is being lived up to."[8]

Likewise, Pope Pius XI taught the traditional Catholic teaching on the fruitfulness of Catholic Marriage: "Thus amongst the blessings of marriage, the child holds the first place. And indeed the Creator of the human race Himself, Who in His goodness wishes to use men as His helpers in the propagation of life, taught this when, instituting marriage in Paradise, He said to our first parents, and through them to all future spouses: 'Increase and multiply, and fill the earth'."[9]

Concerning the right use and frequency of marital abstinence, the Church explains: "Nor are those considered as acting against nature who in the married state use their right in the proper manner although on account of natural reasons either of time or of certain defects, new life cannot be brought forth. For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial rights there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider so long as they are subordinated to the primary end and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved."[10] Traditional Catholic Moral theology explains further that this decision of couples "not to procreate" is only justified through a "moral and physical impossibility of fulfilling this duty".[11]

What is a "truly Catholic" approach to marriage preparation? "To the proximate preparation of a good married life belongs very specially the care in choosing a partner; on that depends a great deal whether the forthcoming marriage will be happy or not, since one may be to the other either a great help in leading a Christian life, or, a great danger and hindrance. And so that they may not deplore for the rest of their lives the sorrows arising from an indiscreet marriage, those about to enter into wedlock should carefully deliberate in choosing the person with whom henceforward they must live continually: they should, in so deliberating, keep before their minds the thought first of God and of the true religion of Christ, then of themselves, of their partner, of the children to come, as also of human and civil society, for which wedlock is a fountainhead. Let them diligently pray for divine help, so that they make their choice in accordance with Christian prudence, not indeed led by the blind and unrestrained impulse of lust, nor by any desire of riches or other base influence, but by a true and noble love and by a sincere affection for the future partner; and then let them strive in their married life for those ends for which the State was constituted by God."[12]

Compare the above to what Popcak advocates for marriage preparation: "You will have to decide whether having boys record their sister's or mother's temperatures is an option for your family, but as long as the person whose chart it is (the mother or sister) is not terribly opposed to the idea (you really have to respect her opinion on this), I feel favorably toward the idea because it decreases the chances that your young teens will eroticize their sexuality. Treated in this manner, you are more likely to present this kind of information as a literal fact of life as opposed to some glamorous, dangerous, erotic mystery." He concludes, "Whether or not you decide to enlist your pubescent boys in the charting process, they can begin doing the other thing needed for a healthy marital sexuality. They can pray. In fact, your daughters should do this, too."[13] (all emphasis mine)

Popcak's Marriage Prep Outline

It is clear that the "Popcak preparation for marriage" for teens boils down to just two "things" -- first, learning the "art" of NFP and second, prayer. These two things are suggested with one aim in mind -- so that teens might someday experience a "healthy marital sexuality." As if this is not enough, Popcak's public Internet "blog" further testified to his inherent vulgarity when he wrote, "I am constantly dismayed at the half-a** job the Church does with marriage prep"; declared that marriage is the "sacrament of sexuality" and also revealed that he works with dioceses to introduce his ideas for marital groundwork.[14]

How is it that this "Catholic" psychotherapist is freely allowed to promote his subjective opinions as Catholic? Popcak blithely ignores the dangers of these immoral propositions because he ignores human nature's inherited weaknesses, which the Church recognizes as "the effects of original sin, the chief of which are weakness of will and disorderly inclinations".[15]

Through Original Sin, mankind lost the preternatural gifts, of which one was the control of the passions by reason alone.[16] "Disorderly inclinations then must be corrected, good tendencies encouraged and regulated from tender childhood, and above all the mind must be enlightened and the will strengthened by supernatural truth and by the means of grace, without which it is impossible to control evil impulses, impossible to attain to the full and complete perfection of education intended by the Church, which Christ has endowed so richly with divine doctrine and with the Sacraments, the efficacious means of grace.[17]

The Church Declares the Dangers of Sex Education

Popcak proposes demystifying the "facts of life" for teens by teaching them NFP, but the Church declares such a course indefensible:

"Another very grave danger is that naturalism which nowadays invades the field of education in that most delicate matter of purity of morals. Far too common is the error of those who with dangerous assurance and under an ugly term propagate a so-called sex-education, falsely imagining they can forearm youths against the dangers of sensuality by means purely natural, such as a foolhardy initiation and precautionary instruction for all indiscriminately, even in public; and, worse still, by exposing them at an early age to the occasions, in order to accustom them, so it is argued, and as it were to harden them against such dangers.[18]

"Such persons grievously err in refusing to recognize the inborn weakness of human nature, and the law of which the Apostle speaks, fighting against the law of mind (Romans 7:23); and also in ignoring the experience of facts, from which it is clear that, particularly in young people, evil practices are the effect not so much of ignorance of intellect as of weakness of a will exposed to dangerous occasions, and unsupported by the means of grace."[19]

The Church also teaches that private instruction still includes precautions. "In this extremely delicate matter, if, all things considered, some private instruction is found necessary and opportune, from those who hold from God the commission to teach and have the grace of state, every precaution must be taken. Such precautions are well-known in traditional Christian education, and are adequately described by Antoniano cited above, when he says: 'Such is our misery and inclination to sin, that often in the very things considered to be remedies against sin, we find occasions for and inducements to sin itself. Hence it is of the highest importance that a good father, while discussing with his son a matter so delicate, should be well on his guard and not descend to details, nor refer to the various ways in which this infernal hydra destroys with its poison so large a portion of the world; otherwise it may happen that instead of extinguishing this fire, he unwittingly stirs or kindles it in the simple and tender heart of the child. Speaking generally, during the period of childhood it suffices to employ those remedies which produce the double effect of opening the door to the virtue of purity and closing the door upon vice'."[20]

More than the "Birds and the Bees"

To continue examining Beyond the Birds and the Bees' purposely generic appeal, each chapter features a quote with selections from Mother Teresa, Seneca, D.H. Lawrence, Emerson, Dryden, Freud, C.S. Lewis, Roosevelt, Jacques LeClercq, Martin Luther, and the Kama Sutra, a Hindu book graphically portraying various intimate positions.

Popcak's Pastoral Solutions Institute website also offers excerpts from his current titles. The Birds and the Bees excerpt, which quotes both the rationalist Goethe and Luther, insists that parents "cannot do it all on their own. We must be willing to accept competent help from qualified resources. This includes reading good books on the subject of sexuality, and being willing to consult with experts in education, psychology, theology, and child development, when the need arises."[21] Again focusing on sex, Popcak prefers the counsel of "experts" to supernatural assistance and infallible Church guidance.

On the same site, Popcak's book, For Better … Forever!, A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage, also published by Our Sunday Visitor Press, blatantly advertises chapter titles like "Holy Sex, Batman!" and "Der Intimacy is Good, Jah?" and claims that "Popcak's advice for creating strong, loving marriages is biblically based, while quotes from the likes of Paul Reiser [star of sit-com Mad About You] and Sting [pop music star] give the book a distinctly 90's feel."[22] Obviously not too concerned about Catholic tradition or even a semblance of reticence, Popcak wants his "psychological expertise" to find wide-range appeal, from Bible readers to pop stars' fans. As juvenile as the advertising and featured excerpts may be, the actual content of Popcak's books descend to the outrageously scandalous.

While advertising Parenting with Grace: Catholic Parent's® Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Kids, the same website asserts, "Now family therapist and parent Gregory Popcak, and Lisa, his wife, reveal the guidance God offers every Catholic parent in a truly Catholic approach to parenthood." (Did God never before reveal His truths before the Popcaks came along?) "We believe that even beyond the obvious essentials of prayers and parish life, Catholic parents really are a different breed of animal." The ad also claims that Parenting with Grace "combines orthodox theology with contemporary psychology". By reading the site's excerpts and comparing and contrasting them to the book, the reader will find the prevailing authority remains "contemporary psychology" (especially with its emphasis on sex), not God's guidance through infallible Church teaching on marriage, parenthood, and education.[23]

For example, the Popcak couple credits "co-sleeping" (children sleeping in their parents' bedroom) with empowering parents in seeking "sexual creativity": "When you're a co-sleeping parent, lovemaking is always creative, especially because -- how shall we put this? -- you begin with all the horizontal surfaces (and perhaps a few vertical ones) in your home in a new, much more interesting light. In a sense, you could say that the sexual creativity that results from co-sleeping empowers a couple to make their whole house -- from the stairways to the kitchen counter and everywhere in between -- a sacred space, overflowing with the couple's love for each other."

The Popcaks even feel they must employ some vulgar humor concerning a toddler's innocent touching: "But it is up to the parent to gently redirect the child engaged in this (genital) behavior and not come across like the child is engaging in some kind of ritual satanic sacrifice. ('Be gone from my child, demon spirits of masturbation! Be gone I say!')"[24]

Where is one to place this kind of "advice" -- in the realm of "orthodox Church theology" or that of "contemporary psychology"?

Scripture and the Book of Nature Replace Scripture and Tradition

Some Parenting with Grace subtitles are pubescent spin-offs of movies, like "A Close Encounter of the Jesus Kind," or songs "We Get By with a Little Help from 'Mom' " ("Mom" being the Catholic Church).[25] While Popcak and his spouse make a feeble attempt to compare Protestant and Catholic psychology, they claim that Catholic teaching appeals to "two holy books," Scripture and Creation (the "Book of Nature," meaning natural law) instead of Scripture and Tradition. They conclude "Catholics are able to access the fullness of Divine Revelation (emphasis mine) -- not because we're such hot stuff -- but because we are among the few groups of Christians willing to read both 'books'." In this one sentence alone, the Popcaks make two mistakes. By making no attempt to explain that the Catholic Church is the one, true Church, they silently pass over the sin of indifferentism, the false belief that all religions are good -- hence, it makes no difference which religion is practiced. Although the Popcaks make a reference to Tradition when they write "while secular parents may also rely on the Book of Nature for parenting hints, they don't have access to Divine Revelation in Scripture or Sacred Tradition, which tell them how to use the information they can from science," it also appears they attempt to Protestantize Catholic teaching. They claim, "Learning about God's creation and using it in the manner God intended is one aspect of what Catholics call 'natural law'," summarizing that "we are obliged to follow the instructions He (God) gives us in the Book of His word and the Book of Nature to bring them [children] up according to His will and purpose."[26] With a bare acknowledgment of Tradition, the proposed foundation of "Catholic teaching" is reduced to Scripture and natural law,[27] which Protestantism would find most agreeable.

The Big Bang and God's "Sexuality"

Yet Popcak does not limit his sexually "theological" ideas to married couples, babies and teens. In February 2003, an Internet discussion group (in which Lisa Popcak, Greg's wife, participated) brought up valid concerns about Popcak's writings. One of the moderators quoted and questioned various excerpts from Popcak's books, including one from The Exceptional Seven Percent which brings up the blasphemous question (we beg the reader's pardon) of God's "orgasms".

Responding through his wife's email address, Greg Popcak attacked those who expressed their alarm with a hostile, pompous harangue. Airily reminding the list of his educational background, Popcak then asked the membership about their own college degrees. Revealing that he and his wife have a "friendly relationship" with Scott and Kimberly Hahn, he immediately added that the Hahns have not yet pronounced he and his wife to be "godless heretics". (The question begs to be asked: Does Popcak think that the Hahns are bestowed with magisterial authority, the same kind that alone can declare what is anathema?) Popcak also insinuated that those who were shocked over his perverse theology might be Jansenists, reminding the list that Jansenism is "still" a heresy.[28]

It would seem Jansenism is the agreed-upon "heresy of the year" among neo-Catholics, since it remains their favorite accusation to hurl against fellow Catholics who do not appreciate their novelties. (Jansenism was similar to Calvinism, in that it led to the idea of predestination. However, Popcak seemed to be alluding to the Jansenist emphasis on the human weaknesses due to Original Sin, especially those that affect human reason and the passions.)

Interestingly enough, not once did Popcak claim that previously shared excerpts from his books were misquotes. The quote that caused the most shock came from The Exceptional Seven Percent, where Popcak muses over New Age guru Deepak Chopra's question, "Does God have orgasms?" Popcak concluded, "I, like Chopra, believe the answer is 'Absolutely yes.' My own faith tradition teaches that God is a lover and that the cosmological orgasm physicists refer to as the Big Bang … is the model for human sexuality. Who wouldn't give their eyetooth for a night like that with their beloved?"[29] Popcak's claims are nefarious, slyly insinuating profane ideas about the nature and love of the Holy Trinity. Nowhere does the Church teach that the heavens are a "cosmological orgasm" and "the model for human sexuality"; that idea seems to have issued from Popcak's appreciation for New Age gurus.

Popcak's book continued with the theme of God's "sexuality," first by quoting the Protestant writer C.S. Lewis on God's reasoning powers and love, and then by adding his own sexual spin to the topic30: "C.S. Lewis once wrote, [God] 'lends us a little of His reasoning powers and that is how we think: He puts a little of His love into us and that is how we love one another'." Popcak immediately followed, "The same is true of our sexuality. God enjoys his (sic) own 'sexuality' and because he (sic) is generous, he (sic) shares that sexuality with us."

"Some of you are probably appalled by what must seem to be a hopeless anthropomorphism on my part. But when I refer to God's 'sexuality' or even God's 'orgasm,' I don't mean it in the physical way we humans understand it. Rather, God's 'sexuality' is expressed in his (sic) joy in loving all things, uniting all things, creating all things. What we mortals refer to as our sexuality is the power God lends us to join him (sic) in loving, uniting and creating both on a physical level (through lovemaking which leads to children) and on a spiritual level (through lovemaking) which strengthens the unity of the couple and actualizes their values, ideals and goals."

Since Popcak claims he did not mean God's "sexuality" or "orgasm" as we humans understand the terms, he should have refrained from using those words out of reverence for his Creator. Furthermore, while the marital act, as intended by God, is holy, not all sacred and wholesome love is sexual or should be described with sexual terms. Would one define the love for one's child in like manner? Popcak's way of describing the "powers" of the physical marital union, especially in his blasphemous references to God, is best explained by the document Pascendi Dominici Gregis when it describes the written works of modernists: "Thus in their books one finds some things which might well be approved by a Catholic, but on turning over the page one is confronted by other things which might well have been dictated by a rationalist."[31]

Indeed, while Pascendi defines and condemns the false doctrines of modernism, it also aptly delineates how modernists work. Its first three paragraphs alone aptly outline Popcak's "Catholic" psychology, beginning with the rejection of "profane novelties of words and the gainsaying of knowledge falsely so called," of "men speaking perverse things, vain talkers, erring and driving into error."[32] It continues by alluding "to many who belong to the Catholic laity … thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church … lost to all sense of modesty … [who] assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the Person of the Divine Redeemer" Whom they degrade with "sacrilegious audacity".[33]

While reminded that we cannot judge the internal disposition of an individual's soul, Catholics are also taught that modernists reveal themselves by "their tenets, their manner of speech, and their action". They are considered to be "the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church. For, as We have said, they put into operation their designs for her undoing, not from without but from within ... Further, none is more skillful, none more astute than they, in the employment of a thousand noxious devices; for they play the double part of rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they easily lead the unwary into error; and as audacity is their chief characteristic, there is no conclusion of any kind from which they shrink or which they do not thrust forward with pertinacity and assurance. To this must be added the fact, which indeed is well calculated to deceive souls, that they lead a life of the greatest activity, of assiduous and ardent application to every branch of learning, and that they possess, as a rule, a reputation for irreproachable morality."[34]

The Abstinence to Art Connection

Finally, Popcak continues with his theme on married sexuality, claiming that "... creative abstinence is best understood as the conscious effort a couple makes to enflame their desire for one another and enhance their intimacy by taking short breaks (about a week or so) from genital intercourse while at the same time intensifying the amount of nongenital physical contact (for example, kissing, cuddling, making out without going all the way) and other expressions of affection." While Popcak lists three other reasons for "periodic abstinence," he claims that the most important reason for it "is the potential to raise lovemaking to a high art form and means to actualization."[35] Yet the encyclical Sacra Virginitas refutes Popcak's opinion on what is most important about marital abstinence, teaching that it leaves the time "more free for prayer, precisely because [it] gives greater freedom to the soul which wishes to give itself over to spiritual thoughts."[36] Even further, the Church also warns of "some reformers of married life [who] make a pretense of helping those joined in wedlock, laying much stress on physiological [bodily] matters, in which is learned rather the art of sinning in a subtle way than the virtue of living chastely."[37]

Regardless of what the Church teaches, Popcak is more concerned about actualization, defined on his website as "every human being's drive to become the most fulfilled and competent person possible. According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, who studied 'self-actualizing people,' these individuals exhibit such qualities as acceptance of themselves and others, spontaneity, creativity, compassion, inner-peace, a healthy sense of humor, and the capacity for extraordinarily deep intimacy. Likewise, 'self-actualizers' are often considered to be living, breathing examples of their own unique value system."[38] Strangely enough, the "seven qualities" of "self-actualizers" appear to have replaced the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost; those gifts are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. Nor is there a word that indicates a "self-actualizer" looks to Christ as the perfect example of character.

A Neo-Catholic Favorite, From EWTN to NACHE

Despite blasphemous opinions and his obvious fixation on sex, Popcak, sometimes accompanied by his wife and co-author Lisa, is fast becoming an EWTN favorite. Not only does EWTN sell three of Popcak's current books, it features the Popcak couple on its 13-part cable series on marriage, "For Better ... FOREVER!" In March 2003, EWTN's "Bookmark" gave Popcak a half-hour of air-time to promote both his newest book, God Help Me! This Stress is Driving Me Crazy (Loyola Press), and his alleged expertise as a psychotherapist. Hosting Ave Maria Radio's daily show Heart, Mind, and Strength, Popcak joins the list of other neo-Catholic notables, including Al Kresta, Ralph Martin, Dr. Colleen Mast, and Dr. Ray Guarendi.[39] The Knights of Columbus also endorse Popcak, who has written for their Columbia magazine[40], and sells his books on their website.[41] Furthermore, Popcak is a featured author on the National Resource Center for Catholic Men website, another neo-Catholic 'ministry' organized between 1999-2000.[42]

In the event of any missed opportunities to influence the entire Catholic laity, Popcak spoke at the 2002 Couple to Couple League (CCL) Convention[43] as well as the NACHE (National Association of Catholic Home Educators) Convention. This year, NACHE issued both Gregory and Lisa Popcak invitations to speak at the June 27-28, 2003 NACHE Convention in Virginia.[44]

The Security of the Catholic Name

It is more than unfortunate that Gregory Popcak is promoted as a "Catholic" psychotherapist, granted interviews on any "Catholic" broadcast, publishes "Catholic" books and speaks at any "Catholic" conferences. It is not just unfortunate; it is scandalous and cannot be ignored. Popcak promotes modernist psychology and covers its depravity with a "Catholic cloak". As the Church concisely stated when it described and condemned modernist tactics, "If it were a matter which concerned them alone, We might perhaps have overlooked it; but the security of the Catholic name is at stake."[45]

Footnotes

1. J.D. Hunter, "When Psychotherapy Replaces Religion," The Public Interest, Spring 2000. (http://www.thepublic interest.com/archives/ 2000spring/ article1.html)

2. James J. Walsh, "Psychotherapy," Catholic Encyclopedia, (1911), VII. (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/ 12549a.htm)

3. Op. cit.

4. Pastoral Solutions Institute website. (www.exceptionalmarriages. com/psi.htm)

5. Ibid.

6. Gregory K. Popcak. Beyond the Birds and the Bees: The Secrets of Raising Sexually Whole (and Holy!) Kids. (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Press, 2001): 142-143.

7. In 1944 Pope Pius XII's Holy Office forbade Catholics to subscribe to anything but the traditional doctrine on the begetting and education of children as the primary end of marriage. -- "May one subscribe to the opinion of certain modern authors who deny that the principle end of marriage is the begetting and education of children, or who teach that the secondary ends are not essentially subordinated to the primary ends, but are equally primary and independent?" The reply was "No. [A response of the Holy Office, A.S.S., 36, 103; April 20, 1944.]

8. Address of Pope Pius XII to the Directors of the Associations for Large Families of Rome and of Italy, January 20, 1958. Quoted from The Pope Speaks Magazine, Spring 1958. (Emphasis added on all Papal quotes.)

9. Casti Canubii, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on Christian Marriage, Dec. 31, 1930.

10. Ibid. para. 59.

11.See "Contraception under the Form of Ascetism," Si Si No No English Translation, The Angelus, July, 1998.

12. Casti Cannubi, para. 115.

13. Pastoral Solutions Institute web-site, op. cit. (www.exceptionalmar riages.com/book5.htm)

14. Popcak, Heart, Mind and Strength Weblog, Thursday, August 1, 2002. (www.exceptionalmarriages.com/web log)

15. Pope Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri, December 31, 1929: para. 58.

16. Rev. Francis J. Connell and others, Baltimore Catechism, (1949), No. 3, Lesson 5, #53.

17. Pope Pius XI, op. cit., para. 59.

18. Pope Pius XI, op. cit., para. 65.

19. Pope Pius XI, op. cit., para. 66.

20. Pope Pius XI, op. cit., para. 67.

21. Pastoral Solutions Institute website, loc. sit.

22. Ibid.

23. Gregory K. and Lisa Popcak, Parenting with Grace: Catholic Parent's® Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Kids. (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Press, 2000): 157. (Note: This book was apparently published in conjunction with OSV's affiliated magazine, Catholic Parent (hence the subtitle, "Catholic Parent's®" with the "R" [Registered] mark, referring to the magazine). This same book, Parenting with Grace, features an "endorsement" by the editor of "Catholic Parent" magazine on the Pastoral Solutions website.

24. Ibid., p. 180.

25. Pastoral Solutions Institute web-site, op. Cit.

(www.exceptionalmarriages.com/book3.htm)

26. Ibid.

27. This is not meant to depricate the Church's teaching on Natural Law. We are merely observing Popcak's emphasis on "Scripture and nature" rather thanScripture and tradition".

28. Gregory Popcak, "Popcak Responds: Please Read," CatholicC Mason (at Yahoogroups), February 21, 2003 at 1:48 a.m.

29. Gregory K. Popcak, The Exceptional Seven Percent -- The Nine Secrets of the World's Happiest Couples. (New York: Birch Lane Press, 2002)

30. Ibid.

31. Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907: para. 18.

32. Ibid., para. 1.

33. Ibid., para. 2.

34. Ibid., para. 3.

35. Pastoral Solutions Institute web-site, op. Cit.

(www.exceptionalmarriages.com/book1.htm)

36. Pius XII, Sacra Virginitas, March 2, 1954: para. 38.

37. Pope Pius XI, op. cit., para. 108.

38. Pastoral Solutions Institute web-site, loc sit.

39. Ave Maria Communications. (www.avemariaradio.net/news.html)

40. Columbia: The Online Edition. (www.kofc.org/columbia/june2002/ june2002cover.html)

41. Knights of Columbus website. (www.kofc.org)

42. "Resources," National Resource Center for Catholic Men.

(www.nrccm.org)

43. CCL Convention 2002. (www.genesysdigital.com/ccl2002/speakers. html)

44. NACHE. (www.nache.org/2003/ nache2003/schedule.html)

45. Pope St. Pius X, op. cit., para. 4.

Reprinted from the July 2003 edition of edition of Catholic Family News, MPO Box 743, Niagara Falls, NY 14302, 905-871-6292, cfnjv@localnet.com





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This guys is warped!

In his own words:

In Beyond the Birds and the Bees, Popcak wrote, "Explain to your sons that as God is giving them the gift of their sexuality, He is asking them to spend the next several years learning how to use that gift properly. Part of that means that if he marries, he will be responsible for working with his wife to determine God's will for their lives, including when to have children and how many children to have. These are decisions that need to be made every month in collaboration with his wife and with prayer. After he is married, part of his responsibility will be to help his wife do something called charting, which means that he will write down the different signs that tell how healthy his wife is and when they could have a baby. I am aware of some families where the brother may chart his sister's temperatures for her, or even some cases where the mother shares her own NFP chart (minus the coitus record, of course) with the intent of acquainting the young men and women of the house with NFP.

1 posted on 08/19/2003 3:12:41 PM PDT by Diago
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To: Maximilian; Akron Al
Part of that means that if he marries, he will be responsible for working with his wife to determine God's will for their lives, including when to have children and how many children to have. These are decisions that need to be made every month in collaboration with his wife and with prayer. After he is married, part of his responsibility will be to help his wife do something called charting, which means that he will write down the different signs that tell how healthy his wife is and when they could have a baby. I am aware of some families where the brother may chart his sister's temperatures for her, or even some cases where the mother shares her own NFP chart (minus the coitus record, of course) with the intent of acquainting the young men and women of the house with NFP.

Thanks for the heads up on this guy, Max. This is really, really, off the wall! I will pray that no one takes him seriously.

2 posted on 08/19/2003 3:15:13 PM PDT by Diago
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To: Diago
And note, the folks at CatholicCitizens.org, where I found this article, are mainstream Catholics.

Meet the People of the CatholicCitizens.org.

Executive Staff
Mary Anne Hackett - President
Mr. Karl Maurer - Vice President, Treasurer and Web Editor
Thomas F. Roeser - Chairman of the Board

Advisory Board
Dan Cheely - Mauk, Bellande & Cheely
Cristov Dosev - Mardoc Properties, LP
Keith Fournier - Your Catholic Voice Foundation
Deal Hudson - Crisis Magazine
Dennis Martin - Loyola University Professor of Theology
Joseph A. Morris - Morris, Rathnau & De La Rosa
Michael Rose - Author
David A. Shaneyfelt - Thomas Aquinas University
Jerome A. Urbik - Hinsdale Associates
3 posted on 08/19/2003 3:22:14 PM PDT by Diago
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To: Akron Al; Alberta's Child; Aloysius; AniGrrl; Antoninus; As you well know...; BBarcaro; ...
PING.

How does a pervert like Popcak get on to EWTN?

4 posted on 08/19/2003 4:11:02 PM PDT by Loyalist
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To: Loyalist
My wife's response after reading this:

Creepy

5 posted on 08/19/2003 4:23:40 PM PDT by Diago
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To: Diago
The guy has very severe boundary issues.
6 posted on 08/19/2003 4:35:20 PM PDT by OpusatFR (being bottom heavy keeps you bobbing on the water, not under it.)
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To: Diago
Regarding NACHE, here's an eye opener:

http://members.tripod.com/~catholic_homeschool/divided.html
7 posted on 08/19/2003 4:36:28 PM PDT by Domestic Church (AMDG..)
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To: OpusatFR
The guy has very severe boundary issues.

I wholeheartedly agree. This borders on incestuous.

8 posted on 08/19/2003 4:53:51 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Diago
Thanks for the heads up on this guy, Max. This is really, really, off the wall! I will pray that no one takes him seriously.

We were talking about this article today at home, and my 18-year old daughter said that she thinks that all the NFP crowd are this weird, it's only that articles like this expose the weirdness. Popcak is on EWTN, he's endorsed by the Knights of Columbus, he speaks at the Couple to Couple League and NACHE (National Assoc of Catholic Home Educators). He's not out of the mainstream among neo-Catholic thought.

If that sounds like an extreme statement, his writings aren't any worse than those of another guy who appears in all the same places: Christopher West. Mr. "Naked without Shame" himself takes the Pope's personalism to mean that we shouldn't have to wear clothes any more. He is the putative author of Archbishop Chaput's famous pastoral letter defending Humanae Vitae. The pastoral letter is actually a joke, but it's held up as the very model of orthodoxy. This is actually as good as it gets when you stray into the Alice-in-Wonderland world of NFP promotion.

9 posted on 08/19/2003 5:43:37 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: Loyalist
Ugh! I had to stop reading at 'the "Brother" Chart' description.

I'll check it out tomorrow during the day so I can still sleep tonight...

Speaking of EWTN - have you seen this story?

10 posted on 08/19/2003 5:45:12 PM PDT by Possenti
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To: Diago
And note, the folks at CatholicCitizens.org, where I found this article, are mainstream Catholics.

Catholic Citizens of Illinois is a good group that works closely with Roman Catholic Faithful. They are re-printing this article from Catholic Family News in order to expose the weirdness, not to support Popcak. The headline, however, is misleading, since Popcak was accusing everyone who sticks with traditional Catholic teaching of being a Jansenist; it was not Popcak who was accused of being a Jansenist.

11 posted on 08/19/2003 5:49:30 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: Domestic Church
Regarding NACHE, here's an eye opener:

Yes, that was a very sad case in which the founder of the organization was tossed out by a new crowd led by Kimberly Hahn so that they could try to force sex education upon Catholic home schoolers. Here's a working link:

Catholic Homeschoolers, A House Divided

This [sex education] "initiative," as it was dubbed by Mary Hasson of NACHE (National Association of Catholic Home Educators) owes much, if not all, of its endorsement by NACHE and company to the cooperation of Scott and Kimberly Hahn, as well as Michaelann Martin, wife of Curtis Martin, Catholics United for the Faith's (CUF) president. Moreover, Kimberly Hahn now sits on the NACHE Board with Mrs. Hasson and they are both co-authors of Catholic Education: Homeward Bound.
Note in the Popcak article the way that Popcak uses his relationship with Scott and Kimberly Hahn as some sort of imprimatur for his bizarre ideas. Scott Hahn has been taken to task recently for publishing books that try to compare the family to the Holy Trinity, a comparison that just doesn't work, and that becomes blasphemous if you try to push it too far.
12 posted on 08/19/2003 5:59:06 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: Maximilian
Scott Hahn has a lot of embarassing biblical exegesis. I don't think he ever really left his Protestantism behind.
13 posted on 08/19/2003 6:41:18 PM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Maximilian
Thank you for making that clickable.

It's funny but that book Catholic Education:Homeward Bound was the first thing we experienced in researching Catholic home education and I have to say at least it presented the idea which we had never come across prior to seeing and buying the book from the Ignatius Press catalogue. After that when we got a pc I was glad to find wonderful articles written by Fr. John Hardin in the ewtn library and the Catholic-Pages.com website. The rift and political underpinnings in the Catholic HS community gradually became apparent but the KIC website really pulls no punches.

NACHE seems more interested in controlling home education than in supporting it.
14 posted on 08/19/2003 6:43:24 PM PDT by Domestic Church (AMDG..)
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To: Diago
Advisory Board
Dan Cheely - Mauk, Bellande & Cheely
Cristov Dosev - Mardoc Properties, LP
Keith Fournier - Your Catholic Voice Foundation
Deal Hudson - Crisis Magazine
Dennis Martin - Loyola University Professor of Theology
Joseph A. Morris - Morris, Rathnau & De La Rosa
Michael Rose - Author
David A. Shaneyfelt - Thomas Aquinas University
Jerome A. Urbik - Hinsdale Associates

Never would have thought I'd see those two listed on the same advisory board for anything. Have they buried the hatchet I wonder?
15 posted on 08/19/2003 7:19:58 PM PDT by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: Domestic Church
Regarding NACHE, here's an eye opener:

As I'm finding out, the Catholic homeschool community is deeply divided....
16 posted on 08/19/2003 7:22:05 PM PDT by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: Domestic Church
It's funny but that book Catholic Education:Homeward Bound was the first thing we experienced in researching Catholic home education and I have to say at least it presented the idea which we had never come across prior to seeing and buying the book from the Ignatius Press catalogue.

I haven't read the book, but I believe that it's a knock-off of Mary Pride. I too have found a lot of good in Mary Pride, although it's true that she's not a Catholic. A few weeks ago we went to a book-selling event run by a protestant home-school group. There was a lot of stuff there by A-Beka, etc., but we just picked through for the stuff we wanted. Everyone uses Saxon Math.

17 posted on 08/19/2003 7:26:29 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: Antoninus
Never would have thought I'd see those two listed on the same advisory board for anything. Have they buried the hatchet I wonder?

Ha, ha, that is pretty funny. I'd don't think they're on speaking terms yet. I'm sure this "advisory board" is strictly based on the use of their name. I'd bet 100 - 1 that this "board" has never actually sat down together at the same time.

18 posted on 08/19/2003 7:28:28 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: Maximilian; Antoninus; sinkspur
He's not out of the mainstream among neo-Catholic thought.

I don't know, Max. This is some extremely weird stuff. Not even your friend, Sinkspur, has been willing to step forward to defend it. It is also noteworthy that Deal Hudson (isn't he one of the so-called neo-Catholic leaders?) is on the Board of Catholic Citizens, the organization that reprinted this very enlightening article.

19 posted on 08/19/2003 7:36:05 PM PDT by Diago
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To: Diago
He's not out of the mainstream among neo-Catholic thought.
I don't know, Max. This is some extremely weird stuff.

You act as though those 2 statements are contradictory.

20 posted on 08/19/2003 7:43:19 PM PDT by Maximilian
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