Thursday, August 14, 2003

It is official, I will henceforth be blogging from here using Moveable Type.
Come on down!

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Let me see if I can get anything to post to this site.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Maureen over at A Religion of Sanity has an excellent series of essays on morality. The most recent addition, posted Friday August 8,2003, is especially worth reading.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Posting may be sparse the next few days, while I figure out how to move the blog. Or I may post a bunch of random stuff tomorrow from on-call. In the meanwhile, this prayer from St. Frances de Sales.
The everlasting God has, in his wisdom, foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from his inmost heart.
This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His loving arms, tested with His wise justice, warmed with His loving arms, and weighed with His own hands, to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you.
He has blessed it with His holy name, anointed it with His grace, perfumed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from Heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.
I found this prayer in the book Amazing Grace for those who Suffer by Jeff Cavins and Matthew Pinto.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

prayer request from bill white (summa minutiae)
Thank you very much, Kathy the Carmelite for the link to this quiz.
My son has a Glock that he loves. I used to be pretty good with a .22 rifle as a kid, but haven't shot a gun in decades. Maybe it is time?
You are old school. Fat Sheriff Deputies fancy you. Reliable but not too practical.
Smith & Wessen .44 Magnum. You are old school. Fat
Sheriff Deputies fancy you. Reliable but not
too practical.

What handgun are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

You are Frederick Ashton! As the greatest English
choreographer, your restrained classical style
is always appropriate. Unfortunately, the
Royal Ballet has ignored you for too long and
can no longer dance your style.

Which Dead Ballet Choreographer Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

dinka's birth story is posted.
Many bloggers have posted or commented on the ECUSA vote on the (Epsicopal) bishop of New Hampshire. Sparki (fonticules fides) has an interesting set of comments, but for issues involving same sex attraction (SSA) I defer to Sed Contra. David Morrison has some excellent commentary posted recently, and I can say is that I second his thoughts.
It is really interesting to me that the feminist movement spent decades proclaiming "Biology is not destiny", and yet the homosexual libertine movement has spent the same decades proclaiming basically that 1) homosexual attraction and acting out is hard-wired into the brains and bodies of some men and women and 2) in this case, biology is destiny.
Kind of reminds me of Pilate's famous line, "What is truth?".
We have an assurance that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. No matter how many votes would deny that truth, it still remains true.
I will be moving the blog soon, I think. Stay tuned. I will be able to migrate everything except the comments. However, I first need to get some sleep. I was up most of last night with 2 ill pregnant moms. One, at 28 weeks, we were able to get under control and I sent her home on antibiotics around 0300. The other, her illness threw her into labor that we could not stop, and her baby will be born about 5 weeks early (if she has not been born already). I try not to call in to find out things like that - I know that the doctors in whose care I left her are loving and competent, and I will see her tomorrow morning.
I had to leave the hospital at 0800 this morning to come home and take my daughter to see the nurse practitioner about her badly swollen ankle. Probably a bad strain - she has an aircast and a set of exercises to start in a few days. They will call if the x-ray shows a stress fracture (a remote possibility).
Now to sleep for a couple of hours until it is time to go pick up the week's vegetables from the CSA - I hope there is sweet corn this week! Maybe I will make a batch of green corn tamales............

Monday, August 04, 2003

The preliminary data presented in this report are based on records of births occurring in 2002 that were received and that underwent quality control by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health
Statistics as of March 7, 2003. These records represent nearly 98% of the births that occurred in the United States in 2002. The records were weighted to independent control counts of all births received in state vital statistics offices in 2002, and comparisons were made with final data from previous years.

The report presents the following trends in birth numbers and rates:

* The fertility rate for women ages 15-44 years dropped by 1% in 2002, a 9% decline since 1990.
* The birth rate for adolescents ages 15-19 dropped by 5% in 2002, a 28% decline since 1990.
* The birth rate for women ages 20-24 dropped by 3% in 2002 compared with 2001, whereas the birth rates for women ages 35-39 and 40-44 rose by 2%.
* The number of births to unmarried women ages 15-44 rose by 1% in 2002; however, births to unmarried adolescents ages 15-19 dropped by 4%.
* Prenatal care utilization continued to slowly but steadily improve; 83.8% of women began prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy in 2002, compared with 83.4% in 2001.
* More than one-fourth of all births in 2002 were cesarean deliveries, the highest rate ever reported in the United States. The primary cesarean rate jumped 7% from the previous year to 18%, also the highest level ever reported for the country. The rate of vaginal births after previous cesarean delivery plummeted by 23% between 2001-2002 to 12.7%.
* Preterm and low-birthweight rates (7.8%) rose slightly in 2002. The low-birthweight rate is the highest reported in more than three decades.

See the report for a list of references and detailed tables, as well as technical notes.

National Center for Health Statistics. 2003. Births: Preliminary data for 2002. National Vital Statistics Report 51(11). Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An interesting article on post-fertilization effects of oral contraceptives. It is pretty technical, but the bottom line is pretty clear - breakthrough ovulation is fairly common with commonly used oral contraceptive medications.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

My Big Fat Roman Catholic Testimony is a blog I just discovered. Looks new, no email addy or comments up, but I will keep an eye on it.
Baby Blues on 'new improved' infant formula.
More on bread
In my last post, I intended to get practical but instead waxed philosophical. Let me recommend a book that has much good information on bread-making. The Ultimate Bread and Baking Book by Linda Collister and Anthony Blake is an excellent source of not just recipes but techniques for making all sorts of breads. It has good pictures, too. My one quibble is that is was written from a British POV, and although the measurements have been adapted to the American system, it still has that Brit feel to it. However, it is very close to the book on bread that I always wanted to write (except that mine would have had fewer recipes and a lot more history and philosophy).
The liturgical readings lately have been fairly Eucharistic, what with the miracle of the feeding of the 5000, manna in the wilderness, and so on. I do not think it is too much of a stretch of the imagination to say that the ability to make bread of some kind was a major gift from God, and made it possible for humans to have some assurance of food from day to day. Grains and legumes keep well, and can be stored up against times of drought or failures of hunting, herding, and harvesting. I have found it interesting over the last 6 months to see how topics of conversation (memes, if you will) pop uo around St. Blog's seemingly in response to the readings. This was brought to my mind earlier today by the conversations going on about baking of pizza - which is after all, a flat bread with added goods to make it a meal.
Various grains are mentioned in the Bible. Barley was probably the commonest grain and was the source of the daily bread for most, as it grows easily and is very productive. Barley that was soaked and fermented became beer, and was probably the source of the leaven for the early forms of leavened bread. Yeast from the atmosphere fell into the container, and the sour and bubbly liquid was found to have interesting effects, much like that of wine. And the solids left behind after the liquid was strained out could be reliably counted on to have the same effect on another batch of soaked barley. Barley was commonly ground and bound into a dough with water and oil, then baked as a griddle type of cake (think tortilla). Somewhere along the line, some kitchen genius decided to use some of the beer barley in the barley cake mixture, and found that it made a cake that was more tender if more perishable.
There is one big problem with using barley alone as the base for a yeast bread. The barley doesn't really form a strong structure that traps the gases given off by the yeast, and so the cakes are still pretty flat and crunchy. Enter the grain spelt (and later wheat and rye). Spelt, wheat, and rye all contain pretty high concentrations of a protein named gluten. Gluten, when activated by moisture and mechanical activity (kneading) forms strong and elastic webs that act as a framework. If you want to see gluten, mix 1/2 cup (white) wheat flour with just enough water to form a dough. Punch and pound the dough until it is smooth. THen take the dough and plunge it into a basin of clean cool water, continuing to squeeze the dough in your hands. The water will get really gummy as the starch rinses out of your ball of dough, and you will be left holding a handful of stringy gray strands of gluten. Gluten has been used as the base for some vegetarian products like seitan and Loma Linda foods products. It is also possible to buy gluten flour - where the wheat has been refined and the starch and protein separated out.
Anyhow, yeast leavened bread has been around for millenia, and until the last few centuries, the art of getting from the disparate raw ingredients to the finished loaf was passed down as part of the cook and baker's tradition. The grains had to be ground and kept fresh, there needed to be a sufficiency of gluten in the mixture to support the weight of the other ingredients, and the yeast had to be enticed into working its miracles. Traditionally, a wild yeast would be found and fermented, and a bit of the uncooked dough (the fermentum) would be kept from one baking to another to facilitate things. The Feast of the Unleavened Bread therefore represented an amazing act of faith in God - since it required that all yeast and even anything that could be fermented, down to the last crumb, be removed from the household for an entire week. Even raw flour was not permitted - only flour that had already been baked to the point where it would not spontaneously ferment. So every year, the household had to trust that God would send them leaven again. This is why being called to be leaven is so important a command to us as Christians.
OK, so in order to get our daily yeast-leavened bread, we need the right flour/grains, we need the leaven, and we also need time to wait on the process, an oven of some kind, and the ability to work the dough with the hands to form the gluten. Yeast is a living organism - it needs to be fed and it needs to be kept at the right temperature, and in the end it sacrifices its life so that we might eat bread. And we need to work the dough and form the gluten, but then we also need to rest the dough so that it can be shaped, and then we need to let it rest some more so that the yeast can do its work.
Unless you have actually made bread, it is easy to lose sight of what a miracle and gift from God it truly is!

I have tried a few things to shrink the blogroll (by making the font smaller, not dropping anyone) but I can't seem to get the hang of it - I almost succeeded but it ended up also shrinking stuff on the main page. I guess I really should break down and get HTML for Dummies or some such book (maybe the O'Reilly equivalent?). The problem is that they are all focused on things like business or personal static (reasonably) web pages, not on the dynamics of the blog. The few blogging books I have seen are all focused on content - I think I have that down reasonably well, thank you very much!
I may not be a true computer techie geek/nerd, but I am reasonably competent and it makes me crazy that I can't seem to get the logic of stuff like this.
On a more interesting note, there is a cross-blog conversation about food, body image, cooking, pizza, and holiness. Check out Kathy the Carmelite's blog, Two Sleepy Mommies, Chirp (Davey's Mommy) and who knows where all else it will go! If I have a few moments after dinner, I will post a little bit about the physics and chemistry of yeast dough - things that girls used to learn baking bread with mom but that have been all but lost to the last 2 generations.
I have added Catholic School Blogger to the ever growing blogroll. It is hosted by J.P. Laurier, who I first met in the comments boxes at Kathy the Carmelite's Gospel Minefield

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Novena to John Henry Cardinal Newman
Start today and finish in time for the anniversary of when he went to his eternal reward.
Thanks to Quenta Narwenonian for the link and the reminder.
Random quotes found on a notepad of mine.
Let me know if any of these make sense or trigger thoughts that should be followed.
Is God your anchor or your albatross?
The decade (1980s) arrived on the heels of a tremor.
fragile as a new england spring
the tinkling of aspen leaves in Colorado
following Jesus is not easy, but simple
If we obsess over the evil and the ugly, we become dizzy enough for the Devil to ensnare us.
Do you want to worship God in the way that HE wants to be worshipped - or in the way that makes you comfortable?
What is the gift that God has given me to share?
God is never late.
Don't go back to Egypt.

Help guys:
I am trying to figure out how to change the font on my blogroll. Any suggestions?

Friday, August 01, 2003

The more things change, the more they stay the same. From Summa Minutiae

Thursday, July 31, 2003

what the car looks like.
Erik's Rants and Recipes has moved. Make a note.
Thanks for the prayers!
I have to tell you all that they were effective beyond my greatest hopes - and there was a bit of God's sense of humour involved.
First off, my daughter in Memphis. When I last posted, she was close to despair. She could not see how she would be able to find transportation of any kind for the $$$ that the insurance company was willing to offer. Some one who overheard her mentioned that his boss had an older used car for sale, and maybe she would be interested? So she went out to see this car - and it turned out to be a near clone of her (wrecked) car - same year, same model, lower mileage and a very different color - for around half of what the insurance payment would be for her old car. The Lord gives, the Lord takes away - blessed be his name.
Meanwhile, my husband agreed that we should probably get another car for me, since I put around 20,000 miles a year on a car (driving 100 miles round trip to get to work). I spent some time Tuesday on line researching cars, and then Wednesday (yesterday? was it only yesterday?) I picked up a 1 week rental car when I got off work at 0830, and started working. Hit a used car lot, saw an OK car but it didn't feel right. Went by the credit union to verify credit and get a ball-park number and interest rate quote. Went by a dealer recommended by two of my staff. Asked if they had any (used) of what I was looking for - I had my heart set on a PT Cruiser - and was told that they had just taken delivery on two fleet lease returns - one with 7000 miles, one with 9000 miles. Both with the 7/70,000 warranty - and both blue. One was electric blue, the other a darker blue they called patriot blue. Both within my price range, too. So I brought my husband over to the lot and we agreed that we would go after that car, subject to financing.
Now you guys have to realize that I am not terribly fond of buying things on credit. We haven't had a car payment in more than 20 years (paid off the one and only car we previously bought on credit in 1980). But we really hadn't anticipated needing to replace this car for another year or so. I was filled with trepidation on the whole thing.
The dealer said that he thought we could get a better interest rate than that quoted by my husband's credit union - and he did. Through St. Mary's Bank (actually a credit union founded by the Quebecois who lived in Manchester NH and weren't allowed to bank with the WASP bankers of their day).
I just now realized that the Blessed Mother must have been behind some of this. Blue, whether sedate or electric, was not exactly my first choice of car colors. I tend to the maroon, burgundy palette, or failing that to deep greens. But a blue car finanaced through St. Mary's Bank has got to be some kind of message.
Tomorrow, we will call the parish and ask if Father would be willing to bless the car.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Prayers greatly appreciated.
I heard last night from my daughter in Memphis - she still does not understand why the situtation there is not national news. Her car is being totalled out by the insurance company. Not good news at all, as she does not have the option for public transportation - not leaving for work at 0400 (AM). Meanwhile, back here, my car which I thought was fixed last week, on Sunday (again!) decided to not function. This time, we were 50 miles from home, but were able to get a ride back to town with some other parents. Went out the next morning with my husband's car, tried all his tricks, and still nothing. Had it towed back to the mechanic (again!) and the news is very grim. It might be repairable to drivability with a new engine. But at 260,000 miles, my mechanic is suggesting that I might really want to consider car euthanasia.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

EWTN's Life on the Rock showed the trailer for Mel Gibson's The Passion. You may be able to see it on their web site.
I have added the Shrine of the Holy Whapping to my blogroll, and I suggest you all get over there and read it. Thoughtful, interesting, entertaining and thoroughly Catholic - what more could one ask for?
Induced abortion and risk of later premature births.
An interesting research article. Needs adobe acrobat (free software) to read file.
I don't understand why the national media is ignoring the aftermath of the wind storm in Memphis, so here is a link with information.

Friday, July 25, 2003

I am getting really upset at the way Blogger keeps changing stuff with no advance notice. I mean, they have all our email addresses - they could easily spam us with the changes. I just get used to one way of doing stuff and it changes again! I do not like having the create new post and manage post on separate pages. Maybe I should really think harder about migrating - but as a surviving "Air Force Brat" - I hate to move. I really hate all the hassle of moving anything anywhere.
I wish all on the list a Happy and Blessed 35th Anniversary of Humanae
Vitae - July 25th 1968 to July 25th, 2003.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

I got an email from my daughter in Memphis. She is driving a rental car right now while the insurance adjuster figures out what the plan will be. to quote her:
I'm okay... we got power back around 6 pm yesterday (mud island that is... rest of city is still sporadic on power).
car not okay... claim filed... waiting on adjuster... four blown out windows (windshield okay, sunroof okay, hatch window okay)... dings in paint... 2 inches standing water on floorboards... soaked seats...

Of course, since she works in news media, she hasn't really had a lot of time to take care of her own needs. Thanks for holding her in prayer. Also hold up David Ancell and another Memphis blogger as they begin the long task of helping their city to clean up and rebuild.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

We are now in week six of our local community supported agriculture program. Today I picked up mesclun salad mix, tomatoes, red potatoes, summer squash, rainbow chard, baby yellow carrots, scallions, baby fennel and a head of green cabbage. Last week was salad, tomatoes, zuchini, steaming greens, fresh parsley, a few new potatoes, a large bag of leafy kale, scallion, parsley and fresh peas.
It has been lots of fun figuring out recipes that use this bounty. Salad is pretty obvious, but some of these veges I have not tried to cook before. Last week I broiled a steak and served a side dish of steamed peas, parsley potatoes, and salad greens. I kept the pea pods and boiled them for a flavorful stock. Another night I served polenta with greens and parmesan - not only did the people in the house enjoy it, Hazmat the carbo cat enjoyed some leftovers as well.
Last night I cooked a dish of pork braised in the pea and carrot broth, seasoned with curry type seasonings. It was very tasty, and I will have to try to recreate the recipe some time. And tonight, I made a dish I think I will call Kalecannon - similar to the Irish dish colcannon, but rather than cabbage I used kale. It turned a simple meal of hamburgers into a gourmet delight.
Of course, one thing that makes this easier is that my 14 y/o is away at Summer Youth Music School (orchestra camp) for 2 weeks.
Nota Bene
Sean's son returns home!!!! Thanks be to God!
Praise Report
My husband fixed the dryer today.
My car is fixed, and they didn't have to break and replace the senders.
I emailed enetation, and they told me how to activate the 'donated' features (for which I had paid, but hadn't been using) and now my comments seem to be working better.
My oldest daughter survived the nasty storm in Memphis.

CNN.com - Delivery debate: Vaginal or C-section?
(CNN) -- More women are choosing to have Caesarean sections instead of vaginal births, according to a report released Monday, and their decisions, together with doctors' cooperation, has become a contentious subject among obstetricians, politicians and feminists
And to top it off, the picture with this article shows a mom bottle-feeding her baby.
This is what my daughter in Memphis had to deal with at work yesterday. She works for the local AM newsradio station, and they were evacuated to another location. The Gibson guitar factory is across the street from the parking lot she uses.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

With apologies to Kathy the Carmelite, but every time I see this set of letters, my medically trained brain insists that it means Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (s).
But there is actually a bit of compulsive geekiness going on over at her blog. Last count, there were 25 comments on an obscure mathematical concept - the mantissa. I kid you not. St. Blog, the (non-existant) patron saint of geeks and nerds.

Monday, July 21, 2003

A Religion of Sanity is back to blogging after a 3 month hiatus. Maureen has some interesting insights on wicca, feminism, and the pro-life/pro-choice discussion.
I am getting peeved. Enetation can't seem to count. I actually have one more comment actually in the boxes than the number listed outside - and that includes a few cases where I actually have one comment but enetation says "no comment". I am still too lazy to join the change to Movable Type but the temptation is growing. I like the embedded comments feature.
BTW, it did turn out to be the fuel pump on the car after all. The mechanic says that if they can get the tank off without damaging the senders, it will cost half as much as if the senders are damaged and also have to be replaced. He tells me that they will be as careful as possible.......I pray and hope that it will turn out OK. I will not have my car back for a couple of days, though. So tomorrow my dear husband will have to drive me to work (again) and pick me up at 0800 on Wednesday morning after my 24 hour shift. I love that man - have I mentioned that to you all?
This is national Natural Family Planning Week (July 20 to July 28, 2003). Has your parish mentioned it at all? I went to mass Sunday in a different parish than usual, and I noticed that the priest included a petition in the Prayer of the Faithful for "an end to contraception, abortion, and euthanasia".

Sunday, July 20, 2003

I have had a lot of thoughts and ideas for blog posts - but not enough energy to actually write them down. Part of it is probably post-vacation letdown and part of it is summer blahs. I apologize for not having some meaty and thoughtful posts - they are there in my brain but can't quite make it to my fingers!
This morning during Mass I had a thought about the culture of death and the generational gap between boomers and GenX - but now I can't quite capture the vagrant thought. Of course, what happened when we got to my car after Mass was a contributing factor. The darn thing would not start. My husband tried every trick in his book, and after my daughter rescued us and brought us home, he looked in the book for alternative ideas. We drove his car back to mine (fortunately we had parked in the shade) and he tried a few more things, but finally we had to admit defeat. So the car has been towed to the mechanic and we will have to call tomorrow AM to tell them what is up. My husband thinks it is the fuel pump, which means the car needs to go up on the rack. Either that, or one of the two fuel injectors. At any rate, it is beyond our ability to fix at home. So that means that tomorrow he will have to get up early and drive me to work (1 hour each way).
The other thing that has me bummed out is that our dryer died. We got home at midnight last Monday night (7/14) and ran one load - the next morning, nothing. John (my husband) took it apart and has ordered in the part. Our parts guy told him that if this went wrong to some one who couldn't fix things, he would recommend junking the dryer, as replacement would be cheaper. The part is not exactly inexpensive either, but I don't want to get a new dryer until we run the gas line to the laundry room, as I would prefer a gas dryer to the electric. Meanwhile I am engaged in some intense discussions with one of our attending OBs about life issues. This doctor keeps trying to enlist me to persuade a patient to terminate her pregnancy - and I won't. I recognize that this mom is faced with a medically complicated pregnancy carrying a child with fatal anomalies - but I am going to support the mom 100% in her decision to carry the pregnancy.
Yeah, I am tired, and frustrated, and almost wishing that we hadn't taken such an intense vacation - if only for the $$$ reserves that we don't have right now.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Prayer request
My grandmother Dorothy is a feisty and spry woman. She is in her early 80s, and has survived a lot of stuff in her life - in the mid-1950s she took 4 young children aged 12,10,8 and 6, and left Texas and an abusive alcoholic husband to move to California. She later re-married and had 2 more children. (Her first husband eventually made it into AA and turned his life around, BTW). Grandmamma survived breast cancer when she was 42. She watched her oldest son die of Hodgkins disease when he was 25. She was there when her youngest daughter died of metastatic breast cancer at age 45. She also lost her another son a year later to complications of diabetes. Besides surviving breast cancer, she also survived an operation for a meningioma (benign brain tumour) a couple of years ago.
Two weeks ago, she was taken to the hospital for increasing episodes of fainting and memory lapse, and it was determined that she was suffering from inadequate blood flow to the brain because her heart was not beating regularly. A temporary pacemaker did her a world of good, so the plan was made to put in a permanent one. This has become a fairly routine heart operation, but in her case it was anything but.
Due to anomalous circulation, the catheter that was to have been threaded up to the heart perforated and Grandmamma ended up with bleeding into her lungs. They were able to get that under control, eventually, and to put in the pace maker, but her recovery has been problematic. A recent attempt to place a PICC line (kind of like an IV that can stay in longer) was also not well managed, despite the docs having been given the heads up that Grandmamma's blood vessels never read the anatomy textbook. So she is still in ICU where she has been for nearly 2 weeks. The other thing is that she is very sensitive to drugs of all kinds, and despite the family's request to start with the low dose and titrate up, she had several times been given doses of sedative and pain medication that has knocked her out for 12 hours or more.
My mom and my aunt (both in their 60s) have been alternating 24 hours at the hospital to try to prevent any more screwups. They are both getting tired as well.
Please pray as God leads you - my aunt and grandmother are both mormon, my mom is a Christmas and Easter Anglican, and I would ask for prayers not just for their bodily well-being but also for their souls. Oh, and prayers for our mixed up health care chaos would not be out of order. I know that the nurses and docs are probably doing their best, but I also know that the pressures to continually do more with less have a real and negative impact on the quality of care, especially of the elderly.

A few gripes
I went to Mass at a few unfamiliar places while on vacation. I found that I really get upset when the priest says," The Lord IS with you", rather than "The Lord BE with you". One is a statement of fact that I would hope to be true (but can't always prove) - the other is a blessing and invocation. What say you all?
Opponents Tried to Put Pressure on Pope
The 3 Panels Paul VI Turned to When Writing "Humanae Vitae"

ROME, JULY 18, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Next Friday will mark the 35th anniversary of the promulgation of Pope Paul VI's encyclical "Humanae Vitae" (Of Human Life), in which he reaffirmed the Church's teaching on contraception.

Bernardo Colombo, professor emeritus of demography at the University of Padua -- brother of Bishop Carlo Colombo (1909-1991), a trusted theologian of Paul VI in the years of the Second Vatican Council -- has just published an article in Theology, the review of Milan's School of Theology, in which he tells of the writing of the encyclical.

Sectors opposed to the Church's teaching on contraception contend that Paul VI published "Humanae Vitae" in opposition to the majority vote of the members of the preparatory commission.

In April 1967, an article published in France in Le Monde, in Great Britain in The Tablet, and in the United States in the National Catholic Reporter stated that 70 members of this commission favored the pill while only four members opposed it.

Those numbers turned out to be false, Colombo found in his research. The articles, in fact, were published to exert pressure, he said.

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