Eucharist and contraception


There is a problem here because the Catholic Church allows the Eastern Orthodox to receive Holy Communion. And if the husband and wife have three or more children and are facing financial difficulties, their Orthodox confessor may give the wife the permission to use the pill. IOW, under certain conditions, the use of ABC is permissable in the Eastern Orthodox Church. And the Roman Catholic Church seems to be interested in supporting an eventual reunion with the Eastern Orthodox Church.


I think not. Heresy involves obstinate and public disagreement.
Most faithful Catholics whose informed conscience leads them to act otherwise in the privacy of their own bedroom do so quietly and respectfully of Church principles without causing any scandal whatsoever.
It is good to be gently reminded on a public forum from time to time this is actually going on by a significant number of committed Catholics, as many as 30% I believe in the US…lest we others believe its a done deal. In fact the Church’s teaching on contraception is far from clear or finished given it is an ongoing private but well known weeping wound despite Humanae Vitae. There is more to be said and done re this teaching - perhaps Pope Francis is the man to take it further.


I have read the number is far higher than that.


It’s a little closer to three times that.


I think the last I read it was in the low to high eighties.

The official stance on this is going to change well within my lifetime. It very nearly changed before I was born.


Not possible. Use of artificial contraception to avoid pregnancy is always wrong and always will be. If the Church is wrong about this today, then it can be wrong about anything.


Was it wrong for the nuns in Africa who were reported to have taken the pill?


You are right, I like to err on the side of caution when I cannot find my original references.
62% is the figure I recall?


Totally possible. And it nearly happened.


I think I read where something like 87% of practicing, adult Catholics don’t agree or believe in the Church’s teaching on artificial birth control. The percentage of those who use it, is no doubt different. I don’t know that there is a reliable statistic for that.


Interesting. Any other moral stances that the Church takes that you think might change? Abortion might become allowed? Maybe Jesus wasn’t divine after all and a just a magician? Female priests?


Oh no. It’s far higher. The survey is from Pew Research.


You seem to confuse principles with their application in concrete situations.
We all know thou shall not kill is a universal principle.
Yet we also know the Church teaches Capital Punishment is not intrinsically evil…nor is lethal self defence.

The key concept is the notion of “direct” and “indirect” moral intent.

Rape victims may immediately contracept afterwards.

Likewise with “abortion”.
Its just that acceptable “abortions” are not called
“abortions” (eg ectopic removal procedures).
But medically at least, they are still reasonably called abortions.

The issue is that moral teaching is about intent as well as the physical action.
Medics teaching is just the physical act.
This is likely where you have gone off the rails with your alleged “immoral universals”.


Lol. You’re a riot. You know as well as I do this was nearly a non issue.


Of course I’m being facetious here but I’m asking a serious question. If you think there is a possibility that the Church has been teaching in error on contraception for all of these years, what basis is there to think that they are correct when it comes to its other teachings?


As I said, you and I both know that this was nearly a non-issue. I’m not here to debate anything else. The Church has reversed decisions before and committed grave errors in judgment. I’m Catholic and love her with all my heart but I also recognize she is not perfect and she is governed by humans.

Your other comments are just a tactic designed to deflect and get a rise out of me, and they do neither.


You mean we have to go back to fish and chips on all Fridays of the year. Drats.


I’m not trying to get a rise out of you; I seriously want to know why you think this teaching could change. Yes, they have made errors in judgment in practice and concrete actions, but not errors in moral teachings. The prohibition against non-procreative sex (speaking generally here without going into too much explicit detail) has been a constant teaching of the Church since apostolic times. Numerous Popes have reaffirmed the teaching. Most Catholic scholars are in agreement that the teaching meets the criteria for being an infallible teaching.

The Church has repeatedly affirmed that the illicitness of contraception is an infallible doctrine: “The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable. Contraception is gravely opposed to marital chastity, it is contrary to the good of the transmission of life (the procreative.aspect of matrimony), and to the reciprocal self-giving of the spouses (the unitive.aspect of matrimony); it harms true love and denies the sovereign role of God in the transmission of human life” (Vademecum for Confessors 2:4, Feb. 12, 1997).

This is a practice, not an infallible doctrine.


Because it very nearly didn’t exist, that’s why. This was almost a non-issue. And with over 80% of Catholics in the pews believing it isn’t an issue, eventually it won’t be.

You’ll notice I’m not saying right or wrong. But in my lifetime it will change.


Well I agree with you that vast swaths of Catholics disagree and/or ignore the teachings on contraception. And many priests/bishops are loathe to bring it up if it is at all unavoidable. But that doesn’t meant that they are correct in doing so.

And if the Church does indeed change the teaching, then the Church would be teaching in error, either in the past, or in the future. In which case the entire moral foundation of the Church would collapse, since if they could be wrong about this, then they could be wrong about any number of things.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit