Most Catholics know that the Church prohibits the use of artificial birth control yet they practice it any way--they do not care what the church teaches (see Why Obey). There are others that think the Catholic Church invented the prohibition of artificial birth control when Pope Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae, July 25, 1968. What most Catholics and Protestants do not realize is that prior to 1930 all Protestant religions prohibited artificial birth control. The first church to break away from the prohibition was the Church of England (Episcopalian Church) on August 14, 1930. The reason for breaking away from this long held tradition was so that they can control the size of their families. The Catholic Church is the ONLY church that has held strong to the belief that artificial birth control is wrong.
In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI prophesied against the grave consequences from artificial birth control. He stated that there would be an increased of marital infidelity along with a lowering of moral standards. He also prophesied that there would be an increased lack of respect for women, including seeing women as a "mere instrument of selfish enjoyment", and no longer as man's respected and beloved companion. He stated that a "dangerous weapon" would be placed in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies. In our age, Pope Paul VI prophecies have come true.
(Q): What is the church's teaching on birth control?
(A): Pope John Paul II summed it up when he stated in Familiaris Consortio, that "love between husband and wife must be fully human, exclusive, and open to new life."
(Q): What does The Catechism of the Catholic Church teach?:
(A): The Catechism teaches the following.
(2370) The use of mechanical, chemical, or medical procedures to prevent conception from taking place as a result of sexual intercourse; contraception offends against the openness to procreation required of marriage and also the inner truth of conjugal love.
(Q): What if my doctor put me on birth control pills for medical reasons?
(A): Pope Paul VI stated that "the Church", on the contrary, does not at all consider illicit the use of those therapeutic means truly necessary to cure diseases of the organism, even if an impediment to procreation, which may be foreseen, should result therefrom, provided such impediment is not, for whatever motive, directly willed Humanae Vitae #15."
(Q): Isn't Natural Family Planning the same thing as birth control?
(A): No, both Pope Pius XIII and Pope John Paul II stated that Natural Family Planning is NOT to be used as a form of birth control. Natural Family Planning is to be used as a natural method of regulating birth for times when there are serious health problems or a couple is having financial difficulties. God designed the reproductive system in a way that there are times when a woman cannot conceive. This is the natural method that He made available to us, only in times that warrant its use. Pope John Paul II has noted that "decisions about the number of children and the sacrifices to be made for them must not be taken only with a view to adding comfort and preserving a peaceful existence (The Catholic Answer - Book 2 Rev. M.J. Stravinskas)."
According to Father William Saunder, "With Natural Family Planning, couples keep their covenant of life and love intact. They use only the means given to them by God, which are intrinsic to who they are. In expressing their marital love, they are mindful that this action not only unites them as husband and wife, but also may participate in God's creative love. Rather than suppress and ignore one dimension, they respect both dimensions. Therefore, if they decide for a serious reason to postpone a pregnancy, then both husband and wife make the decision and both share in the sacrifice of not expressing their marital love during the period of ovulation. Natural Family Planning is also safe and the burden shared by both husband and wife. Moreover the couple is open to the providence of God's will. If a child should come who "was not planned?" so be it—that is God's Will and God's gift. With artificial birth control, where the couple has everything nicely planned and is in control, the surprise pregnancy oftentimes spells disaster. Remember that one of the arguments for legalized abortion is to correct "unplanned pregnancies". (October 26, 1995 issue of "The Arlington Catholic Herald.")"
(Q): What does the bible say about birth control?
(A): In Genesis 38:9-10, we find the story of Onan, the second son of Judah, who married Tamar, the widow of his older brother, Er. (The Levirate law of Judaism prescribed that if the older brother died the next oldest, single brother would marry his widow to preserve the family line.) The Bible reads, "Onan, however, knew that the descendants would not be counted as his; so whenever he had relations with his brother's widow, he wasted his seed on the ground to avoid contributing offspring for his brother. What he did greatly offended the Lord and the Lord took his life." When Onan wasted his semen on the ground, God was very angry this was clearly a sin in the eyes of God.
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