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Author Topic: Discerning between RCC and EOC: Contraception and Ecumenical Councils.  (Read 3983 times) Average Rating: 0
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truthseeker32
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« on: March 30, 2013, 04:32:12 PM »

Hello everyone,

I hope this is the right place for my topic. Over the past few years I have been attempting to figure things out, and it has been a roller coaster of sorts. At times I am quite confident that I ought to be Roman Catholic, other times I lean towards Orthodoxy, and still other times I feel like giving up altogether and just going back to my former Episcopalian parish.

I am in the strange position of being firmly convinced of some Roman Catholic doctrines distinct from Orthodox beliefs, and at the same time I am firmly convinced of some Orthodox Christian doctrines that are incompatible with Roman Catholic theology. For example, I believe Eastern Orthodoxy's perspective on Hell is correct, but I find the Catholic argument for accepting ecumenical councils and rejecting artificial contraception more convincing. To be fair I wanted to bring the issue here and get your take on why Orthodoxy has a more open view to artificial contraception. Further, I wanted to understand how Orthodoxy is able to discern canonical from heretical councils. Relevant to this query, the "robber council" is often used by Catholics to bolster their position. They claim, using this example, that the only way to discern between an ecumenical council and heretical council, is the approval of the bishop of Rome, since there have been councils (the robber council) where the majority of of bishops supported a heretical position. I am sure there are good responses to this argument, and I would like to get both sides.

Thank you in advance to those who reply.   
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2013, 04:41:50 PM »

Two brief thoughts:

1) Christians in the ancient Church did not wait for approval from Rome before accepting Councils. The Second Ecumenical Council wasn't well received, for example (in fact the presidents of it weren't even in communion with Rome at the time), and some of the canons in particular were long disputed by Rome. Churches in the East didn't care a bit that Rome didn't give the ok.

2) According to the Church Fathers who spoke against contraception, any attempt to have sex while getting around or making less likely the chance of getting pregnant wasn't ok. It didn't matter if it was a barrier of some type, a chemical, or a "natural" timing method. Every single one of them who spoke against NFP as a form of contraception. Now not all Fathers spoke against contraception, but if you are going to follow the ones that did in speaking strenuously against it (Sts. Gregory the Great, Augustine, Jerome, etc.), then I suggest being consistent and rejecting both the Roman Catholics and Orthodox modern approaches to it. Having said that, you may want to put your foot in the water to test it before you do so. Once you jump in the water and find out the position of the ancient Christians on all manner of sexual and social morals, you may wish you hadn't been so eager. That was my experience, anyway.
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2013, 04:51:36 PM »

Two brief thoughts:

1) Christians in the ancient Church did not wait for approval from Rome before accepting Councils. The Second Ecumenical Council wasn't well received, for example (in fact the presidents of it weren't even in communion with Rome at the time), and some of the canons in particular were long disputed by Rome. Churches in the East didn't care a bit that Rome didn't give the ok.

2) According to the Church Fathers who spoke against contraception, any attempt to have sex while getting around or making less likely the chance of getting pregnant wasn't ok. It didn't matter if it was a barrier of some type, a chemical, or a "natural" timing method. Every single one of them who spoke against NFP as a form of contraception. Now not all Fathers spoke against contraception, but if you are going to follow the ones that did in speaking strenuously against it (Sts. Gregory the Great, Augustine, Jerome, etc.), then I suggest being consistent and rejecting both the Roman Catholics and Orthodox modern approaches to it. Having said that, you may want to put your foot in the water to test it before you do so. Once you jump in the water and find out the position of the ancient Christians on all manner of sexual and social morals, you may wish you hadn't been so eager. That was my experience, anyway.
Thanks for the input. On your point about contraception, I am more concerned about the "why?" behind a church's stance on contraception, i.e. on what principle do you say this is right or wrong. The ECF's are important, but not without reason. At the end of the day "I believe this is immoral simply because these guys said so" isn't a good argument. There has to be a compelling explanationas to why they held the views they did.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 04:52:28 PM by truthseeker32 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2013, 05:03:24 PM »

Orthodoxy is not more open to contraception. We are even stricter than Catholics since we don't distinguish NFP from other non-abortificient forms of birth-control.
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2013, 05:06:27 PM »

Orthodoxy is not more open to contraception. We are even stricter than Catholics since we don't distinguish NFP from other non-abortificient forms of birth-control.
Okay, let me rephrase the question for you, then. On what grounds does the Orthodox faith hold that contraception is sometimes permissible?
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2013, 05:08:43 PM »

Orthodoxy is not more open to contraception. We are even stricter than Catholics since we don't distinguish NFP from other non-abortificient forms of birth-control.
Okay, let me rephrase the question for you, then. On what grounds does the Orthodox faith hold that contraception is sometimes permissible?

On what grounds does the Catholic faith hold that NFP is sometimes permissible?
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2013, 05:09:57 PM »

Same reason the Orthodox can't agree on a Bible canon: they've never done so, and you shouldn't expect them to come to a consensus any time soon Wink
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2013, 05:19:13 PM »

Orthodoxy is not more open to contraception. We are even stricter than Catholics since we don't distinguish NFP from other non-abortificient forms of birth-control.
Okay, let me rephrase the question for you, then. On what grounds does the Orthodox faith hold that contraception is sometimes permissible?

On what grounds does the Catholic faith hold that NFP is sometimes permissible?
On the idea that an act should be done in the correct manner. In the case of sex this means intercourse should be done without barriers or other interruption, otherwise the act is incomplete. When a couple engages in NFP there is never a point at which the sexual act isn't being carried out properly, since it is either being done correctly, or not at all.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 05:20:19 PM by truthseeker32 » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2013, 05:22:13 PM »

there is never a point at which the sexual act isn't being carried out properly, since it is either being done correctly, or not at all.

I like that way of thinking.
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2013, 05:30:42 PM »

Two brief thoughts:

1) Christians in the ancient Church did not wait for approval from Rome before accepting Councils. The Second Ecumenical Council wasn't well received, for example (in fact the presidents of it weren't even in communion with Rome at the time), and some of the canons in particular were long disputed by Rome. Churches in the East didn't care a bit that Rome didn't give the ok.

2) According to the Church Fathers who spoke against contraception, any attempt to have sex while getting around or making less likely the chance of getting pregnant wasn't ok. It didn't matter if it was a barrier of some type, a chemical, or a "natural" timing method. Every single one of them who spoke against NFP as a form of contraception. Now not all Fathers spoke against contraception, but if you are going to follow the ones that did in speaking strenuously against it (Sts. Gregory the Great, Augustine, Jerome, etc.), then I suggest being consistent and rejecting both the Roman Catholics and Orthodox modern approaches to it. Having said that, you may want to put your foot in the water to test it before you do so. Once you jump in the water and find out the position of the ancient Christians on all manner of sexual and social morals, you may wish you hadn't been so eager. That was my experience, anyway.
Thanks for the input. On your point about contraception, I am more concerned about the "why?" behind a church's stance on contraception, i.e. on what principle do you say this is right or wrong. The ECF's are important, but not without reason. At the end of the day "I believe this is immoral simply because these guys said so" isn't a good argument. There has to be a compelling explanationas to why they held the views they did.
Because they were really Stoics.
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2013, 05:43:23 PM »

Because they were really Stoics.

Well, this is a bit like dismissing the Church Fathers as Platonists... Or accusing the American Orthodox of being American...

 

 
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2013, 05:48:42 PM »

Because they were really Stoics.

Not even close.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 05:48:49 PM by Cyrillic » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2013, 06:22:55 PM »

oh you guys....

Seriously though, I will admit that this is an issue I have struggled with. It is definitely true that there is a difference between contraceptive sex and NFP, but is there an actual moral difference? In both cases there is an intent of temporarily avoiding children for reasons of economia. It just so happens that in the case of NFP that intent does not involve compromising the sexual act. Thus it seems that the question to asses and debate is whether or not there is any moral bearing on compromising the sexual act in and of itself, or if the moral bearing rests only upon the intent the couple has.

There does seem to be something to the reality that couples using NFP, rather than just having sex anyways and interfering with conception, instead abstain and rather hold that if the act can't be used properly it shouldn't be used. 
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2013, 06:52:07 PM »

Hello everyone,

I hope this is the right place for my topic. Over the past few years I have been attempting to figure things out, and it has been a roller coaster of sorts. At times I am quite confident that I ought to be Roman Catholic, other times I lean towards Orthodoxy, and still other times I feel like giving up altogether and just going back to my former Episcopalian parish.

I am in the strange position of being firmly convinced of some Roman Catholic doctrines distinct from Orthodox beliefs, and at the same time I am firmly convinced of some Orthodox Christian doctrines that are incompatible with Roman Catholic theology. For example, I believe Eastern Orthodoxy's perspective on Hell is correct, but I find the Catholic argument for accepting ecumenical councils and rejecting artificial contraception more convincing. To be fair I wanted to bring the issue here and get your take on why Orthodoxy has a more open view to artificial contraception. Further, I wanted to understand how Orthodoxy is able to discern canonical from heretical councils. Relevant to this query, the "robber council" is often used by Catholics to bolster their position. They claim, using this example, that the only way to discern between an ecumenical council and heretical council, is the approval of the bishop of Rome, since there have been councils (the robber council) where the majority of of bishops supported a heretical position. I am sure there are good responses to this argument, and I would like to get both sides.

Thank you in advance to those who reply.   

Pray a lot and go where your heart (the Holy Spirit) leads you. Be still and listen..

Your listed as "in RCIA". Have you been baptized? Or do you just need to be confirmed?
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2013, 11:32:30 PM »

since it is either being done correctly, or not at all.

AFAIK the point of NFP is to have sex only when there is no danger of conception. I fail to see how that is correct.
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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2013, 12:21:15 AM »

Pray a lot and go where your heart (the Holy Spirit) leads you. Be still and listen..

Your listed as "in RCIA". Have you been baptized? Or do you just need to be confirmed?
I have been going through RCIA since 2009. Something always holds me back from committing. The list of setbacks has included: birth control, the real presence, papal infallibility, hell (this one is huge and still an issue for me), and just doubt in general.
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« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2013, 12:23:33 AM »

since it is either being done correctly, or not at all.

AFAIK the point of NFP is to have sex only when there is no danger of conception. I fail to see how that is correct.
To be more accurate, the point of NFP is to reduce the chance that conception will occur when grave reasons permit. Catholics can't simply use NFP whenever they want. The idea behind it all is that abstaining to avoid conception is better than distorting the sexual act to avoid conception.
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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2013, 04:15:40 AM »

since it is either being done correctly, or not at all.

AFAIK the point of NFP is to have sex only when there is no danger of conception. I fail to see how that is correct.
To be more accurate, the point of NFP is to reduce the chance that conception will occur when grave reasons permit. Catholics can't simply use NFP whenever they want. The idea behind it all is that abstaining to avoid conception is better than distorting the sexual act to avoid conception.

How is this different from the Orthodox stance?
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« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2013, 04:51:46 AM »

Because they were really Stoics.

Not even close.
Oh?  Somewhere here I've posted their quotes, and they are practically lifted word for word from the Stoic philosophers.
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« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2013, 04:51:46 AM »

Pray a lot and go where your heart (the Holy Spirit) leads you. Be still and listen..

Your listed as "in RCIA". Have you been baptized? Or do you just need to be confirmed?
I have been going through RCIA since 2009. Something always holds me back from committing. The list of setbacks has included: birth control, the real presence, papal infallibility, hell (this one is huge and still an issue for me), and just doubt in general.
and the Real Presence isn't a problem for you in Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2013, 04:51:46 AM »

Because they were really Stoics.

Well, this is a bit like dismissing the Church Fathers as Platonists... Or accusing the American Orthodox of being American...

If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck.

Btw, being American isn't incompatible with being Orthodox.  Being 100% Plantonist is incompatible with Orthodoxy (that whole resurrection thing).
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« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2013, 06:35:05 AM »

Because they were really Stoics.

Not even close.
Oh?  Somewhere here I've posted their quotes, and they are practically lifted word for word from the Stoic philosophers.

Have you ever compared the letters of St. Basil to those of Seneca? But if you've got a list of quotes I'd like to see it.
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« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2013, 02:53:39 AM »

How is this different from the Orthodox stance?
The difference is that, according to Catholic rules, if a married couple believes they have good reason to temporarily avoid conceiving a child they must abstain from the sexual act when conception is most likely whereas an Orthodox Christian may use contraception in certain circumstances. While the goal of both, being the avoidance of conception, is the same, the way in which it is gone about is different. The Catholic couple seems to make a sacrifice, whereas the Orthodox couple seems able, with permission of course, to have their cake and eat it too. So once again, the main question of discussion is whether interfering with the act itself is immoral, or whether the end goal is the only factor for determining the morality of the issue.

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« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2013, 06:47:39 AM »

How is this different from the Orthodox stance?
The difference is that, according to Catholic rules, if a married couple believes they have good reason to temporarily avoid conceiving a child they must abstain from the sexual act when conception is most likely whereas an Orthodox Christian may use contraception in certain circumstances. While the goal of both, being the avoidance of conception, is the same, the way in which it is gone about is different. The Catholic couple seems to make a sacrifice, whereas the Orthodox couple seems able, with permission of course, to have their cake and eat it too. So once again, the main question of discussion is whether interfering with the act itself is immoral, or whether the end goal is the only factor for determining the morality of the issue.

Does the Fathers talk about sinfulness of interfering with the act or just about sinfulness of contraception in general?
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« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2013, 09:39:13 AM »

Pray a lot and go where your heart (the Holy Spirit) leads you. Be still and listen..

Your listed as "in RCIA". Have you been baptized? Or do you just need to be confirmed?
I have been going through RCIA since 2009. Something always holds me back from committing. The list of setbacks has included: birth control, the real presence, papal infallibility, hell (this one is huge and still an issue for me), and just doubt in general.

Why is hell a problem for you?
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« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2013, 09:43:16 AM »

How is this different from the Orthodox stance?
The difference is that, according to Catholic rules, if a married couple believes they have good reason to temporarily avoid conceiving a child they must abstain from the sexual act when conception is most likely whereas an Orthodox Christian may use contraception in certain circumstances. While the goal of both, being the avoidance of conception, is the same, the way in which it is gone about is different. The Catholic couple seems to make a sacrifice, whereas the Orthodox couple seems able, with permission of course, to have their cake and eat it too. So once again, the main question of discussion is whether interfering with the act itself is immoral, or whether the end goal is the only factor for determining the morality of the issue.

Does the Fathers talk about sinfulness of interfering with the act or just about sinfulness of contraception in general?


The fathers condemn the sinfulness of all methods of contraception, including methods which assess the fertility of the woman. Either way, one sins in intending to frustrate the natural result of sexual intercourse. Those who engage in either sin in mind by planning to prevent conception as a result of sexual intercourse, and in deed by engaging in sexual intercourse while intending to prevent its natural end. For this reason, the argument that NFP is inherently superior to other methods of contraception because it involves sacrifice is untenable. The days when intercourse is avoided on account of the woman's fertility are not a sacrifice which one may account to be God-pleasing, because its end is sinful. Just as with those who give money to the poor to be seen, those who abstain from sexual intercourse only during fertile periods for the premeditated intention of preventing the conception of a child receive their reward in this life, not because the act they perform is inherently evil, but because their intention is sinful.
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« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2013, 10:02:37 AM »

How is this different from the Orthodox stance?
The difference is that, according to Catholic rules, if a married couple believes they have good reason to temporarily avoid conceiving a child they must abstain from the sexual act when conception is most likely whereas an Orthodox Christian may use contraception in certain circumstances. While the goal of both, being the avoidance of conception, is the same, the way in which it is gone about is different. The Catholic couple seems to make a sacrifice, whereas the Orthodox couple seems able, with permission of course, to have their cake and eat it too. So once again, the main question of discussion is whether interfering with the act itself is immoral, or whether the end goal is the only factor for determining the morality of the issue.

Does the Fathers talk about sinfulness of interfering with the act or just about sinfulness of contraception in general?

Some talk about the "sinfulness" of the act itself.
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« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2013, 12:37:44 PM »

Because they were really Stoics.

Not even close.
Oh?  Somewhere here I've posted their quotes, and they are practically lifted word for word from the Stoic philosophers.

Have you ever compared the letters of St. Basil to those of Seneca? But if you've got a list of quotes I'd like to see it.
In the meantime, this was brought up on the granddaddy thread of this issue here, with a quote from Noonan on the quoting of Stoic philosophers on contraception (including "NFP"):
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29748.msg890760/topicseen.html#msg890760
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« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2013, 01:04:48 PM »

The fathers condemn the sinfulness of all methods of contraception, including methods which assess the fertility of the woman. Either way, one sins in intending to frustrate the natural result of sexual intercourse.
Is one actually frustrating the natural end of sexual intercourse if they aren't even doing it?

Quote
Those who engage in either sin in mind by planning to prevent conception as a result of sexual intercourse, and in deed by engaging in sexual intercourse while intending to prevent its natural end. For this reason, the argument that NFP is inherently superior to other methods of contraception because it involves sacrifice is untenable.
It seems like you are saying that there is no moral difference in actions if the intent is the same. For example, if a person's intent is the death of someone there would be no difference between letting the person die and actively murdering them. Another example, it seems like this NFP vs. contraception issue is similar to the lying vs. staying silent example. Let's pretend you have a friend who was framed for a crime and is now hiding from the police. When being interviewed by the police you may either stay silent to protect your friend or lie to mislead the police. Either way your goal, to protect your friend, is the same. Is there really no moral difference between staying silent and lying to the police simply because your goal is the same? A third and final example that seems fitting is bulimia vs. limiting your food intake. In the first case you eat as much as you want and then force yourself to vomit so you don't gain weight. In the second, you instead abstain from eating too much in order to avoid weight gain. Is there really no difference between bulimia and controlling your eating simply because the end goal is the same?

Quote
The days when intercourse is avoided on account of the woman's fertility are not a sacrifice which one may account to be God-pleasing, because its end is sinful. Just as with those who give money to the poor to be seen, those who abstain from sexual intercourse only during fertile periods for the premeditated intention of preventing the conception of a child receive their reward in this life, not because the act they perform is inherently evil, but because their intention is sinful.
So it is sinful for a married couple to intend not to have children? Even temporarily? If a married couple wishes to avoid having a child is it okay for them to practice abstinence during both fertile and infertile periods?
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« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2013, 01:06:40 PM »

Why is hell a problem for you?
Because I can't imagine anyone choosing Hell, and I can't imagine how a good God would allow someone to suffer for eternity. This is a bit off topic so I will leave it at that. If you have further questions feel free to message me.
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« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2013, 01:25:39 PM »

How is this different from the Orthodox stance?
The difference is that, according to Catholic rules, if a married couple believes they have good reason to temporarily avoid conceiving a child they must abstain from the sexual act when conception is most likely whereas an Orthodox Christian may use contraception in certain circumstances. While the goal of both, being the avoidance of conception, is the same, the way in which it is gone about is different. The Catholic couple seems to make a sacrifice, whereas the Orthodox couple seems able, with permission of course, to have their cake and eat it too. So once again, the main question of discussion is whether interfering with the act itself is immoral, or whether the end goal is the only factor for determining the morality of the issue.

Does the Fathers talk about sinfulness of interfering with the act or just about sinfulness of contraception in general?


The fathers condemn the sinfulness of all methods of contraception, including methods which assess the fertility of the woman. Either way, one sins in intending to frustrate the natural result of sexual intercourse. Those who engage in either sin in mind by planning to prevent conception as a result of sexual intercourse, and in deed by engaging in sexual intercourse while intending to prevent its natural end. For this reason, the argument that NFP is inherently superior to other methods of contraception because it involves sacrifice is untenable. The days when intercourse is avoided on account of the woman's fertility are not a sacrifice which one may account to be God-pleasing, because its end is sinful. Just as with those who give money to the poor to be seen, those who abstain from sexual intercourse only during fertile periods for the premeditated intention of preventing the conception of a child receive their reward in this life, not because the act they perform is inherently evil, but because their intention is sinful.

And this is madness.
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« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2013, 01:26:32 PM »

Why is hell a problem for you?
Because I can't imagine anyone choosing Hell

Oh I can. Well not imagine, but have seen as close as I am going to see such a thing happen on earth.
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« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2013, 01:27:41 PM »

Oh I can. Well not imagine, but have seen as close as I am going to see such a thing happen on earth.
Did the person do it freely, or was their decision a product of mental impairment?
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« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2013, 01:58:26 PM »

How is this different from the Orthodox stance?
The difference is that, according to Catholic rules, if a married couple believes they have good reason to temporarily avoid conceiving a child they must abstain from the sexual act when conception is most likely whereas an Orthodox Christian may use contraception in certain circumstances. While the goal of both, being the avoidance of conception, is the same, the way in which it is gone about is different. The Catholic couple seems to make a sacrifice, whereas the Orthodox couple seems able, with permission of course, to have their cake and eat it too. So once again, the main question of discussion is whether interfering with the act itself is immoral, or whether the end goal is the only factor for determining the morality of the issue.

Does the Fathers talk about sinfulness of interfering with the act or just about sinfulness of contraception in general?


The fathers condemn the sinfulness of all methods of contraception, including methods which assess the fertility of the woman. Either way, one sins in intending to frustrate the natural result of sexual intercourse. Those who engage in either sin in mind by planning to prevent conception as a result of sexual intercourse, and in deed by engaging in sexual intercourse while intending to prevent its natural end. For this reason, the argument that NFP is inherently superior to other methods of contraception because it involves sacrifice is untenable. The days when intercourse is avoided on account of the woman's fertility are not a sacrifice which one may account to be God-pleasing, because its end is sinful. Just as with those who give money to the poor to be seen, those who abstain from sexual intercourse only during fertile periods for the premeditated intention of preventing the conception of a child receive their reward in this life, not because the act they perform is inherently evil, but because their intention is sinful.

And this is madness.

So we are told. But, if one does not believe in the sinfulness of contraception, then the permission to use contraception in Orthodoxy by economy should not be bothersome. If one does believe in the sinfulness of contraception, then he should be brought to realize that the periodic abstinence observed when using fertility methods is in no way virtuous, as the intention inclines to sin, rather than virtue. The argument is intended for one who accepts the patristic teaching on contraception (and who therefore would be more likely to accept the patristic teaching on sin in general), not for one who rejects it.
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« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2013, 02:01:25 PM »

Oh I can. Well not imagine, but have seen as close as I am going to see such a thing happen on earth.
Did the person do it freely, or was their decision a product of mental impairment?

Sorry, not to be thick, as I think you are sincere, but I don't really believe in unoccluded free will.

It's sorta a catch-22. Why would anyone due x? They would have to be crazy!

Yeah, they probably are.
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« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2013, 03:17:27 PM »

The fathers condemn the sinfulness of all methods of contraception, including methods which assess the fertility of the woman. Either way, one sins in intending to frustrate the natural result of sexual intercourse.
Is one actually frustrating the natural end of sexual intercourse if they aren't even doing it?

No, abstinence from intercourse with virtuous intentions (ascesis) is not frustrating the end of intercourse, because in this case, intercourse does not even occur. Planning only to have intercourse when the woman is infertile, and abstaining when she is fertile is inherently sinful because it is performed with the wrong intention, just as giving money to the poor hoping to be seen is sinful. In both cases, the act can be good, but the desires of the mind incline it to evil.

Quote
Those who engage in either sin in mind by planning to prevent conception as a result of sexual intercourse, and in deed by engaging in sexual intercourse while intending to prevent its natural end. For this reason, the argument that NFP is inherently superior to other methods of contraception because it involves sacrifice is untenable.
It seems like you are saying that there is no moral difference in actions if the intent is the same.

No, I am saying that sacrifices made for sinful intentions are not God-pleasing. I do not think that such an idea should come as a shock. There is no virtue in performing any sort of asceticism if the desire behind it is sinful. If I were to sleep on a bed of rocks each night for the purpose of the denial of the flesh, this would be virtuous, but if I were to do the same in order to earn the praise of men, this would be sinful. The argument then that NFP is superior to other methods of contraception because of the abstinence involved is not a good one, because abstinence from intercourse is not spiritually profitable if the intention is wrong. I am denying, in other words, that certain actions are inherently virtuous. Virtue comes from fear of God, not from worldly desires.

Quote
For example, if a person's intent is the death of someone there would be no difference between letting the person die and actively murdering them.

In terms of whether the action is sinful? No. The degree of sinfulness differs, but both are sinful and grave because of the evil intentions behind them. This example, however does not apply perfectly, because with the case of NFP and contraception, the same action is performed for the same intentions (intercourse with the intention not to conceive), whereas in this example different actions are performed for the same intention. Intercourse with NFP does not differ from intercourse with contraception as an act except for the planning and periodic abstinence which goes into it, something which its adherents mistakenly think to be virtuous behavior. If anything, there is only one thing which is better about NFP, and that is that the sin is simply committed less often.

Quote
The days when intercourse is avoided on account of the woman's fertility are not a sacrifice which one may account to be God-pleasing, because its end is sinful. Just as with those who give money to the poor to be seen, those who abstain from sexual intercourse only during fertile periods for the premeditated intention of preventing the conception of a child receive their reward in this life, not because the act they perform is inherently evil, but because their intention is sinful.
So it is sinful for a married couple to intend not to have children?

Yes. Marriage is not only for companionship, but also for the begetting of new life.

Even temporarily?

Yes but not unpardonably so, insofar as it only fails to reflect the ideal we are to live up to. This matter, especially in the modern era, however, requires prudence, and this is the role economy plays in the life of the Church.

If a married couple wishes to avoid having a child is it okay for them to practice abstinence during both fertile and infertile periods?

Yes, because intercourse does not occur, it is less sinful in that respect than contraception. It is pardonable if there is some pressing need for the couple not to have children at some point in time. It is, however, not  generally considered pardonable for a couple to avoid having children entirely. Ideally, a couple should engage in abstinence for the purpose of ascesis alone, and also attempt to have children during breaks in abstinence. But as with all ideals of Christian life, this is nearly impossible to attain, which is why it is important that a prudent confessor exercise economy in his treatment of those who fall short of the ideal.

What has not been mentioned yet is that intercourse has multiple ends, one for the union of man and woman, and the other for producing children. The ideal couple would use intercourse for both of these ends without hindering either willfully, and also would willfully abstain from intercourse for periods of time out of a mutual desire for disciplining the flesh. Those who are spiritually healthy can balance all of these things without falling into sin, but those who are spiritually sick (the vast majority of us) will be incapable of handling such an austere manner of life. The confessor then must assess how sick his spiritual children are, and administer the canons with prudence as medicine, being permissive of certain behaviors in order to guide those sick with sin out of sin and steer them away from higher degrees of sin. In this sense, if avoiding having children is necessary, abstinence would be the best method. If however, the couple cannot bear the have burden of abstinence placed in then, to prevent them from falling deeper into sin, the allowance to use contraception might be a prudent decision to make. It must be understood that in Orthodoxy, we are all held to standards which will likely seem impossibly high, with concessions being made for our weakness that we might grow spiritually rather than be hindered by a strict application of them.
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« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2013, 05:36:04 PM »

Hello everyone,

I hope this is the right place for my topic. Over the past few years I have been attempting to figure things out, and it has been a roller coaster of sorts. At times I am quite confident that I ought to be Roman Catholic, other times I lean towards Orthodoxy, and still other times I feel like giving up altogether and just going back to my former Episcopalian parish.

I am in the strange position of being firmly convinced of some Roman Catholic doctrines distinct from Orthodox beliefs, and at the same time I am firmly convinced of some Orthodox Christian doctrines that are incompatible with Roman Catholic theology. For example, I believe Eastern Orthodoxy's perspective on Hell is correct, but I find the Catholic argument for accepting ecumenical councils and rejecting artificial contraception more convincing. To be fair I wanted to bring the issue here and get your take on why Orthodoxy has a more open view to artificial contraception. Further, I wanted to understand how Orthodoxy is able to discern canonical from heretical councils. Relevant to this query, the "robber council" is often used by Catholics to bolster their position. They claim, using this example, that the only way to discern between an ecumenical council and heretical council, is the approval of the bishop of Rome, since there have been councils (the robber council) where the majority of of bishops supported a heretical position. I am sure there are good responses to this argument, and I would like to get both sides.

Thank you in advance to those who reply.   

Well, for example, the 2nd and 7th Ecumenical Councils were Ecumenical right from the time it was held, regardless of Rome's hesitency to accept them.  Rome recognized the 2nd Ecumenical Council in the mid-5th century, but also acknowledged it was Ecumenical long before it recognized it. 
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« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2013, 05:39:46 PM »

Why is hell a problem for you?
Because I can't imagine anyone choosing Hell

Oh I can. Well not imagine, but have seen as close as I am going to see such a thing happen on earth.

Hell is freezing over.  I agree with orthonorm.  People choose hell all the time. 
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« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2013, 05:58:16 PM »

Why is hell a problem for you?
Because I can't imagine anyone choosing Hell

Oh I can. Well not imagine, but have seen as close as I am going to see such a thing happen on earth.

Hell is freezing over.  I agree with orthonorm.  People choose hell all the time. 

And I see now where Hill came from. The formerly known as bit. My brain will do its best to make sense of gibberish, so I always read HILL I guess without noting it.

It's a learning disorder or something.

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« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2013, 06:14:35 PM »

Why is hell a problem for you?
Because I can't imagine anyone choosing Hell

Oh I can. Well not imagine, but have seen as close as I am going to see such a thing happen on earth.

Hell is freezing over.  I agree with orthonorm.  People choose hell all the time. 
Man is not a rational being, but a being with reason, which is why he longs for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and not for the God of the Philosophers.
Are you seriously splitting this hair? A rational being and a being with reason are the same blasted thing. And as for the silly "not the God of the philosophers" nonsense... The philosophers are not claiming to prove the truth fo the Christian faith. They are not claiming to prove the incarnation, or the Trinity, or any such thing. All That philosophy proposes to prove is that there is a God who is simple, one, eternal, unchanging, infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, good, perfect, willing, loving, etc. To know which religion is revealed by this by God, one needs faith.
No, it's not.  A computer is a rational being, its being consisting of reason and logic.  A human being has the faculty of reason.  It does not determine his being.
Rational beings have no free will.  Human beings have free will and reason, and they do not always agree.  Humans make foolish choices all the time.
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« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2013, 07:40:31 PM »

Sorry, not to be thick, as I think you are sincere, but I don't really believe in unoccluded free will.

It's sorta a catch-22. Why would anyone due x? They would have to be crazy!

Yeah, they probably are.
So if God is all good and all powerful, how can he allow someone to choose hell who has done so with an imperfect knowledge or freedom?
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« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2013, 08:20:16 PM »

The fathers condemn the sinfulness of all methods of contraception, including methods which assess the fertility of the woman. Either way, one sins in intending to frustrate the natural result of sexual intercourse.
Is one actually frustrating the natural end of sexual intercourse if they aren't even doing it?

No, abstinence from intercourse with virtuous intentions (ascesis) is not frustrating the end of intercourse, because in this case, intercourse does not even occur. Planning only to have intercourse when the woman is infertile, and abstaining when she is fertile is inherently sinful because it is performed with the wrong intention, just as giving money to the poor hoping to be seen is sinful. In both cases, the act can be good, but the desires of the mind incline it to evil.

Quote
Those who engage in either sin in mind by planning to prevent conception as a result of sexual intercourse, and in deed by engaging in sexual intercourse while intending to prevent its natural end. For this reason, the argument that NFP is inherently superior to other methods of contraception because it involves sacrifice is untenable.
It seems like you are saying that there is no moral difference in actions if the intent is the same.

No, I am saying that sacrifices made for sinful intentions are not God-pleasing. I do not think that such an idea should come as a shock. There is no virtue in performing any sort of asceticism if the desire behind it is sinful. If I were to sleep on a bed of rocks each night for the purpose of the denial of the flesh, this would be virtuous, but if I were to do the same in order to earn the praise of men, this would be sinful. The argument then that NFP is superior to other methods of contraception because of the abstinence involved is not a good one, because abstinence from intercourse is not spiritually profitable if the intention is wrong. I am denying, in other words, that certain actions are inherently virtuous. Virtue comes from fear of God, not from worldly desires.

Quote
For example, if a person's intent is the death of someone there would be no difference between letting the person die and actively murdering them.

In terms of whether the action is sinful? No. The degree of sinfulness differs, but both are sinful and grave because of the evil intentions behind them. This example, however does not apply perfectly, because with the case of NFP and contraception, the same action is performed for the same intentions (intercourse with the intention not to conceive), whereas in this example different actions are performed for the same intention. Intercourse with NFP does not differ from intercourse with contraception as an act except for the planning and periodic abstinence which goes into it, something which its adherents mistakenly think to be virtuous behavior. If anything, there is only one thing which is better about NFP, and that is that the sin is simply committed less often.

Quote
The days when intercourse is avoided on account of the woman's fertility are not a sacrifice which one may account to be God-pleasing, because its end is sinful. Just as with those who give money to the poor to be seen, those who abstain from sexual intercourse only during fertile periods for the premeditated intention of preventing the conception of a child receive their reward in this life, not because the act they perform is inherently evil, but because their intention is sinful.
So it is sinful for a married couple to intend not to have children?

Yes. Marriage is not only for companionship, but also for the begetting of new life.

Even temporarily?

Yes but not unpardonably so, insofar as it only fails to reflect the ideal we are to live up to. This matter, especially in the modern era, however, requires prudence, and this is the role economy plays in the life of the Church.

If a married couple wishes to avoid having a child is it okay for them to practice abstinence during both fertile and infertile periods?

Yes, because intercourse does not occur, it is less sinful in that respect than contraception. It is pardonable if there is some pressing need for the couple not to have children at some point in time. It is, however, not  generally considered pardonable for a couple to avoid having children entirely. Ideally, a couple should engage in abstinence for the purpose of ascesis alone, and also attempt to have children during breaks in abstinence. But as with all ideals of Christian life, this is nearly impossible to attain, which is why it is important that a prudent confessor exercise economy in his treatment of those who fall short of the ideal.

What has not been mentioned yet is that intercourse has multiple ends, one for the union of man and woman, and the other for producing children. The ideal couple would use intercourse for both of these ends without hindering either willfully, and also would willfully abstain from intercourse for periods of time out of a mutual desire for disciplining the flesh. Those who are spiritually healthy can balance all of these things without falling into sin, but those who are spiritually sick (the vast majority of us) will be incapable of handling such an austere manner of life. The confessor then must assess how sick his spiritual children are, and administer the canons with prudence as medicine, being permissive of certain behaviors in order to guide those sick with sin out of sin and steer them away from higher degrees of sin. In this sense, if avoiding having children is necessary, abstinence would be the best method. If however, the couple cannot bear the have burden of abstinence placed in then, to prevent them from falling deeper into sin, the allowance to use contraception might be a prudent decision to make. It must be understood that in Orthodoxy, we are all held to standards which will likely seem impossibly high, with concessions being made for our weakness that we might grow spiritually rather than be hindered by a strict application of them.

I liked your post and agreed with almost everything you wrote until this..
" If however, the couple cannot bear the have burden of abstinence placed in then, to prevent them from falling deeper into sin, the allowance to use contraception might be a prudent decision to make."
The true Church of Christ, the traditional Catholic Church teaches that contraception is a mortal sin, you will go to hell for this, this is why most people today are going to hell, the traditional church also teaches that NFP is a mortal sin, the modern vatican 2 sect teaches that it's ok. Since you are not Catholic you may not care what I post below, but it's relevant to the original poster who is considering catholicism.


Why is NFP wrong?
NFP is wrong because it’s birth control; it’s against conception. It’s a refusal on the part of those
who use it to be open to the children that God planned to send them.It’s no different in its purpose from artificial contraception,
and therefore it’s a moral evil just like artificial 
The Teaching of the Catholic Papal Magisterium
Pope Pius XI spoke from the Chair of Peter in his 1931 encyclical Casti Connubii on Christian marriage. His teaching shows that
all forms of birth prevention are evil . We quote a long excerpt from his encyclical which sums up the issue.
Pope Pius XI,
Casti Connubii
(#’s 53 -56), Dec. 31, 1930:
 “And now, Venerable Brethren, we shall explain in detail the evils opposed to each of the benefits of matrimony. First
consideration is due to the offspring, which many have the boldness to call the disagreeable burden of matrimony and which they say is to be carefully avoided by married people not through virtuous continence (which Christian law permits in
matrimony when both parties consent) but by frustrating the marriage act. Some justify  this criminal abuse on the ground that they are weary of children and wish to gratify their desires without their consequent burden. Others say that they cannot on the one
hand remain continent nor on the other can they have children because of the difficulties whether on the part of the mother or on the part of the family circumstances. “But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically
against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good . Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural powers and purpose sin against nature
and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious. “Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, ‘
Intercourse even with one’s legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of offspring is prevented.’
Onan, the son of Judah, did this and the Lord killed him for it (Gen. 38:8 -10).

http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/42_NFP.pdf
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« Reply #42 on: April 03, 2013, 08:55:24 PM »

The fathers condemn the sinfulness of all methods of contraception, including methods which assess the fertility of the woman. Either way, one sins in intending to frustrate the natural result of sexual intercourse.
Is one actually frustrating the natural end of sexual intercourse if they aren't even doing it?

No, abstinence from intercourse with virtuous intentions (ascesis) is not frustrating the end of intercourse, because in this case, intercourse does not even occur. Planning only to have intercourse when the woman is infertile, and abstaining when she is fertile is inherently sinful because it is performed with the wrong intention, just as giving money to the poor hoping to be seen is sinful. In both cases, the act can be good, but the desires of the mind incline it to evil.

Quote
Those who engage in either sin in mind by planning to prevent conception as a result of sexual intercourse, and in deed by engaging in sexual intercourse while intending to prevent its natural end. For this reason, the argument that NFP is inherently superior to other methods of contraception because it involves sacrifice is untenable.
It seems like you are saying that there is no moral difference in actions if the intent is the same.

No, I am saying that sacrifices made for sinful intentions are not God-pleasing. I do not think that such an idea should come as a shock. There is no virtue in performing any sort of asceticism if the desire behind it is sinful. If I were to sleep on a bed of rocks each night for the purpose of the denial of the flesh, this would be virtuous, but if I were to do the same in order to earn the praise of men, this would be sinful. The argument then that NFP is superior to other methods of contraception because of the abstinence involved is not a good one, because abstinence from intercourse is not spiritually profitable if the intention is wrong. I am denying, in other words, that certain actions are inherently virtuous. Virtue comes from fear of God, not from worldly desires.

Quote
For example, if a person's intent is the death of someone there would be no difference between letting the person die and actively murdering them.

In terms of whether the action is sinful? No. The degree of sinfulness differs, but both are sinful and grave because of the evil intentions behind them. This example, however does not apply perfectly, because with the case of NFP and contraception, the same action is performed for the same intentions (intercourse with the intention not to conceive), whereas in this example different actions are performed for the same intention. Intercourse with NFP does not differ from intercourse with contraception as an act except for the planning and periodic abstinence which goes into it, something which its adherents mistakenly think to be virtuous behavior. If anything, there is only one thing which is better about NFP, and that is that the sin is simply committed less often.

Quote
The days when intercourse is avoided on account of the woman's fertility are not a sacrifice which one may account to be God-pleasing, because its end is sinful. Just as with those who give money to the poor to be seen, those who abstain from sexual intercourse only during fertile periods for the premeditated intention of preventing the conception of a child receive their reward in this life, not because the act they perform is inherently evil, but because their intention is sinful.
So it is sinful for a married couple to intend not to have children?

Yes. Marriage is not only for companionship, but also for the begetting of new life.

Even temporarily?

Yes but not unpardonably so, insofar as it only fails to reflect the ideal we are to live up to. This matter, especially in the modern era, however, requires prudence, and this is the role economy plays in the life of the Church.

If a married couple wishes to avoid having a child is it okay for them to practice abstinence during both fertile and infertile periods?

Yes, because intercourse does not occur, it is less sinful in that respect than contraception. It is pardonable if there is some pressing need for the couple not to have children at some point in time. It is, however, not  generally considered pardonable for a couple to avoid having children entirely. Ideally, a couple should engage in abstinence for the purpose of ascesis alone, and also attempt to have children during breaks in abstinence. But as with all ideals of Christian life, this is nearly impossible to attain, which is why it is important that a prudent confessor exercise economy in his treatment of those who fall short of the ideal.

What has not been mentioned yet is that intercourse has multiple ends, one for the union of man and woman, and the other for producing children. The ideal couple would use intercourse for both of these ends without hindering either willfully, and also would willfully abstain from intercourse for periods of time out of a mutual desire for disciplining the flesh. Those who are spiritually healthy can balance all of these things without falling into sin, but those who are spiritually sick (the vast majority of us) will be incapable of handling such an austere manner of life. The confessor then must assess how sick his spiritual children are, and administer the canons with prudence as medicine, being permissive of certain behaviors in order to guide those sick with sin out of sin and steer them away from higher degrees of sin. In this sense, if avoiding having children is necessary, abstinence would be the best method. If however, the couple cannot bear the have burden of abstinence placed in then, to prevent them from falling deeper into sin, the allowance to use contraception might be a prudent decision to make. It must be understood that in Orthodoxy, we are all held to standards which will likely seem impossibly high, with concessions being made for our weakness that we might grow spiritually rather than be hindered by a strict application of them.

I liked your post and agreed with almost everything you wrote until this..
" If however, the couple cannot bear the have burden of abstinence placed in then, to prevent them from falling deeper into sin, the allowance to use contraception might be a prudent decision to make."
The true Church of Christ, the traditional Catholic Church teaches that contraception is a mortal sin

According to the fathers, the responsibility of the confessor is to apply the appropriate degree of leniency or strictness in order to guide the Christian away from further degrees of sin, and into lesser degrees of sin. This is because one who is enslaved to a passion will be thrown into despair by too harsh of a penance, despair being one of the most serious and grave of all sins, second only to suicide. There is a time when prudence would call for the Christian not to be punished severely for the use of contraception (and a time when prudence would call for the opposite, that he be punished severely), with the goal that he should be guided to further repentance instead of being driven further into sin. Anyhow, I suspect that we will simply have to disagree on the matter of economy, as this is one area where the Latin West departed from the tradition of the Neptic Fathers and canonical tradition of the Greek East.
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« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2013, 09:33:18 PM »

Man is not a rational being, but a being with reason, which is why he longs for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and not for the God of the Philosophers.
Are you seriously splitting this hair? A rational being and a being with reason are the same blasted thing. And as for the silly "not the God of the philosophers" nonsense... The philosophers are not claiming to prove the truth fo the Christian faith. They are not claiming to prove the incarnation, or the Trinity, or any such thing. All That philosophy proposes to prove is that there is a God who is simple, one, eternal, unchanging, infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, good, perfect, willing, loving, etc. To know which religion is revealed by this by God, one needs faith.
No, it's not.  A computer is a rational being, its being consisting of reason and logic.  A human being has the faculty of reason.  It does not determine his being.
Rational beings have no free will.  Human beings have free will and reason, and they do not always agree.  Humans make foolish choices all the time.
I am not sure that computers are rational beings, at least in the human sense. For example, can they evaluate hypotheses? Another objection concerns a result of Godel. For example, Godel has shown that there are statements which cannot be proven within a formal system, where the process of proof is reduced to a rule based manipulation of symbols. Now computers are formal systems.  So a computer cannot recognize the truth of a sentence unprovable within the formal system, but a human should be able to.
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« Reply #44 on: April 03, 2013, 11:40:17 PM »

The true Church of Christ, the traditional Catholic Church teaches that contraception is a mortal sin, you will go to hell for this, this is why most people today are going to hell, the traditional church also teaches that NFP is a mortal sin, the modern vatican 2 sect teaches that it's ok.
A sin is only mortal if done willfully and with knowledge that the act is wrong. Otherwise God is punishing people for doing something they don't even know is wrong.

Quote
Why is NFP wrong?
NFP is wrong because it’s birth control; it’s against conception. It’s a refusal on the part of those
who use it to be open to the children that God planned to send them.
This actually is erroneous. Couples practicing NFP are supposed to use the method prayerfully. If they pray about abstaining for a time and God doesn't tell them to do otherwise then it seems the couple is being perfectly open to God's will.

Quote
It’s no different in its purpose from artificial contraception,
except that NFP can't be called contraception because there is never any contraception taking place.

Quote
“And now, Venerable Brethren, we shall explain in detail the evils opposed to each of the benefits of matrimony. First
consideration is due to the offspring, which many have the boldness to call the disagreeable burden of matrimony and which they say is to be carefully avoided by married people not through virtuous continence (which Christian law permits in
matrimony when both parties consent)
but by frustrating the marriage act. Some justify  this criminal abuse on the ground that they are weary of children and wish to gratify their desires without their consequent burden. Others say that they cannot on the one
hand remain continent nor on the other can they have children because of the difficulties whether on the part of the mother or on the part of the family circumstances. “But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically
against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good . Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural powers and purpose sin against nature
and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious. “Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, ‘
Intercourse even with one’s legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of offspring is prevented.’
Onan, the son of Judah, did this and the Lord killed him for it (Gen. 38:8 -10).

http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/42_NFP.pdf
The bolded portion seems to fit perfectly well with NFP. Further, this entire passage addresses not misusing the sexual act! It says nothing about abstaining to postpone children being evil.
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« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2013, 11:52:00 PM »

Quote
It’s no different in its purpose from artificial contraception,
except that NFP can't be called contraception because there is never any contraception taking place.,

This is what is difficult to understand. If NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't the purpose of NFP and artificial  contraception be the same? Also, when NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't that involve the use of artificial man made objects such as the thermometer and the taking of notes and making charts with an artificially made pencil and artificially made paper? And of course, there is the artificially man made Gregorian calendar, which people use. When you consider all of the artificial things that go into NFP, it is difficult to see it as natural.
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« Reply #46 on: April 04, 2013, 12:14:36 AM »

The true Church of Christ, the traditional Catholic Church teaches that contraception is a mortal sin, you will go to hell for this, this is why most people today are going to hell, the traditional church also teaches that NFP is a mortal sin, the modern vatican 2 sect teaches that it's ok.
A sin is only mortal if done willfully and with knowledge that the act is wrong. Otherwise God is punishing people for doing something they don't even know is wrong.

Quote
Why is NFP wrong?
NFP is wrong because it’s birth control; it’s against conception. It’s a refusal on the part of those
who use it to be open to the children that God planned to send them.
This actually is erroneous. Couples practicing NFP are supposed to use the method prayerfully. If they pray about abstaining for a time and God doesn't tell them to do otherwise then it seems the couple is being perfectly open to God's will.

Quote
It’s no different in its purpose from artificial contraception,
except that NFP can't be called contraception because there is never any contraception taking place.

Quote
“And now, Venerable Brethren, we shall explain in detail the evils opposed to each of the benefits of matrimony. First
consideration is due to the offspring, which many have the boldness to call the disagreeable burden of matrimony and which they say is to be carefully avoided by married people not through virtuous continence (which Christian law permits in
matrimony when both parties consent)
but by frustrating the marriage act. Some justify  this criminal abuse on the ground that they are weary of children and wish to gratify their desires without their consequent burden. Others say that they cannot on the one
hand remain continent nor on the other can they have children because of the difficulties whether on the part of the mother or on the part of the family circumstances. “But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically
against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good . Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural powers and purpose sin against nature
and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious. “Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, ‘
Intercourse even with one’s legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of offspring is prevented.’
Onan, the son of Judah, did this and the Lord killed him for it (Gen. 38:8 -10).

http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/42_NFP.pdf
The bolded portion seems to fit perfectly well with NFP. Further, this entire passage addresses not misusing the sexual act! It says nothing about abstaining to postpone children being evil.

nfp's purpose is the same as contraception, sorry....abstaining is a different matter, not sure why you are mixing the 2

Catholics must also know that all who die in mortal sin will go to Hell forever.  Mortal sins include: murder, fornication (i.e. sexual acts outside of marriage or acts leading up to sex outside of marriage), lying, drunkenness, consenting to impure thoughts, masturbation, looking at pornography, adultery, cheating, taking God’s name in vain, birth control (NFP) or artificial contraception, assisting the propagation of heresy, funding heretics, dishonoring the Sabbath, breaking the commandments, etc.  If someone were to commit a mortal sin and then go to Confession, he must have the firm resolution never to commit the sin again.  This is called the firm purpose of amendment.  If a person commits a mortal sin and doesn’t have the firm purpose of amendment when he goes to Confession, he commits a sacrilege and the Confession is invalid.  Most souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh.  Those who are committing sins of the flesh need to stop immediately if they don’t want to perish forever in the fires of Hell.

 

St. Alphonsus on the damnation of the impure: "Continue, O fool, says St. Peter Damian (speaking to the unchaste), continue to gratify the flesh; for the day will come in which thy impurities will become as pitch in thy entrails, to increase and aggravate the torments of the flame which will burn thee in Hell: 'The day will come, yea rather the night, when thy lust shall be turned into pitch, to feed in thy bowels the everlasting fire." (Preparation for Death, abridged version, p. 117)
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« Reply #47 on: April 04, 2013, 11:37:26 AM »

Quote
It’s no different in its purpose from artificial contraception,
except that NFP can't be called contraception because there is never any contraception taking place.,

This is what is difficult to understand. If NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't the purpose of NFP and artificial  contraception be the same? Also, when NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't that involve the use of artificial man made objects such as the thermometer and the taking of notes and making charts with an artificially made pencil and artificially made paper? And of course, there is the artificially man made Gregorian calendar, which people use. When you consider all of the artificial things that go into NFP, it is difficult to see it as natural.
No, because in the face of NFP, one is avoiding conception on God's terms. It was God who designed human nature such that conception was only possible on certain days. Contraception, on the other hand, is avoiding conception on one's own terms, getting sex on demand, and removing the natural consequences. There is a very striking qualitative difference.
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« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2013, 12:40:55 PM »

This is what is difficult to understand. If NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't the purpose of NFP and artificial  contraception be the same?
The purpose is indeed the same, but as I brought up in an earlier example dieting and bulimia have the same goal as well, but we say dieting is better than bulimia because of the action itself. This is the key issue separating Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians and schismatics like the Sedevacantists is that Catholics do not think it is sinful to postpone children for good reason, but if such spacing is to take place it must be done without interfering with the sexual act itself. So plugging it back into my weight loss example: If you want to lose or maintain weight (space or postpone children for good reason) that is perfectly fine, but you should do it through healthy dieting (NFP) not bulimia (artificial contraception).

Quote
Also, when NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't that involve the use of artificial man made objects such as the thermometer and the taking of notes and making charts with an artificially made pencil and artificially made paper? And of course, there is the artificially man made Gregorian calendar, which people use. When you consider all of the artificial things that go into NFP, it is difficult to see it as natural.
The focus is on the sexual act itself. A thermometer and calendar do not prevent the man and the woman from coming together and using their sexual organs correctly.

The two questions that we should focus on are:

1. Do actions themselves, apart from their goal, have moral bearing?

I think there are several examples that demonstrate that assessing the morality depends on more than just an individual's goal. For instance, if one person wants to be a better athlete we wouldn't hold that reaching his goal through steroid use or cheating is morally equivalent to practicing to get better simply because the end goal is the same.

2. Is it sinful to postpone or space children for good reason?

I do not think that it is sinful if done for good reason; otherwise we emphasize the procreative over the unitive and human beings are little different from animals who are driven to reproduce solely for procreation.
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« Reply #49 on: April 04, 2013, 12:41:42 PM »

No, because in the face of NFP, one is avoiding conception on God's terms. It was God who designed human nature such that conception was only possible on certain days. Contraception, on the other hand, is avoiding conception on one's own terms, getting sex on demand, and removing the natural consequences. There is a very striking qualitative difference.
Well said
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« Reply #50 on: April 04, 2013, 12:47:38 PM »

nfp's purpose is the same as contraception, sorry....abstaining is a different matter, not sure why you are mixing the 2
And the purpose of steroid use and working out are the same. It doesn't mean they are morally equivalent. And abstaining is included in NFP because, as Papist said, it is done by utilizing the natural cycle God has given to women and practicing abstinence during fertile periods.

Quote
Catholics must also know that all who die in mortal sin will go to Hell forever.  Mortal sins include: murder, fornication (i.e. sexual acts outside of marriage or acts leading up to sex outside of marriage), lying, drunkenness, consenting to impure thoughts, masturbation, looking at pornography, adultery, cheating, taking God’s name in vain, birth control (NFP) or artificial contraception, assisting the propagation of heresy, funding heretics, dishonoring the Sabbath, breaking the commandments, etc.
You are confusing grave sins with mortal sins. A grave sin becomes a mortal sin only if it is done with full knowledge and willfully. For example, if a person is compelled to get drunk at gunpoint he is not as guilty as the man who gets drunk willfully.
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« Reply #51 on: April 04, 2013, 01:34:45 PM »

Sorry, not to be thick, as I think you are sincere, but I don't really believe in unoccluded free will.

It's sorta a catch-22. Why would anyone due x? They would have to be crazy!

Yeah, they probably are.
So if God is all good and all powerful, how can he allow someone to choose hell who has done so with an imperfect knowledge or freedom?


You don't need to have perfect knowledge of everything, and you need to have freedom to choose, which we do.  You either desire to be in God's presence and synergize with Him, or you don't.  You either like synergizing with Him (doing good toward others, kenosis, etc.) or you don't.  I don't need to know everything about my wife to make the right choice to remain faithful to her and be content with what I have.  I don't need to know everything about my neighbor in order not to steal His stuff and be content with what I have.  One is hell, the other heaven, and we choose between the two daily and all day long, whether there is "perfect knowledge" or not.     
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« Reply #52 on: April 04, 2013, 07:00:41 PM »

nfp's purpose is the same as contraception, sorry....abstaining is a different matter, not sure why you are mixing the 2
And the purpose of steroid use and working out are the same. It doesn't mean they are morally equivalent. And abstaining is included in NFP because, as Papist said, it is done by utilizing the natural cycle God has given to women and practicing abstinence during fertile periods.

Quote
Catholics must also know that all who die in mortal sin will go to Hell forever.  Mortal sins include: murder, fornication (i.e. sexual acts outside of marriage or acts leading up to sex outside of marriage), lying, drunkenness, consenting to impure thoughts, masturbation, looking at pornography, adultery, cheating, taking God’s name in vain, birth control (NFP) or artificial contraception, assisting the propagation of heresy, funding heretics, dishonoring the Sabbath, breaking the commandments, etc.
You are confusing grave sins with mortal sins. A grave sin becomes a mortal sin only if it is done with full knowledge and willfully. For example, if a person is compelled to get drunk at gunpoint he is not as guilty as the man who gets drunk willfully.

what are you talking about?
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14004b.htm#III
Mortal sin is defined by St. Augustine (Reply to Faustus XXII.27) as "Dictum vel factum vel concupitum contra legem æternam", i.e. something said, done or desired contrary to the eternal law, or a thought, word, or deed contrary to the eternal law. This is a definition of sin as it is a voluntary act. As it is a defect or privation it may be defined as an aversion from God, our true last end, by reason of the preference given to some mutable good. The definition of St. Augustine is accepted generally by theologians and is primarily a definition of actual mortal sin. It explains well the material and formal elements of sin. The words "dictum vel factum vel concupitum" denote the material element of sin, a human act: "contra legem æternam", the formal element. The act is bad because it transgresses the Divine law. St. Ambrose (De paradiso, viii) defines sin as a "prevarication of the Divine law". The definition of St. Augustine strictly considered, i.e. as sin averts us from our true ultimate end, does not comprehend venial sin, but in as much as venial sin is in a manner contrary to the Divine law, although not averting us from our last end, it may be said to be included in the definition as it stands. While primarily a definition of sins of commission, sins of omission may be included in the definition because they presuppose some positive act (St. Thomas, I-II:71:5) and negation and affirmation are reduced to the same genus. Sins that violate the human or the natural law are also included, for what is contrary to the human or natural law is also contrary to the Divine law, in as much as every just human law is derived from the Divine law, and is not just unless it is in conformity with the Divine law.

what you said here doesn't make sense
"And the purpose of steroid use and working out are the same. It doesn't mean they are morally equivalent "
because nfp and contraception's goals are the same evil, to have sex without having kids.......your analogy is wrong because the goal of getting in shape is not evil, do you understand?
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« Reply #53 on: April 04, 2013, 07:04:57 PM »

This is what is difficult to understand. If NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't the purpose of NFP and artificial  contraception be the same?
The purpose is indeed the same, but as I brought up in an earlier example dieting and bulimia have the same goal as well, but we say dieting is better than bulimia because of the action itself. This is the key issue separating Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians and schismatics like the Sedevacantists is that Catholics do not think it is sinful to postpone children for good reason,
Quote
you don't know what you're talking about , a sedevacantist is a Catholic, it's the only true position a traditional catholic can take, for the opposite would mean you don't think the pope is a heretic, so you actually believe the post vatican 2 popes not to be heretics?
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« Reply #54 on: April 04, 2013, 07:16:21 PM »

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« Reply #55 on: April 04, 2013, 09:30:20 PM »

what you said here doesn't make sense
"And the purpose of steroid use and working out are the same. It doesn't mean they are morally equivalent "
because nfp and contraception's goals are the same evil, to have sex without having kids.......your analogy is wrong because the goal of getting in shape is not evil, do you understand?

What I was attempting to point out is that actions cannot be said to be morally equivalent because the end goal is the same. The actions themselves have moral bearing. I would agree with you that not wanting children is a bad thing, but this is quite different than recognizing that certain factors may make having children imprudent at a certain time. I do not think it is a sin to postpone conception for serious reasons. Thus from my perspective the question of focus would be whether there is a moral difference between NFP and contraceptives in the methods themselves.

This is what is difficult to understand. If NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't the purpose of NFP and artificial  contraception be the same?
The purpose is indeed the same, but as I brought up in an earlier example dieting and bulimia have the same goal as well, but we say dieting is better than bulimia because of the action itself. This is the key issue separating Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians and schismatics like the Sedevacantists is that Catholics do not think it is sinful to postpone children for good reason,
Quote
...a sedevacantist is a Catholic, it's the only true position a traditional catholic can take, for the opposite would mean you don't think the pope is a heretic, so you actually believe the post vatican 2 popes not to be heretics?

I believe the popes since vatican II have been legitimate successors of St. Peter. To believe otherwise undermines the Catholic faith's belief that Church will not be led into heresy. Schismatics such as the sedevacantists believe the Church was led into heresy under the successor of St. Peter. If this is the case then the Catholic position is proven false and either one of the Orthodox communions or the Mormons are right (assuming Christ is indeed the Messiah).
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« Reply #56 on: April 04, 2013, 09:52:01 PM »

what you said here doesn't make sense
"And the purpose of steroid use and working out are the same. It doesn't mean they are morally equivalent "
because nfp and contraception's goals are the same evil, to have sex without having kids.......your analogy is wrong because the goal of getting in shape is not evil, do you understand?

What I was attempting to point out is that actions cannot be said to be morally equivalent because the end goal is the same. The actions themselves have moral bearing. I would agree with you that not wanting children is a bad thing, but this is quite different than recognizing that certain factors may make having children imprudent at a certain time. I do not think it is a sin to postpone conception for serious reasons. Thus from my perspective the question of focus would be whether there is a moral difference between NFP and contraceptives in the methods themselves.

This is what is difficult to understand. If NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't the purpose of NFP and artificial  contraception be the same?
The purpose is indeed the same, but as I brought up in an earlier example dieting and bulimia have the same goal as well, but we say dieting is better than bulimia because of the action itself. This is the key issue separating Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians and schismatics like the Sedevacantists is that Catholics do not think it is sinful to postpone children for good reason,
Quote
...a sedevacantist is a Catholic, it's the only true position a traditional catholic can take, for the opposite would mean you don't think the pope is a heretic, so you actually believe the post vatican 2 popes not to be heretics?

I believe the popes since vatican II have been legitimate successors of St. Peter. To believe otherwise undermines the Catholic faith's belief that Church will not be led into heresy. Schismatics such as the sedevacantists believe the Church was led into heresy under the successor of St. Peter. If this is the case then the Catholic position is proven false and either one of the Orthodox communions or the Mormons are right (assuming Christ is indeed the Messiah).
you can believe what you want but you are wrong
study the catholic faith and understand the sede position
http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/21_Objections.pdf
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« Reply #57 on: April 04, 2013, 10:44:37 PM »

This is what is difficult to understand. If NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't the purpose of NFP and artificial  contraception be the same?
The purpose is indeed the same, but as I brought up in an earlier example dieting and bulimia have the same goal as well, but we say dieting is better than bulimia because of the action itself. This is the key issue separating Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians and schismatics like the Sedevacantists is that Catholics do not think it is sinful to postpone children for good reason,
Quote
you don't know what you're talking about , a sedevacantist is a Catholic, it's the only true position a traditional catholic can take, for the opposite would mean you don't think the pope is a heretic, so you actually believe the post vatican 2 popes not to be heretics?
No, sedevacantists are most certainly not Catholics.
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« Reply #58 on: April 05, 2013, 11:52:12 AM »

Quote
you can believe what you want but you are wrong
study the catholic faith and understand the sede position
http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/21_Objections.pdf
Thanks, but no thanks. If anything those 21 objections made me more certain that you are mistaken. I wish you well and will be ending our conversation now so that the thread can get back on topic.
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« Reply #59 on: April 05, 2013, 02:03:45 PM »

Quote
It’s no different in its purpose from artificial contraception,
except that NFP can't be called contraception because there is never any contraception taking place.,

This is what is difficult to understand. If NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't the purpose of NFP and artificial  contraception be the same? Also, when NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't that involve the use of artificial man made objects such as the thermometer and the taking of notes and making charts with an artificially made pencil and artificially made paper? And of course, there is the artificially man made Gregorian calendar, which people use. When you consider all of the artificial things that go into NFP, it is difficult to see it as natural.
No, because in the face of NFP, one is avoiding conception on God's terms. It was God who designed human nature such that conception was only possible on certain days. Contraception, on the other hand, is avoiding conception on one's own terms, getting sex on demand, and removing the natural consequences. There is a very striking qualitative difference.
Тhe "very striking qualitative difference" lies between Humanae Vitae and the weak patristics its defenders try to use to apologize for it.  On this sedevacantist has you-you are avoiding having sex on God's terms.  Your presuppositions would demand sex only on those certain days when conception is possible.  As Noonan says, it is ironic that HV chooses to bless the rhythm method (or basal temperature or whatever-the principle is the same) when the meagre patristric evidence that HV depends on explicitly condemns it.

This "sex on demand" supposition-only the celibate could dream it up.
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« Reply #60 on: April 05, 2013, 02:03:45 PM »

This is what is difficult to understand. If NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't the purpose of NFP and artificial  contraception be the same?
The purpose is indeed the same, but as I brought up in an earlier example dieting and bulimia have the same goal as well, but we say dieting is better than bulimia because of the action itself. This is the key issue separating Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians and schismatics like the Sedevacantists is that Catholics do not think it is sinful to postpone children for good reason,
Quote
you don't know what you're talking about , a sedevacantist is a Catholic, it's the only true position a traditional catholic can take, for the opposite would mean you don't think the pope is a heretic, so you actually believe the post vatican 2 popes not to be heretics?
No, sedevacantists are most certainly not Catholics.
as Catholic as those who accept Vatican II.
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« Reply #61 on: April 05, 2013, 05:41:07 PM »

This is what is difficult to understand. If NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't the purpose of NFP and artificial  contraception be the same?
The purpose is indeed the same, but as I brought up in an earlier example dieting and bulimia have the same goal as well, but we say dieting is better than bulimia because of the action itself. This is the key issue separating Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians and schismatics like the Sedevacantists is that Catholics do not think it is sinful to postpone children for good reason,
Quote
you don't know what you're talking about , a sedevacantist is a Catholic, it's the only true position a traditional catholic can take, for the opposite would mean you don't think the pope is a heretic, so you actually believe the post vatican 2 popes not to be heretics?
No, sedevacantists are most certainly not Catholics.
No you are wrong and don't know what you are talking about.
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« Reply #62 on: April 05, 2013, 05:44:26 PM »

Shall we add Papist vs. sedevacantist to our WrestleMania-OC.net card?
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« Reply #63 on: April 06, 2013, 08:27:18 AM »

This is what is difficult to understand. If NFP is used to avoid having children, wouldn't the purpose of NFP and artificial  contraception be the same?
The purpose is indeed the same, but as I brought up in an earlier example dieting and bulimia have the same goal as well, but we say dieting is better than bulimia because of the action itself. This is the key issue separating Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians and schismatics like the Sedevacantists is that Catholics do not think it is sinful to postpone children for good reason,
Quote
you don't know what you're talking about , a sedevacantist is a Catholic, it's the only true position a traditional catholic can take, for the opposite would mean you don't think the pope is a heretic, so you actually believe the post vatican 2 popes not to be heretics?
No, sedevacantists are most certainly not Catholics.

Nonsense. Rather the Conciliar Religion is not Catholic.

But this isn't my fight anymore, thanks be to God  Grin

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« Reply #64 on: April 06, 2013, 08:29:43 AM »

Shall we add Papist vs. sedevacantist to our WrestleMania-OC.net card?

Please no. Bad enough that the fight seems to be spilling over from the Catholic boards to here.
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« Reply #65 on: April 06, 2013, 01:44:18 PM »

If I can re-steer this conversation I would like to focus on these questions in order:

1. Is it ever permissible for a married couple to space children or intend to not have children? Explain.

2. Is there a moral difference between NFP and artificial contraception in the actions themselves, apart from the goal/ intent? Explain.
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« Reply #66 on: April 06, 2013, 01:58:55 PM »

Shall we add Papist vs. sedevacantist to our WrestleMania-OC.net card?

OC.net trading cards?
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« Reply #67 on: April 08, 2013, 05:31:15 PM »

Shall we add Papist vs. sedevacantist to our WrestleMania-OC.net card?
Lol. I'm one of those who thinks that the sede view is just so looney that I'm probably not going to get in a wrestling match over it. I mean sede is here defending the Catholic view of the Papacy, while denying that there has actually been a Pope since VII. I can't imagine the cognitive dissonance that being a sede causes.
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« Reply #68 on: April 09, 2013, 10:52:15 PM »

Shall we add Papist vs. sedevacantist to our WrestleMania-OC.net card?
Lol. I'm one of those who thinks that the sede view is just so looney that I'm probably not going to get in a wrestling match over it. I mean sede is here defending the Catholic view of the Papacy, while denying that there has actually been a Pope since VII. I can't imagine the cognitive dissonance that being a sede causes.

what's looney is believing in a pope who has gone against the magisterium and thinking that he's a catholic, you shouldn't get in a wrestling match since you don't know what you are talking about ,

The Vatican II sect and its Antipopes want you to be in communion with Devils

 
The Catholic Church teaches that there is only one true religion and the rest are false.  The Catholic Church teaches that pagan religions (such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Voodooism, etc.), which worship various “gods,” actually worship demons, since all the gods of the heathen are the devils.

 
Psalms 95:5- “For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils…”

 1 Cor. 10:20- “But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God.  And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils.”

 St. Paul says that when the pagans worship their gods they are worshipping devils, and he doesn’t want you to be in communion with devils.  The Vatican II sect, however, endorses these false religions which commit idolatry and worship devils.  This is unspeakably evil; it is a total rejection of the teaching of the Gospel and the Catholic Church, and it is condemned as apostasy by Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos.

At the notorious interfaith “ecumenical prayer gatherings” – the most well-known occurring at Assisi in 1986 and 2002 – religious leaders from all the major false religions were invited to pray alongside John Paul II at a “Catholic” church. 
Each religion was invited to offer its own prayer for peace – blasphemous prayers, for instance, as the Hindu prayer said: “Peace be on all gods.”  But their gods are devils, as we saw above, so peace was being prayed for all the devils (who created these false religions) at the Vatican-sponsored World Day of Prayer for Peace.  The Vatican II religion wants you to be in communion with devils.

 The Vatican II Sect on Islam

 
Then we have the Vatican II sect’s teaching on the false religion of Islam, which rejects the Holy Trinity and the Divinity of Jesus Christ.  Benedict XVI and John Paul have praised Islam, a false religion of the devil.  Here we see John Paul II in the Temple of infidelity (the mosque), endorsing their false religion.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Basel, Session 19, Sept. 7, 1434:

“Moreover, we trust that with God’s help another benefit will accrue to the Christian commonwealth; because from this union, once it is established, there is hope that very many from the abominable sect of Mahomet will be converted to the Catholic faith.”

 

The Catholic Church teaches that Islam is “an abominable sect” of infidels (unbelievers).  An “abomination” is something that God abhors; it is something that He has no esteem for and no respect for.

 

Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, 1311-1312: “It is an insult to the holy name and a disgrace to the Christian faith that in certain parts of the world subject to Christian princes where Saracens (i.e., The followers of Islam, also called Muslims) live, sometimes apart, sometimes intermingled with Christians, the Saracen priests, commonly called Zabazala, in their temples or mosques, in which the Saracens meet to adore the infidel Mahomet, loudly invoke and extol his name each day at certain hours from a high place… This brings disrepute on our faith and gives great scandal to the faithful.      These practices cannot be tolerated without displeasing the divine majesty.  We therefore, with the sacred council’s approval, strictly forbid such practices henceforth in Christian lands.  We enjoin on Catholic princes, one and all.. They are to forbid expressly the public invocation of the sacrilegious name of Mahomet… Those who presume to act otherwise are to be so chastised by the princes for their irreverence, that others may be deterred from such boldness.”

 for pictures and the rest of the article
http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/VaticanII_mainpage.php

if this was  a wrestling match you would be Mean Gene Okerlund and I would be Andre the Giant....(mean Gene was a commentator)
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« Reply #69 on: April 09, 2013, 11:02:57 PM »

I hate to be that person, but mind varying your sources? A nice selection makes it so your position is stronger, rather than jsut the ramblings of a single site, whose bias is unmistakable
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« Reply #70 on: April 09, 2013, 11:34:41 PM »

If I can re-steer this conversation I would like to focus on these questions in order:

1. Is it ever permissible for a married couple to space children or intend to not have children? Explain.

2. Is there a moral difference between NFP and artificial contraception in the actions themselves, apart from the goal/ intent? Explain.
1. Yes.  To think otherwise makes the couple nothing but passive instruments of breeding.  Yes, in some extreme cases-for instance, when the wife is undergoing continuous chemo treatments.

2. No, not for non-abortofacients-they both involve intercourse when the womb is inhospitable to conception.
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« Reply #71 on: April 10, 2013, 01:36:51 AM »

what's looney is believing in a pope who has gone against the magisterium and thinking that he's a catholic, ...
Has a pre-Vatican II Roman Pope ever gone against previous teaching before? For example, on the issue of slavery?
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« Reply #72 on: April 10, 2013, 12:25:17 PM »

1. Yes.  To think otherwise makes the couple nothing but passive instruments of breeding.  Yes, in some extreme cases-for instance, when the wife is undergoing continuous chemo treatments.
So in your view, would such spacing require total abstinence, or are other methods permissible?

Quote
2. No, not for non-abortofacients-they both involve intercourse when the womb is inhospitable to conception.
I hate to nitpick, but this is false. When a couple uses a non-abortifacient contraceptive, such as a condom, the womb may be perfectly hospitable; a device merely gets in the way of conception. In contrast, NFP uses charting techniques which may allow a couple to have sexual intercourse when the womb isn't "hospitable" as you put it. Nothing gets in the way.
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« Reply #73 on: April 10, 2013, 12:56:32 PM »

1. Yes.  To think otherwise makes the couple nothing but passive instruments of breeding.  Yes, in some extreme cases-for instance, when the wife is undergoing continuous chemo treatments.
So in your view, would such spacing require total abstinence, or are other methods permissible?
In my opinion (and the statement of the Russian Orthodox Church) non-abortifacient methods are permissible.
Quote
2. No, not for non-abortofacients-they both involve intercourse when the womb is inhospitable to conception.
I hate to nitpick, but this is false. When a couple uses a non-abortifacient contraceptive, such as a condom, the womb may be perfectly hospitable; a device merely gets in the way of conception.
I blocked womb is an inhospitable womb.
In contrast, NFP uses charting techniques which may allow a couple to have sexual intercourse when the womb isn't "hospitable" as you put it. Nothing gets in the way.
Just the timing.  It's like promising to mail a college application, and waiting to do so after the due date passes.
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« Reply #74 on: April 10, 2013, 01:07:48 PM »



No idea why, but this the funniest thing I've seen in a while!

Thanks.
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« Reply #75 on: April 10, 2013, 01:08:51 PM »

I hate to be that person

What's wrong with That Person? He's seems pretty decent even if he is from the Dayton area.
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« Reply #76 on: April 10, 2013, 01:49:37 PM »

I hate to be that person

What's wrong with That Person? He's seems pretty decent even if he is from the Dayton area.
It gladdens me to see that you mpicked up on that word play, haha
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« Reply #77 on: April 10, 2013, 03:23:17 PM »

I blocked womb is an inhospitable womb.
Once again, false. An analogy: Lets say there is a very hospitable inn at the end of a road. If the road is blocked off and people are prevented from partaking of this hospitality it does not change the fact that the inn is still hospitable.

NFP, in this analogy, may be likened to the off season when nobody is at the inn. People may still go to the place where the inn is, but the staff is not there to greet visitors with hospitality.

Is it wrong to prevent people from partaking of the inn's hospitality? Is it wrong to visit the inn when it isn't open?
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« Reply #78 on: April 10, 2013, 08:17:11 PM »

what's looney is believing in a pope who has gone against the magisterium and thinking that he's a catholic, ...
Has a pre-Vatican II Roman Pope ever gone against previous teaching before? For example, on the issue of slavery?
yes there have been 40 or so antipopes in history, you shouldn't follow their teachings and you shouldn't follow these vatican 2 popes, do you believe in ecumenism?
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« Reply #79 on: April 10, 2013, 08:23:11 PM »

I hate to be that person, but mind varying your sources? A nice selection makes it so your position is stronger, rather than jsut the ramblings of a single site, whose bias is unmistakable
you shouldn't hate to be that person if you had a point, but seeing that my source is quoting from what popes have said and done in the past you clearly have no point, so how about you find one instance where my source quoted a past pope and it wasn't true, or else I would just consider your question as the ramblings of a person who has no argument
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« Reply #80 on: April 10, 2013, 08:55:32 PM »

I blocked womb is an inhospitable womb.
Once again, false. An analogy: Lets say there is a very hospitable inn at the end of a road. If the road is blocked off and people are prevented from partaking of this hospitality it does not change the fact that the inn is still hospitable.
Irrelevant: you aren't going down the road when the inn is open, only when you know it is closed.  Whether you go when the entrance to the road is blocked, or you go when the door is locked, in either case, you are going when you know you can't get in.
=

Better yet, imagine it is like the partition door between two hotel rooms. Whether one locks the door from the outside, or locks it from the inside, in either case, you aren't going to get into the other room.

NFP, in this analogy, may be likened to the off season when nobody is at the inn. People may still go to the place where the inn is, but the staff is not there to greet visitors with hospitality.
You don't need the staff or the greeting.  Just to get in.


Is it wrong to prevent people from partaking of the inn's hospitality? Is it wrong to visit the inn when it isn't open?
two different questions with the same answer.  Hence the identity of "NFP" and "artificial contraception."
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« Reply #81 on: April 11, 2013, 01:34:56 PM »

Are you a consequentialist, Ialmisry? Do you believe the means don't matter if the objective is the same?
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« Reply #82 on: April 11, 2013, 02:07:11 PM »

Are you a consequentialist, Ialmisry? Do you believe the means don't matter if the objective is the same?
No, but I don't have to be at the issue at hand.
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« Reply #83 on: April 11, 2013, 03:02:34 PM »

No, but I don't have to be at the issue at hand.
Maybe so. Can you give an explanation of why NFP and artificial contraception are morally equivalent without appeal to the intended consequence?
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« Reply #84 on: April 11, 2013, 03:32:39 PM »

No, but I don't have to be at the issue at hand.
Maybe so. Can you give an explanation of why NFP and artificial contraception are morally equivalent without appeal to the intended consequence?

That is a rather specific constraint. Perhaps you should like to prove contraception is sinful without appealing either to the Fathers or to Moral Law.

Morally they are equivalent because they involve using sexual intercourse while also trying to prevent the conception of a child. How the prevention occurs is immaterial. This is why the fathers condemn both practices. I am curious, what is it that you believe justifies saying that the manner by which the prevention of conception occurs is significant in distinguishing the two acts?
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« Reply #85 on: April 11, 2013, 05:22:51 PM »

No, but I don't have to be at the issue at hand.
Maybe so. Can you give an explanation of why NFP and artificial contraception are morally equivalent without appeal to the intended consequence?

That is a rather specific constraint. Perhaps you should like to prove contraception is sinful without appealing either to the Fathers or to Moral Law.

Morally they are equivalent because they involve using sexual intercourse while also trying to prevent the conception of a child. How the prevention occurs is immaterial. This is why the fathers condemn both practices. I am curious, what is it that you believe justifies saying that the manner by which the prevention of conception occurs is significant in distinguishing the two acts?
Trying to prove something is sinful without moral law is like trying to prove to someone that 2+2=4 without using mathematics; moral law is absolutely necessary for discussions of morality. I don't think the same is true regarding the Fathers, although they are very important. A dialogue about what is morally right and wrong can take place without appeal to the Fathers, whereas it cannot take place without a standard of morality.

Your explanation above relies on the intended objective. I am hoping to find ways of discussing the acts themselves without appeal to the intended objective.

I personally think there is a difference between the two because when a couple has sexual intercourse during an infertile period they are in no way changing the sexual act itself. Nothing artificial is put in the way. When artificial contraception is used the act is completely changed because something foreign to the natural sexual act has been added.

There is a difference between active prevention and passive prevention. For instance, if you were a spy and needed to prevent a guard from revealing your whereabouts you could simply stay hidden until you have a moment to flee safely. This may be a difficult endeavor that requires patience. The alternative may be harming or killing the guard so that he will not draw attention to your presence. While in both cases your intent is to prevent being found out the two ways of accomplishing this have significant moral difference. In this case we can say that it is better to wait and escape undetected than to kill someone to remain undetected. Can we also say it is better to have sex without changing/ interfering with the act without appealing to the intent? In other words, are actions moral or immoral in and of themselves, regardless of the intent?
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« Reply #86 on: April 11, 2013, 05:49:09 PM »

No, but I don't have to be at the issue at hand.
Maybe so. Can you give an explanation of why NFP and artificial contraception are morally equivalent without appeal to the intended consequence?

That is a rather specific constraint. Perhaps you should like to prove contraception is sinful without appealing either to the Fathers or to Moral Law.

Morally they are equivalent because they involve using sexual intercourse while also trying to prevent the conception of a child. How the prevention occurs is immaterial. This is why the fathers condemn both practices. I am curious, what is it that you believe justifies saying that the manner by which the prevention of conception occurs is significant in distinguishing the two acts?
Trying to prove something is sinful without moral law is like trying to prove to someone that 2+2=4 without using mathematics; moral law is absolutely necessary for discussions of morality. I don't think the same is true regarding the Fathers, although they are very important. A dialogue about what is morally right and wrong can take place without appeal to the Fathers, whereas it cannot take place without a standard of morality.

Your explanation above relies on the intended objective. I am hoping to find ways of discussing the acts themselves without appeal to the intended objective.

I personally think there is a difference between the two because when a couple has sexual intercourse during an infertile period they are in no way changing the sexual act itself. Nothing artificial is put in the way. When artificial contraception is used the act is completely changed because something foreign to the natural sexual act has been added.
An artificial distinction.  LOL.  You're talking as if there were a check list for a "natural sexual act." Your model, for instance, wouldn't deal with coitus interruptus, which I'm assUming you would also see as "artificial."

There is a difference between active prevention and passive prevention. For instance, if you were a spy and needed to prevent a guard from revealing your whereabouts you could simply stay hidden until you have a moment to flee safely. This may be a difficult endeavor that requires patience. The alternative may be harming or killing the guard so that he will not draw attention to your presence. While in both cases your intent is to prevent being found out the two ways of accomplishing this have significant moral difference. In this case we can say that it is better to wait and escape undetected than to kill someone to remain undetected.
and what do you do if detected?

See?  No difference.

Can we also say it is better to have sex without changing/ interfering with the act without appealing to the intent? In other words, are actions moral or immoral in and of themselves, regardless of the intent?
That's like the "difference" between beheading someone, and driving him into the wilderness where he dies.  He still ends up dead. To think otherwise is to engage in casuistry (or Jesuitry) to convince a guilty conscience it is innocent.

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« Reply #87 on: April 11, 2013, 06:14:00 PM »

An artificial distinction.  LOL.  You're talking as if there were a check list for a "natural sexual act." Your model, for instance, wouldn't deal with coitus interruptus, which I'm assUming you would also see as "artificial."
I wouldn't use the term artificial in such a case, but compromised, but this isn't very important.

Quote
and what do you do if detected?

See?  No difference.
Claiming that there is no difference is jumping ahead a little bit, dont you think? A situation where one can either escape when the coast is clear or instead murder a guard to save time is completely different than a situation where a person's life is in immediate danger, and thus the moral dilemma is different.

Quote
That's like the "difference" between beheading someone, and driving him into the wilderness where he dies.  He still ends up dead. To think otherwise is to engage in casuistry (or Jesuitry) to convince a guilty conscience it is innocent.
I disagree. In your analogy beheading is akin to artificial contraception, leaving him to die as NFP, where intending his death is akin to the intent to avoid conception. In both cases you are actively doing something to lead a man to his death. A better analogy would be Personally beheading someone vs. standing by and letting someone else do the beheading. In both cases you may be held morally culpable, but my inclination is to think most people would say the person actually ctting off another person's head is more in the wrong than the person merely not preventing the beheading.

Because we have agreed that there is nothing wrong with aiming to avoid conception for good reasons I think a better analogy would be  that of losing weight that I brought up earlier. We both agree that it may be at times good or permissible to lose weight, but losing weight through dieting is good whereas losing weight through bulimia is bad and harmful. In this case we see that the morality of the actions is not determined by the intent, but by the means itself. The question in this analogy is whether bulimia is bad only because of the physical harm it causes, or if there is something bad about interfering with the eating and digestion process itself. Are things only moral if they are beneficial? Are we to be utilitarians?

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« Reply #88 on: April 11, 2013, 07:13:44 PM »

No, but I don't have to be at the issue at hand.
Maybe so. Can you give an explanation of why NFP and artificial contraception are morally equivalent without appeal to the intended consequence?

That is a rather specific constraint. Perhaps you should like to prove contraception is sinful without appealing either to the Fathers or to Moral Law.

Morally they are equivalent because they involve using sexual intercourse while also trying to prevent the conception of a child. How the prevention occurs is immaterial. This is why the fathers condemn both practices. I am curious, what is it that you believe justifies saying that the manner by which the prevention of conception occurs is significant in distinguishing the two acts?
Trying to prove something is sinful without moral law is like trying to prove to someone that 2+2=4 without using mathematics; moral law is absolutely necessary for discussions of morality. I don't think the same is true regarding the Fathers, although they are very important. A dialogue about what is morally right and wrong can take place without appeal to the Fathers, whereas it cannot take place without a standard of morality.

Your explanation above relies on the intended objective. I am hoping to find ways of discussing the acts themselves without appeal to the intended objective.

I personally think there is a difference between the two because when a couple has sexual intercourse during an infertile period they are in no way changing the sexual act itself. Nothing artificial is put in the way. When artificial contraception is used the act is completely changed because something foreign to the natural sexual act has been added.

There is a difference between active prevention and passive prevention. For instance, if you were a spy and needed to prevent a guard from revealing your whereabouts you could simply stay hidden until you have a moment to flee safely. This may be a difficult endeavor that requires patience. The alternative may be harming or killing the guard so that he will not draw attention to your presence. While in both cases your intent is to prevent being found out the two ways of accomplishing this have significant moral difference. In this case we can say that it is better to wait and escape undetected than to kill someone to remain undetected. Can we also say it is better to have sex without changing/ interfering with the act without appealing to the intent? In other words, are actions moral or immoral in and of themselves, regardless of the intent?
But are you not actively preventing conception of a child when you actively use artificially man made thermometers to determine when is the best time to avoid conception?
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« Reply #89 on: April 11, 2013, 08:35:23 PM »

But are you not actively preventing conception of a child when you actively use artificially man made thermometers to determine when is the best time to avoid conception?
There is no action you are committing that prevents conception. It is the absence of an action that prevents conception. It is sort of like a hole. A hole exists when there is an absence of something. When a couple uses NFP their actions are never contraceptive, only their intent.
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« Reply #90 on: April 11, 2013, 10:15:57 PM »

Thanks everyone for this discussion! You have given me a lot to think about. Because I fear I am making a poor argument for the Roman Catholic position I will appeal to the philosopher GEM Anscombe:

"Here, however, people still feel intensely confused, because the intention where oral contraceptives are taken seems to be just the same as when intercourse is deliberately restricted to infertile periods. In one way this is true, and its truth is actually pointed out by Humanae Vitae, in a passage I will quote in a moment. But in another way it's not true.

The reason why people are confused about intention, and why they sometimes think there is no difference between contraceptive intercourse and the use of infertile times to avoid conception, is this: They don't notice the difference between "intention" when it means the intentionalness of the thing you're doing - that you're doing this on purpose - and when it means a further or accompanying intention with which you do the thing. For example, I make a table: that's an intentional action because I am doing just that on purpose. I have the further intention of, say, earning my living, doing my job by making the table. Contraceptive intercourse and intercourse using infertile times may be alike in respect of further intention, and these further intentions may be good, justified, excellent. This the Pope has noted. He sketched such a situation and said: "It cannot be denied that in both cases the married couple, for acceptable reasons," (for that's how he imagined the case) "are perfectly clear in their intention to avoid children and mean to secure that none will be born." This is a comment on the two things: contraceptive intercourse on the one hand and intercourse using infertile times on the other, for the sake of the limitation of the family.

But contraceptive intercourse is faulted, not on account of this further intention, but because of the kind of intentional action you are doing. The action is not left by you as the kind of act by which life is transmitted, but is purposely rendered infertile, and so changed to another sort of act altogether.

In considering an action, we need always to judge several things about ourselves. First: is the sort of act we contemplate doing something that it's all right to do? Second: are our further or surrounding intentions all right? Third: is the spirit in which we do it all right? Contraceptive intercourse fails on the first count; and to intend such an act is not to intend a marriage act at all, whether or no we're married. An act of ordinary intercourse in marriage at an infertile time, though, is a perfectly ordinary act of married intercourse, and it will be bad, if it is bad, only on the second or third counts.

It may help you to see that the intentional act itself counts, as well as the further or accompanying intentions, if you think of an obvious example like forging a cheque to steal from somebody in order to get funds for a good purpose. The intentional action, presenting a cheque we've forged, is on the face of it a dishonest action, not be vindicated by the good further intention."

More can be read here: http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/AnscombeChastity.php

 
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« Reply #91 on: April 11, 2013, 11:16:23 PM »

But are you not actively preventing conception of a child when you actively use artificially man made thermometers to determine when is the best time to avoid conception?
There is no action you are committing that prevents conception. It is the absence of an action that prevents conception. It is sort of like a hole. A hole exists when there is an absence of something. When a couple uses NFP their actions are never contraceptive, only their intent.
Sure they are.  Just like a farmer sowing seed on a pile of rocks.

To see the truth of that, apply the patristics that HV doesn't quote (because it can't) but depends on: imagine if the couple could only engage in sexual intercourse when the wife was fertile.  Would they completely abstain, or would they, sooner or later, take their chances?
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« Reply #92 on: April 11, 2013, 11:28:40 PM »

An artificial distinction.  LOL.  You're talking as if there were a check list for a "natural sexual act." Your model, for instance, wouldn't deal with coitus interruptus, which I'm assUming you would also see as "artificial."
I wouldn't use the term artificial in such a case, but compromised, but this isn't very important.
And therefore the artificial argument of "artificial contraception" versus natural contraception, falls.

and what do you do if detected?

See?  No difference.
Claiming that there is no difference is jumping ahead a little bit, dont you think? A situation where one can either escape when the coast is clear or instead murder a guard to save time is completely different than a situation where a person's life is in immediate danger, and thus the moral dilemma is different.
Alas, no.  Hence the moral dilemmas of war.

That's like the "difference" between beheading someone, and driving him into the wilderness where he dies.  He still ends up dead. To think otherwise is to engage in casuistry (or Jesuitry) to convince a guilty conscience it is innocent.
I disagree. In your analogy beheading is akin to artificial contraception, leaving him to die as NFP, where intending his death is akin to the intent to avoid conception. In both cases you are actively doing something to lead a man to his death. A better analogy would be Personally beheading someone vs. standing by and letting someone else do the beheading. In both cases you may be held morally culpable, but my inclination is to think most people would say the person actually ctting off another person's head is more in the wrong than the person merely not preventing the beheading.
Your analogy resembles more the situation the Vatican first took up when it changed its position, allowing to "submit" to their husbands when infertile, so as to wean them off of coitus interruptus.  In that case the wife is the on standing by (or rather, laying down-and no doubt thinking of Italy), whereas the husband is the one "more in the wrong."

Because we have agreed that there is nothing wrong with aiming to avoid conception for good reasons I think a better analogy would be  that of losing weight that I brought up earlier. We both agree that it may be at times good or permissible to lose weight, but losing weight through dieting is good whereas losing weight through bulimia is bad and harmful. In this case we see that the morality of the actions is not determined by the intent, but by the means itself. The question in this analogy is whether bulimia is bad only because of the physical harm it causes, or if there is something bad about interfering with the eating and digestion process itself. Are things only moral if they are beneficial? Are we to be utilitarians?
Yes, the bulimia analogy has become a favorite of HV apologists.  Unfortunately it resembles abortion more than it resembles contraception, and hence not on point.

Rather, the analogy would be using things like fibertrim, diet coke, equal or weigh watchers, which is perfectly fine.  So too gastric bypass, if such a thing is warranted.
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« Reply #93 on: April 11, 2013, 11:59:04 PM »

Thanks everyone for this discussion! You have given me a lot to think about. Because I fear I am making a poor argument for the Roman Catholic position I will appeal to the philosopher GEM Anscombe:
You are not making a poor argument, it is just a poor argument to make.

"Here, however, people still feel intensely confused, because the intention where oral contraceptives are taken seems to be just the same as when intercourse is deliberately restricted to infertile periods. In one way this is true, and its truth is actually pointed out by Humanae Vitae, in a passage I will quote in a moment. But in another way it's not true.

The reason why people are confused about intention, and why they sometimes think there is no difference between contraceptive intercourse and the use of infertile times to avoid conception, is this: They don't notice the difference between "intention" when it means the intentionalness of the thing you're doing - that you're doing this on purpose - and when it means a further or accompanying intention with which you do the thing. For example, I make a table: that's an intentional action because I am doing just that on purpose. I have the further intention of, say, earning my living, doing my job by making the table. Contraceptive intercourse and intercourse using infertile times may be alike in respect of further intention, and these further intentions may be good, justified, excellent. This the Pope has noted. He sketched such a situation and said: "It cannot be denied that in both cases the married couple, for acceptable reasons," (for that's how he imagined the case) "are perfectly clear in their intention to avoid children and mean to secure that none will be born." This is a comment on the two things: contraceptive intercourse on the one hand and intercourse using infertile times on the other, for the sake of the limitation of the family.

But contraceptive intercourse is faulted, not on account of this further intention, but because of the kind of intentional action you are doing. The action is not left by you as the kind of act by which life is transmitted, but is purposely rendered infertile, and so changed to another sort of act altogether.

In considering an action, we need always to judge several things about ourselves. First: is the sort of act we contemplate doing something that it's all right to do? Second: are our further or surrounding intentions all right? Third: is the spirit in which we do it all right? Contraceptive intercourse fails on the first count; and to intend such an act is not to intend a marriage act at all, whether or no we're married. An act of ordinary intercourse in marriage at an infertile time, though, is a perfectly ordinary act of married intercourse, and it will be bad, if it is bad, only on the second or third counts.

It may help you to see that the intentional act itself counts, as well as the further or accompanying intentions, if you think of an obvious example like forging a cheque to steal from somebody in order to get funds for a good purpose. The intentional action, presenting a cheque we've forged, is on the face of it a dishonest action, not be vindicated by the good further intention."

More can be read here: http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/AnscombeChastity.php  

I'll get down to that, but before I've noticed a few problems as we go along:
Quote
The prohibition was issued in the same breath as the merely temporary retention of Judaic laws prohibiting the eating of blood - no black pudding!
Who says it is "merely temporary" or "Judaic?  The Council of Jerusalem, i.e. Scripture, gives no such indication.

Quote
In one word: Christianity taught that men ought to be as chaste as pagans thought honest women ought to be; the contraceptive morality teaches that women need to be as little chaste as pagans thought men need be.
An assertion which she begs throughout the piece.  Again, in this she follows most apologists of HV, who seem to think contraception means "sex on demand" 24/7, and couples engaging in contraception are permanently joined at their hips (or thereabouts).  

Quote
And if there is nothing intrinsically wrong with contraceptive intercourse, and if it could become general practice everywhere when there is intercourse but ought to be no begetting, then it's very difficult to see the objection to this morality, for the ground of objection to fornication and adultery was that sexual intercourse is only right in the sort of set-up that typically provides children with a father and mother to care for them. If you can turn intercourse into something other than the reproductive type of act (I don't mean of course that every act is reproductive any more than every acorn leads to an oak-tree but it's the reproductive type of act) then why, if you can change it, should it be restricted to the married? Restricted, that is, to partners bound in a formal, legal, union whose fundamental purpose is the bringing up of children? For if that is not its fundamental purpose there is no reason why for example "marriage" should have to be between people of opposite sexes. But then, of course, it becomes unclear why you should have a ceremony, why you should have a formality at all. And so we must grant that children are in this general way the main point of the existence of such an arrangement. But if sexual union can be deliberately and totally divorced from fertility, then we may wonder why sexual union has got to be married union. If the expression of love between the partners is the point, then it shouldn't be so narrowly confined.
Only the mentality which dreams up the Corban of annullments could dream up such a paragraph.  She seems to deny the fact that children can and are produced from reproductive types of act outside of marriage all the time (whether they should is another issue).  Would she argue, for instance, that woman-on-top or dorsal intercourse "turn[s ] intercourse into something other than the reproductive type of act"? Because the Stoic philosophy which formed the basis of HV's position and the meagre patristics and canons which nurtured it argued just that.

People shouldn't marry to have children: that renders the husband a sperm donor and the wife a baby maker.  Marriage should result in children, but they are the result, not the aim, of the marriage.  Her argument, as other apologists for HV, reduce couples to breeders.

Lord willing, I'll return to this later.  But in the meantime, her dismissive parenthesis do not dispense of the objection: every intercourse would have to be reproductive for her to be correct.  Once you allow "types" of the act, contraception (artificial or natural) has its license.
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« Reply #94 on: April 12, 2013, 01:09:19 AM »

But are you not actively preventing conception of a child when you actively use artificially man made thermometers to determine when is the best time to avoid conception?
There is no action you are committing that prevents conception.
There is the action of using the artificially man made  thermometer and the charts. You are actively using those artificially man made unnatural objects to avoid having children. You are actively making use of several different unnatural  tools and measurements to defeat the primary purpose of marriage.
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« Reply #95 on: April 12, 2013, 03:26:38 PM »

But are you not actively preventing conception of a child when you actively use artificially man made thermometers to determine when is the best time to avoid conception?
There is no action you are committing that prevents conception.
There is the action of using the artificially man made  thermometer and the charts. You are actively using those artificially man made unnatural objects to avoid having children. You are actively making use of several different unnatural  tools and measurements to defeat the primary purpose of marriage.
Those things are not interfering with the sexual act. The act itself remains unchanged.
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« Reply #96 on: April 12, 2013, 03:30:04 PM »

And therefore the artificial argument of "artificial contraception" versus natural contraception, falls.
As Anscombe mentions in the article, when Catholics talk about "unnatural" things they do not simply mean things that are artificial, but also thing that go against the moral standards dictated by natural law.

and what do you do if detected?
Alas, no.  Hence the moral dilemmas of war.
You can't just say "nope" and leave it at that. Make your case as to why both situations are morally equivalent.
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« Reply #97 on: April 12, 2013, 03:33:54 PM »

Only the mentality which dreams up the Corban of annullments could dream up such a paragraph.  She seems to deny the fact that children can and are produced from reproductive types of act outside of marriage all the time (whether they should is another issue).  Would she argue, for instance, that woman-on-top or dorsal intercourse "turn[s ] intercourse into something other than the reproductive type of act"? Because the Stoic philosophy which formed the basis of HV's position and the meagre patristics and canons which nurtured it argued just that.

People shouldn't marry to have children: that renders the husband a sperm donor and the wife a baby maker.  Marriage should result in children, but they are the result, not the aim, of the marriage.  Her argument, as other apologists for HV, reduce couples to breeders.

Lord willing, I'll return to this later.  But in the meantime, her dismissive parenthesis do not dispense of the objection: every intercourse would have to be reproductive for her to be correct.  Once you allow "types" of the act, contraception (artificial or natural) has its license.
This last statement of yours makes me wonder if you really read the article. Anscombe is very clear in explaining that marriage does not exist solely for the procreation of children, but that this is a key part of marriage that should not be removed from marriage. There can me more than one aim of marriage, and procreation is one of these reasons. The fact that there are other reasons as well does not negate this.
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« Reply #98 on: April 12, 2013, 03:34:47 PM »

To continue:
Quote
The only objection, then, to the new heathen, contraceptive morality will be that the second condition I mentioned - near-universality of contraception where there ought not to be begetting - simply won't be fulfilled. Against the background of a society with that morality, more and more people will have intercourse with little feeling of responsibility, little restraint, and yet they just won't be so careful about always using contraceptives. And so the widespread use of contraceptives naturally leads to more and more rather than less and less abortion (The exception to this in the short term is where abortion has been encouraged and contraceptives not available, making contraceptives available then produces an immediate but only temporary reduction in abortions.) Indeed, abortion is now being recommended as a population control measure - a second line of defence.
getting through this very poorly written paragraph, she seems not to know that most, if not nearly all, married couples who practice contraception do in fact beget and bear (the exclusive use of "begetting" seems to belie the Stoic fetish that underlies the "reasoning" of HV) children.

Of course, she continues to beg the issue that "contraceptive mentality" leads to "intercourse with little feeling of responsibility" and "little restraint," rather than the other way around.  I don't think the Netherlands lagged behind the US in that in the '60's, although contraception, information on contraception, and contraceptive propaganda like Planned Parenthood were illegal until 1969.  Nor does it lead to homosexuality, btw, which was legalized in the Netherlands nearly two centuries before.

I don't think she has the facts to back up her assertion that "the widespread use of contraceptives naturally leads to more and more rather than less and less abortion", or even the theory: if contraception removes all restraint, as she argues, then there are more instances of intercourse, and the number of abortions would have to go up to keep up and not drop in the ratio of abortion/intercourse.  Intercourse hasn't gone down in the US, but the abortion rate has, and I think that has been the case in most countries' statistics I have seen except for Japan-where contraception has been available but no one uses it, preferring abortion as a back up.  Conversely, contraception is available in Egypt, and is used, but big families remain the norm.

She pretty much condemns the POV she is advocated when she says
Quote
Now if this - that you won't get this universal "taking care" - is the only objection then it's a pretty miserable outlook. Because, like the fear of venereal disease, it's an objection that's little capable of moving people or inspiring them as a positive ideal of chastity may.
as she doesn't get much beyond the fear of pregnancy as a check on promiscuity, if at all.

Quote
The Christian Church has taught such an ideal of chastity: in a narrower sense, and in a broader sense in which chastity is simply the virtue whose topic is sex, just as courage is the virtue whose topic is danger and difficulty. In the narrower sense chastity means continence, abstention. I have to say something about this - though I'm reduced to stammering because I am a mediocre worldly person leading an ordinary sort of worldly life; nevertheless I'll try to say it even with stammering.

What people are for is, we believe, like guided missiles, to home in on God, God who is the one truth it is infinitely worth knowing, the possession of which you could never get tired of, like the water which if you have you can never thirst again, because your thirst is slaked forever and always. It's this potentiality, this incredible possibility, of the knowledge of God of such a kind as even to be sharing in his nature, which Christianity holds out to people; and because of this potentiality every life, right up to the last, must be treated as precious. Its potentialities in all things the world cares about may be slight; but there is always the possibility of what it's for. We can't ever know that the time of possibility of gaining eternal life is over, however old, wretched, "useless" someone has become.
"every sperm is sacred"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptTwi6-ii-s
Quote
Now there are some people who want this so much that they want to be totally concerned with it and to die to their own worldly, earthly and fleshly desires. It is people who are so filled with this enormous desire and are able to follow it, who pursue the course of chastity in the narrow sense - this is the point, the glory, of Christian celibacy and virginity and of vows of chastity. I think one has to know about it in order to appreciate the teachings of Christianity about chastity in a wide sense. But as I say I speak stammeringly because I'm not very well qualified.
Her stammering spits out the confusion of chastity with celibacy.  Many who have embraced Christian celibacy without being called to it have tarnished monasticism rather than giving it luster, while a Christian marriage is truly a glory to behold-even the Muslims in Egypt admit it so.

It is surprising that the writings of monks in the golden age of monasticism dwell mostly on bellies and fasting, rather than reproductive organs and their use or misuse.

The frustration of desired celibacy haunts much HV apologetic.

Btw:
Quote
a penetrating moral analysis of marriage and sexuality that will benefit any reader who rejects the secularist reduction of marriage as merely a union that sanctions sexual activity between partners
the reduction of marriage to merely a means of breeding isn't better.
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« Reply #99 on: April 12, 2013, 03:37:11 PM »

But are you not actively preventing conception of a child when you actively use artificially man made thermometers to determine when is the best time to avoid conception?
There is no action you are committing that prevents conception.
There is the action of using the artificially man made  thermometer and the charts. You are actively using those artificially man made unnatural objects to avoid having children. You are actively making use of several different unnatural  tools and measurements to defeat the primary purpose of marriage.
Those things are not interfering with the sexual act. The act itself remains unchanged.
intercourse with a woman on the pill is the same as intercourse with a pregnant woman.  The act itself remains unchanged.
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« Reply #100 on: April 12, 2013, 03:56:12 PM »

And therefore the artificial argument of "artificial contraception" versus natural contraception, falls.
As Anscombe mentions in the article, when Catholics talk about "unnatural" things they do not simply mean things that are artificial, but also thing that go against the moral standards dictated by natural law.
Those artificial moral standards are artificially dictated by an artificially constructed artificial "natural law." We have addressed that a lot here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21230.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29748.0.html

and what do you do if detected?
Alas, no.  Hence the moral dilemmas of war.
You can't just say "nope" and leave it at that. Make your case as to why both situations are morally equivalent.
when you haven't made your argument that they are not?

Risking detection compromises the mission, in wartime the absolute good and your life-and the mission-is in immediate danger every moment of the mission, where time is of the essence.  Hence the problem of the circumstances of war artificially creating such scenarios, and hence the moral dilemmas of war.

Your scenario makes a moral difference only if you escape detection. If you are discovered, or the mission fails because of lost time, your moral niceties utterly fail.
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« Reply #101 on: April 12, 2013, 04:23:50 PM »

Only the mentality which dreams up the Corban of annullments could dream up such a paragraph.  She seems to deny the fact that children can and are produced from reproductive types of act outside of marriage all the time (whether they should is another issue).  Would she argue, for instance, that woman-on-top or dorsal intercourse "turn[s ] intercourse into something other than the reproductive type of act"? Because the Stoic philosophy which formed the basis of HV's position and the meagre patristics and canons which nurtured it argued just that.

People shouldn't marry to have children: that renders the husband a sperm donor and the wife a baby maker.  Marriage should result in children, but they are the result, not the aim, of the marriage.  Her argument, as other apologists for HV, reduce couples to breeders.

Lord willing, I'll return to this later.  But in the meantime, her dismissive parenthesis do not dispense of the objection: every intercourse would have to be reproductive for her to be correct.  Once you allow "types" of the act, contraception (artificial or natural) has its license.
This last statement of yours makes me wonder if you really read the article. Anscombe is very clear in explaining that marriage does not exist solely for the procreation of children
Not convincingly and only half heartedly. See my post above commenting on the frustration of desired celibacy haunting much HV apologetic.  Her "clarity" doesn't rise above procreation as the only excuse for marriage.

but that this is a key part of marriage that should not be removed from marriage. There can me more than one aim of marriage, and procreation is one of these reasons. The fact that there are other reasons as well does not negate this.
I would find it more convincing if those who give it pre-eminence didn't also praise "white marriage" "virgin marriage" (or any other number of terms when the couple marry with the intention never to consumate).  Anscombe doesn't, at least not here, but the patristics she is forced to depend to make her argument do.

Again, the problem is that most if not almost all marriages that use contraception don't remove children from the marriage, as they have children.  HV itself realizes this dilemma for its argument:
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 (18)—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.
Alas! Pope Paul might deny it validity, but that doesn't make it so (especially since he failed to exercise the much vaunted "infallibility" of the "magisterium" and speak "ex cathedral" when denying that validity).  Especially when he hasn't established that a married couple using a condom, for instance, is an evil at all, let alone lesser or greater.
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« Reply #102 on: April 12, 2013, 05:03:06 PM »

But are you not actively preventing conception of a child when you actively use artificially man made thermometers to determine when is the best time to avoid conception?
There is no action you are committing that prevents conception.
There is the action of using the artificially man made  thermometer and the charts. You are actively using those artificially man made unnatural objects to avoid having children. You are actively making use of several different unnatural  tools and measurements to defeat the primary purpose of marriage.
Those things are not interfering with the sexual act. The act itself remains unchanged.
They are being actively used to defeat the primary purpose of marriage.
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« Reply #103 on: April 12, 2013, 05:32:51 PM »

Cont:
Quote
Turning to chastity not in the narrower sense but in the sense in which it is simply the virtue connected with sex, the Christian Church has always set its face against contraception from the earliest time as a grave breach of chastity. It inherited from Israel the objection to "base ways of copulating for the avoidance of conception", to quote St Augustine. In a document of the third century a Christian author wrote of the use of contraceptives by freeborn Christian women of Rome. These women sometimes married slaves so as to have Christian husbands but they were under a severe temptation because if the father was a slave the child was a slave by Roman law and this was a deterrent to having children; and they practised some form of contraception. This was the occasion of the earliest recorded explicit Christian observation on the subject. The author writes like a person mentioning a practice which Christians at large must obviously regard as shameful.
this paragraph is so choked full of factual errors that its no wonder that she was misled.

First, in Roman law, in contrast to the English Common law that Anscombe evidently did assUme to be universal, status was inherited from the mother, not the father (as in English law: it wasn't until the American colonies passed legislation adopting Partus sequitur ventrem (Latin "that which is brought forth follows the womb") from Roman civil law in 1662 that it entered English law, which comported with Roman legal theory, which held slavery was not a natural state but a convention universally adopted and subject to local civil law).  In fact, if a woman was free for a single moment from conception to birth, the child was freeborn, regardless of the mother's status before conception or after birth.  Such a colossal blunder commits a fatal error in her argument here.  

Of course, she doesn't identify said "document of the third century,' so we can't analyze it much.  All that I have seen condemn abortion and abortifacients. But not all contraception is abortifacient.  In fact, as an abortifacient has to have a conception to occur in order to work, contraception and abortifaceints are two different things-which HV and its supporters continue to insist on conflating.

"It inherited from Israel the objection to "base ways of copulating for the avoidance of conception", to quote St Augustine."  Unfortunately, she can't quote the rabbis on it: the Talmud bears the mark of being written by married men, and they allow quite a lot.  Orthodox Jews, for instance, aren't bothered by using the pill, and it hasn't led to a plague of promiscuity among them (in fact, the genetic studies on the Levites/Cohens has led to pride among the Jews on their wives fidelity: since it traces lineage in the male line, the fact that non-Levite women married to Levites/Cohens have born genetically Levites/Cohens some took as indication of this fidelity).

"the Christian Church has always set its face against contraception from the earliest time as a grave breach of chastity" Oh?  Hard to tell as, unlike abortion which has been vigorously opposed by Christians ever since the time of the Apostles and explicitly so, contraception (as opposed to abortifaicents) is barely mentioned in passing, if indeed mentioned at all, let alone condemned.

I perhaps should say that I have a nagging doubt about her logic on chastity being to sex what courage is to danger.  Courage doesn't embrace danger like chastity embraces sex in marriage.
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« Reply #104 on: April 12, 2013, 05:35:17 PM »

But are you not actively preventing conception of a child when you actively use artificially man made thermometers to determine when is the best time to avoid conception?
There is no action you are committing that prevents conception.
There is the action of using the artificially man made  thermometer and the charts. You are actively using those artificially man made unnatural objects to avoid having children. You are actively making use of several different unnatural  tools and measurements to defeat the primary purpose of marriage.
Those things are not interfering with the sexual act. The act itself remains unchanged.
They are being actively used to defeat the primary purpose of marriage.
Only if the primary purpose of marriage is to have babies. I don't believe this to be the case.
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« Reply #105 on: April 12, 2013, 10:17:20 PM »

I've thought that further comments on the Anscombe piece might derail the thread, so I'll put them here instead:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29748.msg910217/topicseen.html#msg910217
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« Reply #106 on: April 16, 2013, 02:20:18 AM »

One of the common arguments I hear from my Catholic friends against Orthodoxy's claim to truth is that most of the major Christian heresies came out of the East, and Rome was the bulwark of truth.

I think the most obvious response to this argument is that we would expect to see most heresies come out of the East because that is where most Christians were. How else would you respond to this argument?

At the beginning of this thread I brought up the Robber Council, and I would like to return to it. Roman Catholic apologists often point to this council to argue that the Bishop of Rome's opposition to the council is the only reason it was overturned, and if the Church really operated as Orthodox Christians claim, this council would have been added to the deposit of faith. How would you respond to this argument?
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« Reply #107 on: April 16, 2013, 02:53:37 AM »

I think the most obvious response to this argument is that we would expect to see most heresies come out of the East because that is where most Christians were. How else would you respond to this argument?

State of education and culture. People in the West did not understand those theological discussions.
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« Reply #108 on: May 02, 2013, 02:28:56 AM »

Two brief thoughts:

2) According to the Church Fathers who spoke against contraception, any attempt to have sex while getting around or making less likely the chance of getting pregnant wasn't ok. It didn't matter if it was a barrier of some type, a chemical, or a "natural" timing method. Every single one of them who spoke against NFP as a form of contraception. Now not all Fathers spoke against contraception, but if you are going to follow the ones that did in speaking strenuously against it (Sts. Gregory the Great, Augustine, Jerome, etc.), then I suggest being consistent and rejecting both the Roman Catholics and Orthodox modern approaches to it. Having said that, you may want to put your foot in the water to test it before you do so. Once you jump in the water and find out the position of the ancient Christians on all manner of sexual and social morals, you may wish you hadn't been so eager. That was my experience, anyway.

It has been one of the most blessed and freeing experiences of my life to know that God made relations to be used only within marriage without frustration or avoidance in the bearing of children. For much of the world and man who seeks to be "like God" has been deceived by the evil one to worship frustrated procreation and thus destroy the human race. Contraception and NFP are both intrinsically evil, always and everywhere and I would die rather than betray the truth of that belief.

But we christians are different , we know the truth and we must live it and proclaim it and vigourously uphold it against those who are in error. This would include our own shepherds and pastors, whether roman catholic or orthodox, for in both the temptation of the evil one has been felt. Neither RC or Orthodox is able to dogmatize the use of contraception/NFP as morally good.

Quote
This is the Faith of the Apostles.
This is the Faith of the Fathers.
This is the Faith of the Orthodox.
This is the Faith which has established the Universe.

Priest: “Therefore, with brotherly love, we praise these preachers of piety, for the glory and honor of their own pious struggles for the Faith, and we say: “Eternal be the memory of the champions of Orthodoxy, pious Emperors, most-holy Patriarchs, Hierarchs, Teachers, Martyrs, and Confessors.”

People: May their memory be eternal. (3)

Priest: “Let us entreat God, that we may be instructed and strengthened by the trials and struggles of these Saints, which they endured for the faith, even unto death, and by their teachings, entreating them that we may imitate their godly life unto the end. May we be deemed worthy of obtaining our requests through the mercy and grace of the Great and First Archpriest, Christ our God, through the intercessions of our glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, of the divine Angels, and of all the Saints.”

Quote
So once again, the main question of discussion is whether interfering with the act itself is immoral, or whether the end goal is the only factor for determining the morality of the issue.


The end goal would be the most important factor, however, to the extent that the use of natural family planning does not support giving monetary payment to the diabolical abominable industry of contraceptive manufacturers (most of which are not used in marriages), it could be said to be the slightly lesser of two evils. Additionally to the nature of NFP does make it easier to eventually realize than NFP itself is a compromise for the contraceptive mentality. Through NFP, it may perhaps more easily be realized that ALL forms of intentional frustration of children are equally wrong. However, to the extent that most of the Roman Catholic Church dioceses in the USA actively teach the use of NFP to all couples before they are married, it is little different in outcome. The outcome is no children either way.

End goals are always most important. Our end goal is Salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
To avoid His desires, to avoid the sacrifices we are asked to make and to give in to satisfy lusts which may than give us notions to worship the father of lies, is certainly a bad end goal. (because by controlling conception we are deceive ourselves to be like God) If I were a priest and someone confessed to avoiding to have children I would pay no mind which method was used and precribe same penance.

"9. When Pope Paul VI declared Family Planning as immoral it is because it is an act of refusal of a creature to subject himself to his creator's Will and therefore an act that will prevent them from attaining their end of happiness in the vision of God.

10. This is the reason why it is difficult to sell the Billings and the Natural Family Planning methods to the Catholic populace. Compared to the condemnable methods there is no difference. All these methods are meant to frustrate the Will of the Creator and impose man's will on God.
There is no difference except for the fact that one uses non-evasive ways while the other uses criminal ways. But the end of both, Pope Benedict states in his Compedium of the Catechism, are intrinsically evil. "I came not to do my will but the will of My Father in heaven." It is 'my will' versus 'God's will.' It is easy to understand this if we simply go back to the sin of the Lucifer and the sin of Adam and Eve. It is 'my will' versus 'God's Will.'"
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« Reply #109 on: May 02, 2013, 09:22:40 AM »

One of the common arguments I hear from my Catholic friends against Orthodoxy's claim to truth is that most of the major Christian heresies came out of the East, and Rome was the bulwark of truth.

I think the most obvious response to this argument is that we would expect to see most heresies come out of the East because that is where most Christians were. How else would you respond to this argument?

At the beginning of this thread I brought up the Robber Council, and I would like to return to it. Roman Catholic apologists often point to this council to argue that the Bishop of Rome's opposition to the council is the only reason it was overturned, and if the Church really operated as Orthodox Christians claim, this council would have been added to the deposit of faith. How would you respond to this argument?
With facts: Pope Leo's opposition got nowhere, despite widespread opposition to it in the East, until the Emperor died and his successor came from among those opposed.  Pope Leo wanted it in Italy.  It was not.  Pope Leo wanted his Tome accepted by the Council as its definition.  It was not.  In fact, his Tome was subject to inspection and was found Orthodox.  They did not just see who wrote it and proclaimed it Orthodox.
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« Reply #110 on: May 02, 2013, 10:10:27 AM »

Plus, there's a circular argument there.

1) We see no historical record of Roman heresy;
2) Therefore we believe Rome is supernaturally prevented from preaching heresy;
3) Therefore, everything Rome says we take as orthodox;
4) Therefore we classify all records of Roman teachings as orthodox regardless of what the rest of the Church teaches;
5) Eventually these records become historical. Go back to (1).

Obviously, the real cause and beginning of the process is (4). Whenever Rome taught heresy and was called on it (4) comes into play reinforced by (1), (2) and (3).

One of the common arguments I hear from my Catholic friends against Orthodoxy's claim to truth is that most of the major Christian heresies came out of the East, and Rome was the bulwark of truth.

I think the most obvious response to this argument is that we would expect to see most heresies come out of the East because that is where most Christians were. How else would you respond to this argument?

At the beginning of this thread I brought up the Robber Council, and I would like to return to it. Roman Catholic apologists often point to this council to argue that the Bishop of Rome's opposition to the council is the only reason it was overturned, and if the Church really operated as Orthodox Christians claim, this council would have been added to the deposit of faith. How would you respond to this argument?
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« Reply #111 on: May 02, 2013, 01:27:55 PM »

Two brief thoughts:

2) According to the Church Fathers who spoke against contraception, any attempt to have sex while getting around or making less likely the chance of getting pregnant wasn't ok. It didn't matter if it was a barrier of some type, a chemical, or a "natural" timing method. Every single one of them who spoke against NFP as a form of contraception. Now not all Fathers spoke against contraception, but if you are going to follow the ones that did in speaking strenuously against it (Sts. Gregory the Great, Augustine, Jerome, etc.), then I suggest being consistent and rejecting both the Roman Catholics and Orthodox modern approaches to it. Having said that, you may want to put your foot in the water to test it before you do so. Once you jump in the water and find out the position of the ancient Christians on all manner of sexual and social morals, you may wish you hadn't been so eager. That was my experience, anyway.

It has been one of the most blessed and freeing experiences of my life to know that God made relations to be used only within marriage without frustration or avoidance in the bearing of children. For much of the world and man who seeks to be "like God" has been deceived by the evil one to worship frustrated procreation and thus destroy the human race. Contraception and NFP are both intrinsically evil, always and everywhere and I would die rather than betray the truth of that belief.
I can't remember: are you married?

But we christians are different , we know the truth and we must live it and proclaim it and vigourously uphold it against those who are in error. This would include our own shepherds and pastors, whether roman catholic or orthodox, for in both the temptation of the evil one has been felt. Neither RC or Orthodox is able to dogmatize the use of contraception/NFP as morally good.
As it isn't the subject of dogma, of course not.
Quote
This is the Faith of the Apostles.
This is the Faith of the Fathers.
This is the Faith of the Orthodox.
This is the Faith which has established the Universe.

Priest: “Therefore, with brotherly love, we praise these preachers of piety, for the glory and honor of their own pious struggles for the Faith, and we say: “Eternal be the memory of the champions of Orthodoxy, pious Emperors, most-holy Patriarchs, Hierarchs, Teachers, Martyrs, and Confessors.”

People: May their memory be eternal. (3)

Priest: “Let us entreat God, that we may be instructed and strengthened by the trials and struggles of these Saints, which they endured for the faith, even unto death, and by their teachings, entreating them that we may imitate their godly life unto the end. May we be deemed worthy of obtaining our requests through the mercy and grace of the Great and First Archpriest, Christ our God, through the intercessions of our glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, of the divine Angels, and of all the Saints.”

Quote
So once again, the main question of discussion is whether interfering with the act itself is immoral, or whether the end goal is the only factor for determining the morality of the issue.
All very nice, but not on point.  Like HV.

The end goal would be the most important factor, however, to the extent that the use of natural family planning does not support giving monetary payment to the diabolical abominable industry of contraceptive manufacturers (most of which are not used in marriages)
those would be the same who manufacture Viagra etc., blood pressure pills, and other life savers.

it could be said to be the slightly lesser of two evils. Additionally to the nature of NFP does make it easier to eventually realize than NFP itself is a compromise for the contraceptive mentality.

A concept which seems to have been conceived in the '90s-I don't think I've seen any evidence predating then.

A nice buzz word. All buzz, no meaning.

Through NFP, it may perhaps more easily be realized that ALL forms of intentional frustration of children are equally wrong. However, to the extent that most of the Roman Catholic Church dioceses in the USA actively teach the use of NFP to all couples before they are married, it is little different in outcome. The outcome is no children either way.
Of course, many-the vast majority?-of those who use contraception, including "NFP", do have children.  I can't think of anyone I know who did who didn't have children.

End goals are always most important. Our end goal is Salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
To avoid His desires, to avoid the sacrifices we are asked to make and to give in to satisfy lusts which may than give us notions to worship the father of lies, is certainly a bad end goal. (because by controlling conception we are deceive ourselves to be like God)

So you don't think conceiving children is like God.

If I were a priest and someone confessed to avoiding to have children I would pay no mind which method was used and precribe same penance.
Good thing you aren't then.

Btw, I just came across an illustrative-and amuzing-example of wisdom from Mt. Athos (and I don't quote from Athos all that much):
Quote
Elder Porphyrios of Athens
To begin with, when I first started to hear confessions, I used to really “scald” those who came to make confession. I used to have at my side Saint Nikodemos’s Confessor’s Guide (Exomologitarion) when someone would come for confession. If he confessed a serious sin then I would look up the book and would see that it wrote: “Not to receive Holy Communion for eighteen years.” I didn’t know; I was inexperienced. And so I imposed the corresponding penance. Whatever the book said was law. But then the people would come back the following year—they would come from various places, from various villages, from far and near—and when I asked them, “How long is it since you made confession?’ they would answer, “I confessed to you this time last year.” Then I would ask, “And what did I tell you?” They would reply, “You told me to do a hundred prostrations every night.”

“And did you do them?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Well, you told me that I couldn’t receive Communion for eighteen years so I thought to myself, Since I’m damned anyway, I might as well forget about the whole thing.”
I'm sorry, but I laughed during Great and Holy Week.
Quote
You understand? Then another person would come and say the same thing. So I thought, “What do I do now?” It was then I began to become a little wiser. The confessor has the power to bind and to loose. I remembered one of Saint Basil’s Rules, and I took that as my basic guideline and changed my tactics in confession. The Rule says: “He who receives the power to bind and to loose, when he sees the great remorse of one of the sinners, let him reduce the time of the penance. Don’t let him judge the penances in terms of time, but in terms of disposition.”

And so I started to encourage the people to read the poetic canons written in honor of the saints, to read short prayers, to make prostrations and to read Holy Scripture. And in that way they began to pay attention to the things of our religion. Their hearts were softened and without any external prompting they desired to observe the fasts, to enter the spiritual arena and to come to know Christ. And one thing I have understood is that when someone comes to know Christ and love Him and is loved by Christ, everything thereafter proceeds well in holiness and joy and everything is easy.
http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/on-penances-and-their-use.aspx

"9. When Pope Paul VI declared Family Planning as immoral it is because it is an act of refusal of a creature to subject himself to his creator's Will and therefore an act that will prevent them from attaining their end of happiness in the vision of God.
If a man handled his household finances as is advocated here for his creation/enlargement of his household, he would be condemned as improvident. Indeed, tempting God.

10. This is the reason why it is difficult to sell the Billings and the Natural Family Planning methods to the Catholic populace. Compared to the condemnable methods there is no difference. All these methods are meant to frustrate the Will of the Creator and impose man's will on God.
Then condemn the monastics who do not use their God given fertility.

There is no difference except for the fact that one uses non-evasive ways while the other uses criminal ways. But the end of both, Pope Benedict states in his Compedium of the Catechism, are intrinsically evil. "I came not to do my will but the will of My Father in heaven." It is 'my will' versus 'God's will.' It is easy to understand this if we simply go back to the sin of the Lucifer and the sin of Adam and Eve. It is 'my will' versus 'God's Will.'"
If that were the case, every act of intercourse would result in a conception.
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« Reply #112 on: May 02, 2013, 01:30:00 PM »

Plus, there's a circular argument there.

1) We see no historical record of Roman heresy;
2) Therefore we believe Rome is supernaturally prevented from preaching heresy;
3) Therefore, everything Rome says we take as orthodox;
4) Therefore we classify all records of Roman teachings as orthodox regardless of what the rest of the Church teaches;
5) Eventually these records become historical. Go back to (1).

Obviously, the real cause and beginning of the process is (4). Whenever Rome taught heresy and was called on it (4) comes into play reinforced by (1), (2) and (3).

One of the common arguments I hear from my Catholic friends against Orthodoxy's claim to truth is that most of the major Christian heresies came out of the East, and Rome was the bulwark of truth.

I think the most obvious response to this argument is that we would expect to see most heresies come out of the East because that is where most Christians were. How else would you respond to this argument?

At the beginning of this thread I brought up the Robber Council, and I would like to return to it. Roman Catholic apologists often point to this council to argue that the Bishop of Rome's opposition to the council is the only reason it was overturned, and if the Church really operated as Orthodox Christians claim, this council would have been added to the deposit of faith. How would you respond to this argument?
There is also the problem that the largest heresy in history, Ultramontanism, was dogmatized at Rome, the bulwark of this heresy.
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« Reply #113 on: May 02, 2013, 03:10:59 PM »

As Anscombe mentions in the article, when Catholics talk about "unnatural" things they do not simply mean things that are artificial, but also thing that go against the moral standards dictated by natural law.

VERY IMPORTANT and I'm glad you recognize this. Much of the polemics directed against the natural law has to do with a mistake in what Catholics even mean by the term. There are several posters on this forum who I have corrected over their erroneous understanding of the term "natural" in the context of natural law theory, and yet the continue to beat away at the straw man of their own making.
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« Reply #114 on: May 03, 2013, 01:47:11 AM »


Quote
VERY IMPORTANT and I'm glad you recognize this. Much of the polemics directed against the natural law has to do with a mistake in what Catholics even mean by the term. There are several posters on this forum who I have corrected over their erroneous understanding of the term "natural" in the context of natural law theory, and yet the continue to beat away at the straw man of their own making.

Yes, papist, in my own estimation, Fr. George Morelli a few years ago, himself made a mistake about natural law , viewing it as some overly RC philosophical approach that is flawed. I dont know how these bias occur. Natural law is our friend.

(All other quotes from ialmisry)

Quote
I can't remember: are you married?
Wouldn't you like to know?

Quote
"As it isn't the subject of dogma, of course not."
Too many Roman Catholics treat the subject of NFP as if it is a revealed dogma of Vat II (some even tracing it back to curial statements in mid 19th c.) with which no legitimate objections can possibly therefore be raised. Thankfully a decent number of them do realize it is not a dogma and is a newer idea and therefore suspect.

Quote
All very nice, but not on point.  Like HV.
Yes it may see off topic, posting the statements from the liturgy for the triumph of orthodoxy against heresy is my way of emphasizing that contraception is a serious error which rightfully ought to be seen as a heresy. I think very little of humane vitae, it is displays weak leadership and without enough traditional teaching at a time when such a thing was badly needed as it continues to be needed today. Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church both have weakness in bishops leading their flock with vigourous dynamism to preserve the family and christian culture.

Quote
those would be the same who manufacture Viagra etc., blood pressure pills, and other life savers.


Are there any Orthodox christians, priest or clergy whoapprove of chemical methods of birth control ? I do not know any. Their unintentional abortifacient qualities being one of the reasons.

"According to Bloomberg, recently unsealed FDA documents show that Bayer neglected to pass along reports of blood clots to the agency in a 2004 safety review of Yasmin. Says former FDA commissioner David Kessler, "Bayer presented a selective view of the data, and that presentation obscured the potential risks associated with Yasmin." The Bloomberg coverage includes a lot of phrases you never want in an article about your company, like "The FDA told Bayer in June 2003 that it was 'very concerned' about the number of adverse events, particularly deaths," and a section titled "10,000 Lawsuits." So ..."
http://jezebel.com/5865584/how-evil-is-your-birth-control-manufacturer

Quote
A concept which seems to have been conceived in the '90s-I don't think I've seen any evidence predating then.
A nice buzz word. All buzz, no meaning.
I fail to see how the phrase "contraceptive mentality" has no meaning. If it is a recent term it is because the extent with which contraceptives have tempted those in christian societies (or whatever remnant there is), has not existed in western/eastern european type culture for many centuries.

"Fighting ‘contraceptive mentality’ is ‘essential’ for the culture of life: Cardinal Raymond Burke, March 18, 2011
Restoring the “respect for the integrity of the conjugal act” and correcting the contraceptive mentality that “fears procreation,” is “fundamental” to the New Evangelization and its effort to transform Western culture, said Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, earlier this month."

Quote
Of course, many-the vast majority?-of those who use contraception, including "NFP", do have children.  I can't think of anyone I know who did who didn't have children
 
One or two children certainly they may hacve, but where are the couples having the amount of children that were average throughout human history, say 6 children?  Both my grandparents had 5 children, this was common for Orthodox or Roman Catholic families 100 years ago.

Quote
So you don't think conceiving children is like God.
Children are gifts from God, we are at God's mercy when freely are open to conceiving them.
We are not at his mercy and move farther away from God when we avoid them.

Quote
Quote from: Christopher McAvoy on Yesterday at 02:28:56 AM
If I were a priest and someone confessed to avoiding to have children I would pay no mind which method was used and precribe same penance.
Quote
Good thing you aren't then.
The more my patience is tried by people, in need of the truth, the more motivated I am to consider potentially seeking to serve my bishop in that capacity. You don't have to worry it won't be anytime soon and not in Chicago area  Tongue
Try confessing to Fr. Patrick Reardon someday and see what he thinks about your comments.

Quote
I'm sorry, but I laughed during Great and Holy Week.
I understand the point about despair, there is no need to give someone despair with their penance, to show them the example by introducing them to those who are living in a Godly way will give them hope that they to - despite seeming difficult - may successfully follow the ten commandments. Scrupolousity does not need to discourage us from hope. God is always merciful, we may continue trying again until the end. We do the best we can with our fallen nature.

Quote
If a man handled his household finances as is advocated here for his creation/enlargement of his household, he would be condemned as improvident. Indeed, tempting God.
This mixes apples with oranges, there is no greed involved in having children. More children bring in more money for a family run business or farm.

Quote
Then condemn the monastics who do not use their God given fertility.
Monastics do not have marital relations ...you are being silly.

Quote
If that were the case, every act of intercourse would result in a conception.
To accept the state of life as it is without frustrating God's role in our life is not sinful, it is meet and right.
Some conceptions result in conception, some do not, to view what is a gift from God as either  - a "right" we demand to have - or a "curse" which we demand to not have are equally mistaken.

When people relax and and contine traditional family and social lifestyles they find there is far less to fear from it than may be imagined.
What first appears as the "hard way" is truly the "easy way".
On Good Friday this is evident. Christ humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 01:52:53 AM by Christopher McAvoy » Logged

"and for all who are Orthodox, and who hold the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, remember, O Lord, thy servants" - yet the post-conciliar RC hierarchy is tolerant of everyone and everything... except Catholic Tradition, for modernists are as salt with no taste, to be “thrown out and trampled under foot
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« Reply #115 on: May 03, 2013, 02:46:04 AM »

As Anscombe mentions in the article, when Catholics talk about "unnatural" things they do not simply mean things that are artificial, but also thing that go against the moral standards dictated by natural law.

VERY IMPORTANT and I'm glad you recognize this. Much of the polemics directed against the natural law has to do with a mistake in what Catholics even mean by the term. There are several posters on this forum who I have corrected over their erroneous understanding of the term "natural" in the context of natural law theory, and yet the continue to beat away at the straw man of their own making.
the artifice of "natural law" is one of its adherents making, which they impose on nature.

As such, "natural law" dictates no standards, and it stands-or rather falls-as an erroneous understanding of nature.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
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« Reply #116 on: May 03, 2013, 03:22:12 AM »


Quote
VERY IMPORTANT and I'm glad you recognize this. Much of the polemics directed against the natural law has to do with a mistake in what Catholics even mean by the term. There are several posters on this forum who I have corrected over their erroneous understanding of the term "natural" in the context of natural law theory, and yet the continue to beat away at the straw man of their own making.

Yes, papist, in my own estimation, Fr. George Morelli a few years ago, himself made a mistake about natural law , viewing it as some overly RC philosophical approach that is flawed. I dont know how these bias occur. Natural law is our friend.

(All other quotes from ialmisry)

Quote
I can't remember: are you married?
Wouldn't you like to know?
I personally couldn't care less, except that I have noticed an increase in dogmatism on such issues the more they remain just theory for the advocate.

Quote
"As it isn't the subject of dogma, of course not."
Too many Roman Catholics treat the subject of NFP as if it is a revealed dogma of Vat II (some even tracing it back to curial statements in mid 19th c.) with which no legitimate objections can possibly therefore be raised. Thankfully a decent number of them do realize it is not a dogma and is a newer idea and therefore suspect.

Quote
All very nice, but not on point.  Like HV.
Yes it may see off topic, posting the statements from the liturgy for the triumph of orthodoxy against heresy is my way of emphasizing that contraception is a serious error which rightfully ought to be seen as a heresy.
there is no allusion, let alone a reference, to contraception in the services of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.

You assert a "fact" not in evidence.

I think very little of humane vitae, it is displays weak leadership and without enough traditional teaching at a time when such a thing was badly needed as it continues to be needed today. Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church both have weakness in bishops leading their flock with vigourous dynamism to preserve the family and christian culture.
One thing HV does manage to do is assert the authority of their "magisterium."

Quote
those would be the same who manufacture Viagra etc., blood pressure pills, and other life savers.

Are there any Orthodox christians, priest or clergy whoapprove of chemical methods of birth control ? I do not know any.
The Episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church.  They issued a statement on that some years ago.

Their unintentional abortifacient qualities being one of the reasons.
abortifacients are not, by definition, contraception, as someone has to be conceived to be aborted.

"According to Bloomberg, recently unsealed FDA documents show that Bayer neglected to pass along reports of blood clots to the agency in a 2004 safety review of Yasmin. Says former FDA commissioner David Kessler, "Bayer presented a selective view of the data, and that presentation obscured the potential risks associated with Yasmin." The Bloomberg coverage includes a lot of phrases you never want in an article about your company, like "The FDA told Bayer in June 2003 that it was 'very concerned' about the number of adverse events, particularly deaths," and a section titled "10,000 Lawsuits." So ..."
http://jezebel.com/5865584/how-evil-is-your-birth-control-manufacturer
Bayer, isn't that the stuff we take to prevent heart attacks and strokes?

Quote
A concept which seems to have been conceived in the '90s-I don't think I've seen any evidence predating then.
A nice buzz word. All buzz, no meaning.
I fail to see how the phrase "contraceptive mentality" has no meaning. If it is a recent term it is because the extent with which contraceptives have tempted those in christian societies (or whatever remnant there is), has not existed in western/eastern european type culture for many centuries.
Then we should find "contraceptive mentality" discussed and condemned in the earliest Fathers.

I also suspect that you would be hard pressed to substantiate your assertion about the existence-or lack thereof-of such "temptation."

"Fighting ‘contraceptive mentality’ is ‘essential’ for the culture of life: Cardinal Raymond Burke, March 18, 2011
Restoring the “respect for the integrity of the conjugal act” and correcting the contraceptive mentality that “fears procreation,” is “fundamental” to the New Evangelization and its effort to transform Western culture, said Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, earlier this month."
We dont' have cardinals.

Odd that a hiearchy that pushes and mandates celibacy gets incensed about the integrity of acts that are supposed to be outside their experience.  But then again, there's that dogma/theory ratio I mentioned above.

Btw, "procreation" is a specifically Latin term.

Quote
Of course, many-the vast majority?-of those who use contraception, including "NFP", do have children.  I can't think of anyone I know who did who didn't have children
 
One or two children certainly they may hacve, but where are the couples having the amount of children that were average throughout human history, say 6 children?  Both my grandparents had 5 children, this was common for Orthodox or Roman Catholic families 100 years ago.
It was also common to bury half of them until recently.  My great grandparents had 7, and were lucky in that they only had to bury 2. My grandparents had 5 (that I know of) and only had to bury one. Things got quite different about a hundred years ago, when you could come to expect to see each child you have have children.

Quote
So you don't think conceiving children is like God.
Children are gifts from God, we are at God's mercy when freely are open to conceiving them.
We are not at his mercy and move farther away from God when we avoid them.
You didn't answer the question.  A negative kinda negates the "procreation" argument popular with Christian (at least Latin) natalists.

Quote
Quote from: Christopher McAvoy on Yesterday at 02:28:56 AM
If I were a priest and someone confessed to avoiding to have children I would pay no mind which method was used and precribe same penance.
Quote
Good thing you aren't then.
The more my patience is tried by people, in need of the truth, the more motivated I am to consider potentially seeking to serve my bishop in that capacity. You don't have to worry it won't be anytime soon and not in Chicago area  Tongue
Try confessing to Fr. Patrick Reardon someday and see what he thinks about your comments.
Not sure losing patience is a calling to the priesthood.
We've exchanged words.  Why do you bring him up?

Quote
I'm sorry, but I laughed during Great and Holy Week.
I understand the point about despair, there is no need to give someone despair with their penance, to show them the example by introducing them to those who are living in a Godly way will give them hope that they to - despite seeming difficult - may successfully follow the ten commandments. Scrupolousity does not need to discourage us from hope. God is always merciful, we may continue trying again until the end. We do the best we can with our fallen nature.

Quote
If a man handled his household finances as is advocated here for his creation/enlargement of his household, he would be condemned as improvident. Indeed, tempting God.
This mixes apples with oranges, there is no greed involved in having children. More children bring in more money for a family run business or farm.
LOL.  Meditate on how your last sentence contradicts the preceding one.

Quote
Then condemn the monastics who do not use their God given fertility.
Monastics do not have marital relations ...you are being silly.
If you are going to make absolute assertions, you are going to have to display some consistency.

Quote
If that were the case, every act of intercourse would result in a conception.
To accept the state of life as it is without frustrating God's role in our life is not sinful, it is meet and right.
So you don't eat anything grow on a farm, just hunting and gathering.

Some conceptions result in conception, some do not, to view what is a gift from God as either  - a "right" we demand to have - or a "curse" which we demand to not have are equally mistaken.
Like I said, run your household economy like that and see how meet and right it is.

When people relax and and contine traditional family and social lifestyles they find there is far less to fear from it than may be imagined.
What first appears as the "hard way" is truly the "easy way".
On Good Friday this is evident. Christ humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 03:49:44 AM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
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« Reply #117 on: May 05, 2013, 10:45:11 PM »

Christus resurrexit!
As Anscombe mentions in the article, when Catholics talk about "unnatural" things they do not simply mean things that are artificial, but also thing that go against the moral standards dictated by natural law.

VERY IMPORTANT and I'm glad you recognize this. Much of the polemics directed against the natural law has to do with a mistake in what Catholics even mean by the term. There are several posters on this forum who I have corrected over their erroneous understanding of the term "natural" in the context of natural law theory, and yet the continue to beat away at the straw man of their own making.
the artifice of "natural law" is one of its adherents making, which they impose on nature.

As such, "natural law" dictates no standards, and it stands-or rather falls-as an erroneous understanding of nature.
Just as a reminder, we have dealt several times with what the Vatican "means by the term", e.g.:
The "Natural Law" is a tricky thing.   We had a dairy farm and while I never saw either bulls or cows giving one another oral size, it was not uncommon to see bulls enjoying anal sex with one another.  It seems to be part of the Natural Law and certainly I cannot see any way to lecture them on morality and perusade them to see it as evil and contrary to the Natural Law.
Now that is just stupid, as bulls don't have a rational nature, and so there is no issue of morality with regard to how they use their bodies. Wow Fr. A. I expected better from you.... Oh wait. No I didn't.

Did you expect more of St. Gregory?  The quote trawls for Humanae Vitae always quote him, but I haven't seen them with this quote from him

"Why, even unreasoning beasts know enough not to mate at certain times. To indulge in intercourse without intending children is to outrage nature, whom should take as our instructor." (The Instructor 2.10).
If we were to follow this advice from Saint Gregory, are you suggesting that when the female of our species is not in a fertile period that males should turn to other males as happens in nature?  I know that one enquirer here may agree, at least in broad principle, but I am not sure if the Church would accept that reasoning.
Yet further demonstrating the "Natural Law" of the Scholastics as the grotesque combination of pin-headed (literally) theory with natural philosophy which formed the materialism of the Stoics, something latter documented in full:
I just noticed that we don't have the official (or semi-official, or infallible, or authoritiative-we can't get a straight answer on what exactly is the status of the CCC in the hierarchy of certitude) definition of natural law:
Quote
I. The Natural Moral Law

1954 Man participates in the wisdom and goodness of the Creator who gives him mastery over his acts and the ability to govern himself with a view to the true and the good.

The natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie:

The natural law is written and engraved in the soul of each and every man, because it is human reason ordaining him to do good and forbidding him to sin . . . But this command of human reason would not have the force of law if it were not the voice and interpreter of a higher reason to which our spirit and our freedom must be submitted. (Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum, 597)

1955 The "divine and natural" law (GS 89 # 1) shows man the way to follow so as to practice the good and attain his end. the natural law states the first and essential precepts which govern the moral life. It hinges upon the desire for God and submission to him, who is the source and judge of all that is good, as well as upon the sense that the other is one's equal. Its principal precepts are expressed in the Decalogue. This law is called "natural," not in reference to the nature of irrational beings, but because reason which decrees it properly belongs to human nature:

Where then are these rules written, if not in the book of that light we call the truth? In it is written every just law; from it the law passes into the heart of the man who does justice, not that it migrates into it, but that it places its imprint on it, like a seal on a ring that passes onto wax, without leaving the ring. (St. Augustine, De Trin. 14, 15, 21: PL 42,1052)

The natural law is nothing other than the light of understanding placed in us by God; through it we know what we must do and what we must avoid. God has given this light or law at the creation. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Dec. praec. I)

1956 The natural law, present in the heart of each man and established by reason, is universal in its precepts and its authority extends to all men. It expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for his fundamental rights and duties:

For there is a true law: right reason. It is in conformity with nature, is diffused among all men, and is immutable and eternal; its orders summon to duty; its prohibitions turn away from offense .... To replace it with a contrary law is a sacrilege; failure to apply even one of its provisions is forbidden; no one can abrogate it entirely. (Cicero, Rep. III, 22, 33)
!
Quoting the Stoic as its authority, the Vatican reveals the origin of its "Natural Law."

Quote
1957 Application of the natural law varies greatly; it can demand reflection that takes account of various conditions of life according to places, times, and circumstances. Nevertheless, in the diversity of cultures, the natural law remains as a rule that binds men among themselves and imposes on them, beyond the inevitable differences, common principles.

1958 The natural law is immutable and permanent throughout the variations of history;(Cf. GS 10) it subsists under the flux of ideas and customs and supports their progress. the rules that express it remain substantially valid. Even when it is rejected in its very principles, it cannot be destroyed or removed from the heart of man. It always rises again in the life of individuals and societies:

Theft is surely punished by your law, O Lord, and by the law that is written in the human heart, the law that iniquity itself does not efface. (St. Augustine, Conf. 2, 4, 9: PL 32, 678)

1959 The natural law, the Creator's very good work, provides the solid foundation on which man can build the structure of moral rules to guide his choices. It also provides the indispensable moral foundation for building the human community. Finally, it provides the necessary basis for the civil law with which it is connected, whether by a reflection that draws conclusions from its principles, or by additions of a positive and juridical nature.

1960 The precepts of natural law are not perceived by everyone clearly and immediately. In the present situation sinful man needs grace and revelation so moral and religious truths may be known "by everyone with facility, with firm certainty and with no admixture of error." (Pius XII, Humani generis: DS 3876; cf. Dei Filius 2: DS 3005) The natural law provides revealed law and grace with a foundation prepared by God and in accordance with the work of the Spirit.

I note that in the last reference (Humani generis) Pope Pius XII of Rome took a swipe at us existentialists. Oh well. I would like to know how he, the CCC and the rest of the Vatican would distinguish this clinging to Natural Law from the foolishness of the Judaizers of the Galatians.
.

To give another definition:

Quote
the natural law is the rule of conduct which is prescribed to us by the Creator in the constitution of the nature with which He has endowed us

Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09076a.htm

Which of course brought more assertions
What a jolly good time you two seem to be having...One of you is fixated on oral sex and the other on anal sex with bulls.

Another good example of why we need to stay away from Orthodoxy on moral grounds!!
which of course was capped with the final luster of this pearl:

You're the ones basing your "morality" on what happens in nature. Not us. And neither of us are as fixated as the likes of your friend Mr. Conte
but since you flung this mud
Another stupid post. We are talking about the metaphysical concept of a nature or physis. We are not talking about the law of the jungle. Geesh.
I had to apply this polish
What's your point? St. Gregory had a mistaken view about a matter that pertains to emperical science.
You mean this matter
Quote
Clement of Alexandria
"Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted" (The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2 [A.D. 191]).

"To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature" (ibid., 2:10:95:3).
NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004
http://www.catholic.com/library/Contraception_and_Sterilization.asp

Where he was not mistaken in is that it is not proper to human nature (again, not the law of the junle) to engage in homosexual acts. Another swing and a miss for you isa.
Another misread for you Papist.

I didn't quote St. Clement on homosexual acts. Unless you are calling a man ejaculating into a woman during her unfertile period a homosexual act.

The sad little fact is that St. Clement goes in great detail, as does Mr. Conte, into the marital act with the viewpoint of animal husbandary, making a visit to the sperm bank the height of romance.  And because they go into such detail-your Aquinas depending on St. Clement and your friend Mr. Conte following Aquinas-there is no mistake on the iron clad connection between them, forging links that bind your "natural law."  St. Clement cites the "law of the jungle" as you call it as the proof of natural law at work in nature:males should not penetrate females unless the latter are fertile.  To do so is an "unnatural act" "outraging nature."  Or so the foundations of your "natural law" would have it. The Fathers of your action theory leave no room for ANY unitive act without being procreative, as Mr. Conte amply demonstrates.  That, and no theory "that if something happens in nature, then it is “natural”, and what is “natural” is, therefore good," is the correct thinking of Orthodox #265.

When I speak of the Catholic Church I always am speaking of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

And as long as you are posting what you post about natural law, I can safely assert that you have not a clue about what natural law MEANS in the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

You can quote till you are blue.  IF you are misrepresenting meaning then you are wrong.

You are wrong here on this thread.
Not to be redundent, but to repeat again what you have already said
That criticism stands for all of the on-line Orthodox critiques of natural law.
Let the record show:+Sic Maria Dixit.  November 30, 2011 ex cathedra sua (is that like hoisting yourself by your own petard?) Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

Ya'll are talking to yourselves.
No, just to bricks.

Making vague allusions to anonymous Orthodox purported authorities of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is not the same as speaking of or for the Catholic Church.  Our Head said "you must shout from the rooftops."

I have posted what your Vatican says about Natural Law.  I understand it.  Because I understand it, I reject it.  My rejection does not obviate my understanding.

I'm sorry that I do not have that mystical decoder ring which has the key that you insist will give the clue to unlock rejection of the plain language the Vatican has put out on your "natural law."

Your Vatican claims that their is a natural law which can be accessed by reason to build up moral theology, the same way scientific realists claim that their science is built up from their accessing reality through observation.  Both are wrong. And the determinism and action theory of human procreation of HV's natural law theorists is as wrong as the theory of natural selection in "the Origin of Species" of social darwinists.

No.  Natural law is not a law accessed by reason alone.  Natural law is what we are able to know about HUMAN nature based upon revealed truth/Scripture and Tradition.
You have an odd definition of revelation, one that does not comport with what your Vatican has to say about it:
Quote
Meaning of revelation
Revelation may be defined as the communication of some truth by God to a rational creature through means which are beyond the ordinary course of nature.
Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, D.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13001a.htm

Natural law is what we are able to discern about creation based upon revealed truth and the illumination of grace.
That's not what your Vatican says:
Quote
Natural Law
Our knowledge of the law
Founded in our nature and revealed to us by our reason, the moral law is known to us in the measure that reason brings a knowledge of it home to our understanding.
Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09076a.htm

Natural law is not a law accessed by reason alone.  Natural law is what we are able to know about HUMAN nature based upon revealed truth/Scripture and Tradition.  Natural law is what we are able to discern about creation based upon revealed truth and the illumination of grace.

"In a pluralistic society, the Catholic Church is convinced that it is duty bound 'to intervene in favor of the values that are valid for man as such, independently of the various cultures' - values the Church knows 'through its faith' but at which all men can arrive through reason alone, regardless of faith." -Vatican Insider http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/homepage/the-vatican/detail/articolo/benedetto-xvi-benedict-xvi-benedicto-xvi-9725/
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 10:46:35 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #118 on: May 06, 2013, 03:33:32 AM »

The official position of the Greek Orthodox Church was set forth in an encyclical of the Greek bishops signed by Archbishop
Chrysostom of Athens with 55 other bishops.  "Encyclical of the Hierarchy of Greece." October 14, 1937. , which recommended abstinence as the only legal method of avoiding conception. It condemned both contraception and abortion as threats to family life and acts against God's will. It recommended abstinence as the only legal method of avoiding conception.

Orthodox Christians "accept" contraception with the same peril as everyone else. It is an objective evil. Do not let modern obfuscation deceive you as to the timeless teaching of the Church.


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"and for all who are Orthodox, and who hold the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, remember, O Lord, thy servants" - yet the post-conciliar RC hierarchy is tolerant of everyone and everything... except Catholic Tradition, for modernists are as salt with no taste, to be “thrown out and trampled under foot
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« Reply #119 on: May 06, 2013, 07:03:46 AM »

The official position of the Greek Orthodox Church was set forth in an encyclical of the Greek bishops signed by Archbishop
Chrysostom of Athens with 55 other bishops.  "Encyclical of the Hierarchy of Greece." October 14, 1937. , which recommended abstinence as the only legal method of avoiding conception. It condemned both contraception and abortion as threats to family life and acts against God's will. It recommended abstinence as the only legal method of avoiding conception.

Orthodox Christians "accept" contraception with the same peril as everyone else. It is an objective evil. Do not let modern obfuscation deceive you as to the timeless teaching of the Church.




Your Moscow Patriarchate says otherwise.
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« Reply #120 on: May 06, 2013, 11:59:20 AM »

Christ is risen!
The official position of the Greek Orthodox Church was set forth in an encyclical of the Greek bishops signed by Archbishop
Chrysostom of Athens with 55 other bishops.  "Encyclical of the Hierarchy of Greece." October 14, 1937. , which recommended abstinence as the only legal method of avoiding conception. It condemned both contraception and abortion as threats to family life and acts against God's will. It recommended abstinence as the only legal method of avoiding conception.

Orthodox Christians "accept" contraception with the same peril as everyone else. It is an objective evil. Do not let modern obfuscation deceive you as to the timeless teaching of the Church.
Yes, we have discussed this encyclical which no one seems to be able to produce for inspection. E.g.:

[There is a reference to it being issued October 14, 1937, Archbishop Chrystodoulos and 55 other bishops signing this "Encyclical of the Hiearchy of Greece" The foundations of Christian bioethics By Hugo Tristram Engelhardt

We had tracked down the reference to Engelhardt previously but it is far from convincing and he gives no reference at all as to where he has sighted this supposed 1937 Encylical.

Message 121 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21230.msg322576/topicseen.html#msg322576

Quote

The practice of artificial birth control - by which is meant "the pill," condoms, or any other kind of device - is actually condemned by the Orthodox Church. The Church of Greece, for example, in 1937 issued a special encyclical just for this purpose, to condemn birth control.

Anyone have the particulars of this 1937 encyclical?


Over many years people have sought this claimed 1937 Encyclical when it has been mentioned in contraception discussions.  All searches have proved to be only wild goose chases and the Encyclical seems to be a piece of mythology.

A direct approach to Fr Ambrose (Alexey Young) revealed that he himself has never sighted it and has no personal knowledge of it.
There is a reference to it being issued October 14, 1937, Archbishop Chrystodoulos and 55 other bishops signing this "Encyclical of the Hiearchy of Greece" The foundations of Christian bioethics By Hugo Tristram Engelhardt
http://books.google.com/books?id=BMAtHATrlq4C&pg=PA298&dq=Greek+Orthodox+encyclical+1937&hl=en&ei=n-b6TM7nLIK9nAeYrtnICg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Greek%20Orthodox%20encyclical%201937&f=false

What is not clear is what it actually said, except that condemned contraception for selfish purposes and eliminating procreation from marriage.  The note is for this
Quote
For example, if one in any way limits the number of children in order to live lavishly, one acts against the spirit of the Gospel. Such an ethos of reproduction does not aim at humbly, selflessly, and ascetically pursuing holiness. The contraceptive ethos directs marriage away from the cardinal goal of all human life; pursuit of union with God.  It directs one's life to oneself, not to God. Out of all these considerations and more, Christian marriage is not to be taken for self-satisfaction.  To the contrary, marriage involves a form of pleasant ascetic struggle of mutual love and sacrifice: a joyful companionship of spouse and children in the pursuit of holiness.  Husband and wife are called to turn away from self-love through love of each other and of God.  They are called to be chaste with respect to eschewing sexual acts with others and to turn with love to each other and their children.  In all of this, they are like martyrs; they are to die to their passions.  In this context, the decision to limit children because of health or due to limited familial or societal resources need not suffer from a misdirection of energies; it can be make out of love of others and with humility before God.
Despite detalied considerations of sexual offenses by ecumenical councils, and by generally accepted local councils, and despite a recognition that marriage is orientated toward reproduction, there is no condemnation of limiting births, apart from the condemnation of abortion...

A little further down, footnote 102 says something cogent:
Quote
The differnce between the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic views regarding contraception lie in the first being primarily articulated in terms of an asceticism directed to approaching holiness and the second being directed to confroming to impersonal norms.

"Objective evil." Your Scholasticism is showing. Don't let ancient ignorance deceive you at to the timeless teaching of the Church.

The practice of artificial birth control - by which is meant "the pill," condoms, or any other kind of device - is actually condemned by the Orthodox Church. The Church of Greece, for example, in 1937 issued a special encyclical just for this purpose, to condemn birth control.

Without impugning the integrity of Fr Alexey (now hieromonk Ambrose) Young's article nor himself personally (I have great respect for him), I have to say that this claimed 1937 Greek encyclical is one of the most elusive items on the planet.   For years we have sought it and never found it.  One would have thought that such a "special encyclical just for this purpose, to condemn birth control" would be readily available but no, nobody has ever been able to produce it.

It has only one mention in all the pile of literature on contaception, but beyond a mention there is not even the smallest quote from it...

Foundation of Christian Bioethics
By Hugo Tristram Engelhardt

page 298

Reference No. 96:  Recent Orthodox reactions to the contraceptive
ethos include the encyclical of the Greek bishops signed by Archbishop
Chrysostom of Athens with 55 other bishops.  "Encyclical of the
Hierarchy of Greece." October 14, 1937.  The encyclical to the moral
sea change in the view of marriage and sexuality introduced by the
secularization of the West and the introduction of effective
contraception....etc.


I recall that Hugo Tristram Engelhardt is a Texan and a convert to
Orthodoxy.   The book "Foundation of Christian Bioethics" was published in
2000 and is his contribution to the Orthodox understanding of bioethics but
I have never seen it quoted anywhere and wonder how well it has been
accepted by the Orthodox.

Have any Orthodox members here heard of Engelhardt or read his book?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 12:21:49 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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