I know that this topic appears on this forum frequently. Of course I haven’t read every thread regarding this matter but only three of them and I still cannot find what’s wrong in my reasoning. At the beginning I want to apologize for my poor English (it’s not my native language) but I hope somebody will not only be able but have patience to understand me properly.
I’m the Catholic and I think my faith is very deep but I have problem which concerns many Catholics: I disagree with Church teaching about contraception. Of course I agree that every contraception which can influence the woman health or cause death of conceived baby is morally wrong (and in second case it’s very serious), but condom or some alternative intercourse techniques don’t have such disadvantages.
Firstly, I cannot understand why intercourse which is only for unity with spouse and pleasure and not for procreation is intrinsically evil. Does anybody really know why (except ‘because Church teaches so’)? Secondly, methods of birth regulation based on self-observation (NFP) are for me contraception as well as e.g. condoms or alternative techniques (ABC), so both methods should be considered as good or bad. I cannot find any difference in essence between them. In following points I try to explain my point of view. If somebody is able to write precisely what’s wrong in it, I’ll be very grateful. And not only me, but every person who sees the whole issue similary.
Some person wrote wisely: ‘Pleasure in sexual activity was developed to encourage more reproduction. Therefore to have sex for mere pleasure is to neglect the purpose of sex and do injury to nature’. At first it seems to have sense but what can be evil in intercourse without procreative intension is not the act itself, not the pleasure, but the intension and switching off the procreative aspect itself. For example if you decide to conceive a baby in 2 years time you have moral responsibility for this decision regardless of the fact you have sexual activity during this time or you are abstinent.
Generally, there are three fruits of an intercourse: unity, happiness and procreation. All are without doubt good. And if we eliminate one of them, the others are still GOOD. What I wrote above, the mere elimination can be evil, not an intercourse which still bring us some goodness. So if I have choice not to make love (and I especially mean long-term abstinence) or do it in the way that eliminate procreation I should choose the latter.
I can’t believe the idea that God created sexual desire to force us, against our will, to produce babies. In such assumption we could say that pleasure and happiness which accompany sexual activity without procreation aspect is forbidden.
The most ridiculous thing is that some people claim NFP keeps procreative aspect. It is pure hypocrisy. English is not my native language, but in polish we have very similar word in this place (‘prokreacyjny’), so if ‘procreative’ isn’t connected with ‘producing a baby’ (but more with preventing it), I don’t know what does this word really mean.
We use NFP because we want to avoid that a child will be conceived. And it’s not like some think ‘I do nothing so it cannot be wrong’. My answer: ‘You block conception, like e.g. using condoms, but you use time as a mean for achieving the purpose’.
Saying that the NFP is natural, given by God way for responsible parenthood and the ABC is artificial or unnatural, altering something, nothing changes, because it is like statement: ‘cultivating tomatoes in winter (in glasshouse) and eating them is evil because God creates the nature to give us tomatoes only in summer’. Similarly solarium, scuba diving, planes etc. should be treated as intrinsically evil (somebody can say that glasshouse tomatoes taste not so good and solarium isn’t the same as sun but it’s not a matter of evil and it’s very well that procreative marital act is more excellent but it doesn’t render the ordinary one evil). But I remember there were ideas that if God had wanted us to fly He would have given us wings.
Most Catholics has similar point of view and I don’t only think about lay people but priests, bishops and cardinals. It doesn’t prove that we are right but either only very few people are so close to God that can understand His idea about sexuality or something is wrong about the teaching).
Of course I could accept the Church teaching without understanding WHY. But I partially cannot, partially don’t want to. Firstly, because my conscience says me something else. Secondly because me reason do the same. I don’t regard using condom as a sin, not only mortal sin, but even venial. I know that following our own conscience if it is in contradiction with the Church teaching is very risky but until we really try to understand and accept this teaching and ask God to help us find the truth it appears to be good way. I was confirmed in such judgment by several priests and the Catechism confirms it too in many parts especially in 1778 and 1779: …In all he (human person) says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right…Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ…It is important for every person to be sufficiently present to himself in order to hear and follow the voice of his conscience.
So, if somebody says, that person uses artificial contraception surely commits mortal sin, he is for 99.9% wrong.