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This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 11, 2002 08:25 AM
this thread is being featured to highlight some of the core issues in the controversy about birth control in the Catholic Church; please keep the discussion focused on the points outlined in the opening post; feel free to participate in other threads which discuss other issues, and to start your own discussion thread if needed.

I think we can all agree on the following points.

1. The Magisterium has no problem with Catholic couples spacing the births of their children.

2. The Magisterium recognizes that some kind of birth control is necessary to prevent pregnancy during times when it is not desirable.

3. The Magisterium also approves the use of non-procreative sex in marriage--as in couples having relations during the infertile time of the month.

The crux of the matter, then, is one thing: the legitimacy of the methods used by couples to space their children and avoid conception. THAT'S IT! And only natural methods like old-fashioned rhythm and NFP are allowed, here. Anything else is considered illicit, and, hence, in violation of a first principle of moral decision-making: i.e., the objective structure of the act is considered wrong.

********************

Let's think about this--not like we haven't already on the web site in in some threads.

WHY is NFP considered licit and other methods of birth control (abortive ones excluded for obvious reasons) considered wrong?

Listen to Humane Vitae: ". . . the married couple make legitimate use of a natural disposition; in the latter (ABC), they impede the development of the natural process. . . By doing so (using a natural process), they give proof of a truly and integrally honest love."

****************

Questions:

1. Is the Pope saying that the natural process is licit because it's natural and therefore licit? It's always seemed that way to me. That seems like begging the question, doesn't it (circulus in probando fallacy)?
See http://gncurtis.home.texas.net/begquest.html

2. Why is ABC considered illicit? Because it impedes the natural process. OK. But why is that immoral? What's wrong or evil about that?

3. The payoff for using NFP is suppoed to be "proof of a truly and integrally honest love." Where is this proof? What about all those who use NFP who say that it has damaged their sex life? And what of those who use ABC who say that it has helped to enhance their overall relationship?

****************

Let's try to stay close to those questions, elaborating as needed, but retaining that focus. What do you think about the Pope's reasoning? Does it make sense to you? Does it appeal to reason and your sense of what's right and wrong?

[This message was edited by Editor on December 11, 2002 at 09:34 AM.]

[This message was edited by moderator on December 29, 2002 at 11:25 AM.]
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 14, 2002 10:24 AM
Well done!

Right to the heart of things, Editor!

What I notice is that you have no takers on this discussion, but a few seem willing to hang around and harass and judge those who share experiences. This only goes to show the mean-spiritedness which characterizes so many who support the Church's teaching.

Now to your "crux of the matter." Why is a natural method of birth control considered licit and other methods not? To say that this is because it's natural does beg the question, as you noted. Then to accept this premise and go on to say that "you can't use evil means to do good" only amplifies the confusion. Back to why is ABC 'evil means' and NFP not?

The only response to this which has a little merit is that ABC users are taking active measures to deliberately frustrate the possibility of conception. That is true, but I still don't see how this is very much different from choosing to have sex only during the infertile time of the month. The intent is the same, and the practical probability of conception is also about the same (if NFP really is 98% effective). It seems to me that the issue is every bit as much about how the sex act is used in marriage as what contraceptive method is used. To focus only on the latter is rather narrow, in my view.

Carry on, dear Editor. The non-response from your detractors signals the victory of common sense and reason concerning this issue.

Well done! smile

Charles
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 14, 2002 01:28 PM
"Charles," as in "Charles Curran?" cool

Well, that would be something!

And I've wondered if JSM was Janet Smith? Kind of has the same message.

And Paul VI? I thought he was dead! Don't tell me some character is channeling him to this forum. That sort of thing is frowned on by the Church, btw. Read CCC; you'll see. big grin

-----------

Thanks for the good words, Charles. And you're right: the anti-ABCers generally don't touch this kind of issue.
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 14, 2002 01:39 PM
Very well said....

Excellent!!!! I don't have anything to say except that you are right on. You'll probably only get a bit of lashing out and no comprehensive logical response from those that disagree with you.
By the way..how do you rate topics?
momof3

momof3
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 14, 2002 08:43 PM
Thanks, mom. smile

Look in the bottom right section of this page for the pop-up form to rate topics.
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 15, 2002 07:36 AM
Ok so you wanna get right to the heart of the matter. Well here it is. Selfishness AKA Pride which leads to disobedience which leads to death.

The fact is that the Catholic Church holds the authority on this matter and the Canon, Magesterium, and Pope have spoken on this issue. Therefore, the members of the Church are held to that position. Ignorance of the law doen't excuse.

Artificial birth control is illicit if it causes or is potenitally able to cause death of a human being i.e. IUD, RU-486, Morning-after pills, hormonal birth control.

Artificial birth control such as condoms, spermacide, foams, diaphrams, are illicit for this reason. They deliberately inhibit the natural order and deny the Will of God.

That being said, NFP can fall into that same problem. Contracepting with NFP can be dangerous. To licitly contracept with NFP requires great serious matter. Whom am I to determine that matter. That is between the individuals (married couple) and God alone. However, our preist are here to help guide us. Therefore the questions of and about the lawfulness of NFP is simple. The Church as approved it under reasons of serious matter.

All that being said, Artificial birth control, illicit use of NFP, masturbation, adultry, and all issues pertaining to the sixth commandment of God leads to the death of the indiviual soul. So there may not be the death of a fertilized egg, but be careful not to be lead down the wide and well traveled path.

Truly, a loving neighbor

Anthony Waldroup, MD
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 15, 2002 08:02 AM
Dr. Waldroup, we all know what the Church teaches and why. For the record, you might even examine the link at http://members.aol.com/revising on the Duties of Catholics . . . I don't think there's anything there which implies that we are encouraging disobedience to the present teaching.

What I'm hearing you say about the "crux of the matter" is that the Church teaches that NFP is licit and that artificial birth control (ABC on this forum) is not. Which further begs the question:
A. NFP is licit because it's natural.
B. It's licit because it's natural because the Church says so.

Is that it? That's your reply? Surely you must know that appeals to authority are among the weakest of positions to take when explaining a moral position. The Church cannot hope to appeal to the consciences of intelligent Catholic by simply saying "because we say so," or "it's bad for your soul."

You wrote: That being said, NFP can fall into that same problem. Contracepting with NFP can be dangerous. To licitly contracept with NFP requires great serious matter. Whom am I to determine that matter. That is between the individuals (married couple) and God alone. However, our preist are here to help guide us. Therefore the questions of and about the lawfulness of NFP is simple. The Church as approved it under reasons of serious matter.

Fine. So you acknowledge that NFP can be used contraceptively! That's actually an improvement over most of the anti-ABCers who show up here.

And you also acknowledge that, regarding the issue of family planning, "that is between the individuals (married couple) and God alone." Fine, too, and the Church respects couples to make this decision wisely.

So it really does come down to the issue of what method they may use. You point out that they may use NFP to do so because the Magisterium says it's licit.

Why is NFP licit, Dr. Waldroup? That is the crux of the matter.

[This message was edited by Editor on December 15, 2002 at 11:17 AM.]
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 15, 2002 01:50 PM
NFP is licit because the Church has the moral authority to say it is licit. Albeit, under serious circumstances. Please read that again. Under serious circumstances. This is not licese to contracept when and how you want.

I in no way say the Church can't eventually change its views on NFP.

However, the aurguments on NFP have little to do with other forms of birth control.

Anthony Waldroup, MD
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 15, 2002 02:37 PM
Let me see if I can be a little clearer on my opinion. Yes, I recognize this is only my opinion. I have no theological degrees(and by whats been graduated out of some of our catholic seminaries and universitys in the past few decades I'm glad I didn't waste the tuition). Anyway here goes.

Is NFP contracepting? Yes. There seems to be a big argument on this board about that. Its very simple. NFP is contraception. And I had a priest tell me at one time that he really did't like the idea that NFP was widely dissimiated among catholics for the fear that it would be used in the place of artificial birth control. In effect, a substitute for those catholics to feel secure in the fact that they are not sinning. I happen to agree in the point that many catholics view NFP as an acceptable form of contraception and substitute it in the place of artificial birth control. I have written else where on this board about the serious matter or circumstances the Church teaches must be present in order to practice NFP. Again, I cannot state what is serious matter for one couple verses another. However, the fact is that serious reasons must exist to contracept via NFP. Why has this not been accepted. Do we not read the details of the Churches documents? I do not use or prescribe artificial birth control. Why, because the Chruch has bound this on earth and God has bound it in heaven at the discretion of the Moral Authority.

Artificial birth control is not licit for/either two reasons. First, it may cause an abortion. I think we all can agree on this. This removes from consideration hormonal methods, IUD, Surgical or Medicinal abortions. Second, So whats left? Condoms, spermacides, diaphrams, withdrawl, etc. (and including NFP if the condition for serious matter is not met). Any method that intentionally removes the possibility of the creation of another human being subverts God's Will. Including NFP if the conditions are not met. So how is it the Church can say, "Oh NFP is okay."

Well, because Christ has given the Church the moral authority to do so. You may not like it but thats the way it is. And if the Church states it is okay to use condoms tomorrow, I won't like it but who am I to say otherwise. I am a speck of created dust in this created cosmos. I don't like the fact that the american catholic church allows communion in the hand. How can I a lowly creature ever think of accepting God into my defiled hands. But thats the Authority of the Church. I accept that.

So, the Church has no obligation to prove anything to the faithful. The faithful has the obligation of obedience, however.

Anyone got any thoughts? smile

Anthony Waldroup, MD
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 15, 2002 05:42 PM
You've been busy, Doc! Really, really busy!

I'll stick to this thread for now, and will visit some of your others later.

Artificial birth control is not licit for/either two reasons. First, it may cause an abortion. I think we all can agree on this. This removes from consideration hormonal methods, IUD, Surgical or Medicinal abortions. Second, So whats left? Condoms, spermacides, diaphrams, withdrawl, etc. (and including NFP if the condition for serious matter is not met). Any method that intentionally removes the possibility of the creation of another human being subverts God's Will. Including NFP if the conditions are not met.

You do have the good sense to put NFP in this list, so I'll grant you that. I will not necessarily grant that hormonal methods (i.e. "the pill") are abortive, as combination pills seem not to be.

Well, because Christ has given the Church the moral authority to do so. You may not like it but thats the way it is. . .

Hold on there, Doc! We're talking about a teaching based on Natural Law, not a private revelation given to the Pope for the rest of the Church. Natural Law, by definition, is what reason can determine to be the moral implications of the nature of things; it's supposed to be transparent to reason. Catholic teaching has always prided itself on its reasonableness, but we have a problem in this regard with respect to this teaching.

Saying again and again that "that's the way it is" isn't anywhere close to a reasonable justification for the teaching. Parents might talk to their two-year olds like that when it pertains to issues their kids can't understand. But we're dealing with adults,here, who are being required to make some pretty serious sacrifices in the name of principles which aren't rationally or morally persuasive.

If your best response to the points made on this issue is "the Church said it so obey or risk eternal damnation," then know you don't have much going for you. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but that's the way I see it, M.D. credential or not (I have equal to this in the realm of theology, btw).
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 15, 2002 06:18 PM
Okay, will you concede that progestin only pills are illicit?

Anthony Waldroup, MD
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 15, 2002 06:54 PM
A brief comment not regarding birth control. Dear Doctor you stated how you have difficulty recieving Christ in the Eucharist with your defiled hands but wait just a minute, the tongue in a man^s mouth can be more defiled than one^s hands. For out of the mouth can come slander,perjury,insults,blasphemy.Worry more about your tongue than your hands.This type of teaching (Eucharistic reception) is a disciplinary teaching that demands obedience when it comes to the pastors of the church.When it comes to morals however it can be a different story, yes as far as authoritative but non definitve teachings go you must try to conform to the POPe^s teaching but if there is a problem of conscience & your conviction runs deep, you have to be more loyal to that than the pope. Inasmuch as you can say as if in the presrnce of God that you must not & cannot obey that papal dictate because of the strong albeit informed dictates of your conscience it is your conscience that wins out.And this is official church teaching

P.S.Of course there has to be serious reasons to space births that can range from the physical or phsycological to economics. Obtaining another sports car or assuring your yearly trips to Hawaii doesn^t apply
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 16, 2002 06:50 AM
Kevin,

First of all I don't have a sports car. I own a minivan. And the only trip to Hawii I've been on was due to a military commitment.

Don't lecture me on the Holy Eucharist. Did I not concede that the Holy Chuch has made a decision and I comply with it? I choose not to recieve in the hands that perform prostate exams. Get a grip Kevin, your intolerance is showing.

razz

Anthony Waldroup, MD
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 16, 2002 06:59 AM
Anthony Waldroup, MD wrote:
Its very simple. NFP is contraception.”

I think Editor is a lucky man now, he can close this Forum and put info on web site that his job is finished and he is unemployed frown
Only problem is with Rome – they will forbid NFP too, because it is a contraception wink

Most of NFP teachers I have ever met in Poland said that NFP is NOT a contraception. It seems to me that this statement is almost last “bastion” of theirs teaching. They furiously fight with conclusion that we have two parts of contraception: natural (coitus interaptus, NFP, abstaining etc) and artificial (some of them are abortive or probably abortive and shouldn’t be called “contraception” – they worked after conception occurred, destroys life). I think this is play on words. It is impossible to defend NFP when it is kind of contraception so they consider that NFP isn’t contraceptive. So, I want to avoid conception and I use NFP, but I’m not contraceptive… Isn’t a logicall fallacy too?


I do not use or prescribe artificial birth control. Why, because the Church has bound this on earth and God has bound it in heaven at the discretion of the Moral Authority.” Than Anthony wrote:” And if the Church states it is okay to use condoms tomorrow, I won't like it but who am I to say otherwise.”.
Do you think that God can change HIS opinion (knowledge) about what is wrong or good? It seems to me that this is kind of “faith fallacy”.


Any method that intentionally removes the possibility of the creation of another human being subverts God's Will. Including NFP if the conditions are not met.
What when there are serious conditions (ex. health) to avoid conception and baby will come? Is it a mortal sin too and subverts God’s Will?
Another point: “serious reasons” in USA doesn’t mean the same in Africa or even in Poland. Probably some of American uses NFP for economical reasons – compare it with situation when “economical” in Africa means survive and find food…
In my opinion CC doesn’t need REAL serious reason for birth control using NFP. There is no debate in CC which reasons are serious. Why? There is no special popes letters and comments on this topic? Why?

Funny, but I recognize that I go to hell because at present (after third baby) I use NFP to avoid conception – I plead guilty I’m contraceptive. ABC users don’t worry you will meet most of NFP users wink

Kosciuszko
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 16, 2002 07:16 AM
God cannot change. He is unchanging. Now here this, the ABCers can't have it both ways. I here the aurguments that ABC doesn't fall in to the realm of Dogma. Maybe, maybe not. I can't aurgue that yet. Like I said, I'm no theologian. However, I will argue this. If like the editor has said that ABC is not a Dogmatic principle and therefore can be left to the indiviuals conscience or more correctly the Church changes its teaching then, Why is it wrong for me to have made the statement above. Can you not see the hypocrisy?

Serious matter is left to the conscience. It of course includes matters of health (rare), emotional, finacial, etc. But only the individual, hopfully with the help of a good confessor to determine the best course of action.

Oh BTW, please don't shut down this board. I'm not done yet LOL big grin Really, It is gonna give me a chance to dive deeper into my faith

Anthony Waldroup, MD
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 16, 2002 07:56 AM
Okay, will you concede that progestin only pills are illicit?

I wouldn't use them. But I don't know how fair it is to say that they're abortificent like the IUD is, for example. They do seem to have some effect on ovulation, and they also prevent the sperm from reaching the egg because of elevated levels of cervical mucous. It is true that IF an ovulation has occurred, and IF the egg is fertilized, and IF the egg goes to implant in the uterus, the mini-pill has left the uterus in a state of unpreparedness to receive the zygote. But those are all a lot of IFs, aren't they? And considering that the "hostile uterine lining" is only one of several methods by means of which this pill works, then can we really say that its method is abortificent? "Possibly abortificent" is more accurate, I think.

God cannot change. He is unchanging. . . If like the editor has said that ABC is not a Dogmatic principle and therefore can be left to the indiviuals conscience or more correctly the Church changes its teaching then, Why is it wrong for me to have made the statement above. Can you not see the hypocrisy?

I don't see the connection at all. For one thing, I never argued using terms like Dogma; I think that's been Kevin's approach. I said that the teaching is based on Natural Law, and went on to say why this means the teaching should be more rationally and morally persuasive.

Serious matter is left to the conscience. It of course includes matters of health (rare), emotional, finacial, etc. But only the individual, hopfully with the help of a good confessor to determine the best course of action.

That is correct! And what the pro-ABC group here is saying is that that includes the decision to use ABC or not. There is just no way that this can be denied unless one begins with a question-begging moral premise that ABC is wrong because it's illicit because it's unnatural because the Church says that what's unnatural is illicit and you can't use illicit means . . .

Oh BTW, please don't shut down this board. I'm not done yet LOL big grin Really, It is gonna give me a chance to dive deeper into my faith

I'm waiting to see signs of listening and learning, but don't have much evidence yet.

As for shutting down the board, don't take yourself so seriously. wink Most of the regulars here have dealt with the questions and issues you're raising many times, and from people a little more respectful than you and your Ok so you wanna get right to the heart of the matter. Well here it is. Selfishness AKA Pride which leads to disobedience which leads to death.

I have several ways to deal with people who overly disrupt this board. Shutting down the board for their sake is never necessary.
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 19, 2002 11:28 AM
"progestin-only oral contraceptives prevent conception by suppressing ovulation in approximately half of users, thickening the cervical mucus to inhibit sperm penetration, lowering the midcycle LH and FSH peaks, slowing the movement of the ovum through the fallopian tubes, and altering the endometrium." from the Physicians Desk Reference 1998 page 2011 on the mechanism of action for Micronor.

"prevents follicular maturation and ovulation and results in endometrial thinning. These actions produce its contraceptive effect." from the Physicians Desk Reference 1998 page 2259 on the mechanism of action of Depo-Provera.

"Although the primary mechanism of this action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus (which increase the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus) and the endometrium (which reduce the likelihood of implantation)." from the Physicians Desk Reference 1998 page 2041 on the mechanism of action of Ortho Tri-Cyclen.

Science speaks for it self. The fact is that ANY hormonal birth control MAY inhibit the attachment of a fertilized egg to the endometrium. So is is gonna that that chance now. How are you going to stand before God at your judgment and say "Well, I didn't know." The truth is that the answer has been presented to you at this very moment.

The editor wrote that I should tone down what I'm saying so that more would accept me. I tell you this, I don't care who likes me or not. I will tell you the truth and nothing more, nothing less. Others can't belive a "Doctor" would come on this board and be so bold. He must be a troll. I say this to you I am not a troll (well my wife might disagree LOL). But it doesn't matter. Why? Because the truth is the truth.

I have not hidden my identity behind the internet. I am licensed in Oklahoma #20220, I'm board certified American Board of Family Practice. I am a member of the Catholic Medical Association www.cathmed.org, the American Medical Association, the Oklahoma State Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Practice, and others. My family and I can be viewed at awfltdoc.homestead.com

I have no reason to hide behind the computer. Pull the plug if ya gotta Editor, its your show. roll eyes

BTW I'm at my work computer now so before ya start on your IP addy witchhunt, thats the reason.

Regards

Anthony Waldroup, MD
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 19, 2002 12:55 PM
so, what's new?

Seems like a good contribution there, Anthony.

I see where this website says:

... there is always a possibility that fertilization can occur and the embryo be aborted because the uterine lining could not support implantation and growth.

Those who have scruples in this area should definitely consider other contraceptive methods: Natural Family Planning, barrier methods (condom, diaphragm), or contraceptive foam, for example.

I see where it refers to this:
http://www.epm.org/pilldebate.html

So is there anything new we are discussing? confused
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 19, 2002 01:16 PM
Does EVERYBODY here agree with this?

quote:
The available evidence supports the hypothesis that when ovulation and fertilization occur in women taking OCs, postfertilization effects are operative on occasion to prevent clinically recognized pregnancy. Physicians should understand and respect the beliefs of patients who consider human life to be present and valuable from the moment of fertilization. Since it would be difficult to predict which patients might object to being given an OC if they were aware of possible postfertilization effects, mentioning the potential for postfertilization effects of OCs to all patients and providing detailed information about the evidence to those who request it is necessary for adequate informed consent.


Postfertilization Effects of Oral Contraceptives and Their Relationship to Informed Consent

Does EVERYBODY here agree with this?

I bet they do. (How do you do a poll here?)

Never mind. This is an old subject that no one is really debating. I think? OTOH, maybe the Editor was debating "double effect" issues? If so, Doc has not engaged those. Neither has he engaged the quality of the medical evidence (more appropriately, medical hypothesis, as there is no direct evidence). All he has done is pull a PDR off his shelf and pointed to it the same way he points to the hierarchical teaching office.
This is an icon describing the mood of the topic or describing information contained in the topic. For more info on icons, read our FAQ. posted December 19, 2002 01:39 PM
Thanks Moe!

I see Moe has given a good reply to your post, Doc, and what you've shared from the PDR is what I'd read in my own research. Please note that re. the mini-pill, you posted: Although the primary mechanism of this action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus (which increase the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus) and the endometrium (_which reduce the likelihood of implantation_)." I'd already noted much the same. Nothing new here. Couples must decide if this slight risk of conceiving and aborting presents a moral obstacle for them. I've decided this practice is not for me, as I've already noted as well.

The editor wrote that I should tone down what I'm saying so that more would accept me. I tell you this, I don't care who likes me or not. I will tell you the truth and nothing more, nothing less. Others can't belive a "Doctor" would come on this board and be so bold. He must be a troll. I say this to you I am not a troll (well my wife might disagree LOL). But it doesn't matter. Why? Because the truth is the truth.

Just Grade-A bull****, Doc! Flooding a small discussion board with 22 posts like you did the other day is what I objected to. Look how you took that and spun it around!

I have no reason to hide behind the computer. Pull the plug if ya gotta Editor, its your show. roll eyes

Would you face a university faculty review board and risk losing your job if you opposed the Church's teaching on birth control?

Thought not.

BTW I'm at my work computer now so before ya start on your IP addy witchhunt, thats the reason.

No problem. If you were able to log in, you must be legit, and that's fine with me.

Just remember that we're a small forum and can't handle a huge barrage of posts. Stick to one or two threads at a time and we'll be able to keep up with you better.

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