Are addictions reason to use barrier method of birth control?

I want to add that what I suggested sounds like a lot, but should be replacing drinking, like if the urge comes, read a chapter of the Bible, even if it makes no sense, If the urge is still there, read another chapter. (Thrift shops often have purse-sized copies of the New Testament for $1 or less.) Or pray decades of the Rosary until the urge is discovered to have left.

Also she or they will need a lot of grace because the temptations will increase for a bit as they try to stop, so the rest, while it sounds like a lot, is like medicine. It won’t have to be at that high a level forever, this is just for getting spiritually well.

Immersing oneself as much as possible in holiness is very helpful. Another resource is the MP3 homilies and retreats at Audio Sancto, which can distract from temptation and direct one’s mind to holy things at the same time. And EWTN tv online.


I understand your frustration. Sometimes it is hard for people online to really listen.

I would definitely suggest this couple go to their priest and discuss the issue with him. It is always better to have someone in person give spiritual direction that to rely on internet strangers who may or may not be able to offer advice in a compassionate manner…

Peace be with you and may you have wisdom to deal with this difficult situation.

And sometimes people are not honest with their priest. That’s why they go to forums…because it’s anonymous and no one knows who they are. They don’t have to look anyone in the face and say these things.
Also, people on the internet can be totally honest. Friends and relatives will try to sugar coat their advice, for fear of upsetting people, losing a friend, or getting yelled at.
I can honestly say, that this is one of the few forums out there where people will tell you the truth. Even if it’s what you don’t want to hear.
The truth is always the most compassionate way.
If the “friends” go to their priest, it won’t help unless they tell everything.
There’s been some excellent advice given here.

Of course, if they go to their priest they should be completely honest about everything.

If the people here would not speak to someone in person like they speak to them here on line then they need to rethink the way they are writing. Just some food for thought. I can’t imagine people entering a real life conversation like some of the people did here. That is the problem with the internet. I am not saying don’t say what you believe to be true but stop and listen to what and how you are saying and all the things you interject in between. I highly doubt some of these posters would speak this way to someone in person. I definitely see a lack of compassion, insight and wisdom. It is easy to throw your truth on someone when you are anonymous online.

It is pretty typical here, from what I read, when someone upsets a new poster the response is “well, they just can’t handle the truth” Sooner or later you need to get beyond that and ask the Holy Spirit to direct your writing.

Truth only comes from God. And the Holy Spirit, in fact. Someone who posted here is talking from a real life addiction experience. That rings pretty true.
There are not “versions” of truth.
I don’t think anyone here blasted the OP or their friends.

Let me try again to rephrase what I am saying because I don’t think you heard me.

The OP is no longer here. She left the conversation. You can continue to say that is because she refuses to listen to the truth or you can stop and pause and see if there is a better way to communicate and listen.

The OP presented a very complex, painful, crisis situation. It was obviously overwhelming for her. Plenty of people answered her basic question and they kept hammering it home.

Internet communication does not allow for tone and body language. It has limitations. I am glad the OP left and believe she will find better, deeper counsel from her local priest. As well as with local counselors and community.

We can learn a lot from Pope Francis by the way he communicates Truth. He has a way of drawing people, even atheists, to listen. It is truly amazing. I don’t find that style here at CAF.

Perhaps. But perhaps also people just do not want to accept the Truth no matter what the method of delivery. Has that ever happened to you? Can you provide an example where we could communicate the Truth in a way that you think would have made the OP see things in a Holy manner? I’m all ears.

I think the problem was that Tina, the OP, asked the wrong question. Obviously her friend should not be using abc, but the elephant in the room was that the friend (and possibly the husband) was drinking to the point of being blacked out!

Of the two problems, the first which needed to be addressed was the drinking, but Tina’s take on the drinking was that it would continue until the friend had gained some insight into her childhood experiences… which is not the way most professionals think a situation like this should be handled.

So I think there may have been more going on there than we know. Most people would have been totally understanding of concern expressed about the children but Tina was angered. So, she asks the wrong question, ignores the drinking, and gets angey when someone is concerned about the children and refuses to consider anything more someone might have to say?

“But perhaps also people just do not want to accept the Truth no matter what the method of delivery. Has that ever happened to you? Can you provide an example where we could communicate the Truth in a way that you think would have made the OP see things in a Holy manner? I’m all ears.”

I’ve learned over the years how best to communicate truth. Please go back and listen to this conversation.

This friend was brave enough to come here and share a very vulnerable situation. A husband and wife with 4 young children under 5 lost their home last year in addition to her job. They were both sexually abused at kids. She battles bulimia and they both battle alcohol addiction and PTSD. Yet, they are still trying to seek God in the midst of this grave struggle. (I stop and think of the situation and just imaging God embracing the situation with compassion) They are getting help. Yes, it is an awful situation but they are making progress.

Tina clearly states she asking for an opinion on whether ABC can be used in this situation at 2:12 on the 31st she states:

" I was under the impression I was asking about the morality not if this couple should have the state come get their kids to put them in often abusive foster care. The other responders made it clear this couple should not use any kind of birth control and that was all I was needing to know. I thank the other posters for answering the question and leaving out their diagnose of people they don’t know, who are already being treated, out of it." (ATTENTION stop here and listen to what the OP said)

Then hoosierdaddy you again reply and let her know it is wrong. (She already heard this several times)

Then, and here comes the turning point, someone says “I’m going to go so far as to say their sex lives makes a mockery of sacramental marriage, if what you say is true. This couple isn’t even trying to live their covenant if they aren’t respecting each other’s bodies”

This interjection was completely unnecessary and this is when Tina left the conversation. Tina did not say she left because she could not bear to hear your truth. However, instead of taking a look at how this conversation turned you all piously turned up your noses and said “Well, there’s another one that can’t take the truth” That statement was inflammatory. This couple is already carrying a ton of shame.

Then as far as I can remember. Everyone through up their arms and said tsk tsk another one who can’t handle the truth. If you really take a close look. I think it makes CAF look bad.

I hope that helps you HD.

Take a step back and try to hear people if you want to pass truth along to them.

It didn’t help me.:shrug: Sorry.

Perhaps I could clarify. Can you please show how we should have better handled this. I notice you have plenty of criticism and advice for some of us on this thread but the OP is the one who posted the question.

What is your response to the OP?

How do you think I should have responded.

I must say that I find it odd that you would be so quick to judge and accuse others of not “hearing” someone else (whatever that means) and condemn and chide them for thier method of sharing the Gospel. There is no sin in any of the responses. There is however sin being discussed. Perhaps in your sphere you have found the right amount of sugar to help the medicine go down. But sometimes (and especially on the internet) the method of delivery does not condone itself to long drawn out discussions. But for the OP and anyone else who happens upon this thread which will be here indefinitely, it is best to state the Truth definitively. I am not saying that my way provides me more convert heads on my walls but just that we are limited by the medium in which we are conversing.

I already wrote a response to the OP. Did you read it?

She asked a question about birth control and got her question answered. That is not what upset her. She is well aware of the grave situation her friend is in. She did not come here for counseling for her. They are connected to professionals in their area. CAF is NOT a counseling forum. It is a very complex situation and one can not possible relay enough details in a couple paragraphs to receive coherent counseling online for something other than a simple answer to the birth control question.

I don’t think anything else can be gained here. The OP left. If it makes you feel better to think she left because she couldn’t handle your delivery of truth then you can hold onto that and you don’t have to think about changing. Nothing I have said so far added to what you think about this. You have decided the best way to deliver the truth. There is not much left to say or discuss. Peace.

I think you are correct. there is not much left to say.

I look forward to reading your responses and examples of education in the Faith.

What an amazing set of circumstances Tina! I can only make a few comments, as it’s impractical to be prescriptive based on your story.

First - the parents have an overriding obligation to “recover for the sake of their family” and indeed for their own sakes. We have two alcoholics looking after 4 children; they blackout and have sex (is that actually possible??) in that state often, and have various other medical conditions. I guess issues are being considered such as: what is best for the children at this time; what program is necessary for the parents to permanently give up alcohol and regain control of their lives.

Second is the question of contraception - and depending on how the previous issues are addressed, this matter may not arise. But if it does, the moral situation is that contraception as a means to defeat the marital act’s natural course is intrinsically evil, and so may not be done regardless of circumstances or good intention. It would appear evident that the couple should feel obligated to refrain from producing additional children in their current state, and they should commit to abstain from sex to whatever extent is necessary to achieve that result.

A wrinkle on that last point might arise if it were argued that sexual intercourse between two blind drunk (but married) persons is not a marital act [eg. I would argue that a rape is not a marital act and seeking to prevent conception is entirely licit in that circumstance]. That may be a stretch to argue here, given both apparently are “willing” participants - albeit their rational judgement may be entirely diminished. So the question is, if the couple **commit **to refrain from sex, could the woman have a diaphragm fitted to prevent pregnancy in the case of one of those blind drunk “blacked out sex” sessions that would seem likely. I doubt it - it doesn’t feel right. Perhaps the couple should not be living together (unsupervised) in the circumstances you’ve described?

I struggle to understand how continuation of “normal” family living arrangements could be the appropriate course given the description of the situation provided by you.

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