Why NFP rather than condoms, sponge, etc.?


#1

Can anyone clarify why the Church says it is alright to use NFP but is not alright to use condoms, the sponge, etc.? I know about the birth control pill. That is absolutely out of the question because of the abortive method of it. But when using NFP to prevent a pregnancy, why is it acceptable when other means of artificial contraception (other than the pill) are not? Any help would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:


#2

Because NFP uses the God-given cycles of human fertility, and God-given free will (making choices within the God-given framework), while the other methods work to subvert those God-given cycles, and reject the role that our free will was intended to play.

It’s sort of like watching one’s weight by watching what one eats, vs. by purging. The former works with our God-given biology, the latter works against it.


#3

This is the section of the catechism that addresses this topic…

Specifically under the section “III. The Love of Husband and Wife”

The fecundity of marriage

2366
Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which is "on the side of life,"151 teaches that "it is necessary that each and every marriage act remain ordered per se to the procreation of human life."152 "This particular doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act."153

2367
Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God.154 "Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility."155

2368
A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality:

    When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts, criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart.156

2369
"By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man’s exalted vocation to parenthood."157

2370
Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.158 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil:159

    Thus the innate LANGUAGE that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory LANGUAGE, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.160

2371
"Let all be convinced that human life and the duty of transmitting it are not limited by the horizons of this life only: their true evaluation and full significance can be understood only in reference to man’s eternal destiny."161

Read the entire link for more detailed information and references…

HTH! :slight_smile:


#4

I apologize, this is a cut & paste from a previous post of mine on this same topic… I’m sort on time today…


NFP and contraception are both methods of birth control. Birth control is just the spacing & planning of children.

The Church does not teach *birth control *is immoral. The Church teaches that contraception is an immoral **means **of birth control. Big difference.

Why?

Each marriage act (act of sexual intercourse) must be unaltered before, during, or after the act. No action may taken to alter the act because each act must be objectively unitive and procreative in order to be authentic and properly ordered as God designed.

Subjectively that particular act may or may not be procreative. For example, if someone is naturally infertile due to time of the month, post-menopause, already pregnant, etc, then an unaltered act of intercourse is objectively procreative but subjectively does not result in conception.

**How does NFP meet this criteria? **In NFP each marital act is objectively unitive and procreative. If you have reason to avoid pregnancy you do not engage in the act. That respects the objective elements that must be present in every act.

**How does contraception fail to meet this criteria? **When contracepting a couple engages in the marital act while simultaneously altering the act to nullify it’s procreative element-- either before, during, or after the act. Before-- sterilization, Pill, sponge, diaphram, condom, IUD. During-- withdrawal, masterbatory acts that don’t culminate in intercourse. After- morning after pill, abortion. All of these things alter the act either in anticipation of, during, or after.

NFP says: Don’t want to become pregnant at that time? Abstain and respect the act as God created it because we and the act serve God. Engage in the act when the woman is naturally infertile and never alter the act.

**Contraception says: **Don’t want to become pregnant? Have sex and mutilate the act because the act serves us.

NFP is not an alterative to contraception, it’s an alternative to complete abstinence.

For more, go to www.omsoul.com and pick up some of their resources, especially the Contraception Why Not CD by Janet Smith.


#5

An amusing and somewhat simplistic analogy from Christopher West:

If you can understand the difference between killing grandma and waiting for her to die naturally,

then you can understand the difference between using contraception, and waiting until you are infertile.


#6

the combined oral contraceptive pil is not an abortifacient - that is a myth spread to scare people out of using it (and it seems to be quite effective)


#7

@jack hawkins:

Maybe you are not aware what “abortifacient” means in this case. It means that the fertilized egg is prevented from embedding in the womb. You may of course say that the egg cannot be fertilized in the first place. This is of course true in most cases, but not in each one - especially not in the case of low-dose Pills.

Anyway, I really don’t understand why Western women, who think normally so much about their health in every way, find it ok that they voluntarily separate themselves from their femininity by taking the Pill, making themselves the living and breathing equivalent of a rubber doll: pretty without, dead and empty within, ready for “use”.

(Such feelings and thoughts prompted me actually at the age of 18 to get rid of the Pill for good. I never regretted it. That was many years before I started to believe in God and became a Catholic. But maybe teenagers just have a stronger sensibility towards their bodies than older women who have got used over the years to supressing their bodily functions by ways of the Pill and don’t even think about its implications anymore. That’s the numbing effect of sin, I guess…)


#8

I am perfectly aware of the various definitions of abortifacient - thanks tho:thumbsup:
“pro-lifers” don’t seem to understand the relevant physiology and science tho, sadly - then they use their flawed understanding to manipulate others


#9

What do you mean by this exactly? Please explain! As to the abortifacient nature of the Pill, it can be read on the description of every brand by any producer… It was not just invented by pro-lifers but is public knowledge.

And I must also say I’ve met more “flawed physiology and science” in pro-aborts - such as the biologically laughable assertion that an embryo in the womb of a woman is not itself human or that it’s “part of the woman’s body”, even though it has different DNA - than in pro-lifers…


#10

that’s not a logical argument at all! because it’s on the insert and “public knowledge” it must be true? more like because that assertion suits the “pro-life” campaign then it is accepted and not questioned?

And I must also say I’ve met more “flawed physiology and science” in pro-aborts - such as the biologically laughable assertion that an embryo in the womb of a woman is not itself human or that it’s “part of the woman’s body”, even though it has different DNA - than in pro-lifers…

well that’s not flawed science at all is it? that is a philosophical standpoint held by some religions in fact
I find it totally inconsistent to believe in life before birth but not after it…


#11

I was talking about the sheet of paper you find in the boxes of the Pills. Not about any information from pro-life groups.

well that’s not flawed science at all is it? that is a philosophical standpoint held by some religions in fact
I find it totally inconsistent to believe in life before birth but not after it…

:confused: :confused: :confused:
What on Earth are you talking about? Who believes in “life before birth but not after it”? Ever heard the phrase “protection of human life from its conception up to its natural end”? Ever read Evangelium Vitae?

And what part of “the embryo of a human mother is itself human” is flawed science? Would you say the same about sentences like “the embryo of a dolphin mother is a dolphin” or “the embryo of a bear mother is a bear”???


#12

Don’t argue with Dr Hawkins, he’s a DR and knows it all…:rolleyes: I’ve yet to see him explain HOW the pill ISN’T potentially abortifacient. But he’ll tell you he can’t prove a negative, probably.

Sorry, Dr Hawkins, you keep insisting and we keep asking for more info…

Here are a few other dr.s who might disagree with Dr Hawkins(but what do they know, they are only Dr’s):

ccli.org/contraception/mdexplains.php
aaplog.org/collition.htm
physiciansforlife.org/content/view/199/69/

Jennifer


#13

TY for the really helpful contribution - NOT
as for people who can’t tell the difference between “potential” and actuality, I give up discussing with them
they have their own propaganda to peddle, and no doubt need to feel self-righteous I guess?
once you have shown you understand the refutations of the “hostile endometrium” theory Jennifer, we might be able to have a discussion about the science
until we can swap citations etc ad nauseum thus only proving one thing, selective undiscriminatory citation can be used to prove almost anything!
have you turned science on it’s head BTW and managed to prove a negative???:confused: :rolleyes:


#14

yes, that’s called the “insert”

What on Earth are you talking about? Who believes in “life before birth but not after it”? Ever heard the phrase “protection of human life from its conception up to its natural end”? Ever read Evangelium Vitae?

many “pro-lifers” are happy to let a pregnant woman dies needlessly - that is what I’m getting at

And what part of “the embryo of a human mother is itself human” is flawed science? Would you say the same about sentences like “the embryo of a dolphin mother is a dolphin” or “the embryo of a bear mother is a bear”???

as I mentioned before, that is not science as such that is a philosophical position. not absolutely everything “pro-lifers” say is tosh, just a fair bit

an example of “pro-life” tosh is claiming the COCP is a proven abortifacient, when no one has demonstrated this and there is good grounds to suspect this is not the case for the older generation of OCP.


#15

But, for Catholics and the Church, POTENTIAL is enough to warrent just one reason BCP’s are not allowed (not to mention the fact that it seperates the unitive and procreative aspects of marriage). We are prolife, not because of the science, but because of our FAITH and the TRUTH’s it teaches. I know you are in RCIA, but you seem to refuse to look at the Church’s teaching on this matter and only spout science–which for us is only part of the issue. Even if it can be proven 100% that BCP’s aren’t abortifacient, the Church will NEVER allow them to be used because they interfere with the marriage covenant.

I also want to ask are all the prolife Dr’s wrong in their assertions? How can they be so blind or uninformed or just plain dumb about the science and yet YOU are so enlightened? Perhaps it’s YOU who needs to do more study and PRAYER on the subject and stop attacking the prolife movement. There ARE alternatives to BCP’s. I have a wonderful Catholic, prolife Dr. I suppose he can’t argue the facts with you, either, as he’s too blinded by the prolife movement? I just don’t understand you at all.

God bless,
Jennifer


#16

the extreme movement that claims to be “pro-life” makes it difficult for people who are genuinely pro-life as by publicising appalling science they completely lose credibility for anyone campaigning on sanctity of life issues
if you are approaching the studies without a scientific approach so that you can reject studies and findings that vindicate your position because they are scientifically flawed or weak, then you have some credibility
if however you just have some weak argument about “potential” etc - then you have just made yourselves a fringe pressure group that is more about self-glorification possibly than any genuine impact on the world


#17

Jennifer,
It’s difficult to argue with a physician who believes condoms can actually prevent AIDS in real life.


#18

The Church, then, has a weak arguement in your eyes. That’s sad. Please study the Church’s teaching on this matter. Perhaps then, your eyes will be opened–not to the science, but to the morality and ethics.
I guess that all the Prolife Doctors are unable to see the science. I’m a music major (by education) married to a Biology Prof so I’m not unaware of the science, I do have trouble with some of the more technical writing but certainly can ask those around me for clarification. Could you please link to the scientific publications that say what you claim? I don’t think you have, and if you have I missed it. Please, provide links for what you are saying about the science. Then I can read it and discuss it. I’m not stupid and can discuss this as can many other educated people on this board. Give us all a break and post the studies…

Jennifer


#19

I know, what a terrible thing to do to actually believe what science and trials tell us!
I can see how that would completely destroy my credibility in some circles
BTW do you believe Diet Coke helps lose weight?


#20

On Friday, July 20, 2001, the National Institutes of Health released a report on the efficacy of male latex condom use in preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. This report resulted from a meeting of 28 experts convened at the NIH by the National Institute on Allergy & Infectious Diseases in conjunction with the US Centers for Disease Control.

The report reiterates that condoms are highly effective in preventing transmission of HIV and can reduce the transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases.

BUT in later part of the report it says:

The fact that condoms ARE NOT 100 percent protective does not mean they have no value in prevention.

The report ends by saying:

Sexual abstinence or sex with a single partner in a mutually monogamous, committed relationship remain the surest ways to prevent STDs, including HIV infection. Latex condoms should continue to be used consistently for other kinds of sexual partnerships.

If we combine the logic it says:

  1. Condom is HIGHLY EFFECTIVE but
  2. It is a fact that it is NOT 100 PERCENT PROTECTIVE
  3. Therefore SEXUAL ABSTINENCE or sex with single partner are the SUREST WAYS to prevent STD/HIV…

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