Help in answering a NFP query from the Philipines


#1

I received this PM on another message board and was not sure how to answer it other thatn to say I really can't do anything about it. The church teaching is clear, and if people choose not to follow it.....:shrug:

Anyway I thought I'd post it here and then link the thread to the person who PM'd me.

Here it is. Any input would be appreciated.

From alitaptap James,

I have read some of your posts in the controversial discussions forum especially on AIDS, contraception and the Church Natural Family Planning issues. I’m a Catholic but the rapid population growth in our country (Philippines) is quite alarming. Do you think monogamous relationship and natural family planning is the answer to our runaway population explosion? I believe most people in the Philippines especially in the provinces practice natural family planning as advocated by the Catholic Church and look what happened? Say rhythm method as an example: Here's some facts about rhythm method:

Rhythm method is not as effective as we might think and it's not exact science either. A day or two can make a profound difference in the outcome. Even if you follow it to the letter, there is still room for error and the negative consequences the parents have to bear if they made a boo-boo. Here are some facts that may not show up on statistics anywhere:

-Most married Filipino couples are still monogamous but males in general do not like to wear condoms. They view Condoms as protection only when they have sex with others for fear of catching STD but not with their wives. These are the negative attitudes of Filipinos that are obstacle to building wealth: 1. Procrastination 2. What ever will be will be.

  • The average married couple engages in sexual activity 2-3 times a week. That equates to 8-12 times a month. If rhythm method is used, there will be 2 weeks where the couple cannot have sex (again, give and take a few days to play it safe). Do you think the man would abide and abstain from sex for 2 weeks? I think this is not applicable for Filipinos =)

I understand the Churches view on family planning but there are also other means to avert unwanted pregnancy. I also don't advocate abortion either. It is cruel and barbaric. But I also believe that every child born in this world should be given a chance to live their lives to the fullest and be nurtured with love and affection from day one. It's really a simple math...less mouth to feed, more for everyone. The problem is the Philippines those who cannot afford many children are those who have many children thus the cycle of poverty continues. 98 million people in a small Island Nation is just way to many people. We will eventually deplete our natural resources and arable land. Then what? With over10 million people living in Metro-Manila, it rivals Mexico City as one of the most congested/polluted city in the world. Here were the Philippines (#71) stacked against other countries: Look at the population density per square kilometers and the % of population growth. The government should really address this issue to reverse the tide.

Hope you can give me an advice. Sorry if I sent this via PM because I noticed that most Covers are not Catholic and I am sure they will recommend contraception. I want to hear fellow Catholic’s view on this.

Thank you and God bless you.


#2

Hi, I'm from the Philippines and here are online sources that might help shed light on the topic. God bless!

cbcponline.net/documents/2000s/html/populationcontrol.html
rcam.org/news/2005/cbcp_commission_reiterates_family_planning_stand.htm
prolife.org.ph/home/index.php/anti-life-issues/population-control


#3

Well, one response would be that the rhythm method is not modern natural family planning and the rhythm method is not taught or promoted by the Church.

Rhythm is based on calendar predictions using past cycle data. It is quite inaccuate and has been replaced by much more modern methods, for over 40 years now.

Modern methods of natural family planning observe actual signs of fertility and do not rely on averages or past cycle data. These include Sympto-Thermal, Creighton, Billings, and Marquette models.


#4

Firstly, contraception is not a sin, in fact fundamentally, techniques used in family planning is technically contraception (contra-ception= contra conception). Secondly, there is no death in the use of a condom because it does abort the fertilized zygote; it prevents fertilization to begin with. Thirdly, the idea of the condom being inherently sinful is based on theologically shaky ground.


#5

[quote="sinnerdexter, post:4, topic:188535"]
Firstly, contraception is not a sin, in fact fundamentally, techniques used in family planning is technically contraception (contra-ception= contra conception). Secondly, there is no death in the use of a condom because it does abort the fertilized zygote; it prevents fertilization to begin with. Thirdly, the idea of the condom being inherently sinful is based on theologically shaky ground.

[/quote]

You are wrong. Contraception by any artifical means is a grave sin.
Are you rejecting the Church teaching against any form of artificial birth control, including condoms?


#6

To an extent I agree with the first part of your statement. The techniques used in NFP when used to prevent a pregnancy can certainly be considered “contraception”.
As to the second part of your statement, I understand your reasoning in regards to condoms not being an abortifcant. However the last part of your statement will require greater explanation.

You claim that the Church’s prohibition of condoms is, “based on theologically shaky ground”. Would you care to walk us through the theological ground so that we may see why your theological understanding is better than that of the Magisterium?

Peace
James


#7

Contraception is an "intrinsic evil". Family planning by spouses taking under consideration all the resources at their disposal and their personal, family and community needs is perfectly acceptable.

NFP is in no way a contraceptive act. The act remains pure ,natural and marital.
A sexual act using contraception is not pure natural or marital.


#8

If you practice birth control, do not use vasectomy because:

Deut. 23: 1. No man whose testicles have been crushed or whose organ has been cut off may become a member of the assembly of the Lord.

Do not use the withdrawal method either because:

Genesis 38: 8-10. Then Judah told Onan to sleep with his brother’s wife, to do his duty as the husband’s brother and raise up offspring for his brother. But Onan knew that the offspring would not count as his; so whenever he lay with his brother’s wife, he spilled his seed on the ground so as not to raise offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight, and the Lord took away his life also.

Seriously speaking, the real problem in the Philippines is poverty and the root cause is rapid population growth. In the early sixties, President Park Chung Hee of South Korea, started and implemented South Korea’s family planning program, with the slogan, “HAVE A SINGLE CHILD AND RAISE IT WELL.” As a result, South Korea’s total fertility rate (TFR), or number of children per woman, dropped from 6.1 births in 1960, to 4.2 in 1970, to 2.8 in 1980, to 2.4 in 1985. Coupled with industrialization, the results are what is South Korea today. Can the Philippines learn from the lessons of South Korea? For HEAVEN’s sake, probably not. What is the Church’s solution on poverty issue of which rapid population growth is the root cause?


#9

[quote="JRKH, post:6, topic:188535"]
To an extent I agree with the first part of your statement. The techniques used in NFP when used to prevent a pregnancy can certainly be considered "contraception".
As to the second part of your statement, I understand your reasoning in regards to condoms not being an abortifcant. However the last part of your statement will require greater explanation.

You claim that the Church's prohibition of condoms is, "based on theologically shaky ground". Would you care to walk us through the theological ground so that we may see why your theological understanding is better than that of the Magisterium?

Peace
James

[/quote]

James,

God said “go forth and multiply” but God also teaches us to take care of our brethrens; to ensure they have a bright future. With the current situation of the world’s economy, if we just let people multiply and multiply, then God’s teaching would go to waste. We are still risking to committing sin by bringing new life into this world only to be put to suffering; knowing that they would greatly suffer, suffering of our own doing.

Condom is just a tool to prevent unwanted pregnancy (for couples to enjoy intimacy without the risk of bringing life to earth only to die of hunger or suffer due to poverty). Just like a knife which is a tool which has a good purpose but can be used for bad purpose depending on its user intent. It is up to the owner of it to put it to good use. A knife can kill if the person wanted to kill. A condom can be a tool for infidelity and sinful acts if the person wanted it to be a tool of sinful acts.

I think the church instead of condemning the use of condom would instead teach its people how to put it to good use. The church should have a more intense teaching to its people to strengthen its follower’s moral values.

The issue is not being promiscuous because of the introduction of condom. People will still do sinful acts with or without condom. It is the deterioration of moral values and rotten family relationship that is pushing people to commit sinful acts. This should have been the church’s main goal and active pursuit; restoring family values, reviving strong family relationships and making people understand the effect of irresponsible propagation.


#10

[quote="Seatuck, post:7, topic:188535"]
Contraception is an "intrinsic evil". Family planning by spouses taking under consideration all the resources at their disposal and their personal, family and community needs is perfectly acceptable.

NFP is in no way a contraceptive act. The act remains pure ,natural and marital.
A sexual act using contraception is not pure natural or marital.

[/quote]

I wish to lend support to RP HB 5043, better known as the Reproductive Health Bill of the Philippines. opinion.inquirer.net/viewpoints/columns/view/20100209-252277/How-Mona-Lisa-Died

If passed into law and implemented, I believe that that law will be a giant step in helping to reduce poverty in the Philippines, not next year or the year after next, but in 10-20 years time. Poverty reduction via population control or birth control or family planning is "A Long And Winding Road", but the result will be that in 10-20 years, most who were poor will be able to sing, "What A Wonderful World", then reminisce and sing, "The Way It Used To Be". I hope I'll be around to see that.

Does natural family planning work in reducing poverty? Let the South Koreans, the Singaporeans, the Taiwanese and the Hong Kong residents, and soon the Chinese, the Thais and the Vietnamese answer that.

As far as passing HB 5043 is concerned, in predominantly faithful Catholic Philippines? "Houston, we have a problem."


#11

First of all let me say that linking a broad based problem such as “Poverty” to a single root cause such as “rapid population growth” is overly simplistic.
Note in your own example of South Korea of how you link “industrialization” along WITH family planning as resulting in a better Korea.
But there is a flip side to this also that is being played out in the US right now. Reduced birth rates after the “baby boom” of 1945 - 1960 are causing grave concerns over funding of public programs and especially the Social Security system. In fact the falling birth rate could be seen as leading toward a possible collapse of the US economic system in the not too distant future.

I would also note that the “Korean Slogan” above does not stat How one should prevent having too many children. Abstinence and NFP methods are perfectly viable methods.

The Church’s “Solution” that you ask about is the same as it has always been. Charity, Chastity, Sanctity. People should not have more children than they are able to support. Artificial methods are not required to do this. Chastity will accomplish it nicely.
As for poverty, there are many possible solutions to this that do not require ABC methods either. There are societies that are economically rich and spiritually impoverished, just as there are societies that are economically poor and spiritually rich.
Each society and each community must find it’s own way in the matter of how to earn a living – But the beat way combat “poverty” is to be rich spiritually. In this way one needs less, gives more, and is enriched both in this life and in the next.

I’m sure this is not the answer you were looking for – but it is my answer.

Peace
James


#12

James,

First of all thank you for your answer. I appreciate your concern about this issue. Second, are you saying that rapid population growth is not the only root cause of poverty? Can you confirm that from the one who sent you PM? Maybe it’s one of the root causes but is it the biggest factor. Let me cite another example. The GDP of the People’s Republic of China is the fourth largest in the world $5 Trillion. The GDP of the Philippines is $317 Billion. All those figures tell us is that China’s GDP is a lot bigger than that of the Philippines. But what do they mean? Like everything else, they have meaning only when related to something else.

China’s GDP of $5 Trillion, shared among its 1.4 billion people, means that China’s GDP per capita or the share of each citizen is only $3,696, which means a Chinese citizen is poorer than a Thai whose GDP per capita is $4,100. A Thai can buy more goods and services.

The Philippines’ GDP is $317 Billion, with a population of 98 million people, and is about the same as the GDP of the State of Oklahoma, USA, with only 3.6 million people. What it means is that GDP per capita of a Filipino is about $1,800, an Oklahoman, $45,000. An Oklahoman enjoys a much higher standard of living than a Chinese, a Thai, a Filipino, and many other citizens of the world. Maybe, that is why, there is a saying, “It’s OK to be an OKIE from Oklahoma, USA.”

Now, imagine if that $317 Billion is only shared by about 50 million or even 30 million Filipinos. Then each Filipino will say, “I am OK, but I’m not from Oklahoma, USA.”


#13

[quote="Ferds_Guiang, post:2, topic:188535"]
Hi, I'm from the Philippines and here are online sources that might help shed light on the topic. God bless!

cbcponline.net/documents/2000s/html/populationcontrol.html
rcam.org/news/2005/cbcp_commission_reiterates_family_planning_stand.htm
prolife.org.ph/home/index.php/anti-life-issues/population-control

[/quote]

Dear Kabayan (Fellow citizen)

You know very well that most married Filipino couples are still monogamous but males in general do not like to wear condoms. They view Condoms as protection only when they have sex with others for fear of catching STD but not with their wives. H*indi raw masarap kung may suot na capote.* They like to get wet when it rains. Most of them still believe in "Bahala na" system. "May awa daw ang Diyo*s", "we'll cross that bridge when we get there", "*makakaraos din tayo". *Mapuso*k is the word I'll use to describe Pinoys mentality on these things.

Like a typical Filipino family, we say, THE MORE (CHILDREN), THE MERRIER, until we realize that we're supposed to feed, shelter, clothe and educate them too. And when problems arise, we try to blame the church, the state (both deserve it), seldom ourselves. That's a law of nature.

Rapid population growth and poverty are related in this old claim, namely, HAVING MANY CHILDREN MAKE PEOPLE POOR, AND BEING POOR MAKE PEOPLE HAVE MANY CHILDREN. It is a cycle. I personally believe it to be true because I see it. Think about it for a while. If you're an expat or an OFW, and you don't see it, you've spent your well-deserved vacations in Caramoan, Boracay, Palawan, Misibis, etc. I don't blame you. If you're a Metro Manila resident (I saw from your profile), you been going to MOA, GREENBELT, EASTWOOD, etc. I don't blame you either. But had you gone to the banks of the Pasig River, or the old railroad tracks, where to most of the people who live there, the horizon has no silver lining, which is, if they see the horizon or has the time to gaze at the horizon at all, that old claim is true.

Now, we're going to the nitty-gritty of population growth. Way back in the '60s, the UN initiated a program of ZERO POPULATION GROWTH (ZPG). The Philippines joined that initiative and came up with POPCOM (Commission on Population). Remember that? I will leave it to the reader to research that institution. I think it turned to POPCORN.

I think ZPG recommended a population growth rate of 1 (birth rate equals death rate or close to it), and total fertility rate (FTR) of 2.1. FTR is the number children for each childbearing woman of the population. Afghanistan has an FTR of 7 now, the Philippines has 4. POPCOM, if I remember right, had a program that would have the Philippines achieve the goals of ZPG in the year 2000 CE.

Well, we know what happened, and the rest is history, and poverty.

My opinion is that the surest way to reduce RP poverty is to curb rapid population growth of the Philippines. A lot of countries have reduced their population growth and thus raised the living standard of their people. I think I already cited Thailand as an example__a country whose people were twice as poor as the Filipinos were forty years ago, and now it's the Filipinos who are twice as poor as the Thais.

In the 70's, both the Philippines and Thailand signed on to the UN population control program. Both countries targeted 1.0 % population growth rate for the year 2000. In the 70's, the Thai government implemented a population control policy with the rallying slogan, "MANY CHILDREN MAKE PEOPLE POOR". The Philippines instituted the POPCOM.

In 2000, Thailand attained its PGR goal of 1.0%, and the Philippines' PGR was 2.3%. In 2008, Thailand's PGR was 0.62%, the Philippines' stayed at 2.3%. The evident result in 2008 was that there were tens of millions more Filipinos than Thais. Direct economic results were that Thailand had a GDP per capita of $4,125, the Philippines $1,800, Thai unemployment rate of 1.4% of the labor force, the Philippines, 7.6% unemployment rate, Thailand remained #1 rice exporter, the Philippines remained #1 rice importer. Thailand is well on its way to reducing poverty.

So why was the Philippine government population control policy not effective in reducing population growth and thus reducing poverty among the population? Well, one might say, that Thailand has a constitutional monarchy. Fair enough, but who says, in the 70's and 80's, the Philippines did not have a monarchy? Or maybe it is easier for the Thais to practice natural and artificial birth control because they are mostly Buddhists, and the Filipinos mostly Catholics?

Before we go further think of a country, almost the same land area as the Philippines, a very progressive country, as shown by its GDP per capita, a very Catholic country (85%), and which had twice as many people as the Philippines fifty years ago, 51 million, and now has 60 million, and, according to a sexuality survey, ranks as having some of the horniest and most romantic people in the world? Take a guess!


#14

The cause of poverty in the Philippines is massive corruption and not too many people. The solution is to stamp out corruption.


#15

[quote="sinnerdexter, post:12, topic:188535"]
James,

First of all thank you for your answer. I appreciate your concern about this issue. Second, are you saying that rapid population growth is not the only root cause of poverty? Can you confirm that from the one who sent you PM? Maybe it’s one of the root causes but is it the biggest factor. Let me cite another example. The GDP of the People's Republic of China is the fourth largest in the world $5 Trillion. The GDP of the Philippines is $317 Billion. All those figures tell us is that China's GDP is a lot bigger than that of the Philippines. But what do they mean? Like everything else, they have meaning only when related to something else.

China's GDP of $5 Trillion, shared among its 1.4 billion people, means that China's GDP per capita or the share of each citizen is only $3,696, which means a Chinese citizen is poorer than a Thai whose GDP per capita is $4,100. A Thai can buy more goods and services.

The Philippines' GDP is $317 Billion, with a population of 98 million people, and is about the same as the GDP of the State of Oklahoma, USA, with only 3.6 million people. What it means is that GDP per capita of a Filipino is about $1,800, an Oklahoman, $45,000. An Oklahoman enjoys a much higher standard of living than a Chinese, a Thai, a Filipino, and many other citizens of the world. Maybe, that is why, there is a saying, "It's OK to be an OKIE from Oklahoma, USA."

Now, imagine if that $317 Billion is only shared by about 50 million or even 30 million Filipinos. Then each Filipino will say, "I am OK, but I'm not from Oklahoma, USA."

[/quote]

These figures are all very interesting but they really do nothing to address the issue which is the use of ABC to control the population.

But let's address this poverty issue for just a moment as it DOES relate to population control.

The Philipines has a GDP of $317 Billion which translates to a per capita GDP of about $1,800/year. - So now the question becomes, who is going to pay for all the BCP's and Condoms etc needed to control the population?

Are these poor people going to be expected to purchase these things when they are struggling to feed themselves?
Is the government going to do it? Are you saying that the Philipine Government is rolling in so much money that they can afford to supply these things free of charge nationwide? And do this while also trying to supply education and legal support for such a program?
Who is going to teach the people the proper uses of these items?
Who is going to enforce the use of these items among a population that does not universally accept their use?

You speak of a saying about Oklahoma, there is also a saying about keeping the government out of the bedroom. How does one enforce the use of ABC in the privacy of the bedroom other than by criminalizing the act of conception once some arbitrary limit is reached?

I'll tell you how this would have to work - as you well know. It is through education. The population must be educated on how and why to control the size of the family. In this, NFP can be taught just as easily as ABC. Not only can it be taught just as easily but it can be implemented more cheaply than ABC since there are no drugs or "appliances" necessary other than perhaps a thermometer.

There is no easy solution to the problems of the Philipines, or any other nation struggling with economic and sociological issues. The only real solution is God. Learning to Love God and acting upon that Love. Such a Love will 1) Clean up the Government, 2) Engender healthy, broad based, economic growth benefitting the most people and, 3) Reduce the overall population Growth to a managable level.

These are the solutions to the ills of the Philipines and they all rest on the same Root Cause. LOVE - Love of God and Love of neighbor - Love as taught to us by our Dear Lord Himself.

This same Root Cause solution will work for any nation and solve any problem

Peace
James


#16

I just heard from my friend who posted the original question.

He tells me that he is going to register here at CAF.

So - Soon we should be able to engage him in converation right here.

To all who posted, my thanks.

Peace
James


#17

[quote="JRKH, post:16, topic:188535"]
I just heard from my friend who posted the original question.

He tells me that he is going to register here at CAF.

So - Soon we should be able to engage him in converation right here.

To all who posted, my thanks.

Peace
James

[/quote]

During these times that our economy, along with those of other nations, is limping and may down any minute, it is very important to be a part of community like CAF as sacred place to improve spiritual status and establish a better future.

I am fortunate that James (JRKH) posted my query on NFP and many thanks to all who responded. I think the real problem in the Philippines is massive corruption and rapid population is simply the government’s scapegoat. Yes, there’s a truth in the logic that it’s easy to feed and send to school 2 children than 12 children. However, there is no guarantee that the few children will have bright future. There’s a truth in the more people in a specific place, the more space it consumes. However, I think we need to dig deeper to identify all root causes of poverty because it is not purely simple economic problem. The viable solutions must be according to God’s will in order to make life more meaningful while waiting for the final judgment.


#18

I didn’t claim that family planning, whether they use natural or artificial methods, is the universal remedy for poverty. I simply recognize the provable link between a large population and poverty. Uncontrolled population growth stunts socioeconomic development and aggravates poverty. The society should allow contraceptive methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies e.g. sexually active couple but not prepared to take on added responsibility of having children. If a natural method works for them, so be it. If they are more comfortable with artificial methods and it works for them, it’s good for them. Anti-life is a grave sin. Pro-quality life is not.


#19

[quote="sinnerdexter, post:18, topic:188535"]
I didn’t claim that family planning, whether they use natural or artificial methods, is the universal remedy for poverty. I simply recognize the provable link between a large population and poverty. Uncontrolled population growth stunts socioeconomic development and aggravates poverty. The society should allow contraceptive methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies e.g. sexually active couple but not prepared to take on added responsibility of having children. If a natural method works for them, so be it. If they are more comfortable with artificial methods and it works for them, it’s good for them. Anti-life is a grave sin. Pro-quality life is not.

[/quote]

A secular government is certainly permited to legally allow artifical birth control The Church is not in the business of telling ogvernments what they can and cannot do.
The matter is different when it comes to individuals who profess the Catholic faith.

Those who are Catholic are required to live their faith. That includes, not only refraining from artifical methods of birth control, but also from excessive sexual intercourse.

The Law of Love does not mean the man can demand sex anytime he wants.
The Law of Love does not mean that people should have more children than they can support.
The Law of Love means acting in a wholesome and holy way toward your spouse, your community and your country.

Regardless of what steps the government of the Philipines might take in regards to the population growth and the economic challenges, it will require much change in peoples outlook and in their actions.

The Church can only do it's best to promote the Will of God, as God has revealed that Will to The Church.

Peace
James


#20

[quote="JRKH, post:19, topic:188535"]
A secular government is certainly permited to legally allow artifical birth control The Church is not in the business of telling ogvernments what they can and cannot do.
The matter is different when it comes to individuals who profess the Catholic faith.

[/quote]

The problem is the Catholic Bishops' of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life's (CBCP-ECFL) asked the public not to support candidates who are promoting the use of birth control. "It would not be morally permissible to vote candidates who support anti-family policies, including **reproductive health, or any other moral evil such as abortion, divorce, assisted suicide and euthanasia," the catechism for the 2010 election read. (Constitution of the Philippines is clear on the separation of Church and State but what is happening is the other way around).

Contrary to Church call, survey says that Catholic will vote for candidates who will support RH Bill. All local opinion polls support the RH bill.

78% - in favor of Reproductive Health Bill (advices on artificial contraception)
7% - opposed to the Reproductive Health Bill
15% - undecided

Reproductive age means 15-54 (for men) and 15-49 (women). Samples are 50:50 men and women.

This is a wake-up call. People want to exercise freedom of choice including parenthood and population development.


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