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Author Topic: NFP is So Difficult  (Read 6121 times) Average Rating: 0
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militantsparrow
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« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2009, 01:39:41 AM »

Yes. It is absolute pharisaical nonsense. You ARE choosing to abstain from sex at certain times, which, the Apostles said should only be done for a time for the purpose of prayer- not to avoid getting pregnant. God isn't telling you not to have sex during ovulation, you are choosing to do this of your own accord. Don't blame God for your choices.

What makes you think I am blaming God? The debate is over the difference between artificial contraception and natural family planning. Natural Family Planning is playing a game by the rules. Artificial contraception is playing the game with complete disregard for the rules. There is a very big difference.
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« Reply #46 on: December 24, 2009, 01:40:31 AM »

And the thread is tied into its proper place.

Yes. But I would have avoided this kind of language if it was kept where I started it. I did not bring this issue up to be confrontational from a Catholic/Orthodox perspective. I wanted to talk the issue of NFP as a contraceptive through. There are many good people on this forum (yourself included, ialmisry) who have much to offer in the way of thoughtful Christian dialog on very important topics. I learn from dialog--especially from learned Christians with varying viewpoints.
I'm probably going to agree with most of what you have to say, and Humanae Vitae for that matter.  Somewhere here I threshed that out once.
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« Reply #47 on: December 24, 2009, 01:41:07 AM »

Quote
Could you recommend some books on this, Asteriktos?

Well, here are a few that I remember...

Contraception: A History of Its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians and Canonists, by John T. Noonan. This one is from a Catholic perspective, and is probably the most detailed book I've read on the subject.  Noonan attempts to be scholarly, though Orthodox/Catholic Christians will take issue with some things in the book; e.g. Noonan excludes oral tradition as a possible source from which Church Fathers got their morality, instead saying that stoicism played a significant part in the condemnation of contraception. Still, of the books I've read, it is the one that will give you the most quotes and references.

Sex and Society in the World of the Orthodox Slavs, 900-1700, by Eve Levin. This one is from an Orthodox perspective, but only covers contraception briefly, and only (obviously) among the Slavs. This book is also scholarly, though again Orthodox/Catholic Christians might take issue with some things in the book; e.g. she speaks as though the Orthodox believe that sexual feelings are evil or dirty.

Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom, by David Ford. This one is from a more traditional Orthodox perspective, and is more a popular level book (not that the books by Noonan and Levin are overly-academic, but there is a difference). If I recall correctly, this book argues that the Eastern Church Fathers didn't really speak on the matter of contraception, though I think it briefly covers most of the major early Church Fathers who did. Actually, I think that this book is worth it just for the rest of the stuff (mostly about relations between the sexes, though Mr. Ford does tend to lose focus sometimes while attempting to refute certain feminist views).

I remember reading other things, like the article Pseudosex in Pseudotheology by Fr. Paul D. O'Callaghan (who was kind enough to send me a copy of the article for free), but the above three are the ones that usually come to mind when this subject comes up.
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« Reply #48 on: December 24, 2009, 01:43:37 AM »

What makes you think I am blaming God?
Possibly when you said:

NFP forces couples to control themselves--to submit to God's own built in mechanisms. I don't choose when I want to obstain from relations with my wife. I only choose whether I want to. God's own design has dictated when and if my abstinence will matter. I am still subject to His will. ABC means I circumvent his will without any regard for what His will is.
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« Reply #49 on: December 24, 2009, 01:44:33 AM »

I'm probably going to agree with most of what you have to say, and Humanae Vitae for that matter.  Somewhere here I threshed that out once.

Well that's ok too.  Smiley
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« Reply #50 on: December 24, 2009, 01:47:59 AM »

Yes. It is absolute pharisaical nonsense. You ARE choosing to abstain from sex at certain times, which, the Apostles said should only be done for a time for the purpose of prayer- not to avoid getting pregnant. God isn't telling you not to have sex during ovulation, you are choosing to do this of your own accord. Don't blame God for your choices.

What makes you think I am blaming God? The debate is over the difference between artificial contraception and natural family planning. Natural Family Planning is playing a game by the rules. Artificial contraception is playing the game with complete disregard for the rules. There is a very big difference.

What if you find out you can never get pregnant as long as you keep your fingers crossed?  Would it then still be ok cause this is the way God made you?

Just sayin'... Grin
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« Reply #51 on: December 24, 2009, 01:49:45 AM »

What makes you think I am blaming God?
Possibly when you said:

NFP forces couples to control themselves--to submit to God's own built in mechanisms. I don't choose when I want to obstain from relations with my wife. I only choose whether I want to. God's own design has dictated when and if my abstinence will matter. I am still subject to His will. ABC means I circumvent his will without any regard for what His will is.

That post was one of many in a series. You cannot take one post out of context. But even without context, this post simply states that NFP requires us to submit to God's plan. This is not me blaming God. I rather like submitting to Him. In fact, submission to God and His plan is the basis for all Christian morality. How is obedience to God somehow a bash or blame against God?
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« Reply #52 on: December 24, 2009, 01:52:57 AM »

Yes. It is absolute pharisaical nonsense. You ARE choosing to abstain from sex at certain times, which, the Apostles said should only be done for a time for the purpose of prayer- not to avoid getting pregnant. God isn't telling you not to have sex during ovulation, you are choosing to do this of your own accord. Don't blame God for your choices.

What makes you think I am blaming God? The debate is over the difference between artificial contraception and natural family planning. Natural Family Planning is playing a game by the rules. Artificial contraception is playing the game with complete disregard for the rules. There is a very big difference.

What if you find out you can never get pregnant as long as you keep your fingers crossed?  Would it then still be ok cause this is the way God made you?

Just sayin'... Grin

Is that true? All I have to do is cross my fingers?

The facts are crossing fingers has nothing to do with reality. What does matter is God has built into humans natural cycles which allow and prevent the conception of life at certain times. We also know that not everyone can or should have children non-stop every nine months. So we have a choice, either use God's own built in cycles for regulating births or we can circumvent God's design all together and use artificial birth control whenever you feel like it.
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« Reply #53 on: December 24, 2009, 01:55:02 AM »

What makes you think I am blaming God?
Possibly when you said:

NFP forces couples to control themselves--to submit to God's own built in mechanisms. I don't choose when I want to obstain from relations with my wife. I only choose whether I want to. God's own design has dictated when and if my abstinence will matter. I am still subject to His will. ABC means I circumvent his will without any regard for what His will is.

That post was one of many in a series. You cannot take one post out of context. But even without context, this post simply states that NFP requires us to submit to God's plan. This is not me blaming God. I rather like submitting to Him. In fact, submission to God and His plan is the basis for all Christian morality. How is obedience to God somehow a bash or blame against God?

I think the very thing in question is whether or not God's plan is that you
1) Avoid contraception

and

2) If He does want you to avoid contraception, that He's with avoiding sex for the same purposes.

Just cause God made you a certain way doesn't mean all behaviors that exploit that fact of your creation are morally justifiable.  God made me to where if I hold my breath long enough I will pass out, yet I don't conclude that this is the only morally acceptable way to making myself pass out- to the exclusion of say, hyper-venilating into a bag.
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« Reply #54 on: December 24, 2009, 01:58:30 AM »

Yes. It is absolute pharisaical nonsense. You ARE choosing to abstain from sex at certain times, which, the Apostles said should only be done for a time for the purpose of prayer- not to avoid getting pregnant. God isn't telling you not to have sex during ovulation, you are choosing to do this of your own accord. Don't blame God for your choices.

What makes you think I am blaming God? The debate is over the difference between artificial contraception and natural family planning. Natural Family Planning is playing a game by the rules. Artificial contraception is playing the game with complete disregard for the rules. There is a very big difference.

What if you find out you can never get pregnant as long as you keep your fingers crossed?  Would it then still be ok cause this is the way God made you?

Just sayin'... Grin

Is that true? All I have to do is cross my fingers?

The facts are crossing fingers has nothing to do with reality. What does matter is God has built into humans natural cycles which allow and prevent the conception of life at certain times. We also know that not everyone can or should have children non-stop every nine months. So we have a choice, either use God's own built in cycles for regulating births or we can circumvent God's design all together and use artificial birth control whenever you feel like it.

Why doesn't god want you to have kids every 9 months? Does god hate kids?

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« Reply #55 on: December 24, 2009, 02:00:21 AM »

Yes. It is absolute pharisaical nonsense. You ARE choosing to abstain from sex at certain times, which, the Apostles said should only be done for a time for the purpose of prayer- not to avoid getting pregnant. God isn't telling you not to have sex during ovulation, you are choosing to do this of your own accord. Don't blame God for your choices.

What makes you think I am blaming God? The debate is over the difference between artificial contraception and natural family planning. Natural Family Planning is playing a game by the rules. Artificial contraception is playing the game with complete disregard for the rules. There is a very big difference.

What if you find out you can never get pregnant as long as you keep your fingers crossed?  Would it then still be ok cause this is the way God made you?

Just sayin'... Grin

Is that true? All I have to do is cross my fingers?

The facts are crossing fingers has nothing to do with reality. What does matter is God has built into humans natural cycles which allow and prevent the conception of life at certain times. We also know that not everyone can or should have children non-stop every nine months. So we have a choice, either use God's own built in cycles for regulating births or we can circumvent God's design all together and use artificial birth control whenever you feel like it.

But it's only modern science that has brought made this so exact.  How is this any less artificial? How do we know God wants us to use this fact about conception for the purpose of contraception?

I don't really know if NFP is ok or not, or if other forms of contraception aren't.  I'm not married.  I'm just saying I think maybe this is the point that was trying to be made- i.e. that just because God made a woman's body to not conceive during certain times does not inevitably lead to the conclusion that we should exploit that to prevent conception and abstain from all other forms of contraception.

I do see your point though!
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« Reply #56 on: December 24, 2009, 02:00:59 AM »

Why doesn't god want you to have kids every 9 months? Does god hate kids?
Look. Its perfectly simple GiC. God doesn't want us to use anything artificial, only what He gave us, which is why we all live in caves and not in houses made of bricks.
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« Reply #57 on: December 24, 2009, 02:05:30 AM »

What makes you think I am blaming God?
Possibly when you said:

NFP forces couples to control themselves--to submit to God's own built in mechanisms. I don't choose when I want to obstain from relations with my wife. I only choose whether I want to. God's own design has dictated when and if my abstinence will matter. I am still subject to His will. ABC means I circumvent his will without any regard for what His will is.

That post was one of many in a series. You cannot take one post out of context. But even without context, this post simply states that NFP requires us to submit to God's plan. This is not me blaming God. I rather like submitting to Him. In fact, submission to God and His plan is the basis for all Christian morality. How is obedience to God somehow a bash or blame against God?

I think the very thing in question is whether or not God's plan is that you
1) Avoid contraception

and

2) If He does want you to avoid contraception, that He's with avoiding sex for the same purposes.

Just cause God made you a certain way doesn't mean all behaviors that exploit that fact of your creation are morally justifiable.  God made me to where if I hold my breath long enough I will pass out, yet I don't conclude that this is the only morally acceptable way to making myself pass out- to the exclusion of say, hyper-venilating into a bag.

These are not rational arguments. In fact, I don't think our instincts allow us to hold our breath long enough to pass out without some artificial means such as breathing into a bag.

But I don't think the issue is whether God wants us to avoid contraception for any and all means. Both Orthodox and Catholic's agree that avoiding pregnancy can at times be morally justifiable--in either faith it is recommended that the couple speak to their priest for guidance. What I believe is at question here is what "means" of avoiding pregnancy is morally justifiable. ABC? or NFP?
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« Reply #58 on: December 24, 2009, 02:07:52 AM »

Why doesn't god want you to have kids every 9 months? Does god hate kids?
Look. Its perfectly simple GiC. God doesn't want us to use anything artificial, only what He gave us, which is why we all live in caves and not in houses made of bricks.

Yes. And a domestic dwelling is equal to human life.
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« Reply #59 on: December 24, 2009, 02:10:16 AM »

Why doesn't god want you to have kids every 9 months? Does god hate kids?
Look. Its perfectly simple GiC. God doesn't want us to use anything artificial, only what He gave us, which is why we all live in caves and not in houses made of bricks.

Yes. And a domestic dwelling is equal to human life.
What do you care? You are deliberately trying to prevent human life. Smiley
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« Reply #60 on: December 24, 2009, 02:11:26 AM »

Yes. It is absolute pharisaical nonsense. You ARE choosing to abstain from sex at certain times, which, the Apostles said should only be done for a time for the purpose of prayer- not to avoid getting pregnant. God isn't telling you not to have sex during ovulation, you are choosing to do this of your own accord. Don't blame God for your choices.

What makes you think I am blaming God? The debate is over the difference between artificial contraception and natural family planning. Natural Family Planning is playing a game by the rules. Artificial contraception is playing the game with complete disregard for the rules. There is a very big difference.

What if you find out you can never get pregnant as long as you keep your fingers crossed?  Would it then still be ok cause this is the way God made you?

Just sayin'... Grin

Is that true? All I have to do is cross my fingers?

The facts are crossing fingers has nothing to do with reality. What does matter is God has built into humans natural cycles which allow and prevent the conception of life at certain times. We also know that not everyone can or should have children non-stop every nine months. So we have a choice, either use God's own built in cycles for regulating births or we can circumvent God's design all together and use artificial birth control whenever you feel like it.

But it's only modern science that has brought made this so exact.  How is this any less artificial? How do we know God wants us to use this fact about conception for the purpose of contraception?

I don't really know if NFP is ok or not, or if other forms of contraception aren't.  I'm not married.  I'm just saying I think maybe this is the point that was trying to be made- i.e. that just because God made a woman's body to not conceive during certain times does not inevitably lead to the conclusion that we should exploit that to prevent conception and abstain from all other forms of contraception.

I do see your point though!

You are correct. Just because God made a woman's body in such a way that there are times when she cannot conceive does not mean that we can take advantage of this fact for our own pleasure or desire. Even if using NFP, we must have serious reasons for avoiding pregnancy and we must seek God's guidance through prayer, through conversations as a couple and by speaking to our priest.
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« Reply #61 on: December 24, 2009, 02:13:47 AM »

Why doesn't god want you to have kids every 9 months? Does god hate kids?
Look. Its perfectly simple GiC. God doesn't want us to use anything artificial, only what He gave us, which is why we all live in caves and not in houses made of bricks.

Yes. And a domestic dwelling is equal to human life.
What do you care? You are deliberately trying to prevent human life. Smiley

I am not trying to prevent human life any more than I am trying to prevent myself from moving into a cave. But if I were trying to avoid having another child, my decision to have another child--to bring a new life into the world--is far more graver a decision than to move into a cave, a mansion, or a house boat.
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« Reply #62 on: December 24, 2009, 02:16:37 AM »

I am not trying to prevent human life
Of course not. You're just deliberately avoiding having sex when it might lead to another human life.
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« Reply #63 on: December 24, 2009, 02:22:37 AM »

I am not trying to prevent human life
Of course not. You're just deliberately avoiding having sex when it might lead to another human life.

If one is using NFP to avoid pregnancy, then you are correct. That is precisely what they are doing. But again, I see this as being drastically different than the ABC approach. That is to say, "have sex all you want just make sure you prevent the act from reaching its natural conclusion."
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« Reply #64 on: December 24, 2009, 02:37:57 AM »

Thank you, everyone for engaging me on this discussion/debate. It is an area which I know is kind of a hot topic, but it is also one of great importance to me and one which I find great opportunity for spiritual growth by exploring the intricacies with other Christians.

I'd also like to add that at no point was I offended or was I trying to offend anyone. My goal is to dialog on issues of importance and that's it.

And if I'm not on in the next two days, Merry Christmas.

God bless.
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« Reply #65 on: December 24, 2009, 04:32:34 AM »

And the thread is tied into its proper place.

Yes. But I would have avoided this kind of language if it was kept where I started it. I did not bring this issue up to be confrontational from a Catholic/Orthodox perspective. I wanted to talk the issue of NFP as a contraceptive through. There are many good people on this forum (yourself included, ialmisry) who have much to offer in the way of thoughtful Christian dialog on very important topics. I learn from dialog--especially from learned Christians with varying viewpoints.

Sparrow,

The argument is simpy too ethereal.  The dialogue is unreal and meaningless. The Catholic faithful have voted in their marital lives, overwhelmingly, that they are not interested in practising NFP.  Why would the Orthodox have any interest in it, except maybe as an abstruse academic topic of speculation removed from real life?
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« Reply #66 on: December 24, 2009, 05:32:44 AM »

Here Pope Pius XI condemns all forms of contraception as mortally sinful,
because they frustrate the marriage act. According to Pius XI, the primary
purpose of marriage (and the conjugal act) is the procreation and education
of children. NFP subordinates the primary end of marriage to other things,
by deliberately attempting to avoid children (i.e., to avoid the primary
end) while having marital relations. It does what Pope Pius XI teaches may
not lawfully be done. NFP frustrates the primary purpose of marriage. Is it
right to frustrate the primary purpose of marriage? It looks like it is not,
according to this encyclical and...

Exactly! But I think the point is that NFP does not frustrate the "conjugal act" precisely because when practiced, there is no conjugal act.

NFP times the conjugal act when there is less/no chance of children, hence the idea of frustration.

This is the reason why Humanae Vitae has nearly nothing in the way of Patristics, because the Fathers who condemned birth control also abhored sex for anything but procreation.

This is also why it was moved.
Speak for yourself, Isa. Angry  Since I moved this thread, I don't think you're qualified to know exactly why I moved it, so let me explain.  The OP assumes that the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches both share the same dogmatic stance against artificial birth control (ABC).  We do not.  Yes, you will find many Orthodox bishops who agree with the pope of Rome that our Tradition condemns ABC as a grave sin, yet you will also find others who recognize ABC as less than ideal but will condone its use as a matter of economia.  When spoken by a Catholic, the belief that ABC is universally condemned presumes a view of ABC that is distinctively Roman and invites an Orthodox/RC debate that is not appropriate for [Orthodox] Faith Issues.
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« Reply #67 on: December 24, 2009, 09:02:31 AM »

It just means no one cares...
If that were true, no one would be posting.

Just sayin'.
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« Reply #68 on: December 24, 2009, 09:46:06 AM »

Here Pope Pius XI condemns all forms of contraception as mortally sinful,
because they frustrate the marriage act. According to Pius XI, the primary
purpose of marriage (and the conjugal act) is the procreation and education
of children. NFP subordinates the primary end of marriage to other things,
by deliberately attempting to avoid children (i.e., to avoid the primary
end) while having marital relations. It does what Pope Pius XI teaches may
not lawfully be done. NFP frustrates the primary purpose of marriage. Is it
right to frustrate the primary purpose of marriage? It looks like it is not,
according to this encyclical and...

Exactly! But I think the point is that NFP does not frustrate the "conjugal act" precisely because when practiced, there is no conjugal act.

NFP times the conjugal act when there is less/no chance of children, hence the idea of frustration.

This is the reason why Humanae Vitae has nearly nothing in the way of Patristics, because the Fathers who condemned birth control also abhored sex for anything but procreation.

This is also why it was moved.
Speak for yourself, Isa. Angry
I did.  As a matter of fact, I made it clear I did.

Just to be clear: I don't have any say in that. I've just seen how these types of threads go.

For the reasons you site, Humanae Vitae always gets involved in this discussion, which brings papal infallibility, although the Vatican isn't clear/consistent/sure of HV's infallibility.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 09:49:34 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #69 on: December 24, 2009, 10:27:52 AM »

And the thread is tied into its proper place.

Yes. But I would have avoided this kind of language if it was kept where I started it. I did not bring this issue up to be confrontational from a Catholic/Orthodox perspective. I wanted to talk the issue of NFP as a contraceptive through. There are many good people on this forum (yourself included, ialmisry) who have much to offer in the way of thoughtful Christian dialog on very important topics. I learn from dialog--especially from learned Christians with varying viewpoints.

Sparrow,

The argument is simpy too ethereal.  The dialogue is unreal and meaningless. The Catholic faithful have voted in their marital lives, overwhelmingly, that they are not interested in practising NFP.  Why would the Orthodox have any interest in it, except maybe as an abstruse academic topic of speculation removed from real life?

I disagree, Irish Hermit. I think the dialog has been very meaningful thus far. The Catholic faithful may have voted, but their votes don't count. The Catholic Church is not democratic--thank God.

It seems to me that the Orthodox should have an interest in it and based on the dialog so far, I'd say they do have an interest in it. No dialog which elicits and promotes healthy Christian thought is without merit.
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« Reply #70 on: December 24, 2009, 10:33:03 AM »

Speak for yourself, Isa. Angry  Since I moved this thread, I don't think you're qualified to know exactly why I moved it, so let me explain.  The OP assumes that the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches both share the same dogmatic stance against artificial birth control (ABC). We do not. 

I know that the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches do not share the same dogmatic stance against artificial birth control. I apologize if that was implied in my OP.

Quote
Yes, you will find many Orthodox bishops who agree with the pope of Rome that our Tradition condemns ABC as a grave sin, yet you will also find others who recognize ABC as less than ideal but will condone its use as a matter of economia

Yes. This is why I made my OP on these forums instead of on a Catholic forum. I wanted dialog. I didn't want everyone to simply agree with me.

Quote
When spoken by a Catholic, the belief that ABC is universally condemned presumes a view of ABC that is distinctively Roman and invites an Orthodox/RC debate that is not appropriate for [Orthodox] Faith Issues.

I understand. I must admit I questioned whether I should have posted it here or in Faith Issues. You made the right decision to move it. Thank you.
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« Reply #71 on: December 24, 2009, 10:37:21 AM »

For the reasons you site, Humanae Vitae always gets involved in this discussion, which brings papal infallibility, although the Vatican isn't clear/consistent/sure of HV's infallibility.

I'm not sure what the official stance is on the infallibility of Humanae Vitae, but its infallibility or lack thereof does not mean the Catholic faithful have a choice in accepting it. It is church doctrine which must be followed.
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« Reply #72 on: December 24, 2009, 10:39:26 AM »

Since we mentioned Humanae Vitae, here's a link to it if anyone is interested in reading it.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html
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« Reply #73 on: December 24, 2009, 10:57:39 AM »

Speak for yourself, Isa. Angry  Since I moved this thread, I don't think you're qualified to know exactly why I moved it, so let me explain.  The OP assumes that the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches both share the same dogmatic stance against artificial birth control (ABC). We do not.  

I know that the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches do not share the same dogmatic stance against artificial birth control. I apologize if that was implied in my OP.

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Yes, you will find many Orthodox bishops who agree with the pope of Rome that our Tradition condemns ABC as a grave sin, yet you will also find others who recognize ABC as less than ideal but will condone its use as a matter of economia.  

Yes. This is why I made my OP on these forums instead of on a Catholic forum. I wanted dialog. I didn't want everyone to simply agree with me.
Oh, I've seen on Catholic forums that everyone would simply agree with you, as Father Ambrose has shown.  I'm with the Vatican's Magisterium, but then I'm not under it.

For the reasons you site, Humanae Vitae always gets involved in this discussion, which brings papal infallibility, although the Vatican isn't clear/consistent/sure of HV's infallibility.

I'm not sure what the official stance is on the infallibility of Humanae Vitae, but its infallibility or lack thereof does not mean the Catholic faithful have a choice in accepting it. It is church doctrine which must be followed.

This is the problem the Vatican has with selling us Pastor Aeternus.  One the one hand, we are told that somehow we are deficient because, allegedly, we have no mechanism to define and settle dogma. So we will bring up contradictions between popes (e.g. Popes Agatho, Martin Leo II and Honorios over Monotheletism), proclamations the Vatican is not so proud of now (e.g. Unam Sanctam), etc. and we are told that not everything the pope says is infallible.  So, the question is then which are and which aren't, and there is no consensus on the other side of which are, but then we are told it doesn't matter, because you must accept (assent of the will I think is the phrase) anything the Magisterium puts forth.  It doesn't seem Pastor Aeternus solves anything, and causes more problems.
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« Reply #74 on: December 24, 2009, 11:09:44 AM »

I see that someone has marked this thread as "baby daddy."  Why?
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« Reply #75 on: December 24, 2009, 11:42:21 AM »

I see that someone has marked this thread as "baby daddy."  Why?

I'd ask the same question, but I'm sure the person's honest answer would be "because I'm juvenile."  I've deleted the tag.
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« Reply #76 on: December 24, 2009, 12:24:16 PM »

Question about NFP:


1) What if you don't have regular cycles that can be determined


2) At what point is contraception allowed, if ever? When pregnancy can lead to the death of the mother? When the child would be brought into a world where it could not be cared for or that the parents couldn't provide for?

I guess my biggest issue is how do you take the awesome responsibility that comes with having a child if you cannot physically afford to provide for its basic needs? For the record, I agree with OzGeorge that NFP is still birth control, just a natural form of it rather than an artificial one.

I'm just asking, not trying to fight or advocate for either side.

-Nick
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« Reply #77 on: December 24, 2009, 01:43:08 PM »

For the record, I agree with OzGeorge that NFP is still birth control, just a natural form of it rather than an artificial one.

I would actually argue that NFP is only "natural" in that it doesn't use synthetic materials; otherwise, there is nothing "natural" about planning when a couple is going to have marital-type relations based on the woman's cycle (for the most part).
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« Reply #78 on: December 24, 2009, 02:44:26 PM »

For the record, I agree with OzGeorge that NFP is still birth control, just a natural form of it rather than an artificial one.

I would actually argue that NFP is only "natural" in that it doesn't use synthetic materials; otherwise, there is nothing "natural" about planning when a couple is going to have marital-type relations based on the woman's cycle (for the most part).

Thanks for clarifying my point Fr. George, I meant natural as in no synthetic materials.

-Nick
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« Reply #79 on: December 24, 2009, 04:21:04 PM »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand, this is all to say that sex must be open to the possibility of life, and that is the standard to be lived by. That is why contraception, NFP, and homosexual sex are all wrong.

If a couple isn't having sex with the possibility of pregnancy completely open (unlike with NFP, where the possibility is low or nil), they should abstain. But playing the calendar game closes off the possibility for conception just as much as using synthetic means, so it's essentially the same thing. Am I understanding this right?
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« Reply #80 on: December 24, 2009, 04:27:56 PM »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand, this is all to say that sex must be open to the possibility of life, and that is the standard to be lived by. That is why contraception, NFP, and homosexual sex are all wrong.

If a couple isn't having sex with the possibility of pregnancy completely open (unlike with NFP, where the possibility is low or nil), they should abstain. But playing the calendar game closes off the possibility for conception just as much as using synthetic means, so it's essentially the same thing. Am I understanding this right?
The Vatican would say no, you are not understanding right. Which is part of our disagreement.

Btw, unless you have sex when conception is optimal, no sex (at least vaginal) is going to be completely open to pregnancy.
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« Reply #81 on: December 24, 2009, 05:07:12 PM »

I certainly don't mind that this post was moved, but I am curious why it was moved? Is it because I'm Catholic? I thought NFP and ABC were issues Catholic and Orthodox alike shared an interest in. Fr. Ambrose himself is a supporter of NFP is he not?

NFP is OK but it is really a dead duck in the water.  People are just not interested in using it.    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reported a few years back that they estimate that only between 2% and 3% of childbearing Catholic couples use  it.  The remaining 97% use methods of contraception forbidden by their  Church and seen as gravely sinful. 

So I would say, being very pragmatic, that if the Vatican with its very sophisticated educational techniques on family planning cannot persuade more than 3% of its married couples to use NFP you won't find too many Orthodox using it.

-oOo-

Source :: Theresa Notare, the Assistant Director of the Diocesan Development Program for NFP and secretariat for pro-life activities for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/features/prolife/article_05.asp

"You can probably guess-timate that 2 or 3 percent of Catholic women use it [Natural Family Planning]," says Theresa Notare, assistant director of the Diocesan Development Program for NFP and secretariat for pro-life activities for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)."



Father, my wife and I were using NFP and our timing was obviously off... because we are now expecting a baby boy next month.  laugh

But we are thrilled to be having a baby boy and we felt good using NFP, even if it didn't prevent pregnancy we both felt that we were open to it even if we were using the wisdom God has given us to 'avoid' it's possibility without 'completely' frustrating it.
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« Reply #82 on: December 24, 2009, 05:09:48 PM »

^Congratulations!
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« Reply #83 on: December 25, 2009, 01:41:33 PM »

Why can't you just admit you are practising birth control (and not very effective birth control).

Perhaps that is precisely why it is permissible.  Wink

(it doesn't thwart God's will too much)  Grin


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« Reply #84 on: December 25, 2009, 01:51:58 PM »

The facts are crossing fingers has nothing to do with reality. What does matter is God has built into humans natural cycles which allow and prevent the conception of life at certain times. We also know that not everyone can or should have children non-stop every nine months. So we have a choice, either use God's own built in cycles for regulating births or we can circumvent God's design all together and use artificial birth control whenever you feel like it.

Do you realize how ridiculous and convoluted your arguments sound?

It's ok to use NFP to prevent pregnancy because the couple has to suffer and "sacrifice" (in other words, go through enough pain) in order to practice it, and that God built into humanity a natural schedule during which time it's ok to practice a form contraception.

What if I had to walk 5 miles (sacrifice and suffering) to the nearest drug store to pick up a pack of condoms and if I could only afford them when I get paid once a month (a schedule). Would that suffice to fulfill my moral obligations?


Yours in Christ
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« Reply #85 on: December 26, 2009, 11:30:23 AM »

The facts are crossing fingers has nothing to do with reality. What does matter is God has built into humans natural cycles which allow and prevent the conception of life at certain times. We also know that not everyone can or should have children non-stop every nine months. So we have a choice, either use God's own built in cycles for regulating births or we can circumvent God's design all together and use artificial birth control whenever you feel like it.

Do you realize how ridiculous and convoluted your arguments sound?

It's ok to use NFP to prevent pregnancy because the couple has to suffer and "sacrifice" (in other words, go through enough pain) in order to practice it, and that God built into humanity a natural schedule during which time it's ok to practice a form contraception.

What if I had to walk 5 miles (sacrifice and suffering) to the nearest drug store to pick up a pack of condoms and if I could only afford them when I get paid once a month (a schedule). Would that suffice to fulfill my moral obligations?


Yours in Christ
Joe

Well, no. I guess I didn't realize how "ridiculous and convoluted [my] arguments sound[ed]." But considering you seem to be missing the point, they must be at the very least confusing.

Having to go up to the store and buy condoms because you ran out is certainly much different than not being able to do anything but abstain from marital relations because your wife's ovulating. I think you could agree with that, right?

Here's why I think the two are different.
1) I could just plan better and would have no need to brave the elements to go to the store.
2) A condom is a man made invention.
3) A condom prevents conception even when a woman is ovulating which is precisely the only time she can get pregnant.
4) When a woman is ovulating is the time she is most likely to desire sexual relations.
5) Waiting because I don't have money or have to walk to the store is entirely within my own hands.
6) Waiting because my wife is ovulating is entirely within God's hands. I can choose not to have relations, but I cannot chose not to get her pregnant.
7) A woman's natural cycle is God's invention.

To summarize my view point...
A) It is not simply the sacrifice that makes NFP ok. It is because the sacrifice is submitting to God's own natural plan. Running out of condoms is certainly not that kind of "sacrifice"--I would argue that it is not sacrificial at all.
B) NFP is not supposed to be used as a form of contraception anyway. It may be used to space births and may be used to avoid pregnancy for grave reasons, but it may not be used simply to have sex without the consequences of conceiving a child for selfish or petty reasons.

I hope that clarifies my arguments some. If not, please let me know and I will try to clarify further. Even if you don't agree with my arguments, I'd still like for you to understand my arguments.
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« Reply #86 on: December 26, 2009, 11:59:39 AM »

The facts are crossing fingers has nothing to do with reality. What does matter is God has built into humans natural cycles which allow and prevent the conception of life at certain times. We also know that not everyone can or should have children non-stop every nine months. So we have a choice, either use God's own built in cycles for regulating births or we can circumvent God's design all together and use artificial birth control whenever you feel like it.

Do you realize how ridiculous and convoluted your arguments sound?

It's ok to use NFP to prevent pregnancy because the couple has to suffer and "sacrifice" (in other words, go through enough pain) in order to practice it, and that God built into humanity a natural schedule during which time it's ok to practice a form contraception.

What if I had to walk 5 miles (sacrifice and suffering) to the nearest drug store to pick up a pack of condoms and if I could only afford them when I get paid once a month (a schedule). Would that suffice to fulfill my moral obligations?


Yours in Christ
Joe

I think it's a bit dramatic to say not having sex is "suffering". If it is, then I'd say it's well on the way to being a passion, IMHO. The point of all this is not to inflict suffering on ourselves, but to free ourselves from the need to have sex for non-procreative reasons. That's not to say sex is bad, but the need to have it just to be happy is bad.
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« Reply #87 on: December 26, 2009, 12:05:43 PM »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand, this is all to say that sex must be open to the possibility of life, and that is the standard to be lived by. That is why contraception, NFP, and homosexual sex are all wrong.

If a couple isn't having sex with the possibility of pregnancy completely open (unlike with NFP, where the possibility is low or nil), they should abstain. But playing the calendar game closes off the possibility for conception just as much as using synthetic means, so it's essentially the same thing. Am I understanding this right?
The Vatican would say no, you are not understanding right. Which is part of our disagreement.

Btw, unless you have sex when conception is optimal, no sex (at least vaginal) is going to be completely open to pregnancy.

Granted. I was merely speaking generally. I suppose the intention comes into play - if you're doing timing sex with the intention of avoiding pregnancy, I would say it's wrong. Same with synthetic means of birth control - they aren't wrong because they're synthetic, but because they're used with the intention of avoiding pregnancy.
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« Reply #88 on: December 26, 2009, 02:00:25 PM »

I don't want to seem like I'm piling on here, but I did want to add an additional 2 cents on something. I'm not an expert on these issues, but from what I have read, the Fathers did not make distinctions such as artificial versus natural, passive versus active, etc. For the Fathers who spoke on the subject, when they mentioned natural birth control methods (e.g. the rhythm method), they condemned them.

All Fathers who spoke on the subject seemed to feel that they had to justify sexual relations--you couldn't just have them for the sake of having them, or just for pleasure. Not all Fathers limited the justification to procreation, of course. A fair amount mentioned Paul's reasoning of having sexual relations to help avoid lust, for example. But for all that I've seen, the Fathers who spoke on the subject considered it improper (and some would have even said sinful) to have sex while knowing that the wife could not get pregnant.

This is not to say that people always listened to the Fathers, especially the more rigorous Fathers, on such matters. Both Sts. Jerome and Augustine (and perhaps others) mentioned how their views were not well received. And as I said earlier in the thread, I disagree with them as well. But if you want to strictly (some would use the word faithfully) follow the Fathers, I think you'd need to avoid all methods (including natural ones) that would allow a couple to have sexual relations while having taken steps to descrease the chances of conception. In essence, the Fathers seem to have taught that you are supposed to trust God in this matter.
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« Reply #89 on: December 26, 2009, 04:30:04 PM »

I don't want to seem like I'm piling on here, but I did want to add an additional 2 cents on something. I'm not an expert on these issues, but from what I have read, the Fathers did not make distinctions such as artificial versus natural, passive versus active, etc. For the Fathers who spoke on the subject, when they mentioned natural birth control methods (e.g. the rhythm method), they condemned them.

All Fathers who spoke on the subject seemed to feel that they had to justify sexual relations--you couldn't just have them for the sake of having them, or just for pleasure. Not all Fathers limited the justification to procreation, of course. A fair amount mentioned Paul's reasoning of having sexual relations to help avoid lust, for example. But for all that I've seen, the Fathers who spoke on the subject considered it improper (and some would have even said sinful) to have sex while knowing that the wife could not get pregnant.

This is not to say that people always listened to the Fathers, especially the more rigorous Fathers, on such matters. Both Sts. Jerome and Augustine (and perhaps others) mentioned how their views were not well received. And as I said earlier in the thread, I disagree with them as well. But if you want to strictly (some would use the word faithfully) follow the Fathers, I think you'd need to avoid all methods (including natural ones) that would allow a couple to have sexual relations while having taken steps to descrease the chances of conception. In essence, the Fathers seem to have taught that you are supposed to trust God in this matter.

Asteriktos,
I think these are great points. There a number of fathers who specifically use words like "seed" and "poisons" and such. There are less, as far as I know, who say things such as Clement: "To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature" (The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2 [A.D. 191]).

As a Catholic, the teaching of the Church is good enough for me. But to try to answer you question, some have said on this board that the ancient understanding was that each male emission contained human life. We know now that this is not true, but if this is indeed what the father's thought (from a scientific standpoint) then what they say makes sense.
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