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Non-Catholics Section: Moral Teachings

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Non-Catholics Section:

Moral Teachings (Contraception)

Sources: Various

Important Notice: Items herein may not apply to all persons. References and translations may vary. We make no guarantees regarding any item herein. Do not take items out of context. Do not inflict harm on yourself or others, break laws, take unsuitable/incautious or inappropriate/drastic actions, or take figurative items literally. Use of site is at your own risk and is subject to our terms of use. For more terms information, see below and click here

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Does Your Non-Catholic 'Christian' Religion Sometimes (or Generally) Tolerate Contraception?



Does Your Non-Catholic 'Christian' Religion Sometimes (or Generally) Tolerate Contraception? 


* How can a religion calling itself 'Christian' tolerate the intentional prevention of conception? Scripture clearly praises fertility and also condemns contraception. Consider that:

* The very first command given by God to the human race was God's command to Adam and Eve to go forth & multiply: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it." (Gen. 1:28)

* After the flood, God twice commanded to multiply: "Be fertile and multiply and fill the earth." (Gen. 9:1) and "Be fertile, then, and multiply; abound on earth and subdue it." (Gen 9:7)

* When Onan wasted his seed on the ground, he was killed (cf. Gen. 38:9-10). Note: Onan could have refused to unite with his brother's widow. Therefore, it is clear that his contraceptive act was condemned.

* In Scripture, fertility is often shown as a blessing (e.g. Gen. 17:6, 17:20, 28:3, 35:11, 48:4, Ex. 23:25-26, Deut. 7:14, Ps. 127:3-5, 128:3), whereas childlessness as seen as a reproach or disgrace (e.g. Hannah, Rachel, Elizabeth). Scripture calls children a gift and a reward (see Ps. 127:3), and tells that fathers worry over their daughter's sterility (see Sirach 42:10).

* In the New Testament, we are told that women are saved through motherhood (see 1 Tm. 2:11-15), and Jesus even curses a fruitless tree (see Mt. 21:19, Mk. 11:14). We also see that Jesus looks favorably on children and even says that "whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me." (Mt. 18:5) 

* Contraception contradicts the primary purpose of marriage - the procreation and education of children.

* Contraception is bad for one's health (it may be associated with many health difficulties, including very serious ones, and has even been associated with deaths).

* Contraception may act as an abortifacient (that is, it causes abortions - unknown to the woman).

* Contraception is linked to promiscuity, venereal disease, abortion, adultery, etc.

* Contraception promotes the a myth of "safe sex". Even despite the many heath risks that artificial contraception it is linked to, birth control is also directly linked to fornication - and thus may result in the loss of one's eternal soul. So-called "safe sex" is not "safe for the soul" ["Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators...nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals...will inherit the kingdom of God." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 6:9-10)] and is also not safe for the body. 

* "Contraception is rather like bulimia. One enjoys the pleasure the action affords, but takes measures to prohibit the natural consequences."

* "Contraception is a rejection of a woman's fertility and motherhood. It reduces her to an object of personal pleasure". As St. Thomas Aquinas has stated: "A man seeks wanton pleasure in his wife when he sees no more in her that he would in a wanton."

* Contraception places man's desires over the will of God.

* Contraception frustrates the end of the marital act: the very act was designed for the purpose of procreation.

* Contraception is contrary to natural law. "Artificial birth control is contrary to the natural law because it is a frustration of the proper end of the [marital act], which is procreation. Physical expression or consummation of love, the sealing and increase of affection by the mutual enjoyment of one of another, are also objects of the act, but only proximate objects. To pursue such is good; but at the same time deliberately to avoid the ultimate end of the act, for the due attainment of which the proximate objects were ordained as a means, is unnatural, contrary to right reason, conduct unbecoming rational beings, and so morally wrong." (Catholic Dictionary)

* Contraception shows a contempt for the laws of God and a distrust for God's Providence.

* "Contraception deigns to prevent God from continuing His acts of Creation"

* Contraception contradicts God's will.  "Likewise, if they consider the matter, they must admit that an act of mutual love, which is detrimental to the faculty of propagating life, which God the Creator of all, has implanted in it according to special laws, is in contradiction to both the divine plan, according to whose norm matrimony has been instituted, and the will of the Author of human life. To use this divine gift destroying, even if only partially, its meaning and its purpose is to contradict the nature both of man and of woman and of their most intimate relationship, and therefore it is to contradict also the plan of God and His will." (Pope Paul VI)

* Contraception is a rejection of Christ:        "[R]ejection of human life, in whatever form that rejection takes, is really a rejection of Christ. This is the fascinating but also demanding truth which Christ reveals to us and which his Church continues untiringly to proclaim: 'Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me' (Mt 18:5); 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me' (Mt 25:40)." (Pope John Paul II, 1995)

* Contraception rejects self-giving and results in selfishness.

* "Contraception devalues women as mothers and instead induces society to look upon them as 'units of production'... Contraception has directly led to the large percentage of women in the workforce who have abandoned their children for hours on end to perform 'work for hire'."

* Contraception leads to the destruction of the family.

* Contraception has led to a "under-population crisis" 

* Contraception may dangerous to a woman's health, leads to promiscuity, acts of fornication, adultery, etc., lowers morality, and hurts society. It also leads to more abortions.

* Until the 20th century, all so called 'Christian' denominations held that contraception was immoral. Nowadays, the Catholic Church, the "the pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Tm. 3:15), stands nearly alone in condemning contraception as a grave sin. This is because she is divinely guided and protected. Despite mockery and pressure from those outside the Church (and, sadly, even from within), she has not changed (and will not change) her position that contraception is gravely sinful. 

*As Scripture reminds us, "All man's works will perish in decay" (Sirach 14:19). What will not perish, however, are works of God - the eternal souls of their children. Parents are primarily called to beget and educate their children to truly worship and love God and to spend eternity with Him. Those who have large families tend to appreciate their awesome responsibility, whereas those with few children tend to subordinate parenting to work and other activities. Mothers with many children generally stay home and raise their children, and even homeschool them - so necessary in this confused age. They are surrounded by "innocent little ones" and dedicate themselves to their husband and children and generally enjoy a warm and loving home. In contrast, those who contracept may tend to be distracted by dual careers, excessively busy, and neglectful (they simply may not have time for their children or spouses). They may be surrounded by all sorts of occasions of sin (immodesty, pressure to lie or engage in unethical behavior, etc.). Their few children may be raised by strangers and educated in schools which are contrary to the true faith. Such parents often seek divorces and family life may be unstable. Faithful Catholics who diligently follow the Church's teaching on contraception, by comparison, are said to have a "virtual 0% divorce rate".

* Those who avoid the contraceptive mentality put their trust in God when children come. They see new life not as a burden, but as a joy and a blessing from God. Siblings also learn the value of life and enjoy God's blessings on their family. And, rather than face their old age alone, they may be surrounded by many loving children and grandchildren. They know that "children are a gift, not a burden" and that "God will not give them 'too many' gifts." They understand that being a disciple of Christ is not a matter of convenience, but may require great sacrifice, and even martyrdom. They know that Christians may not choose whatever "lifestyle" they desire, offending God in the process, and still expect salvation. Finally, they trust that "God is not a deceiver, that He should offer to support us, and then, when we lean upon Him, should slip away from us." 

* The Catholic Church teaches that the only approved method for "birth control" is abstinence. As stated by St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church: "But if it sometimes happens that married people should be oppressed with the number of their children, whom, through poverty, they cannot easily support, there is a remedy pleasing to God. And this is for the couple, by mutual consent, to separate from the marriage-bed and spend their days in prayer and fasting." Not only is this method "full proof" and free of side effects, it has the advantage of enriching family life: "To dominate instinct by means of one's reason and free will undoubtedly requires ascetical practices, so that the affective manifestations of conjugal life may observe the correct order, in particular with regard to the observance of periodic continence. Yet this discipline which is proper to the purity of married couples, far from harming conjugal love, rather confers on it a higher human value. It demands continual effort yet, thanks to its beneficent influence, husband and wife fully develop their personalities, being enriched with spiritual values. Such discipline bestows upon family life fruits of serenity and peace, and facilitates the solution of other problems; it favors attention for one's partner, helps both parties to drive out selfishness, the enemy of true love; and deepens their sense of responsibility. By its means, parents acquire the capacity of having a deeper and more efficacious influence in the education of their offspring; little children and youths grow up with a just appraisal of human values, and in the serene and harmonious development of their spiritual and sensitive faculties." (Pope Paul VI) Further, remember that "no one ever got pregnant, AIDS, or a venereal disease by fully following the teachings of the Catholic Church - that is, abstinence."

* Married couples who do not use contraception may enjoy many benefits, including: better & stronger marriages, better family life, better health, living in a manner more pleasing to God, more respect from each other, increased trust in God, better values...

* Finally, note that the Catholic Church's position against contraception was not invented by men, but is based on the laws of God. And certainly, the Church has no power to change divine law. As Pope Leo XIII said: "To take away from man the natural and primeval right of marriage, to circumscribe in any way the principal ends of marriage laid down in the beginning by God Himself in the words 'Increase and multiply' (Gen. 1:28), is beyond the power of any human law." (As quoted by Pope Pius XI in "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.) Note that even if a priest says the opposite, he is in error and is expressing his personal opinion. The Catholic Church rejects artificial contraception, regardless of what any particular (misguided) priest may say.

Note: Of course, Scripture praises fertility only in the bonds of holy matrimony. Intimate relations outside of marriage are gravely sinful and may result in the loss of one's eternal soul: "Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators...nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals...will inherit the kingdom of God." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 6:9-10)

Some Closing Quotations...

"[E]ach and every marriage act (quilibet matrimonii usus) must remain open to the transmission of life" (Pope Paul VI)

"[A]s often as he knows his wife without a desire for children...without a doubt he commits sin" (St. Caesar of Arles, c. 540 A.D.) 

"Only a person of very small faith could believe that so great a God doesn't have the power to give food to those who serve Him." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"As a gift and a commitment, children are [a parent's] most important task...Children are more important than work, entertainment and social position." (Pontifical Council for the Family) 

"To the degree that a person weakens chastity, his or her love becomes more and more selfish, that is, satisfying a desire for pleasure and no longer self-giving." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"For since the bringing of children into the world is the principal end of marriage, to do anything in order to prevent the accomplishment of this end is always a mortal sin." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

Error CONDEMNED by Pope Innocent XI: "The act of marriage exercised for pleasure only is entirely free of all fault and venial defect." (This proposition was condemned by Pope Innocent XI, 1679 A.D.)

"The two dimensions of conjugal union, the unitive and the procreative, cannot be artificially separated without damaging the deepest truth of the conjugal act itself." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"When a couple refuses to collaborate with God to transmit the gift of life, they have great difficulty in finding in themselves the resources to sustain mutual understanding." (Pope John Paul II)

"Can. 1013 § 1 The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children; the secondary [end] is mutual support and a remedy for concupiscence." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Even with a lawful wife, the marriage act is unlawful and shameful if the conception of offspring is prevented. That is what Onan, the son of Juda, did and on that account God put him to death." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"To take away the natural and primeval right of marriage, or in any way to circumscribe the chief purpose of marriage established in the beginning by the authority of God, Increase and multiply' [Gen. 1:28], is not within the power of any law of man." (Pope Leo XIII)

"Such practices are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfillment" (Pope John Paul II)

"In the presence of the people, my Redeemer and Savior embraced children and blessed them, in order to show how pleasing to him are the purity and innocence of that age. Truly is he worthy of all praise, who loves to be surrounded by innocent little ones." (St. Ephrem)

"And finally this love is fecund for it is not exhausted by the communion between husband and wife, but is destined to continue, raising up new lives. 'Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and educating of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents.'" (Pope Paul VI) 

"Nuptial commerce, which is so holy, just and commendable in itself, and so profitable to the commonwealth, is, nevertheless, in certain cases dangerous to those that exercise it, as when the order appointed for the procreation of children is violated and perverted; in which case, according as one departs more or less from it, the sins are more or less abominable, but always mortal." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"No one can deny that the first example and the greatest help that parents can give their children is their generosity in accepting life, without forgetting that this is how parents help their children to have a simpler lifestyle. Moreover, ' is certainly less serious to deny their children certain comforts or material advantages than to deprive them of the presence of brothers and sisters, who could help them to grow in humanity and to realize the beauty of life at all its ages and in all its variety' (Pope John Paul II)." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"It must never be forgotten that the disordered use of sex tends progressively to destroy the person's capacity to love by making pleasure, instead of sincere self-giving, the end of sexuality and by reducing other persons to objects of one's own gratification. In this way the meaning of true love between a man and a woman (love always open to life) is weakened as well as the family itself. Moreover, this subsequently leads to disdain for the human life which could be conceived, which, in some situations, is then regarded as an evil that threatens personal pleasure." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"Heinous is the sin committed against the creative act of God, Who through the marriage contract invites man and woman to cooperate with Him in the propagation of the human family. To take life after its inception is a horrible crime; but to prevent human life that the Creator is about to bring into being, is satanic. In the first instance, the body is killed, while the soul lives on; in the latter, not only a body but an immortal soul is denied existence in time and in eternity. It has been reserved to our day to see advocated shamelessly the legalizing of such a diabolical thing." {Archbishop Hayes}

"The responsible exercise of parenthood implies, therefore, that husband and wife recognize fully their own duties towards God, towards themselves, towards the family and towards society, in a correct hierarchy of values. In the task of transmitting life, therefore, they are not free to proceed completely at will, as if they could determine in a wholly autonomous way the honest path to follow; but they must conform their activity to the creative intention of God, expressed in the very nature of marriage and of its acts, and manifested by the constant teaching of the Church." (Pope Paul VI)

"[Birth control is a] misnomer for the practice of carrying out [the marital act] within or without marriage in such a way as to prevent conception. The church condemns such practices as gravely contrary to the natural law. She sanctions only such true control as may be procured by abstinence... Artificial birth control is contrary to the natural law because it is a frustration of the proper end of the [marital act], which is procreation. Physical expression or consummation of love, the sealing and increase of affection by the mutual enjoyment of one of another, are also objects of the act, but only proximate objects. To pursue such is good; but at the same time deliberately to avoid the ultimate end of the act, for the due attainment of which the proximate objects were ordained as a means, is unnatural, contrary to right reason, conduct unbecoming rational beings, and so morally wrong." (Catholic Dictionary)

"We are deeply touched by the sufferings of those parents who, in extreme want, experience great difficulty in rearing their children. However, they should take care lest the calamitous state of their external affairs should be the occasion for a much more calamitous error. No difficulty can arise that justifies the putting aside of the law of God which forbids all acts intrinsically evil. There is no possible circumstance in which husband and wife cannot, strengthened by the grace of God, fulfill faithfully their duties and preserve in wedlock their chastity unspotted. This truth of Christian Faith is expressed by the teaching of the Council of Trent. 'Let no one be so rash as to assert that which the Fathers of the Council have placed under anathema, namely, that there are precepts of God impossible for the just to observe. God does not ask the impossible, but by His commands, instructs you to do what you are able, to pray for what you are not able that He may help you.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.)

"Our Encyclical 'Humanae vitae' has caused many reactions. But as far as We recall, the Pope has never received so many spontaneous messages of gratitude and approval for the publication of a document as on this occasion. And these messages have poured in from every part of the world and from every class of people. We mention this to express Our cordial thanks to all those who have welcomed Our Encyclical Letter and assured Us of their support. May the Lord bless them. We know, of course, that there are many who have not appreciated Our teaching, and not a few have opposed it. We can, in a sense, understand their lack of comprehension and even their opposition. Our decision is not an easy one. It is not in line with a practice unfortunately widespread today which is regarded as convenient and, on the surface, helpful to family harmony and love. Once again We would remind you that the ruling We have reaffirmed is not Our own. It originates from the very structure of life and love and human dignity, and is thus derived from the law of God." (Pope Paul VI)

"It can be foreseen that this teaching [against artificial contraception] will perhaps not be easily received by all: Too numerous are those voices - amplified by the modern means of propaganda - which are contrary to the voice of the Church. To tell the truth, the Church is not surprised to be made, like her divine Founder, a 'sign of contradiction', yet she does not because of this cease to proclaim with humble firmness the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical. Of such laws the Church was not the author, nor consequently can she be their arbiter; she is only their depositary and their interpreter, without ever being able to declare to be licit that which is not so by reason of its intimate and unchangeable opposition to the true good of man. In defending conjugal morals in their integral wholeness, the Church knows that she contributes towards the establishment of a truly human civilization; she engages man not to abdicate from his own responsibility in order to rely on technical means; by that very fact she defends the dignity of man and wife. Faithful to both the teaching and the example of the Savior, she shows herself to be the sincere and disinterested friend of men, whom she wishes to help, even during their earthly sojourn, 'to share as sons in the life of the living God, the Father of all men.'" (Pope Paul VI) 

"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 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 power 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 the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Juda, did this and the Lord killed him for it.' Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine regarding this question, the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.)

"Upright men can even better convince themselves of the solid grounds on which the teaching of the Church in this field is based, if they care to reflect upon the consequences of methods of artificial birth control. Let them consider, first of all, how wide and easy a road would thus be opened up towards conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality. Not much experience is needed in order to know human weakness, and to understand that men - especially the young, who are so vulnerable on this point - have need of encouragement to be faithful to the moral law, so that they must not be offered some easy means of eluding its observance. It is also to be feared that the man, growing used to the employment of anti-conceptive practices, may finally lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion. Let it be considered also that a dangerous weapon would thus be placed in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies. Who could blame a government for applying to the solution of the problems of the community those means acknowledged to be licit for married couples in the solution of a family problem? Who will stop rulers from favoring, from even imposing upon their peoples, if they were to consider it necessary, the method of contraception which they judge to be most efficacious? In such a way men, wishing to avoid individual, family, or social difficulties encountered in the observance of the divine law, would reach the point of placing at the mercy of the intervention of public authorities the most personal and most reserved sector of conjugal intimacy." (Pope Paul VI)

"In order to facilitate the spread of abortion, enormous sums of money have been invested and continue to be invested in the production of pharmaceutical products which make it possible to kill the fetus in the mother's womb without recourse to medical assistance. On this point, scientific research itself seems to be almost exclusively preoccupied with developing products which are ever more simple and effective in suppressing life and which at the same time are capable of removing abortion from any kind of control or social responsibility. It is frequently asserted that contraception, if made safe and available to all, is the most effective remedy against abortion. The Catholic Church is then accused of actually promoting abortion, because she obstinately continues to teach the moral unlawfulness of contraception. When looked at carefully, this objection is clearly unfounded. It may be that many people use contraception with a view to excluding the subsequent temptation of abortion. But the negative values inherent in the 'contraceptive mentality' - which is very different from responsible parenthood, lived in respect for the full truth of the conjugal act - are such that they in fact strengthen this temptation when an unwanted life is conceived. Indeed, the pro-abortion culture is especially strong precisely where the Church's teaching on contraception is rejected. Certainly, from the moral point of view contraception and abortion are specifically different evils... But despite their differences... contraception and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree... The close connection which exists, in mentality, between the practice of contraception and that of abortion is becoming increasingly obvious. It is being demonstrated in an alarming way by the development of chemical products, intrauterine devices and vaccines which... really act as abortifacients in the very early stages of the development of the life of the new human being." (Pope John Paul II, 1995)


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