Is birth control ok in life threatening situations


No, they haven’t, but it doesn’t matter. The (legendary) Congo nuns weren’t choosing to engage in sex - so difficult to accuse them of contraception, though some do try. Suppressing ovulation (or other measures which prevent the progress of a rape) in anticipation of a rape is not morally different than doing so after the rape, which we know is authorised in Catholic hospitals.

I think it is clear.


Well, I think the issue is if it is true then it is quite a scandal, and but if it is not true then it doesn’t matter and confirms what the Church teaches.

Of course the Pope can be fooled, he’s human.

Well, it can be argued that there is no need for proof per se, because Humanae Vitae already rules out any circumstance that would justify its use. It is just a matter of whether those nuns followed Church teaching.

As far as I know the Pope was misinformed and no one has corroborated the story, especially not the nuns themselves. Even the context of the story was like, I heard that some nuns did this and that…


How is the ovulation suppressed exactly? Is that the same as the morning after pill?


So here comes the ambiguity you deny.
They were freely choosing to prevent conception by artificial means weren’t they?
That is contracepting in anybody’s language.

Yes I agree its likely much the same as what happens in hospitals after rape.
Though there the moral decision is by the authorities and less of a personal moral issue.


Don’t know. Do you trust the USCCB to act wisely?


I trust the Holy Spirit to act wisely, and to protect the Church from the gates of hell, but if we don’t know what they are doing exactly, how can we judge it right or wrong?


And yet, if the incident is not true, the Pope can still justify it theologically himself because he did.
So it is not really an easy teaching to understand.

Of course the Pope can be fooled, he’s human.

I didn’t mean about history, I mean about the principles of contraception being right or wrong.
You have just agreed with my point, its a difficult teaching to understand and apply in all cases…especially the hard cases.


Does it? Might be useful to have a re-read. Nowhere in HV will you find anything suggesting that a rape should be allowed to progress through to conception. Or do you disagree?


So fornication or masturbation is not a mortal sin if there is no prospect of marriage and you’re “climbing the walls”? There would be no difference in a situation like this. What if the man couldn’t perform due to some injury and his wife cheated on him. Would God understand because of her burning? He may understand the weakness but that in no way changes that we are to avoid sin. No one is saying this would be easy. It’s a trial, for sure. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t make it ok to choose sin. If the couple falls to temptation they should go to confession, but it’s still required to have the intention to sin no more.

Paul writes in scriptures,

"So to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.…

This is either true or not. The Sacrament of Marriage bestows graces on the couple that enable them to keep their vows, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health…we are to do all we can to cooperate with this grace. God doesn’t permit a trial that He doesn’t give us the grace to overcome but we have to seek it and work with it.


What is not easy to understand is what Pope Francis meant when he raised contraception in the Zika context. His statement would make perfect sense if the scenario in mind was a woman forced into sex. Otherwise, he has simply said something seemingly at odds with HV (and the CCC). :man_shrugging:


What would you need to know?


Yes, no problem there, it is difficult to apply at first glance, but if we think logically and reasonably, we will find that we must always fall back on the three fonts and Humanae Vitae

  1. object
  2. circumstance
  3. intent

HV: “Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary.”

It could be argued it is a form of sterilization, which is condemned.

The Pope was thankfully not ex cathedra on this, just one of his many airplane interview foibles, and God have mercy.


Correct , it is not always so - just as the CCC states.

But perhaps we have a terminology fail here.
The following statements may assist:

“So fornication or masturbation is not always a personal mortal sin if there is no prospect of marriage and you’re “climbing the walls?”

This is what I take you to say. It is correct according to the CCC.

But what I think you are trying to say is really:

Fornication and masturbation are always disordered and of grave matter regardless of circumstances and intent.

This is also correct.


And yet Rau is right re rape - yet you seem to disagree with him.


So let’s also say that when a woman pushes her rapist off her, just prior to ejaculation, that is “withdrawal”. :roll_eyes: It is absurd to view the rape as ending with the exit of the man. Just as it is absurd to view the rape as the sexual intercourse spoken of in HV.

That’s why there is no ambiguity. But we have had this debate previously…

The moral decision is taken by the woman. That her Bishops permit the treatment is itself evidence that the treatment is not immoral. It is not what Paul VI taught is forbidden.


Ah, that is not so clear cut as perhaps rape examples above.

Which such goes to show even the well trained are not agreed on how to apply the principles to all hard cases.

Conscience has a greater role to play in the bedroom than I think you are allowing it because Church teaching in this area is not easy to apply.


I’m 70…my wife is 66…is conception possible?
We don’t care…intimacy is still an important part of our life together.


Though, on a slightly different tangent, some would advise that if you both tried to marry fresh at this time it would not be allowed if perpetual antecedent impotence was in play. I find that hard to accept myself.

Its interesting that inability to be intimate is more important than infertility.


According to this article, hospitals do there best to have the most possible certainity about the matter, whether she is potentially pregnant, then give her a recommendation based on their tests.

The woman who is a victim of rape has the moral right to prevent the pregnancy for the following reasons: First, the rapist (including his sperm) is an unjust aggressor who has violated the woman’s dignity. Second, rape is an act of force and violence, unlike the conjugal love in marriage whereby both spouses give freely of themselves in an act of unitive and procreative love. Third, the woman is not responsible for the action, and thereby has the right to prevent the pregnancy. (Please note that for these three reasons, this guidance does not violate the Church’ s teaching regarding contraception as expressed in Humanae Vitae, which, because of the free-giving between spouses, stated, "Each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life (no. 11).)

Still, something doesn’t sit right with me, even with the smallest chance that you would abort a living human being, you shouldn’t take that chance. It doesn’t seem pro-life to me in either mentality or practice. Of course the situation is grave and horrible, but still the principles of HV seem to be violated as well.

Also, the framework from HV, I don’t think it should be narrowed to spouses only, because obviously lots of unmarried couples use contraceptives, and they still are under the ban, though they shouldn’t be having sex in the first place.


Really. How many traumatised Catholic women are in a state to make any sort of a truly calm, free choice after such an event. I suggest most would be happy to go along with a chemically abortive solution too if a professional suggested it was a good idea and glossed over the details. Would you ask too many questions?

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