There are many couples who wish to have children but are unable to do so for various reasons. More still are the people who, finding themselves in this situation, resort to solutions such as in vitro fertilization or surrogacy to satisfy their desire to be parents.
In the face of these situations, a different response is emerging, inspired by the encyclical of Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae. This option is naprotechnology. Naprotechnology, developed by Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers, uses biomarkers analyzed with the Creighton model. This allows the woman to learn more about her fertility and the health personnel to identify reproductive problems or gynecological disorders. Thanks to this method, the alterations suffered by women in the gynecological area can be corrected, with the aim of restoring both fertility and health.
Although naprotechnology is born from the magisterium of a Pope, one cannot run the risk of reducing it to a Catholic way to regulate the birth rate. On the contrary, Venancio Carrión talks in this interview about the relationship between naprotechnology and other religions. Venancio has a degree in Philosophy, a master's degree in Bioethics and a master's degree in Family Pastoral. He is also an affective-sexual monitor. He is the president of Naprotecthe Spanish Association of Naprotechnology. This association is responsible for the training, dissemination and promotion of Naprotechnology and its professionals in Spain and some countries in Europe and America.
In his answers, Venancio draws on his experience in accompanying couples who come to the association. In this interview, he explains the reasons why naprotechnology is not a restrictively Catholic option, but open to everyone.
What is Christianity's conception of marriage and family based on?
-Presence of God and sanctification of the spouses. From a Christian vision, before the separation in different confessions, marriage is a natural reality elevated by the Sacrament: God becomes present in a human reality and converts it into a place of divine Presence and therefore a place of sanctification, being with the spouse we are with God. In the spousal relationship there is a glimpse of the relationship between the divine persons, albeit in an accidental and contingent way. A marriage God makes himself present in this relationship that human freedom has "created".
It is precisely in this context of the generation of love for the freedom of two persons and the Presence of God, where it makes sense that a new human being arrives.
Although naprotechnology has a strong Catholic base, the faithful of other denominations are also turning to it. Is this for purely medical reasons or do you think there is more to it?
-For both reasons, first of all, Naprotechnology and Restorative Medicine are first of all medicine. The real medicine seeks a good for the human being and that is why it is an attraction for any human being, for any couple that is in a situation where children do not come it is "natural" to go to this way, it is what they are looking for since always, the problem is that they are only presented with reproduction techniques. Secondly, it is easier for people of Christian beliefs to come, but also Jews and Muslims. Anyone who shares the same vision of marriage; the union of man and woman, the place par excellence for the arrival of the human being.
How are marriages of other denominations accompanied?
-From the Association we carry out exactly the same type of accompaniment, focusing on the human side and facilitating all the steps for the medical side, respecting beliefs, but praying for everyone. Regarding the latter, I would like to share an anecdote. In a counseling session I detected that the couple belonged to a non-Catholic group. A second call confirmed my suspicion. They had already spoken with the "catechist" and he authorized them to continue with the process, but they expressed their concern about whether a priest was going to say a prayer over them as part of the process. My response was immediate, "family, this is a medical process, no priest has to lay hands on you, but have no doubt that we have been praying for you and your situation from the very beginning".
What things about marriage and children can be learned when dealing with people of other religions?
-The same suffering can be seen in all families. No one gives them reason or helps them along the way. In some communities they can be frowned upon if no children come out of the marriage. Precisely in the face of this suffering, we seek to provide help so that a journey can be made without harming the love of the spouses and to help them, even if they are not aware of it, on their path of sanctification. We help them to continue to place God, who is the source of all fruitfulness, at the center of their covenant. We do not detect great differences in the essentials, since it is a very human path that responds to the essence of the marital commitment. Certainly when it is illuminated by faith, it becomes more bearable and it is possible to discover fruitfulness where it seemed that it did not exist.