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Natural Family Planning

Apr 15th 2013 new

This has always been a topic that has fascinated me in our world of contraception's ease of use and wide acceptance. The chuch view is the church view on contraception - I accept it. In other forum's where I've tried to suggest that abortion is worse, that seems to bring out a lot of negative responses, so no need to go there. When I said abortion is worse, I have always said that contraception is bad too - I just don't see them as moral equivalents. But, that isn't the point of this post.


I have always wondered if the church does teach against all contraception - how did they decide to come up with the natural family planning alternative? If the idea of a marriage to be fruitful and mulitply, shoudn't the goal to be of a married couple to have as many kids as possible? I miss the days of big catholic families as that used to seem to be the norm. Is natural family planning in some ways an easy way out?


I have heard that it only should be practiced in "grave situations". I imagine that would entail some kind of severe physical or physchological reasoning - not basic economic factors or a desire to enjoy one's lifestyle. If the reasons do qualify for "grave enough," wouldn't it simply make more sense to practice abstinence like the rest of us, than "risk it" with NFP. I know that NFP can be quite effective if practiced properly, but it does seem quite complicated - particularly if the woman has an irregular cycle. Abstinence, on the other hand, is quite simple and 100% effective.


Now, if a couple does want to practice NFP, I am fine with that as it in accordance with church teaching. But, would complete abstinence as another option, somehow be wrong or a violation of one's wedding vows? Would a married couple be violating the "unitive" element of a marriage? Are marriages where there is less sexual relations somehow lesser? That does seem to be the message one would get from a Christopher West NFP lecture. I don't know - maybe he is right.


In another one's of my forums, I mentioned a recent facebook thread, which included catholics and non-catholics, about the debate in the pro-life movement over contraception. It went on an on as some were ok with the pill, others were ok with barrier methods and others were just ok with NFP. I pleaded that we should all just try to get along and focus our attention on common agreement - speaking out against abortion - to seemingly no avail. I then suggested to idea of simply practicing abstinence, as it is 100% effective. Interestingly enough, the pro-contraception members didn't seem to have a problem with this idea (perhaps they just ignored it as crazy talk, I don't know). But, one of the pro NFP members, seemed quite offended with this suggestion, as if it were somehow offensive to married couples.


So, is complete sexual abstinence in a marriage just as bad as artificial contraception, or even worse? Is it a sin for married couples "not to do it?" For the record, I am not advocating this, as I want married couples to be fruitful and multiply. Yet, for those married couples with "grave reasons" not to have another child, shouldn't complete abstinence atleast be an option?

Apr 29th 2013 new

(Quote) Patrick-341178 said: This has always been a topic that has fascinated me in our world of contraception's ease of...
(Quote) Patrick-341178 said:

This has always been a topic that has fascinated me in our world of contraception's ease of use and wide acceptance. The chuch view is the church view on contraception - I accept it. In other forum's where I've tried to suggest that abortion is worse, that seems to bring out a lot of negative responses, so no need to go there. When I said abortion is worse, I have always said that contraception is bad too - I just don't see them as moral equivalents. But, that isn't the point of this post.


I have always wondered if the church does teach against all contraception - how did they decide to come up with the natural family planning alternative? If the idea of a marriage to be fruitful and mulitply, shoudn't the goal to be of a married couple to have as many kids as possible? I miss the days of big catholic families as that used to seem to be the norm. Is natural family planning in some ways an easy way out?


I have heard that it only should be practiced in "grave situations". I imagine that would entail some kind of severe physical or physchological reasoning - not basic economic factors or a desire to enjoy one's lifestyle. If the reasons do qualify for "grave enough," wouldn't it simply make more sense to practice abstinence like the rest of us, than "risk it" with NFP. I know that NFP can be quite effective if practiced properly, but it does seem quite complicated - particularly if the woman has an irregular cycle. Abstinence, on the other hand, is quite simple and 100% effective.


Now, if a couple does want to practice NFP, I am fine with that as it in accordance with church teaching. But, would complete abstinence as another option, somehow be wrong or a violation of one's wedding vows? Would a married couple be violating the "unitive" element of a marriage? Are marriages where there is less sexual relations somehow lesser? That does seem to be the message one would get from a Christopher West NFP lecture. I don't know - maybe he is right.


In another one's of my forums, I mentioned a recent facebook thread, which included catholics and non-catholics, about the debate in the pro-life movement over contraception. It went on an on as some were ok with the pill, others were ok with barrier methods and others were just ok with NFP. I pleaded that we should all just try to get along and focus our attention on common agreement - speaking out against abortion - to seemingly no avail. I then suggested to idea of simply practicing abstinence, as it is 100% effective. Interestingly enough, the pro-contraception members didn't seem to have a problem with this idea (perhaps they just ignored it as crazy talk, I don't know). But, one of the pro NFP members, seemed quite offended with this suggestion, as if it were somehow offensive to married couples.


So, is complete sexual abstinence in a marriage just as bad as artificial contraception, or even worse? Is it a sin for married couples "not to do it?" For the record, I am not advocating this, as I want married couples to be fruitful and multiply. Yet, for those married couples with "grave reasons" not to have another child, shouldn't complete abstinence atleast be an option?

--hide--


Actually it IS bad for a married couple to abstain from the marital act where both parties are not 100% committed to it. If either one needs release in that area, it is a sin on the part of the other to deny the spouse. Marriage is a union of lives and that includes aid in these areas.

That being said, if a couple can agree to abstain completely, they can obviously take measures to make that happen: separate bedrooms, bathrooms, etc... I think it becomes more complicated when there are children involved. Little ones don't understand these things.. all they see is that Mommy and Daddy don't "love" each other anymore.

By the way, I believe there are accepted times of extreme financial/economic cases in a family where NFP can be acceptable. Obedience and complete honesty with one's spouse and confessor would be totally vital in the whole scenario.

(Look at me ....talking like I know... :p)



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