OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 30, 2014, 06:00:48 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: NFP the same as a barrier method  (Read 4529 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Quinault
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 4,453


What about frogs? I like frogs!


« on: March 12, 2008, 07:20:18 PM »

I recall this discussion on CAF, and it seemed to get cut quite short. I would love to see someone explain this view to me.
Logged
Paradosis
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 54


« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 12:38:52 AM »

I like to discuss this topic, as this issue of NFP vs. barrier methods is often one of the biggest stumbling blocks for potential Roman Catholic converts to Orthodoxy.  IMO, there is no essential difference between these two forms of family planning.  If one follows the traditional Christian belief that every conjugal act possesses a primary end of procreation written into its nature, then no deliberate action can be taken by the couple to try to keep this procreative end from being realized.  NFP and barrier methods would both be ways to keep the conjugal act's procreative end from being realized and would equally fall as being infringements on the design of God.  That it is God's design for every conjugal act to normally be open to procreation is reflected in nature itself by the fact that the man is always fertile and the woman is most inclined to have relations when she is fertile.  Couples who use NFP frustrate this design by having the couples avoid their natural inclination to have relations when the woman is fertile and invert this by deliberate coming together when the woman least desires to.  It has yet to be explained how this is essentially different from the frustration of the woman or man's actual fertility.  In both cases, there is a design of God in place that leads to procreation, and in both cases the couple invert the divinely established order in order to exclude the primary end of procreation from being manifested in the conjugal act.  They are clearly two different ways of doing the same action. 

The only way NFP could be different from barrier methods of contraception would be if the procreative end of the conjugal act were only present at certain times during the month.  If this were the case, there would be a clear difference between not having relations on fertile days and frustrating the procreative end of the fertile days.  However, if this were true, then it would also be impossible to speak of the conjugal act possessing an absolute "primary end."  In fact, and not just in theory, many conjugal acts wouldn't even have a procreative end.  If this is true, all statements from both East and West (especially statements of the Roman Catholic magisterium) about the absolute primary end of procreation existing in each conjugal act would be rendered obsolete at best and incorrect at worst.  No, it is evident that the traditional Christian teaching is that every conjugal act contains a primary end of procreation (along with a secondary end of mutual help to the spouses) and that regardless of the timing of the act; this procreative end remains in place and must be respected.  Flowing from this traditional conception of the relation of the primary end of procreation to the conjugal act, any deliberate attempt to keep procreation from occurring in any conjugal act would be seen as removing the primary end of procreation and would be classified as contraception.  This would put NFP and barrier methods on equal footing.

I hope this explanation helps you see how these two methods of birth control are essentially the same.  You'll have to excuse some of more Latin sounding language, as I crafted this argument for the equality of NFP and barrier methods for use with Roman Catholics, showing how their own language and principles indict NFP.   Grin

God bless,

Adam       
« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 12:45:17 AM by Paradosis » Logged
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 19,975


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 01:13:35 AM »

There have been plenty of occasions where we have quoted Eastern Fathers, especially St. John Chrysostom, who clearly state that procreation is no longer the primary goal of the conjugal act.  That changes the outlook of the Eastern Church a bit; however, it should be stated that in theory artificial contraception (i.e. barrier methods) have not been supported by the Church until the 20th century, and even then only by some members, not by others.
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
username!
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Ukrainian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Pennsylvaniadoxy
Posts: 5,027



« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2008, 02:57:27 AM »

I recall this discussion on CAF, and it seemed to get cut quite short. I would love to see someone explain this view to me.

HAHAHAHA which one of the 1789 different discussions on this do you remember? hehe.

Logged

Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2008, 09:19:13 AM »

The way one Ukrainian Eastern Rite Catholic priest explained it to me, RCC is against barrier methods because, in their opinion, these methods distort, violate, pervert the "nature" of the human being. Honestly, I never understood that. Who decides, what violates the human nature and what does not? Obviously, the intention of a person who has sex only during infertile days is exactly the same as the interntion of the person who has sex having a condom or diaphragm or pill; i.e., in both cases this intention is to have sex and not to have children "right now." So it still boils down to the question, is there any value of sex beyond procreation. I believe there is. I believe sex in marriage is important, wonderful, sacred, tremendously valuable in and by itself. Unfortunately, this belief of mine does not seem to be directly substantiated by anything in "written" Christianity. Sad
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 09:20:05 AM by Heorhij » Logged

Love never fails.
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 19,975


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2008, 11:47:23 AM »

Obviously, the intention of a person who has sex only during infertile days is exactly the same as the interntion of the person who has sex having a condom or diaphragm or pill; i.e., in both cases this intention is to have sex and not to have children "right now."

Of course, one obvious difference is that, even in periods that a woman might be infertile (a la NFP), she isn't totally infertile - I've met people who have conceived during the "infertile" stretches of the woman's cycle (heck, I've met women who became pregnant on the pill during the infertile time of their cycle!)

Unfortunately, this belief of mine does not seem to be directly substantiated by anything in "written" Christianity. Sad

There have been quotes provided in other threads about sex in marriage being a unitive act and an act that keeps people from sin...
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2008, 01:23:56 PM »

Of course, one obvious difference is that, even in periods that a woman might be infertile (a la NFP), she isn't totally infertile - I've met people who have conceived during the "infertile" stretches of the woman's cycle (heck, I've met women who became pregnant on the pill during the infertile time of their cycle!)

And I know someone who got pregnant when the condom broke...so I guess the same arguments could be applied to them.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 19,975


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2008, 01:33:18 PM »

And I know someone who got pregnant when the condom broke...so I guess the same arguments could be applied to them.

Maybe.  Or maybe the difference between your example and mine is that NFP isn't considered foolproof because it is inherently flawed.  Heck, it's not even considered close to foolproof; meanwhile, condoms are nearly foolproof, with the breaking issue a matter of inferior material or usage, not because the principle itself isn't foolproof (or nearly so).
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2008, 02:04:08 PM »

Maybe.  Or maybe the difference between your example and mine is that NFP isn't considered foolproof because it is inherently flawed.  Heck, it's not even considered close to foolproof; meanwhile, condoms are nearly foolproof, with the breaking issue a matter of inferior material or usage, not because the principle itself isn't foolproof (or nearly so).

A condom isn't even nearly full proof, the success rate only includes two standard deviations on the low end, roughly a 2 percent failure rate when used perfectly. Which is why it should be combined with other contraceptives (ideally hormonal, though others can work well with it as well). Any method has a failure rate, though the use of two or more can substantially reduce that rate. The same end is desired regardless of the method used...it seems strange to attribute virtue to incompetence and inefficiency.

Also, many in the NFP crowd will claim that, when used appropriately, their method is 100% effective. This is, of course, absurd because no method is 100% effective...not even ones infinitely more efficient than NFP. But, the fact remains that the advocates of this method do believe that it can grant an end similar to more traditional methods of birth control. So, obviously, inefficiency wouldn't be part of their argument to support NFP.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2008, 03:58:37 PM »

Of course, one obvious difference is that, even in periods that a woman might be infertile (a la NFP), she isn't totally infertile - I've met people who have conceived during the "infertile" stretches of the woman's cycle (heck, I've met women who became pregnant on the pill during the infertile time of their cycle!)

Right, but isn't that the indication that NFP is a very silly and primitive, deceitful "method" that should not be used?

There have been quotes provided in other threads about sex in marriage being a unitive act and an act that keeps people from sin...

An act that keeps people from sin, yes. A "concession," of sorts: if you are weak, then, well, do the "monkey business" with your wife in strict moderation, so that you will use your "mojo" there, instead of going to whores; but even better, be strong, be a virgin. (I can't imagine a monastic Father of the early Church, or even a contemporary Orthodox theologian, writing, for example, that truly blessed are husbands whose wives have regular orgasms, because it is good, wonderful, holy thing for a wife to have regular orgasms with her husband. But everyone praises, say, St. John of Kronstadt for openly advertising that he never had sex with his wife - that is supposed to be ah-so-good...) As a unitive act... sex? No. That's a stretch, I think. That's our modern humanist culture, not Fathers. Or am I wrong?
Logged

Love never fails.
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 19,975


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2008, 04:49:06 PM »

Right, but isn't that the indication that NFP is a very silly and primitive, deceitful "method" that should not be used? 

Only if you also think that because foot travel is not an efficient way of moving you should never walk anywhere.  Where do you get "deceitful" from?  I don't even know why you call it a "method" - it is a method, since people actually use it as a form of birth control; it isn't a figment of one's imagination.

An act that keeps people from sin, yes. A "concession," of sorts: if you are weak, then, well, do the "monkey business" with your wife in strict moderation, so that you will use your "mojo" there, instead of going to whores; but even better, be strong, be a virgin.

Anything that keeps you from sin is good, dude.  That doesn't make it a concession - humility isn't a "concession," fasting isn't a "concession," avoiding whorehouses isn't a "concession," they're positive things that one can do to make themselves better human beings.  Anything that helps you avoid sin is a positive thing to do to enrich your life; hence, saying that sex in marriage keeps you from sin is also saying that it is a positive influence and a good thing to do.  Sex in marriage isn't "economy" - and economy is a concession; economy is bending the standards situationally as a pastoral concession.  But sex in marriage isn't that.

(I can't imagine a monastic Father of the early Church, or even a contemporary Orthodox theologian, writing, for example, that truly blessed are husbands whose wives have regular orgasms, because it is good, wonderful, holy thing for a wife to have regular orgasms with her husband.

*sigh* And there aren't any writings about it being a blessing that a man have an orgasm either.  Either (a) they weren't worrying about the details, and instead were focusing on the "big picture" of sex, or (b) they don't care.  Anyway, why would you look to a monastic father to write about female orgasms?  I don't ask you your opinion on omoousios/omoiousios (theological controversies of the 4th century)... It's not your field or focus.

But everyone praises, say, St. John of Kronstadt for openly advertising that he never had sex with his wife - that is supposed to be ah-so-good...) 

(a) It was good for him.  Just as abstaining from all sexual relations with your wife is probably not right for you, apparently abstaining from all sexual relations with his wife was what was best for him.  (b) Of course we're going to say it was amazing - what kind of willpower does it take to abstain from you wife?  I'm only engaged, and it's quite a trial!  Anyone who displays that kind of force of will (whether it be St. John not having sex with his wife, or St. Mary of Egypt living in the desert all those years, or the Great Martyr St. George the Trophy-bearer enduring countless tortures, etc.) should and will be recognized for that sacrifice.

As a unitive act... sex? No. That's a stretch, I think. That's our modern humanist culture, not Fathers. Or am I wrong? 

It's in Genesis for pete's sake!  Genesis 2:23-24 (KJV, from bible.com)

Quote
  23And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

   24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

The fact that sex is a unitive act is presupposed by every Father, Council, and author in our Church.  It's a big reason why people are told not to have sex with or marry prostitutes (of either sex) -because now you're unitied with them.  It's a reason why each spouse is to be very concerned about the spiritual life and progress of their partner - because you're united with one another, a condition that effects one's journey to salvation.  One cannot deny the unitive aspect of sex coming from a Biblical/patristic mindset!


I think what I'm reading in your responses is frustration at the opinions of some people, or bad experiences with this kind of debate.  But trust me - things are not as bleak as you're perceiving them!
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2008, 05:06:58 PM »

(I can't imagine a monastic Father of the early Church, or even a contemporary Orthodox theologian, writing, for example, that truly blessed are husbands whose wives have regular orgasms, because it is good, wonderful, holy thing for a wife to have regular orgasms with her husband. But everyone praises, say, St. John of Kronstadt for openly advertising that he never had sex with his wife - that is supposed to be ah-so-good...) As a unitive act... sex? No. That's a stretch, I think. That's our modern humanist culture, not Fathers. Or am I wrong?

I think you are right on here (like usual!), Heorhij.  To imply that a few cherry picked quotes from the early fathers means that the opinion of the Church has been that something approaching a modern view of sex within marriage as unitive and not some necessary evil almost solely for procreation is entirely anachronistic.  There is certainly no Orthodox karma sutra...

But that's why I take my Kierkegaardian view of the absolute truth only being knowable subjectively...
Logged
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2008, 05:36:31 PM »

*sigh* And there aren't any writings about it being a blessing that a man have an orgasm either.  Either (a) they weren't worrying about the details, and instead were focusing on the "big picture" of sex, or (b) they don't care.  Anyway, why would you look to a monastic father to write about female orgasms?  I don't ask you your opinion on omoousios/omoiousios (theological controversies of the 4th century)... It's not your field or focus.

Well, that may be true of some fathers, but have you read the canons of John the Faster? Damn, he wrote canons on thing I personally wouldn't have even thought to legislate. I think it might be safe to say that this was his area of expertise.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2008, 05:41:01 PM »

I think you are right on here (like usual!), Heorhij.  To imply that a few cherry picked quotes from the early fathers means that the opinion of the Church has been that something approaching a modern view of sex within marriage as unitive and not some necessary evil almost solely for procreation is entirely anachronistic.  There is certainly no Orthodox karma sutra...

But that's why I take my Kierkegaardian view of the absolute truth only being knowable subjectively...

Well, I would even contest the existence of an 'absolute truth', but the issue is secondary. One thing that the discipline of canon law has taught me is that it is easier to manipulate, reinterpret, and dispute the authenticity of past documents inorder to help facilitate change and bring them in line with modern sensibilities than it is to try to alter them outright.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2008, 07:46:31 PM »

Well, that may be true of some fathers, but have you read the canons of John the Faster? Damn, he wrote canons on thing I personally wouldn't have even thought to legislate. I think it might be safe to say that this was his area of expertise.

Since he was celibate and male, where did he get the expertise on female organism?

If I remember correctly, the Quinsext Council did NOT include his canons in theirs, something that the bothered the authors of the Pedalion, other "experts" on female organism.
Logged

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,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
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
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2008, 07:56:29 PM »

But everyone praises, say, St. John of Kronstadt for openly advertising that he never had sex with his wife - that is supposed to be ah-so-good...) As a unitive act... sex? No. That's a stretch, I think. That's our modern humanist culture, not Fathers. Or am I wrong?

Yes, you are wrong.

Pushing sex ed with emphasis on contraceptives rather than abstenance because "they're going to do it anyway," sex as a recreation teens are entitled to, the dating culture which enculcates the idea of using a partnership until you tire of it, no fault divorce, the view of adultery as sophistication with the aprobation against those who dare to question it, let alone the idea of adultery as criminal, etc.  No, the modern humanist culture has NO concept WHATSOEVER of sex as an unitive act.  Except when it comes to the topic of gay marriage. 

Since that modern humanist culture has no concept of unitive sex, it cannot give what it does not have  "...but from the beginning it has not been this way...Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6 “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate..."

(a) It was good for him.

What about for her?

Quote
Just as abstaining from all sexual relations with your wife is probably not right for you, apparently abstaining from all sexual relations with his wife was what was best for him.

What about for her?

Quote
(b) Of course we're going to say it was amazing - what kind of willpower does it take to abstain from you wife?  I'm only engaged, and it's quite a trial!  Anyone who displays that kind of force of will (whether it be St. John not having sex with his wife, or St. Mary of Egypt living in the desert all those years, or the Great Martyr St. George the Trophy-bearer enduring countless tortures, etc.) should and will be recognized for that sacrifice.

What about for her?

The hagiography which says he never slept with her also says she had "difficulties" with that.  St. Paul writes something on that.

If St. John entered marriage with the intent to never consumate it, it is a fraud, and not to his credit. Look at the prayers that were prayed over them, about the prayers for children.  How do you get them?  About the cleaving.  How does that happen?

If was to live like a monk, he should have taken those vows.

To enter into marriage with no intent of living like husband and wife is like going to confession and saying "I've nothing to confess" expecting absolution (I've seen it happen), celebrating DL and not letting anyone commune ("Not communion Sunday" I was told once), baptizing your children to make your grandparents happen but with the intent of NOT raising them in Orthodoxy, etc.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 08:15:12 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
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
Paradosis
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 54


« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2008, 10:11:57 PM »

The way one Ukrainian Eastern Rite Catholic priest explained it to me, RCC is against barrier methods because, in their opinion, these methods distort, violate, pervert the "nature" of the human being.  Honestly, I never understood that. Who decides, what violates the human nature and what does not? Obviously, the intention of a person who has sex only during infertile days is exactly the same as the interntion of the person who has sex having a condom or diaphragm or pill; i.e., in both cases this intention is to have sex and not to have children "right now."


What the Ukrainian Catholic priest is saying is that since God has written the procreative end into the nature of the conjugal act that when couples deliberately intend and accomplish the exclusion of this procreative end that they distort God's design of their nature, insofar as conjugal relations can be said to be of our nature.  It's a solid reasoning as God does have a plan for us that the Church is empowered to know and teach.  However, the Roman Catholic errs in that they fail to see a distinction between NFP and barrier methods.  As I showed in my previous post, this failure to make this distinction is based on the innovative belief that the procreative end of the conjugal act only shows up based on the woman's fertile cycle, and thus must only be maintained on those days.  This is clearly contrary to all Christian Tradition, as can be seen in the very absolute, not conditional, nature the procreative end of all conjugal acts has always played in literature on the topic, especially from the papal magisterium, which has more an interest in these things than the East has and does.  Besides, this limitation of the procreative end to only certain days in the month is, IMO, philosophically unsound.  It subjects the abstract ethos that all moral actions contain to the concrete decisions of the person, who is supposed to be guided in their actions by the nature of an act, not determine its nature (like couples would do to their conjugal acts with NFP).  In short, if Roman Catholics would stick to the traditional belief that all conjugal acts contain an inherent procreative end (just as they do other ends) they couldn't logically make the distinctions they do between NFP and barrier methods because both of these actions would exclude a procreative end, which always exists and must be respected, and they would avoid weak moral philosophy in the process.   

So it still boils down to the question, is there any value of sex beyond procreation. I believe there is. I believe sex in marriage is important, wonderful, sacred, tremendously valuable in and by itself. Unfortunately, this belief of mine does not seem to be directly substantiated by anything in "written" Christianity. Sad

I tend to see procreation and the other ends of the conjugal act as existing side-by-side.  It's more like both/and instead of either/or.  I believe God intends this union between the various ends of the conjugal act to be normative during a woman's childbearing years, as men and women are most inclined to seek the pleasures and union of the marriage bed at the very times when procreation has a chance to occur (viz., when the woman is fertile).  This tends to reveal contraception as an exception to the norm of Christian marriage.  I also think the Church would agree with these reflections as she has never divorced the various ends of the conjugal act from each other.

God bless,

Adam     
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 10:13:30 PM by Paradosis » Logged
Quinault
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 4,453


What about frogs? I like frogs!


« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2008, 10:31:20 PM »

I really hate this concept that women don't enjoy sex. There seems to be this belief that it only hurts the MAN when a couple can't have relations very often.

As women our view of ourselves is tied into our sexuality and sex life. Believe me, I know. I have been without my husband for a year at a time. And that need to feel beautiful and sexy can make staying faithful to ones spouse very hard. It isn't so much a sex drive or lust after another man but the fact that sex with ones spouse is so much more than sex. It can be comfort, it can be comedy, it can be the end of an argument, and so much more....it is at its essence communication without words. And there is a reason why the euphemism "become one flesh" is used. And so the desire isn't so much for sex, as for all that other stuff. So I am tempted, but I am not tempted because I know that it could and never will be the same with someone other than my husband.

I don't have rose colored glasses in reference to marital sex. I have been the promiscuis teen. I know what that is like. And it is not the same as being a married couple, where half of you is gone when the other leaves. Marriage is a beautiful blessing.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 10:34:25 PM by Quinault » Logged
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 19,975


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2008, 10:59:45 PM »

What about for her?

What about for her?

What about for her?

The hagiography which says he never slept with her also says she had "difficulties" with that.  St. Paul writes something on that.

If St. John entered marriage with the intent to never consumate it, it is a fraud, and not to his credit. Look at the prayers that were prayed over them, about the prayers for children.  How do you get them?  About the cleaving.  How does that happen?

If was to live like a monk, he should have taken those vows.

To enter into marriage with no intent of living like husband and wife is like going to confession and saying "I've nothing to confess" expecting absolution (I've seen it happen), celebrating DL and not letting anyone commune ("Not communion Sunday" I was told once), baptizing your children to make your grandparents happen but with the intent of NOT raising them in Orthodoxy, etc. 

First of all, whether she had difficulties or not, whether she enjoyed it or not - if it was to her benefit spiritually, then it was the better way.  I'm assuming it was (maybe this is where I err?), otherwise St. John's sainthood would have come into question.

Second, did he enter marriage with 0 intent to consummate it?  Or is that a presumption?  (I really want to know - I haven't read his story.)
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2008, 11:10:54 PM »

First of all, whether she had difficulties or not, whether she enjoyed it or not - if it was to her benefit spiritually, then it was the better way.

It might have been to St. Alexis Toth's benefit that his wife and young son died, but that isn't going to justify killing your wife and son.

Quote
I'm assuming it was (maybe this is where I err?), otherwise St. John's sainthood would have come into question.

Not necessarily.  He is well known and canonized for much more than this.

St. Gregory the great personally might have held (and tried to enforce) ultramontanist views.  He is a great Orthodox saint anyway.  We just don't follow him in some ways (like believing in a purgatory which is literally a fire).

Quote
Second, did he enter marriage with 0 intent to consummate it?  Or is that a presumption?  (I really want to know - I haven't read his story.)
The versions I have seen (all ROCOR) says he sprung it on his bride on their wedding night.
Logged

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,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
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
stanley123
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Catholic
Posts: 3,809


« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2008, 11:13:17 PM »

... however, it should be stated that in theory artificial contraception (i.e. barrier methods) have not been supported by the Church until the 20th century, and even then only by some members, not by others.
Well wait - if the teaching on ABC has changed in the Orthodox Church, does this mean then that the Orthodox Church embraces the R Catholic teaching on development of doctrine? How else would a change in the teaching be justified? Once it was a sin, but now it is not a sin?
Logged
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2008, 11:15:28 PM »

^ No. Quit trying to fit Eastern practice into Western logic.
Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
stanley123
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Catholic
Posts: 3,809


« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2008, 11:23:15 PM »

^ No. Quit trying to fit Eastern practice into Western logic.
OK. But how is such a change justified? Is it true that before the 20th century ABC was considered to be a sin, but later on, it was taught that it may not be a sin under certain circumstances? I am sorry, but this appears to me to be a development in the teaching? I am interested to know why an Orthodox Christian would not consider this to be a development of teaching?
Logged
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 19,975


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2008, 11:28:37 PM »

First of all, whether she had difficulties or not, whether she enjoyed it or not - if it was to her benefit spiritually, then it was the better way. 

It might have been to St. Alexis Toth's benefit that his wife and young son died, but that isn't going to justify killing your wife and son. 

Obviously reading comprehension is difficult at this late hour.  Let's try again (with bigger fonts where necessary, and emphasis added):

First of all, whether she had difficulties or not, whether she enjoyed it or not - if it was to her benefit spiritually, then it was the better way. 

So, as I said, if their abstaining was to HER benefit, not his.  Thus, your example doesn't make sense - it would have only made sense if I said HIS instead of HER.  I didn't say "whether she had difficulties or not, whether she enjoyed it or not - if it was to HIS benefit spiritually, then it was the better way," did I?

I have no quarrel with your other point, however - not all saints did 100% holy things in their lives, which is why we only hold up what is holy from their lives once they're canonized.  Hence my point: members of the Church wouldn't hold up his marital abstinence as a virtue if it led to her falling away, would they?  Even if he "sprung it on her on the wedding night" was it premeditated, or decided on that day?  I really want to know (I'm not trying to be difficult here with the questions about St. John's life)...
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 19,975


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2008, 11:30:30 PM »

Well wait - if the teaching on ABC has changed in the Orthodox Church, does this mean then that the Orthodox Church embraces the R Catholic teaching on development of doctrine? How else would a change in the teaching be justified? Once it was a sin, but now it is not a sin?

My point in the second part of that sentence was that it really isn't supported "by the Church" - only by a limited number of its members.  There are some who feel that it is acceptable as long as it isn't abortifacient; this is, however, not held by all, and there is no official proclamation that supports this view.
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2008, 08:56:27 AM »

Obviously reading comprehension is difficult at this late hour.  Let's try again (with bigger fonts where necessary, and emphasis added):

So, as I said, if their abstaining was to HER benefit, not his.  Thus, your example doesn't make sense - it would have only made sense if I said HIS instead of HER.  I didn't say "whether she had difficulties or not, whether she enjoyed it or not - if it was to HIS benefit spiritually, then it was the better way," did I?

I have no quarrel with your other point, however - not all saints did 100% holy things in their lives, which is why we only hold up what is holy from their lives once they're canonized.  Hence my point: members of the Church wouldn't hold up his marital abstinence as a virtue if it led to her falling away, would they?  Even if he "sprung it on her on the wedding night" was it premeditated, or decided on that day?  I really want to know (I'm not trying to be difficult here with the questions about St. John's life)...

To be honest, I have seen nothing that documents the actual state of their marriage, i.e. supplies proof of the statement that their marriage was never consumated (something like Catherine of Aragon did for her first marriage).  I cited where I had seen it, as these hagiographers would also laud the idea of such "spiritual" marriages, which are an abomination.

Once again, if she bore her cross, that doesn't justify him laying it on her.  Otherwise, all sort of other sin and abuse could be justified.
Logged

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,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
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
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2008, 11:17:44 AM »

OK. But how is such a change justified? Is it true that before the 20th century ABC was considered to be a sin, but later on, it was taught that it may not be a sin under certain circumstances? I am sorry, but this appears to me to be a development in the teaching? I am interested to know why an Orthodox Christian would not consider this to be a development of teaching?

No, this is a matter of discipline, not doctrine. Unlike the West we don't have to elevate every minor issue to the level of Divine Law; the few things we have elevated to the level of doctrine (generally Theological and Christological decisions) have no need to change.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 19,975


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2008, 03:59:38 PM »

Once again, if she bore her cross, that doesn't justify him laying it on her.  Otherwise, all sort of other sin and abuse could be justified. 

Even if it was unwanted, was it not agreed upon?  If it was agreed upon but difficult, I understand.  If it was not agreed upon, then tradition is pretty clear - one spouse is not to deny the other the marital bed without common agreement.
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
calligraphqueen
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: GOA
Posts: 341


« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2008, 01:23:50 PM »

what choice had she if he laid it on her the night of their supposed wedding? Whatever understanding of wedded responsibility and possibly children she had was suddenly witheld from her on this of all nights in her life??
Then she is told to live with the ruling or edict from her 'beloved' because it's what HE chose for himself.

I had no idea someone of this lowly behavior was held up as a saint in the Eastern church. Surely it must be for other reasonings than his selfish choice against his 'wife'  A choice like this must be between BOTH partners, not just casually laid on the wife's shoulders to bear. Better yet, a man should not take a wife at all if he is to live like a monk. A woman should be free to choose a life of celibacy or marital growth (I submit that theosis within marriage is probably harder at times and raising children in this world surely is at least as hard as living in a monastery)
I was absolutely appalled when I read this account of St. John, it is extremely disturbing to someone coming out of legalistic baptist doctrine. As if the world needs one more belittling of women's purpose and needs in this world...

As far as the whole NPF and other contraception goes it would certainly be a matter of asking one's priest and spiritual father.  There are MANY MANY couples out there that simply don't want to procreate for the sake of their social calendar or messing up their vacation schedules or bikini line. Those aren't of the same mentality as the woman that has several and her husband is never around to help, or one of her children is diagnosed with some odd condition, or...
Rather than create their own economia the couple should seek out spiritual guidance on the matter, no?

Logged
Tamara
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of America
Posts: 2,208


+Pray for Orthodox Unity+


« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2008, 03:14:23 PM »

what choice had she if he laid it on her the night of their supposed wedding? Whatever understanding of wedded responsibility and possibly children she had was suddenly witheld from her on this of all nights in her life??
Then she is told to live with the ruling or edict from her 'beloved' because it's what HE chose for himself.

I had no idea someone of this lowly behavior was held up as a saint in the Eastern church. Surely it must be for other reasonings than his selfish choice against his 'wife'  A choice like this must be between BOTH partners, not just casually laid on the wife's shoulders to bear. Better yet, a man should not take a wife at all if he is to live like a monk. A woman should be free to choose a life of celibacy or marital growth (I submit that theosis within marriage is probably harder at times and raising children in this world surely is at least as hard as living in a monastery)
I was absolutely appalled when I read this account of St. John, it is extremely disturbing to someone coming out of legalistic baptist doctrine. As if the world needs one more belittling of women's purpose and needs in this world...


Maybe it was upheld as holy because of the era...18th century Russia...with heavy Jesuit influence in the Russian seminaries. Also, we sometimes forget that saints are only human. They had their failings in life. However, I agree she did get a raw deal. She died without children and she was penniless. She never was happy with her situation.

And unfortunately today, there are some who hold this form of so called "white" marriage up to be emulated.
I don't think it should be. If two people want to live as celibates then they should join monasteries. What is the point of getting married if you never plan to consummate the marriage and have children? It makes no sense.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2008, 03:15:03 PM by Tamara » Logged
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2008, 08:22:32 PM »

Rather than create their own economia the couple should seek out spiritual guidance on the matter, no?

No, I think they can better judge the proper nature of their sex life than some cleric...especially considering the example of this John of Kronstadt guy that was just given.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
calligraphqueen
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: GOA
Posts: 341


« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2008, 08:38:20 PM »

Well Greek, surprise! I disagree.  Wink
I am bettin the former example didn't have clerical green light to do this to his wife anyway. You can get a circle of influence that promotes and particular and peculiar idea, that appears on the surface to be somehow pious. I can't see any clerical involvement that could have supported this one sided relationship or decision, as the ORthodox faith places wives BESIDE their husbands and not as a footstool for his whims. In fact our priest made quite a point of this at our wedding/blessing, since dh was a baptist for  LONG time.

The canons and teachings are clear that this particular act includes but is not limited to procreation. However some of us are so DONE procreating or being open to procreating, it's not funny.  Despite the canons that say a man or woman is not to injure (surgically) himself/herself so as to prevent children-our priest said he would absolve dh if he chose to go that route. He could not 'okay' it ahead of time but he certainly understood. He said we had more than fulfilled the mandate to be fruitful and multiply.  We have several and one with a rare genetic and random deletion, so it ain't like we haven't done our part to increase Orthodoxy in these parts.  However, we aren't of the mindset to become celibate just because we are done. So, that leaves few options.

There really ARE still couples that want to honor their creator with all aspects of their lives, including the reproductive ones. Children are to be considered a blessing and a gift, but there are times where OTHERS should take up the reproductive mantle for a while.
Logged
Deacon Lance
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Posts: 2,878


Liturgy at Mt. St. Macrina Pilgrimage


« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2008, 12:17:35 AM »

To say NFP is the same as the barrier method is like saying fasting, which is good and esentially this is what NFP is, and can have the accompanying effect of weight loss, is the same as using weight loss pills, which is not good, although it has the same effect.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Logged

My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2008, 12:27:15 AM »

To say NFP is the same as the barrier method is like saying fasting, which is good and esentially this is what NFP is, and can have the accompanying effect of weight loss, is the same as using weight loss pills, which is not good, although it has the same effect.

Fr. Deacon Lance

But you'll have better results with DNP or Clenbuterol. Wink
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2008, 12:30:29 AM »

Well Greek, surprise! I disagree.  Wink

Dang, who would have ever thought that we would disagree??? Grin

But, in truth, it looks like our only real disagreement is in how seriously we take certain technical formalities of a fifth century legal system. If you take those out, your post seems quite reasonable. Wink
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Paradosis
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 54


« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2008, 12:39:46 AM »

To say NFP is the same as the barrier method is like saying fasting, which is good and esentially this is what NFP is, and can have the accompanying effect of weight loss, is the same as using weight loss pills, which is not good, although it has the same effect.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Fr. Deacon Lance,

It appears that you are arguing for a distinction between these two forms of contraception on holistic grounds.  Do you, then, deny that there is an essential/moral difference between NFP and barrier methods?

God bless,

Adam
Logged
stanley123
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Catholic
Posts: 3,809


« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2008, 01:16:51 AM »

To say NFP is the same as the barrier method is like saying fasting, which is good and esentially this is what NFP is, and can have the accompanying effect of weight loss, is the same as using weight loss pills, which is not good, although it has the same effect.

Fr. Deacon Lance
It really is not analogous because with NFP you are defeating the primary purpose of marriage, which is wrong to do, whereas with dieting or fasting, you are promoting your health, which is a good. NFP, when used to avoid conception, is just another method available to prevent children.  Those who back the use of NFP to prevent children often say that NFP is open to life as distinct from the use of condoms which are not open to life. However, according to the statistics given out by the Couple to couple league, condoms fail 7% of the time, whereas NFP, when used correctly, fails only 1% of the time. Condoms are thereby seen to be seven times more open to life than NFP, and since the use of condoms has been condemned by the Roman Catholic Church, it would seem only logical that NFP should be condemned also – at least on the basis of the relative failure rate statistics given by the Couple to Couple League.
   In using NFP to avoid conception, you are using artificial man made charts, thermometric measurements, calendars, arithmetical calculations and your knowledge of the female reproductive cycle to frustrate the primary and natural purpose of marriage, which is the procreation of children. The intention of NFP, when used to avoid having children, and the intention of those using ABC is exactly the same, to prevent conception, while at the same time to enable the couple to enjoy the marital bed. When your goal is to enjoy the marital embrace and at the same time to avoid conception, you are placing the unitive primary and the procreative in abeyance. The Traditional teaching of the Roman Catholic Church before Vatican II was that the procreative is primary and the unitive is secondary.

Edited to reflect ecclesiastical position of user - Cleveland, Global Moderator
« Last Edit: March 20, 2008, 10:04:51 AM by cleveland » Logged
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 19,975


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2008, 10:02:07 AM »

It really is not analogous because with NFP you are defeating the primary purpose of marriage, which is wrong to do, whereas with dieting or fasting, you are promoting your health, which is a good. NFP, when used to avoid conception, is just another method available to prevent children.  Those who back the use of NFP to prevent children often say that NFP is open to life as distinct from the use of condoms which are not open to life. However, according to the statistics given out by the Couple to couple league, condoms fail 7% of the time, whereas NFP, when used correctly, fails only 1% of the time. Condoms are thereby seen to be seven times more open to life than NFP, and since the use of condoms has been condemned by the Church, it would seem only logical that NFP should be condemned also – at least on the basis of the relative failure rate statistics given by the Couple to Couple League.
   In using NFP to avoid conception, you are using artificial man made charts, thermometric measurements, calendars, arithmetical calculations and your knowledge of the female reproductive cycle to frustrate the primary and natural purpose of marriage, which is the procreation of children. The intention of NFP, when used to avoid having children, and the intention of those using ABC is exactly the same, to prevent conception, while at the same time to enable the couple to enjoy the marital bed. When your goal is to enjoy the marital embrace and at the same time to avoid conception, you are placing the unitive primary and the procreative in abeyance. The Traditional teaching of the Church before Vatican II was that the procreative is primary and the unitive is secondary.

1. In the Orthodox Church we've acknowledged that procreation may not be the primary purpose of marriage.  We've actually discussed this many times.

2. As a Roman Catholic user, you need to clarify when you use the word "Church" without qualifiers - an unclarified use of the word "Church" on an Orthodox board refers to the Orthodox Church, not the Catholic Church; keeping that in mind, the Orthodox Church doesn't care about how Vatican II changed teachings.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2008, 10:05:15 AM by cleveland » Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2010, 01:56:14 AM »

First of all, whether she had difficulties or not, whether she enjoyed it or not - if it was to her benefit spiritually, then it was the better way. 

It might have been to St. Alexis Toth's benefit that his wife and young son died, but that isn't going to justify killing your wife and son. 

Obviously reading comprehension is difficult at this late hour.  Let's try again (with bigger fonts where necessary, and emphasis added):

First of all, whether she had difficulties or not, whether she enjoyed it or not - if it was to her benefit spiritually, then it was the better way. 

So, as I said, if their abstaining was to HER benefit, not his.  Thus, your example doesn't make sense - it would have only made sense if I said HIS instead of HER.  I didn't say "whether she had difficulties or not, whether she enjoyed it or not - if it was to HIS benefit spiritually, then it was the better way," did I?

I have no quarrel with your other point, however - not all saints did 100% holy things in their lives, which is why we only hold up what is holy from their lives once they're canonized.  Hence my point: members of the Church wouldn't hold up his marital abstinence as a virtue if it led to her falling away, would they? 

Recent discussions made me return to this topic, and think of this last question. Since his wife, as far as I know, is not glorified, we have no reason to say it did not lead to her fallling away (I've seen contemporary reports that indicate she had her problems with her husband's lifestyle).  Hence no assurance that this should be praised.
Logged

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,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
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
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2010, 03:42:32 AM »

I like to discuss this topic, as this issue of NFP vs. barrier methods is often one of the biggest stumbling blocks for potential Roman Catholic converts to Orthodoxy. 

You think? It all seems pretty trivial to me, but I guess I'm not from an RC background.
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2010, 04:14:47 AM »


Recent discussions made me return to this topic, and think of this last question. Since his wife, as far as I know, is not glorified, we have no reason to say it did not lead to her fallling away (I've seen contemporary reports that indicate she had her problems with her husband's lifestyle).  Hence no assurance that this should be praised.

Several days later he was invited by the priest of the Cathedral of St.Andrew the First-Called, in Kronstadt, to marry his daughter Elizabeth. John had never thought of marriage before. He was like an angel and his thoughts never wandered anywhere close to the joys of matrimony. However, the coincidence of the vision and the invitation of the priest were a sign from above to him. He married Elizabeth and very soon was ordained priest...

However, the lives of prophets go their own way, different from those of ordinary people. Their lives cannot be copied. They can be only admired. As soon as Father John got married, he addressed his wife in the words she found very difficult to bear.

"Elizabeth, dear, there are enough happy families without us. Just take a look at the ocean of grief around. Let us serve the unhappy ones and live as brother and sister."

A young, beautiful, buxom woman found it very difficult to accept this offer from her husband whom she loved so much. It took her a while to reconcile herself with the offer of angelical life. We know that people become monks voluntarily, and not by force. Elizabeth's father told the bishop about the strange behavior of the young priest that was now his son-in-law. Wasn't he a victim of his own pride? Wasn't his left hand destroying what his right hand had just built? Father John remained firm and deaf to what his father-in-law and then the bishop were telling him. The situation was a very dramatic one. However, very soon it was resolved by interference from above, by God's providence. This is how it happened:

The bishop summoned Father John and again tried to persuade him to start a normal marital life. However, neither threats, nor fatherly advice had any effect. Father John replied with humbleness: "Your grace, there is no God's will to fulfill what you are asking of me."

On the part of Father John it was a very wrong and improper thing to do - he dared argue with the bishop himself, who pointed him to his mistake. In Father John's presence the bishop already signed an order prohibiting the young priest from serving in church until he corrected himself in his family affairs. At that moment everything around turned black in the eyes of the bishop and the oval image of the Mother of God his Grace wore on a gold chain round his neck fell to the floor. No one could understand how it happened. The bishop himself then fell to his knees in front of the young priest to ask for his forgiveness. The young priest quickly kneeled in front of the bishop and asked his forgiveness, too. The incident was settled and accord restored.

Very soon Father John's wife Elizabeth reconciled herself with her lot and became a true associate in all of her husband's undertakings. Their life was invariably calm and peaceful.

Source:  http://www.vor.ru/English/Christian_Message/program_7.html
(No longer accessible)
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #41 on: December 04, 2010, 04:20:58 AM »

I have read somewhere that Elizabeth was in fact desperately unhappy in her married life with Saint John, desiring the intimacy and the children she had expected at the time of marriage.  She tried three times to divorce him, citing his refusal to consummate the marriage, but because of his position in society the Russian Church authorities would not hear her case.    Can anybody offer substantiation of this?  Have I remembered correctly?
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #42 on: December 04, 2010, 10:41:11 AM »

I have read somewhere that Elizabeth was in fact desperately unhappy in her married life with Saint John, desiring the intimacy and the children she had expected at the time of marriage.  She tried three times to divorce him, citing his refusal to consummate the marriage, but because of his position in society the Russian Church authorities would not hear her case.    Can anybody offer substantiation of this?  Have I remembered correctly?

For one, Isabel Hopgood of translator fame (who was less of an admirer and somewhat hostile, in a news article in "The Independent" on August 8, 1895
Quote
The plain facts, as I eventually sifted them out, were these: Father Joann is a man about twenty years older than he looks. He is a parish priest in Kronstadt, the fortified island about twenty miles from St. Petersburg, where the river Neva enters the Gulf of Finland, and almost opposite the Imperial summer resort, Peterhoff. Whether his wife (all parish priests must be married before they are ordained), weary of his eccentricities and carelessness of material interests, really separated from him, as rumor declared, I do not know. His ways with money were — and probably are still — enough to vex a saint. Whatever any one gives him “in Christ’s name, for the poor,” he takes, and thrusts into his pocket without looking at it. Equally without looking at it, he hands over the whole, be it a fat roll of bankbills, or a few bits of silver, to the next person who begs of him; and his own little stipend goes in the same way. Result — an undeserving, plausible scamp may get a thousand rubles from Father Joann, and a worthy sufferer may get next to nothing. This is regarded by Father Joann’s admirers as saintly; but a little mathematics and discrimination would not interfere with the essential quality of his nimbus, as I ventured to remark occasionally, getting plenty of frowns for my hardness of heart.
http://orthodoxhistory.org/2009/10/isabel-hapgood-on-st-john-of-kronstadt/
She also brings up another severe problem:
Quote
Several weeks after my first knowledge of Father Joann had prompted my interest, as I have described, I was driving from Oranienbaum palace to the wharf to take the steamer for Kronstadt, when I met a very ordinary looking merchant’s wife in a carriage with a priest, also ordinary, I thought — until he looked at me. I was startled — why, I could not tell. I asked, on the steamer, if Father Joann had just come over, and found that the strange priest was really the man in search of whom my trip to Kronstadt in great part had been undertaken, as the forts are inaccessible to visitors, the docks are soon seen, and the town itself is uninteresting. His absence was short, however, and I went to early mass to see him officiate. That is considered a rare sight and a privilege, and always attracts great crowds. He was very quiet, very impressive, very “intense.” His peculiar eyes, and manner of floating about rather than walking, would have riveted my attention had I never heard about him. The throngs which were waiting for a word with him, and his habit of slipping away to avoid people, suggested to me the advisability of seeking him at his hospital. It is due to Father Joann to say, that his Faith Cure hospital was established by his admirers, not by him, as he lays no claim to miraculous powers. At the hospital I was received by a young priest, who declared that there were no patients on hand; that Father Joann never came there unless someone needed him; but that he might happen to come in at any minute if I were ill, and that he was going to St. Petersburg by the next boat. I have omitted to state that, altho nominally attached to the parish in Kronstadt, Father Joann is in such great demand that he is, on the whole, more rarely to be found there than elsewhere; and that when his coming is expected he can take his choice from among the aristocratic carriages whose owners throng to the wharf, in the hope that they might be thus honored.
So not only deprived of the promised intimacy of her husband-the prayers over the married couple make it clear that the Church is not blessing a sibling relationship of brother and sister-but also the mere presence of her husband as well. Not even children in which to console herself.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 10:41:41 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
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
Tags: contraception NFP 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.162 seconds with 70 queries.