Question on contraception/NFP and marriage to non-Catholic


Hello, I hope this is the right forum for this question. I am in RCIA and looking forward to coming into full communion with Rome this Easter! I do NOT want to be a cafeteria Catholic, and am trying to form my conscience in conformity with the Church as I move through things in my walk. As anyone who saw my first posts in the forums on the question of circumcision should be able to tell, I’m making the effort myself to know and follow ALL the Church’s teachings as much as possible!

My one difficulty seems to be on this issue of contraception of any kind. I was a Protestant before, and so these questions are new to me from a moral theology perspective. My biggest problem is I am married to an agnostic, currently not religious woman. (I know, I know, the whole thing about not being unequally yoked, but there it is). She has been supportive about my conversion, but what to do about this issue? My RCIA Director indicated these are essentially not infallible dogma of the Church, and to talk to my priest, though posts I see on here about it confuse me on that issue…I would be willing to follow NFP, but for my wife at this point, who is not yet interested in Catholicism, this would be right out, and possibly cause a major rift in our marriage which I would not want. Are there conditions, such as preservation of the marriage, where some non-abortive ABC might be permissible in a well formed conscience? I like JPII’s reasoning in the theology of the body, but just can’t see how this could work for me. Should this be something to go to my priest about for guidance?

What is a little funny to me too is that, just even the old method of withdrawal seems still to me to be about as open to life as NFP, since there are, I’m sure, many people walking around today who were conceived…inadvertently shall we say…using this method.

Any guidance would be helpful as this is a difficult issue for someone in my situation, and definite answers as to the level of obligatory observation this carries seem hard to come by. Thanks!


This Apologist answer might give you some direction:



As a last resort, if your wife refuses to practise NFP, you may still have sex with her if she uses contraception. On no account may the Catholic party use contraception. I would talk to her about it though: I’m Catholic and my husband’s also agnostic. We did use contraception in the beginning and when I discerned that I wanted to be in obedience to the Church and stop contracepting, he was surprisingly amenable (I had thought he would be 100% against). He refused to come to NFP class with me, but that worked out ok anyway since we need someone to look after the baby, but he is perfectly happy with me practising NFP without his intervention and just telling him when’s a good time. Obviously you’d need more active involvement from your wife, but I just meant to offer some hope that she may be more open to it than you think.

I have to go now, but the short answer to your other query is that it is an obligatory teaching but one which is frequently ignored and brushed under the carpet. Many Catholics (myself included, in the past) would like to think that it is not necessary to obey the Church on this matter, many others are simply poorly catechised. Either way, no you may not use contraception of any kind.


Thanks to responders, I’ll look into it some more then.


How does your wife want to be loved by you? If you are “all in” as you say, please pick up West’s “The Good News About Sex and Marriage” or Popcak’s “Holy Sex…” Read them with your wife so that she can get an understanding of the Faith from this perspective.

It’s biblical, but to draw a non-religious parallel, is not difficult.


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