God has written the natural law
in the human heart ...

and, it is through this divine gift that men and women participate in "the wisdom and goodness of the Creator who gives" them "mastery over" their "acts and the ability to govern" themselves "with a view to the true and the good." (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1954). The natural law thus "expresses the original moral sense which enables" men and women to "discern by reason the good and the evil, the true and the lie." (see CCC, 1954).


The Church's moral teachings on chastity, married love and the gift of life are rooted in the natural law. On this page we offer academic and pastoral articles and talks (videos) on the natural law and the practice of the methods of Natural Family Planning. To review the doctrinal principles, see our page on Church Teaching

The content below represents the thought of the authors. Links to external websites are provided solely for the user's convenience. Reference to these sites do not imply USCCCB official endorsement.

As we continue to develop this page, we ask you to send in your suggestions for additional articles on the natural law and NFP to nfp@usccb.org.

Suggested Reading

Caring for Persons: An Introduction to Natural (Person) Law:
Part I,
Part II, Part III, Part IV
Robert E. Joyce, PhD
In this four part series, Joyce argues that natural law means "personal law," which is caring for the persona, as persons. Natural Family Planning with natural law can be a guide for growth in loving persons as they are and as they can be.

Natural Law and Personalism in the Writings of John Paul II (Video)
Janet Smith, PhD
Dr. Smith provides a comparison of natural law and personalist arguments against contraception as found in St. John Paul II’s works Love and Responsibility and in his collection of writings called Theology of the Body.

Natural Law and Sexual Ethics
Janet Smith, PhD
Dr. Smith explains the basic principles of Catholic teaching on natural law and applies them to dangers of contraception for women. Beginning with the first principle of natural law--"do good, and avoid evil," Dr. Smith considers the moral facts connected with the use of contraceptives and offers principles of sexual morality which prohibit contraceptive use.

The New Natural Law Theory and Humanae Vitae (Video)
Patrick Lee, PhD
This talk given at the 2018 symposium on the fiftieth anniversary of Humanae vitae, focuses on the "new natural law theory" maintaining that Church teaching in Humanae vitae does not provide a mere arbitrary “ban” on contraception, but is based on the logical demands of love and respect for the intrinsic goods of every human person. 

The Norm of Humanae Vitae Arises from the Natural Law and the Revealed Order
St. John Paul II
This excerpt is from St. John Paul II's series of homilies that comprise what is called Theology of the Body.


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