004 philosophy

Fr Francois Buet thumbnailPaper presented by Fr Francois Buet at the WOOMB International Conference held in Zagreb, Croatia in May 2016.




CarolineTerrenoir thumbnailPaper presented by Dr Caroline Terrenoir, President of WOOMB France, at the WOOMB International Conference held in Zagreb, Croatia in May 2016.




Cristian Vargas headshotPaper presented by Dr Cristian Vargas at the WOOMB International Conference in Zagreb, Croatia, in May 2016.

JJB Paul VI 110Openness to Life and the Billings Ovulation Method®
Reflections on the Synod on the Family and its impact on our work.

Keynote Address to WOOMB International Conference, Zagreb, Croatia, 12 May 2016.

Billings Europe 150Dr Caroline Terrenoir, President of WOOMB France (seen second from the right in the photo) was granted the Degree of Masters of Theology, Marriage and Family by the John Paul II Institute, Pontifical Lateran University and Universitas Cattolica S. Cordis in March of 2014.  Her Thesis (in French) on the question of whether the Billings Ovulation Method® is helpful to the love of the couple is available here.

Presented by the Holy See to all persons, institutions and authorities concerned with the mission of the family in today's world October 22, 1983


Considering that:

  1. The rights of the person, even though they are expressed as rights of the individual, have a fundamental social dimension which finds an innate and vital expression in the family;
  2. the family is based on marriage, that intimate union of life in complementarity between a man and a woman which is constituted in the freely contracted and publicly expressed indissoluble bond of matrimony and is open to the transmission of life;
  3. marriage is the natural institution to which the mission of transmitting life is exclusively entrusted;
  4. the family, a natural society, exists prior to the State or any other community, and possesses inherent rights which are inalienable;

This paper was originally given at the Humanae Vitae International Conference, University of Melbourne, 1978.

The transmission of life is quite paradoxical. We know with certainty that the link which relates parents to children is at every moment a material link, for we know it is from the encounter of the female cell (the ovum) and the male cell (the spermatozoon), that a new individual life will emerge. But we know with the same degree of certitude that no molecule, no individual particle of matter enclosed in the fertilized egg, has the slightest chance of being transmitted to the next generation. Hence, what is really transmitted is not the matter as such, but a specified conformation of the matter, or more precisely, an ‘information’.

The medical research which led eventually to the recognition, development and refinement of the Billings Ovulation Method® began in Melbourne in 1953. At that time, now nearly 50 years ago, the only natural methods of regulating fertility were the Rhythm Method and the Temperature Method, but there was not yet very much interest in the Temperature Method. The gynaecologists showed little interest at all in natural methods except a few Catholic gynaecologists who taught the Rhythm Method.

haydenramsay 1502005 OMRRCA Conference - The Anthropological Imperative

I moved from Melbourne to Sydney in Dec ’04. The first piece of mail awaiting me in Sydney was an invitation to speak at this Conference. I replied to the writer, Mrs Joan Clements, saying I knew next to nothing about the Billings method & she must have got the wrong person. Mrs Clements replied by sending me a pamphlet & saying ‘well, learn about it’; she is a very persuasive person.

bishoppeterelliott 150To be invited to deliver the first John J. Billings Memorial Lecture is a great honour. Two years ago, I felt humbled and privileged to be the homilist at Dr John’s funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral Melbourne. As on that occasion, we remember and celebrate a great man, a wise leader with a generous heart and gentle patience. In developing the most widely-known method of natural fertility awareness, this courageous man worked with Dr. Lyn Billings, his beloved wife who is with us tonight. Undaunted by challenges they have been able to help thousands of couples around the world by offering a reliable and ethical way of understanding and regulating human fertility. You are all part of that great continuing project initiated by Dr John and Dr Lyn Billings. I thank you for your dedication, your sacrifices and commitment.

I accept with gratitude the Honorary Degree of this highly esteemed University Tor Vegata, very mindful of the honour bestowed on me. Even greater is the honour because I share it with John.

It was in 1953 when it was recognized in Melbourne by the Reverend Maurice Catarinich that some natural way of helping couples regulate their fertility must be found. The Venerable Archbishop Mannix of Melbourne had invited Fr Catarinich to assist married couples because he had seen in his visits to the schools that there were many unhappy children. He realized that these unhappy children came from unhappy homes.

On one of the occasions when Pope John Paul II spoke with us he said, ‘When you teach, always teach in the context of Marriage’, and then he added with a smile, ‘I know you always do.’

If the precepts of the Billings Ovulation Method® are followed, it means that all the principles guarding life are followed. This means that abortion is rejected, as the Billings Ovulation Method® teaches love for the child. Euthanasia is also rejected for the same reason; in fact, the Billings Ovulation Method® teaches respect for temporal life from conception to natural death.

“Why teach natural family planning in marriage preparation courses? We don’t teach it in our program.” Often such a question is asked as a challenge – perhaps it is viewed as inconsequential compared to other aspects of marriage, or it is viewed in its narrowest sense as merely a means to achieve or postpone a pregnancy, or perhaps one is looking for a real reason to teach it in one’s own parish or diocese. In reality, the teaching of Natural Family Planning (NFP) responds beneficially to many of the major needs and challenges the engaged couples bring to a marriage course, and contributes considerably to the holistic formation of the couple preparing for marriage.

culturalvalueofnfp 150This paper was presented by Marian Corkill and Marie Marshell on behalf of Dr Evelyn Billings at the Pontifical Lateran University, 9 May 2008, at a Congress to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae.

“When John and I began to travel and teach out of Australia in 1969, the Ovulation Method of natural fertility regulation had reached its definitive point as far as scientific verification of Rules went, but we had much to learn about the teaching, and much to observe about its value to individuals, marriages and the wider culture. We were to see attitudes change, from the contraceptive one of “no babies” of Planned Parenthood, to the acceptance of the child in full understanding of the Billings Ovulation Method® with Rules that mean what they say.


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