Author Topic: Contraception: an observer's view  (Read 89887 times)

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Offline AMM

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #225 on: January 17, 2008, 02:13:42 PM »
Another thing I can't get around: This liberal view of birth control is a novelty of 20th-century vintage. Is this an EO "development of doctrine"? How can something so condemned for so long be finally accepted?

Do you mean like how NFP is evil?

http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/Natural_Family_Planning.html

Offline Νεκτάριος

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #226 on: January 17, 2008, 02:31:31 PM »
Fertilization is a mystery.

Um...it is rather straightforward.  Have you never heard of the birds and the bees?

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By taking it upon ourselves to restrict or block this miracle of new life, are we not denying God's authority in this?

Start with your own church and have NFP condemned first. 

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #227 on: January 17, 2008, 02:50:55 PM »
Hello Tamara,

Here is what I can't get around. Is not justifying artificial contraception effectively denying God's provident role in the creation of every human being? Fertilization is a mystery. It does not always happen, and many eggs and millions of sperm never make it. Is it random chance or is God's hand in it? "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you," reads Jeremiah 1:5.

By taking it upon ourselves to restrict or block this miracle of new life, are we not denying God's authority in this?

-

Another thing I can't get around: This liberal view of birth control is a novelty of 20th-century vintage. Is this an EO "development of doctrine"? How can something so condemned for so long be finally accepted?

I don't have any authority or right to tell others what they should or shouldn't do. They should go to their priest and doctor for advice.
My own thoughts are, since God created the universe He is powerful enough to overcome any kind of birth control if He wants someone to be born. Since I have been pregnant twice in my life I understand what happens to a woman's body and it doesn't make sense to me to have one child after another without proper spacing which would eventually compromise the health of the mother. I hope those who want large families will do what they can to insure the health of the mother. I don't see anything wrong with spacing children, especially if someone wants a large family. It takes two or three years for a woman's body to recover from a pregnancy. Besides giving birth to her children, a mother is then needed to raise those children. She can't do that effectively if her health is compromised. I guess I just want those who wish to have large families to keep that in mind.

Offline Quinault

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #228 on: January 17, 2008, 03:18:31 PM »
Honestly, I am healthier now after baby #3 than I was before baby #1. In fact I weigh LESS than I did before I had my first child. My blood pressure is better, my asthma is better. And in many ways my husband and I have more time alone together now than we did when we had one child. And we certainly VALUE that time together more than we did before we had children at all. In all honesty, there is nothing sexier than a husband that is an excellent father.

The only things worse for me are;

1) My eyesight, but that is normal due to age also for me.
2) My teeth are worse, but that could be due to age also.

But I fully agree in spacing. Too much is really hard, too little is extremely hard. My first two are nearly 4 years apart. My second and third child are 22mths apart. And that is tooo close in my opinion. My second child didn't get to stay a "baby" as long as I would have liked. And because of the pregnancy she weaned MUCH earlier than I would have liked. I was pregnant right after my daughters 1st birthday. It was really hard for both her and I. Physically it was exhausting, and emotionally it was really hard since our son was concieved about a week after the loss of a child/pregnancy at 7 weeks. So I am ALL FOR spacing pregnancies. But you can't paint all the effects of motherhood as bad.

Offline The Iambic Pen

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #229 on: January 17, 2008, 06:04:27 PM »
We have gone from accusations of pro-choice to pro-abortion? If ever there was a slippery slope this thread certainly seems to be on one.
I tend to equate the two, as those who label themselves "pro-choice" believe abortion should be allowed.  When I use the term "pro-abortion," I don't mean that the people in question think abortion is a great thing that should be practiced as much as possible.  I mean only that they support its use.  Therefore, I see the terms "pro-choice" and "pro-abortion" as being synonymous.  Plus, I honestly have trouble using the term "pro-choice," as the individual most affected by an abortion gets no choice in the matter.

Back to the topic of sex within marriage...Would it be best, then, for a Christian to pray something like the following?

"Lord, please make this union produce children.  Do not let me enter into it with any other desire in my mind.  Please remove any physical desire I have for my wife, as this could lead me to seek the marital embrace for reasons of the flesh.  If my wife is not fertile at this time, please prevent us from entering into this physical union, as the sinful pleasure we would receive would not be balanced out by the great good of childbearing.  I understand that, aside from its role in the creation of new life, sexual intercourse is an odious, sinful act, and I look forward to the day when my wife and I are no longer able to produce offspring, and may thus abandon this act forever."

I mean no disrespect or sacrilege of anything of the sort.  However, I have seen Catholics and Orthodox alike hold views that seem quite consistent with what I wrote in the preceding paragraph.

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #230 on: January 17, 2008, 06:52:19 PM »
Another thing I can't get around: This liberal view of birth control is a novelty of 20th-century vintage. Is this an EO "development of doctrine"? How can something so condemned for so long be finally accepted?
Both the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches have made significant compromises on the traditional patristic teaching on contraception.   This is the reason why Paul VI's Humanae Vitae does not contain even one patristice reference but he bases his arguments entirely on what he sees as natural law.  While it is cleverly done it is still contrary to the centuries old tradition of his own Church. 

The Orthodox have also made changes on the matter of contraception as a result of the new scientific discoveries.

Papa Gregorio did a masterful job on CAF of presenting the patristic evidence.  He covered it in 4-5 posts.  I'll see if I can locate his posts.

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #231 on: January 17, 2008, 07:12:27 PM »
I tend to equate the two, as those who label themselves "pro-choice" believe abortion should be allowed.  When I use the term "pro-abortion," I don't mean that the people in question think abortion is a great thing that should be practiced as much as possible.  I mean only that they support its use.  Therefore, I see the terms "pro-choice" and "pro-abortion" as being synonymous.  Plus, I honestly have trouble using the term "pro-choice," as the individual most affected by an abortion gets no choice in the matter.

Back to the topic of sex within marriage...Would it be best, then, for a Christian to pray something like the following?

"Lord, please make this union produce children.  Do not let me enter into it with any other desire in my mind.  Please remove any physical desire I have for my wife, as this could lead me to seek the marital embrace for reasons of the flesh.  If my wife is not fertile at this time, please prevent us from entering into this physical union, as the sinful pleasure we would receive would not be balanced out by the great good of childbearing.  I understand that, aside from its role in the creation of new life, sexual intercourse is an odious, sinful act, and I look forward to the day when my wife and I are no longer able to produce offspring, and may thus abandon this act forever."
Please make a prayer out of the teaching of Saint John Chrysostom...

"In the fourth century, St John Chrysostom declares:

"There are two reasons for which marriage was instituted...to bring man to contentment with one woman and to have children, but it is the first reason that is the most important. As for procreation, it is not required absolutely by marriage...The proof of this lies in the numerous marriages that cannot have children. This is why the first reason of marriage is to order sexual life, especially now that the human race has filled the entire earth."

Offline The Iambic Pen

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #232 on: January 17, 2008, 07:24:17 PM »
Yes, that prayer would be much better. :)

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #233 on: January 17, 2008, 08:40:48 PM »
I can see I should have started this thread out in different way (my mistake). But I did say these were my own observations and I still stand by what I observe. Yes, you can get any of the diseases without having any children or with only very few children. But from what I have OBSERVED, my friends with large families, tend to be in poorer health than my friends who have smaller families. Many of the illnesses have become more obvious as these women have hit perimenopause (a time of reckoning in women's health). If one hasn't had time to care for one's own health then various illnesses and conditions tend to show up when women hit their mid to late forties.

Tamara;

I don't think that you should regret starting this thread (if you do). It nothing else, it has given people the opportunity to consider the situation you describe. I, for one, tend to agree with your assessments regarding the poorer health of women with numerous children. Of course, whether a woman continues to have children under such circumstances will always be her choice and such a course of action would, imo, be the road of sacrifice. But believe me, I know that not all of us are prepared to take that road. I had serious problems carrying - being frightfully nauseous most of the time -; and the birth was a nightmare, though it's something I simply don't talk about all that much. Anyway, three children were enough for me. My younger daughter, however, has bravely borne six.

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This thread has touched on so many different subjects which had very little to do with the original message but what I was hoping would happen with this thread was to get people thinking about a woman's health in regard...

I believe that you should always hope that the post has served that purpose though - and it's probably good that it has given so many different subjects an airing. But - and I'm probably telling you what you already know here - some men simply do lack empathy for the female situation (not only regarding pregnancy). In all fairness to them, there are probably many reasons for this. But the males close to me (son and hubby) simply couldn't have failed to be impressed by the impact that the female condition had on their home. ;D And believe me neither of them were spared the grim facts that eventually there were three women in the house who were going around like bears with sore heads; that at times their super efficient Mum/wife didn't have their washing and ironing exactly up to date, and that things were sometimes so grim that there wasn't a meal on the table. Thank God for takeout! And thank God that both of those long-suffering males are very considerate of women.

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All I can say is, dear ladies, don't be afraid or intimidated to post your thoughts. Your experiences and observations are valuable whether you agree with me or not. I don't care. I won't try and force you to think a certain way. Every woman has something of value to bring to the discussion.


Fear not, Tamara, I am never afraid to express my thoughts. :)

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I also am thankful to belong to a faith (Orthodoxy) which is not legalistic. It allows humans to be humans. And when we might get off the path the Church gently, like a mother, helps us to get back on. I am more appreciative of this aspect lately as I see this is not something seen in other places.

Hear, hear. And I would like to express my thanks for starting this thread. It has given everyone the chance to air their opinions and though we don't always agree with each other, we can still respect the other person's right to a point of view.

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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #234 on: January 17, 2008, 08:58:24 PM »
Please make a prayer out of the teaching of Saint John Chrysostom...

"In the fourth century, St John Chrysostom declares:

"There are two reasons for which marriage was instituted...to bring man to contentment with one woman and to have children, but it is the first reason that is the most important. As for procreation, it is not required absolutely by marriage...The proof of this lies in the numerous marriages that cannot have children. This is why the first reason of marriage is to order sexual life, especially now that the human race has filled the entire earth."

"Lord, I thank you for my wonderful spouse. I pray that the years of joy in our marriage bed will be many and fulfilling for us both, that neither of us will suffer the temptation to "look elsewhere" for the contentment we hope to find in each other. I pray that we will be blessed with children, but if that be not the case that we will be accepting of that disappointment and seek to open our hearts to the possibilities of adopting or fostering those little ones who have been denied the blessing of a stable home and loving parents.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 09:00:41 PM by Riddikulus »
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Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #235 on: January 17, 2008, 09:11:12 PM »
that at times their super efficient Mum/wife didn't have their washing and ironing exactly up to date, and that things were sometimes so grim that there wasn't a meal on the table. Thank God for takeout! And thank God that both of those long-suffering males are very considerate of women.

And these long-suffering males seem to be quite lazy to boot.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #236 on: January 17, 2008, 09:22:32 PM »
And these long-suffering males seem to be quite lazy to boot.

Oh, goodness no! I didn't mean to leave that impression. ;D
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #237 on: January 17, 2008, 09:26:09 PM »
"Lord, I thank you for my wonderful spouse. I pray that the years of joy in our marriage bed will be many and fulfilling for us both, that neither of us will suffer the temptation to "look elsewhere" for the contentment we hope to find in each other. I pray that we will be blessed with children, but if that be not the case that we will be accepting of that disappointment and seek to open our hearts to the possibilities of adopting or fostering those little ones who have been denied the blessing of a stable home and loving parents.



Thank you, Riddikulus.  That truly brought tears to my eyes.  That is a beautiful prayer, the sentiments of which I pray every day.  Now I have a more eloquent and articulate way to pray them, as that is exactly how I feel and exactly what I pray for my husband and me.  God bless you!
Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #238 on: January 17, 2008, 09:46:45 PM »
Thank you, Riddikulus.  That truly brought tears to my eyes.  That is a beautiful prayer, the sentiments of which I pray every day.  Now I have a more eloquent and articulate way to pray them, as that is exactly how I feel and exactly what I pray for my husband and me.  God bless you!

Thank you, GreekChef. God be with you and yours.

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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #239 on: January 17, 2008, 10:17:39 PM »
"Lord, I thank you for my wonderful spouse. I pray that the years of joy in our marriage bed will be many and fulfilling for us both, that neither of us will suffer the temptation to "look elsewhere" for the contentment we hope to find in each other. I pray that we will be blessed with children, but if that be not the case that we will be accepting of that disappointment and seek to open our hearts to the possibilities of adopting or fostering those little ones who have been denied the blessing of a stable home and loving parents.




Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #240 on: January 17, 2008, 11:56:48 PM »
Hello Tamara,

Here is what I can't get around. Is not justifying artificial contraception effectively denying God's provident role in the creation of every human being? Fertilization is a mystery. It does not always happen, and many eggs and millions of sperm never make it. Is it random chance or is God's hand in it? "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you," reads Jeremiah 1:5.

By taking it upon ourselves to restrict or block this miracle of new life, are we not denying God's authority in this?

-

Another thing I can't get around: This liberal view of birth control is a novelty of 20th-century vintage. Is this an EO "development of doctrine"? How can something so condemned for so long be finally accepted?
Have you not been reading this thread?  If the Orthodox Church now "accepts" artificial contraception, she does so as a pastoral concession to human weakness, recognizing as she does that such birth control measures fall short of the God-given ideal for the marital embrace.  This is yet another example of oikonomia, which I don't expect you to understand, since this is a matter internal to the pastoral ministry of the Orthodox Church.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 11:57:15 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #241 on: January 18, 2008, 12:02:21 AM »
"Lord, I thank you for my wonderful spouse. I pray that the years of joy in our marriage bed will be many and fulfilling for us both, that neither of us will suffer the temptation to "look elsewhere" for the contentment we hope to find in each other. I pray that we will be blessed with children, but if that be not the case that we will be accepting of that disappointment and seek to open our hearts to the possibilities of adopting or fostering those little ones who have been denied the blessing of a stable home and loving parents.
Post of the month nominee!
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Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #242 on: January 18, 2008, 12:22:02 AM »
Oh, goodness no! I didn't mean to leave that impression. ;D

LOL...perhaps it's just me. ;)

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #243 on: January 18, 2008, 12:47:13 AM »
LOL...perhaps it's just me. ;)

Nah, it's not you, it's due to the inadequate detail in my post. :-\ I'll get it right, one day!!  :-\
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Offline The Iambic Pen

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #244 on: January 18, 2008, 11:18:03 AM »
"Lord, I thank you for my wonderful spouse. I pray that the years of joy in our marriage bed will be many and fulfilling for us both, that neither of us will suffer the temptation to "look elsewhere" for the contentment we hope to find in each other. I pray that we will be blessed with children, but if that be not the case that we will be accepting of that disappointment and seek to open our hearts to the possibilities of adopting or fostering those little ones who have been denied the blessing of a stable home and loving parents.


Extremely well said.  Thank you!

Offline Nyssa The Hobbit

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #245 on: January 18, 2008, 06:50:37 PM »
Quote
"Lord, please make this union produce children.  Do not let me enter into it with any other desire in my mind.  Please remove any physical desire I have for my wife, as this could lead me to seek the marital embrace for reasons of the flesh.  If my wife is not fertile at this time, please prevent us from entering into this physical union, as the sinful pleasure we would receive would not be balanced out by the great good of childbearing.  I understand that, aside from its role in the creation of new life, sexual intercourse is an odious, sinful act, and I look forward to the day when my wife and I are no longer able to produce offspring, and may thus abandon this act forever."

{shudder}  I'll never be praying that one--not even if "wife" is changed to "husband"!  ;)

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"Lord, I thank you for my wonderful spouse. I pray that the years of joy in our marriage bed will be many and fulfilling for us both, that neither of us will suffer the temptation to "look elsewhere" for the contentment we hope to find in each other. I pray that we will be blessed with children, but if that be not the case that we will be accepting of that disappointment and seek to open our hearts to the possibilities of adopting or fostering those little ones who have been denied the blessing of a stable home and loving parents.

Much better!   :-*

Quote
I don't think that you should regret starting this thread (if you do). It nothing else, it has given people the opportunity to consider the situation you describe. I, for one, tend to agree with your assessments regarding the poorer health of women with numerous children. Of course, whether a woman continues to have children under such circumstances will always be her choice and such a course of action would, imo, be the road of sacrifice. But believe me, I know that not all of us are prepared to take that road. I had serious problems carrying - being frightfully nauseous most of the time -; and the birth was a nightmare, though it's something I simply don't talk about all that much. Anyway, three children were enough for me. My younger daughter, however, has bravely borne six.

I was so nauseous during the first trimester that I had to take medication.  Otherwise, I couldn't even drag myself off the couch!  And I had a job to get back to, to pay off my student loans before becoming a stay-at-home mother.  The last trimester was awful.  I could barely even sit without pain in the car or on the couch, I couldn't exercise, and I constantly had to go to the bathroom.  My baby ended up being 10 lb. 6 oz., and I'm a petite person.  (That explained the last trimester.)  Delivery was a terrible experience; I didn't forget the pain easily like they say you do, and then I had to endure weeks of debilitating pain.  For a few years, I didn't even want to have another child.  Only my studies into Orthodoxy made me realize that I really do want to be open to bearing a couple more children.  I hope that subsequent pregnancies won't be so hard, if there are any.  I'm in my mid-30s and having a bit of trouble conceiving a second time.

I've seen many, many posts on other forums about the evils of contraception, even going so far as accusing other men of "whoring their wives" by using contraception.  Some posts would get extremely critical even of women who use contraception for health reasons.  To my great relief, my priest is far more understanding.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 06:52:45 PM by Nyssa The Hobbit »
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #246 on: January 18, 2008, 07:48:25 PM »
Tamara;

I don't think that you should regret starting this thread (if you do). It nothing else, it has given people the opportunity to consider the situation you describe. I, for one, tend to agree with your assessments regarding the poorer health of women with numerous children. Of course, whether a woman continues to have children under such circumstances will always be her choice and such a course of action would, imo, be the road of sacrifice. But believe me, I know that not all of us are prepared to take that road. I had serious problems carrying - being frightfully nauseous most of the time -; and the birth was a nightmare, though it's something I simply don't talk about all that much. Anyway, three children were enough for me. My younger daughter, however, has bravely borne six.

No, I don't regret starting this thread in the least. I was surprised by the ignorance of a few in regard to a woman's reproductive health. And I was surprised that some wouldn't want a medical doctor's advice in regard to a woman's health on this issue. I can understand a priest being part of the equation but what kind of a priest would give a couple advice in regard to family planning without wanting to know a woman's health record? For example, I know of an Orthodox Christian woman who wanted to have four children but after she had baby number three her health was in shambles. She had developed gestational diabetes, preclampsia and she had some other health issues that would have made a fourth baby a very risky option. A priest couldn't possibly advise a woman in her condition what she should do for the future without getting the medical advice of her doctor in order for the priest to give the woman his spiritual advice.

Quote
I believe that you should always hope that the post has served that purpose though - and it's probably good that it has given so many different subjects an airing. But - and I'm probably telling you what you already know here - some men simply do lack empathy for the female situation (not only regarding pregnancy). In all fairness to them, there are probably many reasons for this. But the males close to me (son and hubby) simply couldn't have failed to be impressed by the impact that the female condition had on their home. ;D And believe me neither of them were spared the grim facts that eventually there were three women in the house who were going around like bears with sore heads; that at times their super efficient Mum/wife didn't have their washing and ironing exactly up to date, and that things were sometimes so grim that there wasn't a meal on the table. Thank God for takeout! And thank God that both of those long-suffering males are very considerate of women.
My husband is very empathetic too and was very supportive during my pregnancies. I usually give the three males in my  house a heads up when it is my time of the month so they know to back off.  :D But for the most part they are all very helpful.
 

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Fear not, Tamara, I am never afraid to express my thoughts. :)
I am glad to hear it!  :D

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Hear, hear. And I would like to express my thanks for starting this thread. It has given everyone the chance to air their opinions and though we don't always agree with each other, we can still respect the other person's right to a point of view.
Thanks.  :)

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #247 on: January 18, 2008, 07:56:59 PM »
{shudder} 
I was so nauseous during the first trimester that I had to take medication.  Otherwise, I couldn't even drag myself off the couch!  And I had a job to get back to, to pay off my student loans before becoming a stay-at-home mother.  The last trimester was awful.  I could barely even sit without pain in the car or on the couch, I couldn't exercise, and I constantly had to go to the bathroom.  My baby ended up being 10 lb. 6 oz., and I'm a petite person.  (That explained the last trimester.)  Delivery was a terrible experience; I didn't forget the pain easily like they say you do, and then I had to endure weeks of debilitating pain.  For a few years, I didn't even want to have another child.  Only my studies into Orthodoxy made me realize that I really do want to be open to bearing a couple more children.  I hope that subsequent pregnancies won't be so hard, if there are any.  I'm in my mid-30s and having a bit of trouble conceiving a second time.
I hope any subsequent pregnancies you may have will be much easier too.

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I've seen many, many posts on other forums about the evils of contraception, even going so far as accusing other men of "whoring their wives" by using contraception.  Some posts would get extremely critical even of women who use contraception for health reasons.  To my great relief, my priest is far more understanding.

The reason I started this thread was because of what you have written above. I wanted there to be another viewpoint expressed on this issue from a women's vantage point. Most of the threads I have seen on this issue have been started by men who are very strict. I would wager that most Orthodox priests are not has stringent on this issue. They know what happens in real life. Life is not always black and white. Not every woman, man or couple are exactly the same.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #248 on: January 18, 2008, 08:38:28 PM »
I was so nauseous during the first trimester that I had to take medication.  Otherwise, I couldn't even drag myself off the couch!  And I had a job to get back to, to pay off my student loans before becoming a stay-at-home mother.  The last trimester was awful.  I could barely even sit without pain in the car or on the couch, I couldn't exercise, and I constantly had to go to the bathroom.  My baby ended up being 10 lb. 6 oz., and I'm a petite person.  (That explained the last trimester.)  Delivery was a terrible experience; I didn't forget the pain easily like they say you do, and then I had to endure weeks of debilitating pain.  For a few years, I didn't even want to have another child.  Only my studies into Orthodoxy made me realize that I really do want to be open to bearing a couple more children.  I hope that subsequent pregnancies won't be so hard, if there are any.  I'm in my mid-30s and having a bit of trouble conceiving a second time.

I wish you all the best for future pregnancies and hope they are, indeed, much improved over the first.

Quote
I've seen many, many posts on other forums about the evils of contraception, even going so far as accusing other men of "whoring their wives" by using contraception.  Some posts would get extremely critical even of women who use contraception for health reasons.  To my great relief, my priest is far more understanding.

I would think that married priests understand the situation quite well, especially in this day and age when, I would hope, husbands and wives communicate openly about this problem; and there is so much information on women's "problems" available.

In the good old days, this was a taboo topic and men were basically oblivious to the "female condition". Even though I love my Dad to pieces, he simply didn't seem to be aware of the cause of my Mum's periodic irrational behaviour and why she was a completely weird person when going through menopause. Their relationship seemed to be tainted by a lack of understanding. I wonder sometimes how much my Mum knew about the workings of her own body and the changes that happened to her.

From observing my Mum and Dad, I was determined to keep the lines of communication open with my husband. I couldn't think of anything more cruel than to have him in the dark, wondering why the woman he married ocassionally turned into a fire-breathing dragon.  ;D   



« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 08:44:33 PM by Riddikulus »
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Offline Nyssa The Hobbit

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #249 on: January 19, 2008, 07:52:05 PM »
My husband has been as fully informed as he can stand about my various issues.  And he has left the decision of bearing more children entirely up to me.  :)
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #250 on: January 19, 2008, 07:55:41 PM »
My husband has been as fully informed as he can stand about my various issues.  And he has left the decision of bearing more children entirely up to me.  :)

Praise God for him, Nyssa :)
I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

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Offline ignatius

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #251 on: January 30, 2008, 02:54:45 PM »
As a Roman Catholic entering Holy Orthodoxy this particular issue is one that hits home in a very real way.

My wife and I are not wealthy or even well-off. We life essentially pay-check to pay-check and times are tough for us right now especially. We have one child and she is absolutely a blessing but we are fearful of having more children. I know if we were stronger in the faith such fears would not hold sway over us but unfortunately we appear to not be so gifted.  :-\

My wife and I practice contraception to our shame. There. I've said it outside of the confessional. I don't see it as something to be proud of nor do I see it as something the Church in any other way than with compassion for our weaknesses. My wife and I rationalize our use of contraception because she has a medical condition which Doctors tell us should be addressed before we have anymore children. We understand that it is a legitimate excuse but we still look at our practice of contraception as our failure to trust in our Lord and His Providence.

With all that said, I am very thankful that Holy Orthodoxy looks with compassion and mercy on those of us in the modern day who fail to exercise the truth in our Lord we might have if we had more faith.

Those of you who are Priests in Holy Orthodoxy please understand who important this is for those of us who feel that we just can't make it day to day with more and fail to trust in our Lord.
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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #252 on: January 30, 2008, 11:40:31 PM »
Per request of the original poster, I have split the subtopic of abortion off of this thread and merged it into another, Orthodoxy and Abortion  - PeterTheAleut
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 12:33:02 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #253 on: January 31, 2008, 10:54:59 AM »
Please make a prayer out of the teaching of Saint John Chrysostom...

"In the fourth century, St John Chrysostom declares:

"There are two reasons for which marriage was instituted...to bring man to contentment with one woman and to have children, but it is the first reason that is the most important. As for procreation, it is not required absolutely by marriage...The proof of this lies in the numerous marriages that cannot have children. This is why the first reason of marriage is to order sexual life, especially now that the human race has filled the entire earth."

The Church does not condemn those who through no fault of their own can have childern. Of course the Church sees more to the Mystery of marriage than the begetting of childern....However She also does not condone contraception....and neither did St John.

"Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit, where there are medicines of sterility [oral contraceptives], where there is murder before birth? You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderess as well…Indeed, it is something worse than murder, and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gift of God and fight with his [natural] laws?…Yet such turpitude…the matter still seems indifferent to many men—even to many men having wives. In this indifference of the married men there is greater evil filth; for then poisons are prepared, not against the womb of a prostitute, but against your injured wife. Against her are these innumerable tricks." John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 24 (A.D. 391).

"n truth, all men know that they who are under the power of this disease [the sin of covetousness] are wearied even of their father’s old age [wishing him to die so they can inherit]; and that which is sweet, and universally desirable, the having of children, they esteem grievous and unwelcome. Many at least with this view have even paid money to be childless, and have mutilated nature, not only killing the newborn, but even acting to prevent their beginning to live." John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew 28:5 (A.D. 391).

"Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted" Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2 (A.D. 191).

 "I am supposing, then, although you are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although they are called husband and wife, are not; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame. Sometimes this lustful cruelty, or cruel lust, comes to this, that they even procure poisons of sterility…Assuredly if both husband and wife are like this, they are not married, and if they were like this from the beginning they come together not joined in matrimony but in seduction. If both are not like this, I dare to say that either the wife is in a fashion the harlot of her husband or he is an adulterer with his own wife." Augustine, Marriage and Concupiscence 1:15:17 (A.D. 419).

"Who is he who cannot warn that no woman may take a potion so that she is unable to conceive or condemns in herself the nature which God willed to be fecund? As often as she could have conceived or given birth, of that many homicides she will be held guilty, and, unless she undergoes suitable penance, she will be damned by eternal death in hell. If a woman does not wish to have children, let her enter into a religious agreement with her husband; for chastity is the sole sterility of a Christian woman." Caesarius of Arles, Sermons 1:12 (A.D. 522).

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #254 on: January 31, 2008, 11:57:02 AM »
GOCTheophan,

The Fathers did not understand the biology of the human body. They believed the seed of man was a whole human being and that it was implanted in a woman (considered to only be the soil). So in their eyes, contraceptives destroyed a human being.
However, we know today that using a condom does not destroy human life.

Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #255 on: January 31, 2008, 01:34:49 PM »
GOCTheophan,

The Fathers did not understand the biology of the human body. They believed the seed of man was a whole human being and that it was implanted in a woman (considered to only be the soil). So in their eyes, contraceptives destroyed a human being.
However, we know today that using a condom does not destroy human life.

I have never come across such ideas in the writings of the Fathers. What are your sources? The fact remains that until the 1930s no one calling themselves Christian condoned such practises as we can see from this ecumenist website below-

http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/OldWorldBasic/NoContraception.html

Theophan.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 01:38:20 PM by GOCTheophan »

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Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #257 on: January 31, 2008, 03:30:54 PM »
I have never come across such ideas in the writings of the Fathers. What are your sources? The fact remains that until the 1930s no one calling themselves Christian condoned such practises as we can see from this ecumenist website below-

http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/OldWorldBasic/NoContraception.html

Theophan.

Theophan,

The Fathers were not biologists so they tended to rely on what the ancient Greek philosopher's observations were on the beginnings of life. Man's sperm was referred to as the seed in ancient times. Seed is complete unto itself and only needs to be placed in soil to grow. Aristotle is the one who suggested that the mother provides substance needed to create a new life. But he and his contemporaries agreed that man provided a child's physical and mental attributes. His theories were still accepted 2000 years later. I have never read these works but it was suggested to me you could find this information in the following sources:

Aristotle (reprinted 1927) Problemata. In The Works of Aristotle, Forster, E. S. ed. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Aristotle (reprinted 1963) Generation of Animals. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.





Offline GiC

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #258 on: January 31, 2008, 04:11:24 PM »
I have never come across such ideas in the writings of the Fathers. What are your sources? The fact remains that until the 1930s no one calling themselves Christian condoned such practises as we can see from this ecumenist website below-

http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/OldWorldBasic/NoContraception.html

Theophan.

Imagine that, the the rise of a rational approach to contraception coincides with the rise of Biology...who'd have thunk it. :o
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 04:12:02 PM by greekischristian »

Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #259 on: January 31, 2008, 06:29:45 PM »
Theophan,

The Fathers were not biologists so they tended to rely on what the ancient Greek philosopher's observations were on the beginnings of life. Man's sperm was referred to as the seed in ancient times. Seed is complete unto itself and only needs to be placed in soil to grow. Aristotle is the one who suggested that the mother provides substance needed to create a new life. But he and his contemporaries agreed that man provided a child's physical and mental attributes. His theories were still accepted 2000 years later. I have never read these works but it was suggested to me you could find this information in the following sources:

Aristotle (reprinted 1927) Problemata. In The Works of Aristotle, Forster, E. S. ed. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Aristotle (reprinted 1963) Generation of Animals. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.


Tamara references from the Fathers please?

Theophan.

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #260 on: January 31, 2008, 06:40:59 PM »
Tamara references from the Fathers please?

Theophan.

Theophan,

As far as I know, the Fathers did not describe the biology of conception but they lived at a time when observations of Aristotle was the science of their day. As I mentioned before, they were not biologists. Their writings were written in the context of what was known and accepted at that time, which would be the writings of Aristotle. Context is important if we truly want to understand the Fathers.

Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #261 on: January 31, 2008, 06:57:05 PM »
Theophan,

As far as I know, the Fathers did not describe the biology of conception but they lived at a time when observations of Aristotle was the science of their day. As I mentioned before, they were not biologists. Their writings were written in the context of what was known and accepted at that time, which would be the writings of Aristotle. Context is important if we truly want to understand the Fathers.


I am sorry I just do not buy this.

If that were the case the canons aganist self abuse would be the same as those aganist abortion.

This vaguely reminds me of protestants telling me that the Popes of Old burnt people at the stake for believing the world is round or the time this jew told me that the early Church was not aganist abortion (vaguely I said!).

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #262 on: February 01, 2008, 12:40:26 AM »
or the time this jew told me that the early Church was not aganist abortion (vaguely I said!).
*
Certainly the Church of Rome (when it was fully Orthodox and for centuries afterwards) treated early abortion leniently, believing at the time that no human had been killed since they subscribed to the theory of animation/ensoulment/quickening which was thought to take place up to 90 days after physical conception.  The foetus, they thought, progressed from a vegetable stage, to an animal stage and finally became human when it received its soul and became human up to three months after conception.

Since you are Irish you may know the hagiographies of Saint Brigid and other Irish Saints who did not find it sinful to bring about early abortions themselves.  This is shocking to us today but it made sense in their day given their understanding of the time of when the foetus received a soul.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #263 on: February 01, 2008, 12:54:18 AM »
If that were the case the canons aganist self abuse would be the same as those aganist abortion.
How so?  This looks like a red herring to me, so I'm interested to know how this answers Tamara's latest argument.
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Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #264 on: February 01, 2008, 04:01:37 PM »
How so?  This looks like a red herring to me, so I'm interested to know how this answers Tamara's latest argument.

If spilling seed is equal to murder since each sperm is a person so to speak than onanism is equal to abortion.

Theophan.

Offline GOCTheophan

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #265 on: February 01, 2008, 04:04:43 PM »

Since you are Irish you may know the hagiographies of Saint Brigid and other Irish Saints who did not find it sinful to bring about early abortions themselves.  This is shocking to us today but it made sense in their day given their understanding of the time of when the foetus received a soul.

I have come across the theory you mention is some scholastics but never in an Orthodox source.

Also though I have heard that about St Brigid (from Marxists and feminists) I have never come across the actual source for it (I have looked) and they havent been much help in finding it.

Theophan.

Offline Tamara

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #266 on: February 04, 2008, 12:31:10 AM »
If spilling seed is equal to murder since each sperm is a person so to speak than onanism is equal to abortion.

Theophan.

A seed can't grow unless it is planted in the soil. But once it is planted and grows then life can begin. I can understand why the canons would be different in the two different cases.

Offline Sophia1925

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #267 on: February 05, 2008, 04:03:12 PM »

Since you are Irish you may know the hagiographies of Saint Brigid and other Irish Saints who did not find it sinful to bring about early abortions themselves.  This is shocking to us today but it made sense in their day given their understanding of the time of when the foetus received a soul.

Can we see the evidence of this please?

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #268 on: June 28, 2011, 02:41:57 PM »
Another thing I can't get around: This liberal view of birth control is a novelty of 20th-century vintage. Is this an EO "development of doctrine"? How can something so condemned for so long be finally accepted?
Both the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches have made significant compromises on the traditional patristic teaching on contraception.   This is the reason why Paul VI's Humanae Vitae does not contain even one patristice reference but he bases his arguments entirely on what he sees as natural law.  While it is cleverly done it is still contrary to the centuries old tradition of his own Church. 

The Orthodox have also made changes on the matter of contraception as a result of the new scientific discoveries.

Papa Gregorio did a masterful job on CAF of presenting the patristic evidence.  He covered it in 4-5 posts.  I'll see if I can locate his posts.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Contraception: an observer's view
« Reply #269 on: June 28, 2011, 02:52:34 PM »
Odd how you think the Almighty is stopped by latex or hormone pills. Odder that you do not notice that your supreme pontiff reduced couples to mere passive material rather than participants in procreation. And then there is what AMM linked.
Hello Tamara,

Here is what I can't get around. Is not justifying artificial contraception effectively denying God's provident role in the creation of every human being? Fertilization is a mystery. It does not always happen, and many eggs and millions of sperm never make it. Is it random chance or is God's hand in it? "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you," reads Jeremiah 1:5.

By taking it upon ourselves to restrict or block this miracle of new life, are we not denying God's authority in this?

-

Another thing I can't get around: This liberal view of birth control is a novelty of 20th-century vintage. Is this an EO "development of doctrine"? How can something so condemned for so long be finally accepted?
Another thing I can't get around: This liberal view of birth control is a novelty of 20th-century vintage. Is this an EO "development of doctrine"? How can something so condemned for so long be finally accepted?

Do you mean like how NFP is evil?

http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/Natural_Family_Planning.html
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 02:55:04 PM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth