Alternative to NFP in the third world

I’m trying to teach NFP in the third world.
It is practically impossible because in their culture, man can take his woman at anytime he wants.

Girls are 17 and already have 4 kids or more and many die in childbirth.

Contraception is strongly recommended to save those girls lives.
Church people are having a hard time teaching what the church says about contraception because men are not going to change ther culture of hundreds of years and girls don’t want to “sin” and that’s why they end up with lots of kids and die at 20.

What would the church say about this problem? What can I do. NFP only works on educated catholic families. But they are a minority.

I know evangelization is the answer but its going to take generations to change their culture. What about in the meantime

Uh… abstinence? :o
It’s not a pretty answer, but (unless there’s actually another option I’m missing, which I don’t think there is), NFP and abstinence are basically the only two options available.

Lots and lots and lots of prayer… :rolleyes: God bless you in this mission!

Mother Theresa had great success teaching NFP in India, so it is not impossible.

One sin does not justify another.

Keep up the good work and do not succomb to the secular message that humans are animals who can’t restrain their sexual urges. These men need teaching and saving too.

God Bless you and your work!

I agree. This is why I’m trying to teach NFP.

I just feel like John the Baptist preaching in the dessert.

May be I shoul have witten in the title of this post: How can I possible teach NFP in the third world.

The more difficult the challenge, the greater glory to God for your successes.

Remember what our Lord said about the lost sheep.

Even if you were to save only one soul, you rewards in Heaven will be great.

May God Bless you and your work!

Really the only way teaching abstience and nfp is going to work on a large scale in third world countries is really if the culture and what not does a complete turn around. We have to remember in many/most of those countries women have few to no rights. They have no choice when they do or do not have sex with their husbands. And in many cases women are forced into marriages with husbands who may or may not give a rats butt about their welling being in any way shape or fashion.We also have to remember that many people in a third world country aren;t going to have access to the internet or a nfp teaching doctor or instructor especially not ones that teach more then one method. So if they have an issue or a particular method is not working for them at all…then well they are likely out of luck. Really though I do hope the OP has some success but I think at this point large scale success is out of the question.

Don’t give up.
The early Christians faced a lot of the same problems you are facing now. . .plus they had to worry about being the blue plate special for the Emperor’s lions on top of that!

They did achieve miracles through their witness and their love. They may not have seen results ‘in their time’ --look at St. Stephen, the first martyr–he never even lived to see St. Paul start his preaching to the Gentiles–but St. Stephen trusted in God.

So you may not see results your life long. . .but maybe your ‘seed’ will bear fruit in the next generation, or the one after that. God knows and God will provide. . .trust in Him, pray always, and preach that gospel and do not compromise. God bless.

I can certainly see your frustration and temptation to give in.

But consider this. As a guy myself, I have to hand it to Paul VI on his prophetic insight into the effects of contraception. Bottom line: the regular use of contraception nudges men towards a view of women as objects to be used instead of soulmates to be cherished.

You obviously already see that problem in the culture in which you work. Don’t be fooled; contraception will only more fully embed that behavior and innoculate those men against conversion. You might save the physical health and even lives of a few women with condoms. But they’ll pay for that with perhaps GENERATIONS of perpetuating mysoginistic male behavior through the dehumanizing effects of contraception.

Focus your evangelization on proclaiming the gospel to the MEN and the lives of the women will be hugely transformed. And they’ll likely see why and convert too!

I can only relate my own experiences, which I do from a neutral perspective:

  1. Once I worked with a young man from Ecuador, he and his wife were devout Catholics. He said that when they came to the USA, they were astounded to learn of the Catholic Church’s oppostition to various methods of birth control. He said that he could not remember the subject having EVER been discussed is his milieu; the Church condemned abortion strongly, as would be expected, but birth control was a non-issue. Of course, he said, Ecuadorans are mostly poor people and simply cannot afford to have large families. Condemnation of barrier birth control would be ignored and therefore meaningless.

  2. I have lived in Germany for eight years. In that time, I do not recall the subject ever having been mentioned from the pulpit or in popular Catholic publications.

In practice (rather than principle), it seems to be pretty much an American phenonenon.

So best of luck trying to convince the third world!

First of all. It is totally untrue that NFP only works with “educated Catholics”. What a racist statement! Poor people are not stupid.

FYI, Mother Teresa taught NFP to the poorest of the poor in India and in China it is an approved method for the poor rural farmers who by law can only have 2 children. Neither of these cultures are Christian, let alone Catholic.

The problem is not NFP.

The solution is to change the hearts and minds of the people to embrace Christ and his Church, not to teach them to sin. Also, your post seemt to imply that physical death is the ultimate evil-- worse than spiritual death actually if contraception is seen as an answer. This a false promise of “life” via contraception. Contraception brings only spiritual death.

The other part of the solution is to advocate for change in medical care-- which is why women would be at risk of complications from childbirth. And, also, another avenue is to teach the men the health and economic benefits of spacing children. Do these women not breastfeed?

Contraception is never a moral option. That is what the Church says now, what it has always said (even in the bad old days before NFP), and what it will ALWAYS say because it is the only Truth that there is.

I don’t know why that’s so hard for people to understand.

Well, a lot of people don’t understand it, including most Catholics.

How about because it’s contrary to reason?

Whoa whoa whoa… in all fairness to the OP, I do not think that’s what was meant.

“NFP only works on educated catholic families.” = The only people who are really willing to use NFP are Catholics who have been taught NFP. Catholics who aren’t educated about NFP probably won’t use it, and non-Catholics who are taught NFP might use it, but probably won’t, unless they’re convinced that other methods of contraception are ineffective and/or immoral.

I don’t think it had anything at all to do with saying that poor/uneducated/non-Catholic people can’t be taught NFP. :twocents:

Yes. Most people don’t understand it. Even Catholics.

When I said that NFP only worked for educated Catholic families I neant in those countries, right now, those are most of the people practicing NFP. I didn’t mean poor or uneducated people cannot do it or that non Catholics couldn’t do it.

In fact, I was considering promoting it with its secular name:
Fertility Awarness Method (FAM) and see how men react.

By the way thank you so much for all your posts. You are really strengthening my will to keep going.

Does anybody have some information abouth how Mather Theresa did it?

Thanks again

I’m lost here- where are you that children 13 years old are routinely allowed to enter into marriage (and I get 13 from your post, which claims 17 year old girls have 4 children)? Where are you that “Catholic” men are, in essence, raping their wives as part of a culturally-sanctioned happening?

First step is to actually teach these people what Christianity is about. You cannot teach NFP to men (and I’m not picking on men per se, but only in the context of the OP) who view their wives as little more than sex slaves. It will not ever ever happen.

How about because it’s contrary to reason?

It isn’t contrary to ‘reason’. It is contrary to Divine Law (unless, of course, encyclicals like Humanae Vitae are yet another one of those ‘non-infallible’ documents whose teachings are **sure to be ‘overturned’ by the enlightened 21st century humans who know so much better than ‘celibate old men’ and ‘outmoded, and possibly tampered with teachings’. . .the same ‘wrong attitudes’ that insist **that women **should **be priests and there is no ‘reason’ they won’t be). . .

Yep, certainly abortion (which is a part, and not a small part, of contraception as many contraceptives are abortifacients), and ‘barriers’ which separate the uniative and procreative aspects of sex and ‘objectify’ women under the patently false guise of 'recognizing them and letting them ‘be all they can be’ and not ‘tied down as brood mares’) and artificial (pill etc.) contraception look reasonable to the secular world which only sees ‘worth’ as ‘doing what one wants, when one wants’ and freedom as being ‘free’ to treat other human beings like things, only good for sexual gratification but never for any kind of true marriage involving a complete ‘giving’ of BOTH selves and a trust in God.

For all the ‘most Catholics contracept’ blather (yes, guess what, ALL Catholics manage to do SOME sort of sinning in their lives, guess we’d better just get rid of the idea of SIN because 'they’re gonna sin anyway so why try to stop–let’s embrace the sins), it appears that more and more Catholics are becoming aware of the evil of the contraceptive mentality, and more and more are availing themselves of NFP.

It is usually the older ones who have spent their lives ‘justifying’ their contraceptive mentality and their caving in to the evils of abortion ("I would not have one but God forbid I tell SOMEBODY else what to do with HER BODY) etc., who are the noisiest adherents and the ones who BEWAIL Church teaching.

Of course, they have a vested interest in trying to keep the status quo–because that way they can convince themselves that THEY are right, and the Church wrong. Why they continue to identify themselves as Catholics while flouting Church teaching on virtually every subject is beyond me. Convinced they are ‘angels of light’ who have some gnostic ‘knowledge’ of the Church’s errors and oh-so-altruistically concerned that the poor younger generation (somehow not convinced by the spectacle of their elders) is falling 'back into the Middle ages? Possibly. God help them.

Somebody once said (paraphrased, I’m sure) that it isn’t one’s outright enemy who is most dangerous–but the covert enemy who paints himself as a friend and companion yet leads people astray.

Believe it or not. That’s true. But this girls are not married. They are just “taken”.

There is a lot to be done. I agree Evangelization is the only hope but as some of you have pointed, I might not even see the results.
The sad thing is that this girls are crying for help and there is nothing that can be done immediately. They don’t know how to make a living on their own.

Even if they are older, their culture won’t let them “deny benefits” to their man wheather married or not.

Ff, lest there be any misunderstanding, I have no opposition to NFP whatever. I think that it can be a fine method of family planning. But it is considerably more complicated than either barrier or chemical methods, and though the latter also require some care in use, they are probably more effective overall.

So, in order to promote NFP over contraception, you have to instill in your public the idea that contraception is immoral. This is not easy. Of the major religions, as far as I know, only Roman Catholicism and ultra-Orthodox Judaism regard contraception as immoral. I would not attempt to speak for Judaism.

With regard to Catholicism, its rationale for condemning contraception is weak in that there is no scriptural basis whatever, and common sense should make it obvious that married couples differ in their attitudes regarding family size.

I am the father of only one child, we would have liked more but it didn’t happen; nonetheless, we never anticipated a large brood; we didn’t feel that that was what the Lord wanted or expected of us.

Others want and have large families and flourish. My best friend in college was one of 14 children and now has a large family of his own. The Church’s attitude seems unwilling or unable to address these differences realistically. As a result, many otherwise observant Catholics simply ignore the ban on contraception and follow reason and their own consciences.

So, realistically, I think that you are fighting a losing battle, but wish you well in any case!

I know. . .it is awful to think of. It has been going on for a long time, too. . .young girls being ‘used’ by those who equate sex not with love but with power over a person and gratification. This is a cultural thing (and it is not limited to the Third World–we see it in the First World with the sexualizing of little girls, the push for young girls–and boys too–to have sex at younger and younger ages–and the warping of our culture.) Look at the supermodels–groomed to be a provocative mixture of childlike with thin arms and legs, with ‘enhanced’ breasts to make them ‘women’, childlike facial features (big eyes, little noses, a pseudo-innocence put into provocative poses)–children dressed up like Barbie dolls. . . the emphasis for young girls in our culture to 'be thin, dress right, look right, and men will LOVE you" and for boys, “try to get as much as you can to be a man”.

And what is the suggestion by the 'experts?"

Throw condoms. “Educate” people about safe sex.

Because they still think that the problem isn’t about the SEX. . .it’s about the ‘consequences’ of pregnancy and disease. They think that if people were educated about ‘when’ and ‘how’ to have ‘safe’ sex, that is all the people really want–to be ‘safe.’ They think that if they ‘stop girls having babies’ --the ‘consequences’–then they can just have all the FUN SEX they want-- and everybody’s happy.

They forget that it ISN’T FUN to most girls --whether or not there are ‘consequences’–that most girls don’t just want to have sex, sex, sex all the time, when that sex is not ‘love’ but POWER. These people think that if ONLY the girls (and guys) would USE THE BIRTH CONTROL there would be no problems and all the world could just ‘make love’.

It isn’t love that a lot of the men want–it is POWER. They have been so corrupted that they don’t even think of things like love and marriage. . .after all, in our First World many think marriage is ‘a piece of paper’–I don’t need it or want it. “Why marry? I can raise a kid myself.” “I may be married but I’ll just walk away whenever I want, because I can.”

We have to show them what Christian love is. . .because (and it might take awhile) when they truly see it. . .they will want it. At first they’ll be even worse (and this may be what is happening now) because it will seem too HARD for them to do. But as they find out how EMPTY their lives are (I am thinking of the men, too, who may not rouse our sympathy but who have been as hurt by these awful attitudes as the women, and who deep down know they are wrong and are ashamed and deeply angry and need to get through that). . .but with patience things will change.

When you are really ‘down in the gutter’ it is said, and there is no place to go but ‘up’–that’s when things start to change. God is on our side. We must be strong.

Nor do most uneducated ones.

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