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Friday, April 13, 2007

Contraception part 2

Yesterday I received an email requesting a post discussing the Church's teaching on contraception. I posted a reply in the post titled Contraception

Radical Catholic Mom has done what I am unqualified to do and submit a reply to this question from a first hand perspective.

Here is the question again for reference followed by Radical Catholic Mom's response.

At 46 going on 47 years old with the last pregnancy in my late 30s ending in a painful and emotional miscarriage. My husband and I decided it was time not to have any more. I am at a loss on the church’s teaching on no contraceptives. So what is the church’s teaching on this and is there scripture to back it up?

I should also state that my husband and I are on different prescribed mediations for our health that affect unborn babies for the last several years.
I believe that God has taken this issue from me and my husband. My heart is at peace and with my recent conversion I feel that God is strongly leading me to do more for the Catholic church than just sit in mass.

I would like to say "Congratulations" on your entry into the Church. Welcome Home! The good news is that you have joined a Church that refuses to bend in the face of the world. The bad news is that you have joined a Church that refuses to bend in the face of the world.

I am also a convert to the Faith and my own conversion regarding contraception took a period of years before I could finally accept whole heartedly the Church's position. What it takes is an open heart, a desire to do God's will, and a desire for true Joy. I think the very fact you wrote the email you did, reveals you are uncomfortable with where you are at. You want to justify yourself, but I think you yourself are not even fully satisfied with your own explanations.

I would like to add to what Chris wrote. You may have read what he wrote and said, "I agree," but you still may not understand what the big deal is.

The big deal is this: We are not gnostics. We do not believe that there is a separation between the soul and body. We believe they are inherently linked, even our fertility. The non-Christian world says, "we own our fertility". The Catholic world says, "no we don't." We believe our fertility is an integral part of who we are.

It is so integral that the Church says every single sexual act HAS to be honest. And what is honesty? Honesty is not going into a sexual act preparing for war. That's right. Every time a person uses a barrier between herself and her partner, whether it is a physical barrier or a chemical barrier, and chooses to have sex, you are saying with your words, "I love you and give myself to you" but your body is saying "Except for this part of me." The Church demands Her people not split body and soul, but rather unify them as God willed them to be unified. Even if you and your partner don't Say its "war" your bodies cannot not lie. You are placing a barrier between yourselves that IS a real barrier.

By its VERY definition, "CONTRA-CEPTION" is negative. You go and have sex and use something negative. "Against Conception." Our secular world calls this "protection" or "control." So a child no longer is a natural, logical outcome, but rather a "thing" to be planned and a "thing" to be ordered. This is so serious the Church calls "Contraception" as a part of "The Culture of Death." Those are some hard core words, don't you think? Not convinced yet? In its 1992 ruling in Casey vs Planned Parenthood, the Supreme Court sounded like the Catholic Church when it said that contraception has changed the very nature of sex. People have sex and don't want a child. So when a child is conceived, it no longer is a natural, logical product of two loving people, but a thing or a "product of conception" that MUST be destroyed if the parent so chooses.

I really encourage you to reading Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae, Janet Smith's "Contraception Why Not?," and John Paul II's "Theology of the Body." Google these and you can begin to read.

For me, I began my own change towards believing in Contraception for two reasons. 1) I was active in the pro-life movement and I began to understand that ALL hormonal contraceptions are abortafacients by nature. Since I believe that life begins at conception and not implantation, I knew no pro-life person in good conscience could justify using them. 2)I met real, open, authentic Catholic people living their faith in concrete ways. I met a Catholic couple who was using Natural Family Planning and they showed me that NFP works, it is good for a marriage, and it most importantly respects God's plan.

If you want to read on NFP I wrote a whole section on it with all the footnotes in January of '07. Go here to read if you like. Since you are nearing menopause, I recommend the Billings method since you can use it for all stages of life.

I hope you have the courage to read on this, challenge yourself and your actions, and are open to change. The fact you have converted means you are all three. Keep it up. God's way is hard, scary sometimes because it means we are going to do something unique from most people, but at the end of it, you receive Peace and Joy knowing you are not offending God, you are loving your husband the way God wants you to love him, and you can participate by receiving the Eucharist.

Radical Catholic Mom

1 comment:

Sheila Kippley said...

Good reading advice. Another good source is Here you will find help at the sidebars for "Understanding Humanae Vitae" and that it is "Not Just for Catholics." Also at this site is a free, short, easy-to-understand "How To" NFP manual which covers all fertility signs for the use of systematic NFP and God's plan for spacing babies via the Seven Standards of eco-breastfeeding. Sheila Kippley, NFP International