The church's stance on NFP and contraception; inconsistent?

So my claim has been confirmed. How is deliberately engaging in sex only during fertile times doing the act with the intention of conceiving? Trying to pinpoint exactly when the woman is not fertile through scientific methods doesn’t sound as if it is done “with the intention of” conceiving.

You’ve already been told that is not allowed.

You say you’re not trying to be offensive, but you’re making blatantly false statements about church teaching, and refusing to give your sources. It’s very hard to see your purpose with this thread.

If a couple use condoms during fertile times while using FAM then the failure is the result of the ckndom failing not FAM. FAM just enables one to recognize fertile signs and act accordingly. Now if you really want to know the failure rate of FAM you need to look at hose couples who actually abstained when they recognized fertility signs.

You are using Humanae Vitae to bolster an assertion that just isn’t true. If you read it in totality you will see what I have already explained. Each act of intercourse must be unitive and procreative but it does not have to be fertile. You are mixing up the two terms.

You also have a misconception of sex as merely a sensory pleasure. Sex is not classified by the Church as a sensory pleasure, it is considered to be a gift from God given to married couples for two purposes: unitive and procreative. Furthermore, the Church has a large corpus of teaching on denying oneself sensory pleasures for the sake of personal holiness and giving glory to God. Just look up mortification, fasting, and abstinence. The Church particularly focuses on food in this way, such that she prescribes days of fasting and abstinence, and according to longstanding tradition and practice, we are often called to do much more than the minimum required by law. There are in fact indulgences available for giving up any pleasurable thing by choice. The Church has no shortage of emphasis on sensory pleasures of all kinds, but she has given special attention to the marital embrace, that is, sexual intercourse, because of its fundamental necessity in the natural order of life. The Church specifically addresses these things in the modern age precisely because there is so much confusion and misinformation about the married life in our society.

I suggest that if you want to learn more deeply about these things, after reading Humanae Vitae, you look into St. John Paul the Great’s Theology of the Body. This is one of his greatest works and expands greatly on the fundamentals presented in HV and other Church documents before that time.

Since your claim was false, no such confirmation is forthcoming.

The claim that couples are required to attempt to achieve pregnancy?

This is the main question of the thread, it has gotten somewhat off track.

“Is the enforcement of the Church’s rules on sex within marriage consistent with their enforcement of other equivalent rules regulating satisfaction of sensory desires? Is it biblical?”

That claim is false. Several posters have pointed this out to you, pay attention.

You have to be OPEN to life, but being open is not the same thing as Actively seeking.

Explain the difference.

It doesn’t have to be “consistent” because various types of sensory desires are achieved in various types of ways. Sexual intercourse is a special case of this and cannot be compared on a one-to-one basis with, for example, eating.

It is also important that you understand what a procreative act is. Many people fail to understand this and so can’t understand why the Church requires it and forbids artificial contraception. You haven’t demonstrated that you understand this yet, so until you do, your conversation cannot proceed on the driving principles behind these teachings.

Where can I find the information I need to gain this understanding you think I am lacking?

Seriously?

Ok then.

Being open to it means that you do not take steps to artificially hinder the potential for procreation during a given sexual act.

Actively seeking it means that you start the sex acts with the intent that children result from it.

You can have sex without intending to have kids. You simply have to ensure that you’re not doing anything to actively prevent procreation during a given sexual act.

NFP is nothing more than a system of observation. It does not affect the natural processes of the body in any way shape or form like contraceptives and condoms.

How is withdrawal different than using scientific tools to determine when the female is infertile ? If you are taking the rigorous steps to scientifically determine when the female is infertile, how is this different than choosing to have sex in another way, without use of contraception, that you know as a fact is not fertile?

I don’t quite understand how scientifically monitoring the woman’s body for signs of infertility is being open to life. If NFP is as effective as you say it is, how is it open to life? And if it requires advanced scientific knowledge that we have only had recently, how is it natural?

Withdrawl prevents the act from coming to a proper conclusion. The man ejaculates outside of the woman, meaning that the proper form of the act is not being observed. NFP helps us to understand the woman’s cycle and working within the natural system that God developed, and since the man still ejaculates inside the woman, it is observing the proper form of the act.

If you are taking the rigorous steps to scientifically determine when the female is infertile, how is this different than choosing to have sex in another way, without use of contraception, that you know as a fact is not fertile?

Because, those methods (orally / anally, I’m guessing is what you mean, if you mean another method, I’d be happy to address it.) do not observe the proper form of the sexual act (that is, vaginal penetration).

I don’t quite understand how scientifically monitoring the woman’s body for signs of infertility is being open to life.

Because the proper form of the act is still being observed; the man still ejaculates inside the woman, the only thing that changes is the timing.

If NFP is as effective as you say it is, how is it open to life? And if it requires advanced scientific knowledge that we have only had recently, how is it natural?

It does nothing to impede the natural function of the body. It does not modify the chemical structure of the uterus, it does not prevent the proper form and consummation. All it does is allow the couple to take advantage of the natural fertility cycle God implemented in women. It does not in any way shape or form hinder the natural process of the body… I seriously don’t think I can explain it any simpler…

The tools needed to know what this cycle is are quite artificial. Knowing what this cycle is, is less natural (and more deliberate due to the amount of effort and planning necessary) than withdrawal.

Says who?

Catholicism isn’t the most approachable faith in the world, and numbers are falling in the western world. The numbers of people leaving the church is greater than those entering, so this is the best way to boost numbers.

You may not be attempting to offend, but you are certainly succeeding. The Church has a clear doctrinal basis for their stand on ABC. You may not agree with it but I challenge you to support this statement, with citations, that the Church is doing this to increase numbers. Your assertion is insulting whether intentional or not.

Consider it, to be able to marry in the Catholic church the couple must swear to be “open to life”. They don’t promise to help one another get into heaven, although that is expected. To be married they must also be capable of the sexual act and be willing to do it without contraception. Indeed, unlike a civil marriage they are obliged to do it, and have an obligation to service their partners “upon reasonable request”.

Unlike civil marriage, Catholic marriage requires preparation which does in fact outline what is mandated as a Catholic married couple. This includes helping one another in growing in faith, raising children in the Church, attending to their religious obligations, problem solving, etc. Perhaps civil marriage would benefit from such preparation?

An obligation to “service their partners” upon reasonable request? The Church would be against “servicing one’s partner”. Sex in marriage reminds us of the bond of love between Christ and His Church. That love is a freely given gift, not an obligatory participation. Yes, we are to be reasonable about our requests and denials. So what? This removes the withholding of sex as a weapon in marital battles, something it should not morally become. And as far as I know, even civil marriage requires consummation.

NFP has never made much sense to me with the contraception ban but there is one point that gives it merit in Catholic eyes.

No, there are numerous points that give it merit “in Catholic eyes”. They are called doctrines of faith. None of these is increased reproduction. Prove your statement.

Despite what Pre-Cana instructors claim any scientist can tell you it has a considerable failure rate. Even women who have the most regular clockwork cycles can make an error or achieve an undesired pregnancy.

Have you been to Pre-Cana? Have you taken an NFP class? We were left with no illusions. We fully understood the failure rates.

But of course, this too is forbidden for use in the long term, only for one or two months at a time in the most trying circumstances.

PROVE THIS USING AUTHENTIC CHURCH TEACHING. It is outright WRONG.

The Church has recognized faith is dwindling, so it has to bulk it’s ranks somehow. Families of 5-12 kids is a pretty good way to make sure they get at least one for the seminary and donations in the future.

“Faith” is not dwindling. Attendence is declining in some areas and increasing in others. Generally the Church holds constant at about 50% of the world’s christians.
From the Pew Research Center:
The Global Catholic Population
Over the past century, the number of Catholics around the globe has more than tripled, from an estimated 291 million in 1910 to nearly 1.1 billion as of 2010, according to a comprehensive demographic study by the Pew Research Center.

But over the same period, the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly.** As a result, Catholics have made up a remarkably stable share of all people on Earth.** In 1910, Catholics comprised about half (48%) of all Christians and 17% of the world’s total population, according to historical estimates from the World Christian Database. A century later, the Pew Research study found, Catholics still comprise about half (50%) of Christians worldwide and 16% of the total global population.

(I am in no way attempting to be offensive, this is just the latest academic secular opinion on the matter).

You ARE being offensive when you posit reasons for the Church’s belief that are factually untrue and that ignore important doctrine which contributed to the belief. Statements like: “The Church has recognized faith is dwindling, so it has to bulk it’s ranks somehow. Families of 5-12 kids is a pretty good way to make sure they get at least one for the seminary and donations in the future.” are ignorant. I generally find that people who include an apology for rudeness in their post are quite aware of their bad behavior.

You are absolutely free to state your opinion on the teachings, but don’t presume to know what the Church actually believes.

Whose “academic secular opinion”? Where are your sources? Who are these academics? Which of the statements above came from your sources? Sources outside of the Church don’t have the right to declare why the Church does or does not do, condemn, enforce, or teach ANYTHING. The only legitimate source on areas of doctrine is the Church herself. Others may give their opinions, but they should not presume o speak for her.

Who cares if the tools to achieve this goal are artificial? Would you say that a surgeon cannot save a life by using anaesthesia, scalpels, blood transfusions? Would you say that a farmer cannot plant crops by creating an almanac to observe the seasons of the year, by using the local weather station to predict rain and other conditions, and by planting his seeds where they will best grow? The farming analogy is altogether apt for explaining how sex can be procreative and unitive. It is organic farming. It is forbidden to use any means to frustrate the natural order of things, such as a farmer would use pesticide or inject his animals with hormones. It is permitted to take advantage of God’s design and bring all technology to bear on knowing that design in detail.

What is the goal? Sex that does not end in pregnancy? We were also given the ability to understand which parts of our bodies we cannot become pregnant through. Why not use that knowledge to achieve the same goal?

Troll:(

ENCYCLICAL LETTER: HUMANAE VITAE
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF PAUL VI
vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY, CH. 2, ARTICLE 7
vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P50.HTM

Church Teaching on Contraception (6 Part Series)
FR. WILLIAM SAUNDERS
catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0658.html

UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS
Love And Sexuality
usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/love-and-sexuality/index.cfm

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