(Quote) Patrick-341178 said:
Before NFP teaching was deemed acceptable, what was catholic marriage all about? I assume it wa...
(Quote) Patrick-341178 said:
Before NFP teaching was deemed acceptable, what was catholic marriage all about? I assume it was mainly about procreation - something that has been somewhat lost in modern society. It is hard for to me condemn anyone using NFP when just about everyone else (it seems) uses contraception - so I am aware of that.
Although I clearly understand the differences between NFP and artificial contraception, I think intent should matter. If a married couple is having sexual relations hoping NOT to conceive a child, although acceptable under NFP, there is part of me that finds that somewhat wrong. I know NFP is considered acceptable due the openness to life, an obvious significant distinction to artificial contraception.
So the unitive element is there, but is the procreative element there more than in a technical sense? Is a sexual act performed by a married couple hoping to procreate a child on the same level as a sexual act that is hoping not to? Now, in cases where there are infertility issues, I think that is different because the couple is expressing the unitive without hoping the procreative doesn't happen. Many infertile couples have ended up having a child when it was thought virtually impossible.
The main thing is that catholic marriage shouldn't be thought of as freedom to have as much sexual relations as a couple wants without consequence. I think some people think of that way, which is why I have some issues with Christopher West's NFP lectures, which seem to give that impression.
"If a married couple is having sexual relations hoping NOT to conceive a child, although acceptable under NFP, there is part of me that finds that somewhat wrong. "
This is exactly what SHOULD be taught in the NFP classes. Some of the leaders DO teach this, but others don't; it should not be optional. To use NFP to avoid a pregnancy over an extended period of time is a misuse of NFP. I have known women who were unable to conceive because they had taken artifical contraceptives and then used NFP to GET pregnant. The overuse of NFP to avoid a pregnancy is a crisis situation in the Catholic Church. When a mother bears a child and then breastfeeds that child for an extended period of time there is a natural spacing that occurs between pregnancies. I have found the Couple to Couple League instruction/support to be of much greater assistance in child-bearing and natural spacing than any NFP class or TOB seminar (not a fan of former sex addict, CW).
There are MANY reasons why a woman is no longer able to conceive children, even after she has had several pregnancies. I developed undiagnosed hypothyroidism during the pregnancy of my third child (I already had 2 children, 4 pregnancies, two misscarried), which caused me to be severely anemic. I almost lost my 4th child, BECAUSE of the undiagnosed hypothyroidism. I was unable to conceive after my sixth pregnancy DUE to the undiagnosed hypothyroidism and it wasn't until I was seeking treatment for perimenopausal symptoms that I was finally diagnosed as hypothyroid. I am now on hyptyroid medication but am also postmenopausal. Would I have been able to conceive more children had I been treated for hypothyroidism earlier? Who knows? As it is my former spouse, who was an advocate of NFP and opposed to artificial birth control, had a vasectomy just before he was 40, saying that he was too old to risk having more children. It was the beginning of his "mid-life" crisis, which is a whole nother story.