If the church teaches against birth control and not having sex within the marriage then why is NFP which I understand to be the rhythm method ok? There should be chastity inside a marriage right where the couple just doesn’t come together for awhile? Probably married people should consider my question IDK I’m not married.

The difference is between engaging in an act and frustrating the end of the act, and not engaging in the act when one knows one is not ready for the possible result.

the Church does not teach against “birth control”, i.e. the spacing and planning of children for serious reasons. The Church does teach that contraception is an immoral means of birth control. Abstinence is not.

I’m sorry, the Church does not “teach against” this.

NFP is not the “rhythm method” but it does give the couple information that they can use to decide to have intercourse or abstain from intercourse or make not specific decision at all-- depending on whether they are trying to achieve or avoid pregnancy or neither.

That is NFP.

I don’t understand this “paradox” either, because the rhythm method is de-facto contraception, the act of deliberately avoiding conception?

When you are at work and not having intercourse is that contraception? How about when you are at your kid’s soccer game; is that contraception? How about when sitting next to your spouse in church; is that contraception?

Choosing when it is and isn’t the right time to engage in the marital embrace is not a contraceptive act. Deliberately altering the body chemistry or using devices to specifically avoid children is like eating a chocolate cake and then sticking your finger down your throat. Want the pleasure without the natural outcome. NFP is more like a diet. You chose not to do eat or you eat and exercise or even say what the heck, the calories are worth it.

In other words one works with God’s design where as the other intentionally breaks it. Put another way, one is obedient to God and the other is flipping him the bird (e.g. my will not yours be done).

Usige, that is a good way to put it. :thumbsup:

You know, birth control is a funny way to put artificial contraception because there’s no birth and no control.

Think of it as you would bodily health in other ways. You can achieve healthy weight by abstaining from fatty foods and over indulging. That’s known as abstinance.

Or… you can continue to ‘eat on demand’ foods that are chemically sweetened with carcinogens (chemical birth control) or over eat regularly but using post purging techniques like bulimics (condoms and IUDs).

The natural and Catholic way is to comply with nature and use self control and abstaining in order to honour the body as a ‘temple’ of the Lord.

The hedonistic way is to honour the lust of appetite without regard for the body as a temple. Lust and greed are deadly sins always looking for loopholes and clauses to avoid the dreaded ‘self control’ and ‘abstinence’ which are their contrary virtues. Contraception is a God verses the devil battlefield.

NFP is real birth control. It uses the body’s natural facilities to plan when to have sex and when to not have sex when there is good reason to avoid. But, NFP can also be used to conceive, something contraception cannot do.

If a couple using contraception decides to have a child, they stop using the contraceptive. However, that does not guarantee that they’ll conceive. NFP, on the other hand, can be used to plan when the woman is most fertile, and then have sex during that period and have a much greater chance to conceive.

NFP is natural. There are no barriers and no artificial hormones that increase the risk of cancer.

NFP is just a better option.

There are lots of threads on this same idea with others explaining the answers to your questions. Maybe you would find good information in those other threads.


Short version: it’s the difference between going on a diet and bulimia. It’s not the end itself, necessarily, it’s how you go about it and why.

The Church’s teaching is on Artificial Contraception i.e. interfering either mechanically or chemically to intentionally avoid conception. NFP is essentially abstaining on the most fertile days. The church also states that NFP should be used for important reasons and not trivial matters. For example if the couple feels it financially compelling, not if hubby wants a new bass boat instead of a little girl.

In marriage sex must be unitive as well procreative. Frustrating either of these intentionally is illicit. That is why invitro fertilization and artificial insemination are immoral as well, they remove the unitive portion of the equation.

When you are at work you are obviously not having sex. When you are in bed with your spouse having sex and deliberately taking measures bot to conceive [by any method] then that is contraception. To suggest anything other than that is a nonsense.

Are you seriously suggesting that a husband and wife making love is a lack of self control and dishonouring the body or god? Sex is a good thing within a marriage and sex between a husband and is wife is the only sexual act that is never condemned in scripture. Even St Paul tells us that when a husband and wife feel the need for sex that we should go and act on that passion so that we can get it out of our system and get back to serving god! He never suggests that the act of love between husband and wife is a lack of self control and there are no passages in scripture telling husbands and wives to abstain other than during menstruation.

Paul was a pretty big advocate of celibacy, but he was very clear that husbands and wives should fullfill there sexual duties to one another. He tells husbans and wives not to deprive not to deprive one another unless by mutual agreement for prayer. He does mention self-controle, but here he tells couples to **do it **. not abstain, because he means that we may seek sexual gratification somewere else. He also tells unmarried people who have sexual desire that they should marry, never does he command the married to abstain, ever! Married couples “fasting” or “abstaining” from sex is unatural and the “ultimate” form of contraception!

You missed the point.
Longingsoul was making the point that abstaining honors the body and God’s design where using artificial contraception does not. I’ll add my own words to clarify the point, using a physical or chemical barrier is a way of ‘thumbing your nose’ at God, that no new person will come about during the very act that He designed to create a new person.

This thread’s about contraception. That is, the act of intercepting the natural course of sex and voiding its natural ends by some sort of interference. That is definitely dishonouring the body and God, for want of self control in ordering your family makeup. Choosing the spacing of children by abstaining during fertile times is not ‘contra’ to conception since abstaining isn’t an active interference with the process. It’s just abstaining for a time. Like fasting is not ‘contra’ to nutrition. It’s just abstaining for a time. That would be opposed to purging what you’ve eaten or eating cardboard (which models do to satisfy hunger without calorie consequences). One dishonours the body and nature. The other works healthfully with the body.

That’s a good point. The design has a primary purpose. With ‘downtime’ a secondary purpose can be fulfilled in the interests of the unitive purposes of marriage… but if that secondary purpose seeks to override the primary purpose of the design, through lust, you dishonour the creation and it’s Creator both.

I’m not making an argument for “artificial” contraception, we don’t use “artificial” contraception. My argument is that the “Rhythm Method” is still contraception by another means, which is the act of preventing conception and children being born!
Not having sex during your fertile period is “not being open to life”, its a biological fact, the egg is sitting there with no sperm to fertilise it! I also don’t see how deliberately avoiding birth by artificial means it “thumbing ones nose at god” and avoiding birth by natural means is not?:shrug:

What is the most common time of the month for Catholics to abstain for religious reasons?Most of my Catholic friends who don’t use artificial contraception abstain during their fertile period, how can this be considered anything other than contraception? How is planning your family naturaly by avoiding conception any different than planning your family artificialy and avoiding conception? Both methods yield the same result, and that result is no children. The only difference I can see is that the natural method has less health inplications, given that the pill can cause breast and cervical cancer etc etc etc. My wife and I use NFP and it works very well. The only difference betweed couples who use artificial methods is that the number of days open for full sexual intercourse without chance of concieving is greater.

Try not having sex during the fertile period for six months and it may become more clear.

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