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'Quick Help' Page: Does The Church Permit NFP?

 

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Related Terms...

NFP | N.F.P.

'Natural Family Planning'

Birth Control

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Arrow Question / Issue:

Does the Church permit NFP ('Natural Family Planning')?

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

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Licit use of NFP (that is, use for a certain time, under certain conditions, and with the appropriate end in view) has been allowed by the Church – unfortunately, however, many Catholics may use NFP illicitly as a form of 'birth control'. In fact, use of NFP may lead to a "contraceptive mentality" – especially since the requirement of a grave reason is often ignored by those who wish to use this method to avoid having children. As Pope Pius XII stated...

"[T]o embrace the matrimonial state, to use continually the faculty proper to such a state and lawful only therein, and, at the same time, to avoid its primary duty without a grave reason, would be a sin against the very nature of married life."

Those who use NFP may have a smaller family size, may tend to be closed to new life, may forget/ignore the fact that the primary purpose of marriage is the procreation and education of children, may become selfish (enjoying intimate pleasures but avoiding any life-giving consequences), may prevent God from sending the couple all the children He wishes to bless them with...

"[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)" (Pope John Paul II)

Use of NFP may show a lack of trust in Divine Providence, may reject full self-giving, may tend to see the marital act as exclusively for pleasure...

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

Etc.

In short, the trouble with NFP is that it may be too easy to end up using NFP illicitly (which is not approved by the Church – and is, in fact, sinful). Since Catholics are most definitely NOT required to practice NFP [in fact, using NFP to avoid pregnancy may be illicit for many (most?) Catholics considering that a grave reason would be required to do so], traditional Catholics may reject it outright, placing their complete trust in God, and avoiding the risk of developing a contraceptive mentality & of using NFP as a form of illicit "birth control".


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Other Resources:

[click link(s) below, as applicable]

Contraception / NFP (Topic Page)

Pro-Life (Topic Page)

 

  

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