Do the majority of practicing Catholics use contraception


I have been deeply disturbed by polls I have seen that indicate as many as 96% of Catholics use contraception. Numerous questions come to mind, including:

  1. Are these Catholics in name only?
  2. Are these really practicing Catholics?
  3. Do these people know the official Church teaching or are they misinformed?

Married couples I know that are devout Catholics know the Church teachings and do not use artificial birth control.

I am curious what the numbers on this forum would show…


Actually NO practicing Catholics use contraception. If they are practicing their faith, they are not contracepting. Period.

Are there Catholics who come to Church, go through the motions on Sunday and present themselves to the world as Catholic but contracept? Yup. But they are not “practicing Catholics.”

A lot of them are misinformed – having been told by a priest or Religious that “if your conscience says its OK, then it’s not a sin” (which is absolutely not true).

A lot of them are UN-informed and have no idea that NFP is NOT the old “rhythm method” and that the Catholic Church endorses responsible birth control (NOT contraception but birth control via licit means).

To your poll, I answer: I am a convert to the Church. When we were Protestant, we did not contracept.


I voted no, and I am Catholic. However, before I was Catholic, I wouldn’t have used contraception anyway. I was pretty scared of all the artificial hormones, devices, and risks associated with all of them. Contraceptives just didn’t feel “right” to me, so I never had an interest in them.

I consider my disinterest quite a blessing – I was never tempted to use them, and didn’t struggle with this teaching when I came into the Church. My reaction to Church teaching on contraception was more like, “Thank God!! That stuff is bad for your health, anyway.”

I know, I’m weird. :smiley:


I consider myself a practicing Catholic, who until within the last year used contraception (condoms). I realize this is against the Church and I now know what a sin it is and why, but I admit that I didn’t fully undertand why before. I tend to think there are Catholics out there like me, those who go to Church every week and for the most part follow what the Church teaches but are not fully understanding what they are doing.

I don’t think I was ‘going through the motions’ but I guess it is a way to describe my faith not being as deep as it is now. I am a cradle Catholic who went to Catholic schools for 8 yrs but I really began to truly explore the faith in the last several years and most especially when my oldest received Communion.

We recently had our fourth child, and when we found out that we were expecting, you wouldn’t believe the stories of friends of ours who have had abortions! I was shocked to say the least and saddened that these Catholic friends (and family too) would ever do this, but I feel that there is a large percentage of Catholics out there that are Catholic in name only, and need some sort of ‘booster shot’ of faith!


Bolded sections say it all. What troubles me is that so many Catholics who don’t know the “why” don’t even want to CONSIDER the “why”? God love ya!


I’m answered that I don’t b/c I don’t. I’m not married :stuck_out_tongue: Also I wouldn’t use them anyway - the Church says they’re wrong.



The poll does not include those that at one time used BC but have changed their ways since learning of the teaching. People cannot be faulted for not being instructed properly. This includes
an explanation of the entire faith, because that is what is required to understand the reasoning behind it.

I cannot tell you how many former contraceptors I have met that have converted over the years. Our children are being taught the faith and the reasoning behind it and are embracing the challenge. It is absolutely amazing to me to see it happen. My own children are being raised with theology of the body, and there is a wisdom there that I never thought possible.

I have found that when the “word” gets to the streets, many people reform their thinking. Tools are needed to form a proper conscience. Woe to us if we are caught laying down on the job.


So many Catholics struggle with this. For a lot of people, they think, It’s my body, who is the Church to tell me what to do? I think in reading the teachings of John Paul II and Theology of the Body, a better picture is painted of why the Church teaches what it does. It’s not about what we can and cannot do. It’s being fully receptive to God’s will and plan.
I’m not married yet, but I believe God needs to be the center of the marriage…and the couple needs to be open to His will for children, every single time. Contraception, quite simply, does not leave room for God’s plan.


I often find I can’t get past the initial intro. The wall goes up and I know that I’m not going to be able to say anything more than that we originally contracepted but gave it up early in marriage, that it changed our marriage (for the better) and that NFP is NOT “rhythm.” If I get that far, I’ll add that I have never known anybody who remained adamantly committed to contraception who really understood the full scope of the matter.

Mostly, I get the wall. Earlier rather than later.

Is there a way to breach it?


What do you meant the “wall”? Are you talking about Birth Control itself being a “wall” or are you talking about people not listening to what you say about birth control as the wall? :confused:



“The wall” is the face that comes up when the subject is mentioned. Yes: People not listening, not even being willing to stay in the same room with the subject, is what I meant by “the wall.” I’m sure you’ve seen it!


I don’t think I have…



Lucky you!! :smiley: The “wall” is disheartening; I know exactly what Mercy’s talking about, sadly.


I would think this poll will be skewed toward CAtholics who do not use artificial contraception due to the fact that it is Catholic Answers website…I mean, it seems most of the people who post in this forum are Catholics trying their best to live the Faith. Just my :twocents: :slight_smile:


I don’t think you can separate a discussion of BC from a discussion of the faith. It really has to do with faith in God and fidelity to the mission. Outside of that, it really does not make any logical sense. One can really get a feeling for where one is at spiritually by their attitude towards it. It doesn’t have much to do whether someone “used” to contracept, because, if they have embraced the teaching they have essentially converted. A person who has changed their attitude about BC has invariably had a conversion to the faith. I have never met someone who has not.

I think the “wall” is there because there is a sense that you are challenging their faith, and this may touch a nerve. I believe it all comes down to being a witness to the faith, a by-product of which is the joy that comes from being life-affirming which is what a large family would be.


Incidentally, I have experienced individuals for whom having a large number of children has become a source of spiritual pride.
In my mind this is almost worse than contracepting.


I cannot stand when I read on this forum that someone is not a Catholic if they “abc or d”. Are you perfect? Do you EVER swear? Do you ever take the Lord’s name in vain? Have you ever cheated, stole, lied, coveted, etc? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are also not a Catholic by your same standards.

Ok, off my soapbox now.


My husband and I used contraception when we were Protestants, but started using NFP when we converted to Catholicism. I started studying NFP rather grudgingly when we started RCIA, and I quickly came to realize what an incredible gift it was!

We will NEVER use contraception again.


Uhhm - there is a difference as mentioned between having done something and doing something now. It seems that your questions ignore that fact.

Also your question basically makes the argument that if you have any faults you cannot criticize sin and those who claim to be catholic while defending that sin.

And last but not least no one is perfect but there is a difference between venial and mortal sins…



As parents who have never been able to conceive, you can bet we have never used contraception. Even so, my wife and I took an NFP class before marriage and agreed that this was the only way to go. It really got us in touch with one another and I believe strengthened our marriage.

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