Not open to having children

You are correct, and, guess what? That is not something the Church expects either. But, again, the nature of marriage is what it is. However much you might wish that marriage were something else it will always remain the same. By its very nature it is impossible to contract a valid marriage while holding a permanent impediment against children, just as it is impossible to get married to someone of the same sex and it is impossible to get married to someone who is permanently incapable of engaging in the marital act. The Church has no more control over these things than it does over the fact that the sun produces heat and light or that dogs do not give birth to humans or cats. This is not a matter of the Church instituting a changeable Church discipline, this is a matter of the Church recognizing what the nature of marriage is.

I have no arguments with what you write.

Consider the couple in their late 40s considering marriage, but not willing to embark on children at this stage of their lives. Their options might be:

  1. Marry and use NFP till menopause.
  2. Remain single till menopause, then marry.
    It seems odd that 1 is not permitted and 2 is fine. I note that using NFP to avoid a pregnancy in the late 40s may itself be fine (if that prospect is a serious concern for the couple), but getting married in those circumstances is not. Marriage bcomes fine again once menopause arrives and the need for NFP passes.

And of course, my original,question was whether an intention to adopt changes anything.

There is no argument about what you write if a married couple then comes to the decision you outline. What if the couple arrives at this decision before marriage? I believe if their intention to avoid children is permanent, they may not marry. However, "permanent " is to be stressed. I take the view that a medical condition that is probably permanent is not actually “permanent” - because if that condition is cured, the intention would change.

I was speaking specifically to the case of them coming to this conclusion before marriage. I’m sorry if I was not more clear about that. I cannot see how a couple who would love children but knows that they will have to avoid due to serious reasons has a permanent intention against children. Theywant to have kids, but recognize that that is not currently, and perhaps never will be possible for them. I just don’t see how that amounts to a permanent intention against children, and so, I do not see such a position being an impediment to marriage.

To make this more clear, I will use an example. A woman is married, has children, but develops medical issues that make it clear another pregnancy will threaten her life. Her husband dies and in time she finds another man to love and wishes to marry him. They would love to have more kids but know that it is not possible for them due to the fact that it would seriously endanger her life. If medical advances are made that make it possible for her to have more children without putting er life in danger they would joyously set out for more children. In this scenario I cannot possibly see how these two would have any impediment to marriage, and this is despite the fact that they plan on using periodic abstinence indefinitely to avoid conception once they are married. They do not have a permanent intention against children. They have serious reasons to avoid children that will likely exist for their entire marriage, but their intention against children is not permanent, but contingent on their serious reasons to avoid conception. Does that make my position on this any more clear?

We appear to be in violent agreement.


I like thewanderer’s responses. :thumbsup:

Shelby sun,
No one is being “punished” by not being called to marriage. What do you think marriage is?

To pretend that love doesn’t require real, personal sacrifice… to try to change the nature of marriage… to lie about it to those who are hurting in an effort to reduce their pain… that simply doesn’t help anyone, and can do them serious harm. Yet that’s what you’re asking of the Church.

I understand your compassion for those who struggle with this, I really do. I can see you feel strongly. But in your zeal, I think you’ve missed the point.

The Church cannot change what marriage is. The Church is simply defending the truth. It’s not uncaring or outdated for the Church to be truthful and to specify what marriage is, and what it is not. The Church also recognizes that some people’s limitations cause them to be unable to marry. That is not uncaring, either. It’s the acceptance of people where they are, with their limits and faults and weaknesses.

It’s not easy to accept that we can’t always get what we want, no matter how strongly we feel about it. Emotions can be helpful, but not if we put them ahead of reason, truth, and love.

You seem to want to redefine marriage so that no one’s limitations could prevent them from getting married. But, even if it were possible, this would be very harmful. Limitations, by their very nature, cause us to be unable to do something or go past a certain point. That is what “limitation” means. That is also basically what an “impediment” is.

To tell people that their limitations don’t matter in marriage, that an impediment to marriage won’t cause any problems in the relationship, that if they really want marriage, they should have it (even if they have the wrong idea about what marriage is)… those are lies, and they may delay the disappointment and suffering for a little while, but in the long run, they will damage those who believed them.

Some limitations can be overcome if we are willing to put in the effort to change. But we could do serious harm to ourselves and others by simply ignoring our limitations and trying to pretend they don’t matter. Sometimes love requires us to point out the reality, the truth of our limitations… rather than saying what people want to hear.

Shelby, would you believe it! The Pope just spoke of this. Pope francis, A jesuit…

Then the Holy Father discussed the third characteristic: fruitfulness. The love of Jesus, he said, “makes the Church fruitful,” providing her with new children through Baptism, and the Church grows with this spousal fruitfulness.

“In a marriage, fertility can sometimes be put to the test when the children do not arrive, or are sick,” he said, and added that in such times of trial, there are couples who look to Jesus and draw on the power of fertility that Christ has with His Church.

There are also other things that Jesus does not like – such as marriages that are sterile by choice, ones in which the spouses “do not want children” or "want to remain without fertility.

"This culture of well-being from ten years ago convinced us: ‘It’s better not to have children! It’s better! You can go explore the world, go on holiday, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be care-free…it might be better – more comfortable – to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the dog. Is this true or is this not? Have you seen it? Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness. It is not fruitful, it does not do what Jesus does with his Church: He makes His Church fruitful.”

Read more here:

His comments can also be seen as a defense of traditional marriage, and a reason why homosexual marriage will not work.

Gee, I thought the Pope was going to change the entire deposit of faith at the conference this fall.:rolleyes: Turns out, he is Catholic! Who knew?:shrug:

It is almost as if the Pope just read your question! Perhaps HH reads CAF and constructs his comments as such. Finger on the pulse!!:wink:

That would imply that a josephite marriage is invalid, which I understood to be against catholic teaching.

But many same sex couples do have children, via surrogates, AI, prior marriages or even adoption. I think you are projecting your own opinions on what he actually said.

That is actually incorrect. Again, it all comes down to the difference between a permanent intention against children vs an intention against children that is dependent on a serious/just reason. Couples that enter a josephite marriage do so only after much spiritual guidance to ensure that that is actually their calling. In such a case, they have a just/serious reason to avoid children as they are called to a spiritual josephite marriage. However, even in a josephite marriage both parties must be willing to end the josephite marriage if even one of them decides/discerns that they wish to have a normal marriage. In other words, a josephite marriage can only be valid if the intention against children is dependent on their discernment that they are called to a josephite marriage. If they would be willing to have children if they discern they are not called to a josephite marriage then they do not have a permanent intention against children. If, however, one of them decided point blank they will never have children no matter what before marriage they would not be validly married even if they were attempting to enter a josephite marriage. The distinction is subtle, but important.

Can you find the quotes where I have ever said the Church should changes or will change it’s teachings on anything. We have interact on this site enough for you to know I have simply have not done either of those things!

I have stated what I believe, that it is not in line with the Church’s teachings, that I do not believe they should change or would, especially under social pressure, and that even though there are millions of Catholics around the world that feel as I do about certain issues, I have never claimed to be right about anything!:shrug:

I would fully expect the Pope to say everything he has said because that is what the Church teaches. I am not sure why you want to portray me the way you continue to do, but that is your issue not mine.

Of course, the Pope especially this Pope could never imagine someone not liking children or not being able to tolerate being around them, so again it doesn’t surprise me. I am just stating my opinion, yes against the teachings of the Church, and again to say otherwise would be a lie. I have NEVER said anyone should think as I do, but more than you are willing to admit actually do. When one of my priests tell me I don’t belong in the Catholic church I will leave.

Via surrogates? I think it is you who are projecting opinions…

Can you find the quotes where I have ever said the Church should changes or will change it’s teachings on anything. We have interact on this site enough for you to know I have simply have not done either of those things!

You have no need to defend what is not being accused. But your disagreement with the Church is well known.

Cool down shelby. You asked the question and the Pope just spoke on the exact issue. Take it for what it is worth. The comments were not directed to you per se just the amazing number of people that have some idea that this pope is going to change the very basics of Christianity or Marriage. In light of the conference this fall.

It was not meant personally to highlight you specifically.

especially this Pope

What do you mean by this? This is the type of vagueness I think you have mastered. Why don’t you just say what you wish?

What do you mean by “especially THIS Pope” in regards to children? That is just an odd statement.

Shelby, if you have arrived at a different view than the Church, yet you do not advocate that the Church should change, does this mean you know your view to be flawed, but prefer it anyway? I’m just trying to understand your point about not having suggested the Church change. You seem to want to be on both sides of the fence simultaneously, by taking a contrary personal view, but not advocating for a second that the Church should change.

I have no difficulty imagining that some people don’t want children around, and am sure others, including the Pope, can do likewise. The Pope is not deluded into believing everyone always wants kids. But I guess he’s saying that getting married, and rejecting one’s fertility, are incompatible actions.

We were all kids at one time. I don’t think we were all insufferable. Without kids, there would be no kids books, and even I like kids books. Kids aren’t all the same. Some people may not like kids, but if we wish for civilization to continue, they are necessary.

I believe yo started your post directing at me by name. Yes, I don’t agree with the Church that everyone should have children. Nor am I like so many others getting worried and worked up about things changing because of their seemingly “lack of faith” in the Church the church they seem to continually say to follow and trust. I find that a bit ironic, don’t you?

I have never questioned the Church so it would changed. I have only questioned myself whether I should stay in the church. Don’t worry HoosierDaddy, I am very cool.

There are millions of Catholics that feel the way I do yet continue to go to the Catholic Church and take communion, which I do not because of my beliefs. I bring up what I do because I question if I should still be in the Catholic church feeling as I do or should I find another Church. If all of us that do not fully agree on a few of the issues with the Catholic Church were to leave the Church would be crippled, at least in the US and from talking to others in Europe also.

There are very few of us willing to say are honest feelings here while not trying to change anyone else opinion. Obviously this site has more devote Catholics posting, I am just here to say there just has many Catholic in the world that feel as I do and maybe we just shouldn’t be in the Church anymore.

The Church has never taught that everyone should have children.

If the Church did, I am in big trouble, since I am single and can’t have kids without committing fornication.

I never said no one should ever have children again, which is what you post inferred. Of course they are necessary, and most of the time very wanted, but can you truly tell me that you believe every person ever born should marry and have children, that would mean murders, rapist, child abusers, sociopaths, etc. Of the parents that abuse their children or murder their families, you would say they still should have had children.

What if deep down a man knows he is like that, but he is Catholic and is taught that he is suppose to get married and have children and then goes on to beat his children. Everyone is chemically different and children are wonderful but a big responsibility and at time very stressful. I just don’t not believe everyone is meant to have children. Some are not even capable of raising a pet and God knows everyone’s limitations.

Civilization would be a lot better off if some people didn’t have their own children or as many and adopted those children who have no families.

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