Please help

I,m new here, and have a very difficult question. My wife and I try very hard to be good catholics. But we read alot about how evil birth control is. Yet my wife has a very dibiltating brain disorder. She is on 90mg of morphine, and Topamax (which warns you it would cause severe birth defects), I love my wife more than anything in this world. But we are told that we are creating mortal sin. We have 4 beautiful children 2 together 2 from previous marriage. My previous marriage has been Anulled. I am also unemployed at this time. She has had two brain surgeries in the last 3 yrs. I love my God and my church, but how are we to reconcile this. Please pray for us!

da-cob,

I’m so sorry that you’re in this difficult situation.

My understanding is that if a necessary medicine or medical procedure has a secondary effect of preventing pregnancy, then it may be OK because that’s an unintended and undesired secondary effect.

I’m also led to understand that contraception itself is never morally licit. So if you’re contracepting because you don’t want to conceive a child because of the medication, you’ve placed yourself in a situation that is morally very problematic.

Natural Family Planning is an alternative to contraception that, I’m told, is extremely effective (in fact, more effective than contraception). It is also inline with Church teaching. I’m sure that if you search the Catholic websites you can find good links on it. Basically it involves monitoring certain of the woman’s physical characteristics to identify the fertile times, and avoiding relations during that period.

If you go to the Catholic Answers radio show archives, you may be able to find a show on NFP to download.

[quote=neophyte]da-cob,

I’m so sorry that you’re in this difficult situation.

My understanding is that if a necessary medicine or medical procedure has a secondary effect of preventing pregnancy, then it may be OK because that’s an unintended and undesired secondary effect.

I’m also led to understand that contraception itself is never morally licit. So if you’re contracepting because you don’t want to conceive a child because of the medication, you’ve placed yourself in a situation that is morally very problematic.

Natural Family Planning is an alternative to contraception that, I’m told, is extremely effective (in fact, more effective than contraception). It is also inline with Church teaching. I’m sure that if you search the Catholic websites you can find good links on it. Basically it involves monitoring certain of the woman’s physical characteristics to identify the fertile times, and avoiding relations during that period.

If you go to the Catholic Answers radio show archives, you may be able to find a show on NFP to download.
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da-cob,
I am pretty sure if you take a medicine for a certain purpose, such as for your wife’s condition, anything that occurs as a result you accept as a side consequence because the disorder was not what you were desiring.

Try NFP, when done correctly, the success rate is very high. You will have to take classes on this and learn about it.

Talk to a priest too about your situation to make sure what is being said here is correct. You and your family will be in my prayers.

God Bless,
Matt

[quote=da-cob]I,m new here, and have a very difficult question. My wife and I try very hard to be good catholics. But we read alot about how evil birth control is. Yet my wife has a very dibiltating brain disorder. She is on 90mg of morphine, and Topamax (which warns you it would cause severe birth defects), I love my wife more than anything in this world. But we are told that we are creating mortal sin. We have 4 beautiful children 2 together 2 from previous marriage. My previous marriage has been Anulled. I am also unemployed at this time. She has had two brain surgeries in the last 3 yrs. I love my God and my church, but how are we to reconcile this. Please pray for us!
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I commend you for looking for ways to do the right thing. It is acceptable to use Natural Family Planning to space births for just reasons. See this link for instructions and resources:

ccli.org/

You might benefit from contacting the National Catholic Bioethics Center for counseling on the particulars of your case:

ncbcenter.org/home.html

see also the Catechism:

2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality:

When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart.156

2369 "By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man’s exalted vocation to parenthood."157

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.158 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil:159

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a6.htm

We’ll all keep your family in our prayers!

You have my prayers both for your wife and for your employment situation.

I have a very serious heart condition. Another pregnancy would most likely be fatal for me. I will need a transplant in the near future. Among the handful of drugs I’m on, I take amiodarone which also causes severe birth defects.

Get a hold of the couple to couple league (CCL), they have a website you can check out. I use NFP which is morally permissable. It’s very accurate - the method I use has to do with temperature and physical signs. It’s been 9 years and I have not become pregnant. Do not be afraid. Take a class it’s important learn how to use the method correctly.

God bless you and your family.

[quote=da-cob]I,m new here, and have a very difficult question. My wife and I try very hard to be good catholics. But we read alot about how evil birth control is. Yet my wife has a very dibiltating brain disorder. She is on 90mg of morphine, and Topamax (which warns you it would cause severe birth defects), I love my wife more than anything in this world. But we are told that we are creating mortal sin. We have 4 beautiful children 2 together 2 from previous marriage. My previous marriage has been Anulled. I am also unemployed at this time. She has had two brain surgeries in the last 3 yrs. I love my God and my church, but how are we to reconcile this. Please pray for us!
[/quote]

my brother in Christ,
my most sincere sympathies and my prayers are with you.

my wife and i use natural family planning (NFP), which means that we do not have sex at certain times during the month - instead, we enjoy each other on a more spiritual level. the church views this as perfectly acceptable, as long as there is sufficient reason for not trying to conceve (like your wife taking drugs which cause birth defects, for example). for more information, go to this site and simply ask for pamphlets, videos, etc: ccli.org/ the church understands many things, and is frequently more open that you would expect.

i don’t know who is telling you that you are committing mortal sin - my hunch is that you haven’t spoken with your priest about it, and merely suspect that you’re committing mortal sin. if you have spoken with your priest, and your priest is telling you that your wife’s drugs are mortally sinful, please let me know and i will investigate what the national catholic doctors association has to say about it, and if there are other drugs that can treat her illness.

may God’s peace be with you and your family,
RyanL

Thank you all for your wonderful words. RyanL, I may have not been clear, forgive me. The mortal sin was not the drugs my wife takes, but the act of using birth control. I don’t believe she can even safely carry another child let alone the horrible birth defects the medication can cause. Even though she says she wants another. she is the best thing that has ever happen to me.The Lord truly shines on all of you. Thank you, and God bless you all!

[quote=da-cob]Thank you all for your wonderful words. RyanL, I may have not been clear, forgive me. The mortal sin was not the drugs my wife takes, but the act of using birth control. I don’t believe she can even safely carry another child let alone the horrible birth defects the medication can cause. Even though she says she wants another. she is the best thing that has ever happen to me.The Lord truly shines on all of you. Thank you, and God bless you all!
[/quote]

da-cob,
if you’re saying that your wife is using BC because she can’t have any more children due to her disorder, then that is indeed a mortal sin. Contraception is never licit. The only moral option you have is NFP. My heart truly goes out to you and your wife, but cotraception can never be condoned. I’m not saying this to be cruel, but simply because it is the Truth, and I want your soul to be right before God. I would suggest the Couple to Couple League, which can help you with NFP. God bless.

da-cob, we’re praying for you. don’t worry.

[quote=da-cob]I,m new here, and have a very difficult question. My wife and I try very hard to be good catholics. But we read alot about how evil birth control is. Yet my wife has a very dibiltating brain disorder. She is on 90mg of morphine, and Topamax (which warns you it would cause severe birth defects), I love my wife more than anything in this world. But we are told that we are creating mortal sin. We have 4 beautiful children 2 together 2 from previous marriage. My previous marriage has been Anulled. I am also unemployed at this time. She has had two brain surgeries in the last 3 yrs. I love my God and my church, but how are we to reconcile this. Please pray for us!
[/quote]

Spacing and planning your family-- and avoiding pregnancy for just reasons-- is perfectly fine with the Church.

Contraception is a mortal sin. Natural Family Planning is acceptable. You can learn NFP in your parish or contact www.ccli.org for information.

NFP is easy to learn and can assist you in postponing further pregnancies.

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