contraception

It’s not contraception because you are not frustrating the sexual act. With contraception you are changing the sexual act; going against the body’s nature. NFP works with the body, and natural timing. You aren’t changing the act, just when you have it.

I don’t quite get your point? Are you perhaps suggesting that people can get “caught out”? having intercourse during the perceived non-fertile period? because the implication of getting “caught out” is that you were trying to avoid getting pregnant, which sort of proves my point! We never use “artificial” contraception because the church forbids it, if I were to say that “love” never happens during the fertile time when we aren’t looking to conceive would be untrue. Burning Bush makes a good point. He asked when was the most common time for most of us to abstain from sex, it happens to coincide with the fertile time of the month. How many of us abstain outside the fertile period and engage during it?

You cant physically frustrate a sexual act you deliberately avoid to prevent pregnancy.
When Onan was told to give Tamar a child for his dead brother Er, he had three possible options…

  1. He could have had full intercourse and gave Tamar his “seed”…
  2. He could have and did, spill his seed…
  3. He could have refused to lie with Tamar at all.

In the event Onan chose option two, but if he had chosen option three by not having sex at all, he would still have been found guilty of “frustrating” a possible pregnancy.

Here is another point, artificial contraceptives are frequently known to fail. Who has the most chance of bearing a child, a woman on the pill who has sex during her fertile time, or a woman who has no sex at all during it?

You are allowed to abstain from sex.
A woman has a natural, God designed fertility cycle.

Using God’s designed cycle is still being open to life. Using man’s artificial means is not open to life because it is only used to prevent a woman from being fertile. It does not work with God’s naturally designed cycle, it interferes with God’s design by destroying a woman’s fertility or blocking the man’s fertility. And that is “thumbing one’s nose at God.”

It is not about the resultant pregnancy. Using artificial contraceptives is a deliberate misuse of the sexual act. It is like gorging yourself and then purging. NFP is like dieting. Both will result in you not getting fat but one is sinful and the other is not.

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By that logic, anytime a couple isn’t having sex, they are guilty of frustrating the sexual act.

Abstinence isn’t physically frustrating the act, because you aren’t engaging in the act. So it isn’t onanism.

When you abstain during your fertile period is it to avoid getting pregnant? Many of the posters here have said its for reasons of gaining holiness or holding ones body to god as a temple, or giving one’s self to god in prayer etc etc. These are very good things I totally agree, but what makes me curious is that it seems that most Catholics only have these dedicated moments during the fertile period! I live in Northern Ireland and the birth rate among my Catholic neighbors is lower that among Presbyterians. How can the Catholic methods be more open to life when less children are being born to them? My suspicion is that the use of artificial contraception is higher among Catholics than Presbyterians! My main concern is that I am currently investigating conversion, I have always viewed NFP as a good way to plan our family and protect my wife from the harmful effects of the pill. I bet you didn’t know that most Presbyterians in Ireland use NFP! I just heed these points clarified…

  1. Is it a sin to use NPF to control the size of your family for economic reasons. I don’t mean avoiding a child to get a sports car, but only having children we can afford to feed, cloth and school?

  2. Is it a sin to deny NPF is for birth control and instead call it abstinence for god?

  3. My biggest concern is that most of the Catholics on this thread have said that “abstinence” during the fertile period is not a form of avoiding becoming pregnant!
    Why then is “abstinence” rarely if ever observed outside period?

It is not about the resultant pregnancy. Using artificial contraceptives is a deliberate misuse of the sexual act. It is like gorging yourself and then purging. NFP is like dieting. Both will result in you not getting fat but one is sinful and the other is not.

So what you are saying is that when the moment is reached in your cycle when you are most likely to provide a child for god, you deliberately avoid that moment by an act of your own will and deny god that child, this is not birth control? this is not considered a sin?

If this is your view, then is it sinful for an adolescent girl to not get married as soon as her cycles begin? I started at 12. I got married at 23 (young by today’s standards.) That’s 11 years of refusing to offer God children, as you put it.

Or maybe God allows us to prayerfully discern when it is most appropriate to have a child, as He expects us to discern whether or not we will marry and who our spouse will be. We’re not called to churn out as many babies as possible (and I say this as someone who hopes to have many children - so far we have two.) We’re called to pray and be as generous as we can, but to make sacrifices as necessary - and it is a sacrifice for couples to abstain when they are most fertile, and I would argue that it’s hard because children are a wonderful blessing. Couples who practice NFP know that.

Right. Avoiding the moment is not a sin. No process is being thwarted.

‘Conception’ is the mingling of an egg and sperm. Contra-ception assumes the presence of these things but a deliberate act of thwarting the union. Making a cake requires an egg and flour. If they are in the bowl but deliberately prevented from combining, the cake making is thwarted and the process wasted. If the eggs stay in the fridge and the flour in the cupboard, you wouldn’t consider that contra to cake making. No process was thwarted.

Good analogy. It’s a head scratcher for me why some people keep claiming that abstaining from sex equals contraceptive sex. It’s a world of difference.

So what you are saying is that when the moment is reached in your cycle when you are most likely to provide a child for god, you deliberately avoid that moment by an act of your own will and deny god that child, this is not birth control? this is not considered a sin?

For the last time, real birth control with good reason is not sinful, contraception is.

:confused:

Sorry, but most couples are not continuously having sexual relations outside of the fertile period.

What would you consider abstinence? One day? Two? Five? Two hours? Ten?

Even when my husband and I were trying to get pregnant, we didn’t continuously have relations. We took breaks. You know, for things like work, eating, sleeping. Oh and for life. :rolleyes:

Agreed, maryjk. The amount of abstaining my wife and I do during her infertile period is…the majority of the time.

I think you should read Didascalia’s post more clearly,on neary every occasion he says between husband and wife or uses the term spouce. For you to imply that he’s suggesting not having sex with an underage adolesent is a sin and by implication that he;s saying we should have sex with adolescent girls, is a very low punch.:frowning:

I’m at a loss that you think I’m advocating sex with children! Very offensive post. The whole thread is in regard to married couples, not children! I cant believe your saying I’m suggesting that.:shrug:

Really? there are only 5-6 fertile days in the month. Thats a lot of “downtime” :stuck_out_tongue:

You missed the point of her post. It’s not about having sex at a young age; I’m pretty sure it’s a response to your earlier question here:

So what you are saying is that when the moment is reached in your cycle when you are most likely to provide a child for god, you deliberately avoid that moment by an act of your own will and deny god that child, this is not birth control? this is not considered a sin?

There are lots of times women reach that time in their cycle when they’re most fertile and likely to “provide a child for God” but deliberately avoid that moment. One reason is that they’re too young (age 12) for marriage and maybe 10 years of those fertile moments could go by before they are married. The point is, this isn’t birth control and that was what Silicasandra was getting at. Women who forego sex altogether during those points in their cycles aren’t contracepting…if they do have sex and block fertilization by means of pills, diaphragm, condoms, etc, then that’s contraception.

My wife and I have been married for 19 years and before we were Catholic we had used contraception (the pill and eventually a vasectomy [later reversed]). Even when we were using contraception we often went a week (or more) without being intimate because of being tired from work, chasing after kids, or a dozen other reasons.

The point being that even when we were contracepting the choice of abstaining was driven by dozens of factors. Those same factors still exist.We don’t plan out our intimate life around my wife’s fertility. Yes we are aware of when she is fertile, but that doesn’t drive when we do and don’t abstain. In other words she doesn’t put on a chastity belt and sleep in another room during her fertile times and then turn into a wanton the day it’s “safe”. Heck, one of our sons was conceved when we had though to delay that month and then changed our minds mid cycle. As one of our friends says, “Every one of the kids were planned… at least 5 minutes in advance.” :smiley:

As a side note. I have helped my wife with NFP instruction for the past 5 years. In that time we have looked at 70 - 100 women’s charts. On average I would say there are between 11 - 16 days a cycle that are “off limits” for those that are actively trying to avoid (menstrual period + fertile days + 3 days post peak). The longest stretch of “safe time” is the luteal phase after ovulation and in those 10 - 14 days we generally don’t see a huge uptick in frequency of intimacy. It is not uncommon to see people take “risks” and have intercourse in the early days of the fertile phase or in the second or third days after peak.

That implies that the majority of people are perhaps delaying intimacy a couple days, but it’s not like a dog that has been starved for a week and then gorges itself for the next 2 weeks. Even in their “downtime” people aren’t being intimate more than every 3 - 8 days based on the average chart I’ve seen [generally 5 - 7 day]. Some might be more or less frequent, but they are not the norm. [Note: not a scientific study, best guess based on what I remember from chart reviews :p]

To sum it up. Even when contracepting, people abstain for numerous reasons. Those same reasons apply to people using NFP. More than half the people using NFP do not appear to strictly follow rules to avoid so are in effect trying to minimize rather than rule out the chance of pregnancy.

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