Considering the dismal statistics about the number of Catholic couples who use ABC during their fertile years, do these folks actually expect to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25 :14-33) when they stand before the Lord on their personal judgment day? …or the converse “cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness”? The reason I ask, is not to presume to render judgment or discount the infinite mercy of God, but the impression one gets that many lax and dissident Catholics do not consider the reality of having to make an accounting for the “talents” given them to multiply for the kingdom.
Can contracepting individuals expect to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant" when they stand before the Lord?
You know, I don’t even think it’s appropriate to state what God and Jesus will tell someone on their day of judgement. It’s not my job to tell someone if they’ll go to Heaven or Hell, it’s my job to tell them the Truth.
As terrible as ABC is. I don’t believe that people know why it is wrong, especially among non-Catholics,
Yes. Considering that a very popular form of contraception is oral, similarly, there are people that would go to a party, be offered pills, and take them without knowing exactly what they are. What should be apparent with any common sense is that oral contraceptives are designed specifically to defeat the normal functioning of the body. That really can’t be classified as medicine, which purpose should be to restore health.
Uhmmm …I believe that this was the whole teaching point of Jesus in the parable of the talents …“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25: 13)
As I recall, in the past when questions of morality and the last judgement arose in my RE, especially the “Am I going to Hell?” variety, sister or father would explain that our moral choices throughout life predispose us to the attitude we will have when we stand before God in the final judgement (separation of sheep from goats as it were). The choice of relying on artificial methods of contraception rather than relying on God’s loving providence is an extremely serious and damaging choice. Precisely because such choices harden the heart, reject God’s gifts and deny his benevolence, it becomes much harder for the soul to accept that benevolence and mercy at the moment of judgment. A one-time mortal sin that arises from a one-time temptation and fall therefore does not have the potential damage as a habitual sin, a habitual rejection of God’s will, such as on-going sexual sin, on-going vices rooted in greed or the other capital sins, or on-going habits like using ABC.
As to what God is going to say to any individual, we don’t know and can’t say. We do know that what the Church teaches about original sin, actual sin, grace, justification, forgiveness, sanctification and salvation is based on a real, thorough understanding of human nature, and a simple study of human nature is enough to show how easily and quickly habits are formed and how hard they are to break, even with threat of death or damage hanging over us.
Contraception is a grave sin.
Mortal sin requires, among other things, to know that something is seriously sinful.
If a person knows the Church says ABC is seriously sinful, but disagrees, that does not get them off the hook.
Time to consider it and a voluntary act of will are the other two requirments for a sin to be mortal.
Seems to me a contracepting couple who have ever heard what the Church teaches (Catholic or not) are putting their eternal souls in serious jepordy.
Of course in a situation where one person is secretly contracepting (e.g. wife is on the Pill, but the husband does not believe ABC is being used), only the person with the knowledge of the contraceptive act is committing the sin.
One does not know what God would ask, but they should meditate and be prepared to answer the question:
“Where are your children?”
Expanding on another post, of the 1000s of drugs approved by the FDA, ABC are the only agents that by design and intent are produced to suppress a normally functioning body system. This flawed logic should make even a pagan pause.
I do not think this is accurate. Many cancer drug intentionally suppress various bodily systems. Antihistamines suppress part of human immune response. And then there is the whole question of elective cosmetic surgerical procedures and devices approved by the FDA. I am no doctor or pharmacist, but I would be bery cautious about using such an argument.
It is at best simplistic to presume that because someone hears either Father say, or a religious educator say, that the Church teaches that ABC is morally wrong, that they therefore have sufficient knowledge, and assuming that the other requirements for a mortal sin - serious matter (it is) and sufficient will (see below) ar present, that they have committed a mortal sin.
All of that , and the posts above which posit it, are based on an unspoken assumption, one that is easy to make but hard to identify, and that is that most of the posters in these fora accept the teaching authority of the Church, and specifically that aspect of the teaching authority which defines for us what is a serious matter.
Back up a few steps and look at that assumption; you cannot leap from that to a simple statement that most Cahtolics using ABC operate from that basis.
Many Catholics have little or no connection with the Church; they were baptized (and it is truly amazing how many people who were baptized Catholics and never went any further identify themselves as Catholics), and possibly received First Communion, and never made it to any further official instructions; or their instructions never made it much farther than through grade school.
Anyone familiar with catechesis over the last 40 to 45 years (that is, going back to about 1970 or thereabouts) would know that catechesis pretty much went into the toilet, and then someone flushed. Adults - even those who attend regularly - know little about the Sacraments, or Church law, or Church authority. Precious little was taught about morality unless it had to do with the context of the social Gospel. Sexual Morality, if it was taught in high school classes (and realize there is a significant drop off between 8th grade and freshman in CCD equivalent classes) at all, was perhaps one class in 4 years, and that may have lasted 1/2 hour.
Meanwhile, each and every one of them has been living in the world, a world of promiscuity, abortion, divorce, and each and every other impact to their moral behavior, and many, if not most, simply see the Church as one more voice. Not the only voice, not the voice of Truth, but one more voice among the cacophony of all the others, and often largely irrelevant. Most of them have little if any contact with the Church concerning the issue of ABC until not just the choice for or against ABC, but the very foundations of making that choice have been well and truly settled in. Then the Church comes along and says, for a half an hour or an hour in a life that is 131,400 hours, or 157,680 hours, or 183,690 hours, or 219,000 hours old (thats 15, 18,21 or 25 years old) that ABC is wrong. And it is saying it to someone who already has a whole serious of decisons made, such as “who do I listen to for advice”, and “what does the Church know about xyz”.
Coupled with this is the dissent that has gone for 40+ years since the issue of Humanae Vitae; not only have they and their peers not heard of it let alone read it, but the generation before them most likely has never read it and can’t remember it’s name. So you have those coming up for marriage, coming from a family that accepted ABC and rejected (or simply never learned) what the Church taught.
Persuming that they have a correctly formed conscience is bordering on ludicrous, and unless they have a correctly formed conscience, it is, to put it politely, somewhat hard to make the case that they have committed a sin. That it is objectively sinful I think we can all agree. That they even have a slight hint of that is significantly debatable.
I think that those that use ABC don’t want to be told that it is wrong. I am talking about strictly Catholics here. It seems like those that use ABC and are Catholic are not willing to open their eyes to the harsh reality of what using ABC does to their bodies and thier relationship with each other and with God.
Not only are many people not well catechized, but they have no idea how to form their consciences.
I’m not sure how culpable they are. —KCT
Consider this: I went to confession last week. I discussed with my priest my fears about fully trusting God’s plan for how many children we’ll be given. I’m 31, and it isn’t unlikely that I have 10-15 more years of fertility ahead of me. As a convert, this will be the longest I’ve ever gone without the contraceptive mentality. I told him I was fully prepared to embrace Church teachings on NFP, but, since we have no real reason to limit the amount of children we have, was still anxious about it (this was more a comment on my lack of faith than any sort of critisism about Holy Mother Church’s teachings on sexuality).
He looked at me in complete bewhilderment for a moment. He said that NFP was fully endorsed by the Church, and it wouldn’t be a problem for my husband and I to use it. I agreed, but mentioned not wanting to use NFP as contraception, particularly since we don’t have a reason to “cut it off” at, say, 4 kids. Again, he just stared at me, and basically told me that he was under the impression that we COULD use NFP to decide how many children we had, even if there was no valid reason to do so.
This from my confessor! He admitted that I was probably “farther along” than he was on the Church’s teachings on NFP and family size (which, being a woman of childbearing years means I certainly have a more immediate interest in it than he might), but it made me wonder how many Catholics have been given wrong council on this by their priests? And if Catholic priests (God bless them) are poorly informed about Church teachings on contraception, how much more is the general, non-Catholic population?
I don’t know. It’s a sin, for sure. I don’t know how God weighs and balances and judges this sin against all the other good and all the other sins we humans commit. What if someone practices ABC but in all other aspects is a loving, compassionate person who loves God, does their best to follow all other church teachings, tithes, cares for the poor and the sick, tries to love their neighbor and their enemy … I just don’t know. Likewise, I don’t know how God will judge those non - ABC using people who begrudge giving to help the poor and the sick, who are self-righteous, wonder about the private bedroom activities of fellow parishoners, etc. That’s why God is God and I’m not. Sometimes I find this board so discouraging … there’s almost an obsession with sexual sin and very little recognition of the very many areas of sinfulness we all engage in.
The older I’ve gotten the more aware I’ve become that if you are a heterosexual married person, it’s not all that hard to follow church teachings and feel awfully good about yourself … until you really start examining your attitudes and your life as a whole and try to reconcile it with what Christ demands in the gospel. Really, ABC is a small part of what is demanded of Christians, imho.
Also, what will we say to our children who were were killed by various forms of abortificient abc when we meet them at our judgement?
We sure won’t be able to lie to them and say we didn’t know.
I guess I am confused by your confusion. NFP is not “Catholic contraception.” NFP can be used to space your children if you have a reason to do so. The core of NFP is that every act of sexual intercourse is unitive and procreative. There are times during the month that the woman cannot get pregnant and the couple can have sex at that time. There are times of the month that the woman can get pregnant and if the couple is not in a position for another child, they can abstain from having sex.
I think too many people do not fully understand what NFP is and they tend to belive that it is only for times of fertility that a couple is “allowed” to have sex. However, that is not the case.
These are great points.
But ingorance claimed by most Catholics about abc, and the “Catholic do gooder” chastised by sola fide protestants might leave Catholics in better shape than we thought.
there’s almost an obsession with sexual sin and very little recognition of the very many areas of sinfulness we all engage in.
The sexual sin is a problem. The sexual sin hurts the sinners and offends God.
The worse problem with abortificient abc is that the possibility of the above exists PLUS the possibility of killing your own children exists.
Who will tell us these things if its not the Catholic Church? The drug companies? Please.
Hats off to the Catholic Church for telling the truth.
Life begins at conception, as so many Christians like to say. Even in their own lives, which they don’t want to hear.
My apologies for not being clearer. What I meant was that, for the first time in my life, I will be “stepping out in faith” on being open to life. Raised a Protestant, there was never any teaching that b/c of any form was sinful.
My point was that even though my husband and I have no reason to put limits on the number of children we have, I fear that I might lack faith, and use NFP in a contraceptive manner. My priest’s response to me indicated that he saw no problem with using NFP to limit the amount of children we have, even though we have no reason to do so, as long as we didn’t use any other method than NFP.
But now, given your confusion about my point, perhaps he was equally confused, and we’re all politely saying the same darn thing.
Incorrect, for this reason. No cancer drug intentionally suppresses healthy body functions. These are known as side effects, are not intentional, and would be eradicated if it were possible. Cancer drugs intentionally work to destroy cancer. And yes, people do other really stupid things to, just look at Micheal Jackson’s face. If you are using this lunacy to defend contraception…
Those that want to do the right thing will want to find out what the right thing is. Those that don’t want to, won’t. I suggest that if the information is available, and the desire to do the right thing is not nurtured and acted upon, culpability is still there.