Why the Pill Is Very, Very Bad (and why even non-Catholics agree)

Author Mary Eberstadt’s timing could not be better for her new book on the painful paradoxes of the sexual revolution. Titled Adam and Eve after the Pill and published by Ignatius Press, it appears at an interesting juncture: during a presidential election season, as the nation  suffers from the disapointing  Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of Obamacare. On top of that, we have HHS’s hotly contested attempt to force all enterprises it deems non-religious (including religiously sponsored charities and schools that offer services to people of all faiths) to insure a range of “health” expenses, such as birth control and sterilization, that violate their beliefs.

Eberstadt is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a prolific writer in conservative and Catholic publications with several other books to her credit. Her latest book, though it resonates in the current political atmosphere, is not about politics but rather about the ongoing impact of the Pill, which in Eberstadt’s opinion has changed, well, everything:

A series of Popes, some of the world’s leading scientists, and many other unlikely allies all agree: No single event since Eve took the apple has been as consequential for relations between the sexes as the arrival of modern contraception. By rendering fertile women infertile with 100% accuracy (sic), the Pill and related devices have transformed the lives and families of the great majority of the people born after their invention.  Modern contraception is not only a fact of our time; it may even be the central fact in that it is hard to think of any other whose demographic, social behavior, and personal fall out has been as profound.

Chapter by chapter the author builds her case that the use of the pill has been a disaster, with many undesired side effects that seriously damage the primal institutions of marriage and family whether one sees them as natural or divine in origin. As evidence she cites dozens of well-documented studies, including demographic studies of vertiginous drops in birthrates throughout the world, from Russia to China to Europe or the Americas, that portend social, economic, and political turmoil.  Just consider a depopulating Israel, for example, surrounded by dozens of millions of procreating Muslims.

The separation of sex and procreation has also spawned the deadly plague of America’s largest entertainment industry: pornography.  The author refers to surveys reporting that “65% of boys age sixteen and seventeen report having friends who regularly download Internet pornography… and another study relates that “watching sex on television predicts adolescent initiation of sexual behavior,” while a third finds that “men who use pornography have lost the ability to relate or be close to women. They have trouble being turned on by ‘real’ women and their sex lives, with their girls or wives, collapse.” In addition, the use of the Pill or other forms of contraception along with alcohol produce what Eberstadt refers to as “the hook-up” culture at ‘Toxic U.” This environment was memorably portrayed in author Tom Wolfe’s novel I am Charlotte Simmons.

One campus psychiatrist has written a book that details the common denominators of his college patients: “drinking to oblivion, drugging, one night sex, sexually transmitted diseases and all the rest of the hook up-culture trappings.” A Washington Post writer reports that hooking up has become the “primary” sexual interaction of the young.

Eberstadt points out that one way to push back Toxic U is to bring back early marriage. The most compelling reason for the hookup culture is not a change in human nature. It is not even a caving in to peer pressure. It is, rather, a perverse efficiency.  Students who do not expect to marry anyone they meet in college have no reason to “invest” in their romantic partners. The greatest victims are young women, whose nature is being ignored at great peril—to them. They are weaker constitutionally in the sense that the very behaviors that define “Toxic U—binge drinking and hooking up—are documented and said by all, including remorseful girls themselves, to be more likely to damage girls than boys.”

This book, which is relentlessly and understandably grim in its diagnosis of the damage of contraception to society, strangely and happily presents glimmers of hope through countercultural institutions such as the nondenominational Love and Fidelity (begun, of all places, at Princeton University) and the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), where growth has been particularly dramatic. Founded in 1998, FOCUS has expanded to more than 30 colleges and universities and more than 4000 students.  There is also the Evangelical “Christian Union,” formed with the ambitious mission to “reclaim the campus for Christ.”

Eberstadt devotes one thought-provoking chapter to the connection between food and sex, two normal appetites inevitably linked to survival of the individual and of the human species. She points out that “up to just about now, for example, the prime brakes on sex outside of marriage have been fear of pregnancy, fear of social stigma and punishment, and fear of disease. The Pill and its cousins have substantially undermined the first two strictures, at least in theory, while modern medicine has largely erased the third.  As for food,  one technological revolution after another explains the extraordinary change in availability…. One result of this change in food fortune is the unprecedented, ‘disease of civilization’ known as obesity.”  The parallels are obvious.  In both cases the misuse through technology of natural appetites has turned these basic goods into enormous health problems, not only in terms of disease but also in unexpected and harmful social behaviors.

This relatively lean book relies heavily on secular sources. Likewise, Eberstadt analyzes the culture from a primarily secular perspective as she charts the horrors that have been unleashed upon the world and particularly the United States as a result of separating sex activity from procreation. Nonetheless, her book is written largely to vindicate the most controversial Catholic encyclical of modern times—Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, issued at the height of the culture-changing 1960s. As Eberstadt puts it, “Forty plus years after ‘Humane Vitae’ and fifty plus after the approval of the Pill, there are more than enough ironies both secular and religious, to make one swear there is a humorist in Heaven.”

Or as UVA sociologist Brad Wilcox puts it, “The leading scholars who have tackled these topics are not Christians, and most of them aren’t political or social conservatives. They are, rather, honest social scientists willing to follow the data where ever it leads.”

Eberstadt notes that Humanae Vitae  “warned of four resulting trends [from widespread contraception]: a general lowering of moral standards throughout society; a rise in infidelity; a lessening of respect for women by men; and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments.”

Case closed? Suffice it to say that Pope Paul VI will not be receiving a posthumous prize for his vindicated prophecy any time soon. The more important concern now is whether the modern world will survive a populace that kills or abuses its children, enters into sterile and ephemeral marriages, propagates a plague of venereal diseases and poor health conditions such as obesity, and indulges in largely pornographic entertainments.

Hmm, sounds like the fall of the Roman Empire to me.

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  • A. Gill

    And yet, we still hear nothing from our priests and bishops on this matter. The new HHS mandate gave them an opening to discuss the morality of contraception and the beauty of God’s plan for marriage and sex. Isn’t it time to declare the truth?

  • JMC

    Thank you, Fr. McCloskey! I’ve been comparing our current culture devolution to the fall of the Roman Empire for decades now, and everyone I know says I’ve been overreacting. I blame that on the fact that schools no longer teach history; the focus now is on current events. I know teachers who tell me that what history is taught, never goes back farther than about 1950. There are students who think “Mayflower” is synonymous with the passion flower, whose fruit is known in some regions as the “maypop.”
    I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: I don’t like living in what this world has become, but, at the same time, I hope I get to hang around long enough to see Our Lady’s triumph.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diane-Humpal/1262400072 Diane Humpal

    I agree with you A. Gill, however….a priests job is difficult. By confronting the issues can also drive people from church. Those of us that think this way are now in the minority. About eight years ago, we had a brave priest that did speak on the issues of morality and that same weekend someone put a condom in the collection basket. Father resigned as pastor after that. Since that time….no priest has spoken on issues of morality in our church. Possibly a visiting priest could get by with the talk, but not the pastor. We live in a different time and people are no longer as accepting of spiritual direction as they once were.

  • hillbilly

    I think most times what priests must relate to us in the pews is what Christ teaches through His Church is exactly that… What CHRIST teaches through His Church. Don’t shoot the messenger. It’s a lot harder to tell Christ He doesn’t know what He’s talking about than to tell the parish priest he’s not married and has trouble relating.
    I have been blessed to hear my priest a local priest and a priest from Colorado touch on these subjects.

  • KAH

    Thank you Fr. McCloskey and Mary Eberstadt for bringing this crucial issue to the forefront. The turning of the tide toward sexual health and wholeness as intended by God is sure to save countless young people from the disordered perils of the last generation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003586781928 Magdalene Prodigal

    I disagree. Witholding the truth because others do not want to hear it or will not follow it is NOT enough of a reason. That is not love nor is it Christ like. Our Lord did not withold the Truth for He is The Truth and our priests have a serious responsiblity and obligation to preach it. We do not fall into heaven by accident! Our Lord let the non-believers go. And witholding the truth: has that kept folks in the pews? NO! Rather the sheep have not been shepherded and have been left to the ravages of the wolves and of sin.

  • http://twitter.com/ptero9 Ptero

    There are many side-effects of attempting to legislate sexual equality. Even in a secular world, It’s different for girls: http://wp.me/pZ0y1-wk

  • Katy

    Thank you for this article. I’m looking forward to reading this book! An exciting update: FOCUS is actually at 74 campuses this year!

  • guest

    But the pill and associated devices do not render women 100% guaranteed infertile. I know women who have become pregnant on every possible contraceptive product including surgical sterilization.

  • jen

    the same people who are talking of the perils of the pill talk about having too many abortions have u thought that maybe correct use of contraceptives and talking to people about contraceptives may actually help prevent abortions. yes abstaining from sex before marriage would be ideal but in the world we live in even a married couple may have too many children if they do not use contraceptives they may have children who they will not be able to financially support then who looses its the children contraceptives allow for planned families who can live in today society.

  • Hominid

    You can howl and stomp around, but technology and it’s consequences are man’s destiny – for better or worse.

  • trierw

    My local priest has spoken boldly and has been personally supported and encouraged by myself and many others. Those that love the truth obviously failed to sustain this priest with their verbal support and prayers and he could not stand against the overwhelming tide. Of course a priests VOCATION is difficult as it is for each and every one of us called to take up our crosss and follow Christ. The only authentic and honest response….the one the followers of Christ chose when they could not accept His teaching was to walk away. Many no longer have this courage or strength of character and instead demand a new teaching.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donald-Hudzinski/100000103743602 Donald Hudzinski

    Bishop Morlino of the diocese of Madison, Wisconsin has given a number of homilies on the subject. One even during the State Knights of Columbus Convention.

  • Kevin

    Go to Guttmacher Institute website and you will see that in the USA there is a direct connection of contraception and abortion. The more contraception on the market leads to more abortions. Yes in some countries it went down but not here. So no that is not the answer.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5N3BXLIARNX3GXFVPCTXPJ46FE LindaP

    And what if a married couple do not wish to procreate by choice? Sinful living, is it? Tough. My husband and I have been married for over 30 years, childless by CHOICE, extremely happy, and if we are living in sin according to the Catholic Church, so be it. We would have it no other way.

  • providence

    Having not read the book I can only go by the representation of the arguments in the article here so forgive me if the book addresses these points. In my view this seems like a nice little comfortor to those who think contraception is the ultimate of ills.
    However I disagree that it can be solved by bringing back ‘early marriage’. For one thing how would you do that? Numerous schemes over the world, not least in America and the UAE in two examples off the top of my head, typically show this involves financial and social incentives. But you can’t force love. Also relatively speaking is early marriage the same thing? Life expectancies are increasing after all.

    This is not to forget the entry of women into the working world and increasing success (in some places even exceeding men by a fair degree) in further education. The demands on the private sector mean that people push back marriage because they cant support themselves financially otherwise. While I cannot refute that the sexual revolution and the impacts of contraception may or may not have had a significantly negative effect on youth culture. I think its overlly simplistic to consider it the defining factor, something based in a rose-tinted view of life before the 60′s.

  • Robbie J

    I agree, A.Gill. Many Catholics I know are virtually clueless about the church’s reasons for its teaching on contraception. Inadequate catechesis and maybe a reluctance to understand the faith better leads to confusion and ignorance. Come to think of it, I cannot remember a homily on this matter – ever. Priests must preach in no uncertain terms, about the evils of contraception. Let the truth, no matter how “inconvenient”, be known.

  • Pr.Jack

    If I were that priest I would have blown the condom up with helium like a balloon, written “SIN” on it and floated over the heads of of the people in the pews!

  • Jennifer Walters

    Early marriage in Western culture is a myth, most of our ancestor’s didn’t get married until after their mid twenties. People couldn’t get married until they could afford to support a family, so the majority of society waited. The major exception is royalty, money wasn’t an issue. Royalty is part of the reason for the propagation of this myth, we think that just because a princess got married at 15 that everyone else did.

    People did get married younger for part of the twentieth century, however this wasn’t typical for the past millennium of Western civilization. It’s also significant that people weren’t getting married until their mid to late twenties, considering most people who made it to adulthood wouldn’t live much past 60.

  • eawaters04

    I agree. I am not married right now, but I could pass on some very bad genetics to my child that I do not want to pass on. When I get married, apparently I’m not allowed to have sex unless I want to procreate. That’s ridiculous. What about people who have valid reasons for not wanting to conceive a child? Medical complications. The Catholic Church needs to look at its doctrines and perhaps think a bit. Apparently, if i have sex for non-procreation reasons, it’s a sin. How can the Church expect families to be able to afford food and housing if every time a couple wants to copulate if a child is produced. And yes, I know about NFP, but it’s not guarenteed to work. I know people who practiced this and still had children. So, since I don’t want to conceive a child, even if I wait until marriage to have sex, I’ll be in some state of sin.,.any wonder many Catholics are leaving the faith?

  • http://twitter.com/LaCatholicState la catholic state

    Um…..the Church regards such a deliberately childless ‘marriage’ as invalid. The branch that bears no fruit if you will.

  • Roberta

    Linda, I am a childless single woman (not by choice) who has taken care of her elderly parents and I’ve seen first hand, how hard it is to live independently when you’re old. We all like to believe that we’ll have all our faculties and our health until we drop dead suddenly but that will not be the end for most of us. Every task in life becomes more difficult as you get older, from getting your groceries, doing your banking, remembering to pay your bills, cooking, driving, everything! Half of people over 85 have dementia. Even in Canada, with our cradle-to-grave welfare systeem and public heath care, most elderly are still looked after by their grown children (such as staying in basement apartments, or even living with one of their children). It scares me to know there will be no one to do what I’m doing now for my parents. As a woman, it’s likely your husband will die before you, and you will end up in the same boat as me. Since many husbands are a bit older than their wives and men have a shorter life expectancy than woman, the husband in a childless-by-choice couple, can expect that he’ll have comapnionship until he dies, but what about his wife? In most cases, she’ll be the one left alone, not him. You may think that the solution for you will just be moving to an assisted living facility and ultimately a nursing home (which even if you have children, in the later stages of Alzheimers is often necessary), but there just won’t be the space for all these elderly baby-boomers in those facilities. Who is going to pay for the building of more facilities? The baby-boomers have contracepted and aborted to such an extent that the next generation is numerically so small in comparison, that they won’t be able to bear the financial burden of this care. And even if you had the financial resources to pay for it yourself, it’s going to a lonely existence as a widow. By the time you realize what the really negative consequences of your childless-by-choice was, it’s too late to change it.

  • Mike

    Clergy talking about sex and successful marriage shouldn’t expect to be taken seriously. 100% infertile? Remind me about all the bad aspects of that again and we can talk about celibacy.

  • guest

    I am an MD who has spoken on the research on the medical and psychological effects of the pill for the last 12 years. I am surprised that no one is talking about natural methods of family planning as a solution to the problem. We need to put the sexual appetite in balance–not “fix it with early marriage”. Early marriage will simple mask or make technically licit something that is extremely disordered and detrimental to the health and happiness of a couple’s relationship. If you look at the neuroscience–it is obvious that NFP puts a structure in place for couples to relate to each other physically in a way that is constructive and not destructive. Look up sex, love and dopamine (sexual interest of a man whose physical relatinship with his wife is based on dopamine-which is released when sex is just about pleasure and not about intimacy or connection-can only be sustained for 4 years–after 4 years, the only way to renew sexual interest in a man is to introduce an new female partner….hence the sex lives of men addicted to pornography “fall apart”. Unless we address the sexual appetite that is dopamine driven–early marriage does nothing. NFP naturally helps with this issue. When JPII wrote that “the sexual urge is the vector of aspiration along which the entire being grows and develops” he was dead right–and interpersonal neurobiology integrated with findings in positive psychology research back that statement up. Early marriage puts a bandaid on a much deeper problem–sexual appetites out of control incapacitate the brains fo men and women to relate in a mutually loving way.

  • ihadaboobjob

    out and out nonsense and gibberish by a sexually frustrated male celibate. naturally, the perils of overpopulation, starvation and disaster for the natural world are nothing to the church’s obsession with copulation and the pill.

  • ihadaboobjob

    the link between obesity and the pill has got to be the most absurd and hilarious thing i read in a long time. pull up your zipper, fr. mccloskey and have some cheese fries!

  • ihadaboobjob

    thank God for the gift of nuns! go girls!

  • rakeys

    Wow a lot of misunderstanding!
    Not every sex act must be an attempt to get pregnant, but it must be open to that possiblity. thus no artificail contraception. Neither the Pill or NFP is 100% effective. Planned Parenthood even states that 50% of the women who come for abortion have been using contraception. The pill and NFP are both 98% effective if used properly. Actual rates of the Pill are closer to 90% effective. There are no guarantees with either system. One of the reasons abortion was allowed by the Supreme Court was beacuse contraception does not allways work, and they wanted a backup– just kill the developing baby.
    God has designed our sexuality so that a woman is fertile approximately 7 days each cycle. Thus He has given couples 20 days, more or less, each month that a couple can have sex without the possibility of getting pregnant. Which is more than most couples use. The nice thing is that a couple knows each day if they are fertile, and can then decide to have sex leading to pregnancy or not, if they are wanting to postpone chldbirth.
    A side benefit to using NFP is tht the divorcce rate is <5%, not 50%. Another is the link of oral contraceptive to breast cancer and all the other side effects. Check the insert that comes with the Pill.
    The World Health Organization has declared that oral contraceptives are a Category 1 carcinogen, the same as cigarettes and asbestos.The Mayo clinic has stated that 21 or 23 studies show that if a girl takes the Pill for 4 years before her first pregnancy she has a 50% increased chance to get breast cancer. 1in 8 instead of 1 in 12. Breast cancer has been on the rise since 1960.

  • nah

    It is not a sin to avoid procreation; it is a sin to ensure it. It’s called being God and deciding His will, not accepting His will. When men and women ignore this basic concept, the door is flung wide open to all kinds of evil.

  • brain without a chain

    exactly, neither the PILL nor NFP is completely effective. Therefore, both are open to life. Although both have the same intention: to avoid pregnancy, to avoid children. The only think that is 100 per cent efficient in avoiding children is abstinence.

  • rakeys

    Sorry, but using the Pill is not open to life. First, it works to artificially stop ovulation from occurring, then to make it difficult for sperm to reach the egg. The final action of the Pill is to make the lining of the uterus very thin so that if ovulation does occur ( 5 to 50% of the time) the fertilized egg cannot implant in the womb. Thus the pill can be abortifacient 5 to 50% of the time. That is not open to life.

  • chaco

    Hominid (the Ape picture) says; “You can howl and stomp around, but technology and it’s consequences are man’s destiny- for better or worse.” Does anyone else hear Jesus’ words; “It will be as in the days of Noah; people will be going about their usual – everyday business-not knowing the seriousness of the times.” (Mt. 24: 38). Truth which sets us free from being wounded by lies is our destiny. Some “flow downstream” with the decieved and others escape being washed away by clinging to Our Mother/ Church (see Rev. 12: 15-16).

  • http://www.facebook.com/daverusch David W. Rusch

    Doctor, would you be so kind as to provide me with links and your writings on this? Thank you,
    daverusch@q.com
    God bless you,
    Dave

  • Guest

    Roberta, no one should have children so they will have someone to take care of them when they are older and keep them company, If you are a strong part of a church or community, people will be there to help you. As for the Pill, I think alcohol has more to do with unwanted pregnancies than anything else. The PIll does not chemically change your ability to make moral decisions. I have three children who are all in Catholic school at the cost of close to $30,000 a year. I cannot afford to have more and still give them a safe (not fancy) place to live and a Catholic education.

  • Mrgrt

    It’s true, women have become obese from taking the pill. Ask around people who have taken them will tell you it is true. And don’t be vulgar, this is not the place for that.

  • Mrgrt

    You do not understand the teaching of the Church. There’s joy in the marriage act when it is selfless and open to life. There’s great joy in loving people of the opposite sex with a love that is honorable and plutonic when not married or have reason to stop having sex in marriage. You have everything that brings joy to life in the Catholic Church. The only guarantee in life is that there are challenges we face that we may see as insurmountable. Fortunately, the Church was founded by the son of God out of love for you. If you turn away from what He has given us then you’ll miss out on the blessings of the faith. Free will is a gift from God. The Catholic Church is not forcing anyone to remain.

  • Felini

    There is, rather, underpopulation in the countries using contraception. Childhood and adult obesity is not a product of starvation.

  • CATHOLIC SENSE

    I am sorry, but the use of Natural Family Planning (NFP) methods are as equally immoral (grave sin) as using artificial birth control methods; because the OBVIOUS INTENT of the involved couples, in both cases, is to DELIBERATELY INTEND TO AVOID HAVING CHILDREN. In fact, NFP is marketed as being more effective (98.6 percent) than most artificial birth control methods, including the birth control pill, in preventing pregnancy.

    According, to the still authoritative 1930 encyclical, Casti Connubii, the primary purpose of the marital union is always to be procreation (intent to have children) and the secondary purpose, the conjugal act. However, with both Natural Family Planning and artificial birth control methods, the OBVIOUS INTENT of all couples involved with these immoral practices, is to avoid having children while enjoying the evil fruits of the illicit (under these selfish circumstances) conjugal act, with all the abhorrent negative consequences. According to page 17 of Humanae Vitae, these abhorrent negative consequences (Humanae Vitae only applied these negative consequences to artificial birth control methods, but should have also applied them to NFP) of “SEX WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES,” include the lowering of the moral standards of couples; the men using their wives as sex objects; and building a false sense of autonomy from God. For these reasons, Humanae Vitae immorally claimed it was licit for Catholic couples to to use Natural Family Planning methods to space children out; and stood in direct contradiction to the 1930 encyclical, Casti Connubbii, on this subject. In fact, Natural Family Planning should be correctly styled, “NATURAL CONTRACEPTION,” since it is so effective (99.6 percent) in preventing pregnancy (more effective than most forms of artificial birth control methods).

    The only real moral option for spacing children out for married couples is to use PURE CONTINENCE (i.e., COMPLETE abstinence from the marital union), as explicitly approved in the 1930 encyclical, Casti Connubii, at Paragraph 53, as being the only licit means, throughout the history of the Church, to space children out in cases of necessity (e.g., health of women; financial reasons; etc.). In fact, Joseph and Mary had to practice complete continence throughout their whole marriage to protect the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Moreover, Casti Connubii, at Paragraph 56, states; “[A]ny use WHATEVER of MATRIMONY exercised in such a way that the act is DELIBERATELY FRUSTRATED IN ITS NATURAL POWER TO GENERATE LIFE is an offense against the LAW OF GOD AND OF NATURE, and those who indulge in such are branded with the GUILT OF GRAVE SIN (emphasis added).” Clearly, the use of NFP seeks to frustrate the natural power to generate life by having NFP women discover when they are the least fertile (i.e, post-ovulation) in order to prevent pregnancy. Instead, as correctly and morally approved by Casti Connubbi and as necessity dictates, married couples should only engage in PURE CONTINENCE in order to space out children; AND WHEN THEY DO ENGAGE IN THE MARITAL UNION THEY SHOULD HAVE THE CLEAR AND OBVIOUS INTENT TO POSSIBLY BRING ABOUT PREGNANCIES AND THE BLESSED CHILDREN THAT COULD RESULT, THEREFROM.

  • CATHOLIC SENSE

    Additionally, an official clinical study (Am J Obstet Gynecol (1995), May; 172(5): 1567-72), found a definite statistical correlation between the use of NFP practices and a greatlyincreased likelihood of spontaneous abortions occurring in NFP women who had suffered from previous spontaneous abortions (miscarriages). No other clinical studies, that I know of, have rebutted these findings (also no further clinical studies should be undertaken in this regard because innocent unborn babies may suffer and die, ultimately resulting in immoral spontaneous abortions).

    This 1995 clinical study verifies Casti Connubii’s claim that “any use WHATEVER of MATRIMONY exercised in such away that the act is deliberately FRUSTRATED IN ITS NATURAL POWER TO GENERATE LIFE is an offense against the LAW of God AND OF NATURE.” Or put more succinctly, this 1995 clinical study verifies that NFP is clearly against the LAW OF NATURE (as warned about in Casti Connubii) because this immoral practice has the ability to kill innocent unborn babies through unnecessary miscarriages. Further, it can be extrapolated that if NFP can cause miscarriages in some situations, in may also cause serious health problems in NFP babies that survive birth; namely birth defects, handicaps, genetic defects, and general health problems.

    Therefore, based on Casti Connubii, the only morally licit use of NFP is REVERSE NFP where women find the most fertilepoint of their cycle in order to ensure healthy healthy ovums (eggs) that will more likely result in healthy robust human embryos when those eggs become fertilized and, ultimately, more likely healthy children when they are born. However, the use of NFP to deliberately prevent pregnancy, I believe,
    would be analogous to the hypothetical situation where a farmer purposefully sows seeds in a field in which the crops had never been rotated. Obviously, by not rotating the crops, the nutrient rich soil would have been depleted, resulting in a disastrous harvest of sickly, unhealthy and withered crops; or no crops at all. Obviously, both circumstances are against
    the NATURAL LAW due to the possible negative consequences that could result.

    Based on the morally sensible, Casti Connubbi, then, if married couples want to get to heaven, they should attempt
    to have as many children as they can, unless necessity dictates, otherwise; such as the health of women and financial burdens. If these necessities do arise, Casti Connubbi only allows for married couples to space children out through PURE CONTINENCE. You should also pray for grace from God and
    even fast if possibly in order to practice SUCCESSFUL, PURE CONTINENCE under those trying circumstances. Remember, Jesus never said following Him would be easy; instead, He said; “TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME!”

  • Wayward Son

    “Humanae Vitae immorally claimed…”

    Roma locuta; causa finita est. (Rome has spoken, the matter is settled.)

    If Paul VI released an immoral encyclical, then Jesus lied when he said “the gates of hell shall not prevail over [the Church]“, and there is no sense in being Catholic anymore.

    This also means that Pius XII issued immoral instructions to the Italian midwives when he told them to instruct married couples in the (then state of the art) rhythm method.

    Church acknowledgement of the licitness of NFP goes all the way back to when it was first theorized in the 1850s.

    http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt103.html

  • GMG

    We all do that comparing at some time, but there is always something that can be done. Just look at the people (Catholics ) who actually lived during the time of the Roman Empire. They were more confident of the future than we are and they didn’t have computers!! They knew they couldn’t change the entire culture, they just kept the faith and passed it on to people whose lives they touched. Our Lady doesn’t want us to be gloomy. We have the victory. For my little part I fought the culture by homeschooling my kids. That way they get the real scoop on history and particularly current events. I’m almost done; just 2 to go out of 6. All are in university, so no damage done or noticeable deprivations! As for NFP my husband and I teach it. We help heal the culture, one couple at a time:)

  • GMG

    The pill has NEVER been 98% effective; even the WHO will not tell you that. where in the world did you get your stats?

  • GMG

    Are the popes and Mother Teresa wrong to have promoted NFP? Obviously alot of different kinds of actions can become sinful if the intention is sinful. That’s why it’s best to let God decide. If God’s representative on earth, the Pope makes a moral statement, we can take it to the bank, instead of second- guessing it.

  • GMG

    Why are they going to church? Maybe the churches need to be emptied until the cultural “catholics” are gone and all that is left are genuine Catholics seeking the truth, which is Jesus. If a priest or Bishop is not brave enough to preach the truth in season and out, he isn’t following Jesus’ example. without that example we are all doomed to be scattered and devoured by the wolves….

  • GMG

    I have 6 children on free Catholic ed (homeschooling). The pill absolutely changed the culture of marriage and devastated the natural respect for women. It causes women to be objectified and marriage to become conditional. Contracepting couples seldom stay together and I’ve lived long enough to see a disturbing number of women dying from breast cancer in their 30′s and 40′s (all on the pill,) just in our small community. The veterinarians in the early part of the century experimented with estrogen for cows and rejected it on the grounds it was too dangerous for the animal. Yet it’s good enough for human female consumption today! It’s the bread and butter of every GP practice, so don’t go to them for info!

  • GMG

    You’re wrong, actually. first of all, what makes you think all couples who practice NFP are trying to avoid children? The science also provides a much -needed answer for those who wish to conceive and previously couldn’t because they didn’t know their cycles. In other words, the woman didn’t know how her body worked .
    Secondly, you don’t know about NFP if you think it is not successful to postpone pregnancy. Studies were done in India with several thousand couples participating in study done for WHO (Billings) and the results after 3 years was actually 99.9% If you don’t read relevant data from proper sources, you will be naturally prejudiced. By ignorance, of course.

  • Dr R

    Encyclicals are to be studied and respected but THEY ARE NOT INFALLIBLE!! Papers by the ACOG on NFP are suspect since they advocate for all forms of birth control and abortion. Moreover, Vatican 2 removed procreation as the primary purpose of marriage as this was an outdated human opinion.

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