NFP and contraception

I’m a bit confused about RCC teaching on NFP and contraception.

My perception is that the RCC thinks that any emission of sperm that doesn’t have the potential to cause procreation is wrong, including oral sex, anal sex, and using condoms. This is also the basis for the RCC being against any contraception.

Except NFP. Clearly NFP is intended to avoid procreation by determining which days of the month a woman is fertile, and not engaging in sex on those days, thus creating the circumstance where the couple only emits sperm on days where that sperm doesn’t have the potential to cause procreation.

But in the case of other forms of sex and contraception, that’s morally wrong.

Why is it acceptable to avoid procreation through biology and calendar watching, but unacceptable to avoid procreation through alternative methods of emission, and contraceptives?

For the same reason it it immoral to attempt to lose weight via binging and purging rather than through diet and exercise. The way we go about doing things matters.

So the basis for not using condoms is that they are a health risk, even within a monogamous marriage, rather than the whole ‘procreative’ argument?

:confused: I’m not sure I understand how you think that follows from my analogy.

I simply used that analogy to illustrate the point that we are not an “ends-justifies-the-means” kind of people. Simply because two actions share one of the same consequences does not mean that both actions are therefore identical from a moral standpoint.

Well, binging and purging is unhealthy, where as diet and exercise is healthy. Thus, what you’re saying is that only intercourse is healthy and the rest are unhealthy.

I simply used that analogy to illustrate the point that we are not an “ends-justifies-the-means” kind of people. Simply because two actions share one of the same consequences does not mean that both actions are therefore identical from a moral standpoint.

I wasn’t talking about the ends or even the methods, but rather the reason or basis upon which all the other actions are determined immoral, and how NFP is exempted from it, at least as I understand the RCC to describe it.

Is the RCC reason for declaring contraceptives and other forms of emission wrong is that they are intended to avoid procreation?

The concept here is twofold: First, many use NFP to become pregnant, not just to avoid pregnancy. Second, even if intercourse occurs during infertile, or less fertile times, the couple is open to life. This is not the case with forms of artificial birth control.

OK, but if the specific intent is to avoid pregnancy, and only have sex during infertile times, wouldn’t that be the same as using contraception or other forms of emission, in terms of procreation?

when using NFP no emissions occur except through intercourse on those days.Emissions are never allowed without the chance of procreation.Even though they’re is no chance or a very slim chance of becoming pregnant on those particular days you have done nothing unnatural.contraception is considered an unnatural act.Same as masturbation.

Haven’t you contradicted yourself by saying that “Emissions are never allowed without the chance of procreation”, and then saying that emissions during intercourse on days where there is no chance of procreation is acceptable… because it’s natural?

Which is it? Natural or chance of procreation?

This is not the basis of the Church’s teaching that contraception is intrinsically evil. It has nothing to do with sperm emmissions or “wasting” them.

What the Church does teach is that each act of intercourse, to be properly ordered, must be *objectively *both unitive and procreative. This means it is ordered to both, and these elements cannot be separated. Contracepted acts and other types of acts that are not completed acts of vaginal intercourse render the act objectively disordered.



Why do you think intention is the only measure of morality?

SO, from that perspective, isn’t using NFP to prevent procreation, but continuing to have intercourse specifically at other times when procreation is not possible a sin, then?

(Thanks for the specific wording.)

Never said it was the only measure, but certainly it is involved in any decision.

It’s really strange that apparently an entire generation of planet earth has had it’s formation in catholic moral / sexual teaching apparently conducted by Monty Python. (“every sperm is sacred…”). Sure, its a catchy tune, but come ON!

Read some actual resources, please. Not just spoof shows.

No. The couple has not altered the act in any way.

Neither has a couple who has intercourse while the woman is pregnant. Neither has a couple who has intercourse when the woman is past menopause.

In each of these cases, the couple engages in a completed act of intercourse. It is unaltered.

It is **objectively **unitive and procreative, which meets the moral criteria. **Subjectively **it is infertile due to the specific circumstance.

So, even if they are intentionally avoiding the procreative, it still qualifies as unitive and procreative?


The Church has no teaching that an overt intention to conceive must be present in order to engage in the marital embrace. It teaches that each time we *choose *to engage in the marital embrace, it must be in conformity to the way God designed it-- which is fully unitive and fully procreative, in an objective manner. This would translate to an unaltered, completed act of intercourse.

We can freely choose to engage in the marital embrace or refrain from it. But, when we choose to engage in it, we are not free to alter it.

Here’s what the reformers had to say about contraception:

And I do realize you did not ask.:slight_smile:

Of all the denominations, WELS Lutherans are the only Christians who take a dim view of all contraception, even nfp.

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