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Thursday, September 5, 2013
The Truth About Natural Family Planning (NFP)
From The Vortex:
For quite a few years now, decades actually, Natural Family Planning has been touted in the Church as the answer to the only anti-life culture of contraception.
If you go to the US Bishop’s website .. it’s actually celebrated as a good in itself. Not a single word is mentioned with regard to the fact that NFP is actually a dispensation from what has been taught for centuries by the Church.
There is no mention at all of the blessing that large families are and that THIS is the default if a couple engages in the marital embrace.
Now let’s be VERY EXTRA CLEAR here. No one is saying that there are not serious reasons for HAVING to limit the number of children a couple will have.
But the reasons must be SERIOUS, GRAVE. The default is to engage in the marital act and accept whatever, if any children God blesses the couple with. THIS IS THE CATHOLIC UNDERSTANDING and always has been.
The Default – the usual manner is that a couple is fertile and should participate freely with God in the bringing forth of new life.
The Default is NOT – look for an exception to the rule.
Issues like serious psychological or physical health reasons or HEAVY overwhelming financial burdens (for however short a time they may last) MAY be considerations for postponing conception.
And yes, SOME couples do face these sorts of issues, but again, these are the exceptions.
So when NFP is employed by a couple, it is usually for a very sad set of circumstances in their lives. Mental illness, great physical impairment and crushing financial issues are not good things to have to experience.
But in many cases, this is not how NFP is “sold” in the Church these days. It has much more of a feeling of “hey, look, we Catholics can have sex and avoid pregnancy just like the contraceptive culture, but we don’t use ARTIFICIAL methods, so we are square with God.”
That is a turning on its head of the understanding of what marriage is all about. It is .. at least partially .. a caving in to the cultural understanding that children are a burden, something to be avoided if possible. Children are a blessing.
NFP is marketed by many in the Church .. not the least of which is the Bishop’s conference as a kind of “contraception-lite”. This is wrong.
The first commandment given to the first couple was to be fruitful and multiply – not, “make sure you are well prepared and have all your finances, and home, and cars and bank accounts and college savings accounts in order – then help Me create new life.”
We’d like to recommend to you a further discussion we had on this on a recent episode of our weekly show, Mic’d Up.
We’ve edited down to the relevant portion of the show a very thought provoking discussion with a couple of our guests and that is available by just clicking on the link.
Again, no one here is trashing the authentic need for spacing of children in authentically challenging circumstances.
What we are trashing is the almost knee jerk reaction – the attitude, which sounds and feels very much like the culture at large that couples need to be taught how to have sex and avoid children AS A MATTER OF ROUTINE.
This is so routine, that practically everyone in the culture who hears about NFP very quickly arrives at the label – Catholic Birth Control.
Read this book:
You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Family-Planning-Catholic-Bedroom/dp/1482570394