Rachel Amiri and I have been talking about NFP and NFP culture for several years now. Before we started recording, she reminded me that we first met when we were arguing with each other in NFP groups on Facebook (not my best moments, lol).
For years I felt isolated and shameful when I thought I was the only person struggling with and questioning my experience of NFP. Even just asking the question, “What about the times when NFP isn’t good enough?” had me facing criticism from others. However, hearing other people’s stories, and realizing that my experiences and questions were not unique, was really helpful for me. I think it’s important for people to talk about the spiritual abuse that goes on in some NFP circles, and I hope this conversation is a positive contribution to that effort.
Whenever I interview someone I have a couple of pages of notes outlining the questions and topics I want to discuss. Rachel and I sort of had an outline, but once we got rolling we went off-script and down rabbit-holes.
I’m really excited to share this episode with you! It was a joy talking with Rachel. Also, this is not the first time I’ve talked about NFP. Here’s another podcast I did on the topic and here’s an article I wrote for Homiletic & Pastoral Review about NFP and the law of gradualism. Also, check out Rachel’s article: “The Not-So-Sexy Theology of the Body.”
This episode is now available on Youtube and in podcast feeds!
This week, Paul and Dominic talk with Rachel Amiri about toxic NFP culture. Rachel was a FertilityCare Practitioner in the Creighton model of natural family planning. For the past several years, Rachel and Paul have had many discussions about how many of the ways that Catholics talk about NFP can be spiritually abusive or manipulative and how Catholic NFP discourse overlaps with purity culture. We wanted to share some of those conversations with listeners, so we invited Rachel on!
*A general disclaimer that we will be talking about sexuality and child loss in this episode.
Rachel Amiri serves as Production Editor for Where Peter Is and has also appeared as the host of WPI Live. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with degrees in Theology and Political Science, and was deeply shaped by the thought of Pope Benedict XVI. She has worked in Catholic publishing as well as in healthcare as a FertilityCare Practitioner. Rachel is married to fellow WPI Contributor Daniel Amiri and resides in St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising three children.
Read her article: “The Not-So-Sexy Theology of the Body”
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Paul Fahey lives in Michigan with his wife and four kids. For the past eight years, he has worked as a professional catechist. He has an undergraduate degree in Theology and is currently working toward a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling. He is a retreat leader, catechist formator, writer, and a co-founder of Where Peter Is. He is also the founder and co-host of the Pope Francis Generation podcast. His long-term goal is to provide pastoral counseling for Catholics who have been spiritually abused, counseling for Catholic ministers, and counseling education so that ministers are more equipped to help others in their ministry.