Not wanting to take over the thread regarding the statistics of 4% using NFP, I had a question.

As an optional part of our pre-cana, we were offered the NFP class, and my husband and I took it. My parents practiced NFP to conceive and I was raised assuming I would when it was time for me to get married. I loved the course and it really helped my husband understand the workings of a woman’s fertility and the beauty of it. We were planning to use it, and have to an extent, b/c we didn’t think we would be able to afford a baby. However, we put our lives in God’s hands and now are expecting a honeymoon baby :).

With that said, I’ve heard many people say that they think every couple who is preparing for a Catholic marriage should be required to take the class. I understand that not everyone wants to practice nor thinks it the best idea to practice NFP, but with the current popular practice of ABC, do you think it would be better for them to at least get an overview of it, especially since most appear to have a misguided idea of what it really is? Or could there be another alternative? Just wanted to see what others thoughts are on this, both those who practice NFP and those who don’t. :slight_smile:


I totally agree with that statement!!!

Those who choose NOT to use any form of BC (even NFP) can still use the information for when they do decide to actively start TRYING to have children (especially if a form of infertility is unknown at the time of marriage)…

I agree that, in today’s culture, with the popular practice of ABC, that a manditory NFP class would only be a GOOD thing! :thumbsup:


You get a few people who are so right wing that they won’t even use NFP. Then of course some people are wealthy and see no need to limit births.

However the vast majority of couple who refuse to attend an NFP course clearly have an intention to contracept. That’s not ideal for entering marriage. So as a point of pastoral practise, it would be reasonable to insist on pre-marital NFP courses.


For me personally, I wish I would have been “forced” to learn NFP.

I was prescribed ABC for medical reasons, and I thought that was fine. It’s only after 6 years of marriage and 2 children that I’m now taking a home study course to learn NFP. At the time, I didn’t know that the pill was abortifacient, and I thought I fell under some “medical” exception to take ABC indefinitely.

I think if I had been exposed to it earlier, I would have been more receptive to learning NFP and finding alternative treatment for my female problems. I didn’t realize that NFP wasn’t just for women with the ideal cylcle, if there is such a thing.


A mandatory NFP course as part of pre-cana would be merely remedial health education to make up for the propaganda passed off in public schools (and not a few catholic ones) as ‘sex ed.’

Rythm was mentioned briefly and dismissively in my public HS education. NFP was not even mentioned. What’s up with that?


Seriously. In addition to the benefits to my marriage, NFP has helped me to become so much more in tune with the way my body works. I feel much more able to tell if I’m healthy, or if I may need to visit my doctor. It’s also nice to know when the “monthly bill” is about to arrive. I honestly wish I had learned more of this stuff waaaay earlier. Maybe even back in grade school, when they first start teaching girls about their periods.

Still, it’s better late than never. I’m voting yes on Mandatory NFP classes!


I wish it had been mandatory when I went through. They didn’t even mention it in the course we went through.

I didn’t know that ABC can cause abortions until about 4 years ago. When I found out (reading Kim Hahn’s book) I feel down on my knees and began sobbing (while praying for forgiveness). I went downstairs and told my husband and we immediately changed to being open to life (no NFP).

Growing up, I was told by my parents (both Catholic) that this was “just a rule that the Pope made up and it doesn’t really mean anything anymore” UGH!!

I think it should be mandatory to learn NFP (and when it should be used and when it should not be used). I wish someone had been brave enough to share the truth with me earlier in my life! I also wish someone had shared the statistics on the low divorce rate of couples who don’t use artificial contraception. (The Bishops voted yesterday to NOT include this statistic in the new information on marital love. I wish they had kept it in).


I think the bishops are just being honest about that statistic. The statistic doesn’t prove that NFP keeps marriages together. Consider that NFP using catholics are a small minority who do it largely because they are radically committed to Jesus and the teachings of his church. It ain’t the NFP that does the trick, it’s the faith that motivates people to use it!


Congratulations on your honeymoon baby! I have been married almost 20 years but Catholic only 8 of those years, so I didn’t have the opportunity to receive pre-Cana instruction. I didn’t have a problem with contraception until a couple of years after I was married, through my work in pro-life pregnancy center ministry. Once I found out the origins of the modern contraceptive movement, I knew I could no longer use contraceptives of any kind, but I still didn’t know anything about NFP (it was unheard of in the Protestant circles I was in – the Protestant couples I knew who had rejected ABC just put everything in God’s hands without using any form of family planning, which is what my husband and I did for 10 years). It wasn’t until after I became Catholic that I heard anything about NFP, and since three of my pregnancies were high risk, I decided to start using it. I think every couple should be introduced to NFP, so if they want to use it they can, and they can know that there is an effective, morally acceptable way of planning their families. But I think it’s also imperative that couples get the what and why of Catholic sexual teaching (especially Theology of the Body–awesome!) so they can understand *why *ABC is not an acceptable alternative. I’ve met too many cradle Catholics who are completely clueless on the Church’s teaching on sexuality and think NFP is the old rhythm method.


My (late) husband and I took pre-Cana classes back in 1975. An entire pre-Cana class was devoted to NFP

At the time, I must say that I resented this very much. As it turned out, we didn’t use any birth control–except for pregnancy! :smiley:

I think pre-Cana should include this. I am wondering if NFP has gained popularity among non-Cathoics if for no other reason than it’s totally free from pharmeceutical input. Many people are concerned with the after effects of prescription drugs.

FWIW: I had my annual gyn exam a few weeks ago, and I had to fill out a new medical form for the office. One of the questions was about birth control, and Natural Family Planning was listed! (This is not a Catholic practice either.) So, I must assume there are a lot of women using NPF in order for it to be included on this form. I had not noticed it in years past–and I have been going to this doctor for over 15 years!

Just a thought!


That’s really interesting! I actually am going to a pro-life ob-gyn b/c my gyn pressured me into using birth control and when I told her my husband and I would be practicing NFP, she told me that it doesn’t work. So, it’s refreshing to hear that! :slight_smile:


I was just at my OB/Gyn and my option for birth control was nothing or the Rhythm method. :eek: How about neither!!!


It has been awhile since pre-cana classes (22 years as of tomorrow) but to my best recollection no NFP was discussed at all.


Actually in our Engaged Encounter, we did have a presentation on NFP. It was a brief overview, not the intensive class we took later under Creighton, but at least it was there.
I agree a full class should be mandatory.
I also just don’t get how many Catholics say they ‘never knew about it’. I am a convert, and even long before I had any thoughts of entering the Church, I knew that those ‘crazy Catlickers’ didn’t use birth control (or at least weren’t supposed to). How could a total outsider that knew very little real factual info on the Catholic Church know this, but those inside claim to NOT know it? I just don’t understand that. It seemed common knowledge to me, and I used it to attack Catholics back then. As in, what, you’re letting some old man in Rome decide how many kids you have when he doesn’t feed, clothe, or care for them? (Yes, I have repented for that, lol)


My husband and I were married in the Catholic Church in 1982. When we took pre-marriage classes, I remember only a brief mention of NFP. The priest was careful to state that NFP works only for couples where both husband and wife are committed to using NFP. The priest certainly didn’t preach about the “evil of artificial birth control”. I don’t remember the priest making a big deal about birth control. My Catholic doctor suggested the diaphragm; and that is what we used until 1996, when my husband had a vasectomy.

I guess all of this fuss about birth control is hard for me to understand. Back when we got married, birth control was a personal issue for a couple to decide together, on their own…as it should be.


I never had Pre-Cana classes, so I know it was never mentioned to me.

[quote=Teakafrog]I also just don’t get how many Catholics say they ‘never knew about it’. I am a convert, and even long before I had any thoughts of entering the Church, I knew that those ‘crazy Catlickers’ didn’t use birth control (or at least weren’t supposed to). How could a total outsider that knew very little real factual info on the Catholic Church know this, but those inside claim to NOT know it? I just don’t understand that. It seemed common knowledge to me,

The only thing I ever heard about was the Rhythm Method. And how it didn’t work. That the only way to follow the true teaching of the Church was to have a child every year. If there were medical reasons not to have that many children, the Church said," oh well, too bad, that is what being Catholic is about." And I know of a number of women that got that information from their local Priest.

Now we know that isn’t the true teaching of the Church, but what if your Priest told you that? What would you teach your children?


Yeah, what does GOD know about sex and marriage!?!

He ought to butt out and mind his own business.



This would be so funny, if so many didn’t think it was true. That IS what most people think. That’s why they refuse to do as GOD Himself commands, and “Be fruitful and multiply”. He never did rescind that first command to us, you know.


What did Jesus have to say about birth control? I do mean Jesus, not the man made rules of the Catholic Church.


We have been fruitful and multiplied. In case you haven’t noticed, the world is populated. God didn’t command us to breed like rabbits! God gave us the ability to think, reason and use common sense. God does not lead every couple to have a large family… What is your problem with that?

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