Okay to stop having kids?

#21

Later on, he stresses this same point:

quote=Familiaris Consortio … Still others, imprisoned in a consumer mentality and whose sole concern is to bring about a continual growth of material goods, finish by ceasing to understand, and thus by refusing, the spiritual riches of a new human life. The ultimate reason for these mentalities is the absence in people’s hearts of God, whose love alone is stronger than all the world’s fears and can conquer them.

Thus an anti-life mentality is born, as can be seen in many current issues: one thinks, for example, of a certain panic deriving from the studies of ecologists and futurologists on population growth, which sometimes exaggerate the danger of demographic increase to the quality of life.
[/quote]

Bottom line is, my friend, that it doesn’t matter what I, or Fr. Hogan, or anyone else permits. As St. Thomas reminds us, you must only do what your conscience permits. Hopefully we all spend the time and energy to properly form our consciences.

0 Likes

#22

steveereno,

Thank you for a very detailed and well thought-out response. I do appreciate it. :slight_smile:

0 Likes

#23

Alec,

Have you read Theology of the Body?
Have you listened to Christopher West’s “Naked without Shame” (seminar on Theology of the Body)?

Until you read the book, or listen to the CDs, please, refrain from claiming JPII and the Church are wrong in its current teaching on human sexuality.

It is irresponsible to have sexual relations with your spouse without regard for the affect of such union on the other and on the children currently in the household.

This is the teaching of the Church.
Human dignity, respect and honor above all.
Desire within marriage, rightly ordered, is proper.
Lust, is not. Ever.

The situations you describe are the result of poor instruction about the dignity of the human person. Plain and simple. They believe, erroneously, that woman was created to satisfy man’s lust. The men believe they can demand sex from their wives whenever and the women believe they are called by the Church to obey their husband’s demands. This results in too many children for one family to care for properly.

It is not the Church’s teaching to use one another in marriage for sexual pleasure whenever the mood strikes. It is the Church’s teaching that the desire to participate in the marital embrace must be out of complete and selfless love for the other and must **always **include God in such union.

To condone massive distribution of artificial birth control would be giving the Church’s blessing for men to continue to abuse their wives. Do you honestly believe Jesus would be handing out condoms??? No. He would teach the men to respect their wives, He would teach the women to respect themselves, as Paul teaches in Ephesians 5:

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
30 because we are members of His body.

0 Likes

#24

[quote=YinYangMom]Alec,

Have you read Theology of the Body?
Have you listened to Christopher West’s “Naked without Shame” (seminar on Theology of the Body)?

Until you read the book, or listen to the CDs, please, refrain from claiming JPII and the Church are wrong in its current teaching on human sexuality.
[/quote]

I have indeed read the book, but have no idea who Christopher West is or why I should care who he is or what he has to say. As far as the ‘Theology of the Body’ goes, I find that it is a male celibate’s view of what sexuality should be. For me, it lacks a connection with the material world and its argument is weakened by JPII’s naivety which results from never having the lived the life about which he is teaching. For all that people quote it approvingly as you do, it is dull, repetitious and lacks the vibrancy of genuine experience (as do most phenomological tracts).

I reject your admonishment ‘to refrain from claiming JPII and the Church are wrong in its current teaching on human sexuality’. Why should I? I am perfectly entitled to my views and these are they: I see no reason whatsoever to insist that the expression of physical love must be open to the possibility of conception – I find the practical and philosophical arguments in support of this view entirely unconvincing. I make no moral or practical distinction between artificial contraception and ‘natural’ methods – in both cases we act consciously and rationally to engage in coitus and we take planned precautions to prevent it leading to pregnancy. I think it is disingenuous to proscribe the use of contraceptives in situations of poverty, where the family can ill afford to support, never mind to love another child, and where the prescription of natural family planning is entirely unrealistic.

In vast areas of the Catholic world, (and not only in developing countries!) the man expects to be accommodated whatever the circumstances, the culture of male domination disempowers the woman, and she has to accept his lovemaking on demand. The Church’s tendency to show disrespect for women, its almost subconscious characterisation of all women as secondary to men and under their dominion only exacerbates the situation. The current teaching on contraception condemns women, should they obey it, to a life of constant pregnancy or post-parturition, as the family grows ever more desperately poor and children starve and grow wild without education.
[font=Arial]
And then there is the mistake of [/font]John Paul’s refusal to countenance condoms as a prophylactic against the appalling pandemic of HIV/AIDS, particularly in southern Africa, and here I must say that I find his and the Church’s stance puzzling and deeply wrong. There is a failure of charity and sympathy here that beggars belief. What kind of principle is it that condemns millions to fatal infection for the sake of a lately forged theological idea? The Church’s position on this matter is deeply and fundamentally flawed, in natural justice, in common sense, in ethics, in morality and even in theology. Many Catholic and every non-Catholic aid organisation, every Public Health body on earth deplores the Catholic Church’s teaching as it relates to this terrible problem.

There are African nations where more than 40% of the population is HIV positive. Where is the grace of God to be found for these people, where can they find help in this affliction, what mercy extends to them? Whatever you think about the morality of using condoms for the purpose of contraception, the intransigence that refuses to allow their use as a *prophylactic *in the face of a pandemic that is destroying entire nations is a profound category error; it is cruel. I sincerely hope that Benedict comes to understand, in time, the mistake that is being made here.

Alec
evolutionpages.com

0 Likes

#25

Alec,
I have only been a member for a very short time, and no one has come across as angry as you are coming across in your replies to this question. Everything we say and do should be done in charity, and it saddens me to see no charity in your responses. I will pray for you…
RMS

0 Likes

#26

Actually Hecd2, you may want to look into the results that Mother Theresa got in training the Indians of Calcutta in the use of NFP. I believe the rate of surprise pregnancies was 0.01%. I’d like to see any condom, diaphram, pill or other Artificial Birth Control with a rate anywhere near that. The Prescription Inserts themselves will tell you that these various methods have significantly higher rates of failure. This being the case, it seems to me that it’s irresponsible to encourage the use of these methods which suggest a freedom from the natural consequences of the sexual act.

When practiced as intended, Natural Family Planning gives a couple the information necessary to be aware of which unitive acts of love between the couple are most likely to result in the creation of a new life. This information empowers the couple to “take time out” of having relations that might result in a life they aren’t currently prepared to handle. At the same time, each time they choose to abstain and in that way put off bringing a new life into the world, they have the opportunity to reconsider the reasons behind their not adding another member to their family. The reasons to put off a child change. In using Artificial Birth Control, the need or increased desire to discuss these reasons is reduced.

I’m a married woman who absolutely loves the truths taught by the sainted John Paul the Great, especially those he teaches in Theology of the Body and Humanae Vitae.

CARose

0 Likes

#27

You’ve identified the real problem here, as I did earlier…
The men are wrong.
The women aren’t strong enough to demand the respect they are entitled to.

The Church, through JPII, is the only one telling the men to knock it off and telling the women to stand strong.

The rest of you want to dole out condoms and pills which will perpetuate the lies under which these couples are living.

Of course, you prefer this approach because it is big money for pharmaceutical companies (even better if it’s funded through government accounts) through continued supply of the pills, condoms, through increased sales of whatever drugs are necessary to treat STDs (long-term profits mind you, as people can live for years with these conditions and they’d have to keep doling out the $$$ to stay alive - hey, and better yet if the disease passes on to the children, more $$$), and through the perpetuation of abortions on demand (lining the pockets of doctors and other medical/surgical supply companies).

Don’t even try to pass any of that off as being out of the concern for the ‘poor women’. If you really want to help those women everywhere then spread the Good News - that God saved the best for last in creating her and that she should and can hold her head high to demand the respect God intended for her from the beginning.

0 Likes

#28

[quote=hecd2]I have indeed read the book, but have no idea who Christopher West is or why I should care who he is or what he has to say. As far as the ‘Theology of the Body’ goes, I find that it is a male celibate’s view of what sexuality should be. For me, it lacks a connection with the material world and its argument is weakened by JPII’s naivety which results from never having the lived the life about which he is teaching. For all that people quote it approvingly as you do, it is dull, repetitious and lacks the vibrancy of genuine experience (as do most phenomological tracts).

I reject your admonishment ‘to refrain from claiming JPII and the Church are wrong in its current teaching on human sexuality’. Why should I? I am perfectly entitled to my views and these are they: I see no reason whatsoever to insist that the expression of physical love must be open to the possibility of conception – I find the practical and philosophical arguments in support of this view entirely unconvincing. I make no moral or practical distinction between artificial contraception and ‘natural’ methods – in both cases we act consciously and rationally to engage in coitus and we take planned precautions to prevent it leading to pregnancy. I think it is disingenuous to proscribe the use of contraceptives in situations of poverty, where the family can ill afford to support, never mind to love another child, and where the prescription of natural family planning is entirely unrealistic.

In vast areas of the Catholic world, (and not only in developing countries!) the man expects to be accommodated whatever the circumstances, the culture of male domination disempowers the woman, and she has to accept his lovemaking on demand. The Church’s tendency to show disrespect for women, its almost subconscious characterisation of all women as secondary to men and under their dominion only exacerbates the situation. The current teaching on contraception condemns women, should they obey it, to a life of constant pregnancy or post-parturition, as the family grows ever more desperately poor and children starve and grow wild without education.
[font=Arial]
And then there is the mistake of [/font]John Paul’s refusal to countenance condoms as a prophylactic against the appalling pandemic of HIV/AIDS, particularly in southern Africa, and here I must say that I find his and the Church’s stance puzzling and deeply wrong. There is a failure of charity and sympathy here that beggars belief. What kind of principle is it that condemns millions to fatal infection for the sake of a lately forged theological idea? The Church’s position on this matter is deeply and fundamentally flawed, in natural justice, in common sense, in ethics, in morality and even in theology. Many Catholic and every non-Catholic aid organisation, every Public Health body on earth deplores the Catholic Church’s teaching as it relates to this terrible problem.

There are African nations where more than 40% of the population is HIV positive. Where is the grace of God to be found for these people, where can they find help in this affliction, what mercy extends to them? Whatever you think about the morality of using condoms for the purpose of contraception, the intransigence that refuses to allow their use as a *prophylactic *in the face of a pandemic that is destroying entire nations is a profound category error; it is cruel. I sincerely hope that Benedict comes to understand, in time, the mistake that is being made here.

Alec
evolutionpages.com
[/quote]

I may be wrong but you seem to be a secular materialist, which almost by definition means that your an atheist. Given that supposition, it’s not surprising that your answer above was seen in the context of a strict materialist. Sex to you is just a brute desire that needs to be fulfilled without boundaries or ethics. The idea of selfless donation during sexual contact between married spouses is superfilous and irrelevent to individuals of your ilk. Try to look beyond your instincts to something called transcendent love and then you might have a real inkling of what it is to be truly human. However, my bet is that I’m wasting words on someone whose tone is so cocky and arrogant - but I’m still going to pray for you anyway cuz that’s what we ignorant religious folk do.

0 Likes

#29

[quote=2BinChrist]Alec,
I have only been a member for a very short time, and no one has come across as angry as you are coming across in your replies to this question. Everything we say and do should be done in charity, and it saddens me to see no charity in your responses. I will pray for you…
RMS
[/quote]

Yes, I am angry about women abandoned by the Church to an abject life of constant pregnancy and grinding want and the tragedy of children born to those who are simply unable to cope with yet another dependent. I am angry about the fate of abandoned and abused children in predominantly Catholic countries. I am very angry about the lack of charity in denying prophylactics in a society suffused by the problem of HIV/AIDS. I am proud to be angry about these things.

But I beg you to read my post again and tell me whether you really see no charity in my response. Perhaps you find it difficult to discern charity in those with whom you disagree. I am truly sorry if you see no charity in my views - I am sorry if my views scandalise you but I cannot apologise for them per se. Why is it uncharitable to disagree with the current teaching of the Church? Why can you not countenance the possibility that JPII was wrong about some things?

Thank you for your prayers which I take as good wishes.

Alec
evolutionpages.com

0 Likes

#30

When I first learned that financial concerns were among the given reasons for NFP being okay, at first I was rather stunned, because that is putting money ahead of God’s decisions for us.

Then I found out that reasoning only applies to contraception, not NFP.

So NFP allows us to avoid having children in case they’re too expensive. Just how expensive is too expensive is a matter for each couple to decide in their hearts, although we’ve seen threads with many attempts at defining whether any given couple “needs” a new car, for example, or whether they just want one (or a second one) and therefore whether the actually could afford it or not. At that point I knew this was a subjective teaching at best, and probably relativistic, so really all bets are off.

Your reasons are pretty good, I should think as long as you do. Go ahead and use them according to your own conscience, which is what it all boils down to when it must be a “sufficiently grave” reason.

BTW, I am not trying to be sarcastic here. My point is that you should have some leeway, and in my personal, unprofessional opinion, since you asked, is you can quit having kids for whatever reasons you honestly believe are valid, period, because once you’ve read hundreds of posts speculating on what is a valid reason, and that right in Church documents the decision can be based on the quantity of money we have and whether that should be enough, then it’s ultimately up to an individual couple’s personal interpretation of their own circumstances, and I dare any Catholic to tell you that your reasons are not valid and how they objectively came to that conclusion.

Alan

0 Likes

#31

If there is a lack of charity in this thread then here it is. How dare you impute to me the idea that I hold the views I do because ‘it is big money for pharmaceutical companies’.

Nuff said

Alec
evolutionpages.com

0 Likes

#32

[quote=hecd2]If there is a lack of charity in this thread then here it is. How dare you impute to me the idea that I hold the views I do because ‘it is big money for pharmaceutical companies’.

Nuff said

Alec
evolutionpages.com
[/quote]

So you refute that contraception is big business for pharmaceutical companies?

You, personally, may believe contraception is a charitable response to these women.

But for the pharmaceutical companies, it’s not about the women, it’s about the money.

The Church is the only one who really cares about the dignity of the women.

0 Likes

#33

I’m new to the message boards and may have lapses between postings, as I am the mother of 5 kids, from 10 to 17, a graduate education student, and a teacher. I am the second oldest from a family of ten kids. My dad laughed that he would attend his youngest child’s HS graduation in a wheelchair. Well, the youngest is 24 now and Dad was not in a wheelchair at graduation.

We never had money, always had financial problems, and ALWAYS had lots of love. We all still have a “blast” when we can get together. We loved and supported each other across the miles in so many “put your money where your mouth is” ways. We have never owed debts to each other, and although we have diverse personalities that don’t always mesh, we have never held grudges. What a treasure we are to our parents, each other, our chidren, and spouses!

I can contrast this with my own married situation, where my husband had a vasectomy after our 5th son was born. This child is disabled. I really don’t think that I could have managed another child after him (at least not right away and I am still struggling with all of my responsibilities). I love my son so completely, though. If my husband was more helpful with our son’s care, our situation may be different. Plus, even though we did practice NFP, I was the real one practicing it, and my spouse pressured me constantly. I felt like I had no choice. Our marriage is tough due to this kind of selfishness, and differences in religion, age, and gender views. Financially, I do need to work. My career change is to a lower-paying job that gives me more time with my family. Family stress would be easier if my spouse and I were like-minded.

So, my advice in coming from 2 sides is that you need to respect your wife and respond to her needs in helping with family responsibilities. You already seem to be loving in this way. Being older parents isn’t a bad thing. If you decide that there are enough stresses to at least pastpone children, then it’s fine and respectful to use NFP. I wouldn’t necessarily give up on more kids totally, yet. It’s fine to take a breather, see what the future brings and re-evaluate. Remember that God is part of your marriage, so pray (together, if possible). I also recommend a book by Bishop Sheen, Three to Get Married.

God bless you.

mevmom

0 Likes

#34

Great post Mevmom,

Welcome to the forums,

CARose

0 Likes

#35

[quote=Riley259]I may be wrong but you seem to be a secular materialist, which almost by definition means that your an atheist. Given that supposition, it’s not surprising that your answer above was seen in the context of a strict materialist. Sex to you is just a brute desire that needs to be fulfilled without boundaries or ethics. The idea of selfless donation during sexual contact between married spouses is superfilous and irrelevent to individuals of your ilk. Try to look beyond your instincts to something called transcendent love and then you might have a real inkling of what it is to be truly human. However, my bet is that I’m wasting words on someone whose tone is so cocky and arrogant - but I’m still going to pray for you anyway cuz that’s what we ignorant religious folk do.
[/quote]

Thank you for this truly insightful, deeply spiritual, loving and uplifting contribution. I wonder how you can be so sure about the nature of the love I bear for my beloved?

There is a brute lurking in all of us and also potentiality for the richest fulfilment of our humanity and it is for each of us to set our compass between one and the other. But do not assume that because someone has conscientiously held opinions that differ from yours that he has chosen the path of brutality.

Thank you for your prayers.
Alec
evolutionpages.com

0 Likes

#36

[quote=YinYangMom]So you refute that contraception is big business for pharmaceutical companies?

You, personally, may believe contraception is a charitable response to these women.

But for the pharmaceutical companies, it’s not about the women, it’s about the money.

The Church is the only one who really cares about the dignity of the women.
[/quote]

The Church is the only one who cares about the dignity of the women?? Now that is arrant nonsense.

Of course pharma companies make money from contraception; they also make money from the treatment of cancer, diabetes, asthma and COPD, HIV/AIDS, cardiac disease, hypertension and cholesterol control, psychiatric disease, pain management, antiviral therapy, antibiotics, gastro-intestinal diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, etc, etc. Making money from drug products is not unique to contraception but pervades all medicine. Unless you are claiming that making a profit from drug products and medical devices is inherently wrong then this argument is irrelevant. The thing that matters is whether the treatment is itself moral and ethical not whether the drug companies make a profit from it.

But I was objecting to your accusation that my position was based on the financial rather than the moral dimension. You have no reason to think that, it was uncharitable of you to suggest it and it’s plain mistaken.

Alec
evolutionpages.com

0 Likes

#37

[quote=hecd2]Tell that to the hundreds of millions who are starving in the world. Tell that the Catholics in the favelas groaning under the burden of another child they cannot support. Tell that to the 40 million abandoned street children who live in pain and hunger in the cities of Latin America, many of whom are violently abused and even shot like vermin by the authorities. It’s easy to claim that God will provide when sitting in the comfort of an American or European house.

The tone of this thread is to question even the use of NFP techniques for good Catholics, when, on the contrary, the denial of contraception to the poorest and the most dispossessed in the world, a stance reinforced by the disingenuous instransigence of JPII, is mistaken, irresposible and immoral and is doing untold harm.
[/font]
He was wrong and the Church is sadly wrong in its current teaching on these matters.

Alec
[/quote]

and Mother Theresa was very successful in teaching uneducated Hindus NFP. It doesn’t take the pill to make changes. It does take truth.

and you seem to have a very American/European view of what you think is poverty in other countries. Before you expound on exporting birth control, you might go and live among the people, and observe with an open mind.

You might even be surprised at how precious those children are to those families.

JP2 wrong? You didn’t listen very well, or read very well what he had to say.

0 Likes

#38

[quote=hecd2]The Church is the only one who cares about the dignity of the women??
[/quote]

It’s called Truth.

Do you find it acceptable that men be allowed to demand and expect sex from women whenever they want?

0 Likes

#39

[quote=hecd2] I am very angry about the lack of charity in denying prophylactics in a society suffused by the problem of HIV/AIDS. I am proud to be angry about these things.

Why is it uncharitable to disagree with the current teaching of the Church? Why can you not countenance the possibility that JPII was wrong about some things?

Thank you for your prayers which I take as good wishes.

Alec
evolutionpages.com
[/quote]

Why is it that the liberals who are so committed to the pill, and so insistent that the condom is the answer to HIV/AIDS refuse to acknowledge that the areas where there has been the greatest reduction in HIV/AIDS is where abstinance has been vigorously taught?

It is because they are committed to the idea that 1) sex can be and should be disconnected from conception; 2) sex is a right, not to be regulated by issues of fertility; and 3) the physical pleasure of an orgasm is to be sought freely and without constraints, available to all, and life just wouldn’t be life without it.

In other words, they have bought into the Playboy mentality.

0 Likes

#40

[quote=CARose]Actually Hecd2, you may want to look into the results that Mother Theresa got in training the Indians of Calcutta in the use of NFP. I believe the rate of surprise pregnancies was 0.01%. I’d like to see any condom, diaphram, pill or other Artificial Birth Control with a rate anywhere near that. The Prescription Inserts themselves will tell you that these various methods have significantly higher rates of failure. This being the case, it seems to me that it’s irresponsible to encourage the use of these methods which suggest a freedom from the natural consequences of the sexual act.
CARose
[/quote]

I’d be delighted to look into it. Can you give me a credible reference to the claim that people attempting to practise NFP in Calcutta had a failure rate of 0.01% - that is 1 pregnancy in 10,000 couples - using this technique. I run the risk of being accused of smugness when I say that this has the ring of an urban myth about it - and that I am extraordinarily sceptical about any claim that NFP in a poor urban third world population has a lower unexpected pregnancy rate than a a hormonal implant or a barrier method.

It would be wonderful if NFP in this situation was 99.99% efficacious as, it might surprise you, I think it is an excellent method for those who can manage it. But I am afraid that I think this is just too good to be true - look at the recent post from mevmom that delineates the difficulty of NFP working in a relationship where both partners are not committted to it.

Anyway, I want to look into the 0.01% claim so give me the references.

Alec
evolutionpages.com

0 Likes

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.