Lack of Promotion of Natural Family Planning in the Church

So here is something I don’t get. If the RC church is so dead set against artificial contraception, why isn’t NFP and other approved forms of family planning promoted widely in the church? When I was RC, the NFP program got a tiny one-line promotion on the back page of the church bulletin. It was never promoted or talked about. The lady who ran the NFP meetings was amazing yet under-worked.

Believe it or not, in my heady days of RC membership me and my wife were “all-in.” We didn’t live together before we were married and we used NFP religiously afterward. NFP help plan our wonderful family - we know the exact date of conception of each of our children. We still have seven years worth of tracking books of my wife’s cervical mucous.

But the RC church does a miserable job of promoting NFP. Many priests don’t believe in it and most RC couples refuse to even try it. It does work - but RC’s seem to think it’s like playing Roulette.

So if using artificial contraception is such a grave sin, why doesn’t the church have a robust network of Billings meetings across the globe. I mean really, if they are so passionate and out-spoken about how mortal using artificial contraception is, they would do more to promote NFP use.

It is amazing to see how many people go up to communion. Yet with certainty I can say 98% of those couples are using artificial birth control.

It is truly none of your business, that is between them and God.

I agree that the Church should promote NFP more.


First of all, I think the Church promotes NFP pretty heavily – all engaged couples have to be trained in it as part of marriage prep, and I see a lot of information disseminated about it.

As to this part of your post:

“It is amazing to see how many people go up to communion. Yet with certainty I can say 98% of those couples are using artificial birth control.” – you actually cannot say this with certainty unless you are in their bedrooms. How would you ever know this?


With that approach why discuss anything then.

I wondered that too. I was imagining how something you don’t pay attention to gets on your radar and then its all you see. Like when I replaced my outrageously bald tires and then for a few weeks I couldn’t help but look at everyone’s tires. Maybe this poster is looking at family size in the pews (not a good indicator at all) and like staring at the women’s faces to see how clear their skin might be. Or staring into disheveled pew purses to see the little pill containers. :laughing:

I don’t really think the OP is doing that but it’s where my mind went as a read it.


I do agree that NFP should definitely be taught more. I also agree the marriage prep should talk much more about what openness to live really means. It was really something my wife and I discovered after being married for years. I do not feel like I was sufficiently formed in our marriage prep (and from what I understand talking to others our marriage prep was more than the usual in other places). I believe the Pope recently talked about this and how married couples need a more complete and longer preparation and post reception of the sacrament training. After we got married there was no more formation and I felt pretty sad there was nothing else do to. We didn’t have any young couples groups or family groups at the church. Largely still don’t.

I wish parishes had more family activities where you can bring children.

Why would the knights be sitting around talking about their wives cervical mucus?


They do.

And, John, you are still and always be a Catholic, so when you say “when I was”, it is just an indication that you are not presently in full communion…Once a catholic, always a catholic…nobody can remove you from the rolls, nor can you remove yourself.

Whether self-excommunicated or formally excommunicated by the Church, a member of the Church still remains a member of the Church.

Experience is going to vary on this subject based on parish and era. Mine has many opportunities and anytime it has come up, the parishoners I do know are open to life. Some of them have stories about what they didn’t know or didn’t do but they have seen the beauty of God’s plan for marriage and made it right.

If your parish doesn’t have the resources, become the resources!

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I agree this needs to be taught and taught correctly in that the use of NFP is for serious reasons to postpone pregnancy, not as a replacement for contraception. This does not get enough attention you are 100 percent right. Then again maybe many are using NFP computer applications. If I were a parish priest I would have a once a month talk about the evils of contraception,the proper use of NFP, and Church teaching about the family as in Casti Cannubii.

Help set some up! They will bear fruit. Someone recently used the phrase this church is not a country club, it is a family.

They didn’t, funny ha ha. But we did talk about our family and family size. When you get to know people at bible studies and the like you get to talk about personal matters. On matters related to birth control, I never encountered another Knight who used NFP with their wife. I would have loved to encounter such a person because I believe the mutual support would have been benefitial.

I am not in full communion, that is for sure.

That is not my experience, even though my cycles are crazy irregular and my data collection is a mess due to kids and wakeup times. It is not only workable, it is preferable in every way.

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Agreed. But on you first #2, I would suggest the percentage is much higher, but would add that NFP is very workable and is reliable. However, Catholics don’t want the inconvenience of limiting intercourse to 17 days per month.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s alright to talk about stuff. But when it comes to judging the souls of people in the Communion line, that’s where the line is drawn. We can judge actions, but we cannot judge people. Feel free to discuss all you like, so long as you’re not judging anyone’s soul in the process.


Hey I’m not judging, I’m simply observing. For all the mortal sins that could be committed, I observed very few people queuing up for confession. My observation is that most RC’s:

  • reject the Church’s teaching on artificial birth control
  • reject the notion of having to confess their sins to another human being
  • cannot distinguish between mortal and venial sin
  • believe they are entitled to go to communion every Sunday they attend church without considering the state of their soul

Some Catholics do “fully” embrace the teaching of the RC church. Most don’t - just an observation, not a judgement.

You know this how? Are you in their bedrooms or did you take a survey?

Unless someone has told you directly they are using artificial birth control, you don’t know with certainty. You’re just making a judgmental assumption.


We have to promote it by our lives, through our example and our conversations. How often do people talk about your family size or the ages of your children or whatever? Somehow it happens constantly. My coworkers approached me about this subject more often than I ever thought would happen as have some parishoners. If we are close enough and if they bring it up enough (they do) that’s your chance to tell them why.

Not necessarily always the church teaching depending on who it is. Things like: not having your husband treat your fertility like some undesirable part of you that you need to handle, having a man who knows your cycle well enough to know how it effects you in other ways, fostering self control in a world that would have you believe a man(or woman) can’t wait a week to have their “needs” met :roll_eyes: or that sex is the only type of intimacy.

We all live in different areas. This may be a problem in your parish but it may not be so much in other parishes. Where it’s a problem it should be confronted.

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