Condoms

My wife and I have used NFP in our marriage and have two children. She is breast feeding right now and wants me to use condoms. It is my understanding that if she wishes to contracept with the pill or something that affects her fertility it would be a mortal sin for her and not I because I wish to continue natural family planning. If I use a condom because she wants me too is it a mortal sin for me? I don’t want to use one but I fear we won’t have relations otherwise. My wife is scared to get pregnant again so soon and she doesn’t want to use the pill because of the terrible side effects. Can anyone shed some incite into the matter?

Not exactly. Under the guidance of a priest, there may be times when it is not sinful to engage in relations with a contracepting spouse. See this document, but note that the document is written for priests to give counsel to penitents, not to lay people. See especially paragraphs 13 and 14 and note what it says about 14 regarding those types of contraception that also have abortive effects such as the Pill:

vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_12021997_vademecum_en.html

Yes, you are responsible for you.

Then so be it. It isn’t forever.

Does your wife not understand that contraception is intrinsically evil?

Postpartum is always a tricky time for couple. My wife and use NFP and have four kids. After our last one we decided that if we had any more kids, it couldn’t be for a few years. Given that the postpartum cycle can be hard to predict we decided that we would just not relations until she started her period. That was a looonnnggg four months. She was breastfeeding at the time, so I had to be prepared to abstain for up to nine months ( or more).

Use this time to return to dating mode. Be very attentive with the knowledge that you will not have intercourse. This sacrifice will bring you closer and you will both benefit from it. I thought I would go crazy not being able to have sex for so long, but it really taught me to appreciate my wife in a way that didn’t before.

I should add that after the other three pregnancies, did ‘everything but’ and I would finish the act outside of my wife, which I now understand to be gravely sinful. Adding that ‘restriction’ did wonders for my marriage.

If you add condoms into the mix, it will create a longer term problem that not being intimate for a while. In the grand scheme of things, what is 6-9 months in a lifetime of marriage? Steer clear of the condoms and make you wife feel like the special lady she is (not saying you don’t already ;)) and you will both receive wonderful graces.

i know this may not mean much coming from a woman. i understand it would be hard if you did not have relations with your wife, however you utilizing a condom would be you just as responsible as your wife. your choosing to use a condom in fear of losing sexual relations when in fact we should always fear the disapproval of the Lord. If you are not ready to have another child i will tell you as i tell my pro-choice community DO NOT ENGAGE. sexual relations was meant to be for man and women to come together in the will of the Lord. By picking and choosing when a child should come you would be living your own will. If the Lord sees the time is right to have a child he will allow it. I know it may seem hard to abstane but when times get hard offer it up to the Lord and ask that he turn your intense feelings into a strong desiree to follow his will. My husband and I understand what you both are going through I will pray for you and Please keep us in your prayer as well.

God Bless you both
your sister in Christ!:thumbsup:

Two points:

  1. Using condoms (the least effective means of “birth control”) during a time of potentially high fertility is a recipe for pregnancy. (This is just an “aside”, not to usurp the Church’s teaching on fertility regulation and the inherent evil of birth control.)

  2. Some of the methods of NFP do embrace the signs of fertility through all moments of a woman’s life. In breastfeeding, the mucus signs are less than at other (non-breastfeeding) times, but they are still there. Please go to the Billings Ovulation Method website (www.woomb.org);:wink: if you cannot find a teacher in your area, there is now available instruction via the internet.

We have 7 children, and have survived 7 periods of breastfeeding, and moved into each pregnancy aware of the level of fertility that we were experiencing. There were weeks of abstinence, but not MONTHS!

God bless you on this journey. Cherish and love your spouse, through all of this.

If both of you are in agreement of using contraceptives, even if it is only one of you, both of you are sinning, you by using it and her by encouraging it.

Try to be celibate during this time, instead of sinning. Don’t worry, you’re wife wont do this forever.

Ok i read the document you suggested…The document says nothing about one spouse wishng to use contra. and one not…the article only specifies what is worse which abortive contraception.

Your point of view is like saying:
“well If I dont want to rob a bank but my wife wants me too…I am not sinning right?”

I hope you can resolve this…Why dont you seek spiritual guidance…as well as your wife…

God Bless!!!

So use it. Why would God be so petty as to call a contraceptive evil? Condoms prevent STDs because they are transmitted through fluids.

Sex is not a connection or whatever to the lord, nor is it purely for pro-creation. Sex is a need in the relationship. If you avoid masturbation and avoid having sex due to fear of pregnancy and are afraid to use contraceptives, then the need will find a way.

This is where cheating comes in. If the sexual need is not fulfilled, then you instinctively will have doubts (this is all assuming emotional needs are being met, and lets not forget financial).

Since you are religious, why would God force you to only have sex with your spouse for pro creation? Why would God call it evil to use contraceptives, but not evil for you to take medicine to cure an illness? They are technically the same. Consider the financial troubles if you have another kid. Consider the emotional troubles if you do not have sex, consider why it would be possible for divorce in the first place if marriage is sacred, especially when divorce is so common these days.

Think about it, and do what you think is best for you and your wife. If you don’t think Condom usage should be sinful, then God shouldn’t hold it against you for using your brain, the organ he apparently gave you. :slight_smile:

EDIT: ** Besides, isn’t God all forgiving? So why would he be mad if you do something that will save your sacred marriage? Would a forgiving God punish you for something so minor?**

First of all, condoms do NOT prevent all STDs. There are STDs which are spread by skin to skin contact that are not protected by condoms. These include HSV, HPV, Syphilis, and Lice. Also, rubber/latex has naturally occurring holes in it. These holes can be about 50-500 times the size of the HIV/AIDS virus. Therefore, condoms really don’t prevent that one from spreading, either.

Second, you obviously have no idea about what the Catholic Church teaches about sexual intercourse.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

1643 “Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter - appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility. In a word it is a question of the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically Christian values.” (Familiaris Consortio 13)

2363 The spouses’ union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple’s spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.

2366 Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which is “on the side of life” (Familiaris Consortio 30) teaches that “it is necessary that each and every marriage act remain ordered per se to the procreation of human life.” (Humanae Vitae 11) “This particular doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.” (Humanae Vitae 12; cf. Pius XI, encyclical, Casti connubii)

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality (Humanae Vitae 16). These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil (Humanae Vitae 14):
Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality (Familiaris Consortio 32).

Genesis 1:27-28: “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying: ‘Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.’”

Genesis 2:18, 21-24: “The LORD God said: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.’ So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: ‘This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called “woman,” for out of “her man” this one has been taken.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.”

In other words, sexual intercourse IS a celebration of the unity of the couple in the Lord, and IS for procreation!

Contraception is NOT the same as using medication when you’re ill, as it is taking away the unity of the couple, one telling the other, “I love you, just not all of you.” It is intrinsically evil, a grave offense against God, against your spouse, and against your children.

You should read:
Humanae Vitae: vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html
Familiaris Consortio: vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_19811122_familiaris-consortio_en.html
Theology of the Body: usccb.org/prolife/issues/nfp/theology_of_the_body.shtml
The Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Sacrament of Matrimony: vatican.va/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a7.htm
The Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Sixth Commandment: vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

While fully accepting and endorsing what the Church teaches about sex-outside-marriage, chastity, etc, I really can’t let the assertions above go unchallenged.

If you use such assertions in an argument, in particular as your only argument, then you WILL get knocked down in flames by someone with even the most rudimentary scientific knowledge.

Firstly, lice (more commonly known as crabs) simply aren’t a sexually transmitted disease. They are simple parasites. They do not carry disease and do not transfer disease from one person to another. They are simply an irritant in the same way that head lice are. Furthermore, it is possible to contract an infestation of crabs without engaging in any form of sexual activity whatsoever. It is feasible to pick up such ‘hitch-hikers’ from toilet seats or, more commonly, bed linen or mattresses (in a hotel, for example) or towels that have been used by someone else who is carrying the lice.

Secondly, the story about microscopic holes in latex is a fallacy.

While the Human Immunodeficiency Virus IS microscopic, it does not exist in isolation: to be transferred from one person to another it has to be carried within cells which are contained within the spermatozoa suspended in fluid. These cells are far in excess of the size of any theoretical holes in latex. That on its own doesn’t mean that condoms are perfect at stopping the transmission of HIV - there are other ways in which the transfer can occur, bypassing the condom entirely, but to rely on the ‘microscopic holes’ argument alone is to do the cause of promoting chastity a grave disservice because the argument is itself, so to speak, full of holes.

Don’t get me wrong, I applaud your motive, it’s just that the particular argument you’re using is wrong.

I believe sex IS a connect to the lord. For example, Men give sperm. Women give eggs. Where does the soul come from? God. God is a part of the sexual experience.
Also, sex is not a “need” in the relationship all the time. Periods of abstinence can be good for the couple, especially if it is a mutual decision.

This is the best advice I’ve ever seen on this section of the site.

My apologies if it’s not appropriate for me to post here, but I had to throw my support behind the “use your brain” option.

Why would God be so petty as to call a contraceptive evil?

It’s more than just “petty” – if some sort of creator of the entire universe actually does exist, then that creator would almost certainly have to be beyond all human conception, and the idea of such an advanced being caring whether human critters on one of the zillions of planets in the universe wear a piece of rubber is practically unfathomable.

It’s an idea created by human vanity – people want to think that their sex lives have some kind of cosmic import.

If you avoid masturbation and avoid having sex due to fear of pregnancy and are afraid to use contraceptives, then the need will find a way.

This is where cheating comes in. If the sexual need is not fulfilled, then you instinctively will have doubts (this is all assuming emotional needs are being met, and lets not forget financial).

Indeed. And if not out and out cheating, it will cause other serious problems in the relationship.

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