Rethinking RCIA


#1

I have wrestle with two issues in Catholicism for most of a year now and cannot seem to accept them. They are as follows.

  1. I beleive there is fundamentaly a difference between pre-conception birth control and post-conception. I do not beleive that the Church’s teaching on pre-conception birth control resonates with the clear, logical natural law approach that Aquinas et al articulated. Simply put, I believe that coitus interruptus and prophylaxis are not wrong, any more than NFP is wrong.
  2. The annullment process raises many issues for me. I will not spend this entire post reiterating my personal circumstances. They are available in my previous posts, for those who are interested. In summary though, I am not willing to submit to the nullity process, since I have to accept either decision. I cannot do this in good conscience since a lack of annullment could break up my family.
    The bottom line para me is that I cannot submit to these. Can I still enter the Catholic Church?

#2

eichenb,

*I wish I could answer that question for you. What I would suggest that you do, Is to contact a priest that you are comfortable talking to. List your concerns to him and see what advice he might be able to give you. ( I hope you have at least one priest you might speak to??)
You have obviously thought this out in a way that you can articulate your belief and why you are having difficulty with the Churches teaching. Perhaps in speaking to the priest he can clarify some issues for you???

Also the EWTN network has the program , and ministry…“Journey Home”…perhaps the people who have been in your shoes might help with how they reconciled the positions in their journey to the Church.

My prayers will be with you and your family while you are on your journey.*
Blessings of Peace and All Good!!!


#3

I, too, used to have a difficult time with the whole contraception issue. I abided by the rules even though I didn’t understand or agree with them, but it took a good priest to explain exactly why the Church is against all forms of artificial contraception. I’m sorry I don’t quite know how to explain how this priest did, but if you keep looking for a proper explanation, maybe you, too, will get one.

It has something to do with taking God out of the marital act. When you use artificial birth control (as opposed to natural family planning), you are shutting God out of the marital act and, as we know, God must be present in a marriage. That’s why it is a sacrament. Also, you are supposed to give yourself completely to your partner. “Completely” means being open to the possibility of new life. If you use condoms, the pill, whatever, you are withholding some of “you” from your partner and are not giving yourself completely to him/her. It is as if you’re saying, “I love you some, but not enough to give you all of me”.

I know I didn’t do a great job of explaining, but that’s it in a nut shell. Maybe someone else can elaborate or say it a little more eloquently. :slight_smile:


#4

As for the birth control issue, here are some links to help you rethink this issue:

holyspiritinteractive.net/columns/markshea/sheavings/43.asp

catholic.com/library/Birth_Control.asp

cuf.org/Faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=24

therealpresence.org/archives/Abortion_Euthanasia/Abortion_Euthanasia_001.htm

omsoul.com/one-more-soul-publications.php

web.archive.org/web/20040208011458/http://pweb.netcom.com/~matt1618/contra.htm

catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0788.html

ewtn.com/library/PROLENC/ENCYC097.HTM

pop.org/00000000345/the-contraceptive-pushers-come-to-romania?old=668

ewtn.com/library/MARRIAGE/SEXSAN.TXT

firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9904/nuechterlein.html

These are just a few of the links that I could post. If you want more, just ask and I’ll try to find more. :thumbsup:


#5

Seems to me the basic question here is “Can one be in communion with the Church and flat out reject some of her teachings?”

The answer, on the surface, would seem to be no.

However, there is a big difference in struggling with a teaching and flat out rejecting it. IMHO, those who flat out reject such teachings should not become fully initiated into the RCC.

There’s also a difference, IMHO, in rejecting teachings that may or may not affect the way a person goes about their life. For example, if I were to say that the church should look at homosexual persons a certain way, differently that she does, but I never say anything publically about it or never encounter a gay person in a way that I would or could socially interact with them, then my disagreement on this church teaching is far different than if I disagreed with the teachings on birth control, and was willfully disobedient on a daily (or however often “it” occured ;)) basis.

I’d speak with a priest on these matters. Perhaps you can get to a point where you “struggle” with the teachings rather than flat-out reject them. :thumbsup:


#6

My wife and I have spoken to a priest and we came out more confused. :frowning:


#7

Let’s start with nullity process. It appears you’re making a decision out of fear, which is rarely a good basis for a rational decision. There is one truth. Either your previous marriage is sacramental or it is not. The consequences of that reality do not change regardless if you have an official document from the Church stating that truth. In other words, the Church only confirms what is…it doesn’t create a new situation for you.

As to the contraception issue…NFP cooperates with natural law, artificial contraception seeks to subvert natural law. Keep in mind that there is a huge difference between natural law and the laws of nature. Were one simply following the laws of nature which man has the intellect to manipulate to some degree, then your proposition would be correct; however, man has no jurisdiction over natural law. God intended the sexual union between a man and woman for a specific purpose. It is that specific purpose that, again, the Church confirms what is.


#8

As regards the first paragraph, you seem to be articulating the belief that the Catholic Church cannot be wrong on issues of faith and morals. If you are, I have a question for you. How would you know if it was wrong? Is this simply a nominalist argument where making the statement makes it true? It seems to me that you cannot point to scripture, as the Church does not hold to Sola Scriptura. Likewise, you cannot point to the tradition as authority, as that begs the question. What makes tradition authoritative; it saying so?

NFP tells a husband and wife have intercourse at the very time of the month when a woman is least receptive, biologically. How is that natural? If you say that it is natural because it is open to procreation, then everything is all birth control is open to procreation. Have you never heard of someone getting pregnant on the pill? Is it possible that God created conjugal actions for procreation and/or strengthening the marriage bond? Perhaps, the Orthodox churches are more correct that the Catholic Church on these two issue. If they were, how would you know…if you keep repeat the aforemention mantra concerning the infallibility of the church on faith and morals???


#9

A bit turned around - NFP says that IF you do not want to have a baby right now, for this month you do not have sex on the few days when making a baby is most possible. God designed women to have times when fertile and times when not, it is natural because it is the way God made it!

For me, Jesus spoke to Peter and made some wonderful promises. I am going to stick with the successor to Peter.


#10

A woman is biologically disposed to desire intercourse when she is most fertile. This is the time that NFP suggests to abstain. Also, at the time that she is least desiring of intercourse, NFP suggests to indulge. I have been married for 13 years, I have seen it. I am not sure how to respond to the bizarre logic you used. :shrug: In the final analysis, NFP is, just like coitus interruptus, a positive act of the will that a couple use to avoid procreation. If want to be logically consistent, just say the Church tells me what to believe and I believe it. Don’t dress it up as rational, logical consistency. Likewise, why do you believe that “Jesus spoke to Peter and made some wonderful promises”? Did you hear him? Or, do you suscribe to Sola Scripture? Or, do you just want to believe it? I suspect the answer is the later.


#11

What is bizzare, the idea that God designed us women to have fertile days and infertile days? The idea that you avoid those few fertile days if you have a good reason to avoid pregnancy this month?

I’ve been married way longer than 13 years, and we have used NFP since before we were Catholic. It has brought us so much closer to each other.

Sometimes I really crave many things, but, Christians are to be masters of our desires. Believe me, waiting a day or two makes the next time that much sweeter!

As a Catholic Christian, I know God is the author of Sacred Scripture. The Catechism section on Scripture is a very good place to begin with what the Church teaches with regard to Scripture. It begins at para 101

scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a3.htm#101

103 For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord’s Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God’s Word and Christ’s Body.66 104 In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, “but as what it really is, the word of God”.67 "In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them."68


#12

This is not a rational defense of your position, as much as it is you sharing your feelings. All I can say is that I am happy for you. :thumbsup:


#13

If you cannot submit to the authority of the Church, why do you want to become Catholic? Are you sure that you don’t want the Church to join you, rather than the other way around?


#14

It all boils down to authority. Either Jesus started A Church or he did not. If he did, that Church has HIS authority.

Keep seeking, keep knocking. The door will be opened to those who earnestly knock.


#15

I have stuggled with these issues for almost a year and have interest in Catholicism for many other reasons. But, if you suggesting I should check my mind at the door of the church, then maybe it is not for me. :frowning:


#16

Perhaps ask a different priest?

On the contrary…our faith is one of “faith seeking understanding”.


#17

I keep trying to get more information, in hopes that I may understand. However, when I articulate rational arguments, I am basically told that the Church cannot be wrong on faith & morals. Then, I ask on what authority, and I am told that the authority comes from the fact that the Church teaches that they have the authority. :hypno:
If the Church’s teaching on marriage/annulment is wrong how would anyone know? The argument that the Church’s teaching on faith and morals is infallibility is similar to the statement that ocean level is always correct. It seems to me it simply needs to be accepted and trusted blindly. Oh well…maybe Islam wasn’t that bad :shrug:


#18

You are forgetting that NFP is also used to attain pregnancy, for those women who have a hard time, or have certain fertility issues. NFP helps them to understand more fully what is going on in the body. It is not simply a way of preventing pregnancy. It is a way of educating ourselves more fully. The church looks at this natural method as either attaining or delaying pregnancy, through education - not “coitis interruptus”. The church recognizes that we do have a right to abstain from intercourse whenever we want. That is not the same as “coitis interruptus”. It is merely abstaining - which is anyone’s right to do. “Coitis Interruptus” is taking God and His ability to work in our lives out of the equation. It is saying to God “I know better than you - stay out of my life and don’t give me any gifts”. Abstaining is saying “I’m not quite ready for your gift, God, so I won’t unwrap the present yet”.


#19

I disagree! Oh, yea…so does most Christians (including Catholics).


#20

What exactly do you disagree with? That NFP is merely arming yourself with knowledge and can be used to attain pregnancy as well as delay it? Or that abstaining is different in the eyes of the Church than “interruptus”? Please explain.


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