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Author Topic: The Catholic Route to Birth Control  (Read 27467 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: September 10, 2010, 12:25:39 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.
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« Reply #46 on: September 10, 2010, 12:29:29 PM »

I suppose that it would be possible for the teaching to be modified somewhat. Of course, the low birthrates in European Catholic (and Orthodox) countries contrasts rather sharply with the high birthrates among Muslims. A Muslim family in our nieghborhood has six young children already, and the wife is expecting another soon.
To me, this is a huge reason why Catholics, Orthodox, and any other Christian groups should not be using contraception. When I was studying to become Catholic in 2006 and in the beginning of 2007, I remember being taught that it was the Church's teaching on the immorality of abortion and contraception that allowed Christianity to flourish so much early on. The Pagans practiced contraception and abortion whereas the Christians tended to have large families and procreate way more, so we quite literally outnumbered them because of our openness to life and our proper understanding of Holy Matrimony.

That's a nice apocryphal story, but old pagan Romans were duty bound to produce lots of children before the birth of Christ and assuredly afterwards.  Those who did not were often seen as not contributing to society.

I hardly think it is a nice apocryphal story whenever a few posts back it was mentioned that we are seeing the exact same thing happen with the growth of Islam. Muslims have more babies, ergo there are more and more Muslims. Was contraception and abortion allowed amongst Pagans or wasn't it? If it was, then it only makes sense that Christianity ended up being dominant since we were out there procreating and not terminating pregnancies.
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« Reply #47 on: September 10, 2010, 01:38:38 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.
You mean like the Vatican's anti-patristic stance of differentiating ABC from NFP, so called?
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« Reply #48 on: September 10, 2010, 01:43:50 PM »

I suppose that it would be possible for the teaching to be modified somewhat. Of course, the low birthrates in European Catholic (and Orthodox) countries contrasts rather sharply with the high birthrates among Muslims. A Muslim family in our nieghborhood has six young children already, and the wife is expecting another soon.
To me, this is a huge reason why Catholics, Orthodox, and any other Christian groups should not be using contraception. When I was studying to become Catholic in 2006 and in the beginning of 2007, I remember being taught that it was the Church's teaching on the immorality of abortion and contraception that allowed Christianity to flourish so much early on. The Pagans practiced contraception and abortion whereas the Christians tended to have large families and procreate way more, so we quite literally outnumbered them because of our openness to life and our proper understanding of Holy Matrimony.

That's a nice apocryphal story, but old pagan Romans were duty bound to produce lots of children before the birth of Christ and assuredly afterwards.  Those who did not were often seen as not contributing to society.

I hardly think it is a nice apocryphal story whenever a few posts back it was mentioned that we are seeing the exact same thing happen with the growth of Islam. Muslims have more babies, ergo there are more and more Muslims. Was contraception and abortion allowed amongst Pagans or wasn't it? If it was, then it only makes sense that Christianity ended up being dominant since we were out there procreating and not terminating pregnancies.

Yes, contraception WAS available to the pagans because it wasn't a religious issue for them.  Having lots of children was, however, a social issue and one that was far more pressing to the average Roman (pagan) citizen.  Of course, I don't have the numbers in front me, but I would bet my last dollar that the size of your average pagan Roman citizen's family was the same as the size of the average Christian family, citizen or not. 

The difference nowadays is that there is far more social pressure for previously Christian peoples (aka Europeans and their genetic relatives in the US) to have fewer children.  The pressure put upon the Hispanic population (at least in the US) as well as the Muslim population is generally ignored.

Your syllogism contains a logical fallacy, namely that the effect of one is the cause of another.
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« Reply #49 on: September 10, 2010, 01:48:06 PM »

I suppose that it would be possible for the teaching to be modified somewhat. Of course, the low birthrates in European Catholic (and Orthodox) countries contrasts rather sharply with the high birthrates among Muslims. A Muslim family in our nieghborhood has six young children already, and the wife is expecting another soon.
To me, this is a huge reason why Catholics, Orthodox, and any other Christian groups should not be using contraception. When I was studying to become Catholic in 2006 and in the beginning of 2007, I remember being taught that it was the Church's teaching on the immorality of abortion and contraception that allowed Christianity to flourish so much early on. The Pagans practiced contraception and abortion whereas the Christians tended to have large families and procreate way more, so we quite literally outnumbered them because of our openness to life and our proper understanding of Holy Matrimony.

That's a nice apocryphal story, but old pagan Romans were duty bound to produce lots of children before the birth of Christ and assuredly afterwards.  Those who did not were often seen as not contributing to society.

I hardly think it is a nice apocryphal story whenever a few posts back it was mentioned that we are seeing the exact same thing happen with the growth of Islam. Muslims have more babies, ergo there are more and more Muslims. Was contraception and abortion allowed amongst Pagans or wasn't it? If it was, then it only makes sense that Christianity ended up being dominant since we were out there procreating and not terminating pregnancies.
You are familiar with the term "false analogy," no? "Apples and Oranges?"....

The Muslims for their part blame the decrease in Christians, then and now, on Christian monasticism, monogamy and the ban on divorce and polygamy.  The Mormons claim they have revived early Christian practice of polygamy, and they also have grandios growth curves.

The Chinese are allowed, indeed mandated, to have abortions, contraception etc. And yet there are more of them than the Muslims. Btw, Muslims also have contraception and some allow abortion.

The pagans were fined and penalized for not having children, contraception/abortion or not, and rewarded for big families. St. Augustine mother St. Monica had only three children, and he only had one.

Again, some established facts to back up the supposition would be nice.
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« Reply #50 on: September 10, 2010, 05:37:55 PM »

I would rather convert the Muslims than outbreed them.
Hi Ialmisry:
    I wish you good luck in your attempt to convert Muslims to Orthodox Christianity, especially for the Muslims in countries like Saudi Arabia. BTW, I would be interested to know about any statistics available which would give the number of Muslims in Saudi Arabia who had converted to Orthodox Christianity in the last fifty years or so and who did not subsequently have their head chopped off.
The martyrs don't count?

You are right again, the martyrs do count. I don't know how many there were who had converted from Islam to  Christianity and were then beheaded? As you know, in Saudi Arabia, a Muslim who converts to another religion is subject to the death penalty. In Nigeria, Rev. Father Clement Ozi Bello, a young former Muslim who had converted to  and been ordained an RC priest, was tied up, had his eyes gouged out, and was then dragged through the street until he died.
I wish you every success, but I suspect that this idea of yours to convert Muslims to Orthodox Christianity might prove to be a precarious enterprise  in some cases.
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« Reply #51 on: September 10, 2010, 05:42:19 PM »

The Chinese are allowed, indeed mandated, to have abortions, contraception etc. And yet there are more of them than the Muslims.
China now has a one child per one family policy, whereas Muslims do not.
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« Reply #52 on: September 10, 2010, 05:50:24 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.
You mean like the Vatican's anti-patristic stance of differentiating ABC from NFP, so called?

There's a very important difference between the two.  It is ignored by all detractors.

M.
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« Reply #53 on: September 10, 2010, 05:55:57 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.
You mean like the Vatican's anti-patristic stance of differentiating ABC from NFP, so called?

There's a very important difference between the two.  It is ignored by all detractors.

M.
Like St. Jerome et alia?
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« Reply #54 on: September 10, 2010, 06:55:37 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.
You mean like the Vatican's anti-patristic stance of differentiating ABC from NFP, so called?

There's a very important difference between the two.  It is ignored by all detractors.

M.
Like St. Jerome et alia?

Don't claim St. Jerome as the authority on this issue unless you actually follow what he says. That wouldn't be very honest, would it?  Smiley
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« Reply #55 on: September 10, 2010, 07:51:52 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.
You mean like the Vatican's anti-patristic stance of differentiating ABC from NFP, so called?

There's a very important difference between the two.  It is ignored by all detractors.

M.
Like St. Jerome et alia?

Don't claim St. Jerome as the authority on this issue unless you actually follow what he says. That wouldn't be very honest, would it?  Smiley
I don't claim St. Jerome as the authority on sexual morality (God forbid!), but the apologists for Humanae Vitae claim him.  Honestly requires I cite those Fathers upon which they depend (as HV doesn't cite patristics. It can't).  Since I do not follow HV  (at least in particulars), those who follow HV  are bound to follow him, not I. I'm just citing the record.
Quote
"But I wonder why he [the heretic Jovinianus] set Judah and Tamar before us for an example, unless perchance even harlots give him pleasure; or Onan, who was slain because he grudged his brother seed. Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children?" Jerome, Against Jovinian 1:19 (A.D. 393).
http://www.catholic.com/library/Contraception_and_Sterilization.asp

That square peg cannot be put in this round hole (HV):
Quote
If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained.

Some see this problem:
Quote
It should be noted that some of the Church Fathers use language that can suggest to modern ears that there is no unitive.aspect to marital intercourse and that there is only a procreative.aspect. It is unclear whether this is what some of them actually thought or whether they are intending simply to stress that sexual activity becomes immoral if the procreative.aspect of a given marital act is deliberately frustrated. However that may be, over the course of time the Church has called greater attention to the unitive.aspect of marital intercourse, yet it remains true that the procreative.aspect of each particular marital act must not be frustrated.
It is quite clear. Jerome harps on it "all sexual intercourse is unclean." They just want to read the distinction of HV (like the distinction between oral sex and "orally consumated sex." There authorities outside of HV and the morally based on it make no such distinction) into their sources.  Sort of wanting their cake and eating it too.
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« Reply #56 on: September 10, 2010, 09:25:12 PM »

Birth Control is slowly but surely gaining acceptance in the Roman Catholic Church.  As of yet the latest changes have no sanction from the Vatican but the words of Pope Paul VI in Message 22 allow for the possibility of future change to the teaching in his Encyclical.

Not true.

The contention that change is inexorably underway is the  major point of the article under discussion.   So you probably need to do more than  simply make an unsupported negative assertion.


Yes and by the same token from the dissenters we'll be ordaining women soon too. 

This is the use of a crude scare tactic which I am surpised to see from a person of your education.   Embarrassed
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« Reply #57 on: September 10, 2010, 09:31:23 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.

My position on birth control is not *mine* but that of my bishops.   In the particular case of my own Church, the Russian Church, that position is given here

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25368.msg397242.html#msg397242


You are trying to take this thread away from its topic - which is the article mentioned in the OP which speaks of the increasing acceptance of birth control in the Catholic Church.
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« Reply #58 on: September 11, 2010, 04:11:09 AM »

Birth Control is slowly but surely gaining acceptance in the Roman Catholic Church.  As of yet the latest changes have no sanction from the Vatican but the words of Pope Paul VI in Message 22 allow for the possibility of future change to the teaching in his Encyclical.

Not true.

The contention that change is inexorably underway is the  major point of the article under discussion.   So you probably need to do more than  simply make an unsupported negative assertion.


Yes and by the same token from the dissenters we'll be ordaining women soon too. 

This is the use of a crude scare tactic which I am surpised to see from a person of your education.   Embarrassed

Scare tactic?  To recognize dissenters in the Church?

Ok
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« Reply #59 on: September 11, 2010, 03:09:45 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.

My position on birth control is not *mine* but that of my bishops.   In the particular case of my own Church, the Russian Church, that position is given here

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25368.msg397242.html#msg397242


You are trying to take this thread away from its topic - which is the article mentioned in the OP which speaks of the increasing acceptance of birth control in the Catholic Church.

And it is a weak position. Fr, do you acknowledge that the EO Church no longer believes what the Fathers believed about birth control?
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« Reply #60 on: September 11, 2010, 03:17:06 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.

My position on birth control is not *mine* but that of my bishops.   In the particular case of my own Church, the Russian Church, that position is given here

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25368.msg397242.html#msg397242


You are trying to take this thread away from its topic - which is the article mentioned in the OP which speaks of the increasing acceptance of birth control in the Catholic Church.

And it is a weak position. Fr, do you acknowledge that the EO Church no longer believes what the Fathers believed about birth control?

To them, if the Fathers don't explicitly say it then it isn't true. Kind of reminds one of sola scriptura, doesn't it?
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« Reply #61 on: September 11, 2010, 03:19:38 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.

My position on birth control is not *mine* but that of my bishops.   In the particular case of my own Church, the Russian Church, that position is given here

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25368.msg397242.html#msg397242


You are trying to take this thread away from its topic - which is the article mentioned in the OP which speaks of the increasing acceptance of birth control in the Catholic Church.

And it is a weak position. Fr, do you acknowledge that the EO Church no longer believes what the Fathers believed about birth control?

To them, if the Fathers don't explicitly say it then it isn't true. Kind of reminds one of sola scriptura, doesn't it?
Very much so.
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« Reply #62 on: September 11, 2010, 08:31:28 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.

My position on birth control is not *mine* but that of my bishops.   In the particular case of my own Church, the Russian Church, that position is given here

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25368.msg397242.html#msg397242


You are trying to take this thread away from its topic - which is the article mentioned in the OP which speaks of the increasing acceptance of birth control in the Catholic Church.

And it is a weak position. Fr, do you acknowledge that the EO Church no longer believes what the Fathers believed about birth control?

To them, if the Fathers don't explicitly say it then it isn't true. Kind of reminds one of sola scriptura, doesn't it?
Very much so.
If by Fathers you mean St. Jerome, no: the Orthodoxy have never believed, in two thousand years that "all sexual intercourse is unclean," that "the blood of martyrdom does not wash away matrimony," nor "we do not accept intercourse except for reproduction," the last one, of course, where the Vatican penitentiary and Humanae Vitae no longer believer what St. Jerome believed about birth control, as he is explicitely against NFP (so called) as well.
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« Reply #63 on: September 11, 2010, 08:58:59 PM »

Birth Control is slowly but surely gaining acceptance in the Roman Catholic Church.  As of yet the latest changes have no sanction from the Vatican but the words of Pope Paul VI in Message 22 allow for the possibility of future change to the teaching in his Encyclical.

Not true.

The contention that change is inexorably underway is the  major point of the article under discussion.   So you probably need to do more than  simply make an unsupported negative assertion.


Yes and by the same token from the dissenters we'll be ordaining women soon too. 

This is the use of a crude scare tactic which I am surpised to see from a person of your education.   Embarrassed

Scare tactic?  To recognize dissenters in the Church?

Ok

It is a scare tactic, and a very transparent one, to pretend that the acceptance of contraception leads to women priests!    I am now even more surprised that you do not perceive the glaring fallacy in your argument.
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« Reply #64 on: September 11, 2010, 09:10:51 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.

My position on birth control is not *mine* but that of my bishops.   In the particular case of my own Church, the Russian Church, that position is given here

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25368.msg397242.html#msg397242


You are trying to take this thread away from its topic - which is the article mentioned in the OP which speaks of the increasing acceptance of birth control in the Catholic Church.

And it is a weak position. Fr, do you acknowledge that the EO Church no longer believes what the Fathers believed about birth control?

We actually do not have enough from the Holy Fathers to form a solid consensus of teaching, but what we do have shows us that the Fathers disapproved of ALL attempts at birth control.  And they would have spat in the eye of the Pope who wrote Humanae Vitae and allowed natural family planning.  What we do have from the Fathers shows us that their teaching was that all sexual activity is grossly sinful unless it is between married couples who have both

1) the intention to conceive

2) the physical possibility to conceive.

Both are Churches have chosen to overrule the Holy Fathers on this matter.   
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« Reply #65 on: September 11, 2010, 09:12:51 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.

My position on birth control is not *mine* but that of my bishops.   In the particular case of my own Church, the Russian Church, that position is given here

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25368.msg397242.html#msg397242


You are trying to take this thread away from its topic - which is the article mentioned in the OP which speaks of the increasing acceptance of birth control in the Catholic Church.

And it is a weak position. Fr, do you acknowledge that the EO Church no longer believes what the Fathers believed about birth control?

To them, if the Fathers don't explicitly say it then it isn't true. Kind of reminds one of sola scriptura, doesn't it?

If you wish to treat the Holy Fathers as sola scriptura then you'd better throw natural family planning away pronto.

There is not one quote from the Fathers in Paul VI's Humanae Vitae.  Why?  Becase there is not one Father who agrees with his teaching.
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« Reply #66 on: September 11, 2010, 09:16:55 PM »

Hmm ... so if the EO Church no longer follows the consensus of the Church Fathers on this issue, does that mean it allows for "development of doctrine"? Wink
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« Reply #67 on: September 11, 2010, 09:21:13 PM »


And it is a weak position. Fr, do you acknowledge that the EO Church no longer believes what the Fathers believed about birth control?

We actually do not have enough from the Holy Fathers to form a solid consensus of teaching.

The Roman Catholics prove this.

If you go to sites such as CAF and their articles against contraception they will have a small quote mine of quotes from the Fathers.   BUT, when you look at them, you realise that they are not in fact about birth control at all!  Give it a try.
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« Reply #68 on: September 11, 2010, 09:24:25 PM »

Hmm ... so if the EO Church no longer follows the consensus of the Church Fathers on this issue, does that mean it allows for "development of doctrine"? Wink

As I have pointed out, there is not in fact a consensus of the Fathers on this point since what we have from them is so sparse.  And to prove this one only has to examine the Roman Catholic sites on contraception and the quotes they offer.

In some matters also, both our Churches have abandoned the teaching of the Fathers - slavery and usury come to mind.
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« Reply #69 on: September 11, 2010, 10:11:04 PM »

I'm glad about the end of slavery, of course, but with interest rates on credit cards upwards of 29%, maybe we ought to take another look at the prohibitions of usury!! Grin
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« Reply #70 on: September 11, 2010, 10:38:56 PM »


You aren't even a Catholic, so not sure why you feel like you have a dog in this fight.
Fr. A likes to do everything in his power to try and make the Catolics look bad so he can try and bolster his own weak position on birth control.

My position on birth control is not *mine* but that of my bishops.   In the particular case of my own Church, the Russian Church, that position is given here

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25368.msg397242.html#msg397242


You are trying to take this thread away from its topic - which is the article mentioned in the OP which speaks of the increasing acceptance of birth control in the Catholic Church.

And it is a weak position. Fr, do you acknowledge that the EO Church no longer believes what the Fathers believed about birth control?

We actually do not have enough from the Holy Fathers to form a solid consensus of teaching, but what we do have shows us that the Fathers disapproved of ALL attempts at birth control.  And they would have spat in the eye of the Pope who wrote Humanae Vitae and allowed natural family planning.  What we do have from the Fathers shows us that their teaching was that all sexual activity is grossly sinful unless it is between married couples who have both

1) the intention to conceive

2) the physical possibility to conceive.

Both are Churches have chosen to overrule the Holy Fathers on this matter.   

As you say, Father, I do not think there is much of a consensus to overrule on the matter. What there is doesn't fit well with the marriage rite, except with some things from St. John Chrysostom, and even a few things from St. Augustine (there is a lovely passage where he argues against the idea that the conjugal relation is unclean).  The real problem is that we do not have much from a married father (St. Augustine and even more so St. Gregory of Nyssa. I don't know if anything survives of St. Gregory Nazianzus the Elder). No offense, Father, but most things I have read by monks on married life make me laugh. Most nuns, however, are on the mark on it.
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« Reply #71 on: September 12, 2010, 09:03:32 AM »

I was speaking with a Catholic priest earlier this evening.  A Catholic woman needs a dispensation from her bishop to marry in the Orthodox Church.  The inevitable topics came up - what will the children be baptized?  And he enquired about how we see birth control.  I offered him a brief outline. The he spoke of birth control for the couples of his parish.  He says it is probably used by 100% of them  He also said that there is no attempt to hinder them from communion or from being on the parish council, the school Board of Trustees, etc.  I had the distinct impression that Humanae Vitae doesn't exist for him.
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« Reply #72 on: September 12, 2010, 09:13:58 AM »

I suppose that it would be possible for the teaching to be modified somewhat. Of course, the low birthrates in European Catholic (and Orthodox) countries contrasts rather sharply with the high birthrates among Muslims. A Muslim family in our nieghborhood has six young children already, and the wife is expecting another soon.
To me, this is a huge reason why Catholics, Orthodox, and any other Christian groups should not be using contraception. When I was studying to become Catholic in 2006 and in the beginning of 2007, I remember being taught that it was the Church's teaching on the immorality of abortion and contraception that allowed Christianity to flourish so much early on. The Pagans practiced contraception and abortion whereas the Christians tended to have large families and procreate way more, so we quite literally outnumbered them because of our openness to life and our proper understanding of Holy Matrimony.

That's a nice apocryphal story, but old pagan Romans were duty bound to produce lots of children before the birth of Christ and assuredly afterwards.  Those who did not were often seen as not contributing to society.

I hardly think it is a nice apocryphal story whenever a few posts back it was mentioned that we are seeing the exact same thing happen with the growth of Islam. Muslims have more babies, ergo there are more and more Muslims. Was contraception and abortion allowed amongst Pagans or wasn't it? If it was, then it only makes sense that Christianity ended up being dominant since we were out there procreating and not terminating pregnancies.

Yes, contraception WAS available to the pagans because it wasn't a religious issue for them.  Having lots of children was, however, a social issue and one that was far more pressing to the average Roman (pagan) citizen.  Of course, I don't have the numbers in front me, but I would bet my last dollar that the size of your average pagan Roman citizen's family was the same as the size of the average Christian family, citizen or not. 
I was just thinking of the example of the Roman emperors, the pagan ones. It seems that they were constantly having problems producing heirs who lived to maturity, when everything was at stake. One thing was that many were military men (how they got the throne) away from their wives a lot. It seems that once the emperors became Christian, they had the same problems.

On family size, the VERY Christian family of Gregory Nazianzus only had three children.  They are also interesting in that all three evidently, and the last one definitely, were conceived after the father, Gregory the Elder, was consecrated a bishop. Imperfect continence as it were. I've heard it said many times that the "fact" that no children were born after a father's ordination as a basis of disregarding the married popes (starting with St. Jerome on St. Peter), bishops, priests, etc. in the argument over mandated clerical celibacy.  Some try to get around St. Gregory by moving his birth a few years earlier, but his brother Caesarea most definitely born after. Even the "Catholic Encyclopedia" admits the "two sons, who seem to have been born between the dates of their father's priestly ordination and episcopal consecration." Even enough to bring to nought the "perfect continence" argument. What I haven't seen on that score, btw, is an explanation on how they allow deacons to have normal relations with their wives.
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« Reply #73 on: September 12, 2010, 10:15:06 AM »

Hmm ... so if the EO Church no longer follows the consensus of the Church Fathers on this issue, does that mean it allows for "development of doctrine"? Wink

As I have pointed out, there is not in fact a consensus of the Fathers on this point since what we have from them is so sparse.  And to prove this one only has to examine the Roman Catholic sites on contraception and the quotes they offer.

In some matters also, both our Churches have abandoned the teaching of the Fathers - slavery and usury come to mind.

What is really sparse are fathers who affirm the unitive aspect of marriage.  There is a great deal in fact on the procreative aspect of marriage and the evils of any anti-procreative activity.

Mary
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« Reply #74 on: September 12, 2010, 10:15:34 AM »

 laugh  How wonderfully predictable.



And it is a weak position. Fr, do you acknowledge that the EO Church no longer believes what the Fathers believed about birth control?

We actually do not have enough from the Holy Fathers to form a solid consensus of teaching.

The Roman Catholics prove this.

If you go to sites such as CAF and their articles against contraception they will have a small quote mine of quotes from the Fathers.   BUT, when you look at them, you realise that they are not in fact about birth control at all!  Give it a try.
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« Reply #75 on: September 12, 2010, 11:17:57 AM »

I was speaking with a Catholic priest earlier this evening.  A Catholic woman needs a dispensation from her bishop to marry in the Orthodox Church.  The inevitable topics came up - what will the children be baptized?  And he enquired about how we see birth control.  I offered him a brief outline. The he spoke of birth control for the couples of his parish.  He says it is probably used by 100% of them  He also said that there is no attempt to hinder them from communion or from being on the parish council, the school Board of Trustees, etc.  I had the distinct impression that Humanae Vitae doesn't exist for him.

That is a real shame. While it is difficult to determine whether everyone in the congregation is worthy to receive the Holy Eucharist, if nothing else if the priest suspects that many in his congregation are ignorant of the Catholic teaching on contraception he has a moral obligation to preach on it. The lukewarmness of some (or even many) doesn't negate the teaching.

laugh  How wonderfully predictable.



And it is a weak position. Fr, do you acknowledge that the EO Church no longer believes what the Fathers believed about birth control?

We actually do not have enough from the Holy Fathers to form a solid consensus of teaching.

The Roman Catholics prove this.

If you go to sites such as CAF and their articles against contraception they will have a small quote mine of quotes from the Fathers.   BUT, when you look at them, you realise that they are not in fact about birth control at all!  Give it a try.

I find it funny that when the Catholic Church teaches something not explicitly taught by the Fathers that we are heretical, but it is completely acceptable for the Orthodox to do so apparently (as in the case of birth control). I am curious about something. Whenever there is not a clear consensus on a teaching by the Fathers, how does an Orthodox Christian know what to believe? As a Catholic, it is easy for me because I look to the teaching authority of my Church, the Magisterium. Orthodoxy has no Magisterium, however, so how are issues like this dealt with in Orthodoxy? Is everyone just allowed to have their own opinion on it if there isn't patristic consensus?
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« Reply #76 on: September 12, 2010, 11:39:42 AM »

What is really sparse are fathers who affirm the unitive aspect of marriage.  There is a great deal in fact on the procreative aspect of marriage and the evils of any anti-procreative activity.[/size


The Holy Fathers whose thoughts we have hold this teaching unanimously, that sex without the intent to conceive and the possibility to conceive is gravely sinful.

But amongst them there is one dissenting voice, that of Saint John Chrysostom:

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

Now the odd thing is that if we adhere to the Catholic logic being advanced in this thread we would have to discount what Saint John Chrysostom says because he is contrary to the consensus teaching.


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« Reply #77 on: September 12, 2010, 11:40:36 AM »

And how absolutely true!


laugh  How wonderfully predictable.



And it is a weak position. Fr, do you acknowledge that the EO Church no longer believes what the Fathers believed about birth control?

We actually do not have enough from the Holy Fathers to form a solid consensus of teaching.

The Roman Catholics prove this.

If you go to sites such as CAF and their articles against contraception they will have a small quote mine of quotes from the Fathers.   BUT, when you look at them, you realise that they are not in fact about birth control at all!  Give it a try.
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« Reply #78 on: September 12, 2010, 11:43:40 AM »

I was speaking with a Catholic priest earlier this evening.  A Catholic woman needs a dispensation from her bishop to marry in the Orthodox Church.  The inevitable topics came up - what will the children be baptized?  And he enquired about how we see birth control.  I offered him a brief outline. The he spoke of birth control for the couples of his parish.  He says it is probably used by 100% of them  He also said that there is no attempt to hinder them from communion or from being on the parish council, the school Board of Trustees, etc.  I had the distinct impression that Humanae Vitae doesn't exist for him.

That is a real shame. While it is difficult to determine whether everyone in the congregation is worthy to receive the Holy Eucharist, if nothing else if the priest suspects that many in his congregation are ignorant of the Catholic teaching on contraception he has a moral obligation to preach on it. The lukewarmness of some (or even many) doesn't negate the teaching.


I do not know the level of education in your part of the world, but in this country it is not a matter of being ignorant of the Vatican teaching.  It is a matter of rejectng it.  The rejection is allowed by Catholic priests.
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« Reply #79 on: September 12, 2010, 12:05:41 PM »

What is really sparse are fathers who affirm the unitive aspect of marriage.  There is a great deal in fact on the procreative aspect of marriage and the evils of any anti-procreative activity.[/size


The Holy Fathers whose thoughts we have hold this teaching unanimously, that sex without the intent to conceive and the possibility to conceive is gravely sinful.

But amongst them there is one dissenting voice, that of Saint John Chrysostom:

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

Now the odd thing is that if we adhere to the Catholic logic being advanced in this thread we would have to discount what Saint John Chrysostom says because he is contrary to the consensus teaching.

Oh my.  That doesn't hold at all Father.

But the preponderance of evidence from the patristic era still places the greater emphasis on childbearing and child rearing and openness to life.

Any Catholic who uses NFP to absolutely close off the opportunity for life is in a sinful state.

The difference between condoms and NFP is the fact that the stricture is against having intercourse UNLESS one is open to life. 

With condoms there is intercourse that is closed to life.

With NFP there is no intercourse for a time, and the couple is counseled to not use this method to do anything but space their children.  It is sinful to use this method to rule out children totally.

Now as I have mentioned to you before, an odd little twist to this is the fact that there is NO teaching in the fathers that rules out voluntary continence. 

In other words there is no consensus in the fathers that insists on conjugal sex on demand, whenever and wherever....

So NFP does satisfy the patristic witness and adds a level of discipline to a marriage that is the other side of chastity which is continence.

Artificial Birth Control has no positive value in spiritual terms, caters to sex on demand, and does not satisfy the intents and interests of the patristic witness concerning the spiritual and physical health of a Christian family.

I don't really care how you choose to cut this cake.  I think Orthodoxy lost some very important moral ground by making artificial birth control a formal moral option.  Had Orthodox hierarchs left artificial methods as a pastoral option then I expect we'd not be having this discussion at all.

My guess is that it is one of the fruits of your membership in the WCC and catering to secular pressures, and perhaps even an attempt to look less Catholic [of the Roman sort].   After all the response to Humanae Vitae was pretty scary!!

Mary
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« Reply #80 on: September 12, 2010, 03:26:35 PM »

I found this article interesting http://www.national-coalition.org/marriage/contrace.html
 
Just a few excerpts:

 "According to the Gallup Poll, the majority of Catholics disregard the Church’s traditional teaching against contraception. On September 11, 1968, less than six weeks after Pope Paul VI had issued his encyclical Humanae vitae , the poll asked those who heard or read about Pope Paul’s statement, “Do you favor or oppose his position on this matter?” Fifty-four percent of the Catholics surveyed said they opposed the Pope’s position. Moreover, 65 percent of the Catholics who were asked “Do you think it is possible to practice artificial methods of birth control and still be a good Catholic” said yes.

In another poll taken on August 11, 1993, 82 percent of Catholics said one can use artificial birth control “and still be a good Catholic.” The statement that these dissenters opposed is this: “The Church, nevertheless, in urging men to the observance of the Natural Law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches as absolutely required that in any use whatever of marriage there must be no impairment of its natural capacity to procreate human life.

In the July 16 issue of America Magazine Fr. Andrew Greely reported the results of two studies, which reveal among other things that most American priests do not support Humanae vitae. One study, which was conducted for the National Federation of Priest Councils by the Life Cycle Institute of Catholic University of America, was based on 1,186 respondents. The other, which was conducted by the Los Angeles Times, was based on 2,061 respondents. Only 25 percent of these priests disapproved of contraception.

Anyone who claims to be a Catholic but rejects the Church’s teaching can justly be compared to Judas."

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« Reply #81 on: September 12, 2010, 03:45:26 PM »

Hmm ... so if the EO Church no longer follows the consensus of the Church Fathers on this issue, does that mean it allows for "development of doctrine"? Wink

As I have pointed out, there is not in fact a consensus of the Fathers on this point since what we have from them is so sparse.  And to prove this one only has to examine the Roman Catholic sites on contraception and the quotes they offer.

In some matters also, both our Churches have abandoned the teaching of the Fathers - slavery and usury come to mind.

What is really sparse are fathers who affirm the unitive aspect of marriage.

Most of them daring to speak not being married, are you suprised? There's plenty in the marriage rite.

Quote
  There is a great deal in fact on the procreative aspect of marriage and the evils of any anti-procreative activity.
Like Humanae Vitae's NFP.
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« Reply #82 on: September 12, 2010, 04:49:30 PM »

The Holy Fathers whose thoughts we have hold this teaching unanimously, that sex without the intent to conceive and the possibility to conceive is gravely sinful.
But what about the case of a woman who because of some unforeseen medical issue was rendered sterile and unable to have children. Then she does not have the possibility to conceive. So it seems unfair to condemn this unfortunate  lady and her husband  to hell if she agrees to have relations with her husband without the possibility or intention to conceive. It is not her fault that she has this condition.
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« Reply #83 on: September 12, 2010, 04:50:54 PM »

What is really sparse are fathers who affirm the unitive aspect of marriage.  There is a great deal in fact on the procreative aspect of marriage and the evils of any anti-procreative activity.[/size


The Holy Fathers whose thoughts we have hold this teaching unanimously, that sex without the intent to conceive and the possibility to conceive is gravely sinful.

But amongst them there is one dissenting voice, that of Saint John Chrysostom:

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

Now the odd thing is that if we adhere to the Catholic logic being advanced in this thread we would have to discount what Saint John Chrysostom says because he is contrary to the consensus teaching.

Oh my.  That doesn't hold at all Father.

But the preponderance of evidence from the patristic era still places the greater emphasis on childbearing and child rearing and openness to life.
When your patristics aren't expressing their horror at the "uncleanness" of intercourse.
Any Catholic who uses NFP to absolutely close off the opportunity for life is in a sinful state.
Not to mention accomplishing a medical impossibilty.

The difference between condoms and NFP is the fact that the stricture is against having intercourse UNLESS one is open to life. 

With condoms there is intercourse that is closed to life.[/quote]
Condoms allow around four times the opening to life than NFP.

With NFP there is no intercourse for a time, and the couple is counseled to not use this method to do anything but space their children.  It is sinful to use this method to rule out children totally.
how about if only one partner rules out children. That's not totally, so they are both OK?

And since you are "wasting seed," as your patristics would say, how is that OK? Wasting seed sometimes, say 100 to every one time to procreate, violates Humanae Vitae:
Quote
Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good," it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it —in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.

Now as I have mentioned to you before, an odd little twist to this is the fact that there is NO teaching in the fathers that rules out voluntary continence.
 
You mean running off to the monastery or taking a vow of celibacy. No, there are plenty of your patristics counseling just that.  St. Paul and scripture say otherwise. I Corinthians 7:17, 20, 24, 25, 27.

In other words there is no consensus in the fathers that insists on conjugal sex on demand, whenever and wherever....
Consensus? Depends on how you define the term. St Jerome talks a all about discharging the 'marital debt' (how romantic!), and having to "give in" to the husband's advances (because good girls evidently never want it).

So NFP does satisfy the patristic witness and adds a level of discipline to a marriage that is the other side of chastity which is continence.

A hybrid of recent vintage. Your patristics approve of husband and wife living like brother and sister, but NFP would, based on their words, horrify them.

Artificial Birth Control has no positive value in spiritual terms, caters to sex on demand, and does not satisfy the intents and interests of the patristic witness concerning the spiritual and physical health of a Christian family.
So pregnancy is a punishment designed to thwart sex on demand.

I don't really care how you choose to cut this cake.  I think Orthodoxy lost some very important moral ground by making artificial birth control a formal moral option.  Had Orthodox hierarchs left artificial methods as a pastoral option then I expect we'd not be having this discussion at all.
I seem to have missed the synod which mandated birth control of any sort.  Leaving a pastoral option is how come there is little patristics on the subject.

My guess is that it is one of the fruits of your membership in the WCC and catering to secular pressures, and perhaps even an attempt to look less Catholic [of the Roman sort].   After all the response to Humanae Vitae was pretty scary!!
Yes, we worry of nothing else 24/7 day and night year round than not "looking Roman."
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« Reply #84 on: September 12, 2010, 05:01:14 PM »

The Holy Fathers whose thoughts we have hold this teaching unanimously, that sex without the intent to conceive and the possibility to conceive is gravely sinful.
But what about the case of a woman who because of some unforeseen medical issue was rendered sterile and unable to have children. Then she does not have the possibility to conceive. So it seems unfair to condemn this unfortunate  lady and her husband  to hell if she agrees to have relations with her husband without the possibility or intention to conceive. It is not her fault that she has this condition.
The Orthodox bishops, Father, our patristic guidance and myself would agree.
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« Reply #85 on: September 12, 2010, 05:12:27 PM »

I was speaking with a Catholic priest earlier this evening.  A Catholic woman needs a dispensation from her bishop to marry in the Orthodox Church.  The inevitable topics came up - what will the children be baptized?  And he enquired about how we see birth control.  I offered him a brief outline. The he spoke of birth control for the couples of his parish.  He says it is probably used by 100% of them  He also said that there is no attempt to hinder them from communion or from being on the parish council, the school Board of Trustees, etc.  I had the distinct impression that Humanae Vitae doesn't exist for him.

That is a real shame. While it is difficult to determine whether everyone in the congregation is worthy to receive the Holy Eucharist, if nothing else if the priest suspects that many in his congregation are ignorant of the Catholic teaching on contraception he has a moral obligation to preach on it. The lukewarmness of some (or even many) doesn't negate the teaching.

I was actually glad when pope John Paul II of Rome stuck to his guns and commemorated the anniversary.

laugh  How wonderfully predictable.



And it is a weak position. Fr, do you acknowledge that the EO Church no longer believes what the Fathers believed about birth control?

We actually do not have enough from the Holy Fathers to form a solid consensus of teaching.

The Roman Catholics prove this.

If you go to sites such as CAF and their articles against contraception they will have a small quote mine of quotes from the Fathers.   BUT, when you look at them, you realise that they are not in fact about birth control at all!  Give it a try.

I find it funny that when the Catholic Church teaches something not explicitly taught by the Fathers that we are heretical,

No, just when you teach something that explicitly contradicts when the Fathers taught.

but it is completely acceptable for the Orthodox to do so apparently (as in the case of birth control).
You mean we keep the Fathers' reticence on the issue?

I am curious about something. Whenever there is not a clear consensus on a teaching by the Fathers, how does an Orthodox Christian know what to believe? As a Catholic, it is easy for me because I look to the teaching authority of my Church, the Magisterium.

And how's that working for you?  A majority of the bishops, we are told, opposed the contraceptive scheme of Humanae Vitae. Well, they don't count, because the pope issued Humanae Vitae. So you are admitting that the pope=magisterium?  Otherwise, can't see your point.

Orthodoxy has no Magisterium,

Being the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, she doesn't need one.

however, so how are issues like this dealt with in Orthodoxy? Is everyone just allowed to have their own opinion on it if there isn't patristic consensus?
Since we haven't lost the Fathers' mind, that isn't a problem for us.
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« Reply #86 on: September 12, 2010, 06:24:07 PM »

Continence in marriage does not constitute "running off to join a monastery." 

An interesting point of view for anyone to take...very revealing.

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« Reply #87 on: September 12, 2010, 06:35:48 PM »

I was actually glad when pope John Paul II of Rome stuck to his guns and commemorated the anniversary.

Commemorated the anniversary of Humanae Vitae? Why would you be glad about that if you don't agree with the encyclical?

No, just when you teach something that explicitly contradicts when the Fathers taught.

But does it really contradict? St. Paul talks about abstaining from marital relations at times, doesn't he? That's what NFP involves as well: abstaining.

And how's that working for you?  A majority of the bishops, we are told, opposed the contraceptive scheme of Humanae Vitae. Well, they don't count, because the pope issued Humanae Vitae. So you are admitting that the pope=magisterium?  Otherwise, can't see your point.

It's working out great. Never been happier. It sure beats all of the Protestant confusion I came from. If the Magisterium of the Church was truly against Humanae Vitae, we would be hearing about the Catholic Church holding a council to overturn it, but that didn't happen and still hasn't happened. Once again, just a reminder, Magisterium equals the Pope and all of the Bishops, so "a majority of the bishops" opposing Humanae Vitae doesn't equate to the Magisterium denying it.

Being the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, she doesn't need one.

Correction: The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church has one. Wink

Since we haven't lost the Fathers' mind, that isn't a problem for us.

It seems that Orthodoxy no longer thinks with the mind of the Fathers. The Fathers wanted no form of contraception and for sex to be only for procreation, right? Well, Orthodoxy allows NFP and artificial contraception, correct? The Catholic Church allows only NFP and then only if the couples are using it while also being open to life. What does this mean? It means that a couple cannot use NFP with the intent to never have children. Contraception is not just a pill or a condom, contraception is also a mindset and an attitude, which is why NFP even has the potential to be sinful. When couples put their own wills and plans above God's will, that is where trouble comes in.

Now, neither the Catholic Church nor the Orthodox Church's stance on contraception look exactly like the Early Church Fathers, but ours seems to be closer since we didn't just throw in the towel and allow artificial contraception too, and only allow NFP with restrictions. What is someone irritating is that many Orthodox claim that have had no development, but the current stance on contraception amongst Eastern Orthodoxy certainly seems like a development if not a downright innovation. At least we admit that we develop.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 06:36:12 PM by Wyatt » Logged
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« Reply #88 on: September 12, 2010, 06:43:44 PM »

Continence in marriage does not constitute "running off to join a monastery." 

An interesting point of view for anyone to take...very revealing.
of me....or you?
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« Reply #89 on: September 12, 2010, 06:47:11 PM »

The Holy Fathers whose thoughts we have hold this teaching unanimously, that sex without the intent to conceive and the possibility to conceive is gravely sinful.
But what about the case of a woman who because of some unforeseen medical issue was rendered sterile and unable to have children. Then she does not have the possibility to conceive. So it seems unfair to condemn this unfortunate  lady and her husband  to hell if she agrees to have relations with her husband without the possibility or intention to conceive. It is not her fault that she has this condition.

Don't blame me!  Wink  What you have described it the teaching of the early Church Fathers. (Not sure about the hell part though.)  I keep saying that both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church have laid aside this aspect of their teaching, but Catholics are a bit frightened to look that fact in the face!

« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 06:47:44 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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