Cardinal Turkson says don't breed like rabbits in order to save "Mother Earth"
#21
(12-09-2015, 04:34 PM)StMichael929 Wrote: Thought experiment here:

Lets say in the next 15-20 years fertility monitors become so advanced they can accurately predict when a woman is fertile at 100%.  Would it be sinful to use such a monitor and only have sex on days where the woman is non-fertile?  Is NFP acceptable simply because there is some risk (not a large risk if done properly and a woman has regular cycles) of pregnancy?

I don't think it would be a sin, provided the couple has a just cause to avoid pregnancy, since the natural power to generate life is not being deliberately frustrated--the couple did not deliberately cause the infertility where there would have otherwise been fertility.  If it were about risk, then various forms of contraception would be ok too since they have risk too. 
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#22
The question is what is a just cause to avoid pregnancy.  It seems to be rather common among many Catholics to hold that getting established in marriage or other such reasons are just cause.  In reality, the Church has a much narrower view of just cause than is commonly taught in NFP courses or held by NFP practicing Catholics.  Part of the issue is that NFP is passed off as a Catholic methodology when it is not inherently in line with the Church's teaching.
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#23
Read St. Catherine of Siena's life Cardinal Turkson
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#24
(12-09-2015, 04:18 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote:
(12-09-2015, 03:59 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote:
(12-09-2015, 02:04 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: With regard to NFP,  I think you have to look at it in two parts, the macro and micro. 

In the macro is the married couple's general duty to procreate. A married couple has the duty to "be fruitful and multiply" or at least try to (infertility is not a sin unless it is deliberately willed). Simply deciding you don't feel like having kids is therefore a sin--even if you accomplished it by perfect abstinence after consummating the marriage.

There is no duty to procreate. Those words from Genesis have always been understood as a blessing, not a precept. See, for ex., the footnotes to the Douay.
There's no duty even for married couples? If the procreation and education of children is an end of marriage (even the primary end), can a married couple simply decide (for whatever reason or no reason at all), to simply not have children? It seems if a married couple can sin by refusing to have children, there must therefore be a general duty to have children (assuming it is possible) that is being violated, no?

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(12-09-2015, 02:04 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: (snip) That being said, when we put to the two aspects together, we get the full doctrine.  Abstaining during fertile days and coming together only in infertile days would be a sin, not because the individual acts are sin, but because of the general violation of the duty to procreate.

Birth control (as opposed to artificial birth control) is always open to the possibility of conception even if it makes the likelihood much more remote. Doing what you say is not a sin unless it's done for a reason that isn't serious. There simply is no "duty" to procreate.

I guess my point is summed up in the idea that we both agree that using NFP can be sinful when used to avoid pregnancy without a just cause.  But how can this be, unless there is some duty to not avoid pregnancy that is being violated in those cases? I'm just not seeing the basis for the use of NFP to avoid children to ever be sin in any circumstances unless there is some duty opposed to its arbitrary use.

Sorry to beat a dead horse Vox, but I was looking into this more and found that Pope Pius XII calls it a duty (my emphasis):

Pius XII, address to Midwives Wrote:The reason is that marriage obliges the partners to a state of life, which even as it confers certain rights so it also imposes the accomplishment of a positive work concerning the state itself. In such a case, the general principle may be applied that a positive action may be omitted if grave motives, independent of the good will of those who are obliged to perform it, show that its performance is inopportune, or prove that it may not be claimed with equal right by the petitioner—in this case, mankind.

The matrimonial contract, which confers on the married couple the right to satisfy the inclination of nature, constitutes them in a state of life, namely, the matrimonial state. Now, on married couples, who make use of the specific act of their state, nature and the Creator impose the function of providing for the preservation of mankind. This is the characteristic service which gives rise to the peculiar value of their state, the . The individual and society, the people and the State, the Church itself, depend for their existence, in the order established by God, on fruitful marriages. Therefore, to 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.
https://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P511029.HTM

The Catechism is even more explicit:

CCC Wrote:2367 Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God.154 "Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility."155
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#25
(12-09-2015, 05:19 PM)ermy_law Wrote: The question is what is a just cause to avoid pregnancy.  It seems to be rather common among many Catholics to hold that getting established in marriage or other such reasons are just cause.  In reality, the Church has a much narrower view of just cause than is commonly taught in NFP courses or held by NFP practicing Catholics.  Part of the issue is that NFP is passed off as a Catholic methodology when it is not inherently in line with the Church's teaching.

Could you be more specific? Here are the "serious" reasons given by Pius XII in his address to midwives (note, he says they "not rarely arise"):

"medical, eugenic, economic and social"

The "serious" reasons given by Paul VI in Humanae Vitae are:

"physical, economic, psychological and social"

Those are pretty broad categories and neither Pope provides any more detail.

The CCC uses the phrase "just reasons" but doesn't go into detail (personally I think using the term "just" is better than "serious," because a motive could be serious, but unjust).

https://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P511029.HTM
http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/...vitae.html
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/ar...s2c2a6.htm
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#26
...but are we talking about not having children in general? or are we talking about putting it off for a time? It's not too clear.

For one thing, the Church does not allow people who are in the ages of fertility to get married if they do not intend to have children. The priest even asks this question as part of the premarital questionnaire. If you answer no, then it's off.
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#27
(12-10-2015, 10:34 AM)GangGreen Wrote: ...but are we talking about not having children in general? or are we talking about putting it off for a time? It's not too clear.

For one thing, the Church does not allow people who are in the ages of fertility to get married if they do not intend to have children. The priest even asks this question as part of the premarital questionnaire. If you answer no, then it's off.

In my responses to Vox, I'm talking about in general, like in your second paragraph.  The general mission of a married couple is bring forth children if they are able, but that can certainly be avoided for a time or even completely avoided for a just cause.  Then there's also the discussion about what a "just cause" is.  The Popes who address it just give broad categories.  To me, it seems like the responsibility is placed on the couple to form their consciences and decide the appropriate way to act in their particular circumstances (which is the point of a conscience--to decide how to act in particular circumstances given the truth that is known).
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#28
The reason it isn't more specific is because, as "Saint Sebastian" says, the couple has to form their own consciences.

I'm wondering what you all think of this situation: a couple has been pregnant numerous times, each pregnancy ending in miscarriage. Doctors can give no specific reason for the miscarriage, and have not stated that it is inevitable.  Is a couple justified in avoiding pregnancy to avoid the emotional and physical trauma of repeated pregnancy and miscarriage? I would say yes, but I doubt, if the church gave more exact and specific guidelines, that this one would come up.
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#29
(12-10-2015, 01:48 PM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: The reason it isn't more specific is because, as "Saint Sebastian" says, the couple has to form their own consciences.

I'm wondering what you all think of this situation: a couple has been pregnant numerous times, each pregnancy ending in miscarriage. Doctors can give no specific reason for the miscarriage, and have not stated that it is inevitable.  Is a couple justified in avoiding pregnancy to avoid the emotional and physical trauma of repeated pregnancy and miscarriage? I would say yes, but I doubt, if the church gave more exact and specific guidelines, that this one would come up.

I would think they'd be perfectly justified in avoiding further pregnancy and likely miscarriage.  I'm no doctor, let alone an OB/Gyn, but I'd think that repeated miscarriages could NOT be healthy for the woman, on any level. 

Is that a hypothetical situation or one that you've encountered somehow?
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#30
(12-10-2015, 02:09 PM)J Michael Wrote:
(12-10-2015, 01:48 PM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: The reason it isn't more specific is because, as "Saint Sebastian" says, the couple has to form their own consciences.

I'm wondering what you all think of this situation: a couple has been pregnant numerous times, each pregnancy ending in miscarriage. Doctors can give no specific reason for the miscarriage, and have not stated that it is inevitable.  Is a couple justified in avoiding pregnancy to avoid the emotional and physical trauma of repeated pregnancy and miscarriage? I would say yes, but I doubt, if the church gave more exact and specific guidelines, that this one would come up.

I would think they'd be perfectly justified in avoiding further pregnancy and likely miscarriage.  I'm no doctor, let alone an OB/Gyn, but I'd think that repeated miscarriages could NOT be healthy for the woman, on any level. 

Is that a hypothetical situation or one that you've encountered somehow?

It is my wife and my situation. Repeated early miscarriages with no explanation beyond "well, it happens."  We are pursuing adoption currently, and we may try again biologically at some point, but my wife is concentrating on losing weight (much of which was gained over the several pregnancies) and both of us are focused on preparing emotionally for the possibility of another loss.  It is also possible that advancements will be made in explaining and treating the cause of the miscarriages, though I somewhat doubt it.

Anyway, my situation is one I never expected and never saw in any NFP class or book. So I appreciate the "vagueness" of the "just reason" terminology.  There may be many just reasons that don't fit the normal pattern and would be hard to delineate.
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