Are married people allowed to "not want" kids?

I have a friend, Joe, a revert to Catholicism who is seeking to embrace Catholic teaching with gusto, including the teachings on marriage, sexuality, contraception, etc.
Therefore, Joe and his girlfriend have abstained from sexual activity.
They were planning a wedding.
Here’s where it gets weird.
Joe doesn’t want kids. Ever. He had planned to use Natural Family Planning to avoid pregnancy, like many non-contracepting Catholics. However, his plan was to use it forever, or at least until his wife passed the age of fertility.
This strikes me as impractical, given what I know about the long-efficacy of NFP. In any case, Joe has concluded that, whatever its practicality, following this plan is immoral. A spiritual advisor informed him that while Catholics are permitted to use NFP to try to time their children, they are not permitted to use it to avoid children entirely (even assuming that’s possible).
Joe’s solution? Break off the engagement and commit himself to a life of celibacy.
There’s a lot that one can say about Joe’s emotional maturity, decision-making process, and common. But my question is simply this: Is Joe’s spiritual advisor correct that long-term use of NFP for the pupose of avoiding pregnancy forever forbidden by the church?


Not only is the NFP info correct, to attempt marriage with the intent of never being open to conceiving human life renders the marriage invalid.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit