Author Topic: NPF, Contraception, St. Augustine, Catholicism, Etc.  (Read 865 times)

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Offline Justin Kissel

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NPF, Contraception, St. Augustine, Catholicism, Etc.
« on: January 20, 2012, 09:33:00 PM »
In another thread this came up. I'll admit that I've only read 3-4 books and a couple other texts that touch on contraception as it relates to the Fathers. Fwiw, here is what John T. Noonan said in his study of the issue:

"'Contraception is a term which could be applied to any behavior that prevents conception. Sexual continence is contraceptive in effect; sexual intercourse when an ovum will not be fertilized avoids procreation as much as intercourse where a physical barrier is used to prevent the meeting of spermatozoa and ovum." - John T. Noonan, Contraception: A History of Its Treatment By the Catholic Theologians and Canonists, (Harvard University Press, 1965), p. 1

"In addition to these three chemical or mechanical ways of blocking conception, there was belief in a sterile period for women... Indeed, the first of the several contraceptive measures which Soranos prescribes is avoidance of 'sexual intercourse at those periods which we said were suitable for conception' (Gynecology 1.19.61)" - John T. Noonan, Contraception: A History of Its Treatment By the Catholic Theologians and Canonists, (Harvard University Press, 1965), p. 16

"The method of contraception practiced by these Manichees whom Augustine knew is the use of the sterile period as determined by Greek medicine... In the history of the thought of theologians on contraception, it is, no doubt, piquant that the first pronouncement on contraception by the most influential theologian teaching on such matters should be such a vigorous attack on the one method of avoiding procreation accepted by twentieth-century Catholic theologians as morally lawful." - John T. Noonan, Contraception: A History of Its Treatment By the Catholic Theologians and Canonists, (Harvard University Press, 1965), p. 120

The Church Fathers didn't make distinctions such as passive vs. active, or natural vs. artificial. If you were going about your sex life in such a way that you are trying to avoid getting pregnant, then you were doing something sinful according to some. Not according to all, but perhaps most of those who actually took the time to speak on the matter, especially in the west (Sts. Augustine, Caesarius of Arles, Jerome, Gregory the Dialogist, etc.)
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 09:41:11 PM by Asteriktos »
"My doubt in Christ is not like that of a child; it was forged in a furnace of faith." - Dostoevsky

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: NPF, Contraception, St. Augustine, Catholicism, Etc.
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 09:58:26 AM »
I hate when I make a typo, especially in the title...
"My doubt in Christ is not like that of a child; it was forged in a furnace of faith." - Dostoevsky

Offline Aindriú

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Re: NPF, Contraception, St. Augustine, Catholicism, Etc.
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 11:36:18 AM »
I think the keyword is 'prevent'. NFP, or timing methods, don't in and of themselves "prevent" contraception.

I'm going to need this.

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: NPF, Contraception, St. Augustine, Catholicism, Etc.
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 04:32:19 PM »
I think the keyword is 'prevent'. NFP, or timing methods, don't in and of themselves "prevent" contraception.

Not nearly that simple.

IF you use Natural Family Planning in a way that is contraceptive in a way that goes beyond a serious matter of health or timing, then you are sinning, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Offline soderquj

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O God, cleanse me a sinner and have mercy on me.

Offline Wyatt

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