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...
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...
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...
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.)
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
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