Rethinking RCIA


When one has sex, one must be prepared to accept that a baby might result. Sex and babies go together. They were designed to go together. Sex was not intended as a “stand-alone” pleasure. If one is not able to accept a child right now, then one does not have sex right now. NFP allows women to know more about their bodies, in order to know more about their own fertility. It does not change the fact that no babies = no sex, even if only for a few days out of the month.

Now, about the declaration of nullity, yes, you would have to accept either decision. It is not something that the Church “does” to your marriage. It is the Church’s investigation into whether or not you were validly married to begin with. It is like a doctor getting tests back from the lab. “I don’t want to send in my biopsy samples because I will have to accept the verdict of benign or cancerous.” Whether you send in the samples or not has nothing to do with the actual truth. You were either validly married or you were not. Just because of things you have done afterward (attempted to contract a second marriage), it does not have any bearing on what you did at the time of your first wedding.

As for authority, you do not quite seem to understand or accept the whole concept of a teaching authority. The Church is the Church which Christ founded. In Scripture, which the Church upholds and has never discounted the validity of, Jesus promised St. Peter that He would found His Church upon Peter and that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. In Scripture, too, we are told to accept the traditions we had received. In this modern age of writing, we can too easily discount oral tradition, but the Church, which stretches back to Christ Himself, kept the Traditions and wrote them down, too, eventually.

What do you think is right about the Church? Why do you want to be part of it?

I do not wish to sound harsh, but these two issues (artificial contraception and the inability to remarry if one is validly married) appear to be two issues in which you have a vested interest. Your examination of these issues should, to be fair and accurate, take into account your bias against these teachings. Would you be having such difficulty with the Church’s exercise of Her authority if you did not have a vested interest in Her being wrong?


Wow!!! It took four paragraphs to say, “This is what the Catholic Church teachs. Accept it or don’t join.” I am paraphrasing, but you get the idea. I really may have to give Islam another look. Thnx.


Why are you looking at the Church? Why would you be interested in joining it if it were not right? If it is right, then why would you not be willing to accept it?


For the most part, I like what I see in the church. There are two areas, though, that I have been unable to accent to. First, I do not get why the church teaches that pre-conception birth control is the same as post-conception. I simply do not see that every conjugal act needs to be open to conception. Of course, people will regurgitate church teaching and teologia del cuerpo. That is not my concern. I am seeking to understand it according to the systematic Thomistic appraoch. In the end, maybe, I am a more inclined to Thomistism than to Catholicism. Second, the annullment process seems absurd. Especially when you consider that a promiscious catholic single man or woman can be as homosexually or heterosexually promiscious as they want. In fact, they can wantonly create babies without having any family structure to support them and, simply, confess it and all is OK. Whereas, one who has 1 previous divorce can not just confess it and move on. I have to open myself to the possibility that the catholic church could say that my present marriage must be maintained as a brother-sister relationship (if I want to be in good standing with ole mother church). Since, my wife and I are human being and have conjugal needs, this sistuation would open our marriage to temptations. I know someone will say that one should not think of marriage as defense against temptation. Well, my wife and I do, and I think we are much more pragmatic. The sense this leaves me with is that the good, righteous and holy thing (marriage) is made difficult and the utterly despicable act of fornication is made easy. I see the conjugal act as God-given for procreation, comfort for the marriage partners, AND/OR defense against societal turmoil (immorality spreading in society). Our sexual desires are good and holy when constrained to a marriage between one man and one woman. Perhaps the Orthodox Churches has it right in these two areas and the roman catholic church has it wrong.



But Sillara did such a WONDERFUL job saying it! You sould appreciate the care and effort that went into an explanation aimed at a perfect stranger. Good job, Sillara! Well said.


I recommend this book-Man, Woman and the Meaning of Love-God’s Plan for Love, Marriage, Intimacy and the Family by Dietrich Von Hildebrand. He is a philosopher. In part of the book, he goes into the natural family planning and birth control. It is a beautiful book on marriage and love.


It took me a long time to come to terms with this teaching as well (and my husband still struggles with it… we’ve both been in the church about 3 years)

NFP is different from barrier methods and oral contraception. With those other methods, you’re basically cutting out any and every chance for life. As a married couple, you’re supposed to be completely open to life. With contraception, you’re basically saying “I don’t want the cow when I can get the milk for free.”

NFP is a wonderful, natural way of planning children. Note: It’s for PLANNING, not for contraception. Any couple that uses NFP for contraception exclusively is using it wrong, and should talk to their priest. There are times when, for financial or emotional reasons, it may be best to delay for a month, a year, or whatever, for financial or health reasons. BUT, at the same time, it keeps the option of life completely open. It’s still possible to get pregnancy with NFP, there’s no chemical or barrier preventing it. It’s all natural; and as someone who’s practiced it to get pregnant for the last year or so, I’ve learned more about my body and how it works than I ever did when I was non-Catholic and practicing birth control. I feel more in-tune with my body, I know how I work, and it’s a wonderful thing. (This is speaking strictly from a woman’s point of view… I can understand if that isn’t as exciting to you as it is to me) :smiley:

So basically, the big difference is being open to life, and not stopping the natural processes. It’s about being intimate with your spouse in a holy way, without saying “no” to God.

Not to mention the fact that oral contraceptives are also abortifacients, which cause a chemical abortion of a fertilized egg before it can implant in the uterus, if fertilization happens while taking them.


Forgiveness is based on being sorry for one’s sin and making attempts to correct the behavior; “… a promiscious catholic single man or woman can be as homosexually or heterosexually promiscious as they want.” is not consistant with the Catholic understanding of forgiveness and absolution. I think you have a mistaken idea about how Catholics view forgiveness/repentance/absolution.


Is the OP still around? :frowning:


eichenb2: Be honest. Are you sure you want to understand Catholicism or do you want Catholicism to understand you?

Your statement about confession seems to indicate that you are not listening with an open mind in RCIA. It is VERY clear in the teachings of The Church that, without sincere repentance and a serious committment to not repeating mortal sin, that you are not forgiven. You misconstrue one teaching to validate your rejection of another teaching.

" Our sexual desires are good and holy when constrained to a marriage between one man and one woman".

I think I would rephrase that to say “Our sexual desires are good and holy and so are reserved for the holy sacrament of marriage”, but that’s JMO. The Church knows that sex is those things you mention. It is good, it is holy, it is for procreation, it is for comfort. It is a gift and a blessing. But it is not divisible. You can’t say “Well, I’m going to have sex just for comfort tonight.” Or just for procreation. Or just to be good and holy. It is like trying to divide the Holy Trinity and saying “I just worship God alone” or just Jesus or just the Holy Spirit. To try to pry sex apart to isolate just one of the functions is to destroy the whole gift.

“I really may have to give Islam another look.”

That’s totally your choice. If you have reason to believe that Islam is “more true” than Roman Catholicism, then it is your exercise of free will to convert to Islam. First of all, however, be sure you really understand what Roman Catholicism teaches. And second, be sure you’re saying “Islam is calling me” and not “I’m going to have to leave this club called Roman Catholicism because you won’t change the rules to make me more welcome”. Because that latter statement will be problematic not matter what religion you join.

I really think you and your wife will be blessed beyond measure if you join with a full heart into the Roman Catholic Church. It has certainly worked that way in my life and in the lives of so many that I know. But it IS a search and it IS a struggle and you may have to do more of both before you know what you’re going to do.

Good luck and God bless you.


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