(The following article was written for Vatican no Michi magazine No. 21. This letter I sent to the bishops of Japan has been utterly ignored officially so far, although some bishops encourage me and ask me to keep my good work. )

Japan Bishops' Conference Worried about

" Population Explosion," " Destruction of Environment,"

and " Food Crisis"

Do They Have to Worry?

A Letter to the Bishops and Priests of Japan


Humanae Vitae Research Institute

Fr. John A. Nariai

" As we near the 21st century, it is projected that we will have serious problems regarding 'the Population Explosion,' 'the Destruction of the Environment,' and 'the world-wide Food Shortage.' We need to propose responsible answers and solutions to the problems concerning the global environment, and the problem of women's rights, since these are part of the mission and the role of the Church in contemporary society." Thus ended the internal report of the Japan Bishops' Conference, which was then distributed among the priests of the Kagoshima Diocese. Upon reading this part of the report, I was shocked. It was unbelievable! Is the Bishops' Conference really part of the Catholic Church? The Document title has the caveat, " For your reference" and " For internal use." What does that mean? Probably that means that the report is not final, and that the Bishops want to hear our opinions. Hence this letter. Dear Bishops of Japan, what you propose here is not found anywhere in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Are you going to start a new religion? But wait! Maybe it was one of the secretaries who put his heretical ideas surreptitiouly at the end of your document. That would explain the whole thing!

When in the seminary, as an assignment in Homiletics, I had to give a sermon to professors and fellow-seminarians in the dining room. My topic was " the Pope ." So I preached in short the following: " If the Pope and my Bishop had different views, I would follow the Pope without hesitation because the Pope is infallible." My professor scolded me very harshly saying that this kind of situation would be impossible. I was almost kicked out of the seminary, because the rector thought I was not fit to be ordained. A good priest would criticize his bishop if he did or said something obviously wrong. It is his duty (Cf. Appendix A and B. They were written by the Bishops of Japan about that time). The priest who scolded me later left the priesthood and was laicisized.

" Population Explosion"

What does the Bishops' statement mean? Does it not mean that there are and will be too many people on earth? Does it not mean that this baby or that baby had better not be born, that this country or that country has too many people? Does it mean that the Bishops do not want certain babies to be born, even though God has wanted them to be born? Is this what the Bishops meant to say? No, it shouldn't be, but how else do they propose that we should understand it? It is potentially a monstrous statement coming from Bishops of the Catholic Church.

We humans are predestined, known and loved by God even before our birth. In my thinking, we should never use the word " Population Explosion," since God has called all babies to exist, and since Jesus wants the little children to come to him. What do you think?

After the 2nd World War, with some exceptions, people started to live longer because of better hygiene, medicine and food. We should rejoice over this. We should even be proud before God of this accomplishment. If movie-goers stayed for 2nd and 3rd showing, the result would be an overcrowded theater. The same can be said of the population situation. The seeming population explosion is the result of this longevity of people, and therefore is only temporary. This we call the first demographic revolution. What is meant by the second demographic revolution is this: In the industrialized and developed countries, people want and have less children, because of the cost of education, of late marriage which is the result of higher education now available to girls, etc. Even without artificial contraception, abortion, sterilization, this happens. What is happening in the developed countries is not a demographic explosion but an implosion caused by misguided sex education, the intrigues of International Planned Parenthood, the availability of artificial contraception, materialism, hedonism and other selfish motives. Japan is no exception, and Japanese Catholics are not innocent on this account either.

Cardinal Julius Depfner who allowed the use of pills in Germany appeared on national television before he died, and confessed that he had made a grave mistake, begging forgiveness. God, I am sure, must have forgiven the Cardinal. German people may or may not have forgiven him. But nature never forgives: statistically speaking, 300 years from now there will not exist on earth a single German. Japanese likewise will disappear 1000 years from now. But you say...

When New York was hit by a black-out, what did people do? Nine months after the incident, many babies were born. Last winter brought a lot of snow to the Americans, and now, nine months later, many American families are blessed with babies, a fact over which I rejoice. In the developing and underdeveloped countries, this kind of situation lasts all year round, every year. In addition, the high infant-mortality-rate compels the people to have many babies for their very survival. If population control is ever necessary, uplifting the standard of living is the key.

Where in the world is the problem of the " Population Explosion" if not in the heads of Lester Brown, Al Gore, Najis Sadik, and the Planned Parenthood people? I do not want to believe that it is also in the heads of some bishops. God created man in his image; That is why He said, " How very wonderfully you were made. Multiply and fill the earth."

James Miller, an American statistician, said: " Bring all the human beings to the State of Texas and give each family a flat house, not a two-story house, not a high-rise apartment, and with a back yard. They will fit and the rest of the world would be empty. Away with population hysteria!" The " Population Explosion" which might be worrying the Bishops of Japan or their aforesaid secretrary simply does not exist.

The Magisterium teaches responsible parenthood and Natural Family Planning (NFP). The Popes have all praised many times large families. It is the prerogative of parents to decide their family-size. It is the basic human right to married persons and it is none of the governments' or the UN's business. How can the Bishops of Japan propose " responsible and concrete solutions to " Population Explosion?" If baptisms and vocations come from God, we must welcome babies in order for the Japanese Church to grow. If we welcome Japanese babies but not the babies in the developing countries, well, what does that mean? It means we are a bunch of racists. The Bishops need to show us a better direction than that. If the Bishops meant by their proposal the lifting up of the standard of living and the propagation of Natural Family Planning, they should have avoided any misunderstanding by writing more clearly.

Both Japan and America developed economically as their population increased. The same is happening in Asian countries. Will not the same happen to African countries, where presently some people are starving? Of course certain conditions must be fulfilled: such as absence of wars, good education, no corruption in the government, etc.. Poor countries are not poor because they have many children. They have many children because they are poor. The primary resource of any country is human beings, not land, buildings, factories, machinery, natural resources or capital. According to Prof. Gary Becker, a Nobel Prize winner in economics, 82% of the world wealth can be attributed to human capital, and not to natural resources. Japan's labor cost is high because of the shortage of labor. That is why Japan becomes less and less competitive in the long run. This is the simple economic law of supply and demand. Why are Asian countries expected to develop? Because they have a lot of people. Yet the Japanese Bishops will try to solve the problem of overpopulation. Something is obviously wrong here.

According to Dr. John and Evelyn Billings, " Westerners have a different attitude to children. There is an animosity and fear of babies. It is a sickness of the mind; they think babies will be an obstruction to what they want."

" Destruction of Environment"

Let me touch lightly on the subject of the " Destruction of the Environment." Of course we are all for ecology. Nobody would be against the harmony of man and nature. However, too often ecologists are population-controllers at the same time. I once heard an ecologist say on NHK that the world population should be limited to 100 million people!

Man and nature can co-exist, that is for sure. According to a study made in America, the water and air are less polluted than before. For example, San Diego tripled its population in ten years, but, during those same ten years, it cut the pollution of San Diego Bay by one-half(Cf. The Large Family, A Blessing and a Challenge, Dr. Eugene F. Diamond, Ignatius Press, 1996, p. 88).

Today's pollution is basically the product of totalitarian and communistic countries, where governments are the owners or friends of polluting industries. How could they be expected to have a tight control on their own industries? And " Global Warming" may be a statistical fraud: median temperature goes up and down yearly naturally. What the disaster lobbyists used was a part of the statistics that showed only the ascendent part of the yearly median temperatures, which have now gone down(Cf. Population Research Institute Review, A review and analysis of worldwide population control activity, Volume 6, Number 5, September/October 1996, p. 16).

" Food Crisis" ?

Basically we have one mouth and two hands. A man earns more than he eats. Naturally richer nations should help nations not so rich to care for themselves. If the Bishops are speaking of " Food Crisis" in this sense, why not say it more clearly? But as it is now written, it is impossible to understand it as other than simple Malthusian population control. We should rely more on God's Providence. Let us not be pessimists, but optimists! Don't we pray every day " Give us this day our daily bread" ? When and if we pray thus, God will never abandon us.

" Rights of Women" ?

In the above context, I wonder what is meant by " Women's Rights." Of course I am not against women's rights. But nowadays Feminists in the Western countries mean by " women's rights" the right to contracept and to abort the most innocent human beings, the embryos and foetuses. Looking back further in time to the Bishops' Conference statement of 1968 (See Appendix B), it seems by now that the Bishops are for the right of women to use artificial contraception. Unless the Bishops clarify or retract that statement, we hesitate to have a one hundred percent trust in their statements. I know some bishops are very faithful to the Holy Father, but I wonder if they are not in the minority. Last year in June, I met the venerable Japan missionary and biblical scholar, Fr. Aloysius Del Col who passed away later last year, and he called the Japan Episcopal Conference a heretical group.

The Japan Episcopal Conference Memorandum

Why do I hesitate to trust fully in the Japanese Bishops' Conference? I have evidence for not doing so. (See Appendix A.) What they meant by " more sure and safe method of regulating births" must certainly include contraceptive pills and condoms, since they denied cyclical abstinence. I understand that the Cardinal Asajiro Satowaki always resisted this pro-contraceptive tendency of the Conference. He used to encourage the faithful to have more children, saying: : " do not consider yourselves parents unless you have five children." From among families thus encouraged hail many sisters and seminarians. Since the Episcopal Conference decides by majority vote, the minority are ignored even when they are right and faithful to the Holy Father. I hope what is said in the Memorandum (which is reproduced in Appendix A) is no longer shared by the present Bishops of Japan. Anyway, Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical Humanae Vitae in July 1968, disregarding the majority opinions of the members of the Papal Commission on Birth Control Issues. In short, the encyclical said: " No sex for the unmarried. No contraception for the married." Immediately after, the Japan Bishops' Conference issued their statement.

1968 Statement of the Japan Bishops' Conference

" If somebody, notwithstanding his good will to fulfill the directives of the encyclical [Humanae Vitae], is unable to observe it in some matters because of objective and necessary circumstances, he should never think himself separated from the love of God. Rather we advise them to deepen their trust in God, and to participate fervently in the works of the Church and to receive the sacraments."

This is a convoluted sentence, but in short, it says you may receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation without a clear intention of amendment of life, and you may receive the Blessed Sacrament even if you have lost the state of grace because of artificial contraception, which is an intrinsic evil. At least those who read it can understand it thus. Martin Luther said " Pecca fortiter, et confide fortius" (Sin bravely and trust even more strongly). Catholic bishops should never give advice that seems like Luther's.

It is understandable that the above statement was written in sympathy and understanding towards the plight of Catholic women in difficult situations. One priest screamed at me telling me that I lacked compassion. In fighting for this cause, I have lost many friends which I do not regret, because I have also gained many new friends. However, the 1968 statement is radically wrong. The Japanese Bishops' Conference should now retract it publicly, and become 100% obedient to the teachings shown in the encyclical Humanae Vitae. If some cannot, why not resign immediately? We do not need Bishops who are not obedient to the Holy Father. Their resignation would be the best thing that could happen to the Church of Japan. The encyclical Veritatis Splendor was meant to admonish and reprimand some bishops' lack of obedience. The encyclical Evangelium Vitae was meant to strengthen the teachings of Humanae Vitae.

Reactions of Some Bishops

I have talked to several bishops on this matter. A bishop who was part of the Conference at the time of the statement, said: " I do not remember any such statement." This is an important matter. He should never have forgotten. Another Bishop said: " Father Nariai, don't you know many bishops are against Humanae Vitae?" Of course, I know that the lack of obedience to the Magisterium is the main problem of the modern day Church. A third said: " All we need is to explain," i.e. there are no discrepancies between the encyclical and their statement. A fourth bishop said: " The church of Japan has nothing to correct because we are already 100% in accordance with Rome." If so, this bishop should be speaking more often on the evil of contraception. If the faithful knew of the evil of contraception through their bishops and priests, the abortion rate of Christian women would be much lower. The national average of women who have had abortions is 25%, while the Christian average (including catechumens) is 15%, according to the survey made by Fr. Matsumoto of Eichi University. In my opinion the Church of Japan is like a sinking boat. Look at the low growth rate of the number of the faithful, the low numbers of vocations. Consider Catholic Shimbun, the official weekly newspaper of the Catholic Bishops of Japan, that mixes truth with private and non-orthodox opinions, and a Catholic media which generally never touches the most important subject of life-issues, i.e., contraception. The faithful are ignorant of the teachings and even the existence of Humane Vitae. There are priests who condone contraception on the pretext that everyone does it, that God would forgive it anyway, and who condone condom-use for AIDS-prevention. Tell me if I am wrong, please.

The late Bishop Takahiko B. Tomizawa of Hokkaido held press- conferences in Germany in 1968, and declared he could not accept Humanae Vitae. The witness is Fr. Jordan Hammar who happened to be vacationing then in his native country, and had the chance of reading about it in the newspaper. Bishop Tomizawa was a hero in the German press.

The Holy Father, in his travels around the world, has only in England and Japan not spoken against the evil of contraception. In England it was Cardinal Basil Hume of Westminster who asked the Holy Father to not mention it(Cf. Human Life International Special Report No. 140). The Holy Father visited Japan in 1981 and spoke only about war and peace, which was all fine. But why did he not say a word against contraception? There is a rumor among some that two bishops of Japan went to Manila and asked the Holy Father not to speak about the subject.

Is it possible for all the bishops of any country to make such a grave mistake? In the 16th century England, all but one committed the mistake of being loyal to " the world," and that country became Protestant.

Humanae Vitae a Dead Letter in Japan

In the encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II says: " a contraception mentality is the same as an abortion mentality." Once a priest almost shouted at me saying: " people contracept in order not to abort, don't you understand?" No, I don't. Contraceptors don't want babies. If pregnant, wouldn't they want to abort? Of course some decide to carry the pregnancies to term.

Because of the statement of the Japanese Conference of Bishops, the encyclical Humanae Vitae has become a dead letter issue in this country. I ask the faithful this question often: " What is Humanae Vitae? Do you know it? Have you ever heard about it?" The answer is almost invariably " No." Why? Because they never hear about it from their priests. And priests do not talk about it clearly, and do not ban contraception, because the bishops have declared that there might be instances where contraception is necessary. Thus, it seems that a priest must speak against the Bishop to teach what is right. The year before last, a priest from the Tokyo Archdiocese gave retreats in my diocese. I asked him what the priests of Tokyo think of Humanae Vitae. He asked me: " Tell me. What is Humane Vitae?" My face became red upon hearing from him such an ignorant question. I pitied the Christians taught by such a priest.

I started a movement to petition the Japanese Bishops' Conference to retract their statement (See Appendix B). The movement seems to have been stymied. When I explain and ask people to give their signatures, they say: " Let me ask my husband" , or " Let me first pray to the Holy Spirit," or " I cannot." Their attitude is understandable, because this is a movement against the position of the Episcopal Conference.

What is interesting is the reaction of the baby-loving Philippine people living in Japan. " I am ashamed that your bishops really said it!" (An entertainer). " With pleasure. I want the Catholic Church to be truly Catholic" (A Protestant). A Japanese teacher who taught me in my youth encouraged me saying: " Fr. Nariai, courage! You be Martin Luther of Japan." This was a little off the mark. I am not a revolutionary against the Bishops' Conference, but a loyalist to the Holy Father.

Without the firm leadership of the bishops, a mentality of contraception will become strong and rampant even in the Church. See Manual for Migrants-Living in Japan-Information for Living in Your Community (pp. 75 to 90) , put out by Rev. Fr. Kengo Kobayashi of the Catholic Diocese of Yokohama's Solidarity Center for Migrants. I wondered if this manual had been published with permission of Bishop Stephen Fumio Hamao. In it, Fr. Kobayashi explains how to use artificial contraception, and also how to procure an abortion, even a late term fifth month abortion. The question was raised, " Is the Church of Japan teaching us that our children may be killed? Does the Church of Japan want us to die out?" This is the implication of the book. The book comes with a one-page yellow insert which says: " The information on Contraception and Abortion on chapter 3 of this manual are not in agreement with the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church. After pooling-in (sic) different articles from various publications, it is our honest intention to present these items as a matter of general information and to help our readers to cope with problems currently obtaining (sic). For those Catholics who are directly involved in these related issues, we request that you deal and correspond to the issue of contraception and abortion within the position of the Catholic Church."  This inserted page may be easily lost one day, and the manual will be without it. Why does the Catholic Church have to teach what Planned Parenthood advocates? Why doesn't the local bishop, and the bishop in charge of the pastoral care of foreigners residing in Japan, correct this misdeed, if not punish this misguided priest? Many years ago, such books used to be burned. Nowadays, we do not hear much about book-burning, but this manual deserves it. Incidentally, there was another slip of white paper which said: " Please pay postage only. We would be happy to give you free of charge as many copies of this manual as you wish." Who's shouldering   the cost of printing?

In the previous issue (Vatican no Michi 20) I criticized the Catholic Shimbun. No response yet. Would the Bishop in charge please respond? By the way, Fukuin Senkyo (=Evangelisation) published by Oriens Shukyo Kenkyusho, in the July 1996 issue, carried an article by Sister Masako Yamaji which said on p. 29: " I have recommended the use of condoms depending on the situation. I know that the condom is an artificial contraceptive. However, I regard it as a tool of prevention (from Sexually Transmitted Disease), and as a means of communications depending on time and place..." Does she teach this on her " Life-Lines," and does she tell this misguided message to the audience that comes to her lectures? How dare she say she is a Catholic nun. Once dedicated to a life-time service of God, priests and nuns should not propagate their own dissenting opinions, but the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church. Don't Bishops of Japan ever supervise and punish the dissenters? They must not please the world by preaching what the world wants to hear. If we want to be Christians, we must be a thorn in the side of someone. The encyclical Veritatis Splendor says: the martyrs shed their blood to witness to the truth.

Dr. John Billings, who visited Japan to give talks on the Billings Ovulation Method, warned the audience about using condoms as protection from AIDS as follows: " I can say the whole thing in six words in English. Chastity before marriage. Fidelity in marriage. There is no other way of prevention. If we observe this rule, there will be no AIDS and no STD's (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) on earth. The failure rate of contraception using condoms is 5 to 15% depending on the study. How can anyone prevent the AIDS virus from getting through the pores of the condom-material, which is latex? After all the AIDS virus is one fortieth the size of a sperm. The young people have the right to hear the truth. Once they hear the truth, they will value chastity." Of course this argument is valid even for those who are without faith in God, heaven, hell, and eternal life. At least for those who have true faith in God, it is as clear as a bell that God does not approve condom use even for prevention of AIDS.

We live in a confusing world, where we want our Bishops to be beacons of truth for everyone. What I write here is a reminder to them of what the real truth of the Catholic Church is. Dear Bishops of Japan, I am, along with the members of Humanae Vitae Research Institute, your humble servant, and I am fulfilling my duty.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

November 21, 1996

John A. Nariai

Appendix A Below is the original Latin text of the Memorandum of Japan Episcopal Conference asking the Vatican to allow artificial contraceptives to make propagation of faith in Japan easier. Thank God Pope Paul VI decided to ignore it. It belonged to so-called " majority opinion." If we are to excuse the bishops of that time, contraceptive pills were something new and causing confusion among the bishops and theologians.


De problemate populationis et regulationis numeri prolis in Japonia

1. Problema populationis in Japonia, quod aliquo mode jam antea diu discutiebatur, peculiariter a fine ult1imi belli attentionem omnium a se direxit. Japonia enim omnia territoria extera perdiderat et pro populatione, quae tunc erat fere 80,000,000, panem et laborem providere debuit intra arctos limites suarum insularum, i.e. in territorio 370,000k㎡, ex quo tamen ob indolem montanam et vulcanicam nonnisi cir. 15% sunt terra utilis pro agricultura.

2. Populatio post bellum ulterius aucta est et intra biennium praevidetur excedere centum milliones. (Secundum statisticas Gubernii die 1 Octobris 1965 Japonia habuit 98,274,961 habitantes et augmentum ab anno 1960 fuit 4,856,460, i.e. 5.2%) sustentationi hujus poulationis Japonia providere potuit solum per rapidam expansionem variorum ramorum industriae. Quae industria tamen dependet ab importatione materiarum primarum, quae in Japonia deficiunt, et a mercatu in exteris gentibus; requirit insuper formationem technicam semper altiorem in vasto mundo operariorum. Modesta vero prosperitas oeconomica, magnis conatibus totius nationis obtenta, non pari gressu progreditur cum incremento populationis.

3. Inde secuta est immensa agglomeratio populationis in magnis centris industrialibus, specialiter in illius maximis Tokyo (in qua sola civitate die 1. februarii 1966 numerabantur 10,917,774 habitantes), Osaka, Nagoya, Kita­ Kyushu, et progressiva urbanizatio Japoniae. Simul ingravescebat problema difficile providendi habitationes pro tot hominibus et familiis; pro quo problemate solvendo Gubernium et variae Institutiones publicae et privatae nunc magnos quidem conatus faciunt, quamvis solutio vere sufficiens et digna vires humanas fere excedere videatur. (Ita v.g. post contructionem novorum aedificiorum pro multis familiis destinatorum=apartment houses=sortibus decidi debet quisnam ex multis petentibus ingredi possit.)

4. Ob varia ista phaenomena a fine ultimi belli opinio publica et gubernium non sine forti influxu potestatis tum Japoniam occupantis, timorem manifestaverunt de periculo explosionis demographicae et necessitatem proclamaverunt limandi efficaciter naturale incrementum populationis. Secutae sunt notae leges permittentes media anticonceptiva et abortum; inde praxis abortus maxime diffundebatur (aestimantur nunc quot­ annis circ. 1,200,000 legaliter et 800,000 clandestine peracti; i.e. totaliter 2 milliones). Similiter provisiones practicae pro salariis et novis habitationibus supponunt limitationem numeri filiorum universaliter in praxim deductam esse ideoque saepe conditiociones pro familiis numerosis mediae classis (de salario viventibus) fere impossibiles redduntur. (v.g. variis in locis magnae officinae provident habitationes pro suis operariis cum condicione quod numerus filiorum duos vel ad summum tres non excedat. Medici officinae visitant familias et distribuunt remedia ad limandum numerum prolis.) ­ Accedit factum quod propter altum gradum educationis generalis in Japonia, educatio conveniens filiorum parentibus magna onera imponit.

Sub influxu istarum rationum limitatio numeri filiorum in tota natione celeriter diffundebatur et sic de facto obtenta est diminutio naturalis incrementi annui populaitonis; nihilominus anno elapso incrementum naturale numerum unius millionis denuo excessit similisque proportio in annis proximis futuris perdurare videtur.

Notatur quidem apud viros magis cultos et influentes crescens agnitio malitiae abortus sub variis aspectibus (morali, sanitario...); tamen major motus contra abortum solum successum habere praevidetur, si pro regulatione numero prolis alia via, non nimis difficilis et satis secura, suaderi poterit. (Difficultates notae continentiae periodicae in hac terra aggravantur angustia habitationum.)

1. Catholici Japoniae, qui nonnisi parvus grex sunt in tota natione (i.e. 330,000 inter fere centum milliones), in hac societate vivunt et ejus difficultates concretas quotidie experiuntur. Multi eorum insuper vivunt in matrimoniis mixtis, quae hic vitari nequeunt tum propter paucitatem Catholicorum tum propter modum pecularem quo saepe matrimonia ineuntur, i.e. quia praeparantur a familiis. Si ergo Catholicis non monstratur aliqua via moraliter licita et practice non nimis difficilis et satis secura pro regulatione numeri prolis, multi eorum cadent in talia dilemnata ut exitum tutum ex iisdem non jam videant. Ita, testante experientia pastorali, oritur periculum, ne, dum in ceteris rebus sincere Ecclesiae adhaereant, in hac re tantum suo proprio arbitrio se regant confidentes Deum omniscum sibi misericordem fore. Patet eadem problemata existere pro Catechumenis et decisionem recipiendi baptismumin Ecclesia catholica pro multis difficilem facere. Sine dubio diminutio baptismorum adultorum hisce ultimis annis notata etiam cum tota hac quaestione intime connexa est.

6. Ex supra expositis elucet quanti momenti sit pro pace conscientiae multorum Catholicorum in Japonia atque pro tam desiderata expansione Ecclesiae in hoc populo et pro influxu benefico Catholicorum in societatem Japonensem ut aliqua via moraliter licita, satis secura et non nimis difficilis ostendi possit pro regulatione numeri prolis.

Tokyo, Mense Martio 1966

                 Conferentia Episcoporum Japoniae

Partial Translation of the Above Memorandum

4...An increasing awareness is observed among people who are well educated and influential, about the evil of abortion, from various aspects (moral, health); however we foresee that a movement against abortion will have major success only if methods can be advised for the regulation of offspring which are not excessively difficult and which are sufficiently reliable. (Difficulties with the known method of periodic abstinence in this country are further aggravated by the cramped living quarters.)

6. Mindful of what was observed above, it is clear how very important it is for the peace of conscience of many Catholics in Japan, as well as for the fervently desired expansion of the Church among this people, and for a beneficial influence of Catholics upon Japanese Society, that some way be presented for the regulation of the number of offspring, which is morally licit, which is sufficiently safe and not too difficult.

Appendix B  Petition to the Bishops of Japan

Please compare the statements found in Humanae Vitae and in Veritatis Splendor in the left column and the official statement of the Bishops' Conference of Japan made immediately after Humanae Vitae appeared in 1968 in the right column. You will see they are two opposing views concerning contraception. We Catholics have the right to hear unified view on this point from the Popes and from the Bishops. Let us therefore beg our Bishops to follow the guidelines of Humanae Vitae, Veritatis Splendor, and Evangelium Vitae as soon as possible and to save us from this confusion and embarrassment.

Holy Fathers

The Church has clearly received and passes on the teaching that contraception is intrinsically evil, therefore wrong and forbidden in all circumstances. Veritatis Splendor describes an intrinsically evil act as follows:

" Reason attests that there are objects of the human act which are by their nature 'incapable of being ordered' to God, because they radically contradict the good of the person made in his image...they are such always and per se, apart from the ulterior intentions of the one acting and the circumstances...(80).

Humanae Vitae states: It is not right for spouses to act in accord with their own arbitrary judgment as if it were permissible for them to define altogether subjectively and willfully what is right for them to do. On the contrary, they must accommodate their behavior to the plan of God the Creator, a plan made manifest both by the very nature of marriage and its acts and also by the constant teaching of the Church (No. 10). Every marital act must be open to the transmission of life (No. 11).

There is an unbreakable connection between the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning (of the conjugal act), and both are inherent in the conjugal act. This connection was established by God, and Man; is not permitted to break it through his own volition (No. 12).

John Paul II spoke the following words at Caracas, Venezuela, on January 27, 1985: " ...Contraception and sterilization for contra- ceptive purposes are always and gravely illicit."

Japan Episcopal Conference

In 1968, the Japanese bishops suggested licit exceptions to Humanae Vitae's ban on contraception. The Japanese Catholics have been in error or in confusion ever since. Humanae Vitae in Japan has become a dead letter. The following is a part of the statement of the Japan Episcopal Conference which subverted the encyclical Humanae Vitae. By the way and to our embarrassment, it has been quoted with approval in a moral textbook for seminarians in the English-speaking countries, especially in the Third World. This textbook must have influence on many seminarians, priests, bishops and the faithful through their teachings.

" If somebody, notwithstanding his good will to fulfill the directives of the encyclical (Humanae Vitae) unable to observe it in some matters because of objective and necessary circumstances, he should never think himself separated from the love of God" (1968 Statement of Japan Episcopal Conference., quoted by Fr. Karl Peschke, SVD, Christian Ethics, Vol. II, 6th printing 1990, p. 476).

The above statement of the Japanese bishops implies that some people are unable to observe the law of God which is articulated in the encyclical Humanae Vitae.

Therefore we, humble faithful, beg you, Bishops of Japan, to consider the position taken by the Episcopal Conference of Japan in 1968 diluting Humanae Vitae. Since the Statement has been made public, may we ask you to retract it publicly?

We, undersigned, beg you to take an immediate action and to follow the guidelines of the Popes shown in Humanae Vitae , Veritatis Splendor and Evangelium Vitae with regard to contraception.                      

























































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Humanae Vitae Research Institute can be reached at the following address.

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Fr. John A. Nariai  Humanae Vitae Research Institute

26 Chuo-cho, Tarumizu-shi

Kagoshima-ken 891-21


Tel & Fax 81-(0)994-32-0313

Cardinal Josef Tomko

Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples

Vatican City

Dear Eminence,

The following is my translation of a letter I have written to the Bishops and priests of Japan in response to the last statement in the Internal Report of the May 1996 Bishops' Conference Meeting which was distributed to us priests here in last September. The last part of that statement is as follows:

" As we near the 21st century, it is projected that we will have serious problems regarding 'the Population Explosion,' 'the Destruction of the Environment,' and 'the world-wide Food Shortage.' We need to propose responsible answers and solutions to the problems concerning the global environment, and the problem of women's rights, since these are part of the mission and the role of the Church in contemporary society."  

The statement seems to ignore the moral teaching of the Church, and leans towards supporting governmental intervention for population control. At a time when the U.N., other public organizations, and non-governmental organizations openly criticize the Holy Father (such as the recent World Food Summit), I consider the Bishops' statement scandalous and dangerous. I felt it was my duty to oppose it.

I hope you can give some counsel to the Japanese Bishops.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

John A. Nariai

Fr. John A. Nariai  Humanae Vitae Research Institute

26 Chuo-cho, Tarumizu-shi

Kagoshima-ken 891-21


Tel & Fax 81-(0)994-32-0313

Archbishop William Aquin Carew

The Vatican Ambassador to Japan

9-2 Sanban-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102

December 1, 1996

Dear Eminence,

The following is my translation of a letter I have written to the Bishops and priests of Japan in response to the last statement in the Internal Report of the May 1996 Bishops' Conference Meeting which was distributed to us priests here in last September. The last part of that statement is as follows:

" As we near the 21st century, it is projected that we will have serious problems regarding 'the Population Explosion,' 'the Destruction of the Environment,' and 'the world-wide Food Shortage.' We need to propose responsible answers and solutions to the problems concerning the global environment, and the problem of women's rights, since these are part of the mission and the role of the Church in contemporary society."  

The statement seems to ignore the moral teaching of the Church, and leans towards supporting governmental intervention for population control. At a time when the U.N., other public organizations, and non-governmental organizations openly criticize the Holy Father (such as the recent World Food Summit), I consider the Bishops' statement scandalous and dangerous. I felt it was my duty to oppose it.

I hope you can give some counsel to the Japanese Bishops.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

John A. Nariai

(Humanae Vitae Research Institute)

Humanae Vitae Research Institute

26 Chuo-cho, Tarumizu-shi 891-21

Tel & Fax 0994-32-0313

Dear Bishops of Japan,

November 29, 1996

Some say: " Praedicatoribus non est praedicandum." My heart bleeds. Simple priests should not preach to their bishops. Forgive me, however, for breaking this rule and begging you to correct your statement made in 1968 against Humanae Vitae.

The 1968 statement sets the tone for lukewarmness. We have adopted a secularist view about population and contraception, since you allowed people to contracept on Saturday and receive Holy Communion on Sunday, and you still allow it today. That statement is a sin against God. It scandalizes all Catholics in Japan. The bishops rob their people from knowing the truth. Because bishops are not strong, our Catholics are not happy.

Recently we were handed a document titled " Questions and Answers to Various Committee (in the Episcopal Conference). " In page one it said: " We have to respond to the challenge of the Holy Father who invites us to reflect, repent, pray and study in preparation for the Holy Year." In page seven it said: " As we near the 21st century, it is projected that we will have serious problems regarding 'the Population Explosion,' 'the Destruction of the Environment,' and 'the world-wide Food Shortage.' We need to propose responsible answers and solutions to the problems concerning the global environment, and the problem of women's rights, since these are part of the mission and the role of the Church in contemporary society." These two are two contradictory statements. According to Internet news, Holy Father challenged the participants of the Food Summit in Rome to be more optimistic about the prospect of population and food situation of the world and was fiercely opposed and attacked. The atmosphere I sensed there was as if the representatives of this world were saying to our Holy Father: " Human race would be much happier without you and without the Catholic Church." On which side does the Bishops' Conference of Japan stand?

Please read the enclosed document. It has been sent to all the bishops of Japan and to Cardinal Josef Tomko. Attached with it are some translated Pro-LIfe materials. Unless otherwise requested, you shall receive more such translations. Please do not ignore them. Incidentally the article I wrote in the Vatican no Michi criticizing Catholic Shimbun has been completely ignored by the bishop in charge. Our Sunday Visitor, a very orthodox Catholic newspaper in the U.S. began to be orthodox since when a liberal editor was replaced. Their Catholic encyclopedia is the only one that is orthodox presently, while two others are not, even though they carry the Imprimatur. All you have to do to tell if a Catholic Encyclopedia is orthodox or not is look up the section on " contraception." In Japan too, Vol. One of New Catholic Encyclopedia has been published. I and some others are waiting for Vol. Three of the same encyclopedia to appear to find out if it is orthodox or not: in that volume is the section on " jinkohinin or artificial contraception." Japanese Bishops and theologians have lost their credibility.   

You disagreed with the Pope in 1968. Until the day the Episcopal Conference of Japan retract their statement of 1968, the Bishops of Japan will be in the same shoes as Judas who betrayed Jesus with a kiss. In preparation for the year 2,000, shall we not support the Pope fully? Maybe you will want to make a new statement to support Humanae Vitae with great power. The members of Humanae Vitae Research Institute and I, along with Cardinal Tomko, are watching the move of the Japan Bishops carefully. Oremus.

                            Respectfully yours in Christ,

                            John A. Nariai