Catholic Church and Artificial Birth Control/Contraception/Sterilization - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-25-2011, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a thread spinning off a support thread in Spirituality regarding sterilization.

In respect to the PP, I did not want to create an environment of hostility or debate.  I know that she is greatly struggling, and she has my prayers.

 

This thread is to discuss the Church's teachings regarding Birth Control, Contraception, and Sterilization.

 

I would like to begin by quoting the Catechism:

 

2366 Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which is "on the side of life,"151 teaches that "it is necessary that each and every marriage act remain ordered per se to the procreation of human life." (HV 11.) "This particular doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act." (HV 12; cf. Pius XI, encyclical, Casti connubii.)

2367 Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God. (Cf. Eph 3:14; Mt 23:9.) "Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility." (Cf. Eph 3:14; Mt 23:9)

2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality:

 

When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart. (Cf. Eph 3:14; Mt 23:9)
 

2369 "By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man's exalted vocation to parenthood." (Cf. Eph 3:14; Mt 23:9)

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. (Cf. Eph 3:14; Mt 23:9.) These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil: (Cf. Eph 3:14; Mt 23:9.) Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.  (FC 32.)

 

2398 Fecundity is a good, a gift and an end of marriage. By giving life, spouses participate in God's fatherhood.

2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).

 

Additionally, Pope John Paul II restated the Church's teachings regarding contraception and sterilization:

“Contraception is to be judged so profoundly unlawful as to be never, for any reason, justified. To think or to say the contrary is equal to maintaining that in human life, situations may arise in which it is lawful not to recognize God as God.” (Pope John Paul II L’Osservatore Romano, October, 10, 1983)

 

Now that the Church's teachings have been laid out, I would love to have a discussion regarding the morality of the use of artificial birth control, other forms of contraception (foams, diaphrams, condoms, etc), and sterilization.


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Old 01-26-2011, 09:02 AM
 
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Although dh and I are not Catholic, he and I both deeply respect the Catholic position on sex and reproduction, and feel that at minimum, the serious consideration of such things has been lost in mainstream Protestantism.

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Old 01-26-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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I guess, after you just posted all you posted on the Church's teaching on reproduction and contraception (all of which I 100% agree with), I don't understand how we can discuss the morality of contraceptive use when it's clearly immoral.

 

Get what I'm saying? It's like saying the sky is definitively blue, and then opening up the floor to debate why it might be red.

 


 

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Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post

 

Now that the Church's teachings have been laid out, I would love to have a discussion regarding the morality of the use of artificial birth control, other forms of contraception (foams, diaphrams, condoms, etc), and sterilization.



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Old 01-26-2011, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Anastasiya-

I understand.  However, there are members of the board, knowing the Church's teachings, still disagree with it.  I opened this thread for those people.

I stated the Church's teachings in the OP because i wanted to make sure we were starting with what the Church teaches rather than what people THINK the Church teaches.

 

I guess we could also discuss the idea of "one-size-fits-all" teachings.
 

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I guess, after you just posted all you posted on the Church's teaching on reproduction and contraception (all of which I 100% agree with), I don't understand how we can discuss the morality of contraceptive use when it's clearly immoral.

 

Get what I'm saying? It's like saying the sky is definitively blue, and then opening up the floor to debate why it might be red.

 


 

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Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post

 

Now that the Church's teachings have been laid out, I would love to have a discussion regarding the morality of the use of artificial birth control, other forms of contraception (foams, diaphrams, condoms, etc), and sterilization.


 



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Old 01-26-2011, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Although dh and I are not Catholic, he and I both deeply respect the Catholic position on sex and reproduction, and feel that at minimum, the serious consideration of such things has been lost in mainstream Protestantism.



Very true.  I am creator and administrator of FB's biggest Natural Family Planning group. We have many Protestants in the group, and they share your view.


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Old 01-26-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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Gotcha. So you mean you want to discuss why people agree or disagree with the Church's teaching on contraception, then?

That makes more sense. :)

 

Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post

Anastasiya-

I understand.  However, there are members of the board, knowing the Church's teachings, still disagree with it.  I opened this thread for those people.

I stated the Church's teachings in the OP because i wanted to make sure we were starting with what the Church teaches rather than what people THINK the Church teaches.

 

I guess we could also discuss the idea of "one-size-fits-all" teachings.
 

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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I have stated before that I disagree with this sort of one-size-fits-all teaching in the RC church.  Situations involving fertility, infertility, pregnancy, and such are highly individualized and nuanced (i.e., the situation that inspired this thread).  I think that Church teaching blatantly ignores the individual, and draws too solid a line across the board.

 

Some theologians feel that there is no solid Scriptural basis for these teachings.


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Old 01-26-2011, 02:36 PM
 
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The basis of this rule is what I am constantly searching for as I am having a hard time with this. I would like to see something other than "the church teaches"....

 

As a mother of five I sometimes have a hard time accepting rules made by men who do not have five children (or any for that matter) to raise. 


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Old 01-26-2011, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In the OP, I included the references for each paragraph for where the teachings came from.

 

Encyclicals, for example Casti connubii, include the scriptural basis for where the teachings come from.

 

And can we refer to the Church by her name, an not initials?

 

ETA: Scriptural references referring to contraception and sterilization:

 

Deut 23:1 An eunuch, whose testicles are broken or cut away, or yard cut off, shall not enter into the church i of the Lord.

Gen 38: 9-10 He [Onan] knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother's wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother's name. And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.

Gen 1:38 And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.


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Old 01-26-2011, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Trigger View Post

I have stated before that I disagree with this sort of one-size-fits-all teaching in the RC church.  Situations involving fertility, infertility, pregnancy, and such are highly individualized and nuanced (i.e., the situation that inspired this thread).  I think that Church teaching blatantly ignores the individual, and draws too solid a line across the board.

 

Some theologians feel that there is no solid Scriptural basis for these teachings.



What theologians are you speaking of?


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Old 01-26-2011, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here are some wonderful resources regarding the Church and Contraception:

What's Wrong with Contraception, Anyway?

Contraception and Sterilization (includes the Church Fathers)

Birth Control (includes scripture and Church Fathers)

quote:
Ignoring the mountain of evidence, some maintain that the Church considers the use of contraception a matter for each married couple to decide according to their "individual conscience." Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. The Church has always maintained the historic Christian teaching that deliberate acts of contraception are always gravely sinful, which means that it is mortally sinful if done with full knowledge and deliberate consent (CCC 1857). This teaching cannot be changed and has been taught by the Church infallibly.

There is no way to deny the fact that the Church has always and everywhere condemned artificial contraception. The matter has already been infallibly decided. The so-called "individual conscience" argument amounts to "individual disobedience."

Quick Reference w/in This Rock regarding contraception and birth control (including sterilization)


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Old 01-26-2011, 06:12 PM
 
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Two things that might not be clear from the previous postings about what the Church says about birth control are:
1. If a Catholic and a non-Catholic spouse differ on their views on birth control, as long as the Catholic spouse is vocally opposing the use of birth control, it's not immoral to still have sex with your non-Catholic spouse that uses birth control (temporary or permanent methods like a vasectomy). I've gleaned that one from some very orthodox apologetics postings on birth control and mixed marriages.

2. Certain health conditions which can be mitigated by the use of birth control (usually hormonal birth control, can't think of any exceptions to that one) exist, and the Church says it's okay to use that product for health purposes even as a faithful Catholic. I don't know too much about those specific conditions, (is PCOS one?) so this is probably a rare situation.

So, the line isn't as clear as people think, because there are circumstances where a faithful Catholic might end up using birth control (although not for a contraceptive purpose) or having a spouse who does.

I think the Church isn't as helpful in situations where there's no easy answer, like what if your spouse is HIV positive, is birth control that would protect the other spouse's health allowed? (afaik, the Church says no, celibacy is the answer, but they also place more emphasis on fidelity, overlooking the fact that HIV infection could have a completely innocent/accidental cause like a tainted blood transfusion, and just not marrying someone you can't have sex with)

Or, what if you are having extramarital sex with someone you despise and could never fathom having children with, would birth control use be just adding another sin on or would it be an exercise of responsible parenthood? (I'm imagining a situation where a woman might be pressured into having sex with, say, her boss or her relative or there is another element of coercion/ickiness in the relationship)

I think NFP is great as a general rule, for both ethical and health reasons, and I get the Church's teaching on it and feel like I can follow it faithfully--but I do wonder what I would do if my situation was different.

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Old 01-26-2011, 06:17 PM
 
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 http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/research/theology/ejournal/Issue2/John_Flanagan.htm

 

Quote:
 Dissent from the teachings of the papal magisterium and Vatican congregations on the matter of contraception is widespread [3] among the Catholic laity, clergy, theologians [4] and even bishops [5] .  Included among the dissenting theologians have been men like Karl Rahner and Bernard Häring, recognised as the most eminent Catholic theologians of the twentieth century in their respective fields [6] .

 

 

Quote:
 Unilateral changes in Canon Law [35]   have been introduced with the effect of stifling debate on disputed issues and previous Vatican teachings admitted to be non-infallible are now being described as "irreformable" [36] . "Corrections" have been introduced into the Catechism of the Catholic Church to remove a section that could be used to argue in favour of contraception [37] .

 

 

 

Quote:

 The Gen. 38:8-10  text on Onan is no longer considered to be a condemnation of contraception,

 

 

 

Quote:
 Pope John Paul I contradicted the Church's ban on in vitro fertilisation [73] , and made it clear that he would revise the teaching on contraception after wide ranging consultation [74] .

 

 

 

Quote:
sociological research  shows that contraception is associated with lower divorce rates and greater marital happiness [81] 

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Old 01-26-2011, 06:36 PM
 
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 http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=113

 

Quote:
 

The vast majority of Catholic theologians writing about sexual morality have challenged the basis for the church’s official teaching. Indeed, the very nature of Catholic teaching has occasioned this type of challenge, for the church maintains that its teaching is based on the natural law, which in principle can be rationally apprehended by all human beings. The church does recognize that reason is illumined by faith in these matters; nonetheless, the natural law methodology claims to rely on human reason, reflecting on human nature rather than directly on faith or revelation.

 

 

Quote:
 Stephan Pfürtner in Switzerland, the late Ambrogio Valsecchi in Italy and Anthony Kosnick in the United States have all lost their teaching positions because of their writings on sexuality.

 

 

 

Quote:
 What would have happened if Vatican II had discussed and decided the issue of artificial contraception?

 

 

Quote:
 Unfortunately, dialogue and consultation have not occurred in the area of sexual morality. Compare, for example, the process involved in the writing of the U.S. bishops’ pastoral letters and the process involved in the writing of the recent instruction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on bioethics. The American bishops engaged in a broad consultation process and shared their drafts with the world in a very public dialogue. Also, the pastoral letters distinguished principles and universal teachings from specific judgments and conclusions. This approach recognizes that the possibility of certitude decreases as the matter under consideration becomes more specific and complex.

 


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Old 01-27-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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 I like this POV, as well.

 

Quote:
 Using responsible contraception puts us in mature partnership with, not opposition to, our God when it comes to procreation. Suggesting that responsible birth control demonstrates disrespect for life is also bad theology. The Church should make a clear moral distinction between proactive and reactive birth control (i.e. abortion).

 

http://wednesdayjournalonline.com/main.asp?SectionID=3&SubSectionID=59&ArticleID=17300&TM=46072.61

 

 

Quote:
 We need Catholics who love the Church enough to criticize it. This patriarchal, overly centralized institution cannot thrive until it starts to share authority, moving outward from the center to the periphery, as theologian John O'Malley puts it in his excellent book, What Happened at Vatican II. That was the overwhelming consensus of the council almost 50 years ago.

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Old 01-27-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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The Churches teaching on ART is also an important part of the overall teachings on fertility and BC. Don't have the links handy though to post them. 

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Old 01-27-2011, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The Churches teaching on ART is also an important part of the overall teachings on fertility and BC. Don't have the links handy though to post them. 



ART?


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Old 01-27-2011, 05:42 PM
 
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I'm guessing Artificial Reproduction Techniques; i.e., in vitro fertilization and such?


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Old 01-27-2011, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As I wade through all of the articles shared, I cannot help but be hit with one thing over and over again- pride.  Pride and the assumed idea that the author knows more than 2000 years of teaching and guidance by the Holy Spirit.

 

"But P&L, the Holy Spirit moves everyone!"  Sure it does, but why the Holy Spirit move people in a direction completely contrary to the teachings the Church has held since the beginning?  Why on Earth should the Church bow to recent changes in society?  The Church, God Bless her, has survived 2000 years.  She has survived countless empires, controversies, and the Reformation.  And even with the insantity of the Reformation, what did the Church do? Did she change to make the people who left happy?  No.  She became even more adement about education regarding her teachings.

 

Lucifer was the brightest of the bright, the first among angels.  He refused to bow to man, who was made in God's own image.  His punishment was eternal damnation.  And he want to lead others there. /sarcasm After all, he is smarter than God /sarcasm

 

Satan can clothe himself in the light.  He is the father of lies. What better way to get back at God than to make God's best creation turn his/her back on God, and to turn his/her back on God's Bride, His Church?

 

Why should the Church bow to the pressures of society when she is above society? This life here on Earth is nothing.  The prideful articles that have been shared focus on this short temporal life.  When we all slip this mortal coil, and we face God, what are we going to say when He asks us about our actions? When we are faced with what every decision lead to, what will we say?  When the authors of these articles see what these lies did to faithful Christians, what will they say?  How will they account for the sins their writings lead to?


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Old 01-27-2011, 07:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post

Why should the Church bow to the pressures of society when she is above society? This life here on Earth is nothing.  The prideful articles that have been shared focus on this short temporal life.  When we all slip this mortal coil, and we face God, what are we going to say when He asks us about our actions? When we are faced with what every decision lead to, what will we say?  When the authors of these articles see what these lies did to faithful Christians, what will they say?  How will they account for the sins their writings lead to?


That is a good and valid argument, P&L - assuming one believes that Church teaching is, and has always been, without error.
 


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Old 01-27-2011, 07:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post



Quote:
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The Churches teaching on ART is also an important part of the overall teachings on fertility and BC. Don't have the links handy though to post them. 



ART?



artificial reproductive technology, IE in vitro, artificial insemination ect.

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Old 01-27-2011, 09:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post

As I wade through all of the articles shared, I cannot help but be hit with one thing over and over again- pride.  Pride and the assumed idea that the author knows more than 2000 years of teaching and guidance by the Holy Spirit.

 

"But P&L, the Holy Spirit moves everyone!"  Sure it does, but why the Holy Spirit move people in a direction completely contrary to the teachings the Church has held since the beginning?  Why on Earth should the Church bow to recent changes in society?  The Church, God Bless her, has survived 2000 years.  She has survived countless empires, controversies, and the Reformation.  And even with the insantity of the Reformation, what did the Church do? Did she change to make the people who left happy?  No.  She became even more adement about education regarding her teachings.

 

Lucifer was the brightest of the bright, the first among angels.  He refused to bow to man, who was made in God's own image.  His punishment was eternal damnation.  And he want to lead others there. /sarcasm After all, he is smarter than God /sarcasm

 

Satan can clothe himself in the light.  He is the father of lies. What better way to get back at God than to make God's best creation turn his/her back on God, and to turn his/her back on God's Bride, His Church?

 

Why should the Church bow to the pressures of society when she is above society? This life here on Earth is nothing.  The prideful articles that have been shared focus on this short temporal life.  When we all slip this mortal coil, and we face God, what are we going to say when He asks us about our actions? When we are faced with what every decision lead to, what will we say?  When the authors of these articles see what these lies did to faithful Christians, what will they say?  How will they account for the sins their writings lead to?

 

 

But the Church is not above society.  Instances abound throughout church history where even popes have turned from the will of God and the Church had to recant and repent at a later date.  Think about the Crusades, Borgia Popes (right around the "insanity" of the Reformation), failure to support the Jews (Christ's people!) against persecution, even the relative lack of action against the current molestation scandal.  Not to mention the Church has changed and added dogma over that span.  It is full of many Godly and well-intentioned people, but at the end of the day, it's no substitute for the wisdom gained from truly listening to our Lord. 

 

The Holy Spirit moves people in a direction separate from the Church's will because the Church is not God:  "I, the Lord, am your God.  You shall have no other gods beside me."  

 

What will God say to those who placed devotion to man's dogma over His will, especially if it were to result in death? It's a scary thought...

 

May His grace be sufficient to cover all of our transgressions! 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatienceAndLove View Post

As I wade through all of the articles shared, I cannot help but be hit with one thing over and over again- pride.  Pride and the assumed idea that the author knows more than 2000 years of teaching and guidance by the Holy Spirit.

 

"But P&L, the Holy Spirit moves everyone!"  Sure it does, but why the Holy Spirit move people in a direction completely contrary to the teachings the Church has held since the beginning?  Why on Earth should the Church bow to recent changes in society?  The Church, God Bless her, has survived 2000 years.  She has survived countless empires, controversies, and the Reformation.  And even with the insantity of the Reformation, what did the Church do? Did she change to make the people who left happy?  No.  She became even more adement about education regarding her teachings.

 

Lucifer was the brightest of the bright, the first among angels.  He refused to bow to man, who was made in God's own image.  His punishment was eternal damnation.  And he want to lead others there. /sarcasm After all, he is smarter than God /sarcasm

 

Satan can clothe himself in the light.  He is the father of lies. What better way to get back at God than to make God's best creation turn his/her back on God, and to turn his/her back on God's Bride, His Church?

 

Why should the Church bow to the pressures of society when she is above society? This life here on Earth is nothing.  The prideful articles that have been shared focus on this short temporal life.  When we all slip this mortal coil, and we face God, what are we going to say when He asks us about our actions? When we are faced with what every decision lead to, what will we say?  When the authors of these articles see what these lies did to faithful Christians, what will they say?  How will they account for the sins their writings lead to?

 

 

But the Church is not above society.  Instances abound throughout church history where even popes have turned from the will of God and the Church had to recant and repent at a later date.  Think about the Crusades, Borgia Popes (right around the "insanity" of the Reformation), failure to support the Jews (Christ's people!) against persecution, even the relative lack of action against the current molestation scandal.  Not to mention the Church has changed and added dogma over that span.  It is full of many Godly and well-intentioned people, but at the end of the day, it's no substitute for the wisdom gained from truly listening to our Lord. 

 

The Holy Spirit moves people in a direction separate from the Church's will because the Church is not God:  "I, the Lord, am your God.  You shall have no other gods beside me."  

 

What will God say to those who placed devotion to man's dogma over His will, especially if it were to result in death? It's a scary thought...

 

May His grace be sufficient to cover all of our transgressions! 



I agree with this. There has been a whole lot of BAD that has come from the Church in the past. The Crusades was one of the WORST. How could they possibly be inspired by the Holy Spirit? And Indulgences? Did God really say that we could pay our way to heaven? I don't think so. I do trust the church, but I don't take every word it says with blind acceptance. We have to listen to God within ourselves as well to find the right path. No person is without fallibility.

 

I do struggle with this as well because I am pregnant with #4, and we feel done. I will be graduating college in 2012, and then I will need to get a job. I just can't see working and having more babies. Also I don't see how we can afford more than 4 and still give each one what they need. I am really stressed as it is, and I don't know how my sanity, emotions, and patience can take much more. I want to be able to be the best mother and wife that I can be to love and guide the life that we have already created. If we add more, I feel like it would be too much and I might drift from God. I already have been weak with just the 3. 

DH is planning on getting a V, and I'm not completely against it.... I don't want to be on birth control. I don't like how it makes me feel and act, and I don't like that I am interfering with God. DH is adement about not getting pregnant again too, so he said he wanted the V. We are both Catholic, but I suppose he sees the welfare of our family out weighing our obligation to keep open to more children. Of course if the V fails, we would welcome the new baby, but would like to avoid it. I do feel guilty about this, but I don't know what else to do. We have tried NFP, and that is how DD3 was conceived..... DH doesn't trust it anymore. I think I will come to terms with what is best for our family and welfare, and after reflection with God I feel that he would rather my family be together, happy, loved, and nurtured in the Catholic faith instead of have a bunch of children and a stressed mother who can't hold it together let alone guide the children in the faith.


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Old 01-28-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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As I wade through all of the articles shared, I cannot help but be hit with one thing over and over again- pride. 

 

 Yes, well ... this point works well to Church leadership, also.  The Church hierarchy certainly can - and has, I believe - also fall prey to prideful ignorance and apathy toward the Holy Spirit.  This is not only a problem with the laity and non-ordained.

 

 

Quote:

"But Why on Earth should the Church bow to recent changes in society?   

 

But they have, and do ... that is, after all, why we have a celibate priesthood.

 

 

Quote:
When we are faced with what every decision lead to, what will we say?  When the authors of these articles see what these lies did to faithful Christians, what will they say?  How will they account for the sins their writings lead to?
 

 

In that vein - How will the hierarchy of our Church account for THEIR sins, and for what THOSE SINS and lies have done to faithful Christians?  RC Christians have been leaving the Church in droves for decades due to the scandals, lies, cover-ups, finger-pointing, misinformation, and poor leadership at every level of the Church.

 

Howzabout we ALL take some blame here, for a change?  Only then will our Church begin to recover, and to flourish as it should.

 

Oh, and the answer to your question ... would be the salvitic grace of Christ.  Not one of us will be worthy to stand before God and seek admittance to His kingdom.  If we believe that Jesus Christ, and NOT the RC church, is truly Lord and the author of our salvation, then we will stand on His grace and seek Our Father's mercy for our mistakes and failings - hopefully knowing in our hearts that we had the best of intentions, and the best interests of our brothers and sisters at heart. 


I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. 

 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 

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Old 01-28-2011, 08:24 AM
 
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The only thing I have time to comment on at this point is there is a fundamental and often overlooked difference between the fallen and fallible nature of man - this includes our pope, bishops, etc., - and the perfect and infallible teaching nature of the Church, when our Holy Father speaks definitively on issues of faith and morals. In these two areas of faith and morals, the Church, guided and protected by the Holy Spirit, cannot err. That was Christ's promise to us.

This seems to be a very common misunderstanding among even Catholics, who often tend to lump everything together as being "man made" and capable of error.

(As for priestly celibacy, it is a discipline, not a doctrine (the Eastern Catholic Church does permit married men to become priests). It is changeable. The matter of contraception, however, is not.)



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Old 01-28-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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.. the perfect and infallible teaching nature of the Church, when our Holy Father speaks definitively on issues of faith and morals. In these two areas of faith and morals, the Church, guided and protected by the Holy Spirit, cannot err. That was Christ's promise to us. 

 

The whole premise of "infallible teaching" in the Church has a sketchy history to begin with, though.  By its own definition of "infallible" (the Bishop of Rome must speak in union/agreement with all bishops of the Church), the process/council of proclaiming this doctrine was not. Bishops in disagreement with the doctrine were forced to leave the council when they refused to vote in favor of it.

 

Like any individual, the Church is only guided by the Holy Spirit when those in leadership are open to the Spirit/allow the Spirit to guide them in their discernment and decision-making.  Due to the prideful human nature mentioned earlier in the thread, I do not believe that this has always been the case.  It's not just an automatic thing that occurs, just because one is in a position of leadership in the Church.


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Old 01-28-2011, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The Churches teaching on ART is also an important part of the overall teachings on fertility and BC. Don't have the links handy though to post them. 



2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child's right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses' "right to become a father and a mother only through each other."167

 

2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that "entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children."168 "Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses' union . . . . Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person."169


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Old 02-03-2011, 12:33 PM
 
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Quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anastasiya View Post

 

The only thing I have time to comment on at this point is there is a fundamental and often overlooked difference between the fallen and fallible nature of man - this includes our pope, bishops, etc., - and the perfect and infallible teaching nature of the Church, when our Holy Father speaks definitively on issues of faith and morals. In these two areas of faith and morals, the Church, guided and protected by the Holy Spirit, cannot err. That was Christ's promise to us.

This seems to be a very common misunderstanding among even Catholics, who often tend to lump everything together as being "man made" and capable of error.

(As for priestly celibacy, it is a discipline, not a doctrine (the Eastern Catholic Church does permit married men to become priests). It is changeable. The matter of contraception, however, is not.)


 

Yes.  Papal infallibility and ecclesiastical/conciliar/etc infallibility are not the same thing, and can't be used interchangeably.

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Old 02-03-2011, 02:37 PM
 
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What I haven't seen mentioned here by those in favor of artificial contraceptive use (forgive me if I just missed it), is how they can account for hormonal birth control's abortifacient aspects. Using hormonal birth control can lead to an early abortion, and the user would never even know it. How can it be moral, in any circumstance, to use a thing that could inadvertently kill another human? Unless you also think the Church is wrong about abortions?

I could come to terms with the Church accepting sterilization or condom use long before I could come to terms with her allowing hormonal birth control. Although I agree with her teaching about these as well.

As for any anecdote where the good of the person, family, whatever is somehow going to be enhanced by using birth control (of any kind), I would remind us all that doing right is not always the easy path. The ends do not justify the means. Following Christ and his Church is, and has always been, difficult.

Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! Matthew 7:13-14

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Old 03-17-2011, 03:57 PM
 
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Gosh how did I miss this thread. This is something we have been struggling with. I have an autoimmune diseasethat  untreated I am unable to function. I am bedridden and unable to move. It is a struggle to use the bathroom let alone take care of my kids. There are several drugs out there to treat my PsA. All have failed except the high danger drugs for pregnancy. The ones I am on now it has a 100% chance that is 1-0-0 that the baby will die. Most died in the womb none have lived more then an hour after being born if they make it that far. It has a high mother mortality rate also something like 45%. The other drug I  has this incredible high birth defect rate also. Where does that leave me? If I do not take the drugs, I cannot parent my own children. If I do take the drug and get pregnant I have signed the death warrant for my child.


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