Sterilization Hypothetical

Ok so my wife and I have 3 children and one on the way and my wife says she is done using NFP and is going to use some form of contraception. So NFP is out of the picture and abstinence for the next 10-15 years isn’t going to happen. So my wife is going to use some form of ABC and not much I can do to stop it. :shrug:

If she gets sterilized and then goes to confession the next day she will be in the state of mortal sin for a day, but if she uses some other method she will be in the state of mortal sin for 10-15 years. I don’t really know the numbers, but It seems the probability of God smiting her while she is in the state of mortal sin is significantly less if she gets sterilized. follow?

Birth control is wrong, but is it wrong to encourage someone to choose the least wrong method of birth control? :confused:

Sounds like legalism to me. Ignore the rule against contraception, for a moment. Let’s just talk about love.

Love is, among other things, a radical openness to life in the world. It is not about following rules. When you talk about mortal sin like it is something you can plan on and then get forgiven for, this is a clear indication that you aren’t making decisions (or, at least, this one decision) out of love.

When John says “No one who loves God sins”, this is exactly the type of thing he is talking about. Your sin (or your participation in your wife’s sin) would not be based on a momentary passion – which is understandable – but on a premeditated plan to bypass the will of God. Where is the love of God in this?

Maybe I’m overstating myself, but I think that this plan is totally presumptuous and wrong.

Now, I’ll admit you’re in a very difficult place. My own opinion is that your wife does not have the right to go on ABC without your consent (church law, not state law). If she is willing to make this decision no matter what you say, then she is being unfaithful to you. I know this puts you in a terrible dilemma, but please don’t enable her – challenge her. That is the best way to show her the love of God in this situation.

Contraception and sterilization are always a moral evil and mortally sinful. This is not the solution.

No, this is not true. She will be in a state of mortal sin until she has true contrition for her sin. A person who has a sterilization procedure planning to confess it the next day does NOT have contrition and the confession is not valid. Moreover, they have committed the sin of presumption. Don’t fool yourself, your line of reasoning is completely flawed.

Yes, it is wrong. There is no such thing as a “least wrong” method of contraception. All are equally mortally sinful.

It would be imperfect contrition(fear of Hell) which isn’t great, but it would be sufficient.

not all are equal. Some methods, like IUDs, can stop the blastocyst from implanting and would be more sinful than other methods.

As someone not opposed to contraception, I would recommend you try to steer her away from sterilization in favor of a less permanent method.

So my wife is going to use some form of ABC and not much I can do to stop it.

Have you been to counseling about this? Don’t answer, just something to think about. When one spouse tries to make a unilateral decision like that, it might be a situation that calls for some help.

Here’s a crazy idea, what would your wife say if you told her you were not going to participate in contraceptive marital relations?

She KNOWS sterilization is sinful, and plans to do it anyway?

This is a surgical procedure, and there is risk. I’d not want to die during a surgical procedure that I KNOW is sinful and I’m doing it anyway because I don’t trust God.

Please, talk her out of this. See a counselor, something!

Trying to talk yourself into something?

To make confession proper, she’d have to be sorry she did it. Just stating you did it doesn’t enable it to be forgiven. Unlikely that if one PLANS to confess something after they do it would make the sin forgivable. So that’s not a plan for salvation at all.

Better for her to be on the contraception and convert back to NFP in the future. While either sin is the same until you are truely sorry for them.

Well, there is still time for you two to figure out how to love each other in the way the Church guides us. Over the long term, serilization doesn’t make things better, I can assure you of that.

I don’t know why poeple think that complete abstainence is the only alternative to contraception. My guess is that NFP hasn’t been “working” for you?

Imagine you have 2 rabbits in a finite area like a box. This box has in it everything that these rabbits need to survive and reproduce. Rabbits don’t have the conscious ability to control how much or little they breed. Imagine they were left to do their thing for 2 years. when you go to check on your box of rabbits in 2 years you see that they are all dead, piles of rabbits suffocated because they wouldn’t stop breeding. 4 kids is more than your share bro, our Earth is this box and if everyone bred like you we would all be dead in a few generations from lack of resources. So in 1 hand you have birth control and the other you are contributing to the problem of overpopulation that will eventually kill us all. Unlike the rabbits you have the conscious ability to use birth control otherwise your just gonna be another breeder filling up the box.

I’m interested in the responses this will get…

Best response - don’t feed the troll

First of all, I believe it is against forum rules to encourage someone to commit a sin.

Second, no one is saying that the OP, or anyone else, should have as many kids as they can without any restraint or control. As you point out, rabbits don’t have the conscious ability to control how much or how little they breed. Humans do. It’s called responsible parenthood, responsible regulation or spacing of births. It does not automatically mean contracepting. It does not mean committing sin.

Now add an 800 lb omnipotent gorilla to the room who doesn’t like birth control and you have a real problem.

Well our kids are spaced about 2-3 years apart so it has been “working” for us. At least better than any of the other couples I know who use NFP. The problem is that my wife wants something that work works not NFP kind of “working” after our 4th child. My wife is holding the only cervix that we have and she isn’t willing anymore, so the only option is abstinence or I accept she is going to use ABC.

This statement is as clear as mud.

What does “work works” and “not NFP kind of working” mean?

If you have not been successful with your particular method of NFP, I suggest you look at others. There are many, including Marquette which uses a ferility monitor in addition to Creighton observations.

This is best discussed witih a priest in spiritual direction. The priest can guide you on how to deal with a spouse who wants to use contraception.

NFP working means that you have to be open the possibility of another blessing.

We conceived the third child using Billings and then this one with Sympto-thermal. We wouldn’t even know she is pregnant but we are also combining everything with a LH test monitor. There was no temp spike and no CM but the LH strips turned out positive, but by that time it was too late. Pregnancy tests are still not turning out negative but the doc did a blood test which turned out positive. So now we are going to a treatment to prevent miscarriage when most people wouldn’t know they were even pregnant. So I guess I can’t bash NFP because considering we wouldn’t even know we were pregnant if we weren’t using it.

I am done talking to priests. so far they have only recommended condoms or sterilization.

Hmm… my priest told that it is by far the worst thing to even think about in the history of ever and I’m not even sexually active. Perhaps we should trade

Are you comparing God to a gorilla? :eek:

Um, if your wife doesn’t actually repent of having been sterilized, it is irrelevant if she goes and confesses it. In fact, she will then be guilty of the original offense and of lying in confession by having said she was sorry when she wasn’t. I’m not sure why that is better.

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.