Book: Catholic Teachings on Pro-Life Issues

Anthony Zimmerman
July 4, 2004
Reproduced with Permission


The book presents thoroughly documented orthodox Catholic teachings on contraception, abortion and related pro-life topics, designed especially for seminarians. A pro-life convention at Nairobi in the summer of 1993 revealed that many African seminarians were using a text with dubious teachings. Fr. Matthew Habiger of HLI who, with Fr. Zimmerman, lectured at seminaries in Kenya and Tanzania, urged Fr. Zimmerman to compose a proper text for seminarians. This text, published at Human Life International, is the result. Copies are available at HLI. A Japanaese translation is available at Enderle Book Store, Tokyo.


Chapter 1 - All Contraception is Intrinsically Evil

Chapter 2 - Abortion

Chapter 3 - When Does Human Life Begin?

Chapter 4 - The Overpopulation Myth

Chapter 5 - Divorce, Re-Marriage and Holy Communion

Chapter 6 - Natural Family Planning. Ogino's Discovery

References and Recommended Additional Reading

About the Author

Father Anthony Zimmerman, STD is a veteran teacher of moral theology in major seminaries, in the USA and in Japan. He has also been engaged in pro-life activities, including the promotion of natural family planning. Retired from teaching now, he resides in Nagoya, Japan, where he devotes himself to writing and to encouraging others in pro-life work.

He was born in Westphalia, Iowa, USA in 1917, the fourth of 10 children, and relishes the memory of growing up in this spirited family in a 100% Catholic farming community. After being ordained a priest in the Society of the Divine Word in 1946, he was sent as a missionary to Japan in 1948.

He subsequently obtained his doctorate in Theology at Catholic University, Washington DC, then taught for several years at St. Mary's Seminary, Techny, Illinois before returning to Japan in 1960. He became professor of Moral Theology at Nanzan University, Nagoya, served as rector of the Major Seminary there, and as provincial of the Society's Japan Province. He was chairman of the Japan Catholic Population Research Association (1960- 1972) and executive director of the Japan Family Life Association 1975-1987).

A prolific writer, his books include Catholic Viewpoint on Overpopulation, and Natural Family Planning, Nature's Way - God's Way. His articles appear in The Homiletic and Pastoral Review, The Priest, Fidelity, Faith and Reason, Catholic World News, and in Newsletters of Human life International. The entire Library of his writings can be found at .

He is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, of the National Commission on Human Life Reproduction and Rhythm; he is on the Advisory Boards of Human Life International and of its Population Research Institute; he is on the Editorial Advisory Board of Fidelity, and is Correspondent for Catholic World News and for The Catholic World Report.

Recommendations for Catholic Teachings on Pro-Life Issues

"The publication of Catholic Teachings on Pro-Life Issues is an important contribution to the field of pro-life research and work. Father Anthony Zimmerman brings to this publication, not only a wide and deep knowledge of the issues at hand, but also the craft of a well-experienced writer in the field of religious morality as well as the field of world demographics. I strongly and heartily recommend the book for everyone for its usefulness and its landmark significance." (The Most Reverend Fabian W. Bruskewitz Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.A.)

"This is really a book we were waiting for so long. I hope it will be used in all major seminaries. Then we have hopes to get priests who understand what is going on in the world." (Sr. and Dr. Ursula Birgitta Schnell, O.S.B., St. Benedict Hospital, Ndanda, Tanzania)

"I am impressed by the quality of its documentation, as well as by the zeal for `the culture of life` which inspires every page." (Fr. Marcel Boivin, Kapalapala Senior Seminary, Tabora, Tanzania)

"This book is replete with love for the unborn children and their parents. It defends the marital community and the family. What is specially significant is that this book provides a theological foundation for which our need is great. Its scientific contents are accurate. We request permission to translate the book into German and eventually to publish it." (Fr. Otto Mayer, S.J.M., Deidesheim, Germany)

"For those of us missionaries working in the field Catholic Teachings on Pro-Life Issues is just the instrument we have been looking for. It aptly offsets both dissident clerics and IPPF which heads the anti-life forces. Fr. A. Zimmerman gives us orthodox teaching on the most urgent problems affecting mankind: Sex and Love." (Fr. Pedro Richards, C.P., Editor of Family Digest, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

"I found your book direct and clear on the teaching of the Church about birth control and abortion and the findings of science. At the same time it is clear on the attitude of forgiveness which the Church has. Both of these are very important. Congratulations! I am pleased that the Japanese version is out already." (Fr. Robert T. Rush, S.J., Secretary General's Office, Japan Catholic Center)

"I doubt if there is another priest in the United States or Japan who has such an insight into marriage and sexuality as has Fr. Zimmerman. In this remarkable little book he shows that the only formula for a happy marriage is to keep to the teaching of the Church. These principles are authoritatively set out in the encyclical, Humanae Vitae (1968). The author clearly shows that contraception is the key error in modern society. If it is widely accepted, it is only a matter of time before the abortion monster attacks us. One interesting, even unique, scientific chapter deals with the discovery of the timing of ovulation by Japanese Doctor Ogino in 1923. This book will be invaluable for priests, seminarians and laity. It has an intellectual basis but the author's style makes it easy to read and understand. (Patrick Dunn, M.D., Auckland, New Zealand)

Bravo! There isn't another book like it. Here is what you need to round out your knowledge about genuine pro-life issues, to affirm your own thinking, to have an answer for opponents and dissenters. I'm happy to recommend this book to seminarians, to priests and bishops, to parents and to all pro-life people. (Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, Ph.D., Chairman, Human Life International)

Next Page: Chapter 1: All Contraception is Intrinsically Evil
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