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Let me begin by saying I hope I'm not opening up a can of worms here.

Of course, I'm sure most people here would agree that contraception is wrong and that if a couple has sufficient reason for avoiding pregnancy (e.g. health reasons, financial problems, etc.), then they may use Natural Family Planning (NFP). But of course, they have to be careful not to use NFP with a contraceptive mentality. Then again, unless their reason for using NFP is obviously frivolous, then whether or not a sufficient reason for it exists would have to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Well, I've encountered Catholics who more or less believe that if you're not at death's door, or if you're not within a hair's breadth of being homeless, then you don't have sufficient reasons for using NFP. A lot of them also rashly assume that if you only have 1-3 kids or haven't gotten pregnant within a few months after getting married, then you must be contracepting or at least misusing NFP (I have a friend who actually assumed her 20-something sister was contracepting simply because she got married over a year ago and still isn't pregnant) . Worst of all, there are others (mostly extreme traditionalists) who actually believe that using NFP is "modernist" and in and of itself a mortal sin (because in their mind it can never be used without a contraceptive mentality) and think that one day the Church will declare it anathema. But isn't calling evil that which the Church allows heresy or at least close to it?

I guess I'm not so much wanting to discuss this topic as I am venting. I envy large families, but I get the impression that some Catholics almost make it a litmus test for how Catholic you are. Has anybody else experienced similar attitudes from fellow Catholics?

Nov 5th 2012 new

(Quote) Dave-912400 said: Let me begin by saying I hope I'm not opening up a can of worms here. Of course, I'...
(Quote) Dave-912400 said:

Let me begin by saying I hope I'm not opening up a can of worms here.

Of course, I'm sure most people here would agree that contraception is wrong and that if a couple has sufficient reason for avoiding pregnancy (e.g. health reasons, financial problems, etc.), then they may use Natural Family Planning (NFP). But of course, they have to be careful not to use NFP with a contraceptive mentality. Then again, unless their reason for using NFP is obviously frivolous, then whether or not a sufficient reason for it exists would have to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Well, I've encountered Catholics who more or less believe that if you're not at death's door, or if you're not within a hair's breadth of being homeless, then you don't have sufficient reasons for using NFP. A lot of them also rashly assume that if you only have 1-3 kids or haven't gotten pregnant within a few months after getting married, then you must be contracepting or at least misusing NFP (I have a friend who actually assumed her 20-something sister was contracepting simply because she got married over a year ago and still isn't pregnant) . Worst of all, there are others (mostly extreme traditionalists) who actually believe that using NFP is "modernist" and in and of itself a mortal sin (because in their mind it can never be used without a contraceptive mentality) and think that one day the Church will declare it anathema. But isn't calling evil that which the Church allows heresy or at least close to it?

I guess I'm not so much wanting to discuss this topic as I am venting. I envy large families, but I get the impression that some Catholics almost make it a litmus test for how Catholic you are. Has anybody else experienced similar attitudes from fellow Catholics?

--hide--
Hi, Dave. I'll contemplate your post and add comments later, but for now, I wanted to welcome you to the CM forums. This is a good place to get acquainted; also to vent if you do it constructively. You've discovered the forums early and I'm sure you'll be glad you did because of the rapport you can establish with other CM members.

Interesting subject.....

Nov 5th 2012 new
Hi Dave, and welcome to the forums. I've found Dr. Janet E Smith's writings and talks to be quite informative on the subject, and recommend that you at least check out her website at www.janetesmith.org for more details. I'm recalling a lecture in the Sexual Common Sense series where she examines good reasons for using NFP...a very basic synopsis is that

1. Acceptable reasons are determined mutually by the couple themselves (supported by a pope's statement in Humanae Vitae?????)

2. Reason must be of great significance and be good for the marital relationship

3. Reasons will differ between couples based on the strengths and circumstances of that particular couple.

Essentially, scrupulosity and judging are not appropriate attitudes to have. Being convinced that someone is contracepting because they aren't pregnant yet smacks of gossipwhy do they need to be sticking their noses in another marriage? I think that's much more of an appropriate question to ask.

Hope this helped! Pax et bonum!
Nov 5th 2012 new

i am not sure. I do know I was decieved for many years about contraception and probably would have a very large family if I had not been.

Nov 6th 2012 new

Ray and Rae -- Thanks for the welcome!

Rae -- I also appreciate your directing me to Janet Smith's material; unfortunately, a lot of the "hardliners" I discussed in my original post seem to think she's a modernist (in fact, in their mind anyone who takes a less conservative stance than them on anything is a modernist . . . sad attitude to have, I know, but that's what they believe).

Marirose -- But you're not deceived about contraception anymore; praise God!

Everyone -- To give you an idea of the negative attitudes about NFP I'm talking about, this blog is a classic example -- philotheaonphire.blogspot.com . The woman who runs it has written a lot of posts denouncing what she considers the misuse of NFP. At the top of the page is the link "NFP Posts." Click on it, and you'll get a taste of what I mean (she even seems to think Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body is modernist).

Dec 17th 2012 new

As with all things, some people take things to extreme. Scrupulosity for example.

Some people want to completely trust in God to "plan" their family. I take my hat off to them for having so much trust. That is what everyone used to do all the time.

NFP is moral, it is fine to employ it if you have just reason, which no one but the couple and their confessors could actually know, so Mind YOur Own Business is what I would say to all these people.

In this day and age that a couple is not artificially contracepting, and employing NFP as their methodology, and using it with good counsel and communication and good counsel is the very best we can hope for. That they want to abstain from the marital relations I think is totally their own business and privilege to use as they see fit, when they see fit.

If others want to trust God even more than that, they are free to. But they need not berate others.

Use some of that energy to confront those who are contracepting where the real harm is taking place, is what I would say....

Dec 18th 2012 new

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, so I thank you for bringing it up! Thank you all who have already commented and will comment. I am eager to hear more about it!

Dec 18th 2012 new
(Quote) Dave-912400 said: Ray and Rae -- Thanks for the welcome! Rae -- I also appreciate your directing me to Janet Smith&...
(Quote) Dave-912400 said:

Ray and Rae -- Thanks for the welcome!



Rae -- I also appreciate your directing me to Janet Smith's material; unfortunately, a lot of the "hardliners" I discussed in my original post seem to think she's a modernist (in fact, in their mind anyone who takes a less conservative stance than them on anything is a modernist . . . sad attitude to have, I know, but that's what they believe).



Marirose -- But you're not deceived about contraception anymore; praise God!



Everyone -- To give you an idea of the negative attitudes about NFP I'm talking about, this blog is a classic example -- philotheaonphire.blogspot.com . The woman who runs it has written a lot of posts denouncing what she considers the misuse of NFP. At the top of the page is the link "NFP Posts." Click on it, and you'll get a taste of what I mean (she even seems to think Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body is modernist).

--hide--


The woman who runs it is clearly being rigid at best and scrupulous at worse. People who take on a mission to the extreme like this are usually trying to cover up sins of their own.

When asked how many children would be a good number for an average family, Blessed Pope John Paul 2 said "3" the number of the Trinity. Ask her if it is okay for the Trinity to be a family of 3, why isn't okay for you?
Dec 18th 2012 new
(Quote) Dave-912400 said: Ray and Rae -- Thanks for the welcome! Rae -- I also appreciate your directing me to Janet Smith&...
(Quote) Dave-912400 said:

Ray and Rae -- Thanks for the welcome!



Rae -- I also appreciate your directing me to Janet Smith's material; unfortunately, a lot of the "hardliners" I discussed in my original post seem to think she's a modernist (in fact, in their mind anyone who takes a less conservative stance than them on anything is a modernist . . . sad attitude to have, I know, but that's what they believe).



Marirose -- But you're not deceived about contraception anymore; praise God!



Everyone -- To give you an idea of the negative attitudes about NFP I'm talking about, this blog is a classic example -- philotheaonphire.blogspot.com . The woman who runs it has written a lot of posts denouncing what she considers the misuse of NFP. At the top of the page is the link "NFP Posts." Click on it, and you'll get a taste of what I mean (she even seems to think Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body is modernist).

--hide--


Tell her you will listen to her just as soon as she becomes a Saint like JP2 (it will happen soon). Also tell her for centuries people have tried to follow Thier own beliefs, only to fragment from the Church and start their own religion. As soon as she has the credentials of the Magesterium you will give her more credence. Every new generation is seen as modern and therefore wrong.
Dec 18th 2012 new
Dave,

I used the Natural Planning when I was married and it worked. We had to go to an expert on this topic before we got married. She explained to us how to dot it, etc. We did not want children at the beginning, thank God for it. It has worked for some other people too. It is yours and your wife's decision not everyone else. Good luck with it.

Lucia
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