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Do any Catholics amongst you really believe contraception is wrong?

(44 Posts)
Spidermama Thu 03-Jul-08 20:20:37

I'd be interested to know. If so why? And if not, how do you square it with your faith?

nickytwotimes Thu 03-Jul-08 20:25:56

I think it is right to use contraception. I am a Catholic and go to church every Sunday, try to be 'good' lol, etc. Most of my fellow churchgoers are also users of contraception. our last priest thought that contraception should be used. I've yet to meet another catholic who thinks conttraception is wrong.

How do I square it with my faith,? Well, my old priest used to say that you do what your concience dictates, so that's my get-out-of-jail-free card! There are organisations like 'Catholics for Choice' that put pressure on the church authorities to end the anti-feminist and anti-human rights rules the church has. The AIDS situation in Africa is appalling and I am ashamed to be a Catholic when I think of that.

morningpaper Thu 03-Jul-08 20:30:26

Actually it is much harder I think to square the anti-contraceptive argument with the faith

When having children every year is bad for a woman's health, bad for a marriage, bad for the environment, bad for the children...

And the argument is based on terrible logic. The idea that every marital union should be open to the procreative possibility is a nonsense, as any married couple will tell you. It implies that all non-penetrative activity is wrong, and has rather worrying implications for couples who are unable to have penetrative sex, for example in cases of impotence or problems with vaginal penetration...

On the other hand, I think that JP2's concept of a 'culture of life' was a useful contribution to the debate about what modern society is about - and I think that it is wholly reasonable for catholics to have grave reservations about post-fertilisation contraception.

Is that boring enough

I really should be writing the roundup

nickytwotimes Thu 03-Jul-08 20:34:05

blush at my paltry effort compared to MP's.
[hangs head in shame]

Spidermama Thu 03-Jul-08 20:37:32

Yes she did well didn't she nicky.

I like yours too though. I'm just not sure to what extent Catholics are supposed to rely on their conciences. There;s all the stuff about if left to our own devices we sinners would get it all wrong and make a right pigs ear of things which is why we need the structure and the heirarchy to tell us how it should be.

I'm finding so many areas very difficult at the moment. I'm also disappointed at the randomness with which Mary was chosen to be the vessel. I would rather believe that she was a fantastic mum and had a fair bit to do with the way Jesus turned out, but I think that's also at odds with what Catholics are supposed to believe.

Spidermama Thu 03-Jul-08 20:39:09

By the way MP I totally agree about post fertilisation cojntraception being a whole different matter.

Greyriverside Thu 03-Jul-08 20:43:07

But doesn't the pope speaking 'ex cathedra' say that that contraception is forbidden by god? Does that leave any room for personal choice?

morningpaper Thu 03-Jul-08 20:53:17

It was not an 'ex cathedra' statement (it was argued in Humanae Vitae in ermmm the 60s)

ex cathedra statements are incredibly rare - genearlly saved for profound theological concepts e.g. the immaculate conception

It was - technically - infalliable anyway because it was a document in the 'ordinary magisterium' i.e. the authority of the church - although the word 'infallible' would not be used, probably the word 'correct' would be the official, more accurate description of the teaching in question

morningpaper Thu 03-Jul-08 20:53:43

obvously it was not argued - it was taught grin

morningpaper Thu 03-Jul-08 20:56:40

I don't think it is always very HELPFUL to dissect too much about theological teachings such as the who Mary thing

Because yes frankly she sounds quite, quite dreadful

Sometimes it is more helpful to think less literally and more symbolically - i.e. what do these teachings tell us about ourselves? Can I connect at some spiritual level with the meaning of these teachings? Is there truth in the story (rather than asking whether the story is true)?

If I had to go through the Creed with any convinction I would say "Well, it depends what you mean by that..." at every credo

morningpaper Thu 03-Jul-08 20:57:07

this is why I am a terrible liberal

morningpaper Thu 03-Jul-08 20:58:42

And the contraception thing is similar I think

What does this teach us about the sacred possibility of the marital act? That it's risky, that you are inviting God to make a creative decision, that you are open to that decision, that it is wonderful and there are live-creating possibilities, that it is about wholeness and forgiveness and the divine mystery of the connection between two people

Whether you have slipped on a condom is not really important IMO

Spidermama Thu 03-Jul-08 21:27:26

Now see MP I think that understanding the faith symbolically is much easier if you're born to it. In a sense it's liberating because you have grown up with it and have therefore had a certain amount of choice taken away and with it a certain amount of reasoned interpretation.

I'm finding that, though I really love what so much of Catholicism is about, I can't quite take the step and have my children baptised as my Catholic husband would like and have our marriage blessed.

I'm on a spiritual rollercoaster over this. Some days I'm in love with it and can fully embrace ... then I'll read, for example, the bit where Paul lays into homosexuals (which I know is not just catholisism but Christianity in general) and I feel alienated once again.

I would love to be able to turn a blind eye to some bits, or better still to be able to work out a way of connecting with them symbolically, but it's an uphill struggle.

morningpaper Thu 03-Jul-08 22:20:27

Ahhh spidermama I don't know what to say, I can really understand

The thing is, it's such a CULTURAL thing and like you say, that can be a really GREAT thing about it if you are born into it

I think it's a great cultural heritage which is why I get very sad about people who say 'oh my children can decide when they are older' because TBH if it isn't their culture then they can't really MAKE an informed choice. You can't really just lay all the religions on a table and pick one. It's like saying you won't teach a child a language because they can pick their own when they are an adult... It's really very little to do with scientific truth (despite what people like Dawkins might think!) - it's so much more about what forms you as a person and what words and language and symbolism become a part of your subconscious from the very beginning.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 03-Jul-08 22:25:01

I am a terrible catholic really (including my views on contraception) but I am catholic to my bones. Steeped in it. MP is spot on I think.

Tommy Thu 03-Jul-08 22:59:31

yes - as always - MP is right there!

I think that the contraception issue is one dragged up by people who aren't Catholics or very lapsed as a reason for not being a Catholic.

I have never, in 41 years of being a Catholic, heard a priest announce from the pulpit that contraception is wrong.

I don't even comsider it a religious issue - it is a medical one to my mind and one that I discuss with my GP and not my priest. I really can't imagine what his reaction would be if I suddenly started talking about it! We are all very liberal here though so that may make a diference

nickytwotimes Fri 04-Jul-08 19:37:42

I'm afraid I had to return to rl last night. Humph!
Anyhoo, I am completely ouyt of my depth on this one. i must agree though about struggling with the church's teachings on certain issues whilst agreeing wholeheartedly with others. Sometimes I am not sure whether I can call myself a Catholic or a christian without beign guilty of hypocrisy. sad

ChocFudgeCake Fri 04-Jul-08 23:07:35

I follow the teaching of the Church on this. We do not use contraception. I have seen how it enhances marital life (no kidding).
Of course I'm not supposed to get pregnant every year! We use Natural Family Planning, once one learns how it works (properly, from a teacher), it is quite effective. It gives peace of mind and at the same time it welcomes God to act in our lives. We have learnt to fully enjoy sex and to use abstinence when necessary.
I didn't believe on this before, but talked to couples who follow this teaching and was convinced. I feel closer to my husband and to God, there is no going back!

zaphod Fri 04-Jul-08 23:17:58

No, but would have a problem with using the morning after pill. I'm whats known as an a la carte Catholic, I pick and choose what to go along with, as my conscience dictates.

jcscot Sat 05-Jul-08 00:27:25

I'm with ChocFudgeCake - married for eight years, never used contraception, didn't have sex outside of marriage and agree fully with the church's teaching on family.

We have one child and another on the way and we've used NFP and it's been succesful for us.

I have heard priests preach about family life - from the need to practice abstinence, to using contraception/abortion and the reason's for the church's position.

Mind you, I am a dyed-in-the-wool, non-liberal Catholic.

Tortington Sat 05-Jul-08 01:25:48

no i dont

i was in confession once - not long after having my first son....who was outside in pram.

the priest a family priest , known all my life, old guy - used to go on with himself in the homily grin ( sadly now dead)

he asked " do you use contraception" i was a little stunned. i was young v. naive. and shy. " yes Father i do, becuse if i had another baby i would kill myself" was my honest reply.

he didn't say much to that really.

i have a faith - i chose to practice this through catholacism, i donot believe every word in the bible is the word of god.
i do not believe that being gay is a sin
i do not belive that wearing garmets made from different cloths put together is wrong ( some shit in leviticus i think)

i am aware of the history ofthe church. and i am painfully aware of the hypocrisy and power it weilds

its a case of bringng down the higher message for every day life.

jesus didn't have churches,or things. and i know i have said this a million times here , but i truly belive jesus was the first and ultimate hippy.

i don't believe that spilling the mans seed is tantamount to killing babies - that is ridiculous. simply ridiculous. ad at a guess i would imagine that this is some power weilding by the church in a socio/historical context.

i do however believe that once and egg is fertalised its a child. its not a blob or a mass of cells or a feotus or anything else that gives other people confort with their choices. i don't believe that.

differentID Sat 05-Jul-08 02:13:47

well said Custardo.

ChocFudgeCake Sat 05-Jul-08 10:25:05

jcscot, do you want to be my friend? I think we might go to the same parish

jcscot Sat 05-Jul-08 10:40:28

If we don't go to the same parish, we certainly have priests who are "singing from the same hymnsheet", if you'll pardon the pun! grin

On thing I do hold strongly with, though, is that just because I conform to the church's teaching (as do most of my family, as far as I know) I wouldn't judge anyone else who chooses not to - it's not my place to wonder what goes on in other people's lives and marriages. People who go against the teaching of the church do so as their choice and how that squares with their conscience is up to them and to God. Who's to say that given another set of circumstances, I wouldn't choose to act against my faith? There but for the grace of God etc etc.

I will say that I don't follow my faith blindly, I have thought and read a great deal and beleive that having a living, developing faith means that you have to question it sometimes and think about why the church teaches what it does.

morningpaper Sat 05-Jul-08 16:33:02

There is no justification that NFP is 'allowed' from a logical position - you either use contraception or you don't. The failure rate of NFP is similar to barrier methods - there is absolutely no argument for using it above other methods.

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