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View Poll Results: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage
A frustration 34 30.63%
A blessing 31 27.93%
Mostly a frustration 24 21.62%
Mostly a blessing 22 19.82%
Voters: 111. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1006  
Old Jun 16, '11, 4:55 am
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

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Originally Posted by sacredcello View Post
I don't believe there were any apostolic letters or papal encyclicals from the Pope, nor were there any such teachings from the Magisterium or any ecumenical council that declared periodic abstinence within marriage to be a sin. St. Augustine was a bishop, and he spoke strongly in favor of the procreative meaning of sex, but his writings together with the writings of the other Church Fathers would not qualify as any infallible teaching. And, they taught that it was sinful to try to altogether avoid children, not that the infertile time was sinful in itself.
This is what I don't get, prior to Humane Vite there was nothing approching an infallible teaching as far as I know. So I want to know based upon what do people make this erronous statement? I'm concerned because I feel like those who are struggling more with NFP might be more predisposed to more closely consider this mistruth, and be poisoned by it.

I know there is no mal-intent on anyone's part, I have no doubt that people have a general impression like that might be true. Heck, there were even doctors of the Church who wrote against the Blessed Virgin's immaculate conception based upon a false idea that there was always sin involved with sexuality, there for the Blessed Virgin would havev inherited sin from her parents sinful sexuality. These were doctors of the church writing this at one point, we can see how not even the Saints are not so protected as the teaching authority of the church.

So if someone can produce something on the level of being an infallible declaration I'll take a look. But I would love it if people would stop making this argument if they can't produce anything like this.
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  #1007  
Old Jun 16, '11, 5:27 am
benedictus2 benedictus2 is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

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Originally Posted by Persuader View Post
He might be capable, but as I said: a consequence of classical free will is being responsible for the consequences of your actions. To live those consequences doesn’t allow God to “look” after you in a literal sense.
Oh yes it does. I have stories of how God looks after me and yet I exercise my free will. There are millions of stories out there of how people experienced God’s love and care. Free will means choosing freely and one must freely choose God and God’s will.
As a matter of fact, it is only when one truly surrenders one’s will to God does one realize this. It is not possible so long as one insists ones will.
Quote:
What does it mean to say this? It cannot mean that he will make sure you have a good life, since the consequences of your actions can ruin your life, and God has to let those actions ruin your life or you wouldn’t be living the consequences of your actions.

And whoever said that God looking after you means having a “ good” life? And yes your actions have consequences but God is more than capable of bringing something beautiful from something totally rotten.
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What do you actually mean by that? Are your saying that God somehow interferes with the physical world, such that he will actively guide the sperm to the egg? Don’t you think this process is natural?

And nature precludes God and God’s actions? How do you know that for a fact? Who made nature?
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If it wasn’t, how would you be the one responsible for getting pregnant.

We participate but we cannot will pregnancy. Otherwise, every couple trying to conceiv will get pregnant when they will it.
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You could have sex with your wife without caring about whether or not getting pregnant since conception is wholly up to God.

Yes it is. If you have sex, since this is the mechanism that God designed by which one will become pregnant then it is up to God.
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It is not up to you, and thus it is not your responsibility.

“Up to you” and “responsibility” do not equate in this instance. It is not one’s responsibility to get pregnant and it is partially up to one to get pregnant. But not wholly.
Quote:
What would be the point of NFP if God decides anyway? There would be no point.

But that is precisely the point of NFP. God decides because when He created us, He already built in that the decision into the woman’s cycle.

Quote:
It is a given that you have to be fertile to have children.

And it is a known fact that not all fertile couples conceive at every instance they unite sexually.
Quote:
Just because some couples aren’t, doesn’t mean that the actions of fertile couples suddenly comes under God's control.

Then how come there are fertile couples who for inexplicable reasons take a long time to conceive. I have a friend who for 4 years tried to have children to no avail. Spent tens of thousands on IVF, all to no avail. When this attempt failed she suffered depression. Then a couple of years later she conceived naturally. Actually the conception came 1 month after she went to see a priest who gave her a relic of St Gerard Magella.
  #1008  
Old Jun 16, '11, 5:30 am
benedictus2 benedictus2 is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Persuader View Post
You can decide to get pregnant, and your actions will most probably result in conception.
A few people I know prove that false.
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Those actions are under your control (which is what I said), and you will be responsible for the result.

Yes, you are responsible for the result for actions under your control but pregnancy is not 100% under your control. Non-conception is however to an extent if you remain celibate and no one overrides that decision to remain celibate.
Quote:
We never have complete control over the consequences of our actions, but we do have control over our actions and responsibility for the probable results of those actions.

Without a doubt but I don’t know how that makes any difference to what I have written above.
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If God interferes, we lose that control and the whole practice of NFP is meaningless.

As I have said before, that is the whole point of NFP, we do not have 100% control. We use God given parameters and we hope that we get everything right and that no conception happens. But because we are not putting any artificial barriers, God can and sometimes does, allow conception even with our best intention. That is why with NFP openness to life is implicit.
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What would be the point of taking action to control birth if it's up to God anyway, right?

The point being that we work within God’s parameters but we still say that God has the last word. We try not to conceive but it still is up to God to bring about life at those time when you think it is impossible for life to spring.
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So, what are you saying? That no God-fearing couple ever ruined their life by having too many children?

Now you’re shifting your argument. You said people lost house and job because of the hardship of juggling 6 children.

Quote:
How about a mother losing her life because she couldn’t handle all the pregnancies she decided to hand over responsibility for?

That is not quite what you said earlier.

As for mother’s losing their lives, they do. And that is a fact. Some due to pregnancy, some due to suicide, some accidentally, etc, etc. That is a fact of life.
Quote:
Let me tell you a story from an acquaintance of mine who worked for UNICEF in Africa. He spoke to a 17 year old boy who lost his mom after she couldn’t handle the 7th pregnancy the doctors told her she couldn’t handle. She decided to just leave it to God, and lost her life.

So? As I have said above, this is a fact of life. Death is with us so long as we are here on earth. It comes in various ways but there is no escaping it. While the loss of life is sad, it is only a real tragedy if one loses God too. There is more to life than this life here on earth. But that would be hard to explain to someone who is not Christian.

Christ conquered death.

The peddlers of secular mentality would have us believe that it should be life on this earth at all cost. Anything that does not smack of health and wealth is to be shunned.

Quote:
Her husband didn’t have the resources to handle his grief, his children and his finances, and became a drunk wasting his life on the streets with his children abandoned to prostitution and crime. The 17 year old now lives in a UNICEF-sponsored rehabilitation facility after spending his teenage years as a drug-dealer. He has no knowledge of the whereabouts of his family. He doesn’t even know if they’re alive, except for one of his sisters who lost her life being raped on the streets. Did it turn out for the best? Where’s God’s loving hand in that arrangement?

You are asking the wrong question. Where is your loving hand in that arrangement? What do you do about poverty in Africa.

You see, this is the problem with those who attack the teaching of the Church on contraception. This teaching cannot be divorced from the other teachings of the church on compassion, mission to the poor, the sacraments, etc, etc. When the Church teaches that we should be open to life, the Church also teaches that we should look out for the poor and needy. We are supposed to be Christ’s hand and feet in this world.

Quote:
No, we have to take responsibility for our actions.

And I never said otherwise. You can saying this over and over again as if I had said the contrary.
[quote] That is what it means to have free will. [/qutoe]
And I never said anything to the contrary. It is your conclusions from these two statements that are erroneous, not these two statements.
Quote:
And because we have free will, God has to let us suffer and let things turn out for the worse (if that is the consequences of our actions).

Wrong. I have had so many miracles in my life big and small when God has not delivered me to the consequences of my actions. Why He has not I do not know, but He hasn’t. I prayed and He heard me and took pity on me. Of late, I see even more clearly the myriad of ways in which He cares for me, from the little things to the great.
Quote:
Not everything turns out for the best, what a supremely naïve and foolish thing to say.

It isn’t foolish. It is Biblical and it is true. I have experienced that, many have experienced that. You missed the qualifier though. Everything turns out for the best for those who love God. But best does not mean health and wealth. That is the measure of the world. That is not the measure of God.
  #1009  
Old Jun 16, '11, 5:31 am
benedictus2 benedictus2 is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazzeto View Post
This is what I don't get, prior to Humane Vite there was nothing approching an infallible teaching as far as I know. So I want to know based upon what do people make this erronous statement? I'm concerned because I feel like those who are struggling more with NFP might be more predisposed to more closely consider this mistruth, and be poisoned by it.

I know there is no mal-intent on anyone's part, I have no doubt that people have a general impression like that might be true. Heck, there were even doctors of the Church who wrote against the Blessed Virgin's immaculate conception based upon a false idea that there was always sin involved with sexuality, there for the Blessed Virgin would havev inherited sin from her parents sinful sexuality. These were doctors of the church writing this at one point, we can see how not even the Saints are not so protected as the teaching authority of the church.

So if someone can produce something on the level of being an infallible declaration I'll take a look. But I would love it if people would stop making this argument if they can't produce anything like this.

I think the one who should answer your question is LaSainte since she is the one who claimed that the Church changed her teaching. But she failed to give any proof of that.
  #1010  
Old Jun 16, '11, 5:37 am
benedictus2 benedictus2 is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

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Originally Posted by sacredcello View Post
It occurs to me, as I hear people complain about their marriages suffering due to NFP, that I am very fortunate to have gone through the great tragedy of divorce. All of that upheaval was a blessing in disguise. Otherwise, I might still be limping along in a contracepting marriage without the graces of faith, hope and love which flow from the Sacrament of Matrimony. Those graces are real and I can't imagine going back to living that way, cut off from God by my own disobedience.

The one thing that I would challenge those who struggle with NFP is to bring this struggle before Christ and ask Christ to see, understand and embrace it. If one can't desire it, then pray for that one may desire to desire it.

One thing that I have noted in those who say that NFP is a blessing is this focus on Christ. Someone said before that God was for too important in their lives to quibble about the frustration.

I think that is the key to accepting it with one's whole heart. Since it is such a major aspect of the married life then one should really pray to be given the grace to accept it And it is a grace and that grace is real.
  #1011  
Old Jun 16, '11, 6:05 am
Calliso Calliso is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

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Originally Posted by LaSainte View Post
I wonder how much of a blessing NFP is For the one in three women in South Africa who have been raped IN THE LAST YEAR with a 4.7% pregnancy rate? I suppose they just kindly ask the gang rapists (7% of Johannesburg males) to come back in a few days. This is a place where 37% of men ADMIT to having raped a woman and where women have a 50/50 chance of being raped in their lifetime.
I am sure that for those women who are lucky enough to be in loving marriages with considerate husbands jn these areas that NFp might just be a blessing. But yes unfortunately for those women who donlt have a choice and are raped well using NFP will be kinda impossible for them and wonlt afford them any protection. Of course though the issue isn;t NFP itself though in these cases. Its the Church's teaching on birth control. Which says that even condoms would be sinful. And yes we have been over this before and the ideal solution would be to change attitudes and societies, however while looking long term is important we also need to look short term and realize that big changes can take a long time to happen.
  #1012  
Old Jun 16, '11, 6:16 am
benedictus2 benedictus2 is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

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Originally Posted by Calliso View Post
I am sure that for those women who are lucky enough to be in loving marriages with considerate husbands jn these areas that NFp might just be a blessing. But yes unfortunately for those women who donlt have a choice and are raped well using NFP will be kinda impossible for them and wonlt afford them any protection. Of course though the issue isn;t NFP itself though in these cases. Its the Church's teaching on birth control. Which says that even condoms would be sinful. And yes we have been over this before and the ideal solution would be to change attitudes and societies, however while looking long term is important we also need to look short term and realize that big changes can take a long time to happen.
On the issue of rape and contraception, I would like to cite the book Victims and Victors which deals with abortion in relation to victims of rape and incest.

Statistics show that surprisingly, majority of victims of incest and rape prefer to keep their baby rather than abort and that those who did abort regretted it. And yet we have those who have neither been raped nor been victims of incest speak as though they are speaking for the victims.

So while those who are neither victims or rape nor are they living in the Sudan theorize about their plight, do not assume that your conclusions about them and their choices are true. As I have said earlier, this is a red herring put forward by those who are losing their ground in this debate.
  #1013  
Old Jun 16, '11, 6:42 am
Calliso Calliso is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

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Originally Posted by benedictus2 View Post
From an emotionless and purely materialistic point of view and devoid of any divine principles, yes.

But I would not call it logical. It is only logical if one of the premises is “man is only matter”.


This is not quite right. This is not only about emotional feelings but about morality and a lot to do with theology and the basic principle of what it means to be human.
Well yes mortality comes into it. But I am just saying if one weighes all the pros and cons one could make the argument that killing the baby would be the "least bad" of two bad options. At least from a logical standpoint. Now from a morale standpoint clearly the option would be the mother sacrifices herself.
  #1014  
Old Jun 16, '11, 6:50 am
Calliso Calliso is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

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Originally Posted by benedictus2 View Post
But that’s got nothing to do with whether NFP is considered a blessing. We are talking about NFP itself, not the infertile periods. If you think in that manner, then NFP is not a blessing but the infertile periods are.

But those who see NFP as a blessing see it as not necessarily merely as a means of preventing pregnancy.

Refer to my earlier reply to LaSainte. She used the same argument you did.

Yes, that is true for those in the above situations. But given the same circumstances what makes some more open to life, more able to accept the Church’s teaching?

Which is why the Church does not recommend NFP as a means to contracept willy nilly. But that still does not explain the fact that given the same circumstances you will still have the split of those pro and con even thought it may be heavily weighted towards the con.

But even given the same circumstances, there would be those who find it a blessing and those who don’t. Given the same circumstances, how come some are more open to life and able to accept the Church’s teaching.
Because people are different. We view things different and we feel about things differently.
  #1015  
Old Jun 16, '11, 6:52 am
Calliso Calliso is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

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Originally Posted by sacredcello View Post
Each cycle is different and the fertile signs can be read very clearly. Otherwise, one falls into the trap of thinking that NFP is the rhythm method, which it is not. If there is a doubt due to illness or medication that might interfere, then it is considered phase II (fertile).

There is a difference between method failure and user failure, or a relaxation of the rules which then becomes more "open" to whatever God might have planned for them.
I agree that doesn;t change the fact that despite trying very hard to follow the rules and not taking risks that some people have still found NFP near impossible to use accurately.
  #1016  
Old Jun 16, '11, 7:03 am
SanctaMommy SanctaMommy is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

I wonder what it means when even on a very devout website like this one (let's face it - the group here is not exactly representative of the average people in the pews at Mass), most people find NFP a frustration in their marriage? As we know, the vast majority of Catholics do not agree with the CCC teaching on artificial birth control, and it is presumed that over 85% of people who identify themselves as "Catholic" use ABC. My husband and I have always been open to children, and it's been wonderful for us. I am not saying we're the ideal couple, or that if everyone just did as we do they'd be happier. I was always called to be a mother to many and I find it easy. Some women find brain surgery or novel writing easy! This is just my "thing." I'm confused as to how The Church plans to address and deal with the fact that the vast majority of Catholics are basically ignoring this teaching and actively disobeying it. Is it from a lack of proper catechesis? A sign of the times? An error in the teaching itself - is it out of touch with modern reality?
  #1017  
Old Jun 16, '11, 7:49 am
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Mary Gail 36 Mary Gail 36 is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

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Originally Posted by SanctaMommy View Post
I wonder what it means when even on a very devout website like this one (let's face it - the group here is not exactly representative of the average people in the pews at Mass), most people find NFP a frustration in their marriage? As we know, the vast majority of Catholics do not agree with the CCC teaching on artificial birth control, and it is presumed that over 85% of people who identify themselves as "Catholic" use ABC. My husband and I have always been open to children, and it's been wonderful for us. I am not saying we're the ideal couple, or that if everyone just did as we do they'd be happier. I was always called to be a mother to many and I find it easy. Some women find brain surgery or novel writing easy! This is just my "thing." I'm confused as to how The Church plans to address and deal with the fact that the vast majority of Catholics are basically ignoring this teaching and actively disobeying it. Is it from a lack of proper catechesis? A sign of the times? An error in the teaching itself - is it out of touch with modern reality?
I think it's lack of proper catechisis primarily.

For my case,My parents were not both practicing, my father was more devout than my mother was, but we never talked about ABC/NFP. My mother actually had secondary infertiltiy, so I only have one sibling, so I don't think it was an issue for them.

I went to Catholic grammar school, HS and College, and was fortunate to find good teachers who taught the faith very accurately.....but then I also found very bad teachers who had agendas.

I had one teacher say (I was in 8th grade) that abortion following rape was permitted by the church, because it effected the woman's mental health.

Another teacher said it was ok for a Catholic to be pro-choice if it was becasue you wanted access to safe abortion.

By the time I was married, I was not practicing the faith. The extent of it was showing up to mass maybe six times a year. So I was confused about what the correct thing to do re ABC was. I didn't think the Church had guidance, so I tried to find the right road on my own. And we used condoms....then the Pill. I was convinced that NFP was something silly and unrelaiable.
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  #1018  
Old Jun 16, '11, 7:57 am
Calliso Calliso is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

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Originally Posted by benedictus2 View Post
But, I doubt that the people here who obey but think the Church is wrong, even believe that they will be damned to hell for going with ABC.

I had a struggle once with Church teaching on predestination. But I asked myself, do I really think that I am more enlightened, more intelligent, than those Doctors, Saints and Popes of the Church and all those who in the 2000 years of the Church have gone before me? So I accepted the teaching and I said to the Lord, this is your Church so I accept it. Interestingly enough, once I surrendered my will on this matter, I actually was able to understand the teaching. It was like God rewarded that submission with illumination. Or maybe, illumination cannot come without humble submission - but all this according to God's will.


Matthew 11:25
At that time Jesus said in reply, "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.
They probably donlt believe 100% that they would go to hell but they realize it is a possiblity. Its the big what if?

The thing is many of these people it seems have asked for even begged for understanding. I am sure they would love to be able to understand these teachings. But unfortunately right now God is not granting their prayers.
  #1019  
Old Jun 16, '11, 8:04 am
LaSainte LaSainte is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

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Originally Posted by benedictus2 View Post

I think the one who should answer your question is LaSainte since she is the one who claimed that the Church changed her teaching. But she failed to give any proof of that.
Actually, the onus would be on those of you who claim that the official teaching has remained constant throughout the centuries. As we can see from the writings of the Church Fathers and even some of the Popes, deliberately trying to avoid pregnancy or having sex without procreative intent was not allowed for over 1800 years by the Church.

Augustine wrote:

Augustine wrote in 419, "I am supposing, then, although you are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although they are called husband and wife, are not; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame. Sometimes this lustful cruelty, or cruel lust, comes to this, that they even procure poisons of sterility [oral contraceptives]" (Marriage and Concupiscence 1:15:17).


Pope St Gregory taught that:

"The married must be admonished to bear in mind that they are united in wedlock for the purpose of procreation, and when they abandon themselves to immoderate intercourse, they transfer the occasion of procreation to the service of pleasure. Let them realize that though they do not then pass beyond the bonds of wedlock, yet in wedlock they exceed its rights. Wherefore, it is necessary that they should efface by frequent prayer what they befoul in the fair form of intercourse by the admixture of pleasure. "
[Regula Pastoralis, Part III, Caput xxvii]

In the Summa Contra Gentiles Thomas Aquinas wrote:

Now though the semen is superfluous for the preservation of the individual, yet it is necessary to him for the propagation of the species .... the object in the emission of the semen, is .... the profit of generation, to which the union of the sexes is directed ..... The emission of the semen then ought to be so directed as that both the proper generation may ensue and the education of the offspring be secured.
Hence it is clear that every emission of the semen is contrary to the good of man, which takes place in a way whereby generation is impossible; and if this is done on purpose, it must be a sin. I mean a way in which generation is impossible in itself as is the case in every emission of the semen without the natural union of male and female: wherefore such sins are called "sins against nature." But if it is by accident that generation cannot follow from the emission of the semen, the act is not against nature on that account, nor is it sinful; the case of the woman being barren would be a case in point.



Clement of Alexandria:

"But otherwise, to come together other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature



Lactantius, Divine Institutes, Book 6, Chapter 23

"But just as God gave us eyes, not so that we would watch and seize pleasure, but so that we would see those acts that are pertinent necessities of life, likewise, the generative (“genitalem”) body part, as the name itself teaches, we have received for nothing else than the production of offspring."


– Epiphanius, Panarion, Section II, Chapter 26 – Against Gnostics or Borborites, paragraph 16.4

"For they prevent chaste wedlock and the procreation of children, but are on fire in their consciences because they have sexual relations and come to climax, yet hinder procreation.
"


Jerome (about A.D. 347 – 420)

The truth is that, in view of the purity of the body of Christ, all sexual intercourse is unclean. Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children?




I think it is very clear here that the early Church NEVER, EVER would have approved of NFP or periodic abstinence in order to specifically have sex with the intention of avoiding conception, and to assert otherwise is simply disingenuous and ignoring the history of the Church. This is indeed a major shift in teaching on marital sexuality. The teaching on marital sexuality is anything but constant.
  #1020  
Old Jun 16, '11, 8:14 am
Calliso Calliso is offline
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Default Re: Is NFP a frustration or a blessing in your marriage?

On the issue of Gods will since that is brought up alot in this topic how do we know what exactly is Gods will? Sure sometimes it is laid out clearly for us but sometimes not. The issue of birthcontrol is a good example of that. Sure people will be quick to point out the Onan incident but when you really think about it the Onan incident is rather stretched. I have seen the arguments and no matter what arguments I have read I have yet to see one that convinces me. And the thing is there are people who have done far more research who understand church teachings far better then me who have prayed for understanding on this subject and still find that the teaching does not make sense.

But away from the issue of birthcontrol again sometimes following Gods will is hard simply because we donlt know what Gods will is. So we have to make assumptions which may or may not be right
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