My questions regard marriage, marital acts, contraception/sterilization and Natural Family Planning: I want to get married, but I don't want children. I want to know y'all's opinion on these topics. I will tell you specifically what I don't understand and like to get your input.
"The Catechism of the Catholic Church specifies that all sex acts must be both unitive and procreative."
"Because of this secondary purpose, married couples have a right to engage in intercourse even when pregnancy is not a possible result."
(These statements were not sequential so pretend it says procreative and unitive. In other words unitive is the secondary purpose.)
First of all, I feel like this second statement contradicts the first. I don't understand why, if the procreative purpose of intercourse can be set aside during times when pregnancy is not possible (post-menopause, naturally occuring infertility), why not all the time? Why does God give us the ability to think independently and rationally to decide for ourselves if we want children (as opposed to animals, who have a pure driven instinct to procreate) but if you choose to not want them, it is wrong? Why would God be so kind as to bring a special person into our lives, but forbid us from expressing our love in the physical way our bodies desire? He also gave us the desire to want to please each other. But He didn't give us the desire to have children! Why does He want to deny us from unifying our love because we don't want children? How could He possibly think a sexless, [and bound to be] frustrated marriage is better than a happy, contraceptive-using, childless-by-choice couple? Are people who don't want children not allowed to marry?
"The language of the body that is meant to express self-gift becomes mixed with another message, a contrary message—namely, the refusal to give oneself entirely."
I don't see how denying my partner the gift of my body because it is a fertile time of my cycle is preferable to using contraception. Isn't better to give MOST of myself than NONE of myself? It seems to me that NFP is in fact SUGGESTING that you refuse to give oneself - partially or entirely! What do you think?
"Each marital act signifies, embodies, and renews the original and enduring marital covenant between husband and wife."
How does completely abstaining from not only intercourse, but all sexually pleasing acts, embodies the marital covenant, but giving one's body for the unitive act alone does not at least contribute to (even if it isn't the embodiment of) the love that God gave us for each other?
Why did He say chastity/abstinence is a virtue but then also say be fruitful and multiply? People who are abstinent are choosing not to receive His gift, and that is not a sin, in fact it is a virtue, so why is choosing not to receive his gift, but not be abstinent a sin?
One last question. It's completely hypothetical. Are there any circumstances where contraception (not NFP, I mean the Pill or condoms or whatever) or sterilization would be approved? Say a couple is in love. wants to unify their love. wants to get married. but want to use contraception or sterilization. (For example, if one of them has a genetic illness that would definitely be passed on to their children.) Would a priest be willing to marry a couple in this situation - Do you think God would make an exception? ("Any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature.) If not, ("Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and educating of children") how about this: Would He/a priest approve of the use of contraception or sterilization (for a reason such as above) IF the couple agreed to adopt or foster a child? Would that be accepting God's gift of children, thus allowing a couple to unify their love? And if not that....what if a dating or engaged couple, struggling with what to do about not wanting children but wanting to get married, came to a priest, asking for his blessing on their marriage even though they would use contraception, with a proposal, not just to adopt, but to prevent an abortion by adopting a child? Like say a family member or friend was like I'm getting an abortion, I don't want my kid being raised by strangers and the couple was like well we'll adopt it and she said okay but ONLY if YOU are the ones adopting it. They would literally be saving a life, and really only wanted to not have children not bc they didn't want to bring a child into the world, just bc they thought it was cruel to purposely create a life knowing it was going to die in the womb/as an infant/live a life suffering from some horrible disease. If you were this couple's priest, what would you counsel them to do? Would you tell them that they cannot get married in the grace of God if they don't agree to accept a child if the woman gets pregnant bc that's the rule? Or would you consider the wellbeing of everyone involved (including their unborn i.e. potential "children") and decide that although it's not perfect, God understands that the couple only want to prevent suffering by using contraception or sterilization and therefore their reason for using it is not contrary to His design for their family?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these topics and I'd like to hear how you deal when your desires conflict with your beliefs.