Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

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Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Whizbang » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:34 pm UTC

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morn ... e-rabbits/

Pope Francis (paraphrased) wrote:Seriously, enough already. It was fun to sing "Every sperm is precious" for a while, but now it's just getting out of hand. You're doing your kids, yourself, and the Catholic Church a disservice by popping out 8+ kids. Just stop. There're all sorts of methods you can use to prevent unwanted pregnancy that I can't really talk about without getting dismissed as pope, but use them. Don't ask, don't tell.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:49 pm UTC

Wat? Just recently he said he didnt support contraceptives. This popes ethics seem to interfere with his religion a lot.
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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Chen » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:53 pm UTC

He doesn't support contraceptives. He just said stop breeding like rabbits. Presumably via either not having sex or using some non-contraceptive method of prevent pregnancy.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:55 pm UTC

Chen wrote:He doesn't support contraceptives. He just said stop breeding like rabbits. Presumably via either not having sex or using some non-contraceptive method of prevent pregnancy.


In other news, the pope is still catholic.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:02 pm UTC

The Pope wrote:There're all sorts of methods you can use to prevent unwanted pregnancy that I can't really talk about without getting dismissed as pope, but use them. Don't ask, don't tell.


This is the part Im responding to
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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Chen » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:03 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
The Pope wrote:There're all sorts of methods you can use to prevent unwanted pregnancy that I can't really talk about without getting dismissed as pope, but use them. Don't ask, don't tell.


This is the part Im responding to


That's not a direct quote. It's the "paraphrased" part the OP wrote there. Which yes is highly misleading because that isn't at all what the pope said.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Whizbang » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:04 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
The Pope wrote:There're all sorts of methods you can use to prevent unwanted pregnancy that I can't really talk about without getting dismissed as pope, but use them. Don't ask, don't tell.


This is the part Im responding to


That was me being facetious.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Angua » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:06 pm UTC

According to the article, there are allowed methods of birth control such as the rhythm method, apparently.
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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby leady » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:10 pm UTC

lol this immediately brings to mind that song by those two comedians (oates & someone) with regards to biblical loopholes :)

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:14 pm UTC

If the rhythm method and pulling out would've worked, the ancient Greeks would've done that instead of murdering their infants.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Angua » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:20 pm UTC

To be far to the greeks, they tried other things like jumping up and down.

Note - the pessary thing is because they could be dangerous (incomplete miscarriage can lead to sepsis and death), not because Hippocrates was against abortion.
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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Whizbang » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:25 pm UTC

To be fair, my wife is Catholic and is moderately against contraception. We did the Rhythm Method for years and it worked just fine. The three times we decided to try for a kid, within a month each time she got pregnant. But, we also used a very conservative approach to the method and only had sex the few days just before or just after Shark Week, rather than the ten days that the method suggests. Also, we had a couple of pregnancy scares there in the mix. So, obviously it is a far from perfect method.

I'm just happy that the pope is pushing the envelope on this issue. Obviously he couldn't (and maybe didn't want to) promote contraception, but many Catholics use them anyway, and this little speech will make those people feel a little less guilty about doing so.

And, really, there is no other direction for the Catholic Church to go. If they stand firmly on the issues of contraception and the like, they'll see their membership drop, as it has been doing for some time. The only hope they have to remain a viable option for many people is to move into a more liberal direction.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:36 pm UTC

I wasn't aware of Greek abortions. I was referring to the literal infanticide of newborns.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby JudeMorrigan » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:08 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:If the rhythm method and pulling out would've worked, the ancient Greeks would've done that instead of murdering their infants.

NFP is more robust than what most people think of when they think of the rhythm method. (It includes things like monitoring cervical mucus rather than just trusting the calendar.) It requires iron discipline, but when performed correctly, it's actually pretty comparable to most contraceptives in terms of effectiveness.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby sardia » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:11 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:If the rhythm method and pulling out would've worked, the ancient Greeks would've done that instead of murdering their infants.

NFP is more robust than what most people think of when they think of the rhythm method. It requires iron discipline, but when performed correctly, it's actually pretty comparable to most contraceptives in terms of effectiveness.

That seems deceptive. It always works except when you screw up? Then you don't count the failure.

That said, the apps for rhythm method seem to help with the accuracy.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby JudeMorrigan » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:15 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:If the rhythm method and pulling out would've worked, the ancient Greeks would've done that instead of murdering their infants.

NFP is more robust than what most people think of when they think of the rhythm method. It requires iron discipline, but when performed correctly, it's actually pretty comparable to most contraceptives in terms of effectiveness.

That seems deceptive. It always works except when you screw up? Then you don't count the failure.

That said, the apps for rhythm method seem to help with the accuracy.

I'm saying "it works when you actually follow the procedures it entails", not "it works except when you screw up". Things like condoms or IUDs are obviously a lot simpler and easier though. Please don't mistake me as being against the use of contraceptives. I'm just saying there's a pretty tangible difference between modern NFP (or fertility awareness-based methods, if you prefer) than what the ancient Greeks would have done.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:20 pm UTC

I have this diet where all you do is not eat anything and you lose weight fast. Sure, everyone that tried it gave up after 2 days, but hey it's more effective than that alternative where you exercise and eat moderate proportions.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby JudeMorrigan » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:22 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I have this diet where all you do is not eat anything and you lose weight fast. Sure, everyone that tried it gave up after 2 days, but hey it's more effective than that alternative where you exercise and eat moderate proportions.

NFP is more like intermittent fasting, which plenty of people do just fine on.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby sardia » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:40 pm UTC

You need to take into account the difficulty of following a procedure. Its like saying you can make money at blackjack as long as you don't mess up.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Derek » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:14 pm UTC

sardia wrote:You need to take into account the difficulty of following a procedure. Its like saying you can make money at blackjack as long as you don't mess up.

Which is true, and while the average person can't do it, several people have proven that they can do it and reliably make money. So I think you're agreeing with him?

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby JudeMorrigan » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:35 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
sardia wrote:You need to take into account the difficulty of following a procedure. Its like saying you can make money at blackjack as long as you don't mess up.

Which is true, and while the average person can't do it, several people have proven that they can do it and reliably make money. So I think you're agreeing with him?

I would add that while NFP is rather more involved than slapping on a condom, it's rather simpler than successful card-counting schemes.

In all sincerity though, I cannot say strongly enough that I am NOT saying that it's the One True reproductive strategy, that condoms are the debil or anything like that. In fact, I'd of like to think that Whizbang's facetious paraphrasing isn't all *that* far from the truth. (The Pope can't openly go against Humanae Vitae.) I just also think that NFP sometimes get short shrift here as *a* viable option for people who really want to go that path.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Mokele » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:47 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:I'm saying "it works when you actually follow the procedures it entails", not "it works except when you screw up". Things like condoms or IUDs are obviously a lot simpler and easier though.


From Ye Olde Wikipedia, NFP does indeed show comparable "perfect use" efficacy to other methods, and while it's "typical use" efficacy is much worse, that's also the case for some other methods that require repeated attention, remembering, etc. (though I'd note the the drop off is steepest for NFP). In contrast, Hormonal IUDs are much better, and there's no difference in use scenarios (because no input is really required after insertion).

Jude's assertion that it's better than most people think seems supported by the data, but his follow-up assertion about other methods being easier also seems true.
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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:17 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I have this diet where all you do is not eat anything and you lose weight fast. Sure, everyone that tried it gave up after 2 days, but hey it's more effective than that alternative where you exercise and eat moderate proportions.


This may not be the best example for the point you're trying to make, as fasting is actually a medically used weight loss regime under certain circumstances, and most diets, even moderate ones, people tend to have some difficulty following.

That said, this may actually make it a better analogy. Different people have difficulty with different things for a number of reasons. It's not really that different from someone endorsing a diet. Might work entirely fine for them, but not for you.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:25 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:If the rhythm method and pulling out would've worked, the ancient Greeks would've done that instead of murdering their infants.
I thought they did that more for birth defects and sex selection.
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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Heisenberg » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:53 am UTC

sardia wrote:That seems deceptive. It always works except when you screw up? Then you don't count the failure.

That said, the apps for rhythm method seem to help with the accuracy.

No, if you understand basic science and are willing and able to accurately measure small fluctuations in your basal body temperature, it's possible to quite accurately nail down the 7 days in which sex => baby with just a thermometer. If you didn't get an A in biology in high school or you just aren't motivated enough, then it's hard and you might fail. The rhythm method was easier to do but prone to failure, so it's about as antiquated as a fax machine now.

Of course, if you are bad at measuring things, there are hormone-tracking products you can buy at drugstores or, you know, on Amazon to track your fertility which aid in either achieving or avoiding pregnancy.

The Pope didn't change his stance on contraceptives. He is simply calling for other methods of family planning to be used, especially among families who can't afford another child.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Mutex » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:39 pm UTC

I find it puzzling the Pope can advocate some forms of contraceptives but not others. Anyone know the reasoning for that? I thought wasting sperm was a sin to Catholics*; surely it's just as wasted if you have sex during periods the woman won't get pregnant, or pull out, as it would be if you used a condom.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:16 pm UTC

The reason they accept the rhythm method is because there's a chance it won't work, so even if you aren't trying to have a kid life can find a way. But of course, it's not good logic since there's a very tiny chance regular birth control fails, and old people sex is sinful since life can't find a way.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:40 pm UTC

No, Catholicism endorses the rhythm method neither because of something Monty Python said nor because there's a chance it can fail. Elizabeth Anscombe probably does as good a job as anyone would of explaining the reasoning (whether she succeeds or not is another question).
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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby elasto » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:01 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:No, Catholicism endorses the rhythm method neither because of something Monty Python said nor because there's a chance it can fail. Elizabeth Anscombe probably does as good a job as anyone would of explaining the reasoning (whether she succeeds or not is another question).

Wow. I only scanned that quickly, but do Catholics really believe that sex within a marriage is a sin?

Very very odd.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:04 pm UTC

No. Where does it say that?
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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby elasto » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:13 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:No. Where does it say that?

All across it it says that if a man and wife have sex purely for pleasure (which will be the vast majority of the time obviously) then it's sinful:

What he seems to say however is not that, but some thing different; that if one seeks it out of mere fleshly desire for the sake of pleasure, there is such sin; and this latter teaching has in fact been constant among all the saints and doctors of the Church who have written on the matter at all.
St Thomas follows St Augustine and all other traditional teachers in holding that intercourse sought out of lust, only for the sake of pleasure, is sin, though it is venial if the intemperance isn't great, and in type this is the least of the sins against chastity.
There is indeed such a thing in marriage as intercourse "purely for pleasure"; this is what the Christian tradition did condemn. Marks of it could be: immoderate pursuit of, or preoccupation with sexual pleasure; succumbing to desire against wisdom; insisting against serious reluctance of one's partner. In all these cases but the last both parties may of course be consenting. For human beings often tend to be disorderly and extreme in their sensuality.


etc.

(Note that the context of all three quotes is within marriage here.)

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Angua » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:41 pm UTC

Apparently at one point the prevailing theory about birthmarks is that they meant your parents were enjoying themselves when you were conceived.
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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:52 pm UTC

elasto wrote:All across it it says that if a man and wife have sex purely for pleasure (which will be the vast majority of the time obviously) then it's sinful

Right, so saying "It's wrong to have sex purely for pleasure, even if you're married" is different from saying "It's wrong to have sex if you're married."

And I think it's clear from the context surrounding those quotes that by "purely for pleasure" Anscombe does not mean the sort of thing that happens the vast majority of the time. For example, right before your last quote she writes:

Elizabeth Anscombe wrote:Such acts will usually take place only when desire prompts, and desire is for intercourse as pleasurable; the pleasure, as Aristotle says, perfects the act. But that does not mean that it is done "purely for pleasure". For what that expression means is that sensuality is in command: but that one has intercourse when desire prompts and the desire is for pleasure, does not prove, does not mean, that sensuality is in command. One may rightly and reasonably be willing to respond to the promptings of desire. When that is so, the act is governed by a reasonable mind, even though no considering or reasoning is going on. The fact that one is thus having intercourse when, as one knows, there's nothing against it, makes it a good and a chaste marriage act and a rendering of the marriage debt.
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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:53 pm UTC

Wouldn't that make birthmarks sexier? I mean, if I'm going to be bound to someone for life, I'd rather be bound to the girl that's probably a bit freaky than the prude.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Mutex » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:05 pm UTC

I've only read the snippets Elasto quoted, I'll read the full article later.

But for sex to not be "purely for pleasure", it seems that you shouldn't be trying to avoid pregnancy, right? So I still don't see the difference between types of contraceptives, surely they're all bad.

Anyway, I'll read it properly soon.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby elasto » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:32 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
elasto wrote:All across it it says that if a man and wife have sex purely for pleasure (which will be the vast majority of the time obviously) then it's sinful

Right, so saying "It's wrong to have sex purely for pleasure, even if you're married" is different from saying "It's wrong to have sex if you're married."


Well, I took it for granted that we all know the Catholic Church approves of sex within marriage to procreate. So I didn't think my statement would be interpreted that literally.

And I think it's clear from the context surrounding those quotes that by "purely for pleasure" Anscombe does not mean the sort of thing that happens the vast majority of the time.


I'm sorry, that's not at all clear to me. Once you start saying that wholly consensual sex between a husband and wife can be sinful then you've crossed a line: So if we have sex for pleasure once it's ok, but if we want to have it a second time that night maybe we're sinning and need to confess to a priest? Or perhaps we're cuddling and touching late at night and one of us ends up having an orgasm and maybe we need to say ten Hail Mary's to redeem ourselves?

I seriously hope the majority of Catholics give their church the metaphorical two-fingers on the matter of how often and what kinds of consensual sex within marriage(!) two people are allowed to enjoy...

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:52 am UTC

elasto wrote:I'm sorry, that's not at all clear to me. Once you start saying that wholly consensual sex between a husband and wife can be sinful then you've crossed a line: So if we have sex for pleasure once it's ok, but if we want to have it a second time that night maybe we're sinning and need to confess to a priest? Or perhaps we're cuddling and touching late at night and one of us ends up having an orgasm and maybe we need to say ten Hail Mary's to redeem ourselves?

All that follows from the claim that consensual sex between married people can be wrong is that you can't infer "X isn't wrong" from "X is consensual sex between married people." The particular cases you identify may or may not be moral beliefs of the Catholic Church, but that's because of more specific principles, not because they've "crossed a line" by not holding that sex is OK so long as it's consensual and the people involved are married.

I mean, if you're in this thread you were hopefully already aware that the Catholic Church is opposed to certain consensual sex acts between married people - namely, anything with condoms. So I don't know why you're just now getting on this slippery slope argument.
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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby mathmannix » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:57 pm UTC

A couple of points, sorry if I ramble a bit: First, as has been mentioned, modern Natural Family Planning (NFP) is not the same as the rhythm method; it is much more scientific and much more accurate. It involves checking levels of mucous and taking temperatures, and graphing them over several months to find the patterns unique to each woman. It basically determines when a woman is ovulating.

Second, it is about being responsible with our resources, specifically, our bodies and one of our greatest powers and responsibilities, to have and raise children. We are called to be responsible with all the resources God has given us - such as in the environment, not to kill animals to extinction, or bulldoze forests without replanting.

Also, NFP is not just about avoiding pregnancy - my wife and I used it successfully to get pregnant with our first child. It is about knowing your own bodies, knowing yourselves. The reason that it is not a paradox or contradiction that NFP is allowed and artificial contraceptives are not, is that the ends do not justify the means.

The primary purpose of sex is to procreate. The secondary purpose is to strengthen the bond between a husband and wife. Sex can be a sin, even within marriage, in several ways: for example, if it is being used as a weapon, or a way to control the other person. Also, if it is abusing the primary purpose, by "pulling out" or whatever, then this is a sin, and it negatively affects marriage. It is trying to cheat God by trying to find a loophole, and at the same time denying the gift of children that God wants to give us.

Here is a good read from EWTN about these issues:
https://www.ewtn.com/library/MARRIAGE/CCLBC.TXT
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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:31 pm UTC

I don't know what NFP actually is, but the very first word is 'natural', so I hate it already.

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Re: Pope says to stop breeding like rabbits

Postby Zamfir » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:35 pm UTC

Mathmannix, I can't quite follow your argument.

I can't see how you would distinguish between these scenarios:

- a married couple use NFP to avoid pregnancy, then they get pregnant at a convenient time without using NFP
- a married couple use condoms to avoid pregnancy, then they get pregnant at a convenient time without using condoms

Is the difference that NFP is not sinful, because it could be used to increase the chance of pregnancy? Even when it is actually used to avoid pregnancy? That seems loopholy to me.

That appears to make condoms not sinful anymore, if you can theoretically use them to get pregnant. Say, a man who is often away from home, who freezes his semen for use at a fertile moment. Is the mere possibility enough to cancel the sinfulness?


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