The legitimacy of NFP


I’ve just got done reading a book about the history of the Church’s approach to contraception (found here:

My question is this: is the practice of NFP truly legitimate, a “development of doctrine” (in the sense of Newman) or is it a blatant contradiction of what the fathers in the first five centuries (especially St. Augustine) taught (that the infertile period could not be used to avoid procreation)?

I ask for not abstract, but very personal reasons…


It is truly legitimate.

Consider the fact that abortion has always been considered wrong, but through the ages there have been different understandings as to when the child was “ensouled”.

There have been any number of very holy men and women of the Church thoughout the ages; the fact that any one or more of them held and idea does not necessarily mean that the Church officially held the idea; it may simply be that the Church had no opinion on the matter. Keep in mind that society in general tended to think of women as chattels; that does not mean that if some saint wrote something that in essence says that the wife is the proeprty of the husband, that we are now not following the mind of the Church by treating her as an individual with equal dignity to the husband.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit