NFP, Natural Family Planning and Sexual Pleasure and Lust

Natural Family Planning,
the Marital Sexual Act,
and Procreation

“The sins of the world are too great! The sins which lead most souls to hell are sins of the flesh! Certain fashions are going to be introduced which will offend Our Lord very much. Those who serve God should not follow these fashions. The Church has no fashions; Our Lord is always the same. Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God."
(Our Lady of Fatima)

PART 1. NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING,
THE MARITAL SEXUAL ACT,
AND PROCREATION

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WHAT IS NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING?

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is the practice of deliberately restricting the marital act exclusively to those times when the wife is infertile so as to avoid the conception of a child. NFP is used for the same reasons that people use artificial contraception: to deliberately avoid the conception of a child while carrying out the marital act.

WHY IS NFP WRONG?

NFP is wrong because it’s birth control; it’s against conception. It’s a refusal on the part of those who use it to be open to the children that God planned to send them. It’s no different in its purpose from artificial contraception, and therefore it’s a moral evil just like artificial contraception. Since the Church infallibly teaches that “the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children” and that “those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural powers and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, #54) in addition to teaching that “any use whatsoever 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 a grave sin” (Ibid), this makes it perfectly clear to us that NFP is not only a very serious mortal sin according to the teaching of the Church, but also a sin against the Natural Law that can never be excused or changed.

The Catholic Church has always been officially opposed to contraception or birth control in all its forms, but contrary to the practice of the Catholics of the first 1900 years of the Church, the great majority of self professed Catholics living in our debauched era in time, ignore this prohibition. However, as we will see from the teaching of the Church in addition to the Natural Law and the Holy Bible as well as the teaching of all the Saints and Church Fathers, the Catholic Church infallibly and officially condemns all forms of contraception as a heinous mortal sin against God, life and nature, thus firmly declaring that those who practice any kind of contraception, such as NFP, will lose their souls.

Indeed, The Holy Bible directly commands spouses when they perform the marital sexual act that “thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children” (Tobias 6:22), and this totally condemns all contraceptive acts, such as NFP. As a matter of fact, the Holy Word of God in the Bible explicitly condemns spouses who are opposed to procreation, teaching that “the devil has power” over all spouses who selfishly come together for the purpose of gratifying their fleshly pleasures, giving “themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding” instead of being “moved rather for love of children than for lust” (Tobias 6:17) when they perform the marital act that Our Lord commands.

The best biblical example of God’s utter hatred of all forms of contraceptive acts is found in The Book of Genesis, where God Himself directly killed a man named Onan for practicing contraception: “He knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother’s wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother’s name. And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.” (Genesis 38:8-10) Notice how clearly the biblical text shows that the reason he did this “detestable thing” was “lest children should be born in his brother’s name”, thus showing us that the act of performing the marital act while taking steps to hinder procreation is hated by God.

THE SEXUAL ACT MUST BE EXCUSED BY THE MOTIVE OF PROCREATION SINCE IT IS INTOXICATING LIKE A DRUG, SHAMEFUL, AND DESTINED BY NATURE FOR PROCREATION

There are three main reasons for why the Natural Law, the Holy Bible, Apostolic Tradition, as well as the Church and Her Popes and Saints infallibly teaches that for the marital sexual act to be lawful and without sin, spouses must always desire to beget children and make an explicit act of their will by excusing the marital sexual act with the motive of procreation before they perform every single marital act.

The first reason is that the Natural Law teaches that “the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, #54) and that the act of marriage exercised for pleasure onlyis condemned as a sin for both the married and unmarried people alike (Pope Innocent XI, Denz. 1159). Since even the normal, natural and procreative “act of marriage exercised for [the motive of] pleasure only” is condemned as a sin even though this act is directly procreative in itself, and the only intention and motive that excuses the marital sexual act from sin is the procreation of children, according to teachings of the Popes, Saints and Doctors of the Church, it is totally obvious that every single marital sexual act must be excused by an explicit act of the will of having children before one performs the marital sexual act. The Church have always taught that “the generative [sexual] act is a sin unless it is excused” (St. Bonaventure, Commentary on the Four Books of Sentences) and that is why those who deny that “the marriage act also will always be evil unless it be excused...”  (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica) commit a sin against the Natural Law which can never be excused.

The Natural Law is rooted in design. God, the Supreme Designer, has imprinted a design on all created things – including the human person, both in his spiritual and physical being – a purpose for which each has been created. Thus, with regard to the human person, the Creator has designed speech for communicating the truth and the mouth to swallow food etc. Likewise, the Creator has designed the sexual organs for something noble, namely, for procreating children.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 60), Dec. 31, 1930: “This sacredness of marriage which is intimately connected with religion and all that is holy, arises from the divine origin we have just mentioned, from its purpose which is the begetting and education of children for God, and the binding of man and wife to God through Christian love and mutual support; and finally it arises from the very nature of wedlock, whose institution is to be sought for in the farseeing Providence of God, whereby it is the means of transmitting life, thus making the parents the ministers, as it were, of the Divine Omnipotence.”

This means, according to the teaching of the Church, that spouses must actively think about the fact that they are performing the marital act for the sake of begetting children before they perform every single marital act, while also desiring to beget children for the love and glory of God. The Holy Bible even gives spouses a good example of a short prayer to use before they perform the marital act: “And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.” (Tobias 8:9)

This teaching of the Church is of course directly rooted in Holy Scripture and Apostolic Tradition, which are the two infallible sources of the Church. We see this truth being taught to us in the Holy Bible by God when He spoke to Tobias through the Archangel Raphael, saying: “thou shalt take [that is, perform the marital act with] the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children… [Tobias said:] And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.” (Tobias 6:22; 8:9) Our Lord’s words about “the seed of Abraham” is explained by St. Paul to refer to those who are going to be saved from Hell by Christ’s blood since God says in the New Testament that “if you be Christ’s, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)

It is thus clear that the Holy Bible teaches us that spouses who perform the marital act must make an explicit act of their will before they perform every single marital act, desiring to beget children and being “moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children.” Notice how insistently and clearly the infallible, Holy Scripture commands spouses to perform the marital act for the explicit purpose and love of begetting children (and not for lust), teaching them to excuse the marital sexual act with the motive of procreation and that “thou shalt take [that is, perform the marital act with] the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust”.

Thus, according to the Church, this act of the will or motive to beget children that renders the marital act lawful and moral and that are performed by the spouses before every marital sexual act, is used by them to excuse the shameful and intoxicating nature of the marital sexual act, just like a sick person excuses his usage of an intoxicating drug with the motive of alleviating his suffering or illness. St. Thomas Aquinas also confirms the truth that the marital act must be excused since it is intoxicating like a drug, teaching that: “because the reason is carried away entirely on account of the vehemence of the pleasure, so that it is unable to understand anything at the same time, [as in the case of intoxication of drugs]... the marriage act also will always be evil unless it be excused...” (Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 49, Art. 1, 5)

The Magisterium of the Church also teaches that one must desire to beget children before one performs every single marital act in order for the act to be lawful and without sin since “the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #54) and since even the normal, natural and procreative “act of marriage exercised for [the motive of] pleasure only” is condemned as a sin for both the married and unmarried people alike (Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters # 9, 1679). Since even the normal, natural and procreative “act of marriage exercised for [the motive of] pleasure only” is condemned as a sin even though this act is directly procreative in itself, and the only intention and motive that excuses the marital sexual act from sin is the procreation of children according to teachings of the Popes, Fathers, Saints and Doctors of the Church, it is totally obvious that every single marital sexual act must be excused by an explicit act of the will before one performs the marital sexual act.

This is also why Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 540-604), who is one of the greatest Popes in human history as well as a Father and Doctor of the Church, teaches that: “The married must be admonished to bear in mind that they are united in wedlock for the purpose of procreation, and when they abandon themselves to immoderate intercourse, they transfer the occasion of procreation to the service of pleasure. Let them realize that though they do not then pass beyond the bonds of wedlock, yet in wedlock they exceed its rights. Wherefore, it is necessary that they efface by frequent prayer what they befoul in the fair form of conjugal union by the admixture of pleasure.” (Pope St. Gregory the Great, "Pastoral Care," Part 3, Chapter 27, in "Ancient Christian Writers," No. 11, pp. 188-189)

Pope Pius XI adds in Casti Connubii that the “sacredness of marriage which is intimately connected with religion and all that is holy, arises… from its purpose which is the begetting and education of children for God” (Casti Connubii, #60) and that all “Christian parents must also understand that they are destined… to propagate and preserve the human race on earth” (Casti Connubii, #13). Our Lord Jesus Christ, speaking through the mouth of Saint Paul in the New Testament of the Bible also connects the will to bear children to salvation, teaching that a woman: “shall be saved through child-bearing; if she continue in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety.” (1 Timothy 2:15)

The second reason why spouses must always desire to beget children before they perform the marital act (in order to be able to perform the marital act without any sin) is that all sexual acts (even marital, natural, lawful and procreative ones) are intoxicating and affects the person similar to the effect of a strong drug. In fact, the sexual act is many times more intoxicating than many drugs that are unlawful to abuse. But when people are performing the sexual act, not for the motive of begetting children, but for the sake of lust or for satisfying or quenching their fleshly desires, they are committing an act that is intrinsically sinful, selfish, and unreasonable, and are thus abusing the marital act in a similar way that a drug user abuses drugs, or a glutton abuses food. It is an inherently selfish act that are not founded on reason, but only on their unlawful, unbridled and shameful search for a carnal pleasure, similar to the action of a person that uses drugs in order to get intoxicated or high.

This is also why the Church teaches that even the normal, natural and procreative “act of marriage exercised for pleasure only” is condemned as a sin for both the married and unmarried people alike and “that those marriages will have an unhappy end which are entered upon... because of concupiscence alone, with no thought of the sacrament and of the mysteries signified by it.” (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, #12) Since the Church and the Natural Law condemns even the normal, natural and procreative marital act exercised for the motive of pleasure only, it is obvious that all sexual acts that is performed without the will to beget children are condemned by the Church as even worse sins, since they are utterly unreasonable, shameful, and selfish.

A sick person is allowed by God’s permission to take drugs in order to lessen his pain. But when this sick person uses more drugs than he needs in order to get intoxicated, or continues to use the drug after he gets well, he commits the sin of drug abuse. This is a perfect example of those who perform the marital act for the only sake of lust or for pleasing or quenching their sensual desires. They are gluttonous or overindulgent in the marital act, and are thus sinning against their reason and the Natural Law. For “the sin of lust consists in seeking venereal pleasure not in accordance with right reason...” and “lust there signifies any kind of excess.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 1)

A person who uses a drug that makes him intoxicated needs an absolutely necessary reason (such as a grave illness) to excuse his usage of the drug from being a sin, and when he does not have such an absolutely necessary excuse to excuse his drug usage, he commits the sin of drug abuse. It is exactly the same in the case of married people. When married spouses do not excuse the marital act (which is intoxicating in a way similar to a drug) with the honorable motive of begetting children, they perform an act that is inherently sinful, selfish, unreasonable, and unnatural since “the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children” and since “the act of marriage exercised for pleasure only is condemned as a sin by the Natural Law. And so, the marital act needs an absolutely necessary excuse to legitimize and make moral the inherently evil act of getting intoxicated just like one needs an excuse like a grave illness to legitimize and make moral the inherently evil act of getting intoxicated by a drug.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 49, Art. 1: “Now there is a loss of reason incidental to the union of man and woman, both because the reason is carried away entirely on account of the vehemence of the pleasure, so that it is unable to understand anything at the same time, [as in the case of intoxication of drugs] as the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 11); and again because of the tribulation of the flesh which such persons have to suffer from solicitude for temporal things (1 Corinthians 7:28). Consequently the choice of this union cannot be made ordinate except by certain compensations whereby that same union is righted, and these are the goods [procreation, sacrament and fidelity] which excuse marriage and make it right.”

Therefore, the normal, natural and procreative marital act performed for the motive of begetting children by two married spouses is the only sexual act that can be excused from sin since man knows by nature and instinct that one must excuse an act of intoxication with an absolutely necessary motive. Anything contrary to this is unnatural and evil.

An inherently evil act (such as intoxication) must always be excused with an absolutely necessary motive or purpose. Otherwise, it will always be a sin. Two examples that clearly demonstrates this fact of “excusing” an otherwise evil act are found in the case of a man injuring another person, which is excused in the case of self-defense; or as in the case of a man getting intoxicated, which is excused when a man is sick and requires this intoxication in order to get pain relief. All other inherently evil acts than what is absolutely necessary are strictly condemned as sins, since they cannot be excused with an absolutely necessary motive. For example, a man cannot hurt another man if he wants his money, or if he does not like him, and a man cannot get drunk or intoxicated just because he is sad or unhappy, for none of these excuses are absolutely necessary. Thus, these excuses are not enough by themselves to excuse these acts from being sinful. In truth, some evil acts cannot even be excused at all, such as in the case of a man suffering from hunger, but who nevertheless is never allowed to kill another person in order to get food to survive. It is thus a dogmatic fact of the Natural Law that “the generative [sexual] act is a sin unless it is excused.” (St. Bonaventure, Commentary on the Four Books of Sentences, d. 31, a. 2, q. 1) It could not be more clear from the Natural Law as well as the teachings of the Church that “Coitus is reprehensible and evil, unless it be excused” (Peter Lombard, Archbishop of Paris, Sententiarum, 3, d. 37, c. 4) and that is also why all who commit the marital act without excusing it, will always commit sin. “Therefore the marriage act also will always be evil unless it be excused...” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 49, Art. 5)

Someone might claim (in opposition to the teaching of Pope Innocent XI and the Natural Law) that the marital act for the sole purpose of pleasing or quenching one’s sexual desire or concupiscence is really necessary and allowed and not sinful because it helps people stay away from committing sins like adultery, fornication or other sexual sins, but this argument is false and easily refuted since no one will ever be so tempted that he cannot withstand the sensual temptation of the flesh. It is thus not absolutely necessary to perform the marital act for the sole purpose of quenching one’s sexual desire or concupiscence, and that is why this selfish act will always be sinful for all spouses who perform the act for this purpose. Everyone can withstand their sensual temptations with the help of God, and to say otherwise is blasphemous impiety and heresy and against God’s Holy Word, since all the unmarried must do this every day.

James 1:13-15 “Let no man, when he is tempted, say that he is tempted by God. For God is not a tempter of evils, and he tempteth no man. But every man is tempted by his own concupiscence, being drawn away and allured. Then when concupiscence hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin. But sin, when it is completed, begetteth death.”

Even the married must be able to resist their sensual temptations every time their spouse is away from them, or when their spouse is sick or unable to perform the marital act for any other reason. In the case of a grave illness, however, the reason why a person needs to take a drug that makes him intoxicated is absolutely necessary. This proves that the act of marriage for the sole reason of sexual pleasure or for the purpose of quenching concupiscence is not absolutely necessary or that this motive by itself can excuse the marital act. All spouses can obviously remain chaste if they want to but they never (or almost never) choose to do so, but this is ultimately their own fault.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 4, Chapter 83: “Now, in this life it is inordinate and sinful to make use of... venery [the gratification of sexual desire] for mere pleasure, and not for the purpose of... begetting children. And there is reason in this: since the pleasure attaching to these actions is not their end... Consequently to do these things with the sole object of pleasure is altogether out of order and unbecoming.”

Just like in the case of the person who uses drugs, one must have an absolutely necessary reason for using the drugs, such as an illness, and motives that aren’t absolutely necessary such as “love”, “pleasure” or “fun” can never be used as an excuse to excuse the marital act, just like one cannot use such unnecessary and evil excuses for the purpose of excusing one’s drug abuse. “For necessary sexual intercourse for begetting [of children] is free from blame, and itself is alone worthy of marriage. But that which goes beyond this necessity [of begetting children, such as sensual kisses and touches] no longer follows reason but lust.” (St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 11)

Thus, according to the teaching of the Church, the marital act must always be excused with the motive of procreation. The secondary motives of the marital act (such as the quenching or quieting of concupiscence) can follow the first motive of procreation, but performing the marital act for the sole motive of quenching concupiscence cannot excuse the sexual act as procreation always must excuse the sexual act.

“For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial right there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider SO LONG AS THEY ARE SUBORDINATED TO THE PRIMARY END [that is, Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, # 59, Dec. 31, 1930)

The secondary ends or motives of the marital act can thus follow after the first motive of procreation, but performing the sexual act for the sole reason of quenching concupiscence cannot excuse the act from being a sin since procreation is the only motive that always must excuse the act from being a sin, according to the teaching of the Church.

Indeed, Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself also shows us in The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 1, Chapter 26, that those couples who are lustful and perform the marital sexual act for the sole motive of pleasure without excusing it with the motive of procreation before they perform every single marital act, are sinning against His Law and He says that “such a married couple will never see my face unless they repent”, which thus means that all who do not excuse the marital sexual act with the motive of procreation will be damned unless they repent.

Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke to Saint Bridget, saying: “Those who unite with divine love and fear for the sake of procreation and to raise children for the honor of God are my spiritual temple where I wish to dwell as the third with them.” Here we see Christ Himself making it perfectly clear that those who unite in the marital sexual act “with divine love and fear for the sake of procreation and to raise children for the honor of God are my spiritual temple where I wish to dwell as the third with them”.

These words clearly shows us that God requires all spouses to excuse the marital sexual act with the motive of procreation for the act to be without sin. The reason why Our Lord only “wish to dwell as the third” with virtuous and unselfish spouses who excuse the marital act with the motive of procreation and do not commit any other sexual sins with each other, such as foreplay or sensual touches or kisses, is that those who refuse to excuse the marital act are selfish pleasure seekers; and the Holy Spirit of God cannot stand being with such spouses who willfully defile themselves. God loathes and detests all selfish, sinful and lustful acts and His “Spirit leaves them [lustful spouses] immediately and the spirit of impurity approaches instead, because they only come together for the sake of lust and do not discuss or think about anything else with each other” (Ibid) when they – just like drug addicts – selfishly intend to satisfy their lust without first excusing it with the motive of procreation.

In truth, Christ makes the point that spouses must excuse the marital sexual act with the motive of procreation (and avoid all impurity in their sexual acts) even more clear in the same Revelation when He continues to speak about damned, impure and lustful spouses who refuse to excuse the marital sexual act with the motive of procreation, teaching us about such lustful and evil spouses that:

They seek a warmth and sexual lust that will perish and love flesh that will be eaten by worms. Therefore do such people join in marriage without the bond and union of God the Father and without the Son’s love and without the Holy Spirit’s consolation. When the couple comes to bed, my Spirit leaves them immediately and the spirit of impurity approaches instead, because they only come together for the sake of lust and do not discuss or think about anything else with each other [and through this refusal to excuse the marital sexual act with the motive of procreation, such a couple is damned]. … Such a married couple will never see my face unless they repent. For there is no sin so heavy or grave that penitence and repentance does not wash it away.” (The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 1, Chapter 26)

Our Lord makes it perfectly clear in this Revelation that impure spouses who do not excuse the marital sexual act with the motive of procreation and that are only after the sexual pleasure are committing a mortal sin since He says that “Such a married couple will never see my face unless they repent. For there is no sin so heavy or grave that penitence and repentance does not wash it away”. The reason for this condemnation is that “They seek a warmth and sexual lust that will perish and love flesh that will be eaten by worms” and that “they only come together for the sake of lust and do not discuss or think about anything else with each other.” Therefore, the act of not excusing the marital act, and performing the act only for lust, is not some trifling sin according to Our Lord, but a direct mortal sin that bars a person from heaven, and thus damns a person.

This Revelation also shows us that Our Lord wants the spouses to be with each other when they perform the short prayer to God that their marital sexual act will beget children if this is His Holy Will, rather than only performing the prayer alone. Our Lord makes it perfectly clear that He wants spouses to come together before the marital act to pray to Him to grant them a child, since He condemns spouses who “do not discuss or think about anything else [than lust] with each other” before they intend to perform the marital act. Indeed, Our Lord wants spouses to pray both individually and together to Him to grant them children through their marital act if this is His holy will. In addition, this Revelation of Our Lord also shows us the inherent evil of NFP or contraception; for, since it is clear that the Church and Her Saints teaches that it is even sinful to perform the normal, natural and procreative sexual act without excusing it with the motive of procreation, even though this act is directly procreative in itself, how much more must not those who actively try to hinder procreation in a direct and material way, as in the case of those who use NFP, be guilty of a most grievous sin against God and nature?

Our Lord wants all spouses to fervently desire to beget children in order to first and foremost keep their love centered on others and being charitable to others, which is the heart of the Gospel, instead of themselves and their selfish lust; and secondly, in order to create a good environment for the newborn child. The more something is hoped and longed for, the more will also the joy and happiness be that fills the home of the newborn when a son or daughter is born to a couple, and this joy in turn will undoubtedly impact the child’s upbringing and the amount of love and affection the parents will show to their child. That is why Our Lord wants a good and loving couple to (in their thought process) first and foremost ask Our Lord to give them children by means of the marital act that they are intending to soon perform, and then, only secondly, if the spouses chooses this, consider the secondary ends of marriage “such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider SO LONG AS THEY ARE SUBORDINATED TO THE PRIMARY END [that is, Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, #59)

The Holy Bible makes it clear, though, that Our Lord wants spouses to perform the marital sexual act “only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever” rather than for the secondary purposes “such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence” that spouses can lawfully consider after the primary motive of procreation: “And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.” (Tobias 8:9)

Pope Pius XI explains that there are two criteria for spouses to even be able to consider the secondary motives of the marital act. First, spouses must always subordinate the secondary motives and may never allow them to come before the thought of wishing to beget children, since this thought always must excuse the marital act, before one can consent to the secondary motives in one’s thought. Second, spouses can only lawfully consider the secondary motives “so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved” which means that spouses are free from all sin as long as they intend to only perform the normal, natural and procreative sexual act, without any unnecessary and non-procreative forms of sexual acts (such as masturbation of self or of spouse, oral and anal sex, foreplay, and sensual touches and kisses) either by themselves or in relationship to the marital act before, during or after the act.

These passages from the Holy Bible as well as the teaching of the Popes, Fathers and the Saints of the Church makes it evident that there must be a order in the thought process when one excuses the marital sexual act. The thought of wishing to beget children that excuses the marital act must always come first in the thought process after the secondary motives or purposes. It is not only the deed of performing the marital act only for pleasure that is sinful, but also the will to do this without first excusing the sexual act with an absolutely necessary motive. So, at the moment when a person gets the thought that urges him to satisfy his sensual longing with his wife, he must first excuse this thought with the motive of procreation, before he can consent to the thought of wanting to quench his concupiscence. If the consent to the thought or wish to satisfy or quench one’s sensual desire comes first in the thought process, sin will always be committed. Thus, a husband can make a short prayer to God: “Oh, Lord, Creator of Heaven and Earth, I pray that the marital act I intend to perform with my wife beget children to your honor “in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever” if it is your Holy Will for us to have children. Amen.”

This is amply demonstrated by the Natural Law in the following example of how and in what order the thought of wishing to become intoxicated must be excused, and this example suits our purpose perfectly, since the marital sexual act is much more intoxicating that many drugs that are unlawful to abuse. For example, a person who is having a thought on Monday about something he will do on Thursday, thinks to himself that he will use a drug to get intoxicated on Thursday. Can this person think or say to himself that he will or wishes to get intoxicated on Thursday without first excusing this thought with an absolutely necessary motive, such as pain relief? Of course not. The moment a person thinks to himself that he will become intoxicated without first excusing this thought with an absolutely necessary motive, he commits an inherently evil and sinful act, since all evil acts (such as intoxication) must always first be excused by an absolutely necessary motive before consent to the act can be made in the mind. This absolutely proves that wishing to perform “the marriage act also will always be evil unless it be excused” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica) if one wishes it in the mind before one can consent to performing the actual act, or consent to the secondary and unnecessary purposes of the marital sexual act.

If a person says to himself that he will kill another person or persons tomorrow, he must first excuse this act in his thought by an absolutely necessary excuse and motive (such as just war or wishing to defend other people who are going to be attacked by evil people) before he can consent to the thought of wishing to kill another person or persons tomorrow. He cannot first think that he will harm another person without having a moral basis in his mind for consenting to such a thought. It matters not whether the person will perform the evil act today or plan to do it in the future, for it is not only the evil act that is evil and sinful, but also the consent in the mind to the evil act.

This is also why St. Augustine teaches that “The [marriage] contract is read... in the presence of all the attesting witnesses... that they marry "for the procreation of children;" and this is called the marriage contract. If it was not for this that wives were given and taken to wife, what father could without blushing give up his daughter to the lust of any man? But now, that the parents may not blush, and that they may give their daughters in honorable marriage, not to shame, the contract is read out. And what is read from it?--the clause, "for the sake of the procreation of children."” (Sermons on the New Testament, Sermon 1:22) Here we see that when two people intend to get married and have sexual relations, they must promise each other that they intend to beget children. “The [marriage] contract is read... in the presence of all the attesting witnesses... that they marry "for the procreation of children;"” If either of the two people who intend to marry each other were to consent to lustful thoughts of the one they intend to marry before they were married and excused their future sexual act with the motive of children, they would commit fornication in their mind or thought, since all who are not married commit fornication or sexual sin if they either perform the sexual act or consent to lustful thoughts.

The Holy Word of God in the Bible is indeed true when it says that “the devil has power” over all spouses who selfishly come together for the purpose of gratifying their fleshly pleasures, giving “themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding” instead of being “moved rather for love of children than for lust” when they perform the marital act that Our Lord commands. The words “as the horse and mule, which have not understanding” signifies the truth that spouses who do not first excuse their sensual thoughts with the motive of procreation before they consent to the thought of wishing to quench their concupiscence, are like beasts who go after their desires without having a rational mind, having “not understanding” of the truth that God instituted the marital sexual act for the purpose of procreation.

Tobias 6:16-17 “Then the angel Raphael said to him [Tobias]: Hear me, and I will show thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.”

There must therefore be an order in the thought process by which the person first excuses the marital sexual act with an absolutely necessary motive before consent to the act can be made in the mind and the secondary motives can be considered; and if one inverts the order and places the motive of quenching of concupiscence before the motive of begetting children in the thought process, sin will always be committed.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 59), Dec. 31, 1930: “For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial right there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider SO LONG AS THEY ARE SUBORDINATED TO THE PRIMARY END [that is, Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.”

That is also why the Holy Bible’s teaching of how spouses should think before they perform the marital sexual act is best to follow in all, for it cuts out all secondary and selfish motives, and introduces only the unselfish and good motive in the thought process: “And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.” (Tobias 8:9)

So, is it really true that each and every marital sexual act must be excused by an explicit act of the will? Yes, each act must be excused by the motive of procreation, but how each act is excused is another matter all together. One can excuse several acts by a single act. St. Thomas explains that “the intention of nature which intends the offspring must needs be referred either actually or habitually to the intention of having an offspring”, and this shows us that one can excuse several acts in the future by simply “habitually” excusing the act in one’s mind, such as by habitually thinking in one’s mind of why one performs the act, and by “habitually” praying to God for a child if this is His Holy Will.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 49, Art. 5, Reply to Objection 1, Whether the marriage act can be excused without the marriage goods?: “The offspring considered as a marriage good includes something besides the offspring as a good intended by nature. For nature intends offspring as safeguarding the good of the species, whereas the offspring as a good of the sacrament of marriage includes besides this the directing of the child to God. Wherefore the intention of nature which intends the offspring must needs be referred either actually or habitually to the intention of having an offspring, as a good of the sacrament: otherwise the intention would go no further than a creature; and this is always a sin. Consequently whenever nature alone moves a person to the marriage act, he is not wholly excused from sin, except in so far as the movement of nature is further directed actually or habitually to the offspring as a good of the sacrament. Nor does it follow that the instigation of nature is evil, but that it is imperfect unless it be further directed to some marriage good.”

Thus, when spouses have an intention to beget children “either actually or habitually”, they are free from sin when they perform the marital act. A few examples from the Natural Law also proves that one can excuse many acts in the future by a single act of the will. If a man are about to go to war and his cause is just, he have excused in his mind the act of killing another person. But if one cannot excuse several acts with one intentional act as the spouses can with the marital act, then after each time a man kills a single person in a just war, he must perform an act of excusing his killing another new person before he can continue to fight, which is absurd. Thus, a man in a just war can perform a single act of the will of excusing the killing of people before he carries out many acts of killing other people.

Furthermore, a sick person who takes intoxicating or sleeping pills must excuse the evil acts of getting intoxicated or unconscious with an absolutely necessary motive. But if it is true that one cannot excuse many acts in the future with a single act of the will, then a sick man must make an act and excuse his drug taking before each time he takes a drug, which is clearly false. So if he takes a drug each 5 min or even oftener, then he must perform an act of excusing the drug taking for each time he takes the drug, which is absurd. One can clearly understand from reason alone that all the man must do is to have it in his intention why he takes the drug, because he must think “either actually or habitually” on why he takes the drug. As long as a person knows in his conscience that it is a just and honest cause behind why he takes the drugs and thinks “either actually or habitually” on why he takes the drug, he is free from all sin. These examples clearly prove from the Natural Law that one can excuse many evil acts with a single act and motive of the will. Thus, “Just as the marriage goods, in so far as they consist in a habit, make a marriage honest and holy, so too, in so far as they are in the actual intention, they make the marriage act honest...” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 49, Art. 5)

However, while it is lawful for spouses to have an intention to perform the marital act “either actually or habitually” and to pray “either actually or habitually” to God for children, spouses who wish to please Our Lord should always pray to God before every marital sexual act in addition to praying habitually since this is a much more virtuous act, and undoubtedly will help to purify the thoughts of the spouses, as those who concentrate on a pious and pure motive, rather than a impure and lustful motive, will always be rewarded by Our Lord with grace.

The third reason why spouses must always desire to beget children before they perform the marital act (in order for the marital act to be without any sin) is that all sexual acts (even marital, natural, lawful and procreative ones) are shameful, which is why people never perform any sexual acts in front of other people. “Now men are most ashamed of venereal acts, as Augustine remarks (De Civ. Dei xiv, 18), so much so that even the conjugal act, which is adorned by the honesty of marriage, is not devoid of shame… Now man is ashamed not only of this sexual union but also of all the signs thereof, as the Philosopher observes (Rhet. Ii, 6).” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 151, Art 4)

And so, when people are performing such inherently shameful acts not governed by a will to procreate children, but rather for lustful and selfish reasons, they are sinning against the Natural Law imprinted on their hearts since “the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii) and since “the act of marriage exercised for pleasure only is condemned as a sin (Pope Innocent XI). Since the marital act is shameful by its own nature, it must be excused by a motive that is absolutely necessary – and this purpose is procreation of children.

Some people may object that there are many other events that are shameful and that are not yet inherently sinful such as soiling one’s pants or being forced to show oneself naked to other people against one’s own will. This objection, however, fails to notice the obvious difference between 1) people committing acts of lust with a desire or longing; and 2) events which are shameful but who are not desired or longed for by a person in a sensual way.

Acts of lust are acts performed for the sake of a pleasure and are performed with the will and purpose of satisfying a sensual desire while the events or acts of soiling one’s pants or being forced to show oneself naked to other people is not a desire or lust that is sought after. Thus, these people do not desire that these events should happen. If those people who endured the events of soiling their clothes or naked exhibition against their will would sensually desire or lust for that these shameful events would happen in the same way that a man or a woman lust for and desire that sexual acts or acts of lust happen, they would indeed be declared the most disgusting perverts. Who but a complete and satanic pervert would sensually desire or lust after soiling their pants or being exhibited naked? Consequently, it is not a mere shameful act or event that is sinful, but the shameful act that is performed with the intention of pleasing oneself sensually—that is sinful.

“For St. Augustine says (Soliloq. i, 10): ‘I consider that nothing so casts down the manly mind from its height as the fondling of a woman, and those bodily contacts.’” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 153, Art. 2)

St. Methodius taught that the marital act was “unseemly,” and St. Ambrose agreed with the Holy Bible that it causes a “defilement” (Leviticus 15:16). St. Augustine agreed with the Holy Bible that “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (1 Corinthians 7:1) and that sexual pleasure, lust or concupiscence for both the married and unmarried people alike are not something “good” or “praiseworthy” but are truly the “evil of concupiscence” and the “disease of concupiscence” that arose as an evil result of the original sin of Adam and Eve.

This is also why the Holy Bible urges people to remain unmarried and in a life of chastity since the married man “is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided” (1 Corinthians 7:33). The sexual pleasure is very similar to the effect of a strong drug, and drugs as we all know are very easy to become addicted to by abusing them or overindulging in them. The stronger a drug is, the more is also our spiritual life hindered, and that is why the angelic life of chastity will always be more spiritually fruitful than the marital life according to the Bible and God’s Holy Word. And so, it is clear that Holy Scripture infallibly teaches that marriage and the marital life is an impediment to the spiritual life, while the chaste and pure life “give you power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment.” (1 Corinthians 7:35)

Someone might say that it is the sexual member that is shameful or evil to expose to others, and not concupiscence or the sexual lust. But this argument is false and easily refuted since no one who is not a complete pervert would have sex in front of other people even though their whole body was covered by sheets or blankets. This proves to us that it is the sexual pleasure or concupiscence itself that is shameful and evil, and not only the exhibition of the sexual organ. For “man is ashamed not only of this sexual union but also of all the signs thereof,” (St. Thomas Aquinas) and this proves to us that not only the sensual desire is shameful, but also the very sexual act and “also of all the signs thereof”.

St. Jerome: “Thus it must be bad to touch a woman. If indulgences is nonetheless granted to the marital act, this is only to avoid something worse. But what value can be recognized in a good that is allowed only with a view of preventing something worse?”

The sexual pleasure is always an evil pleasure to experience in itself since it is a shameful and intoxicating pleasure that is very similar to the evil pleasure people experience when they abuse alcohol or drugs, and that is why it is always an evil pleasure to experience even for married couples, even though married spouses do not sin during their normal, natural and procreative marital acts, since “those who use the shameful sex appetite licitly are making good use of evil.” (St. Augustine, Anti-Pelagian Writings) St. Augustine in his book On Marriage and Concupiscence, explains this evil thus: “Wherefore the devil holds infants guilty [through original sin] who are born, not of the good by which marriage is good, but of the evil of concupiscence [lust], which, indeed, marriage uses aright, but at which even marriage has occasion to feel shame.” (Book 1, Chapter 27)

St. Augustine’s reference to the lawful use of “the shameful sex appetite” means that spouses are only allowed to engage in marital intercourse as long as they perform the act for the sake of conceiving a child. Spouses who perform the marital act without excusing it with the motive or purpose of procreation are thus “making evil use of evil” according to St. Augustine. “I do not say that the activity in which married persons engage for the purpose of begetting children is evil. As a matter of fact, I assert that it is good, because it makes good use of the evil of lust, and through this good use, human beings, a good work of God, are generated. But the action is not performed without evil [that is, intoxicating and shameful lust], and this is why the children must be regenerated in order to be delivered from evil.” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, 3.7.15) It is thus obvious that the cause of the shame that is inherent in the sexual act, as we have seen, is “the evil of the sex appetite.” (St. Augustine, Anti-Pelagian Writings)

PROCREATION IS THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE

It is a divine law, a dogma of the faith (de fide), that the primary end of marriage is procreation (bearing children) and the education of children. Pope Pius XI decrees it “is beyond the power of any human law” to teach otherwise.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 8), Dec. 31, 1930: “To take away from man the natural and primeval right of marriage, to circumscribe in any way the principal ends of marriage laid down in the beginning by God Himself in the words ‘Increase and multiply,’ is beyond the power of any human law. … This is also expressed succinctly in the [1917] Code of Canon Law [Canon 1013]: ‘The primary end [or purpose] of marriage is the procreation and the education of children.’”

A Practical Commentary on Canon 1013 explains that: “there can be no controversy over the primary object of marriage. The perpetuation of the human race is willed by the Creator, who from the creation of mankind appointed the means for this purpose… The Holy Office condemned the opinion defended by some recent authors who deny that the procreation of children is the primary end of matrimony, and regard its secondary ends not subordinate to its primary end but independent of it.” (April 1, 1944; Acta Ap. Sedis, XXXVI, 103.)

It could not be more clear from both the Natural Law as well as the teachings of the Church that “The primary purpose of marriage is the procreation and education of children.” (The 1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 1013) Therefore, it is heresy to teach that procreation and education of children is not the only primary end of marriage. Any deliberate plan by man to frustrate the marital act by attempting to make conception impossible is a grave sin against this primary purpose of marriage.

The 1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 1081: “The matrimonial consent is an act of will by which each party gives and accepts the perpetual and exclusive right to the body for the performance of actions that of their nature pertain to the procreation of children.”

A Practical Commentary on Canon 1081 explains that: “The Canon, in specifying the purpose for which the right to the body exchanged, also indicates what is lawful and what is unlawful in this matter for married persons. Whatever contributes to the procreation of children is licit, while whatever use of each other’s body impedes procreations is illicit.” Any plan by spouses to prevent conception when they engage in the marital act is illicit. Since it impedes procreation, it does not contribute to the procreation of children, but works against it.

THE TEACHING OF THE SOLEMN AND INFALLIBLE MAGISTERIUM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CONDEMNS ALL FORMS OF BIRTH CONTROL AS WELL AS THE INTENTION THAT IS OPPOSED TO PROCREATING CHILDREN AS A MORTAL SIN AGAINST NATURE

A pope can teach infallibly, not just in matters of faith, but also in matters of morals.

Pope Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Session 4, Chapter 4. Definition of infallibility: “… we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, 1. in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, 2. in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, 3. he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable. So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.”

A doctrine of faith or morals becomes part of the Solemn (Extraordinary) Magisterium when a pope infallibly defines it and hence makes it a dogma of faith or morals. Not only the Ordinary Magisterium (non-infallibly defined doctrines) but also the Solemn Magisterium (dogmas of faith), by an infallible definition from Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Casti Connubii in 1930, condemns the contraceptive intent and hence any method used to carry out that intent (which includes any new methods that science and medicine had not yet invented, such as birth control pills that were introduced to the public in the early 1960’s.)

Casti Connubii is an encyclical addressed to the entire Church. In this encyclical, Pius XI plainly states what the Faith of the Church is on Christian Marriage. When a Pope plainly and authoritatively states what the Faith of the Church is in an encyclical to the entire Church, that represents the teaching of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium, to which a Catholic is bound. His teaching shows that all forms of birth prevention are evil. (We quote a long excerpt from his encyclical which sums up the issue below.) In addition, there is solemn language used by Pope Pius XI in Casti Connubii which constitutes a solemn and infallible (ex cathedra) pronouncement. Note the bolded and underlined portions.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (#’s 53-56), Dec. 31, 1930: “And now, Venerable Brethren, we shall explain in detail the evils opposed to each of the benefits of matrimony. First consideration is due to the offspring, which many have the boldness to call the disagreeable burden of matrimony and which they say is to be carefully avoided by married people not through virtuous continence (which Christian law permits in matrimony when both parties consent) but by frustrating the marriage act. Some justify this criminal abuse on the ground that they are weary of children and wish to gratify their desires without their consequent burden. Others say that they cannot on the one hand remain continent nor on the other can they have children because of the difficulties whether on the part of the mother or on the part of the family circumstances.

But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural powers and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.

“Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, ‘Intercourse even with one’s legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Judah, did this and the Lord killed him for it (Gen. 38:8-10).’

Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine regarding this question, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, TO WHOM GOD HAS ENTRUSTED THE DEFENSE OF THE INTEGRITY AND PURITY OF MORALS, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: ANY USE WHATSOEVER 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 A GRAVE SIN.”

These sentences fulfill the conditions of an infallible teaching regarding a doctrine of morals. The Pope is addressing the Universal Church, “the Catholic Church.” He makes it clear he is proclaiming a truth, “Our mouth proclaims.” The topic deals with morals, “the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and the purity of morals.” And lastly, he binds Catholics to this teaching under pain of grave sin, “those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.” This is infallible, ex cathedra language; anyone who denies this simply doesn’t know what he is talking about. This also serves to refute those many voices today who say things such as: “there have only been two infallible statements in Church history, the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception.” That is complete nonsense, of course, but one hears it quite frequently.

One can see that Pope Pius XI condemns all forms of contraception as mortally sinful because they frustrate the marriage act. Does this condemn NFP? Yes it does, but the defenders of Natural Family Planning say “no.” They argue that in using Natural Family Planning to avoid conception they are not deliberately frustrating the marriage act or designedly depriving it of its natural power to procreate life, as is done with artificial contraceptives. They argue that NFP is “natural.”

Common sense should tell those who deeply consider this topic that these arguments are specious because NFP has as its entire purpose the avoidance of conception. However, the attempted justification for NFP – the claim that it doesn’t interfere with the marriage act itself and is therefore permissible – must be specifically refuted. This claim is specifically refuted by a careful look at the teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage and ITS PRIMARY PURPOSE. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church on the primary purpose of marriage (and the marriage act) which condemns NFP.

Catholic dogma teaches us that the primary purpose of marriage (and the conjugal act) is the procreation and education of children.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 17), Dec. 31, 1930: “The primary end of marriage is the procreation and the education of children.”

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 54), Dec. 31, 1930: “Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural powers and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.”

Besides this primary purpose, there are also secondary purposes for marriage, such as mutual aid, the quieting of concupiscence and the cultivating of mutual love. But these secondary purposes must always remain subordinate to the primary purpose of marriage (the procreation and education of children). This is the key point to remember in the discussion on NFP.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 59), Dec. 31, 1930: “For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial right there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider SO LONG AS THEY ARE SUBORDINATED TO THE PRIMARY END [that is, Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.”

Therefore, even though NFP does not directly interfere with the marriage act itself, as its defenders love to stress, it makes no difference. NFP is condemned because it subordinates the primary end (or purpose) of marriage and the marriage act (the procreation and education of children) to the secondary ends.

NFP subordinates the primary end of marriage to other things, by deliberately attempting to avoid children (i.e., to avoid the primary end) while having marital relations. NFP therefore inverts the order established by God Himself. It does the very thing that Pope Pius XI solemnly teaches may not lawfully be done. And this point crushes all of the arguments made by those who defend NFP; because all of the arguments made by those who defend NFP focus on the marriage act itself, while they blindly ignore the fact that it makes no difference if a couple does not interfere with the act itself if they subordinate and thwart the primary PURPOSE of marriage.

To summarize, therefore, the only difference between artificial contraception and NFP is that artificial contraception frustrates the power of the marriage act itself, while NFP frustrates its primary purpose (by subordinating the procreation of children to other things).

THE HOLY BIBLE INFALLIBLY CONDEMNS ALL FORMS OF BIRTH CONTROL AND TEACHES THAT BOTH THE INTENTION AS WELL THE ACT AGAINST PROCREATION OF CHILDREN IS DAMNABLE AND A MORTAL SIN

The best example of God’s utter hatred and detestation of all those who perform the marital act while trying to thwart the procreation of the children that God wanted to bless them with, is found in The Book of Genesis, where God Himself directly killed a man named Onan for practicing contraception. The reason Onan in The Book of Genesis was killed was because “He knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother’s wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother’s name.” Notice how clearly the biblical text shows that the reason he did this “detestable thing” was “lest children should be born in his brother’s name”, thus showing us that the act of performing the marital act while taking steps to hinder procreation is hated by God. This absolutely proves that the act of trying to hinder conception (in action or thought) is condemned and sinful according to God’s Holy Law.

Genesis 38:8-10 “Juda, therefore said to Onan his son: ‘Go in to thy brother’s wife and marry her, that thou mayst raise seed to thy brother.’ He knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother’s wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother’s name. And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.”

What deed was Onan killed for by God? Obviously, he was killed for the wicked and selfish deed of having sexual relations while practicing contraception; and for being against conception; for, “As St. Augustine notes, ‘Intercourse even with one’s legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Judah, did this and the Lord killed him for it (Gen. 38:8-10).’” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii # 55; St. Augustine, De Conjugiis Adulterinis, Book II, Chapter 12)

Since Onan wanted to selfishly and lustfully enjoy the sex act without intending having children as God’s holy law requires, the evil angel Asmodeus that kills lustful and wicked people, was permitted by God to slay him (cf. Tobias 3:8). Haydock commentary explains: “[Genesis 38] Ver. 10. Slew him, perhaps by the hand of evil angels, Psalm lxxvii. 49. Asmodeus, &c., who slew the libidinous husbands of Sara. (Tobias iii. 7[8].) (Menochius)”

In addition to this irrefutable biblical example from The Book of Genesis that shows that contraceptive marital sexual acts are hated by God, we read in the biblical Book of Tobias or Tobit (which not surprisingly is missing from most protestant “bible” versions, whereas in the few versions they are included, these verses shown below are nevertheless missing) that the holy youth Tobias was explicitly commanded by almighty God through the Archangel Raphael to never perform the marital act for the sake of lust and that “thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children.”

Tobias who was a holy and virtuous person consented to this admonishment by the holy angel and answered God in his prayer that “not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity”.

The Holy Bible, Tobias 6:22; 8:9 “And when the third night is past, thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children… [Tobias said:] And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.”

This makes it perfectly clear that spouses must approach the marital sexual act with a will to beget children “moved rather for love of children than for lust” as well as with a “fear of the Lord” so that they do not allow their lust to erupt or gain a control over their minds by acts of non-procreative, unlawful or excessive sexual acts, such as sensual kisses and touches between two married spouses performed “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss” which is condemned as a mortal sin for both the married and the unmarried people alike (Pope Alexander VII, Various Errors on Morals Condemned in Decree #40, September 24, 1665; Denz. 1140).

The holy youth Tobias approached his bride Sara after three days of prayer in chastity and abstinence from the marital act, not for fleshly lust but only for the love of posterity, having been instructed by the Archangel Raphael that to engage in the marital act he shall “be moved rather for love of children than for lust”.

According to God’s will, spouses are to engage in the marital act for the “love of posterity” (children), not for lust. No, contrary to what most people today say, the Holy Bible is clear that spouses are to come together “only for the love of posterity” if they want to please Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Word of God in the Bible is indeed true when it says that “the devil has power” over all spouses who selfishly come together for the purpose of gratifying their fleshly pleasures, giving “themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding” instead of being “moved rather for love of children than for lust” when they perform the marital act that Our Lord commands.

Tobias 6:16-17 “Then the angel Raphael said to him [Tobias]: Hear me, and I will show thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.”

Haydock Commentary adds about: “Verse 17. Mule, which are very libidinous, [Showing excessive sexual drive; lustful.] Psalm xiii.”

The interesting thing about the sexual connection of a horse and a mule is that they cannot produce offspring, thus making their sexual relations completely sterile and unproductive. So what does this mean for marriage? It means that this verse alone proves that God’s Holy Word in the Bible condemns as sinful and unlawful all human sexual relations or acts that (1) are performed for the sole sake of lust; (2) that cannot produce offspring naturally (not referring to natural infertility or defects); and (3) that are done with an intention or mindset opposed to procreating offspring. St. Paul in the New Testament also connects the will to bear children to salvation, teaching that a woman: “shall be saved through child-bearing; if she continue in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety.” (1 Timothy 2:15)

We also see in The Book of Tobit that the Holy Bible teaches that both the intention as well as the act against procreation of children is damnable and a mortal sin since we see described in the Bible that the devil is able to both gain control and prevail over those vile and wretched people who commit lustful acts of birth control either in thought or deed. And so, it is certain that all spouses who are opposed to procreation while at the same time desiring to perform the marital act are committing a mortal sin. In truth, “I will show thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail” and who “give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding” that the “the devil hath power” over. “For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.” (Tobias 6:16-17)

God’s words are clear. Spouses are to engage in the marital act moved rather for love of children than for lust. So when a married couple goes out of its way to avoid children by deliberately avoiding the fertile times and restricting the marriage act exclusively to infertile times, they are committing a sin against nature – they are sinning against the God whom they know sends life. NFP is therefore a sin against God and nature, since God is the author of life, and NFP thwarts His designs. This is so obvious that one can only marvel at how utterly unreasonable and stupid all those NFP defenders are who claim that one can practice birth control in one way, but not in another; and that by doing it in one way (which they deem lawful) one is not committing a sin, but while doing it in another way (which they deem unlawful) one is committing a sin! But is not the motive, purpose or intention exactly the same in both cases? Of course they are! How then can one be lawful and the other not lawful? Greater stupidity and unreasonable thinking is hard to imagine!

It is not a complicated matter to understand that using Natural Family Planning to avoid pregnancy is wrong. It is written on man’s heart that such activity is wrong. It is also clear from the infallible word of God and the Bible that all forms of birth control are inherently evil and against nature.

Genesis 30:1-2 “And Rachel seeing herself without children, envied her sister, and said to her husband: ‘Give me children, otherwise I shall die.’ And Jacob being angry with her, answered: ‘Am I as God, who hath deprived thee of the fruit of thy womb?’”

We all know that God is the One who opens the womb, the One who killeth and maketh alive. “The Lord also remembering Rachel, heard her, and opened her womb.” (Genesis 30:22) In truth, “The Lord killeth and maketh alive, he bringeth down to hell, and bringeth back again.” (1 Kings 2:6)

So why would a woman who desires to fulfill the will of God make a systematic effort to avoid God sending her a new life? What excuse could such a person possibly make for going out of her way to calculate how to have marital relations without getting pregnant with the child God was going to send? Why would a woman (or a man) who believes that God opens the womb try to avoid His opening of the womb by a meticulous and organized effort, involving charts, cycles and thermometers? The answer is that those who engage in such behavior as NFP selfishly turn from God (which is the essence of sin) and refuse to be open to His will.

God, and not man, is the only one that can lawfully decide whether a couple shall receive a child or not. Can you imagine what Jacob would have said to Rachel if she had discovered a new way to avoid “the Lord opening her womb?” He would probably have rebuked her as an infidel.

Is the purpose of marriage to have children? Yes. The answer to this question can be found right in The Holy Bible. “And God blessed them saying: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Genesis 1:28) “Be fruitful and multiply” is a command of God, indeed the first command to a married couple. Birth control obviously involves disobedience to this command, for birth control attempts to prevent being fruitful and multiplying. Therefore birth control is evil, because it involves disobedience to the Word of God. Nowhere is this command done away with in the entire Bible; therefore it still remains valid for us today.

Contrary to the many heretics of our times, The Holy Bible does have quite a lot to say about the greatness and blessing of receiving children from God. The Bible presents children as a gift from God (Genesis 4:1; Genesis 33:5), a heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3-5), a blessing from God (Luke 1:42), and a crown to the aged (Proverbs 17:6). God sometimes blesses barren women with children (Psalm 113:9; Genesis 21:1-3; 25:21-22; 30:1-2; 1 Samuel 1:6-8; Luke 1:7, 24-25). God forms children in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16). God knows children before their birth (Jeremiah 1:5; Galatians 1:15).”

Birth control is a contravention of God’s purpose for marriage and that all children conceived during routine sexual intercourse (without regard to time of the month during the ovulation cycle or other matters) should be welcomed as blessings. Based upon Bible verses that describe God acting to “open and close the womb” (see Genesis 20:18, 29:31, 30:22; 1 Samuel 1:5-6; Isaiah 66:9), all members of the Christian Church must believe that Divine Providence alone should control how many and how often children are conceived and born. It is a sad fact of our times, but use of birth control is directly and intimately connected with modern feminism, an anti-child mentality, worldliness, as well as abortion, because birth control is used for the same reasons why a woman aborts her child. When people who use birth control get pregnant, the chance for them getting an abortion is undoubtedly much higher than for those good and virtuous spouses who wish to get a child.

If you were to list all the reasons why so called Christians use birth control, you would see that they are the same reasons why a woman aborts her child. The number one reason (according to all studies ever done) a woman aborts her child is because the child is an inconvenience. The child interferes with the mother’s (or the father’s) pursuit of happiness or possessions. When we use birth control, we are embracing the same anti-child mentality. We are saying that our pursuit of so called happiness, our pursuit of possessions, is more important than obeying God. The question is, “How can we abrogate God’s design for marriage and expect to really be happy?”

The first thing we must recognize is that children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3-5). They are not burdens to bear, but blessings to receive with joy. From a biblical perspective, every married couple should “expect” to have children and at least be prepared for the possibility. The inability to have children was considered a curse, and the ability to conceive a joy. No one was ever recorded in the Bible as being unhappy about bearing children.

THE NATURAL LAW AND THE POPES AND FATHERS OF THE CHURCH INFALLIBLY AND UNANIMOUSLY CONDEMNS ALL SPOUSES WHO DO NOT EXCUSE THEIR SEXUAL ACTS WITH THE MOTIVE OF PROCREATION, OR WHO PRACTICE BIRTH CONTROL, OR WHO DO NOT INTEND TO BEGET CHILDREN WHEN THEY MARRY AND DESIRE TO HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS

There are three main reasons why NFP as well as all other contraceptive acts, whether in deed or thought, are mortally sinful according to the teaching of the Natural Law, the Holy Bible, Apostolic Tradition, as well as all the Popes, Fathers and Saints of the Church. The first is that spouses must always excuse the sexual act with the motive of children. The second reason is that the Holy Fathers, Popes and Saints of the Catholic Church unanimously condemns all forms of birth control and contraception (in deed as well as in thought) as intrinsically evil and mortally sinful. Third, we must also learn about the truth that people who choose to get married (and that desire to have sexual relations) must also desire to beget and educate children for the glory and honor of God.

Since the Fathers of the Church unanimously teaches these three doctrines (as we will see) concerning marriage and the marital act, this means that these doctrines are infallible according to the councils of Trent and Vatican I. A doctrine of faith or morals that is taught by “the unanimous consent of the Fathers” is part of the Solemn Magisterium of the Church. The Catholic Church infallibly teaches that all biblical doctrines that have been held by the unanimous consensus of the Church Fathers are true and hence, binds all Catholics to believe them also.

Pope Pius IX, First Vatican Council, Session 2, January 6th, 1870, ex cathedra: “I, Pius, bishop of the Catholic Church, with firm faith... accept Sacred Scripture according to that sense which Holy mother Church held and holds, since it is her right to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures; nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.”

The Council of Trent in the 16th century was the first to infallibly define that a consensus can indeed make a doctrine part of the Church’s Solemn Magisterium. And it was the first to infallibly define that the only kind of consensus that can do this is the unanimous consensus of the Church Fathers.

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session 4, AD 1546, ex cathedra: “Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, It decrees, that no one, relying on his own skill, shall, in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church, whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures, hath held and doth hold; or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers; even though such interpretations were never (intended) to be at any time published. Contraveners [that is, those who oppose or contradict this] shall be made known by their Ordinaries, and be punished with the penalties by law established.”

As we will see, the unanimous consent of the Fathers, and therefore the Solemn Magisterium, condemns the contraceptive intent and hence any method used to carry out that intent (which includes the new methods that modern science has invented, such as NFP, foams, and birth control pills).

All the fathers and saints teach that the sin of contraception is committed in thought (intent) as well as in deed. St. Augustine sums it up well: “I am supposing, then, although you are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed...” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence 1:15:17, A.D. 419)

The intent, plan, deed, desire, or prayer (thought or wish) that conception does not occur during conjugal relations is when and where the mortal sin of contraception is first committed, even if no contraceptive method is used, because “evil thoughts are an abomination to the Lord.” (Proverbs 15:26) Spouses who are having marital relations must always desire to beget children (and cannot be against it in their will, thoughts or actions), even if for some reason it is humanly impossible to beget children. This is the unanimous teaching of the Fathers and of the Saints.

1. The Church and the fathers infallibly and unanimously teach that all sexual acts must be excused by the motive of procreation

First, the Holy Fathers of the Church all agree with the Holy Scriptures and the Magisterium of the Church that every marital sexual act must be excused by the motive of procreation before spouses can lawfully perform the act, thus making this doctrine infallible since the “unanimous consent of the Fathers” in a doctrinal matter is the official teaching of the Church.

St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 198 A.D.): “To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature.” (The Paedagogus or The Instructor, Book II, Chapter X.--On the Procreation and Education of Children)

St. Caesarius of Arles (c. 468-542 A.D.): “AS OFTEN AS HE KNOWS HIS WIFE WITHOUT A DESIRE FOR CHILDREN...WITHOUT A DOUBT HE COMMITS SIN.” (W. A. Jurgens, The Faith of The Early Fathers, Vol. 3: 2233)

St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, A.D. 419: “It is one thing not to lie [with one’s wife] except with the sole will of generating [children]: this has no fault. It is another to seek the pleasure of the flesh in lying, although within the limits of marriage: this has venial fault [that is, venial sin as long as one is not against procreation].” (Book I, Chapter 17.--What is Sinless in the Use of Matrimony? What is Attended With Venial Sin, and What with Mortal?)

St. Jerome, Against Jovinian, A.D. 393: “But I wonder why he [the heretic Jovinianus] set Judah and Tamar before us for an example, unless perchance even harlots give him pleasure; or Onan, who was slain because he grudged his brother seed. Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children? … He who is too ardent a lover of his own wife is an adulterer [of his God and of his wife].” (Book 1, Section 20; 40)

St. Augustine, De Conjugiis Adulterinis, A.D. 396: “Since, therefore, the institution of marriage exists for the sake of generation, for this reason did our forebears enter into the union of wedlock and lawfully take to themselves their wives, only because of the duty to beget children.” (Book II, Chapter 12)

Pope St. Clement of Rome (1st century A.D.): “But this kind of chastity is also to be observed, that sexual intercourse must not take place heedlessly and for the sake of mere pleasure, but for the sake of begetting children. And since this observance is found even amongst some of the lower animals, it were a shame if it be not observed by men, reasonable, and worshiping God.” (Recognitions of Clement, Chapter XII, Importance of Chastity)

St. Caesarius of Arles (c. 470-543 A.D.), Sermon 42:4 : “If it is a sin for a man to be intimate with his wife except through a desire for children, [when they perform the normal, natural and procreative marital act] what can men think or what hope can they promise themselves, if being married, they commit adultery? By this means they descend to the depths of hell, refusing to hear the Apostle when he says: ‘The time is short; it remains that those who have wives be as if they had none’; [1 Cor. 7:29] and: ‘every one of you learn how to possess his vessel in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who have no hope.’ [1 Thess. 4:4,5,12]”

Athenagoras the Athenian (c. 175 A.D.): “Therefore, having the hope of eternal life, we despise the things of this life, even to the pleasures of the soul, each of us reckoning her his wife whom he has married according to the laws laid down by us, and that only for the purpose of having children. For as the husbandman throwing the seed into the ground awaits the harvest, not sowing more upon it, so to us the procreation of children is the measure of our indulgence in appetite.” (A Plea For the Christians, Chapter XXXIII.--Chastity of the Christians with Respect to Marriage)

St. Finnian of Clonard (470-549 A.D.), The Penitential of Finnian, #46: “We advise and exhort that there be continence in marriage, since marriage without continence is not lawful, but sin, and [marriage] is permitted by the authority of God not for lust but for the sake of children, as it is written, ‘And the two shall be in one flesh,’ that is, in unity of the flesh for the generation of children, not for the lustful concupiscence of the flesh.”

St. Athanasius the Great (c. 296-373 A.D.), On the Moral Life: “Marriage is good, as long as sexual relations are for procreation and not for pleasure. … The law of nature recognizes the act of procreation: have relations with your wife only for the sake of procreation, and keep yourself from relations of pleasure.”

St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215 A.D.): “For it [the Holy Scripture] regards it not right that this [sexual intercourse] should take place either in wantonness or for hire like harlots, but only for the birth of children.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book II, Chapter XVIII.--The Mosaic Law the Fountain of All Ethics, and the Source from Which the Greeks Drew Theirs)

St. Augustine, Against Faustus 22:30, A.D. 400: “For thus the eternal law, that is, the will of God creator of all creatures, taking counsel for the conservation of natural order, not to serve lust, but to see to the preservation of the race, permits the delight of mortal flesh to be released from the control of reason in copulation only to propagate progeny.”

Lactantius, The Divine Institutes 5:8, A.D. 307: “There would be no adulteries, and debaucheries, and prostitution of women, if it were known to all, that whatever is sought beyond the desire of procreation is condemned by God.”

Lactantius, The Epitome of the Divine Institutes, A.D. 314: “Moreover, the passion of lust is implanted and innate in us for the procreation of children; but they who do not fix its limits in the mind use it for pleasure only. Thence arise unlawful loves, thence adulteries and debaucheries, thence all kinds of corruption. These passions, therefore, must be kept within their boundaries and directed into their right course [for the procreation of children], in which, even though they should be vehement, they cannot incur blame.” (Chapter LXI.--Of the Passions)

Lactantius, The Epitome of the Divine Institutes, A.D. 314: “Let lust not go beyond the marriage-bed, but be subservient to the procreation of children. For a too great eagerness for pleasure both produces danger and generates disgrace, and that which is especially to be avoided, leads to eternal death. Nothing is so hateful to God as an unchaste mind and an impure soul.” (Chapter LXII.--Of Restraining the Pleasures of the Senses)

Apostolic Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, A.D. 375: “And fornication is the destruction of one’s own flesh, not being made use of for the procreation of children, but entirely for the sake of pleasure, which is a mark of incontinency, and not a sign of virtue. All these things are forbidden by the laws;” (The Sacred Writings of Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Book V, Chap. XXVIII)

Apostolic Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, A.D. 375: “When the natural purgations do appear in the wives, let not their husbands approach them, out of regard to the children to be begotten; for the law has forbidden it, for it says: "Thou shalt not come near thy wife when she is in her separation." [Lev. xviii. 19; Ezek. xviii. 6.] Nor, indeed, let them frequent their wives’ company when they are with child. For they do this not for the begetting of children, but for the sake of pleasure. Now a lover of God ought not to be a lover of pleasure.” (The Sacred Writings of Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Book V, Chap. XXVIII)

St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 198 A.D.): “Marriage in itself merits esteem and the highest approval, for the Lord wished men to "be fruitful and multiply." [Gen. 1:28] He did not tell them, however, to act like libertines, nor did He intend them to surrender themselves to pleasure as though born only to indulge in sexual relations. Let the Educator (Christ) put us to shame with the word of Ezekiel: "Put away your fornications." [Eze. 43:9] Why, even unreasoning beasts know enough not to mate at certain times. To indulge in intercourse without intending children is to outrage nature, whom we should take as our instructor.” (The Paedagogus or The Instructor, Book II, Chapter X.--On the Procreation and Education of Children)

St. Augustine, On The Good of Marriage, Section 11, A.D. 401: “For necessary sexual intercourse for begetting [of children] is free from blame, and itself is alone worthy of marriage. But that which goes beyond this necessity [of begetting children] no longer follows reason but lust.”

Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 597 A.D.): “Lawful copulation of the flesh ought therefore to be for the purpose of offspring, not of pleasure; and intercourse of the flesh should be for the sake of producing children, and not a satisfaction of frailties.” (Epistles of St. Gregory the Great, To Augustine, Bishop of the Angli [English], Book XI, Letter 64)

St. Jerome, A.D. 387: “The activities of marriage itself, if they are not modest and do not take place under the eyes of God as it were, so that the only intention is children, are filth and lust.” (Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, Book III, Chapter 5:21)

St. Maximus the Confessor (c. 580-662 A.D.): “Again, vice is the wrong use of our conceptual images of things, which leads us to misuse the things themselves. In relation to women, for example, sexual intercourse, rightly used, has as its purpose the begetting of children. He, therefore, who seeks in it only sensual pleasure uses it wrongly, for he reckons as good what is not good. When such a man has intercourse with a woman, he misuses her. And the same is true with regard to other things and one’s conceptual images of them.” (Second Century on Love, 17; Philokalia 2:67-68)

St. Maximus the Confessor (c. 580-662 A.D.): “There are also three things that impel us towards evil: passions, demons, and sinfulness of intention. Passions impel us when, for example, we desire something beyond what is reasonable, such as food which is unnecessary or untimely, or a woman who is not our wife or for a purpose other than procreation.” (Second Century on Love, 33; Philokalia 2:71)

St. John Damascene (c. 675-749 A.D.): “The procreation of children is indeed good, enjoined by the law; and marriage is good on account of fornications, for it does away with these, and by lawful intercourse does not permit the madness of desire to be inflamed into unlawful acts. Marriage is good for those who have no continence; but virginity, which increases the fruitfulness of the soul and offers to God the seasonable fruit of prayer, is better. "Marriage is honourable and the bed undefiled, but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" [Hebrews 13:4].” (St. John of Damascus, also known as St. John Damascene, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book IV, Chap. 24)

Gratian, Medieval Marriage Law (c. 1140 A.D.): “Also, Jerome, [on Ephesians 5:25]: C. 14. The procreation of children in marriage is praiseworthy, but a prostitute’s sensuality is damnable in a wife. So, as we have said, the act is conceded in marriage for the sake of children. But the sensuality found in a prostitute’s embraces is damnable in a wife.”

Venerable Luis de Granada (A.D. 1505-1588): “Those that be married must examine themselves in particular, if in their mind thinking of other persons, or with intention not to beget children, but only for carnal delight, or with extraordinary touchings and means, they have sinned against the end, and honesty of marriage.” (A Spiritual Doctrine, containing a rule to live well, with divers prayers and meditations, p. 362)

Thus, as we have seen, the “unanimous consent of the Fathers” in this matter infallibly teaches that every single marital sexual act must be excused by the motive of procreation before one performs the act; and that is also why anyone who dares to deny this, must be regarded as an excommunicated heretic since he denies not only the Natural Law and an infallibly defined dogma of the Church, but also the infallible teachings of Trent and Vatican I, which explicitly declared that the “unanimous consent of the Fathers” in any doctrinal matter is the official teaching of the Church.

2. The Church and the fathers infallibly and unanimously condemns all forms of birth control as evil and a mortal sin

Second, we must also learn about the truth about that the Holy Fathers, Popes and Saints of the Catholic Church unanimously condemns all forms of birth control and contraception (in deed as well as in thought) as not only intrinsically evil and mortally sinful, but also as an act worthy of hellfire, since it is of the divine law that “the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii). Thus, anything or any act that is opposed to the primary end of marriage, is a sin against nature.

St. Augustine, De Conjugiis Adulterinis, Book II, Chapter 12, A.D. 396: “… intercourse, even with one’s lawfully wedded spouse, can take place in an unlawful and shameful manner, whenever the conception of offspring is avoided. Onan, the son of Juda, did this very thing, and the Lord slew him on that account. Therefore, the procreation of children is itself the primary, natural, legitimate purpose of marriage. Whence it follows that those who marry because of their inability to remain continent ought not to so temper their vice that they preclude the good of marriage, which is the procreation of children.

St. Epiphanius, Medicine Chest Against Heresies, A.D. 375: “They [certain Egyptian heretics] exercise genital acts, yet prevent the conceiving of children. Not in order to produce offspring, but to satisfy lust, are they eager for corruption.” (Panarion or Medicine Chest Against Heresies, Book I, Chapter 26:5:2.--Epiphanius Against the Gnostics, or Borborites)

St. Epiphanius, Medicine Chest Against Heresies, A.D. 375: “There are those who when they have intercourse deliberately prevent having children. They indulge in pleasure not for the sake of offspring but to satisfy their passion. To such an extent has the devil deceived these wretched people that they betray the work of God by perverting it to their own deceits. Moreover, they are so willing to satisfy their carnal desires as to pollute each other with impure seed, by which offspring is not conceived but by their own will evil desires are satisfied.” (Panarion or Medicine Chest Against Heresies, Book I, Chapter 26:5:2-3.--Epiphanius Against the Gnostics, or Borborites)

St. Clement of Alexandria, The Paedagogus (c. 198 A.D.): “Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted.” (The Paedagogus or The Instructor, Book II, Chapter X.--On the Procreation and Education of Children)

St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew 28:5, A.D. 391: “… and that which is sweet, and universally desirable, the having of children, they esteem grievous and unwelcome. Many at least with this view have even paid money to be childless, and have mutilated nature, not only killing the newborn, but even acting to prevent their beginning to live [by birth control methods such as NFP or contraception].”

St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 24, A.D. 391: “Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit [NFP], where there are medicines of sterility [oral contraceptives], where there is murder before birth? [birth prevention] You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderess as well… Indeed, it is something worse than murder, and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gift of God and fight with his [natural] laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder...”

St. Caesarius of Arles [A.D. 468-542], Sermon 51:4: “They sin still more grievously when they kill the children who are already conceived or born, and when by taking impious drugs to prevent conception they condemn in themselves the nature which God wanted to be fruitful. Let them not doubt that they have committed as many murders as the number of the children they might have begotten. … As many as they kill after they are already conceived or born, before the tribunal of the eternal Judge they will be held guilty of so many murders. If women attempt to kill the children within them by evil medicines, and themselves die in the act, they become guilty of three crimes on their own: suicide, spiritual adultery, and murder of the unborn child.”

St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 1:12, A.D. 522: “Who is he who cannot warn that no woman may take a potion so that she is unable to conceive or condemns in herself the nature which God willed to be fecund? As often as she could have conceived or given birth, of that many homicides she will be held guilty, and, unless she undergoes suitable penance, she will be damned by eternal death in Hell. If a woman does not wish to have children, let her enter into a religious agreement with her husband; for chastity is the sole sterility of a Christian woman.”

St. Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9:7, A.D. 225: “Whence women, reputed believers, began to resort to drugs for producing sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time!

St. Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9:12, A.D. 225: “… the so-called faithful want no children [but want to have sexual relations]… [so] they use drugs of sterility or bind themselves tightly in order to expel a fetus which has already been engendered.”

John the Faster, Patriarch John IV of Constantinople (6th century): “If someone to satisfy his lust or in deliberate hatred does something to a man or woman so that no children be born of him or her, or gives them to drink (pharmakon), so that he cannot generate or she conceive, let it be held as homicide.” (Penitential of John IV Nesteutes)

St. John Climacus (c. 525-606 A.D.): “God neither caused nor created evil and, therefore, those who assert that certain passions come naturally to the soul are quite wrong. What they fail to realize is that we have taken natural attributes of our own and turned them into passions. For instance, the seed which we have for the sake of procreating children [which is the natural attribute of the sexual act] is abused by us for the sake of fornication [or by any sexual act without intending having children].” (The Ladder of Divine Ascent, "Step 26: On Discernment," by St. John Climacus, p. 251)

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, Book VI, Chapter 23, A.D. 307: “God gave us eyes not to see and desire pleasure, but to see acts to be performed for the needs of life; so too, the genital [generating] part of the body, as the name itself teaches, has been received by us for no other purpose than the generation of offspring.

St. Jerome, Letter 22:13, To Eustochium, A.D. 384: “Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception.”

St. Caesarius of Arles [A.D. 468-542], Sermon 44: “Moreover, women must not take diabolical draughts [contraceptive drugs] with the purpose of not being able to conceive children. A woman who does this ought to realize that she will be guilty of as many murders as the number of children she might have borne.”

St. Epiphanius, Medicine Chest Against Heresies, A.D. 375: “The like of this fornication and licentiousness may be seen in the extremely dreadful snake the ancients called the pangless viper. For the nature of such a viper is similar to the wickedness of these people. In performing their filthy act either with men or with women they forbear insemination, rendering impossible the procreation God has given his creatures—as the apostle says, "receiving in themselves the recompense of their error which was meet" [Rom. 1:27], and so on.” (Panarion or Medicine Chest Against Heresies, Book I, Chapter 26:5:19:2-3.--Epiphanius Against the Gnostics, or Borborites)

St. Epiphanius, Medicine Chest Against Heresies, A.D. 375: “But if the apostle says to bear children [1 Tim. 5:11; 14], but they decline procreation, it is the enterprise of a serpent and of false doctrine. Because they are mastered by the pleasure of fornication [fornication is often mentioned by the Fathers as the desire for sexual relations but without desiring or intending having offspring] they invent excuses for their uncleanness, so that their licentiousness may appear to fulfill Paul’s commandment. Really these things should neither be said nor considered worth mentioning in treatises, but buried like a foul corpse exuding a pestilent vapour, to protect people from injury even through their sense of hearing. And if a sect of this kind [which teaches the heresy that non-procreative sexual acts are moral or that they are without sin] had passed away and no longer existed, it would be better to bury it and say nothing about it at all. But since it does exist and has practitioners, and I have been urged by your Honors to speak of all the sects, I have been forced to describe parts of it, in order, in all frankness, not to pass them over but describe them, for the protection of the hearers—but for the banishment of the practitioners.” (Panarion or Medicine Chest Against Heresies, Book I, Chapter 26:5:14:3-5.--Epiphanius Against the Gnostics, or Borborites)

Thus, since the Fathers of the Church unanimously teaches that contraception or birth control in all its forms are mortally sinful in deed as well as in thought, this doctrine is infallible according to the councils of Trent and Vatican I. And this is not even mentioning the fact that the Holy Bible and the Papal Magisterium of the Church infallibly condemns birth control as well, as we have seen!

3. The Church and the fathers infallibly and unanimously teaches that spouses who intend to get married and have sexual relations must desire to beget and educate children

Third, we must also learn about the truth that the Fathers, Popes and Saints of the Catholic Church all teach that people who choose to get married (and that desire to have sexual relations) must also desire to beget and educate children in the Catholic religion for the glory and honor of God, since it is of the Divine Law and the teaching of the Church and of Pope Pius XI that “Christian parents must also understand that they are destined not only to propagate and preserve the human race on earth, indeed not only to educate any kind of worshippers of the true God, but children who are to become members of the Church of Christ, to raise up fellow-citizens of the Saints, and members of God’s household, that the worshipers of God and Our Savior may daily increase.” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, #13)

This is also expressed succinctly in The 1917 Code of Canon Law: “The primary purpose of marriage is the procreation and education of children.” (Canon 1013) The following Fathers and Saints of the Church teach the same as Pope Pius XI and The 1917 Code of Canon Law.

St. Augustine, Sermons on the New Testament, Sermon 1:22: “The [marriage] contract is read... in the presence of all the attesting witnesses... that they marry "for the procreation of children;" and this is called the marriage contract. If it was not for this that wives were given and taken to wife, what father could without blushing give up his daughter to the lust of any man? But now, that the parents may not blush, and that they may give their daughters in honorable marriage, not to shame, the contract is read out. And what is read from it?--the clause, "for the sake of the procreation of children." And when this is heard, the brow of the parent is cleared up and calmed. Let us consider again the feelings of the husband who takes his wife. The husband himself would blush to receive her with any other view, if the father would blush with any other view to give her.”

St. Justin Martyr, First Apology, Chapter 29 (c. 160 A.D.): “We Christians either marry only to produce children, or, if we refuse to marry, are completely continent.”

St. John Chrysostom, A.D. 347-407, Homilies on Colossians:Thou marriest a wife for chastity and procreation.” (Homily XII; PG 62.386; NPNF p. 318)

St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Philadelphians, Chapter IV, A.D. 107: “For I pray that, being found worthy of God, I may be found at their feet in the kingdom, as at the feet of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; as of Joseph, and Isaiah, and the rest of the prophets; as of Peter, and Paul, and the rest of the apostles, that were married men. For they entered into these marriages not for the sake of appetite, but out of regard for the propagation of mankind.”

St. Clement of Alexandria, The Paedagogus (c. 198 A.D.): The procreation of children is the remit and ordinance of those who are joined together in marriage; and their objective is that their children be good.… It is lawful for you to take sensual pleasures only from your wife in order to beget legitimate offspring, for only these pleasures are lawful according to the Word.... For this reason, Moses himself prohibited his people from sleeping even with their own wives in cases where they were subject to menstrual flows.… For pleasure alone, when experienced in marital intercourse, is unlawful, unjust and foreign to reason. Again, Moses ordered men not to sleep with pregnant women until they gave birth.… In fact, it [sexual pleasure] spreads a cloud over the senses and weakens one’s strength.... However, marriage is indeed allowed and accepted: for the Lord wishes the human race to be replenished; but He does not say, "Be lustful", nor is it his will that you be dedicated to pleasure as if you were born for intercourse.... However, to have intercourse for purposes other than to beget children is to do an injury to nature.... Marriage constitutes an endeavour to beget children, not an undisciplined ejaculation of semen, which is unlawful and foreign to reason....”

St. Robert Bellarmine, The Art of Dying Well, Chapter XV, On Matrimony, A.D. 1619: “There are three blessings arising from Matrimony, if it be made a good use of, viz: Children, fidelity, and the grace of the sacrament. The generation of children, together with their proper education, must be had in view, if we would make a good use of matrimony; but on the contrary, he commits a most grievous sin, who seeks only carnal pleasure in it.”

St. John Damascene (c. 676-749 A.D.), On Marriage: “Marriage was devised that the race of men may be preserved through the procreation of children.” (An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book IV, Chapter XXIV)

St. Caesarius of Arles (c. 470-543 A.D.), Sermon 44:3: “A man takes a wife for the procreation of children, not for the sake of lust. Even the marriage rite mentions this: ‘For the procreation of children,’ it says. Notice that it does not say for the sake of lust, but ‘for the procreation of children.’ I would like to know, dearly beloved, what kind of a harvest a man could gather if he sowed his field in one year as often as he is overcome by dissipation and abuses his wife without any desire for children. If those who are unwilling to control themselves plowed and sowed repeatedly their land which was already sown, let us see in what kind of fruit they would rejoice. As you well know, no land can produce proper fruit if it is sown frequently in one year. Why, then, does a man do with his body what he does not want done with his field?”

St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 6, A.D. 401: “Therefore married persons owe one another not only the faith of their sexual intercourse itself for the begetting of children, which is the first fellowship of the human kind in this mortal state; but also, in a way, a mutual service of sustaining one another’s weakness, [that is, paying the marital debt when it is asked for] in order to shun unlawful intercourse.”

St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies (c. 180 A.D.): “God made the male and female for the propagation of the human race.” (Book I, Chapter XXVIII, Section 1)

St. John Chrysostom, A.D. 347-407, On Virginity, #19: “So marriage was granted for the sake of procreation...”

St. Clement of Alexandria, On Marriage (c. 199 A.D.):Marriage is the first union of man and woman for the procreation of legitimate children.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book II, Chapter XXIII)

St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 32, A.D. 401: “Therefore that marriage takes place for the sake of begetting children, the Apostle is a witness thus, "I will," says he, "that the younger women be married." And, as though it were said to him, "For what purpose?" Straightway he added, "to have children, to be mothers of families."All these are goods, on account of which marriage is a good; offspring, faith, sacrament. But now, at this time, not to seek offspring after the flesh, and by this means to maintain a certain perpetual freedom from every such work, and to be made subject after a spiritual manner unto one Husband Christ, is assuredly better and holier...”

St. Clement of Alexandria, On Marriage (c. 199 A.D.): “For every one is not to marry, nor always. But there is a time in which it is suitable, and a person for whom it is suitable, and an age up to which it is suitable. Neither ought every one to take a wife, nor is it every woman one is to take, nor always, nor in every way, nor inconsiderately. But only he who is in certain circumstances, and such an one and at such time as is requisite, and for the sake of children, and one who is in every respect similar, and who does not by force or compulsion love the husband who loves her.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book II, Chapter XXIII)

St. Methodius (died c. 311 A.D.), On Genesis 1:28: “Increase and multiply is the command, and we may not spurn the command [if we are married and intend to perform the marital sexual act].” (Symp., 31; SC 95, p. 70; Musurillo (1958), p. 49)

St. John Chrysostom, A.D. 347-407, Homilies on Timothy: “Shall not women then be saved? Yes, by means of children. For it is not of Eve that he says, "If they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety." [1 Tim. 2:15] What faith? what charity? what holiness with sobriety? It is as if he had said, "Ye women, be not cast down, because your sex has incurred blame. God has granted you another opportunity of salvation, by the bringing up of children, so that you are saved, not only by yourselves, but by others." [cf. 1 Tim. 2:15]” (Homilies on the First Epistle of St. Paul to Timothy, Homily IX, 1 Timothy 2:11-15)

St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 19, 32, A.D. 401: “Marriage itself indeed in all nations is for the same cause of begetting sons, and of what character soever these may be afterward, yet was marriage for this purpose instituted, that they may be born in due and honest order… Therefore the good of marriage throughout all nations and all men stands in the occasion of begetting [children], and faith of chastity: but, so far as pertains unto the People of God, also in the sanctity of the Sacrament, by reason of which it is unlawful for one who leaves her husband, even when she has been put away, to be married to another, so long as her husband lives, no not even for the sake of bearing children: and, whereas this is the alone cause, wherefore marriage takes place...

The main reason why the Church and Her Popes and Saints all teach that a man and a woman who intends to marry and have sexual relations must also desire to beget children and educate them in the Catholic religion for the glory and honor of God, is that a “marriage” without this desire would be similar to the cohabitation of unmarried people who only live with each other for the motive of gratifying their sensual desires. In truth, “the aforesaid [marital sexual] act does not differ from the act of fornication... But the act of fornication is always evil. Therefore the marriage act also will always be evil unless it be excused...” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 49, Art. 5) Thus, what separates fornication from a true marriage is the active wish to beget and educate children for the love and honor of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is also why St. Augustine writes that “the [marriage] contract is read... in the presence of all the attesting witnesses... that they marry ‘for the procreation of children’” (On the New Testament 1:22).

A good advice to all men and women who intend to marry (or who are already married) is that they read the marriage vows several times either with their future spouse or by themselves, and seriously considers the reason for their marriage, so that they know what is obligated of them when they get married. It is important for all who intend to marry to know that marriage is about a lot of obligations, and that spouses many times are forced to be without sex for the rest of their life if the other spouse dies, or gets hurt or suffer some other debilitating problem or illness that hinders them from being able to perform the marital act, so that this does not come as a shock when trouble happens. Marriage was never intended to be about selfishness or sensuality, but rather about family, companionship and responsibility, so people who intend to marry must make sure that they adopt the life of marriage in order to love and serve their spouse, instead of seeing or treating their spouse as a fleshly object given to them to satisfy their sensual longings. “Marriage constitutes an endeavour to beget children, not an undisciplined ejaculation of semen, which is unlawful and foreign to reason... It is therefore not just to be held bound by sexual things, nor to cling stupidly to lusts, nor to be moved by appetites that are foreign to reason, nor to desire to be defiled. It is permitted to him alone who has married a wife... to sow his seed, when the time allows him to sow.” (St. Clement of Alexandria, The Paedagogus, A.D. 198)

The necessity to beget and educate one’s offspring in the true Catholic Faith cannot be understated; and especially so today since almost all people reject the true Catholic Faith, which is also why the world has been allowed to fall into such degradation. Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Arcanum (on Christian Marriage) teaches that: “the Christian perfection and completeness of marriage are not comprised in those points only which have been mentioned. For, first, there has been vouchsafed to the marriage union a higher and nobler purpose than was ever previously given to it. By the command of Christ, it not only looks to the propagation of the human race, but to the bringing forth of children for the Church, ‘fellow citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God’; so that ‘a people might be born and brought up for the worship and religion of the true God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.’”

St. Clement of Alexandria further explains that, “for the married He [the Lord] goes on to say, "My elect shall not labour in vain nor bear children to be accursed; for they are a seed blessed by the Lord." [Isaiah 65:23] For him who begets children and brings them up and educates them in the Lord, just as for him who begets children by means of the true teaching, a reward is laid up, as also for the elect seed. … Those who are in truth the Lord’s elect neither teach doctrines nor beget children to be accursed, as the [heretical] sects do.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter XV, Section 98)

If we take upon us the heavy burden of Matrimony, we are obligated under pain of mortal sin to educate our children in the Catholic Faith. “For a person does not become a father simply because he helped to bring about the birth of a child, but by raising the child correctly.” (St. Chrysostom, Sermon regarding Anna, Homily 1, PG 54, 636) In truth, St. Chrysostom is completely right in saying that those who refuse to educate their children in the true Catholic Faith are the very reason for all kinds of evils in society. “The reason for the overturning of all things is that we aren’t caring for our own children. We take care of their bodies, but we ignore the upbringing of their souls.” Chrysostom goes on to ask, “Do you want a child that is obedient? From their first steps, feed them on the wisdom and counsels of the Lord.” If we showed the same interest in the spiritual education of children as we do in their education in other spheres, we would forestall many evils. “When the father of a very gentle child only gives him sweets, refreshments, and whatever he likes when he’s ill, but not what he actually needs for his sickness; or if a doctor checks him out and confesses, "What can I do? I can’t stand to see the child cry." Poor, foolish traitor! The only name I can’t give such a person is that of father. How much better it would be for you if you upset your child a little bit so that he might be healthy for all time, rather than making this fleeting pleasure the foundation for continuous sorrow.” (St. Chrysostom, On the Acts of the Apostles, Homily 30, PG 60, 226) With the satisfaction of the child’s every desire, we make him egocentric, and with such a character, he will be unhappy in the world. The Saint encourages us to “be like sculptors and make every effort to make your children wonderful sculptures that look like God. It will happen if you take away everything that is unnecessary, if you add whatever is necessary, and if you check daily to see what physical defects they have that you can fix.” (St. John Chrysostom, On Vanity and the Upbringing of Children)

The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles also teaches us that all parents who disregard correcting and educating their child in the Lord “will be guilty of their souls”, thus showing us that educating our children in the Lord is not something we choose to do, but something we are obligated to do under pain of mortal sin:

“Ye fathers, educate your children in the Lord, bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and teach them such trades as are agreeable and suitable to the word, lest they by such opportunity become extravagant, and continue without punishment from their parents, and so get relaxation before their time, and go astray from that which is good. Wherefore be not afraid to reprove them, and to teach them wisdom with severity. For your corrections will not kill them, but rather preserve them. As Solomon says somewhere in the book of Wisdom: "Chasten thy son, and he will refresh thee; so wilt thou have good hope of him. Thou verily shalt smite him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from death." (Prov. 29:17, 19:18, 23:14.) And again, says the same Solomon thus, "He that spareth his rod, hateth his son;" (Prov. 13:24) and afterwards, "Beat his sides whilst he is an infant, lest he be hardened and disobey thee." (Ecclus. 30:12) He, therefore, that neglects to admonish and instruct his own son, hates his own child. Do you therefore teach your children the word of the Lord. Bring them under with cutting stripes, and make them subject from their infancy, teaching them the Holy Scriptures, which are Christian and divine, and delivering to them every sacred writing, "not giving them such liberty that they get the mastery," (Ecclus. 30:11) and act against your opinion, not permitting them to club together for a treat with their equals. For so they will be turned to disorderly courses, and will fall into fornication; and if this happen by the carelessness of their parents, those that begat them will be guilty of their souls. For if the offending children get into the company of debauched persons by the negligence of those that begat them, they will not be punished alone by themselves; but their parents also will be condemned on their account. For this cause endeavour, at the time when they are of an age fit for marriage, to join them in wedlock, and settle them together, test in the heat and fervour of their age their course of life become dissolute, and you be required to give an account by the Lord God in the day of judgment.” (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, Book IV, Section II, Chapter XI.--On Domestic and Social Life Of Parents and Children)

Pope Pius XI also teaches this noble truth in great detail in his marvelous Encyclical called Casti Connubii, which means “Chaste Marriage”.

Pope Pius XI Casti Connubii (#’s 10-13), Dec. 31, 1930: “Now when We come to explain, Venerable Brethren, what are the blessings that God has attached to true matrimony, and how great they are, there occur to Us the words of that illustrious Doctor of the Church whom We commemorated recently in Our Encyclical Ad salutem on the occasion of the fifteenth centenary of his death: “These,” says St. Augustine, “are all the blessings of matrimony on account of which matrimony itself is a blessing; offspring, conjugal faith and the sacrament.” And how under these three heads is contained a splendid summary of the whole doctrine of Christian marriage, the holy Doctor himself expressly declares when he said: “By conjugal faith it is provided that there should be no carnal intercourse outside the marriage bond with another man or woman; with regard to offspring, that children should be begotten of love, tenderly cared for and educated in a religious atmosphere; finally, in its sacramental aspect that the marriage bond should not be broken and that a husband or wife, if separated, should not be joined to another even for the sake of offspring. This we regard as the law of marriage by which the fruitfulness of nature is adorned and the evil of incontinence is restrained.”

Thus amongst the blessings of marriage, the child holds the first place. And indeed the Creator of the human race Himself, Who in His goodness wishes to use men as His helpers in the propagation of life, taught this when, instituting marriage in Paradise, He said to our first parents, and through them to all future spouses: “Increase and multiply, and fill the earth.” As St. Augustine admirably deduces from the words of the holy Apostle Saint Paul to Timothy when he says: “The Apostle himself is therefore a witness that marriage is for the sake of generation: ‘I wish,’ he says, ‘young girls to marry.’ And, as if someone said to him, ‘Why?,’ he immediately adds: ‘To bear children, to be mothers of families’.”

“How great a boon of God this is, and how great a blessing of matrimony is clear from a consideration of man’s dignity and of his sublime end. For man surpasses all other visible creatures by the superiority of his rational nature alone. Besides, God wishes men to be born not only that they should live and fill the earth, but much more that they may be worshippers of God, that they may know Him and love Him and finally enjoy Him for ever in heaven; and this end, since man is raised by God in a marvelous way to the supernatural order, surpasses all that eye hath seen, and ear heard, and all that hath entered into the heart of man. From which it is easily seen how great a gift of divine goodness and how remarkable a fruit of marriage are children born by the omnipotent power of God through the cooperation of those bound in wedlock.

“But Christian parents must also understand that they are destined not only to propagate and preserve the human race on earth, indeed not only to educate any kind of worshippers of the true God, but children who are to become members of the Church of Christ, to raise up fellow-citizens of the Saints, and members of God’s household, that the worshippers of God and Our Savior may daily increase.”

The 1917 Code of Canon Law also accurately describes the nature of the Sacrament of Marriage: “Marital consent is an act of the will whereby each party grants and accepts a permanent and exclusive right over the body regarding its acts which are of themselves apt for the generation of offspring.” (Codex Iuris Cononici, 1081.2) Thus, marriage is understood as a lawful contract in which the two parties handed over to each other the right to use one another for acts suitable for the generation of children. If two persons were to use the vocabulary of the Church’s canonical definition in their wedding vows, the bride and groom might say to each other, “I understand our marrying as an act in which I hand over to you the right to use my body for acts that are apt for generating children. I want to do this in a contractual context before these gathered witnesses.” Canon 1013 fittingly combined the teachings of both St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, teaching that: “The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children; its secondary end is mutual help and the remedying of concupiscence.” (Codex Iuris Cononici, 1013)

St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 1, A.D. 401: “The first natural bond of human society is man and wife. Nor did God create these each by himself, and join them together as alien by birth: but He created the one out of the other, setting a sign also of the power of the union in the side, whence she was drawn, was formed. For they are joined one to another side by side, who walk together, and look together whither they walk. Then follows the connexion of fellowship in children, which is the one alone worthy fruit, not of the union of male and female, but of the sexual intercourse. For it were possible that there should exist in either sex, even without such intercourse, a certain friendly and true union of the one ruling, and the other obeying.”

Pope Gregory XVI in his encyclical Mirari Vos, which exposed liberalism and religious indifferentism explains that those marriages that are devoid of the “thought of the sacrament and of the mysteries signified by it [that is, the procreation and education of children, faithfulness, and mutual love and help]” or that was entered into because of concupiscence alone, will have an unhappy ending since these kinds of selfish, lustful and impious “marriages” in effect are nothing but fornication in disguise of a marriage, thus firmly contradicting and exposing the modernistic and heretical teachings of certain impious men and women who dared to assert that one could marry for mere selfish, lustful or worldly motives, rather than for pious and good motives that a true and honorable marriage always is based on.

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos (# 12), Aug. 15, 1832: “Now the honorable marriage of Christians, which Paul calls "a great sacrament in Christ and the Church,"[Heb. 13:4, Eph. 5:32] demands our shared concern lest anything contrary to its sanctity and indissolubility is proposed. Our predecessor Pius VIII would recommend to you his own letters on the subject. However, troublesome efforts against this sacrament still continue to be made. The people therefore must be zealously taught that a marriage rightly entered upon cannot be dissolved; for those joined in matrimony God has ordained a perpetual companionship for life and a knot of necessity which cannot be loosed except by death. Recalling that matrimony is a sacrament and therefore subject to the Church, let them consider and observe the laws of the Church concerning it. Let them take care lest for any reason they permit that which is an obstruction to the teachings of the canons and the decrees of the councils. They should be aware that those marriages will have an unhappy end which are entered upon contrary to the discipline of the Church or without God’s favor or because of concupiscence alone, with no thought of the sacrament and of the mysteries signified by it.”

In truth, Pope Gregory IX (1145-1241) also affirms the Church’s teaching on the sacrament of marriage, saying that: “As much as the contract of marriage is favored, it lacks effect if conditions are stipulated against the substance of marriage. For example, if one says to the other, “I contract with you if you will prevent the conception of children,” or, “until I find another woman more worthy in honor or riches,” or, “if you will sell yourself in adultery for money.”” (Gratian, Marriage Canons From The Decretum, Case Thirty-Two, Question IV, Conditions Set in Betrothals or Other Contracts)

Pope Gregory IX’s three examples here shows us the three goods of marriage: proles (offspring), sacramentum (indissolubility), and fides (fidelity) without which a marriage contract is invalid. “It seems evident that a woman taken merely to have sex is not a wife, because God instituted marriage for propagation, not merely for satisfying lust. For the nuptial blessing is, “Increase and multiply.” [Gen. 1:28] … It is shameful for a woman when her marriage bears no fruit, for this alone is the reason for marrying. … bearing children is the fruit of marriage and the blessing of matrimony is without doubt the reason that [the Blessed Virgin] Mary’s virginity defeated the Prince of this World [the Devil]. Thus anyone who joins himself to another, not for the sake of procreating offspring, but rather to satisfy lust is less a spouse than a fornicator. … As no congregation of heretics can be called a Church of Christ because they do not have Christ as their head, so no matrimony, where one has not joined her husband according to Christ’s precept, can properly be called marriage, but is better called adultery.” (Gratian, Marriage Canons From The Decretum, Case Thirty-Two, Question II)

St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book V, Chapter 12:46, A.D. 421: “Nevertheless, because human soundness agrees that the motive in taking a wife is the procreation of offspring, regardless of how weakness yields to lust, I note, in addition to the faithfulness which the married owe to each other so that there be no adultery, and the offspring, for whose generation the two sexes are to be united, that a third good, which seems to me to be a sacrament, should exist in the married, above all in those who belong to the people of God, so that there be no divorce from a wife who cannot bear, and that a man not wishing to beget more children give not his wife to another for begetting, as Cato is said to have done [Plutarch, In vita Catonis; Lucan 2]. … I say that there is another way in which marriage is good when offspring can be procreated only through intercourse. If there were another way to procreate, yet the spouses had intercourse, then they evidently must have yielded to lust, and made evil use of evil. But, since the two sexes were purposely instituted, man can be born only from their union, and thus spouses by their union for this purpose [of procreation] make good use of that evil [of lust]...”

Thus, Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 540-604), in his work “Pastoral Rule”, which deals with sexual sins from a biblical perspective, could rightly admonish Christians to never marry or perform the marital act for carnal or lustful motives: “The married must be admonished to bear in mind that they are united in wedlock for the purpose of procreation, and when they abandon themselves to immoderate intercourse, they transfer the occasion of procreation to the service of pleasure. Let them realize that though they do not then pass beyond the bonds of wedlock, yet in wedlock they exceed its rights. Wherefore, it is necessary that they efface by frequent prayer what they befoul in the fair form of conjugal union by the admixture of pleasure. For hence it is that the Apostle, skilled in heavenly medicine, did not so much lay down a course of life for the whole [of humanity] as point out remedies to the weak when he said, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman: but on account of fornication let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband" (1 Cor. 7:1-2). For in that he premised the fear of fornication, he surely did not give a precept to such as were standing [in the greater and more blessed life of chastity], but pointed out the bed to such as were falling, lest haply they should tumble to the ground. Whence to such as were still weak he added, "Let the husband render unto the wife her due; and likewise also the wife unto the husband" (1 Cor. 7:3). And, while in the most honorable estate of matrimony allowing to them something of pleasure, he added, "But this I say by way of indulgence, not by way of command" (1 Cor. 7:6). Now where indulgence is spoken of, a fault is implied; but one that is the more readily remitted in that it consists, not in doing what is unlawful, but in not keeping what is lawful under control.

“Which thing Lot expresses well in his own person, when he flies from burning Sodom, and yet, finding Zoar, does not still ascend the mountain heights. For to fly from burning Sodom is to avoid the unlawful fires of the flesh. But the height of the mountains is the purity of the continent. Or, at any rate, they are as it were upon the mountain, who, though cleaving to carnal intercourse, still, beyond the due association for the production of offspring, are not loosely lost in pleasure of the flesh. For to stand on the mountain is to seek nothing in the flesh except the fruit of procreation. To stand on the mountain is not to cleave to the flesh in a fleshly way. But, since there are many who relinquish indeed the sins of the flesh, and yet, when placed in the state of wedlock, do not observe solely the claims of due intercourse, Lot went indeed out of Sodom, but yet did not at once reach the mountain heights; because a damnable life is already relinquished, but still the loftiness of conjugal continence is not thoroughly attained... married life is neither far separated from the world, nor yet alien from the joy of safety... They are therefore to be admonished that, if they suffer from the storms of temptation with risk to their safety, they should seek the port of wedlock. For it is written, "It is better to marry than to burn" (1 Cor. 7:9). They come, in fact, to marriage without blame, if only they have not vowed better things [chastity].” (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Pastoral Rule, Book III, Chapter XXVII.--How The Married And The Single Are To Be Admonished.)

While there are many dangers and temptations in marriage, there are also good things, such as faithfulness, offspring, and the Sacrament: “Now this is threefold, faithfulness, offspring, and the Sacrament. For faithfulness, it is observed, that there be no lying with other man or woman, out of the bond of wedlock: for the offspring, that it be lovingly welcomed, kindly nourished, religiously brought up: for the Sacrament, that marriage be not severed, and that man or woman divorced be not joined to another even for the sake of offspring. This is as it were the rule of Marriages by which rule either fruitfulness is made seemly, or the perverseness of incontinence is brought to order.” (St. Augustine, On Genesis, Book 9, Chapter 7) However, even though marriage is good, the marital act is still intoxicating and shameful, which are truly evil defects that men must endure, and this shows us that children “is the one alone worthy fruit... of the sexual intercourse”. Thus, the motive ofchildren, which is the one alone worthy fruit, not of the union of male and female, but of the sexual intercourse” must excuse the marital act. (St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 1)

In A.D. 191 St. Clement of Alexandria (a Greek theologian of considerable influence in the early Church) referred to Onan’s evil act in these words: “He broke the law of coitus.” (St. Clement of Alexandria, Comments on Genesis 6, PG 69:309) He went on to explain that “Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted.” (St. Clement of Alexandria, Pedagogus, "The Educator", 2.10.91.2)

St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215) agrees with the Popes and Saints of the Church in this regard concerning the procreation and education of children, teaching us that: “it remains for us now to consider the restriction of sexual intercourse to those who are joined in wedlock. Begetting children is the goal of those who wed, and the fulfillment of that goal is a large family, just as hope of a crop drives the farmer to sow his seed, while the fulfillment of his hope is the actual harvesting of the crop. But he who sows in a living soil is far superior, for the one tills the land to provide food only for a season, the other to secure the preservation of the whole human race; the one tends his crop for himself, the other, for God. We have received the command: "Be fruitful" [Gen. 1:28], and we must obey. In this role man becomes like God, because he co-operates, in his human way, in the birth of another man.” (The Paedagogus or The Instructor, Book II, Chapter X) And so, it should be absolutely clear to all pure servants of Christ that “Marriage is the first conjunction of man and woman for the procreation of legitimate children. Accordingly Menander the comic poet says: "For the begetting of legitimate children, I give thee my daughter."” (St. Clement of Alexandria, "On Marriage", The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book II, Chapter XXIII)

Origen (a theologian of the early 3rd century Alexandrian Church considered by many to be the most accomplished biblical scholar of the early church) refuted the teachings of the pagan philosopher Celsus by reference to God’s people in the Old Testament: “nor were there among them women who sold their beauty to anyone who wished to have sexual intercourse without offspring, and to cast contempt upon the nature of human generation.” (Origen, Contra Celsum, Book 5, Chapter 42) In the early Church it was clear that to have sexual intercourse without wishing to beget offspring was to commit an evil act.

SAINT AUGUSTINE CONDEMNS ALL SPOUSES THAT ARE AGAINST PROCREATION AND THAT PRACTICE A TIME-BASED METHOD OF CONTRACEPTION SIMILAR TO NFP AS ADULTERERS, CALLING THEIR BED-CHAMBER A “BROTHEL”

Arguing against the Manicheans on contraception, St. Augustine appears to refer to a timing-based method as practiced by the Manicheans. His view on the matter is clear.

St. Augustine, On the Morals of the Manichaeans 18:65, A.D. 388: “Is it not you who used to counsel us to observe as much as possible the time when a woman, after her purification, is most likely to conceive, and to abstain from cohabitation at that time, lest the soul should be entangled in flesh? This proves that you [Manicheans] approve of having a wife, not for the procreation of children, but for the gratification of passion. In marriage, as the marriage law declares, the man and woman come together for the procreation of children. Therefore, whoever makes the procreation of children a greater sin than copulation, forbids marriage and makes the woman not a wife but a mistress, who for some gifts presented to her is joined to the man to gratify his passion. Where there is a wife there must be marriage. But there is no marriage where motherhood is not in view; therefore neither is there a wife.

Here, the exact Manichean method is unknown, though it sounds like a rhythm method similar to NFP. Manicheans disdained any procreation, which is the point of Augustine’s argument. He condemns marriage with permanent or temporary contraceptive intent.

St. Augustine, Against Faustus 15:7, A.D. 400: “… [the Manichean heretics] directly opposes the next precept, "Thou shalt not commit adultery"; for those who believe this doctrine, in order that their wives may not conceive, are led to commit adultery even in marriage. They take wives, as the law declares, for the procreation of children; but… their wives is not of a lawful character; and the production of children, which is the proper end of marriage, they seek to avoid. As the apostle long ago predicted of thee [the heretic Faustus], thou dost indeed forbid to marry, for thou seekest to destroy the purpose of marriage. Thy doctrine [against childbearing] turns marriage into an adulterous connection, and the bed-chamber into a brothel.”

Here we see that the true teaching of the Church and the Holy Saints condemns those who perform sexual acts where conception is hindered, calling their marriage “an adulterous connection” and their bed-chamber a “brothel”. In truth, “For what gratification is there (except perhaps for lascivious persons, and those who, as the apostle says with prohibition, possess their vessel in the lust of concupiscence [1 Thess. 4:5]) in the mere shedding of seed as the ultimate pleasure of sexual union, unless it is followed by the true and proper fruit of marriage—conception and birth?” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book II, Chapter 19)

The Manicheans and the other gnostic heretics of the early Church that St. Augustine fought against and refuted was one of the greatest haters and rejecters of the goodness of procreation. The Fathers and Saints of the Church, however, fought fearlessly against them in debates and writings and condemned their impious doctrine which turns family life, society and her laws upside down, and that is why this unnatural doctrine was almost completely obliterated until our time—the last days—when this practice again was adopted by the worldly and sensual people of our time. St. Augustine, in his work Against Faustus, (A.D. 400) could rightly condemn these unnatural heretics for hating offspring, which is a true blessing of the Lord: “Moreover, the only honorable kind of marriage, or marriage entered into for its proper and legitimate purpose [that is, for the procreation of children], is precisely that you hate most [since procreation of children is regarded as one of the greatest of evils by the Manichean heretics]. So, though you may not forbid sexual intercourse, you forbid marriage; for the peculiarity of marriage is, that it is not merely for the gratification of passion, but, as is written in the contract, for the procreation of children.” (Against Faustus, Book XXIX, Section 6)

Confirming that only the normal, natural and procreative marital sexual act is allowed to be performed in a marriage, St. Thomas Aquinas, who quotes St. Augustine in his Summa Theologica, speaks about chastity, and he explains that the right, proper and pure use of the sexual organs is when one uses them for the sake of procreation, which of course refutes all those lustful perverts of our own day and age that defend non-procreative or unnecessary forms of sexual acts, such as foreplay and sensual kisses and touches, as well as all acts where the spouses deliberately try to hinder the procreation of children. Thus, in contrast to these lustful and impure spouses: “Augustine says (De Perseverantia xx): "We must give praise to purity, that he who has ears to hear, may put to none but a lawful use the organs intended for procreation." Now the use of these organs is the proper matter of chastity. Therefore purity belongs properly to chastity.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 151, Art. 4.--Whether purity belongs especially to chastity?)

As we have seen from all the Fathers and Saints of the Catholic Church, contraceptive practices are nothing new. St. Hippolytus, in his book “Refutation of All Heresies,” (A.D. 225) describes how wicked people and so-called faithful committed this mortal sin even in the beginning of the third century: “… the so-called faithful want no children… [so] they use drugs of sterility or bind themselves tightly in order to expel a fetus which has already been engendered.” (Book IX, Chapter 12) Heretics and mortal sinners of this kind have always existed, “For they forbid chaste wedlock and procreation, but are seared in their consciences since they have sex and pollute themselves, and yet hinder procreation.” (St. Epiphanius, Panarion or Medicine Chest Against Heresies, Book I, Chapter 26:5:16:4.--Against the Gnostics, or Borborites, A.D. 375)

It should now be clear that marriage was created for chastity, procreation, and partnership. “Thou marriest a wife for chastity and procreation” (Chrysostom, Hom. XII. in Col.; PG 62.386; NPNF. p 318). Chrysostom explains that it was in response to Adam’s new fallen condition that the Lord God established marriage as we know it. The establishment of marriage was designed by God for a redemptive purpose: to tame man’s wild and out-of-control nature. “The profit of marriage is to preserve the body pure, and if this be not so, there is no advantage of marriage” (Chrysostom, Hom. LIX in Mt.; PG 58.583; NPNF, p. 371). This is contrary to the opinions of many modern scholars who labor in vain to “discover” modern and romantic notions in St. John Chrysostom’s theology of marriage.

St. Augustine, Adulterous Marriages, Book II, Chapter 12, A.D. 396: “It is that weakness, namely, incontinence, that the Apostle wished to remedy by the divinity of marriage. He did not say: If he does not have sons, let him marry, but: "If he does not have self-control, let him marry." Indeed, the concessions to incontinence in marriage are compensated for by the procreation of children. Incontinence surely is a vice, while marriage is not. So, through this good [procreation], that evil [concupiscence or sexual pleasure] is rendered pardonable. Since, therefore, the institution of marriage exists for the sake of generation, for this reason did our forebears [ancestors] enter into the union of wedlock and lawfully take to themselves their wives, only because of the duty to beget children. There then was a certain necessity for having children which does not exist now, because "the time to embrace," [Esdras 3:5] as it is written, was in those days, but now is "the time to refrain from embracing." Alluding to the present age, the Apostle says: "But this I say, brethren, the time is short; it remains that those who have wives be as if they had none." [1 Cor. 7:29] Whence, with perfect conviction, the following can be said: "Let him accept it who can," [Matt. 19:12] but "let her marry who cannot control herself." [1 Cor. 7:9] In former times, therefore, even continence was made subordinate to marriage for the sake of propagating children. Now, the marriage bond is a remedy for the vice of incontinence, so that children are begotten by those who do not practice continence, not with a disgraceful display of unbridled lust, but through the sanctioned act of lawfully wedded spouses. Then why did the Apostle not say: If he does not have sons let him marry? Evidently, because in this time of refraining from embrace it is not necessary to beget children. And why has he said: "If he cannot control himself, let him marry"? Surely, to prevent incontinence from constraining him to adultery. If, then, he practices continence, neither let him marry nor beget children. However, if he does not control himself, let him enter into lawful wedlock, so that he may not beget children in disgrace or avoid having offspring by a more degraded form of intercourse. There are some lawfully wedded couples who resort to this last, for intercourse, even with one’s lawfully wedded spouse, can take place in an unlawful and shameful manner, whenever the conception of offspring is avoided. Onan, the son of Juda, did this very thing, and the Lord slew him on that account. [Cf. Gen. 38:8-10] Therefore, the procreation of children is itself the primary, natural, legitimate purpose of marriage. Whence it follows that those who marry because of their inability to remain continent ought not to so temper their vice that they preclude the good of marriage, which is the procreation of children.

“The Apostle was certainly speaking of the incontinent where he said: "I desire, therefore, that younger widows marry, bear children, rule their households, and give the adversary no occasion for abusing us. For already some have turned aside after Satan." [1 Tim. 5:14,15] So, when he said: "I desire that the younger widows marry," [1 Cor. 7:29] he surely gave the advice to bolster their collapsing self-control. Then, lest thought be given only to this weakness of carnal desire, which would only be strengthened by the marital act, while the good of marriage would be either despised or overlooked, he immediately added: "to bear children, rule their households." [1 Tim. 5:14] In fact, those who choose to remain continent certainly choose something better than the good of marriage, which is the procreation of children. Whence, if the choice is continence, so that something better than the good of marriage is embraced, how much more closely is it to be guarded so that adultery may be avoided! For, when the Apostle said: "But if they do not have self-control, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn," [1 Cor. 7:9] he did not say that it is better to commit adultery than to burn.”

THE SECOND COUNCIL OF BRAGA EXCOMMUNICATES ALL SPOUSES WHO PRACTICE NFP AND ANY FORM OF BIRTH CONTROL

One of the earliest extant documents of formal Church legislation (that we know of) on the use of contraceptives comes in the sixth century. Its originator in canonical form was St. Martin, Archbishop of Braga in Spain (520-580). Drawing on previous episcopal synods of the East and West, he simplified the existing laws and codified them for the people of Portugal and Spain.

Martin’s condemnation of contraception and the contraceptive intent first occurred in the famous collection Capitula Martini. It was later incorporated in the laws of the Second Council of Braga (June, 572), at which he presided as the head of twelve bishops.

His reference to earlier more severe penalties implies that ecclesiastical authority had condemned the practice long before the sixth century.

St. Martin, Archbishop of Braga, Second Council of Braga, Canon 77, June, 572: “If any woman has fornicated and has killed the infant who was born of her; or if she has tried to commit abortion and then slain what she conceived; or if she contrives to make sure she does not conceive, either in adultery or in legitimate intercourse—regarding such women the earlier canons decreed that they should not receive communion even at death. However, we mercifully judge that both such women and their accomplices in these crimes shall do penance for ten years.” (Mansi IX, 858)

In truth, “she (the wife) is the only one with whom it is lawful to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh for the purpose of begetting lawful heirs. This is to share in God’s own work of procreation, and in such a work the seed ought not to be wasted nor scattered thoughtlessly nor sown in a way it cannot grow.” (St. Clement of Alexandria, The Paedagogus or The Instructor, Book II, Chapter X.--On the Procreation and Education of Children, A.D. 198)

THE FIRST COUNCIL OF NICAEA EXCOMMUNICATED ALL PRIESTS THAT DELIBERATELY CASTRATED THEMSELVES

The First Council of Nicaea (which is the first Ecumenical Council in Church history) rejected already in the Fourth Century priests who had consented to the act of castrating themselves. This teaching is very relevant for our time since many people nowadays perform operations or undergo different procedures castrating themselves.

The First Council of Nicaea, Canon 1, A.D. 325: “[I]f anyone in sound health has castrated himself, it behooves that such a one, if enrolled among the clergy, should cease [from his ministry], and that from henceforth no such person should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this is said of those who willfully do the thing and presume to castrate themselves, so if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians, or by their masters, and should otherwise be found worthy, such men this canon admits to the clergy.”

SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS CONDEMNS NFP AND BIRTH CONTROL AS A SIN SECOND IN NATURE ONLY TO MURDER

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), who is considered as one of the most important doctors of the Church, is abundantly clear on that any completed sex act without the proper goal of procreation is sinful.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Section 1.3.122: “Hence it is clear that every emission of the semen is contrary to the good of man, which takes place in a way whereby generation is impossible; and if this is done on purpose, it must be a sin.” He concludes: “… the inordinate emission of the semen is repugnant to the good of nature, which is the conservation of the species. Hence, after the sin of murder, whereby a human nature already in actual existence is destroyed, this sort of sin seem to hold the second place, whereby the generation of human nature is precluded. The above assertions are confirmed by divine authority. The unlawfulness of any emission of semen, upon which offspring cannot be consequent, is evident from such texts as these: Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: Thou shalt not lie with any beast (Levit. xviii, 22, 23): Nor the effeminate, nor sodomites, shall possess the kingdom of God (1 Cor. Vi, 10).”

Thus, it is clear that St. Thomas teaches that: “Matrimony was instituted for the begetting of children.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supp., Q. 42, Art. 2) “Therefore, since in matrimony man receives by Divine institution the faculty to use his wife for the begetting of children, he also receives the grace without which he cannot becomingly do so.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supp., Q. 42, Art. 3)

THE CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT CONDEMNS ALL FORMS OF BIRTH CONTROL AS A “WICKED CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MURDER”

We also find some references in the 16th century Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, designed for parish priests. In the section on the Sacrament of Matrimony, the section on the use of marriage teaches spouses to abstain from the marriage debt before they will receive the Body of Our Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist. For instance, there is to be no marital sexual relations before Communion since, “The dignity of so great a Sacrament also demands that married persons abstain from the marriage debt for some days previous to Communion. This observance is recommended by the example of David, who, when about to receive the showbread from the hands of the priest, declared that he and his servants had been clean from women for three days.” (The Catechism of the Council of Trent, Preparation Of Body) Married as well as unmarried are also taught to “approach the Holy Table fasting, having neither eaten nor drunk anything at least from the preceding midnight until the moment of Communion.” (The Catechism of the Council of Trent, Preparation Of Body) The unitive and natural aspect is mentioned, under the Motives and Ends of Marriage: “First of all, nature itself by an instinct implanted in both sexes impels them to such companionship.” Desire of family and avoiding lust is also mentioned. Though there is a reminder that “marriage is not to be used for purposes of lust or sensuality, but that its use is to be restrained within those limits which, as we have already shown, have been fixed by the Lord” and “therefore married persons who, to prevent conception… are guilty of a most heinous crime—nothing less than wicked conspiracy to commit murder.” (The Catechism of the Council of Trent, The Motives And Ends Of Marriage) Wikipedia also makes the interesting claim that “[all] Canon law until 1917 labeled contraception as murder.”

The Catechism of the Council of Trent: “The faithful are moreover to be taught, that there are three advantages of marriage — offspring, faith, the sacrament — which alleviate, by compensating for, those disadvantages which the Apostle points out in these words: "Such [that is, married people who perform the sexual act] shall have tribulation of the flesh " (1 Corinthians 7:28); and by which sexual intercourse, which, without marriage, would be deservedly reprobated, becomes an honourable union. The first advantage, then, is offspring, that is, children begotten from a true and lawful wife; an advantage so highly appreciated by the Apostle, that he says: "The woman shall be saved by bearing children" (1 Timothy 2:15). This, however, is not to be understood solely of the procreation of children, but also of the education and discipline by which children are reared to piety. Thus the Apostle immediately subjoins: "If she continue in faith;" for the Scripture admonishes: "Hast thou children? Instruct them, and bow down their neck from their childhood" (Ecclestiasticus 7:25). The Apostle teaches the same; and of such an education the Scripture affords the most beautiful examples in the persons of Tobias, Job, and other Patriarchs eminent for holiness. But what are the duties of parents and children shall be more fully explained in the exposition of the fourth commandment.

“… Matrimonial faith also demands, that husband and wife be united by a certain singular, and holy, and pure love, a love not such as that of adulterers, but such as that which Christ cherishes towards his Church; for this is the model which the Apostle proposed, when he said: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church" (Ephesians 5:25); and very great indeed was the love with which Christ embraced his Church, not a selfish love, but a love that proposed to itself the sole interest of his spouse...” (Catechism of Trent – What Are The Advantages Accruing To Married Persons From This Sacrament)

POPE SIXTUS V CONDEMNS BIRTH CONTROL

In the late sixteenth century, Pope Sixtus V (1521-1590) passed a series of laws to curb the immorality of his day. Among these laws was one that simultaneously covered abortion and contraception.

There is nothing new about the legislation, except the added solemnity of its being passed by direct order of the pope. Abortion and contraception are equally called crimes.

Pope Sixtus V, Bull Effranatum, Oct. 27, 1588: “Who does not abhor the lustful cruelty or cruel lust of impious men, a lust which goes so far that they procure poisons to extinguish and destroy the conceived fetus within the womb, even attempting by a wicked crime to destroy their own offspring before it lives, or, if it lives, to kill it before it is born?”

Pope Sixtus V: “Who, finally, would not condemn with the most severe punishments the crimes of those who by poisons, potions and evil drugs induce sterility in women, so that they might not conceive or, by means of evil-working medication, that they might not give birth?” (Quoted in Bullarium Romanum, Vol. 1)

THE BELGIAN, GERMAN, FRENCH AND AMERICAN BISHOPS UNANIMOUSLY CONDEMN ALL FORMS OF BIRTH-CONTROL

By the early years of the twentieth century the Catholic Church had developed a standard confessional practice regarding the sin of contraception. Catholics who chose to have intercourse while taking steps to avoid the primary purpose of marital intercourse were refused absolution (forgiveness) in the sacrament of Penance or Confession, and were thus considered damned in the eyes of the Church and of God. Considered “habitual sinners,” those who “practiced birth control” were also barred from the reception of the sacrament of the Eucharist (Holy Communion). Addressing their priests in 1909, the Belgian bishops condemned the “most evil sin of Onan” in every form of birth control. The bishops then instructed priests to teach the laity to avoid a materialistic understanding of life. Priests were to remind husbands that “those who have wives should use them as if they had them not.” (1 Cor. 7:29–30) Some married couples attempted to justify limiting their offspring on the grounds that they would have more children than they could feed. Citing the words of Jesus that we should not be anxious about what we would eat or how we would be clothed (Matt. 6:31), the Belgian bishops asked husbands and wives to put their faith in divine Providence. It could be the case that some husbands would fear that further pregnancies would endanger the health of their wives. In such cases, priests were instructed to point out the advantages of modern medical care. However, if another pregnancy was truly a serious danger to the wife’s health or life, the husband and wife, by mutual consent, should courageously abstain from the marital act. (Instruction des Evêques de Belgique sur l’onanisme,” the Bishops of Belin in Nouvelle-Revue Theologique 41 (1909), 617)

In their 1913 pastoral letter the German bishops declared: “It is serious sin to will to prevent the increase of the number of children, so that marriage is abused for pleasure alone and its principal purpose knowingly and willingly frustrated.” (See Joseph Laurentius, S.J., “Das Bischofswort zum Schutze der Familie,” in Theologisch Praktische Quartalschrift 67 (1914), 517–28)

The French bishops joined the crusade against birth control in May of 1919. Reminding the married that “the principal end of marriage is the procreation of children,” the bishops of France declared: “It is to sin seriously against nature and against the will of God to frustrate marriage of its end by an egotistic or sensual calculation.” All practices that led to the restriction of births were seen to be “as disastrous as they are criminal.” (Documentation Catholique 1 (1919), 578–79)

In September 1919, the American bishops met in Washington, D.C., and produced their first joint pastoral letter since 1884. Referring to The Catechism of the Council of Trent, the bishops stated that procreation was the first and most serious obligation of marriage. Using the traditional Catholic teaching of the biblical account of Onan’s sin, the bishops condemned all forms of birth regulation because “the selfishness which leads to race suicide . . . is, in God’s sight, a ‘detestable thing.’” According to the American bishops, the increase of children brought about such good effects as a “fresh stimulus given to thrift” brought about by the virtuous necessity of stretching the family income as well as the “industrious effort” of mother and father who had to work harder. Indeed, more children necessitates making more “sacrifices,” but sacrifices are “sources of blessing.” (National Council of Catholic Bishops, The National Pastorals of the American Hierarchy, 1792–1919, 313)

POPE GREGORY IX CONDEMNS CONTRACEPTION AND THE CONTRACEPTIVE INTENT AS A MORTAL SIN OF MURDER AGAINST THE NATURAL LAW

Pope Gregory IX (1148-1241), who was a personal friend of St. Francis of Assisi, ordered St. Raymond of Penafort to collect all the papal decrees published until that time and edit them in systematic form. The Decretals of Gregory IX as they are called was published in 1234 by order of the Pope, and were a summary of the Church’s legislation in the lifetime of St. Thomas Aquinas. Like the Summa Theologica they synthesize the Church’s whole past tradition. Two things are noteworthy about the decree quoted: 1) it summarily and simply identifies as contraception whatever is taken to prevent generation or conception or birth; 2) it distinguishes between taking a drug out of lust (instead of abstaining from intercourse) and giving a drug from hostile motives; and 3) it calls all of these actions homicidal, in the technical sense of destroying life at any state of the vital process.

The Decretals of Gregory IX, Book V, A.D. 1234: “If anyone, to satisfy his lust or in meditated hatred, does something to a man or woman or gives them something to drink so that he cannot generate or she conceive, or the offspring be born—let him be held a homicide.”

A significant principle was also enunciated under Pope Gregory IX on the validity of marriage. Already in the thirteenth century, a marriage was null and void if the couple had agreed (or even if one partner insisted) to marry but avoid having children. It was presumed they would have intercourse, but contraceptively. “If conditions are set against the substance of marriage—for example, if one says to the other, “I contract with you if you avoid offspring”—the matrimonial contract, as much as it is favored, lacks effect.” (The Decretals of Gregory IX, Book IV)

THE HOLY OFFICE UNDER POPE PIUS IX CONDEMNS CONTRACEPTION AND THE CONTRACEPTIVE INTENT  AS A SIN AGAINST THE NATURAL LAW

During the pontificate of Pius IX (1792-1878), at least five decisions were made by the Holy See with regard to contraception in one or another form. The following was made by the Holy Office and approved by the Pope. It touches on one type of contraception, but in doing so clarifies two important elements: that Onanism is against the Natural Law, and that confessors have a duty to inquire about this practice if they have a good reason to suppose that it is being done.

The question is asked what theological note the following three heretical propositions deserve:

    1. It is permissible for spouses to use marriage the way Onan did, if their motives are worthy.

    2. It is probable that such use of marriage is not forbidden by the natural law.

    3. It is never proper to ask married people of either sex about this matter, even though it is prudently feared that the spouses, whether the wife or the husband abuse matrimony.

The officials of the Holy Office ordered the following to be stated:

    1. The first proposition is scandalous, erroneous, and contrary to the natural right of matrimony.

    2. The second proposition is scandalous, erroneous, and elsewhere implicitly condemned by Innocent XI: “Voluptuousness is not prohibited by the law of nature. Therefore if God had not forbidden it, it would be good, and sometimes obligatory under pain of mortal sin” [Condemned Statement by Innocent XI] (March 4, 1679).

    3. The third proposition, as it stands, is false, very lax, and dangerous in practice (Decisiones S. Sedis de Usu et Abusu Matrimonii, Rome, 1944, pp. 19-20; May 21, 1851).

THE CHURCH ALWAYS PUNISHED THOSE WHO COMMITTED THE SIN OF BIRTH-CONTROL WITH EXCOMMUNICATION FOR A LONG TIME

From the very beginning of the Catholic Church, anyone who dared to commit the act of birth-control while they chose to perform the marital act had to do penance for a long time since this was considered such an evil act.

Around the year 1000, The Decretals of Burchard was compiled by Burchard, (965-1025) Bishop of Worms in Germany. This collection of canon law called the Decreta exercised great influence for centuries in the history of the Church. Several features of the following legislation are significant. The penalty is less severe than it had been, i.e., ten years of penance instead of pardon only at death; abortion and contraception are equally reprehended; and a distinction is made in the culpability (always grave) of a woman who aborts or interferes with conception because she is poor, and a woman who does the same to avoid the humiliation of having a child out of wedlock:

“Have you done what some women are accustomed to doing when they fornicate and wish to kill their offspring; they act with their poisons (maleficia) and their herbs to kill or cut out the embryo, or, if they have not yet conceived they contrive not to conceive? If you have done so, or consented to this, or taught it, you must do penance for ten years on legal ferial days. Legislation in former days excommunicated such persons from the Church till the end of their lives. As often as a woman prevented conception, she was guilty of that many homicides. It makes a great deal of difference, however, whether the woman in question is a pauper who acted the way she did for lack of means to nourish (her offspring) or whether she did so to conceal the crime of her fornication.” (The Decretals of Burchard, Decreta, num. 19; PL 140, 972)

The evilness of all forms of birth-control cannot be understated, and that is also why the Church from the beginning severely punished all Her children who committed this crime. It is an act that is similar to playing God, an outright mockery of God and His creation and a perversion of nature. Just as we ourselves wish to continue to live, so we have no right to hinder another soul from also living. Thus, “He who does this [that is, he who drinks a contraceptive potion] in order not to have children shall do penance for twelve years. (Poenitentiale Vigilanum, num. 79-80 (A.D. 850); PL 129, 1123ff.)

CONCLUSION

The Fathers as well as the tradition of the early Church are so unanimous in interpreting the Bible as condemning as sinful and forbidden the evil use of birth control that it is unbelievable how some people calling themselves “Christian” or “Catholic” can deny that it is sinful, evil or condemned, and especially so, since The Councils of Trent and Vatican I infallibly teaches that the Fathers must be obeyed when their teachings unanimously agree with one another. In this context, Saint Jerome condemns all those who see nothing wrong about fornication, or contraception or even abortion. St. Jerome’s letter to Eustochium contains a typical patristic condemnation of contraception. It is associated with the defection from the Church of those women who find the Church’s position on chastity too demanding.

First he cites those who have intercourse out of wedlock, but make sure they do not become pregnant by taking appropriate drugs to prevent conception. Others become pregnant and then commit abortion to avoid exposure of their guilt.

Most pertinent is Jerome’s quoting such women as saying they see nothing particularly wrong about fornication, or contraception or even abortion. Their conscience approves of what they are doing; so how can these be sins?

The final reference to food and drink points out the fact that these women are critical of those who practice mortification. Consistent with their attitude on sex, they argue that all of this is God’s gift—so why not use it?

St. Jerome, Letter 22:13, To Eustochium, A.D. 384: “It becomes wearisome to tell how many virgins fall daily; what important personages Mother Church loses from her bosom; over how many stars the proud enemy sets up his throne [Isaiah 14:13]; how many rocks the serpent makes hollow and then enters through their openings. You may see many who were widowed before they were wed, shielding a guilty conscience by a lying garb. Did not a swelling womb or the crying of their infant children betray them, they would go about with head erect and on skipping feet. But others drink potions to ensure sterility and are guilty of murdering a human being not yet conceived. Some when they learn they are with child through sin, practice abortion by the use of drugs. Frequently they die themselves and are brought before the rulers of the lower world guilty of three crimes: suicide, adultery against Christ, and murder of an unborn child. These are the women who are accustomed to say: “‘Unto the pure all things are pure.’ [Titus 1:15] The approval of my conscience is enough for me. A pure heart is what God desires. Why should I abstain from foods which God created to be used with thanksgiving?” [1 Timothy 4:3] And whenever they wish to appear bright and festive, and have drowned themselves in wine, they say—adding sacrilege to drunkenness: “God forbid that I should abstain from the blood of Christ.” And whenever they see a woman pale and sad, they call her a poor wretch, a nun, and a Manichean: and with reason, for according to their belief fasting is heresy.”

Another good quotation from St. Caesarius of Arles condemns all spouses that are against procreation and that practice abortion and says that  “the only sterility of a very pious wife is chastity”. The second passage from Caesarius deals with abortion, but of a contraceptive kind. Some women took medication to destroy unborn life already conceived in the womb. Others took drugs by anticipation; they would not mind becoming pregnant, but provided that the child would not reach viability.

St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 52:4: “Does not the Devil clearly exercise his deceits still further, dearly beloved, when he persuades some women, after they have had two or three children, to kill either any more or those already born, by taking an abortion draught? Apparently, such women fear that if they have more children they cannot become rich. For, what else must they think when they do this, except that God will not be able to feed or direct those whom He has commanded to be born? Perhaps some are killed who could serve God better or obey those same parents with a perfect love. Instead, by an impious, murderous practice women take poisonous draughts to transmit incomplete life and premature death to their children through their generative organs. By such an exigency they drink a cup of bereavement with the cruel drug. O sad persuasion! They maintain that the poison which has been transmitted through their drinking is unconnected with them. Moreover, they do not realize that they conceive in sterility the child which they receive in death, because it was conceived in their flesh. However, if there is not yet found a tiny infant that could be killed within the womb of its mother, it is no less true that even the natural power (of generation) within the woman is destroyed. Why unhappy mother—or, rather, not even the step-mother of a new-born son—why did you seek, from outside, remedies that would be harmful for eternity? You possess within you more salutary remedies, if you wish. You do not want to have a child? Settle a pious agreement with your husband; let him agree to an end of childbearing in accord with the virtue of chastity. The only the sterility of a very pious wife is chastity.”

All other quotations from the Popes, Fathers and the Saints of the Church unanimously teach the same on the subject of the primary end or purpose of marriage and the marital act. Not a single one of them teaches that God allows spouses to have marital relations while also hindering conception from taking place.

Saint Augustine sums it up as follows: “It is, however, one thing for married persons to have intercourse only for the wish to beget children, which is not sinful: it is another thing for them to desire carnal pleasure in cohabitation, but with the spouse only, which involves venial sin. For although propagation of offspring is not the motive of the intercourse, there is still no attempt to prevent such propagation, either by wrong desire or evil appliance. They who resort to these, although called by the name of spouses, are really not such; they retain no vestige of true matrimony, but pretend the honourable designation as a cloak for criminal conduct. Having also proceeded so far, they are betrayed into exposing their children, which are born against their will. They hate to nourish and retain those whom they were afraid they would beget. This infliction of cruelty on their offspring so reluctantly begotten, unmasks the sin which they had practised in darkness, and drags it clearly into the light of day. The open cruelty reproves the concealed sin. Sometimes, indeed, this lustful cruelty, or, if you please, cruel lust, resorts to such extravagant methods as to use poisonous drugs to secure barrenness; or else, if unsuccessful in this, to destroy the conceived seed by some means previous to birth, preferring that its offspring should rather perish than receive vitality; or if it was advancing to life within the womb, should be slain before it was born. Well, if both parties alike are so flagitious, they are not husband and wife; and if such were their character from the beginning, they have not come together by wedlock but by debauchery. But if the two are not alike in such sin, I boldly declare either that the woman is, so to say, the husband’s harlot; or the man the wife’s adulterer.” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book 1, Chapter 17, A.D. 419.--What is Sinless in the Use of Matrimony? What is Attended With Venial Sin, and What with Mortal?)

The intention, deed or desire of the spouses that conception does not occur during conjugal relations is the crux of the matter, the root of the mortal sin of contraception. Even before conjugal relations, spouses have committed the mortal sin of contraception if they had planned or only desired that conception should not take place during conjugal relations. Jesus teaches that sin is first committed in the heart even before a man carries out his sinful deed. He says, “You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

Tragically, however (as if the proof wasn’t clear enough already), some bad willed people will indeed try to excuse themselves and object to these clear statements, some perhaps by saying that the Holy Bible and Apostolic Tradition, as well as all the Popes, Fathers and Saints of the Catholic Church couldn’t have referred to the modern practice of NFP (since it was invented by modern science), and hence that their condemnation couldn’t have been about NFP, but about something else, such as Onanism, sterilization, drugs and potions.

However, this objection is easily refuted for just because men have invented new ways to commit murder, such as with modern weapons that didn’t exist in the days of many of the saints and Catholic writers, doesn’t mean that men who commit murder with these weapons are not guilty since the saints or Church tradition did not specifically condemn murder by the use of these new killing methods. (St. Augustine however did condemn a timing-based method of contraception, as we saw before.) It is the same with NFP. Spouses commit the mortal sin of contraception no matter what weapon (method) they use to attempt to prevent conception during conjugal relations. If people cannot see this, it is because they are like the evil, blind, and obstinate Pharisees during Jesus’ first coming who made laws to break God’s laws and thus lost all common sense. NFP contradicts reason, the law in our heart, the Word of God (the Bible) and the teachings of the ordinary and solemn magisterium. The gift of many children from the Lord is truly a great blessing, and it is truly vile and unnatural to try to hinder this blessing from Our Lord by selfish and lustful acts inspired by the devil. “Far more excellent, in my opinion, than the seeds of wheat and barley that are sown at appropriate seasons, is man that is sown, for whom all things grow; and those seeds temperate husbandmen ever sow. Every foul and polluting practice must therefore be purged away from marriage; that the intercourse of the irrational animals may not be cast in our teeth, as more accordant with nature than human conjunction in procreation. Some of these, it must be granted, desist at the time in which they are directed, leaving creation to the working of Providence.” (St. Clement of Alexandria, "On Marriage", The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book II, Chapter XXIII)

St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book 1, Section 27, A.D. 393: “Adam was first made, then the woman out of his rib; and that the Devil could not seduce Adam, but did seduce Eve; and that after displeasing God she was immediately subjected to the man, and began to turn to her husband; and he points out that she who was once tied with the bonds of marriage and was reduced to the condition of Eve, might blot out the old transgression by the procreation of children: provided, however, that she bring up the children themselves in the faith and love of Christ, and in sanctification and chastity… For if the woman is saved in child-bearing, and the more the children the greater the safety of the mothers, why did he add "if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with chastity"? [1 Tim. 2:15]”

People Know that NFP is a Sin

Below are a few very interesting testimonies from people who have either used NFP or were taught NFP. Their comments have been taken from “the letters to the editor” section of a publication which carried an article on NFP. (Their names were given in the original letter.) Their letters demonstrate that the women who use NFP, as well as the men who tolerate or cooperate with it, are convicted of its sinfulness by the law written on their hearts. Those who use NFP know that they are thwarting the will of God and practicing contraception.

“Dear Editor… I was a non-religious divorced pagan before I met my husband who was, at the time, a minimal practicing Catholic. I became Catholic in 1993 and we were married in 1994. I had no idea at that time that Catholics were allowed to do anything to prevent a child. I had never even heard of NFP until the priest we were meeting with during the six months prior to our wedding handed me a packet of papers and basically said, “here, you’ll want to learn this.” When I got home, I briefly thumbed through the papers. I saw calendars, stickers, and charts. To be honest, it was mind-boggling all the effort people would go through just so they could have intimacy without consequence. It was also shocking to me that this was being promoted before I even took the vows on my wedding day! I threw the packet away and have never looked back. I am thankful that I never learned NFP… I wonder which of my children wouldn’t be here had I chosen to keep those papers and learn NFP?”

“Dear Editor… I am a mother to seven children and can share my own experiences. NFP did NOT bring my marriage closer. I struggled with reconciling myself to the fact that scripture states a husband and wife should be submissive and not separate unless for prayer. We were avoiding pregnancy.....plain and simple. There can be nothing spiritual about telling your spouse that you can’t participate in the marital embrace for fear of a child being conceived. Webster’s dictionary defines contraception as: “deliberate prevention of conception or impregnation”. Systematically charting and watching out for those fertile days is the deliberate prevention of conception. I know friends who use it. I’ve talked to them in a very personal way. They do not want any more children. They are using NFP as birth control, which it is. And one friend has been using it for 11 years and “hasn’t had any accidents.”… I can say that St. Augustine was right on target when he wrote in The Morals of the Manichees: “Marriage, as the marriage tablets themselves proclaim, joins male and female for the procreation of children. Whoever says that to procreate children is a worse sin than to copulate thereby prohibits the purpose of marriage; and he makes the woman no more a wife than a harlot, who, when she has been given certain gifts, is joined to a man to satisfy his lust. If there is a wife, there is matrimony. But there is no matrimony where motherhood is prevented, for then there is no wife.”… My favorite comment recently was made by another author comparing NFP to a farmer who plants his corn in the dead of winter so as to avoid a plentiful harvest.”

“Dear Editor… Let me put the NFP debate simply: if it is your intention to avoid having children, it really doesn’t matter what method you use. You’ve already committed the sin. If, however, you use contraception as your method of choice, you add to the first sin a second one. As to the oft-repeated mantra of “grave reasons”, allow me to say this: name one. Look deep into your heart and name one that is really, truly grave… We did the NFP bit for awhile... and have felt revulsion over it ever since. During that time we might have had at least two more children.”

“To the Editor: NFP is one of the chief infiltrations of the new-age sex cult into the Church, along with sex-ed and immodest dress… As modern Catholics have been conditioned to embrace mutually contradictory ideas while defending them as consonant, they have been easily deceived by the notion that NFP, as commonly practiced, is somehow different from birth control. I have no training in moral theology, but even I know that the goal of an action determines its substance. When a couple engages in deliberately sterile relations, this is known as birth control, plain and simple.”

Origen (c. 184-254), in his Homilies on Genesis, comments on a similar passage of The Book of Tobias found in Psalm 31:9 (Psalm 32:9), and he says that people who have marital relations for any other purpose than the procreation of children are even worse than “dumb beasts”. Therefore, “Let the married women examine themselves and seek if they approach their husbands for this reason alone, that they might receive children, and after conception desist. For those women… when they have attained conception, do not later assent to copulation with a man. But some women, for we do not censure all equally, but there are some who serve passion incessantly, like animals without any distinction, whom I would not even compare to the dumb beasts. For even the beasts themselves know, when they have conceived, not to further grant opportunity to their males. The divine Scriptures also censures such when it says: "Do not become like the horse and the mule who have no understanding," [Ps. 31:9 (Ps. 32:9)] and again, "They have become stallions." [Jer. 5:8] But, O people of God, "who love Christ in incorruption," [Eph. 6:24] understand the word of the Apostle in which he says: "Whether you eat or drink or whatever else you do, do all to the glory of God." [1 Cor. 10:31] For his remark after eating and drinking, "whatever else you do," has designated with a modest word the immodest affairs of marriage, showing that even these acts themselves are performed to the glory of God if they are attended to with a view to posterity alone.” (Origen, Homilies on Genesis, Homily V, Section 4, On Lot And His Daughters)

Planned Parenthood and NFP of the same cloth

Have you noticed the similarities between Planned Parenthood (the world’s largest abortion provider) and Natural Family Planning? Artificial contraceptives and abortifacients are found under store aisles marked “Family Planning.” Like abortionists, family planners consider children as something undesirable, at least temporarily; whereas the true faithful have always considered them as an undeniable blessing from God Himself, planned by His providence from all eternity. “Behold, children are the inheritance of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward… Blessed is the man whose desire is filled with them; he shall not be confounded.” (Psalm 126:3,5)

In publications promoting NFP, the fertile period of the wife is sometimes classified as “not safe” and “dangerous,” as though generating new life were considered a serious breach of national security and a little infant a treacherous criminal. This is truly abominable. “However, you say: ‘It is no sin to know one’s wife except with the desire for children.’ So great a sin is it, that the repentant Prophet exclaims: ‘I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother conceive me.’ [Ps. 50.7]… Now, since we have all been created interiorly in our soul according to God’s image, as often as we say or do something shameful we defile God’s image. Consider, then, whether this is becoming or proper for you [that is, performing the sexual act for the purpose of concupiscence without a desire for children]. I say truly, brethren, that God does not deserve this of us, that His image in us should suffer insult through evil concupiscence.” (St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 44:5,6)

Could it be more clear that those who subscribe to this type of behavior and this method shut God and children out and replace them with their own selfish agenda? “Then the angel Raphael said to him [Tobias]: Hear me, and I will show thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.” (Tobias 6:16-17)

The word Matrimony means “the office of Motherhood.” Those who use NFP try to avoid Matrimony (the office of Motherhood) and shut out God from themselves. Indeed, “You may see a number of women who are widows before they are wives. Other, indeed, will drink sterility and murder a man not yet born.” (St. Jerome, Letter 22:13, To Eustochium, A.D. 384)

NFP has eternal and infinite consequences

The following facts may be the most incriminating to the practice of “Natural Family Planning.”

If family planners had their way, there would be no St. Bernadette of Lourdes who was born from a jail flat; nor St. Therese of Lisieux, who came from a sickly mother who lost three children in a row; nor St. Ignatius Loyola, who was the thirteenth of thirteen children; and most certainly not a St. Catherine of Siena, who was the twenty-fourth child in a family of twenty-five children! Examples of Saints who were the last of many children or second to last could probably be multiplied for pages. St. Catherine of Siena and the rest of the Saints who would have been phased out of existence by NFP will rise in judgment against the NFP generation. Natural Family Planners would have been sure to inform St. Catherine’s mother that there was no need having twenty-five children (let alone five), and that she was wasting her time going through all those pregnancies.

Only in eternity shall we know the immortal souls who have been denied a chance at Heaven because of this selfish behavior. The only thing that can foil the will of the all-powerful God is the will of His puny creatures; for He will not force offspring on anyone, just as He will not violate anyone’s free will. NFP is a crime of incalculable proportions.

If family planners had their way, the appearances of Our Lady of Fatima would not have occurred, as she appeared to Lucia (the 7th of 7 children), Francisco (the 8th of 9 children) and Jacinta (the 9th of 9 children). Family Planners, by their selfish thwarting of the will of God, would have erased from human history the entire message of Fatima as well as: the incredible miracle of the Sun; the extraordinary lives of these three shepherd children; and all the graces of conversion obtained by their heroic sacrifices. How many saints, conversions and miracles have been erased by this abominable birth control practice? Only God knows.

A mother of many children, who was about to be a mother once more, came to Ars (the place where St. John Vianney (1786-1859) resided) to seek courage from him. She said to him, “Oh, I am so advanced in years Father!” St. John Vianney responded: “Be comforted my child, if you only knew the women who will go to Hell because they did not bring into the world the children they should have given to it!” These true words of the great St. John Vianney of course agrees perfectly with Holy Scripture which teaches us that a woman “shall be saved through child-bearing; if she continue in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety.” (1 Timothy 2:15)

After reading such words in the Holy Bible itself—that is, in God’s Holy Word—no one who is not a complete liar can deny that Holy Scripture teaches that a woman shall be saved through child-bearing (if she is Catholic and in the state of grace). But NFP advocates, however, would have us believe that a woman is saved through child-avoiding. Moreover, just as a woman who fulfills the will of God and maintains the state of grace in the state of Matrimony is saved by her childbearing, so too are countless women going to be damned for not bearing the children that God wanted them to have. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His justice and all things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Sexual intercourse is given for the procreation of children (St. John Chrysostom, Hom. XXI in Col.; PG 62.387). The essential unity between sexual intercourse and procreation of children is everywhere upheld by Chrysostom to be the natural end and purpose of marriage. This is evidenced, for example, in St. Chrysostom’s explanation of the sin of Sodom. Rather than focusing only on the functional “unnaturalness” of the sex of the Sodomites, Chrysostom writes, “Sodom devised a barren intercourse, not having for its end the procreation of children, so did God bring on them such a punishment, as made the womb of the land even barren, and destitute of all fruits.” (Stat. Hom. XIX; PG 49.191; NPNF, p. 467). Indeed, it should thus be clear now to all of good will that the Church and Her Saints teaches that, “As often as he [the husband] knows his wife without a desire for children… without a doubt he commits sin.” (Saint Caesar of Arles, The Faith of The Early Fathers, Vol. 3:2233)

The sin of inflaming concupiscence

As we have seen, the Catholic Church teaches that the marital act cannot be used to inflame concupiscence. If the marital act is used to inflame concupiscence, sin is committed. The goal of a godly couple’s marital relations is to put out the fire of lust by committing the act with a sense of shame and acknowledgment of the weakness of the flesh in order “That… you may be made partakers of the divine nature: flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world.” (2 Peter 1:4) The sinful goal of inflaming concupiscence is to ignite the fire of lust to greater levels, higher excitation, exalting the flesh while suppressing shame and the weakness of the flesh.

Examples of sinful inflaming of the flesh are fore-or-after play, dressing sensual, striptease, masturbation of self or spouse, touching oneself or the spouse at inappropriate places, taking part in sexual role playing games, inappropriate sexual positions, shaving the genital hair for the sake of enhancing sexual pleasure and the sexual experience, or to kiss each other for the sake of enhancing sexual pleasure or “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss”, and using aphrodisiacs for the evil purpose of enhancing sexual pleasure rather than for a just cause, such as impotence. (In case of impotence, however, a husband should not use the compounds which he knows will increase his pleasure, but should first and foremost use the compounds that will increase his blood flow without necessarily affecting his lust, such as PDE-5 inhibitors.) None of these perverted acts mentioned are necessary for fulfilling the primary purpose of the marital act, that is, the procreation and education of children, but serves only lust, and are therefore considered as mortal sins.

If spouses do not work toward perfection by trying to eliminate concupiscence, then, when one dies, the other is very susceptible to commit mortal sin by illicitly quelling concupiscence. When I told a married man that NFP is a mortal sin, he said that this couldn’t be true because he cannot control his lust and he cannot afford to have any more children; therefore, he had to practice NFP. Sad to say, this man mocks and denies God’s grace by saying he cannot control his lust, and he has no true faith in God who feeds the birds who neither reap nor sow nor gather into barns. Jesus Christ is the divine physician and healer who can cure any and all faults and sinful conditions. I asked him, “If you cannot control your lust now, what would you do if your wife dies tomorrow?” “How would you fulfill your lust then?” If, as he said, he cannot control his lust, he would commit mortal sin by finding a way to fulfill his lust one way or another.

Take note, however, that what this man said about himself is not really true, that is, that he cannot control his lust, for the fact of the matter is that all people who practice NFP must control their lust at least at certain periods of time every month in order to avoid the wife’s fertile period. Thus, this man is not really unable to control his lust but only chooses to control it on those days of the month that he fears that a child may be conceived. However, even if this man would be unable (or rather unwilling) to control his lust through faithlessness or weakness of the flesh, he should still not be so rash and even more faithless as to claim that he cannot afford more children or provide for them, as if the means to provide for his family really was in his own hands. God is perfectly aware of the needs of the family. He will not burden it with anything it cannot handle, provided it does not incur God’s wrath for other purposes, one being contraception, another faithlessness. Through faithlessness, overindulgence and lack of restraint in the marital act, this man has sadly allowed the lust of the flesh to take so much control over his will that he now claims he cannot control it. Truly, if this man had any faith in God, he would not be so faithless as to claim that he cannot control his lust. For him it might be impossible, but for God, all is possible.

Indeed, one of the reasons why so many married couples have such problems restraining themselves is because they want to have marital relations too often or more than what is necessary. The consequence of this is that their overindulgence in sexual pleasure has led them to become controlled by their passions like animals without any reason instead of being able to control their passions like rational human beings. For just as a man can commit gluttony in eating too much and too extravagantly, so too can a man commit gluttony in the marital act by doing it too often, or in an unreasonable manner.

St. Augustine, On Merit and the Forgiveness of Sins, and the Baptism of Infants (A.D. 412): “The good, then, of marriage lies not in the passion of desire, but in a certain legitimate and honorable measure in using that passion, appropriate to the propagation of children, not the gratification of lust. … When, however, it is curbed from unlawful desires, and is permitted only for the orderly propagation and renewal of the human race, this is the good of wedlock, by which man is born in the union that is appointed.” (Book I, Chapter 57, XXIX.--The Good of Marriage; Four Different Cases of the Good and the Evil Use of Matrimony)

Paul VI promotes sinful birth control in his encyclical Humanae Vitae

Antipope Paul VI, who promulgated the heretical decrees of Vatican II and implemented the New Mass, explained correctly that NFP is birth control when he promoted it in his heretical encyclical Humanae Vitae.

Antipope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae (# 16), July 25, 1968: “… married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained.”

Even though it’s a dogma of Faith (as have been abundantly proved thus far) that (1) procreation and education of children is the primary purpose of marriage and the marital act; and (2) that to deliberately frustrate the natural power or purpose of the marital act to generate life in any way is contrary to nature, most advocates of NFP, however, would like to have us believe the exact opposite. Tragically, these people also seem to be completely ignoring the fact that this new teaching of NFP (if it’s used to avoid Children), was non existent in the Catholic Church prior to the modern world and the Vatican II revolution.

What is Vatican II?

Vatican II was a council that took place from 1962-1965. Vatican II was a false council that constituted a revolution against 2000 years of Catholic teaching and Tradition. Vatican II contains many heresies that were directly condemned by past popes and infallible councils. Vatican II attempted to give Catholics a new religion. In the period following Vatican II, massive changes in every aspect of Catholic Faith ensued, including the implementation of a New Mass.

(To learn what really happened to the Catholic Church after the Vatican II revolution, please consult this book: The Truth about What Really Happened to the Catholic Church after Vatican II - [LINK TO SECTION])

Now, the defenders of NFP couldn’t seem to care less that the new “Church” they follow today in fact contradicts 2000 years of Catholic teaching and Tradition. These people actually seem to believe that the Catholic Church and all Her Popes and Saints (prior to the Vatican II revolution) was wrong or ignorant for about 2000 years in condemning such practices as NFP, while naively believing that the Vatican II “Church” (that sprung up in the last days to deceive Catholics) is right in teaching that one is perfectly fine to deliberately avoid children, while only striving to satisfy one’s own depraved and damnable lust.

However, both cannot be right at the same time. Either the Vatican II “Church” and Paul VI is right in teaching that NFP is acceptable, or 2000 years of Catholic Church teaching and Tradition (pre-Vatican II) and Pope Pius XI is right in infallibly condemning it.

Because as any honest person reading this article will be forced to admit, Pope Pius XI was clearly contradicted by Antipope Paul VI on NFP (see below). But the idea that the Catholic Church was wrong for about 2000 years in infallibly condemning evil practices like NFP, and that the new end times church is right in allowing it, thus contradicting what the Catholic Church has previously infallibly taught since ancient times, is not only absurd and ridiculous, but also heretical; and none who is honest with himself would ever dare to make such an outrageous argument.

The Catholic Church (pre-Vatican II)

condemns birth-control

The heretical Vatican II “Church”

approves of birth-control

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 17), Dec. 31, 1930: “THE PRIMARY END OF MARRIAGE IS THE PROCREATION AND THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN.”

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 54), Dec. 31, 1930: “Since, therefore, THE CONJUGAL ACT IS DESTINED PRIMARILY BY NATURE FOR THE BEGETTING OF CHILDREN, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural powers and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.”

Antipope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae (# 16), July 25, 1968: “… married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse ONLY DURING THOSE TIMES THAT ARE INFERTILE, THUS CONTROLLING BIRTH [SO THAT NONE MAY RESULT] in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained.”

Note the word “purpose” by Pius XI. What is the purpose of the marital act? Obviously, it is the procreation of Children. But what is the purpose of the couple who practice NFP? Is it to fulfill the main “purpose” of marriage and raise holy and godly children? No! Their only “purpose” is selfishness; to satisfy their own selfish agenda while deliberately trying to avoid the children that God wanted to bless them with.

Another keyword is “deliberate” attempt to prevent conception. Pope Pius XI teaches all forms of deliberately frustrating the marital act by depriving it of its natural power and purpose (conception) is a “sin against nature” and is “intrinsically vicious” (intrinsically evil). He does not qualify deliberate frustration by saying, only if physical devices are used during the act, or by withdrawal during the act.

Not only did Paul VI contradict the Church’s teaching on NFP and birth control, but he also contradicted Her on the declared sinfulness of performing the marital act exclusively for the purpose of satisfying one’s own lust. Marital relations performed for the sole sake of sexual pleasure is condemned as sinful by the Magisterium of the Church and the Word of God in the Holy Bible (Tobias 6:16-17, 22; 8:9, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, Genesis 38:9-10).

Various Errors on Moral Subjects, Condemned in a decree, March 4, 1679: “THE ACT OF MARRIAGE EXERCISED FOR PLEASURE ONLY IS ENTIRELY FREE OF ALL FAULT AND VENIAL DEFECT.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI. (Denz. 1159)

Therefore all aspects of NFP or “Natural Family Planning”, both the deed of deliberately avoiding children while having marital relations, and the motive of having marital relations only for the sake of venereal pleasure, is condemned by the Catholic Church.

So while Vatican II and Paul VI teaches that the primary purpose (or reason) of marriage and the marital act is to satisfy one’s own shameful and damnable lust (since they even allow for the total exclusion of bearing children by a systematic effort and deliberate plan), the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church and dogmatic teaching teaches us that the primary purpose of marriage (and the marital act) is the procreation and education of children: “However, you say: ‘It is no sin to know one’s wife except with the desire for children.’ So great a sin is it, that the repentant Prophet exclaims: ‘I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother conceive me.’ [Psalm 50:7] So, too, we read in the Old Testament that, when the Jewish people were about to approach Mount Sinai, it was said to them in the Lord’s teaching: ‘Be sanctified, and be ready against the third day, and come not near your wives,’ [Exodus 19:15] and: ‘if any man be defiled in a dream by night, let him not eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of salvation, lest his soul be cut off from his people.’ [Deuteronomy 23:10; Leviticus 7:20] If after defilement which happens to us even unwillingly we may not communicate [receive the Eucharist] unless compunction and almsgiving come first, and fasting, too, if infirmity does not prevent it, who can say that there is no sin if we do such things intentionally when we are wide awake?” (St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 44)

The Great Apostasy in the Bible and the writings of the Catholic Prophets prophesied the almost complete destruction of the Catholic Faith and morals that we are now living through

St. Paul, in his epistles to the Romans and St. Timothy speaks of the prophesied great loss of faith during the Great Apostasy and the accompanying evil fruits (sins of immorality). Dear reader, if you are or have been a defender of NFP, please consider the following inspired and prophetic words from the Bible perfectly applying to our situation today.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 “Know also this, THAT IN THE LAST DAYS, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasure more than of God: Having an appearance indeed of godliness but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid.”

1 Corinthians 11:16-19 “But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the church of God. Now this I ordain: not praising you, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all I hear that when you come together in the church, there are schisms among you; and in part I believe it. For there must be also heresies: that they also, who are approved, may be made manifest among you.”

Douay-Rheims & Haydock Bible Commentaries explains First Corinthians 11: “Ver. 19. There must be also heresies: By reason of the pride and perversity of man’s heart; not by God’s will or appointment; who nevertheless draws good out of this evil, manifesting, by that occasion, who are the good and firm Christians, [and who are not,] and making their faith more remarkable. (Challoner) --- The providence of God draweth good out of evil, but woe to the man, says the Scripture, by whom scandal cometh, such as sects and heresies. Hence St. Augustine, chap. viii. de vera relig. says: ‘Let us use heretics not so as to approve their errors, but to make us more wary and vigilant, and more strenuous in defending Catholic doctrine against their deceits.’”

These bible verses are an exact description of modern, wicked and heretical men in these final days and is the end result of an unrepentant, sinful and selfish lifestyle that always ends in sinful practices like contraception, and eventually in the loss of the Catholic Faith. This is known as the Romans One Curse. “And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Romans 1:28) Fallen-away Catholics say they believe in God with their lips and continue with outward actions of worship. They have an appearance of godliness indeed, but in their hearts they deny God by denying His power, making their worship vain. “Well did Isaias prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and precepts of men.” (Mark 7:6-7) Fallen-away Catholics teach precepts of men, such as NFP, and not of God, making their worship vain and without fruit.

Once faith is lost, sin abounds and spirals out-of-control producing the resultant evil fruits. “Augustine was wont to say ‘When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin.’” (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos #14, 1832)

The reason God honored the Patriarchs and the Prophets of the Old Testament period was because they all performed the marital act for the motive of begetting children

Many Fathers and Saints of the Church taught that the reason God honored and blessed the Patriarchs and the Prophets so exceedingly much was that they all performed the marital act for the sole sake of begetting children, instead of for the motive or purpose of selfishly pleasing their concupiscence or sexual desire that most people through the ages have performed the marital act for. For instance, it could be said of the marital intercourse between the Holy Patriarch Abraham and Righteous Sarah that “their one concern was the heir not their pleasure” (St. John Chrysostom, Hom. XXXVIII in Gen.; PG 53.356). St. Chrysostom calls the Patriarch Abraham in this homily a “man of steel” and a “noble athlete of God”. St. Chrysostom calls the bridal-chamber the “chamber of procreation” (Hom. XXIV in Rom.; PG 60.626). The necessary end of desire is procreation (St. John Chrysostom, Hom. XXIV in 2 Cor.; PG 61.563).

St. Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata (c. 198-203 A.D.): “And Abraham, who had children by three wives, not for the indulgence of pleasure, but in the hope, as I think, of multiplying the race at the first...” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book II, Chapter XIX.)

St. Augustine who similarly wrote extensively about procreation and sexuality explains in his “Sermons on the New Testament,” that the Patriarchs and the Prophets of old searched for and desired children and purity rather than fulfilling their own selfish and sensual interests, thus living a chaste lifestyle directly opposed to most of the lustful people of today. Augustine writes, “So then, my brethren, give heed. Those famous men who marry wives only for the procreation of children, such as we read the Patriarchs to have been, and know it, by many proofs, by the clear and unequivocal testimony of the sacred books; whoever, I say, they are who marry wives for this purpose only, if the means could be given them of having children without intercourse with their wives, would they not with joy unspeakable embrace so great a blessing? would they not with great delight accept it? For there are two carnal operations by which mankind is preserved, [eating and sex] to both of which the wise and holy descend as matter of duty, but the unwise rush headlong into them through lust; and these are very different things.” (St. Augustine, Sermons on the New Testament, Sermon 1:23)

“Hence, my brethren, understand the sense of Scripture concerning those our ancient fathers, whose sole design in their marriage was to have children by their wives. For those even who, according to the custom of their time and nation, had a plurality of wives, lived in such chastity with them, as not to approach their bed, but for the cause I have mentioned, thus treating them indeed with honor. But he who exceeds the limits which this rule prescribes for the fulfillment of this end of marriage, acts contrary to the very contract by which he took his wife. The contract is read in the presence of all the attesting witnesses; and an express clause is there that they marry "for the procreation of children;" and this is called the marriage contract. If it was not for this that wives were given and taken to wife, what father could without blushing give up his daughter to the lust of any man? But now, that the parents may not blush, and that they may give their daughters in honorable marriage, not to shame, the contract is read out. And what is read from it?—the clause, "for the sake of the procreation of children." And when this is heard, the brow of the parent is cleared up and calmed. Let us consider again the feelings of the husband who takes his wife. The husband himself would blush to receive her with any other view, if the father would blush with any other view to give her.

“Nevertheless, if they cannot contain (as I have said on other occasions), let them require what is due, and let them not go to any others than those from whom it is due. Let both the woman and the man seek relief for their infirmity in themselves. Let not the husband go to any other woman, nor the woman to any other man, for from this adultery gets its name, as though it were "a going to another." And if they exceed the bounds of the marriage contract, let them not at least exceed those of conjugal fidelity. Is it not a sin in married persons to exact from one another more than this design of the "procreation of children" renders necessary? It is doubtless a sin… The Apostle saith… "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency." [1 Cor. 7:5] What does this mean? That you do not impose upon yourselves any thing beyond your strength, that you do not by your mutual continence fall into adultery. "That Satan tempt you not for your incontinency." And that he might not seem to enjoin what he only allowed (for it is one thing to give precepts to strength of virtue, and another to make allowance to infirmity), he immediately subjoined; "But this I speak of allowance, not of commandment. For I would that all men were even as I myself [that is, chaste]." As though he would say, I do not command you to do this; but I pardon you if you do.” (St. Augustine, Sermons on the New Testament, Sermon 1:22)

The Catechism of the Council of Trent in the part about the “Sacrament of Matrimony” confirms that the Patriarchs of old loved God with a pure and chaste love, explaining that: “A second reason for marriage is the desire of family, not so much, however, with a view to leave after us heirs to inherit our property and fortune, as to bring up children in the true faith and in the service of God. That such was the principal object of the holy Patriarchs when they married is clear from Scripture. Hence the Angel, when informing Tobias of the means of repelling the violent assaults of the evil demon, says: “I will show thee who they are over whom the devil can prevail; for they who in such manner receive matrimony as to shut out God from themselves and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.” He then adds: “Thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children.” It was also for this reason that God instituted marriage from the beginning; and therefore married persons who, to prevent conception or procure abortion, have recourse to medicine, are guilty of a most heinous crime – nothing less than wicked conspiracy to commit murder.” Children, the Catholic Church teaches, are a blessing from God. They are not a curse, neither are they an impediment.

Furthermore, Origen, (c. 184-254) in his “Homilies on Genesis,” which deals with the topic of the circumcision of Abraham, explains that God’s purpose with the circumcision of the foreskin that He commanded in the Old Law (and the Old Testament) symbolizes a person’s will to have marital relations only for the motive of procreating offspring, rather than for satisfying their own lusts and desires: “But now let us see how also, according to our promise, circumcision of the flesh ought to be received. There is no one who does not know that this member, in which the foreskin is seen to be, serves the natural functions of coitus and procreation. If anyone, therefore, is not troublesome in respect to impulses of this kind, nor exceeds the bounds set by the laws, nor has known a woman other than his lawful wife, and, in the case of her also, makes use of her in the determined and lawful times for the sake of posterity alone, that man is to be said to be circumcised in the foreskin of his flesh. But that man is uncircumcised in the foreskin of his flesh who fall down in all lasciviousness and everywhere loiters for diverse and illicit caresses, and is carried along unchecked in every whirlpool of lust. But the Church of Christ, strengthened by the grace of him who has been crucified for it, abstains not only from illicit and impious beds but also from those allowed and legitimate, and flourishes like the virgin bride of Christ with pure and chaste virgins in whom true circumcision of the foreskin of the flesh has been performed and truly God’s covenant and the eternal covenant is preserved in their flesh.” (Origen, Homilies on Genesis, Homily III, Section 6)

It is thus clear that married spouses who want to please Our Lord and His Holy Will must follow the holy and pure example of the Patriarchs and the Prophets of the Old Testament time, “For they [that is, the men of the Old Law] had them [their wives] in the work of begetting children, not "in the disease of desire, as the nations which know not God." [1 Thess. 4:5] And this is so great a thing, that many at this day more easily abstain from all sexual intercourse their whole life through, than, if they are joined in marriage, observe the measure of not coming together except for the sake of children.” (St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 15) Hence, “the case being thus, enough and more than enough answer has been made to the heretics, whether they be Manichees, or whosoever other [heretics] that bring false charges against the Fathers of the Old Testament, on the subject of their having several wives, thinking this a proof whereby to convict them of incontinence… [however the Fathers] used those women not for wantonness, but for the begetting of children” (St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Section 33)

We see the same kind of teaching about Abraham in Augustine’s work Against Faustus:

“Referring, then, to the eternal law which enjoins the preservation of natural order and forbids the breach of it, let us see how our father Abraham sinned, that is, how he broke this law, in the things which Faustus has charged him with as highly criminal. In his irrational craving to have children, says Faustus, and not believing God, who promised that his wife Sara should have a son, he defiled himself with a mistress. But here Faustus, in his irrational desire to find fault, both discloses the impiety of his heresy, and in his error and ignorance praises Abraham’s intercourse with the handmaid. For as the eternal law—that is, the will of God the Creator of all—for the preservation of the natural order, permits the indulgence of the bodily appetite under the guidance of reason in sexual intercourse, not for the gratification of passion, but for the continuance of the race through the procreation of children; so, on the contrary, the unrighteous law of the Manichæans, in order to prevent their god, whom they bewail as confined in all seeds, from suffering still closer confinement in the womb, requires married people not on any account to have children, their great desire being to liberate their god. Instead, therefore, of an irrational craving in Abraham to have children, we find in Manichæus an irrational fancy against having children. So the one preserved the natural order by seeking in marriage only the production of a child; while the other, influenced by his heretical notions, thought no evil could be greater than the confinement of his god.” (St. Augustine, Against Faustus, Book 22, Section 30)

As we can see, for St. Augustine, the purpose of sexual relations is only to produce children. This is also the teaching of all the Fathers on this subject.

St. Augustine, On the Literal Meaning of Genesis 9.3.5-6: “If one should ask why it was necessary that a helper be made for man, the answer that seems most probable is that it was for the procreation of children, just as the earth is a helper for the seed in the production of a plant from the union of the two. This purpose was declared in the original creation of the world: “Male and female he made them. And God blessed them and said, ‘Increase and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.’” This reason for creation and union of male and female, as well as this blessing, was not abrogated after the sin and punishment of man. It is by virtue of this blessing that the earth is now filled with human beings who subdue it. Although it was after the expulsion of the man and woman from paradise that they came together in sexual intercourse and begot children, according to Scripture, nevertheless I do not see what could have prohibited them from honorable nuptial union and “the bed undefiled” even in paradise. God could have granted them this if they had lived in a faithful and just manner in obedient and holy service to him, so that without the tumultuous ardor of passion and without any labor and pain of childbirth, offspring would be born from their seed. In this case, the purpose would not be to have children succeeding parents who die. Rather those who had begotten children would remain in the prime of life and would maintain their physical strength from the tree of life that had been planted in paradise. Those who would be born would develop to the same state and eventually, when the determined number would be complete, if all live just and obedient lives, there would be a transformation. Thus without any death their natural bodies would receive a new quality since they obeyed every command of the spirit that ruled them. With the spirit alone vivifying them, without any help from corporeal nourishment, they would be called spiritual bodies. This could have been if the transgression of God’s command had not merited the punishment of death.”

EVIL FRUITS OF NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING

Abortion is the result of failed contraceptive practices

All sin produces evil fruit according to its quality and quantity. What are the fruits of NFP? They are very evil fruits indeed: small families, unbridled lust, selfishness, materialism, greed, discord, contentions, disobedience in all ranks, alcoholism, drug addiction, also abortion, which is a direct result of failed contraceptive practices.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 65), Dec. 31, 1930: “All of which agrees with the stern words of the Bishop of Hippo in denouncing those wicked parents who seek to remain childless, and failing in this, are not ashamed to put their children to death: ‘Sometimes this lustful cruelty or cruel lust goes so far as to seek to procure a baneful sterility, and if this fails, the foetus conceived in the womb is in one way or another smothered or evacuated, in the desire to destroy the offspring before it has life, or if it already lives in the womb, to kill it before it is born. If both man and woman are party to such practices, they are not spouses at all; and if from the first they have carried on thus they have come together not for honest wedlock, but for impure gratification.’”

If the plan to prevent conception fails then abortion, the murder of the infant in the womb of the mother, is the solution. This is the great cost men pay to fulfill their unbridled and sinful lust. This monstrous, unbridled lust shows its ugly head in many ways such as by sexual abuse of all sorts to sexual harassment and rape, to the carrying out of the act with family members (incest) and others; by viewing pornography and in their children who cannot control their lusts because they were conceived primarily in lust and raised in lust. Greed manifests itself because of the selfish nature that leads spouses to practice contraception. Objects and things that bring them momentary pleasure are more important to them than people, more important than having children. The children they do have are only sentimental ornaments that lend their perverted marriage an air of acceptance. They have no true love or care for their children, because the parents are lovers of themselves more than God. They are more interested in what brings them momentary pleasure. What they do not realize is that true pleasure and peace only comes from obeying all of God’s commandments and raising godly children if God wills they should have children. Parents sit their children in front of a Television to baby-sit them while the parents fulfill, or work to fulfill, their own selfish interests. They drop off their children at day care centers for strangers to care for them. Imagine if our Blessed Mother Mary, after having received the greatest gift that any man can ever receive, the infant Jesus, God and Man, dropped Him off with godless strangers to care for Him. Parents, due to their selfish, materialistic, and covetous nature, have shirked their duty to bring children into the world and then educate and train them to be pious, faithful and obedient Catholics, so that they may have a hope to save their souls. “The having of children, they esteem grievous and unwelcome. Many at least with this view have even paid money to be childless, and have mutilated nature, not only killing the newborn, but even acting to prevent their beginning to live.” (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew 28:5, A.D. 391) “Whence women, reputed believers, began to resort to drugs for producing sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one [the Devil] has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time!” (St. Hippolytus of Rome, Refutation of All Heresies, Book IX, Chapter 7, A.D. 225)

In truth, “No woman should take drugs for purposes of abortion, nor should she kill her children that have been conceived or are already born. If anyone does this, she should know that before Christ’s tribunal she will have to plead her case in the presence of those she has killed. Moreover, women should not take diabolical draughts [contraceptive drugs] with the purpose of not being able to conceive children. A woman who does this ought to realize that she will be guilty of as many murders as the number of children she might have borne. I would like to know whether a woman of nobility who takes deadly drugs to prevent conception wants her maids or tenants to do so. Just as every woman wants slaves born for her so that they may serve her, so she herself should nurse all the children she conceives, or entrust them to others for rearing. Otherwise, she may refuse to conceive children or, what is more serious, be willing to kill souls which might have been good Christians. Now, with what kind of a conscience does she desire slaves to be born of her servants, when she herself refuses to bear children who might become Christians?” (St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 44:2)

The following question can truly be asked to all those evil and impure people who kill their children or who use any form of birth-control: “Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit, where there are medicines of sterility, where there is murder before birth? [NFP and contraception] You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderess as well. . . . Indeed, it is something worse than murder, and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gift of God and fight with his laws? . . . Yet such turpitude. . . . the matter still seems indifferent to many men -- even to many men having wives. In this indifference of the married men there is greater evil filth; for then poisons are prepared, not against the womb of a prostitute, but against your injured wife. Against her are these innumerable tricks.” (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 24, A.D. 391)

Also, in On Marriage and Concupiscence, by St. Augustine: “Sometimes lustful cruelty, or better cruel lust, leads one to take contraceptive drugs, and, if they do not work, kill the living infant in the womb. Or they abort it before it is born, because they would rather have the child die in the uterus than live. If both spouses subsequently agreed to this they are not really husband and wife. If they intended this from the start, their union was not marriage but debauchery. If only one intended this, I dare say that she or he was merely her husband’s whore or his wife’s paramour.” (Quoted by Gratian, in Marriage Canons From The Decretum, Case Thirty-Two, Question II, C.7)

They work harder and are not at peace

Spouses who use contraception to limit the number of children actually increase their burden instead of lessening it. It does not matter if they have small or large families. Even spouses that have large families who then decide to use contraception fall under the same curse from God as those who use contraception and have small families. What the faithless do not see is that God punishes them by making them work much harder than they would if they did not use contraception. They work harder as a result of their sins, which are selfish in nature. All the work they do is for carnal purposes, to support and maintain a gluttonous and extravagant lifestyle, at least that is their goal even if they have not achieved it to their satisfaction. In reality gluttons and materialistic men are never satisfied no matter how much they have, thus they are disquieted most of the time and in many ways. “The eye of the covetous man is insatiable in his portion of iniquity: he will not be satisfied till he consume his own soul, drying it up.” (Ecclesiasticus 14:9) “There is no peace to the wicked.” (Isaiah 57:21)

The sin of materialism they are afflicted with causes them to covetously desire fancy homes with all the modern conveniences and gadgets, fancy new cars, two vacations or more a year, etc. All this has caused them to work harder than if they had a larger unplanned family and lived frugally. How often do we hear them say, “I have all these things but no time to enjoy them?” They run around like chickens with their heads cut off, every which way, busy about much, with no time to contemplate on what is really important. One of Satan’s main ploys is to keep men so busy that they cannot think about God. Remember Satan’s ploy against the Israelites. Satan, speaking through Pharaoh, increased the workload of the Israelites so they would not have time to worship God. “Moses and Aaron went in, and said to Pharaoh: Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Let my people go, that they may sacrifice to me in the desert… The king of Egypt said to them: Why do you Moses and Aaron draw off the people from their works? Get you gone to your burdens. … Therefore he commanded the same day the overseers of the works, and the task-masters of the people, saying: You shall give straw no more to the people to make brick, as before; but let them go and gather straw. And you shall lay upon them the task of bricks, which they did before; neither shall you diminish any thing thereof, for they are idle, and therefore they cry, saying: Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let them be oppressed with works, and let them fulfill them.” (Exodus 5:1. 4,6-9)

If men do not have proper time to think about God, not just a fleeting thought, they have no hope of finding Him. Just look around any city and you will see people running hither and thither going about at a mad pace with barely enough time to say hello to anyone. You do not see people talking with one another at leisure anymore on street corners or in parks. “Take heed to yourselves, lest perhaps your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and the cares of this life: and that day come upon you suddenly.” (Luke 21:34-36) It is only when people soberly think, contemplate, and talk that there can be any hope for them to find God. This is not a guarantee that they will find God, but without it there is no hope at all. “Without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God must believe that he is: and is a rewarder to them that seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) “Seek and you shall find.” (Matthew 7:7) Those who seek God with a true and unfeigned heart will find God and godly peace because they are the elect who are of good will.

Parents do not even have time to spend with their own children, thus they invented the worldly evil slogan, “Quality time over quantity.” This is another tradition of men that has done away with God’s commandment to raise and educate godly children in the Catholic religion. Parents imagine they can spend around one hour a day with their children, heaping on them a false, worldly love, many times bribing them by giving them what ever they want and then ignore them the other 23 hours. If the infant needs his diaper changed outside the quality time limit, then he must sit in his mess until his scheduled visit from his mom, or she could get someone else to do her duty. Children need 24-hour care, not just one, two, three, or twelve hours a day. Raising godly children is a full time job. It means cooking, cleaning, teaching, and vigilance every hour of every day of every year. Yes, it is a duty, and woe to those who shirk it. For surely as God is the God of the Holy Catholic Church, He will abandon you also, just as you have abandoned your own children, by your refusal to raise and educate them in holiness and the Catholic faith. He will let you sit in the mess of your own sins.

St. Augustine, On The Natural Good of Marriage, A.D. 419: “With respect, however, to what I ascribed to the nature of marriage, that the male and the female are united together as associates for procreation, and consequently do not defraud each other (forasmuch as every associated state has a natural abhorrence of a fraudulent companion), although even men without faith possess this palpable blessing of nature, yet, since they use it not in faith, they only turn it to evil and sin. In like manner, therefore, the marriage of believers converts to the use of righteousness that carnal concupiscence by which the flesh lusts against the Spirit. [Gal. 5:17] For they entertain the firm purpose of generating offspring to be regenerated -- that the children who are born of them as children of the world may be born again and become sons of God. Wherefore all parents who do not beget children with this intention, this will, this purpose, of transferring them from being members of the first man into being members of Christ, but boast as unbelieving parents over unbelieving children—however circumspect they be in their cohabitation, studiously limiting it to the begetting of children—really have no conjugal chastity in themselves.” (On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book I, Chapter 5)

If a person truly loved his own soul and the souls of his spouse and children, he would first and foremost do whatever he must to procure eternal salvation for himself and his family. If the father and mother have done their duty well, let them say in all humility, “We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which we ought to do.” (Luke 17:10) In other words, do not pat yourselves on the back, for you have only done what you must do if you want to have a hope to be saved and enter Heaven. “Undoubtedly, by the eternal law, which requires the preservation of natural order, and forbids the transgression of it, conjugal intercourse should take place only for the procreation of children, and after the celebration of marriage, so as to maintain the bond of peace.” (St. Augustine, Against Faustus, Book XXII, Section 61, A.D. 400)

The evil fruit of disobedience

Even when parents and children are home and at rest they sit in front of the Television and get brainwashed. Perverted families look at perverted shows about perverted families, while not even talking with their own family members. They live through the perverted families they see on Television and imitate them. They turn fantasy into reality, thus their lives have become nightmares. They have become robots with no true personalities, who are programmed to sin without the least pang of conscience. God, indeed, punishes these perverted families by the natural consequences of their sins. “By what things a man sinneth, by the same also he is tormented.” (Wisdom 11:17) One of these punishments is disobedient wives and children. Thus you have families in which the natural order of hierarchical submission is turned upside down and the resultant discord that follows. “As for my people, their oppressors have stripped them, and women have ruled over them… I will give children to be their princes, and the effeminate shall rule over them… And the people shall rush one upon another, and every man against his neighbor: the child shall make a tumult against the ancient, and the base against the honorable.” (Isaiah 3:12, 4-5) “And the brother shall betray his brother unto death, and the father his son; and children shall rise up against their parents and shall work their death.” (Mark 13:12)

When wives disobey their husbands and children rise up against their parents, husbands and parents act surprised! But by what right do they have to complain? Have they not fostered rebellion in their homes? Because they have rebelled against God, fallen-away Catholics being the worst of all, rebellion is in the midst of them: “Because it is like the sin of witchcraft, to rebel: and like the crime of idolatry, to refuse to obey.” (1 Kings 15:23) Because they would not obey God, obedience is not rendered to them when it is due. Where does it all end? It ends in most cases in adultery, separation, or divorce and sinful second unions that are not marriages (see The Annulment Fiasco – The Vatican II Sect’s De Facto acceptance of Divorce and Remarriage). In other cases it maintains an illusion of a marriage and family, in which the spouses and children are alienated from one another, each going about their own selfish interests. These perverted families are cold and sterile with happy-faces pasted in front of their true faces of greed, selfishness, pride, envy, hopelessness, despair, melancholy, boredom, restlessness, the root being hatred toward the true God. There is only one remedy, and that is to come to God with one’s whole heart and soul by becoming Catholic in word and deed before it is too late.

Pope Pius XI, Ingravescentibus Malis (# 1), On the Rosary, 1937: “There is no remedy for the ever-growing evils of our times except a return to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to His most holy precepts. Truly, only He “hath the words of eternal life” (cf. John 6:69), and individuals and society can only fall into immediate and miserable ruin if they ignore the majesty of God and repudiate His Law.”

St. Pope Pius X, Communium Rerum (# 24), 1909: “More bitter shall be the consequences of these threats when the vices of society are being multiplied, when the sin of rulers and of the people consists especially in the exclusion of God and in rebellion against the Church of Christ: that double social apostasy which is the deplorable fount of anarchy, corruption, and endless misery for the individual and for society.”

Honorable continence and chastity

One of the times conception can legally be deferred is if the spouses agree to abstain from marital relations through virtuous chastity for a period of time. They must then abstain altogether from the marital act, both during the infertile periods as well as the fertile periods. This is referred to by Pope Pius XI as “virtuous continence” in Casti Connubii, where he discusses the Vices Opposed To Christian Marriage:

“And now, Venerable Brethren, We shall explain in detail the evils opposed to each of the benefits of matrimony. First consideration is due the offspring, which many have the audacity to call the disagreeable burden of matrimony and which they say is to be carefully avoided by married people not through virtuous continence, but by frustrating the marriage act. Some justify this criminal abuse on the ground that they are weary of children and wish to gratify their desires without their consequent burden.” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, # 54)

“Virtuous continence” or abstinence is neither virtuous nor honorable if spouses have marital relations during the infertile period while having deliberately planned to avoid having relations during the fertile period. The intent is not to abstain from marital relations. Rather, the intent is to have marital relations while having planned to prevent conception.

To deliberately remain chaste during the fertile period while having marital relations only during the infertile period is dishonorable continence and is chastity for Satan. It is chastity in the service of lust, and that is not true chastity. Far from honorable is this dark and dastardly deed. The only reason the spouses remain chaste during the fertile period is so they will not have children while at the same time having planned to commit the sexual act as soon as the fertile period is over. This is only pretend chastity; pretend continence. “You do not want to have a child? Settle a pious agreement with your husband; let him agree to an end of childbearing in accord with the virtue of chastity. The only sterility of a very pious wife is chastity.” (St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 52:4)

Despite this fact, the overwhelming majority of NFP users will actually have the boldness to claim that they are practicing “abstinence” or “continence” while using “Natural Family Planning,” just as if there was something “virtuous” or “good” about their dastardly deed of avoiding the children that God wanted to bless them with. In truth, Pope Pius XI rightly calls these people “criminals” and their evil and filthy action a “criminal abuse” in the above mentioned encyclical.

Again, the sin of contraception is incurred when two conditions are met, the planning to engage in the marital act while also having planned to prevent conception: “Who is he who cannot warn that no woman may take a potion so that she is unable to conceive or condemns in herself the nature which God willed to be fecund? As often as she could have conceived or given birth, of that many homicides she will be held guilty, and, unless she undergoes suitable penance, she will be damned by eternal death in Hell. If a woman does not wish to have children, let her enter into a religious agreement with her husband; for chastity is the sole sterility of a Christian woman.” (St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 1:12, A.D. 522)

Medical condition, danger to the mother or child, does not excuse

Honorable continence can also be practiced if the wife has a medical condition in which pregnancy would endanger her life. If the husband and wife decide to have relations, they must do so with the intention to beget children if God wills they should have children and be prepared to risk the life of the mother; for neither abortion, contraception nor NFP is allowed in case of a medical problem on the part of the mother.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 64), Dec. 31, 1930: “As to the ‘medical and therapeutic indication’ to which, using their own words, we have made reference, Venerable Brethren, however much we may pity the mother whose health and even life is imperiled in the performance of the duty allotted to her by nature, nevertheless, what could ever be a sufficient reason for excusing in any way the direct murder of the innocent? This is precisely what we are dealing with here. Whether inflicted upon the mother or upon the child, it is against the precept of God and the law of nature: “Thou shalt not kill”. The life of each is equally sacred, and no one has the power, not even the public authority, to destroy it… Upright and skillful doctors strive most praiseworthily to guard and preserve the lives of both mother and child; on the contrary, those show themselves most unworthy of the noble medical profession who encompass the death of one or the other, through a pretense at practicing medicine or through motives of misguided pity… Holy Mother Church very well understands and clearly appreciates all that is said regarding the health of the mother and the danger to her life. And who would not grieve to think of these things? Who is not filled with the greatest admiration when he sees a mother risking her life with heroic fortitude, that she may preserve the life of the offspring which she has conceived? God alone, all bountiful and all merciful as He is, can reward her for the fulfillment of the office allotted to her by nature, and will assuredly repay her in a measure full to overflowing.”

If the wife’s life is threatened by bearing children, then either the marital act is abstained from altogether by honorable continence, or it is done with the hope of conception if God wills they should have children, being ready to bear the consequences of the possible death of the mother.

Lack of faith that God can regulate, feed, clothe, and protect families

Fallen-away Catholics exhibit their loss of the Catholic faith by a lack of faith in the God whom they profess to believe in. How does this lack of faith in God exhibit itself with those who practice contraception? They deny God’s power to open and close wombs, to feed, shelter, and provide for all the other necessities of their families. Many verbally profess belief in miracles, while in their hearts they do not really believe. Many do not even profess belief in miracles.

Do the couples who use NFP, or the priests who promote it, possess supernatural faith in the providence of God? Do they believe that God is the one who sends life? Does anyone have a right to have 3 children when God willed them to have 10? God is perfectly aware of each couple’s needs, and he knows precisely what they can handle. Those with the true Catholic faith should be totally unconcerned with charts and calendars. These are all unnatural instruments which frustrate God’s will. Disregard this nonsense and accept the fact that God will not send you any children that you cannot handle. He will not burden anyone with anything too heavy, for His yoke is always easy and His burden always light. “For the virtue of each [good] thing then discovers itself when it is brought to its own fitting work… For instance, wine is given for cheerfulness, not drunkenness, bread for nourishment, sexual intercourse for the procreation of children.” (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians, Homily XII, Colossians iv. 12-18, Ver. 18)

God feeds the birds which neither reap nor sow

The word of God condemns anyone who attempts to excuse the mortal sin of contraception for any reason, one being the economic excuse. Those who use the economic excuse faithlessly say that if they have too many children they will not be able to feed or clothe them, or provide their other necessities. These fallen-away Catholics do not really believe in the word and power of God.

Regarding the so-called “necessities” and “grave circumstances” that so many people excuse themselves with today, Our Lord Jesus Christ explicitly teaches us in the Holy Gospels how we are to behave on such occasions: “Therefore I say to you: Be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. The life is more than the meat: and the body is more than the raiment. Consider the ravens, for they sow not, neither do they reap, neither have they storehouse nor barn, and God feedeth them. How much are you more valuable than they? . . . . Consider the lilies, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these. Now, if God clothe in this manner the grass that is to-day in the field and to-morrow is cast into the oven: how much more you, O ye of little faith? . . . . seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice: and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Luke 12:22-24, 27-28, 31)

Dear reader, you will either truly believe in the word of God or not. It does no good to say you believe while your actions prove otherwise. “Let us not love in word nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) Your professed faith is tested when it comes time to put it into action. “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20) “Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22) Only those are blessed who hear the word of God and keep it. “Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” (Luke 11:28) Do you really believe God can feed, clothe, and shelter your family no matter how big it is? “[Some] complain of the scantiness of their means, and allege that they have not enough for bringing up more children, as though, in truth, their means were in [their] power… or God did not daily make the rich poor and the poor rich. Wherefore, if any one on any account of poverty shall be unable to bring up children, it is better to abstain from relations with his wife.” (Lactantius, Divine Institutes 6:20, A.D. 307)

Woe to faithless fallen-away Catholics who say they cannot feed their families due to difficult economic conditions, implying God cannot provide for them. Nothing is impossible with God.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (#’s 60-61), Dec. 31, 1930: “We are deeply touched by the sufferings of those parents who, in extreme want, experience great difficulty in rearing their children. However, they should take care lest the calamitous state of their external affairs should be the occasion for a much more calamitous error. No difficulty can arise that justifies putting aside the law of God which prohibits all acts intrinsically evil. There is no possible circumstance in which husband and wife cannot, strengthened by the Grace of God, fulfill faithfully their duties and preserve in wedlock their chastity unspotted. This truth of Christian faith is expressed by the teaching of the Council of Trent: ‘Let no one be so rash as to assert that which the Fathers of the Council have placed under anathema, namely that there are precepts of God impossible for the just to observe. God does not ask the impossible, but by His commands, instructs you to do what you are able, to pray for what you are not able that He may help you.’”

Pope Pius XI is crystal clear: not even “in extreme want” may people justify “putting aside the law of God which prohibits all acts intrinsically evil”, thus condemning all forms of contraception and birth control. He then proceeds to give a cure for those who are living “in extreme want” by saying that: “There is no possible circumstance in which husband and wife cannot, strengthened by the Grace of God, fulfill faithfully their duties and preserve in wedlock their chastity unspotted” and “God does not ask the impossible, but by His commands, instructs you to do what you are able, to pray for what you are not able that He may help you.’”

God will always honor and bless a couple who seeks to please Him first and foremost in this life by doing what He commands. This is an infallible truth found in His Holy Word, and all people who wish to save their own souls – which is the only thing that really matters in this short life – must of course strive to please Our Lord in every way possible. “And he will love thee and multiply thee, and will bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy vintage, thy oil, and thy herds, and the flocks of thy sheep upon the land, for which he swore to thy fathers that he would give it thee.” (Deuteronomy 7:13)

If God wills for a couple to have none, few, or many children, He will regulate conception during the marital act so that it will be so. Dear reader, do you believe that? Prove it by condemning contraception and never practice it again. Always desire and hope that conception should take place during every marital act, even if by a miracle. Do not take the place of God. Let God regulate whether or not conception occurs during your marital act. He will not burden you with anything too heavy, for His yoke is always easy and His burden always light.

St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book II, Chapter 7:20, A.D. 421: “He [Julian] asserts that woman was given to man only for the purpose of generation, a matter which you thought it necessary to argue so long in vain, as if any of us denied this statement. … God cares for the universe, you will find that this must please God more in which there is the cause of the universe… Therefore, because the propagation of the human race could not be from the man alone, God said it is not good for man to be alone. … [Therefore] He did not permit Cain, guilty of fratricide, to perish before he had generated children. Therefore, woman was given to man for the sake of the generation of human posterity.”

Famine, plague, war, exile, and death are not due to big families

If you cannot feed your family it is not because of the size of your family. If God is not shunned by the deliberate prevention of conception, then God will certainly provide for the family. God will make available all they need, provided the family does not incur God’s wrath for other reasons, or if God sees they should die as persecuted martyrs. To suffer persecution for God, such as martyrdom by starvation, is the greatest provision God can give, by providing the soul with immediate entry into Heaven as a saint. Famine, plague, all sorts of calamity, or martyrdom that befalls families is not due to the number of children, but because of disobedience or obedience to God. When God strikes a land with famine, or similar conditions that make it impossible for families to sustain themselves, they all die, no matter how small or large their families are. The punishment is not due to the size of the family. When God allows persecution and martyrdom to come upon His faithful chosen to test their faith and to witness to unbelievers, they die in obedience to God. Their death has nothing whatsoever to do with the number of children they have. God has demonstrated many times how He protects His faithful while at the same time sending famine and death to obstinate evildoers.

“The Lord will take away from thee all sickness: and the grievous infirmities of Egypt, which thou knowest, he will not bring upon thee, but upon thy enemies.” (Deuteronomy 7:15) “The Lord will make a wonderful difference between the possessions of Israel and the possessions of the Egyptians, that nothing at all shall die of those things that belong to the children of Israel… The Lord therefore did this thing the next day: and all the beasts of the Egyptians died, but of the beasts of the children of Israel there died not one.” (Exodus 9:4, 6) “Moses stretched forth his rod towards heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning running along the ground: and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt… And the hail destroyed through all the land of Egypt all things that were in the fields, both man and beast: and the hail smote every herb of the field, and it broke every tree of the country. Only in the land of Gessen, where the children of Israel were, the hail fell not.” (Exodus 9:22-26)

What they fear comes upon them in unknown ways

That which the wicked feareth, shall come upon him.” (Proverbs 10:24) When spouses deliberately plan to prevent conception, taking the place of God, God abandons them and their families. Many times people cry out to God for help when they are in dire straights. When all is well they disobey or ignore Him. If they should appeal to God in a time of need, God says to them, “You abandoned Me by following your own sinful ways, now provide for your needs yourselves!”

Proverbs 1:25-31 “You have despised all my counsel, and have neglected my reprehensions. I also will laugh in your destruction, and will mock when that shall come to you which you feared. When sudden calamity shall fall on you, and destruction, as a tempest, shall be at hand: when tribulation and distress shall come upon you: Then shall they call upon me, and I will not hear: they shall rise in the morning, and shall not find me: Because they have hated instruction, and received not the fear of the Lord, Nor consented to my counsel, but despised all my reproof. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and shall be filled with their own devices.”

NFP is a tradition of men that replaces the law of God

NFP is simply a tradition of men. It has eliminated the commandment of God that forbids contraception, by making it seem that NFP is not contraception simply because physical devices or techniques are not used during the marital act. They ignore the very heart of this commandment of God by violating it in a most deceptive manner. The ancestors of the Pharisees that Jesus condemned, the apostate and Talmudic Jews and their false religion of apostate Judaism have carried on these traditions of men to absurd proportions. One such teaching is that it is only murder if one directly kills another, such as by stabbing, shooting, or choking, etc. They teach it is not murder if one locks a man in a room with no food or water and does not give him any. In this case, they teach, the man dies from thirst and starvation, and not by the hands of any man; thus no murder was committed (Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin, Folio 77a). In truth, these apostate Jews are a perfect parallel to those who practice NFP. The tradition of men teaches that as long as a physical device or technique is not used during the marital act, the planning ahead of time by charting cycles to prevent conception is not a crime.

In every case a deliberate plan is made before the act

Married couples that attempt to frustrate conception while engaging in the marital act must formulate a deliberate plan in order to do so. In every case they deliberately formulate a plan to prevent conception before the marital act. Whether they plan to use physical contraceptive devices during the act, or plan to withdraw during the act, or plan to take birth control pills that prevent ovulation before the act, or plan to use NFP by only having relations during the infertile period, or they plan by charting fertile and infertile periods, it is exactly the same plan. In every case the goal of the plan is the same: to prevent conception while engaging in the marital act. In a sense it could be said about NFP that a contraceptive is placed over the fertile period while engaging in the marital act during the infertile period, or, the husband withdraws from the act during the fertile period while engaging in it during the infertile period, or, instead of preventing ovulation with a pill, it is prevented by charting cycles. Dear reader, open your eyes and ears, can you not see that the intention is the same in every case! Can you not see that NFP is contraception! “Dost thou not know what thou art at? Thou marriest a wife for chastity, and procreation of children...” (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians, Homily XII, Colossians iv. 12-18, Ver. 18)

It is intrinsically evil when spouses plan to have sexual relations while also having planned to hinder the conception of the child that God wanted to bless them with. It does not matter in what way the spouses plan to prevent conception. The principle is the same in all cases: the deliberate prevention of conception (bearing children) by the spouses while engaging in the marital act. Guilt of mortal sin occurs when these two conditions are met, either in the mind or in the act. Our Lord teaches us that all sin proceeds from the heart, and manifests itself in men’s actions. “The things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man. . . . For from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:11, 19)

St. Augustine, City of God 7:30, A.D. 426: “And now, to begin to go over those works of the one true God… we worship that God who has appointed… the union of male and female for the propagation of offspring...”

The natural cycles of a fruit tree

A fruit tree has its natural cycles for fertility and infertility. There is a proper time to fertilize the tree. If a gardener fertilized the tree when it was not fertile nothing will come of it. If he were a good gardener he would only fertilize it during its known fertile cycle in order for it to conceive and thus produce fruit. Now, what is to be said of a gardener who only fertilizes the tree during its infertile cycle, while deliberately not fertilizing it during its fertile period? He would have made an unnatural use of the natural cycles of the tree, so unnatural that the people would think him either insane or a hater of fruit. Bad enough, would they say he is, if they see him stupidly wasting time and fertilizing material when nothing can come of it, but worse beyond compare is he when he deliberately stops fertilizing the tree just when it is fertile. Indeed, “Dare not to do the deeds of Sodom,” St. John Chrysostom says, “lest ye suffer the lot of Sodom… Even as they devised a barren intercourse, not having for its end the procreation of children, so did God bring on them such a punishment...” (On the Statues, Hom. XIX; NPNF, p. 467) Commenting on the sin of Sodom St. John Chrysostom writes, “How great is that sin, to have forced hell to appear even before its time?” (Hom. IV in Rom.; NPNF, p. 358)

Now, if for some reason, not in contempt for the fruit and with the good of the tree in mind, the gardener does not want the tree to bear fruit, then he would not fertilize the tree at all. This is equivalent to honorable continence or chastity, and this state is the most honorable for married people. In truth, God loves purity and chastity so much that He often uses His chaste servants to save souls. The chaste or barren husband and wife still conceive and give birth to children, but they are of a spiritual kind, which is infinitely more valuable: “That virginity is good I do agree. But that it is even better than marriage, this I do confess. And if you wish, I will add that it is as much better than marriage as Heaven is better than Earth, as much better as angels are better than men.” (St. John Chrysostom, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 2: 1116, A.D. 392)

Man plays stupid, and God will not be mocked

Some, evading the issue, say that when NFP is used, conception can still take place if God grants it. Thus, according to them, the spouses are open to conception. But if it were true that the spouses are open to conception then why all the planning by the spouses to prevent conception by only having relations during the infertile period? The sin resides in the intention of the spouses, not the fact that God may still grant conception in spite of their plan against it. The same can be said of any contraceptive device or technique. None are 100 percent guaranteed to prevent conception. Even those who were sterilized have conceived. Sadly, these are the children that are referred to by these bastard parents as mistakes. The children they bear will be children of fornication whom God will use to torment the parents. Question this not, O blind men, who love evil and love to play stupid. Do you not see the discord in your own families, the rebellion of children against their rebellious parents? Sin begets sin. In that which you sin, you shall be punished. Think not that God is like sinful men in that He lets sin go unpunished. Open your eyes and observe the history of fallen man. Has God ever allowed sin to go unpunished? Look at the lust that infects the fallen-away priests who promote NFP?

Examine your conscience now, all you who use NFP, and confess your mortal sins before it is too late. Examine your conscience real good and ask yourself if you had deliberately planned to prevent conception when you performed the marital act. It does not matter what the lust filled faithless priest tells you. He cannot quell your conscience, because this sin violates the law God has written upon your heart. This priest will not be able to console you when you are both in Hell. Take to heart Pope Pius XI’s warning in Casti Connubii: “They are blind and leaders of the blind: and if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit.” The priests and the people they are leading astray will all go to Hell for this sin alone.

A last most important point, there is no remission of sin outside the Catholic Church and that is where most of you readers are. The infallible Catholic dogma which teaches that “Outside the Church there is no salvation nor remission of sins” have no exceptions according to the teachings of the Church (Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctum, A.D. 1302). You must learn the Catholic Faith and abjure from your heresies or schisms and thus enter the Catholic Church before your sins can be forgiven.

Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctum, A.D. 1302: “Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the Spouse in the Canticles [Sgs. 6:8] proclaims: ‘One is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only one, the chosen of her who bore her,’ and she represents one sole mystical body whose Head is Christ and the head of Christ is God [1 Cor. 11:3]. In her then is one Lord, one faith, one baptism [Eph. 4:5]. There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e., Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed.”

The root of the whole problem that leads to sins of immorality and sins against the Natural Law and the loss of the Catholic Faith is evil practices like NFP. Bad lives coupled with intentions of persevering in sin always precedes before a person falls into more grievous errors, heresies or schisms. For when man refuses to heed the Natural Law and the conscience that God has imprinted on his heart, God allows him to fall into more grievous errors and heresies because of his negligence and scorn of God’s divine and natural laws.

Please read this text called “Important Spiritual Information You Must Know About to be Saved” to see if you are living in some mortal or venial sins that you have not yet wished to break free from. This important text addresses some of the most common sins committed by men today that they fall into Hell for.

COMMON OBJECTIONS

Objection: How can you say that the only motive that can excuse the marital act is the procreation of children? It is not against the Natural Law or the Law of the Church to excuse intercourse for the sake of pleasure, health, or love. You are wrong when you say that one must perform the marital act for the purpose or motive of begetting children, and that the procreation of children is the only primary purpose or motive that a couple can use to excuse the marital act. There are many primary purposes or motives of marriage that excuse the marital act from being sinful. One can perform the marital act for many primary reasons such as for the sole purpose or motive of health, satisfying the fleshly lust, quenching concupiscence, mutual help, paying the marital debt, as well as for cultivating mutual love and unitive purposes. Any one of these purposes or motives are enough to perform the marital act in a lawful way, and this proves that spouses can perform sexual acts that are not intended or able to procreate in themselves.

Answer: Not so, since the Church and Pope Pius XI, as we have seen, teaches that the primary end or motive of the marital sexual act is the procreation of children, while he describes the other ends or motives of the marital act (if spouses choose to perform the act for these reasons) as secondary ends or motives that are not necessary for the act to be lawful and that are dependent on and which must follow the primary motive of procreation in order for the sexual act to be lawful. The teaching of the Natural Law as well as that of the Church is clear that “the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #54) and this is also why Pope Pius XI teaches that spouses are not forbidden to consider the secondary ends of marriage “such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love [unitive purpose], and the quieting of concupiscence... so long as they are subordinated to the primary end [that is, procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.” This proves that all other motives than the procreation of children are secondary ends or motives.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 59), Dec. 31, 1930: “For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial right there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider SO LONG AS THEY ARE SUBORDINATED TO THE PRIMARY END [that is, Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved [that is, all sexual acts must be able to procreate in themselves, which means that no unnatural and non-procreative form of a sexual act can ever be performed without sin].”

This means that the primary end or purpose of procreation (in thought and action) can not be made subordinate or subject to the secondary ends or purposes and that the primary end must always exist for the marital act to be lawful while the secondary ends or motives are not needed at all in order to lawfully perform the marital act. The secondary ends “such as mutual aid, the cultivation of mutual love, [unitive purpose] and the quieting of concupiscence” can follow after the primary end or purpose of begetting children if the spouses choose this, but the secondary ends or motives are not absolutely needed to lawfully perform the marital act in the same way as the primary purpose of begetting children, nor is the secondary motive of quieting concupiscence meritorious even though it is allowed. This is also exactly how Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible teaches us to view the sexual pleasure and the marital act, since it is a higher calling to live for the Spirit than for our own selfish and fleshly desires. “And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, [children] in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.” (The Holy Bible, Tobias 8:9)

While some have erroneously asserted that the motive of paying the marital debt to one’s spouse can be used as a primary motive to excuse the marital act from sin, we see that Pope Pius XI defines the paying of the marital debt as a secondary end or motive, by using the words “mutual aid” to explain its nature, since according to God’s Law and Saint Paul in the Holy Bible, a spouse must help his or her spouse by paying the marital debt when the other spouse asks for it in order to not allow the requesting spouse to become tempted to fall into sins of sensuality (1 Corinthians 7).

Many other heretics of our own times also claim that the “unitive” purpose is a primary motive of the marital act along with the motive of procreation, but we can see that Pope Pius XI relegates the unitive purpose, which he calls “the cultivating of mutual love”, to a secondary purpose that are not necessary to exist in order for the act to be lawful.

In fact, the modern day proposition that health, pleasure or love might be the sole object of intercourse is a heresy that has no biblical, apostolic, patristic or medieval authority whatsoever. St. Thomas Aquinas explains in his Summa that: “Although it is not evil in itself to intend to keep oneself in good health, this intention becomes evil, if one intend health by means of something that is not naturally ordained for that purpose; for instance if one sought only bodily health by the sacrament of baptism, and the same applies to the marriage act in the question at issue.” (Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 49, Art. 5, Reply to Objection 4)

The Holy Bible confirms the fact that God wants spouses to perform the marital act for the only purpose of procreation. The holy youth Tobias was commanded by almighty God through the Archangel Raphael to never perform the marital act for the sake of lust and that he shall be “moved rather for love of children than for lust,” so “that in the seed of Abraham” he “mayest obtain a blessing in children”. Tobias who was a holy and virtuous person consented to this admonishment by the holy angel and answered God in his prayer that “not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity”.

The Holy Bible, Tobias 6:22; 8:9 “And when the third night is past, thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children… [Tobias said:] And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.”

The holy youth Tobias approached his bride Sara after three days of prayer, not for fleshly lust but only for the love of posterity, having been instructed by the Archangel Raphael that to engage in the marital act he shall “be moved rather for love of children than for lust”.

According to God’s will, spouses are to engage in the marital act for the “love of posterity” (children), not for lust. No, contrary to what most people today say, the Holy Bible is clear that spouses are to come together “only for the love of posterity” if they want to please Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Word of God in the Bible is indeed true when it says that “the devil has power” over all spouses who come together for the purpose of gratifying their fleshly pleasures, giving “themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding”.

Tobias 6:16-17 “Then the angel Raphael said to him [Tobias]: Hear me, and I will show thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.”

It is a divine law, a dogma of the faith (de fide), that the primary end of marriage is procreation (bearing children) and the education of children. Pope Pius XI decrees it “is beyond the power of any human law” to teach otherwise.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 8), Dec. 31, 1930: “To take away from man the natural and primeval right of marriage, to circumscribe in any way the principal ends of marriage laid down in the beginning by God Himself in the words ‘Increase and multiply,’ is beyond the power of any human law. … This is also expressed succinctly in the [1917] Code of Canon Law [Canon 1013]: ‘The primary end [or purpose] of marriage is the procreation and the education of children.’”

A Practical Commentary on Canon 1013 explains that: “there can be no controversy over the primary object of marriage. The perpetuation of the human race is willed by the Creator, who from the creation of mankind appointed the means for this purpose… The Holy Office condemned the opinion defended by some recent authors who deny that the procreation of children is the primary end of matrimony, and regard its secondary ends not subordinate to its primary end but independent of it.” (April 1, 1944; Acta Ap. Sedis, XXXVI, 103.)

It could not be more clear from both the Natural Law as well as the teachings of the Church that: “The primary purpose of marriage is the procreation and education of children.” (The 1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 1013) Therefore, it is heresy to teach that procreation and education of children is not the only primary end of marriage.

Objection: The Bible doesn’t condemn birth control. Modern birth control methods were unknown in Bible times, and the Bible is, therefore, silent on the matter. The closest that Scripture comes to condemning birth control is Genesis chapter 38, the account of Judah’s sons Er and Onan. Onan’s motivation was selfish; he used Tamar for his own pleasure, but refused to perform his legal duty (from Deuteronomy 25:5-10) of creating an heir for his deceased brother. This passage (in Genesis 38) is often used as evidence that God does not approve of birth control. However, it was not the act of contraception that caused the Lord to put Onan to death as you say; it was Onan’s selfish motives behind the action. God did not kill Onan for practicing contraception but because he refused to obey the Law from Deuteronomy 25:5-10 that instructed brothers to raise up seed for his dead brother. This fact proves that God doesn’t directly condemn contraception in the Bible. Contraception, by definition, is merely the opposite of conception. It is not the use of contraception that is wrong or right. As we learned from Onan, it is the motivation behind the contraception that determines if it is right or wrong. Ultimately, a couple’s motives for delaying childbearing, using contraception, or even having numerous children, are between them and God. Therefore, we can find no biblical admonition against the use of birth control in and of itself.

Answer: God’s law in the Old Testament did not even command the death penalty for the person who refused to create heirs to his deceased brother. The brother who refused this duty was, as a punishment, only to be publicly disgraced!

Deuteronomy 25:5-10 “When brethren dwell together, and one of them dieth without children, the wife of the deceased shall not marry to another: but his brother shall take her, and raise up seed for his brother: And the first son he shall have of her, he shall call by his name, that his name be not abolished out of Israel. But if he will not take his brother’s wife, who by law belongeth to him, the woman shall go to the gate of the city, and call upon the ancients, and say: My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up his brother’s name in Israel: and will not take me to wife. And they shall cause him to be sent for forthwith, and shall ask him. If he answer: I will not take her to wife: The woman shall come to him before the ancients, and shall take off his shoe from his foot, and spit in his face, and say: So shall it be done to the man, that will not build up his brother’s house: And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of the unshod.”

This Bible verse shows us that disobeying the Law of the Old Testament that directed a man to marry his dead brother’s wife in order to raise up seed for his brother, was not something that was a particularly serious infraction in the eyes of the Lord, for if God would have considered this act of disobedience as a great crime, He would have instituted a punishment that was much more severe than being only a little disgraced or mocked, which almost is no punishment at all.

According to The Book of Genesis, the reason for why Onan was killed was because: “He knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother’s wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother’s name.” Notice how clearly this biblical text shows that the reason Onan did this “detestable thing” was “lest children should be born in his brother’s name”, thus showing us that the act of performing the marital act while taking steps to hinder procreation is hated by God. This absolutely proves that a person who performs the marital sexual act with an intention opposed to procreation is condemned according to God’s Holy Law.

Genesis 38:8-10 “Juda, therefore said to Onan his son: ‘Go in to thy brother’s wife and marry her, that thou mayst raise seed to thy brother.’ He knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother’s wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother’s name. And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.”

Therefore, it is abundantly clear from the Bible itself that Onan was not killed for his deed of refusing to fulfill his duty to create heirs for his deceased brother, as the protestants claim, since this act was only punished with a public disgrace (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). What deed then was Onan killed for? Obviously, he was killed for the wicked and selfish deed of having sexual relations while practicing contraception; and for being against conception. Truly, if Onan did not want to raise up heirs for his deceased brother, he should not have had sexual relations with her while pretending to fulfill the marital duty of procreating children (even though he did not); and obviously, he must not practice coitus interruptus while selfishly indulging in the sex act, since this is an act against nature.

God did not even ordain for a man to die or even be hurt if he refused to raise up seed for his deceased brother according to the Old Testament Law, but when Onan performed the actual marital sexual act without wishing to beget children, God instantly killed him in order to show us the hatred God have of those who do not excuse the marital sexual act with the absolutely necessary motive of procreation. Thus, the refusal to not raise up children for one’s brother is not a very grave crime in the eyes of God as long as one does not perform the marital act, but performing the marital sexual act without wanting to have children is a very grave crime according to God’s Holy Law. Since God foresaw the great evil and selfishness of many in the future (and especially in our own time) who were to practice contraceptive sexual acts, and in order to help future generations of Jews and Christians to abstain from all contraceptive acts: it is clear that God killed Onan to set an example for future generations.

Since God utterly detests the act of contraception, God also sometimes allows the evil demons who incite men and women to commit this act, to kill them when they consent to their temptations, as is recorded in the Book of Tobit, where the seven husbands of Sarah was killed; since they tried to perform the marital act for selfish and lustful reasons. As in the case from Tobit, it seems clear that since Onan wanted to selfishly and lustfully enjoy the sex act without intending having children, as God’s holy law requires, that a demon, or the evil angel Asmodeus that kills lustful and wicked people, was permitted by God to slay him (cf. Tobias 3:8). Haydock commentary explains: “[Genesis 38] Ver. 10. Slew him, perhaps by the hand of evil angels, Psalm lxxvii. 49. Asmodeus, &c., who slew the libidinous husbands of Sara. (Tobias iii. 7[8].) (Menochius)”

The design of this institution of raising up seed for a brother – which was not originated by Moses, but came down from early times (Genesis 38:8) and is to be found amongst other nations than the Jews, and that even in the present day – was to preserve a family from becoming extinct and to secure the property of a family from passing into the hands of a stranger.

Thus, the claim that “it was not the act of contraception that caused the Lord to put Onan to death; it was Onan’s selfish motives behind the action” is of course ludicrous and false, and is easily refuted not only from the Bible itself as we have seen, but also from the writings of the Fathers. We will quote only St. Augustine:

“As St. Augustine notes, ‘Intercourse even with one’s legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Judah, did this and the Lord killed him for it (Gen. 38:8-10).’” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii # 55; St. Augustine, De Conjugiis Adulterinis, Book II, Chapter 12)

Furthermore, this objection of excusing contraception is also condemned by the Holy Word of God in both an explicit and implicit way. Indeed, the Bible does have quite a lot to say about children. The Bible presents children as a gift from God (Genesis 4:1; Genesis 33:5), a heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3-5), a blessing from God (Luke 1:42), and a crown to the aged (Proverbs 17:6). God sometimes blesses barren women with children (Psalm 113:9; Genesis 21:1-3; 25:21-22; 30:1-2; 1 Samuel 1:6-8; Luke 1:7, 24-25). God forms children in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16). God knows children before their birth (Jeremiah 1:5; Galatians 1:15).

It’s not a couple that decides for themselves whether God should send them new life or not as the biblical verses already provided proves, but this is wholly up to God and His holy will (Matthew 6:10).

Genesis 30:1-2 “And Rachel seeing herself without children, envied her sister, and said to her husband: ‘Give me children, otherwise I shall die.’ And Jacob being angry with her, answered: ‘Am I as God, who hath deprived thee of the fruit of thy womb?’”

We all know that God is the One who opens the womb, the One who killeth and maketh alive. “The Lord also remembering Rachel, heard her, and opened her womb.” (Genesis 30:22) In truth, “The Lord killeth and maketh alive, he bringeth down to hell, and bringeth back again.” (1 Kings 2:6)

So why would a woman who desires to fulfill the will of God make a systematic effort to avoid God sending her a new life? What excuse could such a person possibly make for going out of her way to calculate how to have marital relations without getting pregnant with the child God was going to send? Why would a woman (or a man) who believes that God opens the womb try to avoid His opening of the womb by a meticulous and organized effort, involving birth control methods, charts, cycles or thermometers? The answer is that those who engage in such behavior as contraception selfishly turn from God (which is the essence of sin) and refuse to be open to His will.

God, and not man, is the only one that can lawfully decide whether a couple shall receive a child or not. Can you imagine what Jacob would have said to Rachel if she had discovered a new way to avoid “the Lord opening her womb?” He would probably have rebuked her as an infidel.

Objection: Natural Family Planning is a justifiable practice of birth control because it does nothing to obstruct the natural power of procreation.

Answer: Natural Family Planning obstructs the primary end of marriage, the procreation and education of children. This makes the fact that NFP does nothing to obstruct the marital act itself irrelevant.

In order to quickly refute this most common of all objections in favor of NFP, it will be necessary to repeat the section from the beginning of this article.

Catholic dogma teaches us that the primary purpose of marriage (and the conjugal act) is the procreation and education of children.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 17), Dec. 31, 1930: “The primary end of marriage is the procreation and the education of children.”

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 54), Dec. 31, 1930: “Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural powers and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.”

Besides this primary purpose, there are also secondary purposes for marriage, such as mutual aid, the quieting of concupiscence and the cultivating of mutual love. But these secondary purposes must always remain subordinate to the primary purpose (or end) of marriage (the procreation and education of children). This is the key point to remember in the discussion on NFP.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 59), Dec. 31, 1930: “For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial right there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider SO LONG AS THEY ARE SUBORDINATED TO THE PRIMARY END [that is, Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.”

Therefore, even though NFP does not directly interfere with the marital act itself, as its defenders love to stress, it makes no difference. NFP is condemned because it subordinates the primary end (or purpose) of marriage and the marriage act (the procreation and education of children) to the secondary ends.

NFP subordinates the primary end of marriage to other things, by deliberately attempting to avoid children (i.e., to avoid the primary end) while having marital relations. NFP therefore inverts the order established by God Himself. It does the very thing that Pope Pius XI solemnly teaches may not lawfully be done. And this point crushes all of the arguments made by those who defend NFP; because all of the arguments made by those who defend NFP focus on the marriage act itself, while they blindly ignore the fact that it makes no difference if a couple does not interfere with the act itself if they subordinate and thwart the primary PURPOSE of marriage.

To summarize, therefore, the only difference between artificial contraception and NFP is that artificial contraception frustrates the power of the marital act itself, while NFP frustrates its primary purpose (by subordinating the procreation of children to other things).

Objection: I know that NFP is always wrong, except for certain reasons, and in those cases it is allowable.

Answer: Pope Pius XI specifically condemns all reasons and all excuses.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 54), Dec. 31, 1930: “BUT NO REASON, HOWEVER GRAVE, MAY BE PUT FORWARD by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural powers and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.”

No reason, however grave it may be, can make something that is intrinsically evil, such as contraception or NFP, to become good. NFP subordinates the primary purpose of the conjugal act (the procreation and education of children) to other things and is therefore evil and against nature and infallibly condemned by the Church, the Bible, and God. No reason can make it good or lawful.

And this brings us to another point. If NFP is not a sin – if it is simply “natural,” as they say – then why can’t married couples use NFP during the whole marriage and have zero children? If NFP is not a sin, then all women are perfectly free to use this method of birth control to phase out of existence all children so that not even one is born! But basically all of the defenders of NFP would admit that it would be immoral and gravely sinful to use NFP to avoid all new life. But when they make this admission they are admitting that NFP is a sin; otherwise (which God may forbid) let them confess that it can be used by all couples for any reason to avoid all children.

Objection: Everyone admits that “Natural Family Planning” can be used to help a woman achieve a pregnancy. Therefore, the same method can be used to avoid pregnancy.

Answer: There is nothing wrong with achieving a pregnancy.

If a couple is using Natural Family Planning to gain a pregnancy it is lawful, because in this case they are trying to fulfill the primary end of marriage (the procreation and education of children). If a couple is using Natural Family Planning to avoid pregnancy it is unlawful, because in this case they are trying to avoid the primary end of marriage (the procreation and education of children) while selfishly engaging in the marital act.

Objection: In Casti Connubii itself, Pope Pius XI teaches that spouses can engage in the marital act during known infertile periods and not commit sin. Spouses who use Natural Family Planning attempt to only have marital relations during the known infertile periods, thus they commit no sin.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii: “Nor are those considered as acting against nature who, in the married state, use their right in the proper manner, although on account of natural reasons either of time or of certain defects, new life cannot be brought forth. For in matrimony as well as in the use of matrimonial rights there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivation of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider, so long as they are subordinated to the primary end [Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.”

Answer: It’s permissible to engage in the marital act during the known infertile periods, SO LONG AS CONCEPTION IS NOT DELIBERATELY FRUSTRATED BY AN ORGANIZED EFFORT.

Yes, Pope Pius XI taught that married couples could use their marriage right in the infertile periods of the wife (or when there is a defect of nature or age which prevents new life from being conceived). But he did not teach that they could designedly restrict the marital act ONLY to the infertile periods to avoid a pregnancy, as in Natural Family Planning. (Although it is not sinful to have relations during the known infertile periods of the woman, it is still best to remain chaste during this time period in order to nurture virtue and holiness.)

Contraception or NFP does not just subordinate the primary end of childbearing to the quenching of concupiscence, but it eliminates the primary end altogether by the spouses’ refusal to fulfill the primary end or purpose of marriage while they are performing the marital act for purely selfish reasons.

And this is why, in the very passage quoted above, Pope Pius XI reiterates that all use of the marital right – including when new life cannot be brought forth due to time or nature – must keep the secondary ends of marriage subordinate to the primary end! This teaching is the deathblow to NFP, as NFP itself is the subordination of the primary end of marriage (the procreation and education of children) to other things (lust and the avoiding of children). So, in summary, the passage above does not teach NFP, but merely enunciates the principle that married couples may use their conjugal rights at any time.

It is not a sin of contraception to engage in the marital act during the known infertile period, provided the known fertile period has not been deliberately frustrated in order to prevent conception, either by inhibiting it by the use of birth control pills or some other contraception method or avoiding it by the use of Natural Family Planning. If the spouses know conception cannot take place, and they did not deliberately plan to prevent conception, they can perform the marital act without committing any sin of contraception provided they desire having children. This does not rule out other sins that can occur during the marital act, such as using it to excite or inflame lust instead of quelling lust, or using it in an unnatural and abusive manner. These sins can be committed even when childbearing is a goal of the marital act.

Therefore, even when the spouses engage in the marital act to quell concupiscence during known infertile periods, they must still desire and hope to have children if God wills they should have children. The act must still have as its primary goal the conception of children, which means to desire and be open to all new life and not hindering it from taking place in any way or form, even though the spouses believe conception cannot occur. In this way the quelling of concupiscence is subordinate to the primary end of the act, which is childbearing.

Objection: The sin of contraception is committed when physical devices are used during the marital act so as to prevent conception. NFP does not use a physical device during the marital act to prevent conception, thus the marital act is left open to conception if God so wills it. Therefore, Natural Family Planning is not contraception.

Answer: All methods of contraception are open to conception.

Just as the use of Onanism and Birth Control Pills are no guarantee that conception will not occur, because it does, so also, Natural Family Planning is no guarantee that conception will not occur, because it does. They are all open to conception if God so wills it. The sin of contraception has thus nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that God can make conception happen, in spite of the spouses’ deliberate plan not to make it happen. The mortal sin of contraception lies in the intent of the spouses, not whether conception actually happens or not.

All marital acts, no matter what contraception method is used, are open to conception if God so wills it. God opens barren wombs past the childbearing years. If the spouses’ Natural Family Planning succeeds according to their desires and careful planning, then, conception will not take place when they engage in the marital act. I say if it succeeds, because no form of contraception is 100 percent guaranteed. Even men who had vasectomies and women who had their tubes tied or hysterectomies still conceive children sometimes. The fact that conception can take place, even after spouses had planned to prevent it, does not allow the spouses the excuse that the act is still open to conception. Because, according to their premeditated plan and intent it is their hope that the marital act is not open to conception, and that is where the mortal sin lies.

For example, is a man who plots to murder another man innocent if an accident prevents him from murdering the man? Even though the murder did not occur, he is guilty because he wanted to murder him. Mortal sin is committed in the intent, even if for some reason the crime cannot be carried out. A married man desires to commit adultery with a woman. He attempts to carry out his plan, but God thwarts it, and he does not succeed. Is this man innocent because his plan and attempted act of adultery failed? No! He is guilty of the mortal sin of adultery because adultery was in his heart. He would have committed it if God did not prevent it. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us this truth many times, “I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) If after the man failed, he continued to plan and attempt to commit adultery with the woman, he would be guilty of mortal sin every time, whether the plan and attempt succeeds or not.

What is a plan? A plan is the words of a man that proceed from his mouth that come forth from his heart that he seeks to put into action. The root of every plan is in the heart. What is in the heart of spouses who plan to use physical contraceptive devices during the marital act, or plan to withdraw so as to make conception improbable, or plan to have marital relations only during the infertile period? In the heart of these spouses is the desire to have marital relations to satisfy their vile and perverse lust while having deliberately planned to prevent conception. Pope Pius XI in Casti Connubii describes what is in their heart, “Offspring... they say is to be carefully avoided by married people... by frustrating the marriage act... [They] deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose.” Sin originates from what is in the heart. I ask spouses who practice NFP, “What is in your heart when you practice NFP?” While engaging in the marital act, after having planned to do so only during the infertile period, ask yourself in the heat of your lust, “Am I not committing this very act with the explicit, deliberate, premeditated, planned intention of preventing conception while fulfilling my lust?” If your wish or prayer is to have relations and that conception does not occur, then you committed the mortal sin of contraception.

St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence 1:17, A.D. 419: “It is one thing not to lie [with one’s wife] except with the sole will of generating [children]: this has no fault. It is another to seek the pleasure of the flesh in lying, although within the limits of marriage: this has venial fault [that is, venial sin as long as one is not against procreation]. I am supposing that then, although you are not lying for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although they are called husband and wife, are not [since they commit adultery in their marriage and a mortal sin]; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame [of an adulterous connection, which means that they sin mortally against the Sacrament of Marriage]. They give themselves away, indeed, when they go so far as to expose their children who are born to them against their will; for they hate to nourish or to have those whom they feared to bear. Therefore a dark iniquity rages against those whom they have unwillingly borne, and with open iniquity this comes to light; a hidden shame is demonstrated by manifest cruelty. Sometimes this lustful cruelty, or cruel lust, comes to this, that they even procure poisons of sterility, and, if these do not work, extinguish and destroy the fetus in some way in the womb, preferring that their offspring die before it lives, or if it was already alive in the womb to kill it before it was born. Assuredly if both husband and wife are like this, they are not married, [since they commit adultery in their marriage and a mortal sin against God] and if they were like this from the beginning they come together not joined in matrimony but in seduction. If both are not like this, I dare to say that either the wife is in a fashion the harlot of her husband or he is an adulterer with his own wife.”

All one needs to know if the sin of contraception has been committed is to ask oneself while engaging in the marital act, “Do I desire and hope conception takes place if God should grant it?” If you answer no, you committed the mortal sin of contraception. If you answered yes, while having planned by NFP for conception not to take place, you add a mortal sin of lying to the mortal sin of contraception. For if you really wanted conception to take place you would not have planned to prevent it.

It is the unwillingness to conceive a child while engaging in the marital act that constitutes the mortal sin of contraception, and if there was a premeditated plan to prevent conception, then the mortal sin is committed before the act as soon as the plan is consented to.

St. Augustine, Against Faustus 15:7, A.D. 400: “You [Manicheans] make your Auditors adulterers of their wives when they take care lest the women with whom they copulate conceive. They take wives according to the laws of matrimony by tablets announcing that the marriage is contracted to procreate children; and then, fearing because of your law [against childbearing]… they copulate in a shameful union only to satisfy lust for their wives. They are unwilling to have children, on whose account alone marriages are made. How is it, then, that you are not those prohibiting marriage, as the Apostle predicted of you so long ago [1 Tim. 4:1-4], when you try to take from marriage what marriage is? When this [childbearing] is taken away [by a deliberate plan], husbands are shameful lovers, wives are harlots, bridal chambers are brothels, fathers-in-law are pimps.”

Objection: Natural Family Planning (NFP) can be both sinful and not sinful. It is sinful if it is used as a method of contraception, which is to stop the chance of conceiving because children are not desired. It is not sinful if it is used because of a medical condition, such as the wife’s reproductive system is damaged placing her and her infant in danger of death if she was to conceive and bear children. In this case NFP is not used to prevent conception because children are not desired, but to prevent the possible death of the wife and infant.

Answer: The medical condition is no excuse.

Natural Family Planning is contraception. Therefore, it cannot be practiced for any reason. Pope Pius XI condemned contraception for any and all reason, no matter how grave, specifically mentioning the medical excuse of “difficulties… on the part of the mother” and the excuse of “difficulties… on the part of family circumstances.”

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (#’s 53-54), Dec. 31, 1930: “Others say that they cannot on the one hand remain continent nor on the other can they have children because of the difficulties, whether on the part of the mother or on the part of family circumstances. But, no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose, sin against nature, and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.”

The thing that he is talking about that is “intrinsically against nature” is contraception and all the various forms and disguises it takes. If the mother and/or infant would be in danger of death due to pregnancy, and provided the couple doesn’t want to risk the death of the mother and/or infant, then the spouses must refrain from the marital act, not just during the fertile period but also the infertile period. Pope Pius XI refers to this as “virtuous continence.” Or, if they do engage in the marital act, they must not deliberately plan to prevent conception or deliberately plan to have relations only during known infertile periods. They must desire to have children if God wills they should have children, and they must bear the consequences of the wife and infant’s possible death if the wife gets pregnant, while favoring the life of neither if pregnancy occurs; and most importantly of all, they must never perform an abortion or in anyway murder the child in favor of the life of the mother in case a dangerous pregnancy occurs, but must risk the life of both while favoring the life of neither. Pope Pius XI sums this up as follows:

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 64), Dec. 31, 1930: “As to the ‘medical and therapeutic indication’ to which, using their own words, we have made reference, Venerable Brethren, however much we may pity the mother whose health and even life is imperiled in the performance of the duty allotted to her by nature, nevertheless, what could ever be a sufficient reason for excusing in any way the direct murder of the innocent? This is precisely what we are dealing with here. Whether inflicted upon the mother or upon the child, it is against the precept of God and the law of nature: ‘Thou shalt not kill’. The life of each is equally sacred, and no one has the power, not even the public authority, to destroy it… Holy Mother Church very well understands and clearly appreciates all that is said regarding the health of the mother and the danger to her life. And who would not grieve to think of these things? Who is not filled with the greatest admiration when he sees a mother risking her life with heroic fortitude, that she may preserve the life of the offspring which she has conceived? God alone, all bountiful and all merciful as He is, can reward her for the fulfillment of the office allotted to her by nature, and will assuredly repay her in a measure full to overflowing.”

Further, scripture teaches that a woman shall be saved through child-bearing (if she is Catholic and in the state of grace). Therefore, a good Catholic woman has absolutely nothing to fear from child-bearing, even if her life is threatened: “Yet she shall be saved through child-bearing; if she continue in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety.” (1 Timothy 2:15)

If the mother or infant’s life is threatened by child bearing, then either the marital act is abstained from altogether by virtuous continence, or it is done with the hope of conception if God should grant it, being ready to bear the consequences of the death of the mother or the infant.

Objection: But we simply cannot afford more children, therefore we must use NFP. Our situation is clearly an exception...

Answer: “Difficulties” on the part of “family circumstances” and “sufferings of those parents who, in extreme want, experience great difficulty in rearing their children” are no excuses for practicing contraception (Casti Connubii).

In reality, the economic excuse is nothing new; in fact, the Church has had to deal with it for thousands of years. For instance, Lactantius, an early Christian author, wrote in 307 A.D. on this very subject.

Lactantius, Divine Institutes 6:20: “[Some] complain of the scantiness of their means, and allege that they have not enough for bringing up more children, as though, in truth, their means were in [their] power… or God did not daily make the rich poor and the poor rich. Wherefore, if any one on any account of poverty shall be unable to bring up children, it is better to abstain from relations with his wife.”

In more recent times, Pope Pius XI specifically mentions the economic excuse and condemns it, along with all people who defend it.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (#’s 60-61), Dec. 31, 1930: “We are deeply touched by the sufferings of those parents who, in extreme want, experience great difficulty in rearing their children. However, they should take care lest the calamitous state of their external affairs should be the occasion for a much more calamitous error. No difficulty can arise that justifies putting aside the law of God which prohibits all acts intrinsically evil. There is no possible circumstance in which husband and wife cannot, strengthened by the Grace of God, fulfill faithfully their duties and preserve in wedlock their chastity unspotted. This truth of Christian faith is expressed by the teaching of the Council of Trent: ‘Let no one be so rash as to assert that which the Fathers of the Council have placed under anathema, namely that there are precepts of God impossible for the just to observe. God does not ask the impossible, but by His commands, instructs you to do what you are able, to pray for what you are not able that He may help you.’”

This condemns the extreme poverty excuse as well as all excuses. Pope Pius XI teaches that spouses who do not desire conception to take place during conjugal relations because of poverty, even if it is extreme, have no faith in God and that He can provide for them and regulate the size of their family, and they have also committed a mortal sin if they tried to prevent, or are against (either by thought or deed) the conception of a child in anyway, which is an intrinsically evil act.

He also warns that God will curse spouses for committing this mortal sin, and thus their problems will only get worse without God to help them. To their calamitous state (for example, extreme poverty), they would have added a calamitous error, mortal sin, and thus bring down God’s wrath upon themselves. For Pope Pius XI warns: “However, they should take care lest the calamitous state of their external affairs should be the occasion for a much more calamitous error.”

Objection: Pope Pius XII taught that NFP is lawful for at least certain grave reasons. So you have no right to condemn it, as he was the Pope.

Answer: Even Popes can be wrong in their fallible capacity.

It is true that Pope Pius XII taught that Natural Family Planning is lawful for certain grave reasons in a series of fallible speeches in the 1950’s. However, this does not justify NFP. Pius XII’s speeches were fallible, and were therefore vulnerable to error.

In studying papal errors throughout history in preparation for its declaration of papal infallibility, the theologians at Vatican I found that over 40 popes held wrong theological views. In a notorious case of papal error, Pope John XXII held the false view that the just of the Old Testament don’t receive the Beatific Vision until after the General Judgment (and this false view was later infallibly rejected by the Church and condemned as a heresy after he died, although the Pope was not obstinate nor condemned himself during his life). And many other errors have been held by various Popes, and also great scandals have been caused by many bad Popes throughout the Church’s 2000 year long history, as can be consulted in The History of the Popes book series. But none of these errors were taught by popes from the Chair of St. Peter in an infallible manner, just like Pius XII’s speech to Italian midwives is not a declaration from the Chair of St. Peter.

One of the most notorious cases of papal error in Church history is the “Synod of the Corpse” of 897. This was where the dead body of Pope Formosus – who by all accounts was a holy and devoted pope – was condemned after his death by Pope Stephen VII for a number of supposed violations of canon law. Pope Sergius III was also in favor of the judgment, while later Popes Theodore II and John IX opposed it. This should show us very clearly that not every decision, speech, opinion or judgment of a pope is infallible.

Those who think that they are safe following something simply because it was endorsed by pre-Vatican II theologians or by Pope Pius XII in his fallible capacity are gravely mistaken. Even though the explosion of the Great Apostasy occurred at Vatican II, its momentum by a departure from the Faith was well in motion prior to Vatican II, as is evidenced from many pre-Vatican II books which promoted condemned heresy and modernism. Most of the priests had already fallen into heresy in the 1950’s, as is proven by the fact that almost all of them accepted and embraced the new religion of the Vatican II Church when it was imposed.

The bottom-line remains that it is an infallible teaching of the Catholic Church that the primary end of marriage (and the conjugal act) is the procreation and education of children. This is a de fide teaching of the Catholic Church; it is a dogma. Natural Family Planning subordinates the primary end of marriage and the conjugal act to other things and is therefore gravely sinful and forbidden.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 8), Dec. 31, 1930: “To take away from man the natural and primeval right of marriage, to circumscribe in any way the principal ends of marriage laid down in the beginning by God Himself in the words ‘Increase and multiply,’ is beyond the power of any human law. … This is also expressed succinctly in the Code of Canon Law ‘The primary end of marriage is the procreation and the education of children.’”

Objection: Pope Paul VI also taught that NFP is lawful in his encyclical Humanae Vitae. Surely, two Popes successively teaching the same thing on matters of morals cannot be wrong. God would not allow them to teach wrong. Therefore, NFP is not wrong.

Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae (# 16), July 25, 1968: “… married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained.”

Answer: Yes, Antipope Paul VI explained correctly that NFP is birth control when he promoted it in his encyclical Humanae Vitae, as we saw above.

And regarding the objection that God would not allow errors or even heresies to be embraced by men in the Church, we must consider the following prophetic words from the Bible: “there must be also heresies: that they also, who are approved, may be made manifest among you.” (1 Corinthians 11:16-19) Haydock Commentary explains: “There must be also heresies: By reason of the pride and perversity of man’s heart; not by God’s will or appointment; who nevertheless draws good out of this evil, manifesting, by that occasion, who are the good and firm Christians, [and who are not,] and making their faith more remarkable. (Challoner)”

Despite the Magisterial teaching which condemns “Natural Family Planning”, simple logic will tell Catholics that it’s wrong. If the Church has condemned artificial contraception because it prevents the conception of offspring, why would it be permissible to do the same thing by means of a different method? In truth, Holy Scripture itself could not be more clear when it says that: “thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayst obtain a blessing in children.” (Tobias 6:22)

Paul VI’s endorsement of “natural” birth control, or NFP (as though there were something natural about constantly taking temperatures, consulting charts and jumping through other such hoops to determine the infertile periods), is not the official position of the Catholic Church, but the official and accepted position of the heretical Vatican II sect.

The bottom-line remains that it is an infallible teaching of the Catholic Church that the primary end of marriage (and the conjugal act) is the procreation and education of children. This is a de fide teaching of the Catholic Church; it is a dogma. No Pope or law can change this dogma because dogmas never change. Dogmas are thus unchangeable, eternal truths revealed by God through scripture, the Natural Law and the Popes through their infallible capacity from the Chair of St. Peter; and they must be believed by all under pain of heresy and mortal sin and no one can ever deviate from these laws and truths without losing his faith.

Pope Pius X, Lamentabile, The Errors of the Modernists, July 3, 1907, #22: “The dogmas which the Church professes as revealed are not truths fallen from heaven, but they are a kind of interpretation of religious facts, which the human mind by a laborious effort prepared for itself.” – CONDEMNED STATEMENT by Pope Pius X.

As we can see here, dogmas are truths fallen from heaven which cannot possibly contain error. To better illustrate the point that dogmas can never change, consider the following example: The Catholic Church or a Pope could never officially hold or teach that which is against nature, such as the secular heresy that abortion is a human “right” or that homosexuality is “natural”. Similarly, a Pope could never proclaim as an infallible dogma (a dogma that must be believed by all the faithful under pain of heresy and mortal sin) any doctrine that would contradict an already established dogma of the Catholic Faith, such as a “dogma” that would deny the Divinity of Jesus Christ. That is common sense. Therefore, any “Pope” or so-called “Catholic Church” that would hold to such an error or declare such a “dogma” would not be Catholic or the Catholic Church, but a heretic (an antipope) and a non-Catholic Church.

Catholic Prophecy foretold that there would be a Great Apostasy and a counterfeit Church in the Last Days. Catholic prophecy and the New Testament paint a picture of the last days as a massive spiritual deception aimed to deceive those who intend to practice the true faith (the Catholic Faith), and which leaves the Earth with almost no one maintaining the true faith. So it is not at all impossible or strange that God would allow such a deception to occur. In fact, it was specifically predicted to occur. Did not Our Lord Himself prophesy that the true Faith would be almost extinguished when he comes back the second time to judge the living and the dead? Yes he did. “But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on Earth? (Luke 18:8)

The exact same message is heard in the Church approved Revelation and Prophecy of Our Lady of La Salette, which prophesies the exact same situation, warning us that: “Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the Anti-Christthe Church will be in eclipse [meaning that the Catholic Church will not be visible to most men due to something being in its way (i.e., the Vatican II sect) obscuring its sight].” (Our Lady of La Salette, Sept. 19, 1846)

Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, The Present Crisis of the Holy See, 1861, London: Burns and Lambert, pp. 88-90: “The apostasy of the city of Rome from the vicar of Christ and its destruction by Antichrist may be thoughts so new to many Catholics, that I think it well to recite the text of theologians of greatest repute. First Malvenda, who writes expressly on the subject, states as the opinion of Ribera, Gaspar Melus, Biegas, Suarrez, Bellarmine and Bosius that Rome shall apostatize from the faith, drive away the Vicar of Christ and return to its ancient paganism. … Then the Church shall be scattered, driven into the wilderness, and shall be for a time, as it was in the beginning, invisible hidden in catacombs, in dens, in mountains, in lurking places; for a time it shall be swept, as it were from the face of the earth. Such is the universal testimony of the Fathers of the early Church.”

Thus, this is the kind of spiritual deception we’re talking about here—that would occur in the last days, in our days. Mortal sins such as NFP (which is no different from artificial contraception in intent), and other sins, especially sexual sins, and immodest dress, are undoubtedly major causes for why most people have been entirely abandoned by God.

2 Peter 2:1-5 “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be among you lying teachers, who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their riotousnesses, through whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you. Whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their perdition slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but delivered them, drawn down by infernal ropes to the lower hell, unto torments, to be reserved unto judgment: And spared not the original world, but preserved Noe, the eighth person, the preacher of justice, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.”

In the Gospel, Jesus Christ not only informs us that in the last days the true faith would hardly be found on the Earth, but that “in the holy place” itself there will be “the abomination of desolation” (Mt. 24:15), and a deception so profound that, if it were possible, even the elect would be deceived (Mt. 24:24). St. Paul says that the man of sin will sit “in the temple of God” (2 Thess. 2:4). The Apocalypse describes in detail the Whore of Babylon, a false bride (i.e. a Counter Church) which arises in the last days in the city of seven hills (Rome) and which spreads spiritual fornication all over the Earth. The fact that the last days are characterized by a spiritual deception intending to ensnare Catholics proves, rather than disproves, the authenticity of the Catholic Church.

For more information, please consult the texts: The Great Apostasy and a counterfeit Church predicted in the New Testament and in Catholic Prophecy; and: Is the Vatican II sect the Whore of Babylon prophesied in the Apocalypse?

These articles gives the stunning evidence that the Vatican II sect, a counterfeit Church which opposes the true Catholic Church in the last days, is the Whore of Babylon prophesied in Apocalypse chapters 17 and 18.

Pope Leo XIII’s Supernatural Revelation is also a great example and proof that the Vatican II Church is not the Catholic Church: Pope Leo XIII’s supernatural experience and Original Prayer to St. Michael prophesying an apostasy in Rome in the last days

Now, Paul VI was the man who claimed to be the head of the Catholic Church from June 21, 1963 to August 6, 1978. He was the man who promulgated the Second Vatican Council and the New Mass. Paul VI solemnly ratified all 16 documents of Vatican II. It is not possible for a true Pope of the Catholic Church to solemnly ratify teachings that are heretical. The fact that Paul VI did solemnly ratify the heretical teachings of Vatican II proves that Paul VI was not a true pope, but an antipope.

It’s important to keep in mind that Paul VI was the one who gave the world the New Mass, the other new “sacraments,” and the heretical teachings of Vatican II (i.e. religious liberty, salvation outside the Church, esteem for false religions, prayer and divine worship with false religions, NFP, etc). If you go to the New Mass or embrace the teachings of Vatican II, the confidence that you have that these things are legitimate is directly connected to the confidence that you have that Paul VI was a true Catholic Pope.

You can read an expose of the amazing heresies of Antipope Paul VI in the article: The Heresies of Paul VI. The article will show, from his official speeches and writings, that Paul VI was a complete apostate who was not even remotely Catholic. All of the official speeches and writings of the men who claim to be pope are contained in the Vatican’s weekly newspaper, L’ Osservatore Romano. The Vatican has reprinted issues of their newspaper from April 4, 1968 to the present. From those speeches, one will see that Paul VI was not a true pope because of the irrefutable and undeniable evidence that he was a complete heretic and an apostate.

Objection: The Pope in his teaching to the universal Church on matters of Faith and morals cannot lead us astray. Pope Pius XII placed the teaching to midwives in the Acta, thus making it universal, since it was sent to all the bishops of the world. An honest person would realize that Catholics learn from the Pope, and submit to his judgments. If you refuse to believe Pius XII’s authoritative teaching, it is the matter for mortal sin. You should not be quick to judge a bad motive on Catholics who submit to the Pope. It is necessary for one’s salvation to submit to the Pope, and you are advocating rebellion. Pope Pius XII’s speech to midwives is an authoritative statement. Learn from the Pope, love the Pope, and never dissent from the Pope. There is no holiness where there is dissent from the Pope. The Pope’s teaching on the lawful use of the sterile times was not an ex Cathedra pronouncement, therefore it is not infallibly true, but it is infallibly safe since he made it universal. All teachings of the Fathers must be understood and interpreted through the teaching of the magisterium. Our Lord commissioned St. Peter and his successors. The Papal office is an office created by God Himself, and it cannot fail and those that sit in that office cannot lead Catholics astray. The office protects the Pope. Pope Pius XI and Pius XII have spoken on this issue, the matter is settled. To rebel against the Pope’s teaching is to foster schism. You need to submit and obey by believing what these Pope’s have taught. A refusal to assent to Pius XII’s teaching is mortally sinful; and it is schism, and therefore you are outside the Church.

Answer: It is an easily proven fact of history that fallible people in the Church as well as fallible statements by the Popes can lead us astray and teach error. Indeed, even the Pope himself is only infallible when speaking from the Chair of St. Peter.

First, Pope Pius XII’s statement is not an authoritative statement as this objection falsely claims. In fact, it is not even an encyclical! Rather, all it is is simply a heretical and fallible speech to midwives that also directly contradicts the Holy Bible, Apostolic Tradition, as well as the unanimous teaching of the Popes, Fathers, and Saints of the Catholic Church from the beginning, as we have seen in this article. In truth, nothing more than this should be needed to be said to an honest person than to point out to him that the Church has always rejected every form of birth-control for 2000 years. Furthermore, in contrast to Pope Pius XII’s fallible statement concerning NFP, Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Casti Connubii is an infallible declaration from the Chair of St. Peter that directly condemns as a mortal sin all kinds of birth control, which of course includes NFP.

Second, a fallible statement cannot be “infallibly safe”! That a normal person even makes such a directly contradictory statement in the same sentence makes one question the sanity or honesty of those people who make this argument. Indeed, this perverse and false argument could not be made more false or erroneous even if one tried to.

It is also a known fact that Pope John XXII taught heresy in a sermon, yet this false argument denies that Pope Pius XII could do the same in his speech to midwives, even though his speech to midwives is just as fallible and in no way different from Pope John XXII’s fallible, condemned and heretical sermon. If Pope John XXII could teach heresy in a sermon not intended to be the universal or infallible teaching of the Catholic Church, then so could Pope Pius XII in his speech to midwives that was also not intended to be made universal and infallible even in the first place. It is clearly evil and false to claim otherwise and to give the Pope infallibility outside of infallibility — which obviously is a ridiculous and false argument — and in this way make his statement out to be more than what it really is.

Third, it is claimed that Pope Pius XII placed the teaching to midwives in the Acta (the Vatican’s official organ for publishing authentic documents and speeches) thus making it universal, since it was sent to all the bishops of the world. But where is the proof that Pope Pius XII ever did this? We have never seen this proof nor has it ever been provided by anyone so far even though we have asked for it specifically; hence that it is still not even certain or a fact that it was ever put in the Acta at all.

But even if it was put in the Acta, it is still not known that the Pope himself put it there. Anyone of his subjects with the authority to do so could have put it in the Acta themselves without the pope knowing it or even intending it. Indeed, if the heretics who use this false objection cannot even prove that the Pope himself put it in the Acta, then their supposed “evidence” is even more worthless.

But even if Pope Pius XII himself did put it in the Acta, and this could be proven, the evidence would still be fallible! That’s the point. It’s fallible. Indeed, this argument even admits that the evidence is fallible, yet, in its sheer stupidity, it perversely makes it out to become “infallibly safe”, teaching that: “The Pope’s teaching on the lawful use of the sterile times was NOT an ex Cathedra pronouncement, therefore IT IS NOT INFALLIBLY TRUE, but it is infallibly safe since he made it universal.”

Just because a teaching of a Pope is universal doesn’t make it infallible or infallibly safe. Infallibility must also be invoked by the Pope (and the Pope must meet certain requirements) in order for his teaching to become “infallibly safe”. Otherwise it is always liable to error. Thus, since a Pope is only infallible when speaking from the Chair of St. Peter and when fulfilling certain conditions — and since popes have been allowed to fall into errors in the past by God in their fallible capacity — this proves that it’s entirely possible for a valid Pope to teach grave errors or even heresy on faith or moral matters in his fallible capacity, and that it’s possible God could allow such a thing to occur in the last days.

If Pius XII’s speech to midwives is not infallible, then it cannot be “infallibly safe”. How can something be “infallibly safe” when it so obviously contradicts 2000 years of Catholic teaching and tradition, in addition to the infallible decree in the encyclical Casti Connubii of Pope Pius XI, that condemns as a mortal sin all forms of birth-control, which of course includes NFP? No heretic has ever been able to answer this question or with any Church teaching. All they ever say is that it cannot be wrong and that God could or would not allow such an error to be taught. However, as we have already seen, this can indeed happen and God has allowed it to happen. In fact, it was even foretold that it would happen in the last days, but the heretics just refuse to believe it in this case since they want to believe in and defend this vile doctrine.

The fact that God would allow the Popes, Fathers and Saints of the Church to teach for about 2000 years that all forms of birth control (which includes NFP) is mortally sinful, and that thus those who are using this false argument about NFP have to hold that the whole Church erred in 2000 years, in addition to having to argue that the infallible decree of Pope Pius XI in Casti Connubii is false, or that it doesn’t mean what it actually says when it teaches that no excuse (not even starvation or death) can be used to prevent procreation, does not seem to move these bad willed people one bit, sad to say.

Again, a fallible statement (Pope Pius XII’s Speech to midwives) cannot contradict an infallible decree of the Catholic Church (Casti Connubii and the unanimous consent of the Fathers). Yet, this is the most common and dishonest tactic used by the heretics, that is, that they always cling to the fallible, presenting it as if it outweighs or precedes the infallible. Only a faithless heretic would even try to argue against the infallible dogmas of the Church with fallible speeches or texts that prove nothing. But this evil tactic is so common and persistent among the false traditionalist groups that it’s almost impossible to get through to them. Only a condemned person would fail to understand this or refuse to see it when it can be proven that popes in the past have taught heresies and been wrong in many instances. In truth, to make fallible out to become infallibly safe is one of the most perverse, evil and false arguments that we have heard so far in defense of this heresy.

Those people who perversely want to argue that God approves of birth control or of methods that encourages people to try to avoid God sending them new life, are nothing less than sacrilegious blasphemers and mortal enemies to God’s Holy and Chaste Word in the Bible: “And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, [children] in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.” (The Holy Bible, Tobias 8:9)

Fourth, concerning the statement that: “The Papal office… cannot fail and those that sit in that office cannot lead Catholics astray. The office protects the Pope.” It is a fact that God has allowed a Pope (in his fallible capacity) to teach error and to lead Catholics astray in our days—the last days—mainly because people have rejected Him, His dogmas and the Natural Law written in their hearts. And since they love the world and the pleasures of the world more than they love God (2 Timothy 3:1-5), God has rightly rejected them.

Is it reasonable to believe that God would have allowed His Church to be eclipsed like this by the Whore of Babylon (the Vatican II sect) unless the majority of Catholics were already bad or displeasing to Him? Of course not. Indeed, we learn from Jacinta herself – the Prophetess of Fatima – that even before Vatican II, almost all people were in a state of damnation; and it is just a fact that the people of that time were many times more virtuous than the “Catholics” of our own time. “Jacinta, what are you thinking of?” Jacinta, the prophetess and seer of Fatima replied: “About the war which will come. So many people will die, and almost all of them will go to hell!” Consider that this statement by Jacinta was made before the Vatican II revolution. And many Catholic nations participated in the war. Yet almost all Catholics were damned. Are you any better than they were?

Some things that God has permitted to occur in His Church before the Great Apostasy, among other things have been: 1) a universal Arian crisis where about 98% of all bishoprics became Arian and almost everyone who claimed to be a Catholic became Arian; 2) a Great Western Schism lasting 39 years—Massive confusion, multiple antipopes, antipopes in Rome, an antipope recognized by all the cardinals; and 3) bad priests, bad bishops, bad popes giving bad examples, causing scandal and teaching grave errors and even heresies later condemned by the Church, and other bad people in the Church in general that has led people astray by their evil teachings and bad examples.

In truth, if one doesn’t have dogmatic teaching backing up one’s assertions, one shouldn’t say what God would or would not allow to happen in the Great Apostasy, or that He would not allow a faithless, godless people that rejects Him, and that loves pleasure more than they love Him, to receive the fruits of their sins and their own evil ways (Proverbs 1:31; Proverbs 14:14), just as they desired (2 Timothy 3:1-5) and in fact deserves as a recompense for their evil crimes (Proverbs 1:25).

That most people have rejected the Faith (and the Natural Law) is proven by Our Lord’s words in Luke 18:8, where He even questions if anyone will have the faith when He comes back to judge the world: “But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?”

Fifth, Do not let yourself be deceived by the lie that if you reject Pius XII’s fallible and erroneous speech to midwives (which is in no way different from John XXII’s heretical and condemned sermon), this means you reject the Church and commit mortal sin! The objection said: “If you refuse to believe Pius XII’s authoritative teaching, it is the matter for mortal sin. … You need to submit and obey by believing what these Pope’s have taught. A refusal to assent to Pius XII’s teaching is mortally sinful; and it is schism, and therefore you are outside the Church.” We have already seen that the Church dogmatically teaches that no one is allowed in anyway to deviate from the Church’s infallible and official teachings, and that not even the Pope himself or anyone else can contradict Her teachings. This truth about the Church’s dogmatic and unchangeable teachings is so obvious that the Church Herself has declared that even the Pope himself may be resisted or contradicted “if he be found to have deviated from the [Catholic] Faith.

Pope Paul IV, Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio (# 1), Feb. 15, 1559: “In assessing Our duty and the situation now prevailing, We have been weighed upon by the thought that a matter of this kind [i.e. error in respect of the Faith] is so grave and so dangerous that the Roman Pontiff, who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fulness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith.

This teaching of Pope Paul IV in Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio above of course also answers the heretical statement which said that: “An honest person would realize that Catholics learn from the Pope, and submit to his judgments. … It is necessary for one’s salvation to submit to the Pope, and you are advocating rebellion. … Learn from the Pope, love the Pope, and never dissent from the Pope. There is no holiness where there is dissent from the Pope. … To rebel against the Pope’s teaching is to foster schism.” According to the heretics’ logic in this objection, since John XXII was the Pope, if his heretical sermon would have been put in something equivalent to the Acta at his own time, we would have no right to contradict and rebel against his heretical teaching, and it would have to be considered to “foster schism” to choose to rebel against his heretical teaching, and – according to the heretics – we would have to believe in and submit to his heretical and condemned teaching. This is the inescapable and illogical conclusion that the heretics would have to come to if they actually were consistent with their own teaching and followed it to its full extent as they claim we must do when the pope is making a statement that they deem to be authoritative.

As we have seen already, to openly disagree with the pope when he teaches manifest error is not to advocate rebellion or to commit schism as the heretics make it out to be, but it is in fact the exact opposite, since if you follow and adhere to this new teaching, you evidently and directly reject and rebel against the infallible definitions of the ChurchThe Council of Trent, Vatican I and the unanimous consent of the Fathers, in addition to Pope Pius XI’s dogmatic encyclical Casti Connubiiall of which unanimously condemn Pius XII’s fallible and erroneous teaching on NFP, as well as all other heretical teachings on birth control.

It should be clear by now that what has been stated above is absolutely true, and in fact, infallibly safe, and anyone who is honest while reading this will of course agree with it. Indeed, it is very easy to understand that it is infallibly safe to believe what has always been believed unanimously by the whole Church since the beginning. It is not, as the heretics make it out to be, infallibly safe to believe in a new teaching which not a single Pope, Father or Saint ever has believed in or taught before — until just prior to the Great Apostasy. Anyone with even a little honesty left in his soul will of course understand that this is true.

Objection: I have read many Catholic books approved by the Church that teach timing-based methods of contraception, or NFP. These Catholic books teaching timing-based methods of contraception also had Nihil Obstat Church imprimaturs -- many of which was obtained before Vatican II. This clearly shows that these contraceptive methods were permitted by the Church then as well as now. If NFP or timing-based methods of contraception were not the accepted or official teaching of the Church, these books would never have been approved nor would these theologians have wasted their time writing on contraception, or NFP.

Answer: Nihil Obstat Church imprimaturs are not infallible; and all heretical so-called theologians’ opinions are worthless!

In reality, there are a lot of heretical imprimatured books. It is illogical to presume that a Pope reads and thus personally approves all official decrees and responses from the Roman Congregations, along with all unofficial ones attributed to the Roman Congregations found in the many books that publish them, along with reading all books in the world with imprimaturs, along with ruling the Church spiritually and temporally, along with sanctifying his own soul by prayer and meditation, along with sanctifying Catholics as the chief shepherd, and along with calling non-Catholics to conversion.

Pope St. Pius X testifies to the impossibility of a pope’s inspection of every imprimatured book, even with the help of the Holy Office, and also testifies that there were many bad books that were given imprimaturs.

St. Pope Pius X, Pacendi Dominici Gregis, A.D. 1907: “51. We bid you do everything in your power to drive out of your dioceses, even by solemn interdict, any pernicious books that may be in circulation there. The Holy See neglects no means to put down writings of this kind, but the number of them has now grown to such an extent that it is impossible to censure them all. Hence it happens that the medicine sometimes arrives too late, for the disease has taken root during the delay. We will, therefore, that the Bishops, putting aside all fear and the prudence of the flesh, despising the outcries of the wicked, gently by all means but constantly, do each his own share of this work, remembering the injunctions of Leo XIII in the Apostolic Constitution Officiorum: “Let the Ordinaries, acting in this also as Delegates of the Apostolic See, exert themselves to prescribe and to put out of reach of the faithful injurious books or other writings printed or circulated in their dioceses.” In this passage the Bishops, it is true, receive a right, but they have also a duty imposed on them. Let no Bishop think that he fulfills this duty by denouncing to us one or two books, while a great many others of the same kind are being published and circulated. Nor are you to be deterred by the fact that a book has obtained the Imprimatur elsewhere, both because this may be merely simulated, and because it may have been granted through carelessness or easiness or excessive confidence in the author as may sometimes happen in religious Orders.”

The same logically applies to the official Roman Congregations’ decrees and responses, and more so to the unofficial decrees and responses found in the many books that list them.

Also consider our Lady’s prophecy in the Church approved apparition of La Salette:

Bad books will abound over the earth, and the spirits of darkness will everywhere spread universal relaxation in everything concerning God’s service...” (Prophecy of La Salette, 19th of September 1846)

Yet many “Natural Family Planning” supporters resort into quoting fallible and heretical theologians who support the contraception heresy of NFP, also known as the Rhythm Method, who lived either before or after the heretical Second Vatican Council. Their opinions are utterly worthless and totally heretical. God has already spoken by the mouth of Pope Pius XI in Casti Connubii, infallibly declaring that all forms of Contraception, including NFP, is heretical and a mortal sin – and nothing can change that fact! The Great Apostasy—Vatican II, the Conciliar Church, and her apostate antipopes—did not come about overnight.

Objection: But my traditional priest instructed me in NFP...

Answer: Satan instructs people in NFP.

When the blind lead the blind they both fall into the pit. Couples who use NFP know that they are committing a sin. It is written on their hearts. They don’t need a priest to tell them that it’s wrong. Yes, the priests who obstinately instruct people that NFP is okay and defend this birth control method are also guilty, but this does not take away the responsibility of the couples who follow their bad advice.

Pope Pius XI teaches there are no exceptions and no excuses. No excuses, even if your priest or bishop said it can be used.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 57), Dec. 31, 1930: “We admonish, therefore, priests who hear confessions and others who have the care of souls, in virtue of Our Supreme authority and in Our solicitude for the salvation of souls, not to allow the faithful entrusted to them to err regarding this most grave law of God; much more, that they keep themselves immune from such false opinions, in no way conniving in them. If any confessor or pastor of souls, which may God forbid, lead the faithful entrusted to him into these errors, or should at least confirm them by approval or by guilty silence, let him be mindful of the fact that he must render a strict account to God, the Supreme Judge, for the betrayal of his sacred trust, and let him take to himself the words of Christ: ‘They are blind and leaders of the blind: and if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit.’”

This is why we stress that those who are contributing money to or who receive the sacraments from heretical or schismatical priests who promote or accept heresies such as NFP or any other condemned heresy must cease immediately if they don’t want to share in their sin and follow them to Hell, since these priests are leading souls to Hell.

This includes the priests of the Vatican II sect, the Society of St. Pius X, the Society of St. Pius V, the C.M.R.I and almost all independent priests in this time of the Great Apostasy.

Objection: Both of the Sacred Penitentiary’s Responses of the years 1853 and 1880 taught that NFP is allowed for married spouses, and so, you have no right to reject the Church’s teaching on this matter.

Answer: The 1853 and 1880 responses are not only unofficial and fallible, but they are also illogical and heretical, and they do not even defend the current practice of NFP, as we will see.

In this section, we will refute a specific argument in favor of NFP promoted by various heretics and heretical sects posing as “traditional Catholics,” priests, and even bishops. Precisely because these people claim to be traditional Catholic and hold the true Faith, it is especially important to refute their arguments. One such heretical individual bent on murdering and deceiving souls is the heretical so-called Bishop Mark. A. Pivarunas of CMRI, a sedevacantist religious so-called community. However, Mark. A. Pivarunas’ “evidence” that defends NFP is neither infallible nor official nor certified as authentic. It is also ambiguous and contradictory.

There was a need in the Church for an organ that contained the official decrees and responses from the Roman Congregations because many decrees and responses were fraudulent or doubtful.

Therefore, the Roman Congregations needed an official organ in which to publish their decrees and responses that would guarantee authenticity. Authentic and official decrees and responses from the Roman Congregations are found in the Acta Sanctae Sedis (ASS) from 1904 to 1908 and in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS) from 1909 onward.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907, Acta Sanctae Sedis: “A Roman monthly publication containing the principal public documents issued by the Pope, directly or through the Roman Congregations. It was begun in 1865, under the title of ‘Acta Sanctæ Sedis in compendium redacta, etc.’, and was declared, 23 May, 1904, an organ of the Holy See to the extent that all documents printed in it are ‘authentic and official.’… On the Roman Congregations: Editors of periodicals on ecclesiastical subjects have been allowed for several years back to publish in their magazines the acts of the Congregations, and one of these periodicals, Acta Sanctae Sedis, has received the privilege of being declared ‘authentic and official for publishing the acts of the Apostolic See’ (S.C. de Prop. Fid., 23 May, 1904).”

The 1917 Code of Canon Law, Canon 9: “The laws issued by the Holy See are promulgated by being published in the official organ of the Holy See, the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, unless in particular cases another mode of promulgation is prescribed.”

A Practical Commentary: “The publication of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis began in January, 1909, and from the very beginning it was declared the official organ of the Holy See. [Footnote: The Constitution ‘Promulgandi’ of Pius X, Sept. 29, 1908; Acta Ap. Sedis, I, 5.]”

Consequently, any so-called Holy Office decree or response that exists outside these organs, the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (ASS) from 1904 and the AAS from 1909, is not certified as authentic and is not official. (Hereafter I will simply refer to these documents as unofficial while understanding that they are also not certified as authentic.) Hence, Mark. A. Pivarunas’ argument has no credibility because it rests on responses that are not official and cannot be certified as authentic.

Official Roman Congregations’ decrees and responses are also fallible

Even if Mark. A. Pivarunas produced the official Roman Congregations’ decrees or responses defending NFP, that does not help his case because they are also fallible.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913, Infallibility: “Proof of Papal Infallibility - The pope, of course, can convert doctrinal decisions of the Holy Office, which are not in themselves infallible, into ex cathedra papal pronouncements...”

The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913, Acts of the Roman Congregations: “…(b) Authority of doctrinal decrees - Doctrinal decrees are not of themselves infallible; the prerogative of infallibility cannot be communicated to the Congregations by the Pope.”

People that calls themselves Catholic, I believe, would agree with this. Consequently, they would also have to believe that the unofficial evidence that he uses to defend NFP is likewise fallible.

The 1853 response

The source
The 1853 response is one such piece of incredible evidence. The source quoted, a local moral theology book, is not a first hand source for a Sacred Penitentiary (a Roman Congregation) response. Therefore, it is an unofficial and fallible response. And even if it were an official response, it would still be fallible. That is the main point: the evidence is fallible.

The meaning
The meaning of the response is ambiguous. While it has two interpretations, heretical and orthodox, one cannot be certain of either.

Mark A. Pivarunas, On the Question of Natural Family Planning: “The very concept of “rhythm” was first considered by the Catholic Church in 1853. The Bishop of Amiens, France, submitted the following question to the Sacred Penitentiary:

[Q.] Certain married couples, relying on the opinion of learned physicians, are convinced that there are several days each month in which conception cannot occur. Are those who do not use the marriage right except on such days to be disturbed, especially if they have legitimate reasons for abstaining from the conjugal act?”

Mark A. Pivarunas: “On March 2, 1853, the Sacred Penitentiary (during the reign of Pope Pius IX) answered as follows:

[A.] Those spoken of in the request are not to be disturbed, providing that they do nothing to impede conception.”

The first part of the response seems to allow for the contraceptive method of NFP, but the second part does not by saying the spouses can “do nothing to impede conception.”

The purpose of NFP is to impede conception when the spouses have conjugal relations. If spouses come together only during the infertile period with the purpose of preventing conception, they are clearly attempting to impede conception. Therefore, the seemingly heretical first part of the response contradicts the orthodox second part.

I will now present a possible orthodox interpretation.

There are non-sinful reasons why spouses cannot have relations during known fertile periods, such as the husband is on a business trip or one spouse is sick, etc. Because they did not deliberately impede the fertile period for the purpose of preventing conception, they can have relations during the known infertile period without sinning, even though they did not have relations during the fertile period. For instance, if a husband is away from home during his wife’s known fertile period and returns to his wife during her known infertile period, he can still have conjugal relations with her without sinning as long as he did not deliberately avoid the fertile period for the purpose of preventing conception. In this case the spouses did not sin, even though they had marital relations only during the wife’s known infertile period. Pope Pius XI specifically refers to this fact in his encyclical, Casti Connubii.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 59), Dec. 31, 1930: “Nor are those considered as acting against nature who, in the married state, use their right in the proper manner, although on account of natural reasons either of time or of certain defects, new life cannot be brought forth. For in matrimony as well as in the use of matrimonial rights there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivation of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider, SO LONG AS THEY ARE SUBORDINATED TO THE PRIMARY END [Procreation of children] AND SO LONG AS THE INTRINSIC NATURE OF THE ACT IS PRESERVED.”

Pope Pius XI says that the “primary end,” that is, bearing children, must be desired and preserved; therefore, the spouses must not do anything that is against the primary end of marriage, that is, the procreation and education of children.

Nowhere does Pius XI teach that spouses can deliberately avoid the wife’s fertile period in order to prevent conception when they come together during the infertile period. He is only teaching that spouses can have conjugal relations during the known infertile period or if one of the spouses has a defect, a barren womb or sterile seed. And, he clearly adds that even then they must be “subordinated to the primary end [bearing children].”

The spouses must conform to the intrinsic nature of the act by being open to conception both in mind and deed. If they are not, they are denying the intrinsic nature of the act.

The last part of the 1853 response, “provided they do nothing to impede conception,” supports the orthodox interpretation. There can be no act, plan, or desire to impede conception when the marital act takes place. The spouses must always desire to have children if God wills they should have children, even if conception is improbable or impossible (such as in a barren womb). The 1853 response clearly says that no action may be taken by the spouses that would impede conception: “[A.] Those spoken of in the request are not to be disturbed, providing that they do nothing to impede conception.” All impediments are condemned. The goal of NFP is to impede conception when the spouses engage in the marital act.

The decree does not specify any specific type of impediment. It condemns all impediments. The point of the response is if spouses are going to have relations during known infertile periods, they must still be subordinated to the primary purpose of marriage, the procreation and education of children, and thus cannot do or have done anything that would impede or prevent it.

The 1880 response

The source
No doubt, there were those who interpreted the 1853 response in a heretical way. Yet, NFP defenders knew they needed to be more specific so there would be no doubt that NFP, according to them, is not sinful. The 1853 response did not say anything about the spouses deliberately avoiding the fertile period and only having conjugal relations during the wife’s infertile period with the purpose of preventing conception. This motive is not mentioned in the 1853 question and is even condemned in the last sentence, which says, “providing that they [spouses] do nothing to impede conception.”

Therefore, the NFP defenders needed a decree or response that specifically mentions and justifies the motive of preventing conception while leaving out the part about spouses not impeding conception. Digging deep in their hat of tricks, they found what they believe defends their heresy in one response (found in two unofficial sources) that supposedly refers to a response from the Sacred Penitentiary.

The meaning
The NFP defenders have another serious problem with this so-called evidence—this fallible 1880 response. It is ambiguous, confusing, and contradictory, and it even condemns Mark. A. Pivarunas’ idea of NFP.

Mark A. Pivarunas, On the Question of Natural Family Planning: “Another reference to rhythm appeared in 1880. Fr. Le Conte submitted the following questions to the Sacred Penitentiary:

[Q.] Whether married couples may have intercourse during such sterile periods without committing mortal or venial sin?

Whether the confessor may suggest such a procedure either to the wife who detests the onanism of her husband but cannot correct him, or to either spouse who shrinks from having numerous children?”

Mark. A. Pivarunas: “The response of the Sacred Penitentiary (during the reign of Pope Leo XIII), dated June 16, 1880, was:

[A.] Married couples who use their marriage right in the aforesaid manner are not to be disturbed, and the confessor may suggest the opinion in question, cautiously, however, to those married people whom he has tried in vain by other means to dissuade from the detestable crime of onanism.”

1) If this fallible response is meant to allow NFP, it only allows it as a substitute for the husband’s obstinately sinful Onanism (withdrawal during the marital act by the husband), which presents serious dilemmas.

2) If the husband is not obstinate and repents of his sin of Onanism, then the spouses cannot use NFP, which is how this response has to be interpreted. Let me explain. The first part of the Sacred Penitentiary’s response was only addressed to Conte’s first question: “Whether married couples may have intercourse during such sterile periods without committing mortal or venial sin? As we have seen already, there is no sin in having marital relations during known infertile periods provided conception is not deferred deliberately. That is why the Sacred Penitentiary answered favorably in their first part of the response: “Married couples who use their marriage right in the aforesaid manner are not to be disturbed”. This response, however, was only directed at Conte’s first question, and hence it cannot be used to support NFP.

The second part of the response which supports NFP only allows it in case of Onanism: “... and the confessor may suggest the opinion in question, cautiously, however, to those married people whom he has tried in vain by other means to dissuade from the detestable crime of onanism.” Since the Sacred Penitentiary made no further mention of Conte’s other statement, “Whether the confessor may suggest such a procedure… to either spouse who shrinks from having numerous children? this means that they only allowed the confessor to suggest deliberate sterile relations in case of Onanism. Since they made no mention of those who “shrinks from having numerous children”, one cannot use this response in favor of NFP in any other case than Onanism. So the only non-sinful use of NFP, according to this response, would be if the husband obstinately commits the sin of Onanism. If not, the confessor cannot even suggest the use of NFP. Therefore, according to this response, NFP cannot be used for any other reason put forward by NFP defenders.

3) The 1880 response appeased stiff-necked sinners by rewarding their obstinate disobedience to God and their confessors. If the obstinate sinner does not listen to the confessor, the confessor must pander to the sinner. Instead of punishing him, the confessor rewards him with another sinful contraceptive method. It is like saying that it is better for a single man to fornicate with an unmarried woman than a married woman because there is no additional sin of adultery. Both actions are mortally sinful. It is like a confessor telling an alcoholic who drinks hard liquor that he will not sin if he gets less drunk by using soft liquor, such as beer or wine. The purpose, getting drunk, remains the same in both cases. Since when do God and His representatives compromise faith and morals by appeasing obstinate sinners? The proper action for a good confessor in such a case is to forbid the wife to have relations with her husband under pain of sin until he repents of his sin and thus promises to no longer use Onanism, NFP or artificial contraception. To conclude, this 1880 response is not only unofficial and fallible, but it is also illogical and heretical, and it does not even defend the current practice of NFP.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Question: Is it sinful to have sterile relations during breast-feeding?

Answer: A natural consequence of breast-feeding is that the mother is infertile while breast-feeding. The only just reason for breast-feeding is for the nourishment of the infant. The sin of contraception is committed if at anytime that just reason – breast-feeding to nourish the infant – is perverted by being replaced with the unjust reason of having relations without the possibility of conception. The fact that conception cannot take place is naturally beyond the control of the spouses during this period of time. The very second spouses use breast-feeding to maintain the infertile period so as to prevent conception when they have relations, they commit the mortal sin of contraception. They have replaced the only just and natural reason for breast-feeding, which is nourishment of the infant, with the unjust and unnatural reason of deliberately using it to maintain the infertile period so conception will not take place when they have sexual relations. Breast-feeding, when perverted in this evil manner, is used as a contraception. It is also best to remain chaste during this period.

Pope St. Gregory the Great, Epistle To Augustine, Bishop of the English (c. 597 A.D.): “Further, her husband ought not to cohabit with her till that which is brought forth be weaned. But an evil custom has arisen in the ways of married persons, that women scorn to nurse the children whom they bring forth, and deliver them to other women to be nursed. Which custom appears to have been devised for the sole cause of incontinency, in that, being unwilling to contain themselves, they think scorn to suckle their offspring [and live continent]. Those women therefore who, after an evil custom, deliver their children to others to be nursed ought not to have intercourse with their husbands unless the time of their purification has passed, seeing that, even without the reason of childbirth, they are forbidden to have intercourse with their husbands while held of their accustomed sicknesses [menses]; so much so that the sacred law smites with death any man who shall go into a woman having her sickness [Leviticus 20:18].” (Epistles of St. Gregory the Great, Book XI, Letter 64, To Augustine, Bishop of the Angli)

Question: Must a husband or wife refrain from marital relations with a contracepting spouse?

Answer: Yes. The use of contraception is intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral because it deprives the marital act of the procreative meaning. Intrinsically evil acts are not justified by intention or circumstances. So even if the intention of one spouse is good, and the circumstances are very difficult, he or she cannot morally choose to engage in marital relations with a contracepting spouse. To do so would be a mortal sin.

The Church’s teaching is clear that “the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, # 54) and that is why it will always be a mortal sin of contraception against the primary purpose of marriage to knowingly perform the marital act with a contracepting spouse.

In one sense, only the contracepting spouse is “using” the contraception (taking the pill, or using a condom, etc.). But in another sense, both spouses are contracepting because both are knowingly choosing to engage in contracepted marital relations. The “non-contracepting” spouse is deliberately choosing to participate in contraceptive marital relations, and so he or she is participating in an act that is deprived of the procreative purpose that must accompany all marital acts. The lack of an intention to use a contraceptive on the part of the one spouse does not change the moral object of the act that he or she has deliberately chosen.

Moreover, if the wife is using an abortifacient contraceptive, such as the birth control pill, and the husband chooses to have relations with her, both spouses are participating in the mortal sin of direct abortion as well as the mortal sin of contraception.

The only lawful action for a good husband or wife to do if one of the spouses is using contraception is to abstain from having marital relations with their spouse until he or she repents of the sin and thus promises to no longer use contraception. If the husband should force himself on his wife (rape her), then that is a reason for separation.

There are times when a spouse cannot prevent the other spouse from sinning during the marital act. In these cases, the spouse sinned against does not sin. For instance, a husband can pretend he repented of his sin of Onanism or of other forms of contraception and can promise his wife he will no longer use it, but he could still use it, and the wife would not be able to prevent it. Or, one spouse may do something immoral and the other spouse may be helpless to prevent it. In these cases the spouse sinned against does not sin, “provided that, mindful of the law of charity, he or she does not neglect to seek to dissuade and to deter the partner from sin.” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, # 59)

Question: Can an unmarried woman, who is not sexually active, use the contraceptive pill for a medical purpose?

Answer: Yes. When the contraceptive pill (the birth control pill) is taken by a woman who is not sexually active for different medical purposes (other than hindering the conception of a child), the pill does not deprive sexual acts of the procreative meaning, because there are no sexual acts. Since the person using the contraceptive pill does not perform the sexual act that always must be excused with the motive of procreation, the moral object is not evil, and the usage of the contraceptive pill is not intrinsically evil.

Question: Can a married woman use the contraceptive pill for a medical purpose, while refraining entirely from marital relations?

Answer: Yes. But when a woman is married, she must have a grave reason to refrain from marital relations with her husband for an extended period of time. The husband and wife have a moral obligation (called the marriage debt) to have natural marital relations if or when one of the spouses wants to have marital relations.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 64. Art. 1: “Further, marriage is directed to the avoiding of fornication [adultery, masturbation, etc.] (1 Corinthians 7:2). But this could not be the effect of marriage, if the one were not bound to pay the debt to the other when the latter is troubled with concupiscence. Therefore the payment of the debt is an obligation of precept.”

If a wife has a serious medical problem, which can only be effectively treated with the contraceptive pill, then she is allowed to take the contraceptive pill while refraining from marital relations with her husband, and the husband has no right to ask for the debt. As long as she is not sexually active while taking the pill, the marital act is not deprived of the procreative meaning, and so she avoids committing an intrinsically evil act.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 64. Art. 1, Reply to Objection 3: “If the husband be rendered incapable of paying the debt through a cause consequent upon marriage, for instance through having already paid the debt and being unable to pay it, the wife has no right to ask again, and in doing so she behaves as a harlot rather than as a wife. But if he be rendered incapable through some other cause [such as sickness or fatigue], then if this be a lawful cause, he is not bound [to pay the marital debt], and she cannot ask, but if it be an unlawful cause [i.e., he has no grave reason for refusing to pay the marital debt], then he sins, and his wife’s sin, should she fall into fornication [adultery, impure thoughts or masturbation] on this account, is somewhat imputable to him. Hence he should endeavor to do his best that his wife may remain continent.”

Since the person using the contraceptive pill does not perform the sexual act (that always must be excused with the motive of procreation), the moral object is not evil, and the usage of the contraceptive pill is not intrinsically evil.

Question: On what authority does the protestant sects deny the biblical, Apostolic and Patristic teaching that all marital acts must be excused with the motive of procreation?

Answer: Protestants have no biblical basis whatsoever for practicing contraception and being against conception; neither have they any basis for this teaching from the Early Church or Christian tradition.

It is also a little known fact of history, but the protestants were actually in agreement up until the year of 1930 A.D. with the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and family life that contraception and birth control methods are sinful and forbidden to use for married people. The watershed event that changed this ancient teaching in these apostate “churches” was a conference of Anglican so-called bishops.

On August 14, 1930, with 193 favoring and 67 opposing, the leaders of the
Anglican Church passed seven resolutions dealing with “marriage and sex.” The “bishops” stated in the fifteenth resolution that: “Where there is a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or to avoid parenthood, the primary and obvious method is complete abstinence from intercourse (as far as may be necessary) in a life of discipline and self-control lived in the power of the Holy Spirit.” But that same fifteenth resolution also stated that, if a couple faced “a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood” and the couple had “a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence, the conference agrees that other methods may be used.” (The Lambeth Conferences, 166) Thus the Anglican sect had taken a position different from any previous teaching of both the Old and New Testament Church. According to their unnatural and novel teaching, married couples could now engage in marital intercourse while taking specific measures to prevent conception. On October 4, 1930, Cardinal Francis Bourne, the Catholic archbishop of Westminster, denounced the decision made by the conference of the Anglican bishops. He declared that they “had forfeited any claim to be ‘authorized organs of Christian morality.’” (Arthur Vermeersch, “La Conférence de Lambeth et la morale du marriage,” in Nouvelle Revue Theologique 57, A.D. 1930, 850) Arthur Vermeersch, the moral theologian who played a large role in writing the marvelous statement on marriage made by the Belgian bishops in 1909 (that affirmed the biblical teaching that the marital act must be procreative), was greatly disturbed by the way the Anglican “bishops” had perverted the teaching of St. Alphonsus Liguori on conscience. Vermeersch and other theologians thought that only a “strong papal action” could put an end to the assault on Catholic doctrine regarding the purposes of sexual relations in marriage.

The strong papal action followed swiftly by the promulgation of the encyclical Casti Connubii. On December 31, 1930, Pope Pius XI (1922–1939) promulgated Casti Connubii (On Chaste Marriage). The pope provided the Catholic Church with “one of the great papal documents of all time.” This encyclical “defined not only the nature of Matrimony but also the moral duties flowing therefrom.” As he gazed out upon the world from “the watchtower” of the Vatican, Pope Pius XI observed that certain “pernicious errors and degraded morals” had spread “even among the faithful.” (On Chaste Marriage # 3) The pope wanted to remind everyone that both the Bible and the Council of Trent had declared that matrimony was created not by human beings but by God. Thus there was little scope for human decision-making when it came to contractual marriage: “the only function of . . . human freedom is to decide that each of the consenting parties in fact wishes to enter the state of matrimony.” (On Chaste Marriage # 6) Therefore, having consented to marry, the spouses were subject to the way God instituted marriage with its particularends, laws and blessings.” (Pope Pius XI, On Chaste Marriage # 9)

Procreation or Abstinence: The Married Couple’s Only Choice

Referring to St. Augustine as the great Christian authority on marriage, Pope Pius XI reminded his readers of the three goods of marriage: “These . . . are the blessings which make matrimony itself a blessing: OFFSPRING, FIDELITY, SACRAMENT.” (On Chaste Marriage # 10) These traditional goods provide “the law of marriage, which gives luster to the fruitfulness of nature and sets a curb upon shameful incontinence.” (Ibid) The pope next referred to the summary found in the 1917 Code of Canon Law: “The primary end of matrimony is the procreation and education of offspring.” (Canon 1013) In sum, Casti Connubii simply repeated what church leaders and theologians had asserted from the time of Our Lord and the Apostles—namely, that the purpose of marital intercourse was to produce a child. If, at any particular time, husband and wife did not want to conceive a child, they could avoid conception in only one way—namely,by means of a virtuous continence.” (On Chaste Marriage # 53) The pope noted that some couples were using a false argument in excusing their birth control, claiming “that they can neither observe continence, nor, for personal reasons or for reasons affecting the mother, or on account of economic difficulties, can they consent to have children.” Since Pope Pius XI saw the use of birth control devices as a “criminal abuse,” (Ibid) he rejected all the reasons offered for engaging in marital acts while trying to avoid conception. Repeating the traditional teaching of the Bible, the Apostles, and the Church from the beginning, the pope taught that: “The conjugal act is of its very nature designed for the procreation of offspring; and therefore those who in performing it deliberately deprive it of its natural power and efficacy, act against nature and do something which is shameful and intrinsically immoral.” (Pope Pius XI, On Chaste Marriage # 54)


Condemnation of the Anglican Bishops’ teaching

Referring to the Onan incident in the book of Genesis, the pope repeated his condemnation of contraception: “The Divine Majesty detests this unspeakable crime with the deepest hatred and has sometimes punished it with death.” (On Chaste Marriage # 55) Again citing Augustine, the bishop of Rome wrote: “Sexual intercourse even with a lawful wife is unlawful and shameful if the conception of offspring is prevented. This is what Onan, the son of Judah, did, and on that account God put him to death.” (Ibid) With his reference to the traditional interpretation of the story of Onan in place, the pope scolded the Anglican “Church” as “openly departing from the Christian teaching which has been handed down uninterruptedly from the beginning.” (On Chaste Marriage # 56) Against the unlawful and unnatural teaching of the Anglican “bishops” “the Catholic Church” had to raise “her voice in sign of her divine mission to keep the chastity of the marriage contract unsullied by this ugly stain.” (Ibid)

The Pope’s warning to married spouses against loving “as adulterers love” shows us that the search for selfish sexual pleasure and concupiscence are alien to authentic marital love: “This is the rule prescribed by the Apostle when he says, ‘Husbands, Love your wives as Christ also loved the Church.’ Now Christ certainly loved the Church with a boundless charity, and not for His own personal advantage but solely for the good of His Bride.” (On Chaste Marriage # 23) According to various commentators, the high point of this encyclical is the papal declaration that spouses should perfect each other’s “interior life.” Spousal love “is not confined to mutual help; it must have as its higher and indeed its chief objective that of shaping and perfecting the interior life of husband and wife.” (Ibid) When the pope speaks of charity, it is not charity “founded on a mere carnal and transitory desire . . . it is a deep-seated devotion of the heart.” (Ibid) Thus, the perfecting of the interior life of one’s partner is good but the enjoyment of “carnal and transitory desire” is not.

Return to the Divine teaching of Matrimony

In part three the pope warned that God might well “punish men for their pride and their audacity” if they dared to tamper with the divine idea of marriage (On Chaste Marriage # 95). Relying on St. Augustine’s teaching on sexuality, Pius XI singled out “the violence of rebellious concupiscence” as the chief obstacle to carrying out God’s plan for marriage (On Chaste Marriage # 97). Such rebellion of the flesh can only be subdued by obeying the church’s leaders who know “the divine laws in marriage and in married life.” (On Chaste Marriage # 100) For this reason married persons must pay special attention to such laws lest they, by reason of their human nature, fall “prey to carnal passion” that so readily deceives and corrupts (On Chaste Marriage # 102). Married persons must be ready to sacrifice their sexual desires in order to refrain from marital intercourse: “God’s law sometimes requires of married persons difficult and enduring sacrifices, sacrifices which, as experience shows, the weak man is apt to invoke as so many excuses for not keeping with the divine law.” (Ibid) The pope also warned married couples to keep “as far as possible aloof from all idolatry of the flesh and from the degraded slavery of the passions.” (On Chaste Marriage # 107)

Dismissing the “exaggerated physiological education” advocated by “the so-called reformers of our day,” (On Chaste Marriage # 108) the pope firmly rejected the legitimacy of limiting marital intercourse to the sterile period (the rhythm method) in order to avoid pregnancy. Pope Pius XI accused the “so-called reformers” of teaching the “art of skillful sinning” instead of “the virtue of chastely living.” (Ibid) After husband and wife had given birth to the maximum number of children they could rear, the pope confirmed that they should cease having marital relations: “Whatever the theories sustained and propagated by certain persons, husband and wife must . . . use their matrimonial rights always in a Christian and sacred way, especially in the early days of wedlock, so that should circumstances subsequently require them to observe continence, their habit of self-restraint will help them more easily to do so.” (On Chaste Marriage # 110) We can see that this papal teaching relegates sexual feelings to the lowest part of the house of married living. Since the desire for sexual intimacy has always been regarded as a defect that arose from the fall of Adam and Eve, such desire has to be repressed in order to develop restraint and attention to the interior life of one’s partner and oneself.

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (#’s 106-108), December 31, 1930: “Certainly, if the latter day subverters of marriage are entirely devoted to misleading the minds of men and corrupting their hearts, to making a mockery of matrimonial purity and extolling the filthiest of vices by means of books and pamphlets and other innumerable methods, much more ought you, Venerable Brethren, whom "the Holy Ghost has placed as bishops, to rule the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood," [Acta, XX, 28] to give yourselves wholly to this, that through yourselves and through the priests subject to you, and, moreover, through the laity welded together by Catholic Action, so much desired and recommended by Us, into a power of hierarchical apostolate, you may, by every fitting means, oppose error by truth, vice by the excellent dignity of chastity, the slavery of covetousness by the liberty of the sons of God, [John, VIII, 32 sqq.; Gal., V, 13] that disastrous ease in obtaining divorce by an enduring love in the bond of marriage and by the inviolate pledge of fidelity given even to death.

“Thus will it come to pass that the faithful will wholeheartedly thank God that they are bound together by His command and led by gentle compulsion to fly as far as possible from every kind of idolatry of the flesh and from the base slavery of the passions. They will, in a great measure, turn and be turned away from these abominable opinions which to the dishonor of man’s dignity are now spread about in speech and in writing and collected under the title of "perfect marriage" and which indeed would make that perfect marriage nothing better than "depraved marriage," as it has been rightly and truly called.

“Such wholesome instruction and religious training in regard to Christian marriage will be quite different from that exaggerated physiological education by means of which, in these times of ours, some reformers of married life make pretense of helping those joined in wedlock, laying much stress on these physiological matters, in which is learned rather the art of sinning in a subtle way than the virtue of living chastely.”

Question: Why are these and other verses from the Book of Tobit (or Tobias) that you cite not found in my bible?

The Holy Bible, Tobias 6:22; 8:9 “And when the third night is past, thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children… [Tobias said:] And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.”

Answer: In the few protestant “bible” versions where the Book of Tobias actually is included, the entire crucial verse found in Tobit 6:22 quoted above is completely missing, and verse 8:9 (Tobit 8:7 in protestant versions) “but only for the love of posterity” is nowhere to be found! The reason why the devil had to exclude these important verses from their bibles is because he knows how important and absolutely necessary it is for one’s salvation to follow the Natural Law in all things—such as the Natural Law on sexual morality—because one can never be ignorant about the Natural Law, or be a “material heretic” in its regard. Since the devil foresaw the great damage the exclusions of these books and passages would have on his followers, and since the protestants are impure and lustful in every way, he was permitted by God to inspire their leaders to remove these crucial teachings of Our Lord. This is also why some protestants have told us they are not familiar with the above and related bible verses from the Book of Tobit, and why they have told us that they are not found in their bible.

In addition to verse 22 already noted above, the following other important verses found in Chapter 6 in the Book of Tobit, verses 16 to 18, and verse 20, are completely missing from the protestant versions, while verse 21 in most of their versions have been modified to read something like this: “Moreover I suppose [or presume] that she shall bear thee children”.

Tobias 6:18, 20-21 “But thou when thou shalt take her, go into the chamber, and for three days keep thyself continent from her, and give thyself to nothing else but to prayers with her. … But the second night thou shalt be admitted into the society of the holy Patriarchs. And the third night thou shalt obtain a blessing that sound children may be born of you.”

Tobias 6:16-17 [completely missing] “Then the angel Raphael said to him [Tobias]: Hear me, and I will show thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. [17] For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.”

Furthermore, the differences between the verse numbering in the Protestant and Catholic versions of the Book of Tobit are very great indeed, which makes it highly probable that many other important verses are missing, omitted or changed in the Protestant versions. In fact, only 2 chapters out of entire 15 had the similar number of verses in the protestant and Catholic version; in all other chapters the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible had 1 to 10 (or even more) extra verses per chapter than the protestant King James version. The devil sure does not like this book, teaching purity, virtue and chastity as it does. No wonder Luther so much wanted these books out of his own corrupt bible.

See: The Bible Proves the teachings of the Catholic Church

Question: I want a child, but my spouse does not. What do I do?


Answer: We have already abundantly proved from the Bible and Apostolic Tradition as well as the teaching of the Popes, Fathers and Saints of the Church that spouses must directly wish to beget children if they are to perform the marital sexual act. A spouse who refuses to desire children cannot therefore perform the marital act without sin, which obligates the other spouse who desires children to abstain from performing the marital act with the offending spouse until he or she comes to his senses and repents. The Bible declares children to be a blessing. Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Behold the inheritance of the Lord are children: the reward, the fruit of the womb. As arrows in the hand of the mighty, so the children of them that have been shaken. Blessed is the man that hath filled the desire with them; he shall not be confounded when he shall speak to his enemies in the gate.” This is contrary to the way much of the world views children—as a hindrance and a burden. Children cannot be viewed as a liability.

The lack of desire to have children while also wanting to perform the sexual act stems from selfish motives. Some people do not want children because they want to focus on themselves, their careers, and their money. They do not want to be "tied down" or give up their expensive cars, homes, or vacations. Others do not want children because of fears about not being able to parent successfully, not being able to afford to raise the child properly, or fears about childbirth itself—although they want to indulge in the marital act. All of these kinds of so called excuses are directly mortally sinful, unless one abstains from the marital act completely, since the marital act needs to be excused with the motive of procreation: “Therefore the marriage act also will always be evil unless it be excused...” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 49, Art. 5) A person who do not want children must therefore stay unmarried (unless he enters upon an agreed Josephite marriage where both husband and wife live chaste, either permanently or for a time) until he or she changes his intention. In the case of the married, if a couple does not want to have children, they are obligated to abstain from the marital act under pain of mortal sin.

As Christians, our devotion must first be to God, who says that children are a blessing. If we devote ourselves to prayer, spiritual reading, and meditation, God will reveal His will to us if we put Him first. Romans 12:2 declares, “And be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God.”

Question: What is your thought on childbearing today? Is it wise to raise children today? And should husband and wife live a chaste life rather than having children?

Answer: No one must believe that it is a bad thing to want to raise and love children, and especially so, if it is done for godly purposes. However, even though the will of wanting to have and raise children for the love and honor of God is a good and noble thing, the consequences following upon this good thing are many times bad; a few examples being disobedient, evil and mortally sinful children that, sad to say, in most cases are headed for Hell. Scripture also testifies to this most sad truth.

Matthew 7:13 “Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life, and few there are that find it!

Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able.”

The above words has been true for all ages, but it has never been more true than what it is for us today. The Bible prophetically warned of this: “And woe to them that are with child, and that give suck in those days.” (Matthew 24:19) Many marriages are also not good and are displeasing to God since many spouses marry for sinful and lustful reasons.

Our Lady of Fatima: “The sins of the world are too great! The sins which lead most souls to hell are sins of the flesh! Certain fashions are going to be introduced which will offend Our Lord very much. Those who serve God should not follow these fashions. The Church has no fashions; Our Lord is always the same. Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God.”

And considering some of the “woes” of our days. Unless you will lock up your children in a room without a television, media or contact with other people (except good friends and family members), it is almost guaranteed that they will be exposed to innumerable mortal sins and be lost. Why? Because the world has become so evil, corrupted and sensual today so that one will see even half naked women displayed on billboards in public places! This was totally unheard of before. One look with consent to impure thoughts is enough for a mortal sin to have been committed. And I ask you this: Will you ever let your children go out? If yes, then, can you guard their eyes and their desires? or keep them away from bad companions?

Gratian, Medieval Marriage Law: “Also, [Pope St.] Gregory, [in Moral Reflections, XXI, ix]: C. 13. One commits adultery when one sinfully desires a married or an unmarried woman. ''Anyone who so much as looks with lust at a woman, has already become an adulterer with her in his heart.'' [cf. Mt. 5:28] Now Greek uses the word moechus for adulterer, because it prohibits looking not only at another’s wife but also at any other woman. This shows plainly that, when an unmarried woman is desired with lust, adultery can be committed by sight alone.”

And this is without even considering all other evils of today, such as porn, the media, and the world with all its allurements that are, in truth, too numerous to even mention.

And then we have the public school system, which is mandatory in most western countries, wherein all kinds of ungodly and dangerous teachings are being taught, such as evolution, false religions, and as if that was not enough, sexual education. Will you allow your children to go to public school and be perverted and familiarize with worldly and ungodly friends? Then sadly, you will in fact lose them to the world! In fact, some statistics show that a large percentage of all children raised in so-called Christian homes who attend public schools will outright and openly reject the Christian faith by the first year of college. It was Adolf Hitler that once said, “Let me control the textbooks and I will control the state. The state will take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing. Your child belongs to us already... what are you?” Pope Pius XI says concerning this: “By nature parents have a right to the training of their children, but with this added duty that the education and instruction of the child be in accord with the end for which by God’s blessing it was begotten. Therefore it is the duty of parents to make every effort to prevent any invasion of their rights in this matter, and to make absolutely sure that the education of their children remain under their own control in keeping with their Christian duty, and above all refuse to send them to those schools in which there is danger of imbibing the deadly poison of impiety.” (Rappresentanti in terra #35, Dec. 31, 1929) God does not tell us as much as to be on guard against demons as with men (Matthew 10:17), for men are oftentimes more harmful to us than the devils are, for demons can be expelled by invoking the most holy names of Jesus and Mary, but man on the other hand cannot be expelled in the same way. And if a man tries to change his life, he will be reviled, despised, and called a most miserable fool, a good for nothing and a man of no education. Many weak souls sadly turn back to the vomit from such and like reproaches out of fear for the loss of human respect!

If you are thinking of raising children, then you should first seriously consider if this is God’s will for you. No one should be thinking of raising children unless they believe it’s God’s will that they should have children. After one has entered into the married state, however, one is not allowed to abstain from the marital act if or when the other spouse asks for the marital debt to be payed, unless both the spouses agree to live the more virtuous and meritorious life of chastity and purity; and that is why one must seriously consider the needs of one’s future children before entering the state of matrimony.

God naturally wants all spouses to live a chaste life and avoid bad occasions for themselves or their children, and so spouses should only have relations if they believe that God wants them to have children. But how will a couple know if God wants them to have children? They will of course understand this by praying to Him and asking His Holy will in this matter. God will implant a fervent love and longing for children in the spouses’ hearts, or reveal to them through some sign or special revelation if He wills they should have children. Thus, a husband and wife should ask God and seriously consider if it’s His will that they should have children. For it is certain that if God wills that a couple should have children, that it is for a greater purpose, such as giving birth to a saint.

St. Augustine teaches that the first man and woman were waiting for God’s order and commandment to engage in intercourse since God created Adam and Eve without sexual desire for each other. Thus, St. Augustine, with the rest of the Church taught that sexual desire was not an aspect of God’s design for the male and the female, since concupiscence is an evil effect of the original sin. “For why should they not await God’s authorization for this, since there was no drive of concupiscence coming from rebellious flesh?” Indeed, Augustine concludes that sexual desire is “fundamentally alien to the original definition of humanity.” By this we can understand that the biblical teaching in Tobias 6:18 of chaste and humble prayer for three days – before one consummates the marriage by the marital act – comes directly from God’s original plan and will for humanity before the fall and original sin of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden; for before the fall, the human will was infinitely more directed to obeying and following God’s perfect will and direction in all things rather than their own reason and judgment, as it sadly is now.

The Word of God and Holy Scripture teaches that one should not consummate the marriage immediately after one has been married, but that one should wait for three days while praying earnestly to God to bless their marriage: “because for these three nights we are joined to God: and when the third night is over, we will be in our own wedlock.” (Tobias 8:4) The Holy Archangel Raphael, acting as God’s messenger, instructs husbands and wives to always wait three days in chastity and in prayer before consummating the marriage:“But thou when thou shalt take her, go into the chamber, and for three days keep thyself continent from her, and give thyself to nothing else but to prayers with her.” (Tobias 6:18)

Indeed, according to God’s Holy Word, those who refuse to practice continence and virtue in their marriage, will undoubtedly fall into all kinds of sins because of their bad will and sensuality: “Then the angel Raphael said to him [Tobias]: Hear me, and I will shew thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.” (Tobias 6:16-17)

It is thus certain and an established fact by both the Holy Bible and Apostolic Tradition that those spouses who do not practice chastity and prayer for a while before they perform the marital act will much more easily fall into sexual sins of various sorts since they will be more easily controlled by the devil and his demons because of their carelessness and sloth in praying to God and invoking His Holy aid in resisting sinful inclinations and temptations. God’s Word in the Holy Scripture were not written down just for show or because they sounded good or pleasant, but it was explicitly written down for the purpose of saving our souls from sin and the eternal hellfire, and this truth of Sacred Revelation obviously applies to the biblical and Apostolic teaching that spouses – who want to please Our Lord – should pray and observe chastity for a while before having sexual relations.

If spouses wish to honor Our Lord and Our Lady in a perfect way they should always pray to God in chastity for three days every time before they perform the marital act, and God will hear them and keep them from sinning and bless them with good offspring for His Holy Name’s sake for their virtuous and pure love of God, prayer and chastity. In the case that spouses do not receive offspring, however, this is many times God’s sign to them that He wants another way for them and that they should serve Him in total chastity and purity instead, which is a much more virtuous life where they beget spiritual children for the love of God rather than fleshly children.

In truth, “he who neglects prayer in the time of temptation is like a general, who, when surrounded by the enemy, does not ask for reinforcements from his monarch. Adam fell into sin because when he was tempted he did not look to God for help. We should say a Hail Mary, or at least devoutly utter the holy names of Jesus and Mary. "These holy names," St. John Chrysostom declares, "have an intrinsic power over the devil, and are a terror to hell." At the name of Mary the devils tremble with fear; when she is invoked their power forsakes them as wax melts before the fire.” (Rev. Francis Spirago, The Catechism Explained, A.D. 1899)

St. Ephraim, On Prayer Before Intercourse: “O Blessed Fruit conceived without intercourse, bless our wombs during intercourse. Have pity on our barrenness, Miraculous Child of virginity.” (Hymns of St. Ephraim: Hymn 7 On the Nativity)

Question: Should a traditional Catholic be living a single life if no traditional Catholic is available for him or her to marry? I am unsure what God would like my life’s vocation to be (married, single or even a religious). I would prefer to get married and have children but with so few traditional Catholics who are sedevacantists I am not sure where to turn or what to do. I hope to marry a traditional Catholic and sedevacantist or someone who is willing to convert to the true Catholic faith. It would cause too many problems with a Novus Ordo “catholic” when it came to his family/friends concerning weddings/ wakes/ funerals which a Catholic can’t go to. Am I correct on this? So I guess it would be a traditional Catholic and sedevacantist husband or nothing. Any thoughts or recommendations concerning what I could/should do would be greatly appreciated.

In Jesus and Mary

Answer: Yes, you should not pursue marriage with a person who is not in agreement on all the issues. In this apostasy, that means that many people might have to embrace a single life. One should of course pray for the specific intention of fulfilling God’s Will in one’s life.

Question: What is marital modesty? And is it absolutely necessary for two married spouses to be modest towards each other in their dress, conversations and acts?

Answer: Marital modesty is modesty within a marriage and concerns the modesty and purity the husband and wife must have towards each other in order to have a fruitful and good marriage. Modesty within a Christian Marriage is very important.

Ecclesiasticus 7:21 “Depart not from a wise and good wife, whom thou hast gotten in the fear of the Lord: for the grace of her modesty is above gold.”

A wife must be modest even before her husband, and a husband should be modest even before his wife. Whoever teaches immodesty to married couples, leads them away from Christ, and harms the Sacrament of Marriage. For the relationship between a husband and wife is a reflection of the relationship between Christ and His Church. Should Christ be immodest with His Bride, the Church? Should the Church be immodest before Christ? So then, neither can a husband and wife be immodest with one another, neither in thought, nor in word, nor in deed. For immodesty leads to every sexual sin.

Marriage is not an exception to the eternal moral law. Natural marital relations for the purpose of procreation is morally good only when it is practiced in accord with morality. Lust within marriage is gravely immoral. If the spouses use one another for mere sexual pleasure, apart from love, faith, fidelity, hope, apart from the primary goods of marital relations (found in the procreation and education of children), then they have sinned against the end, and honesty of marriage. And all unnatural sexual acts are intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral, even within marriage.

But lesser, although still grave sins are also possible concerning sexuality within marriage. Even for a husband and wife, it is a sin to speak or act in a licentious manner, to speak or act as if marital relations were base or were merely for pleasure, to speak or act with immodesty and impurity. Even spouses must have respect for the dignity of the body, and a holy fear of God, in order to avoid various misuses of the body and of sexuality.

A just war does not justify all acts of violence within that war. And a holy marriage does not justify all sexual acts within that marriage. The eternal moral law prohibits intrinsically evil and gravely immoral sexual acts, as well as acts that are not intrinsically evil, but are sinful due to intention or circumstances. So the thoughts, words, and deeds of immodesty are not justified by marriage.

Modesty within marriage requires the spouses to treat one another as whole persons, with respect and affection, and with a holy fear of sin. Modesty within marriage requires the spouses to view the marital sexual act as integral to the Sacrament of Marriage, and not as a mere source of entertainment or pleasure. Modesty within marriage requires the spouses to subjugate the lesser and baser motive of sexuality (pleasure and quenching of concupiscence), to the higher motives of sexuality (the procreation and education of children), and to the marriage as a whole. Respect for the human body as a gift from God requires the spouses to act with self-restraint or even self-denial, and to avoid excessive indulgence in even lawful acts.

St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book IV, Chapter 2, Section 6: “I could not have called good that concupiscence of the flesh which the Apostle John said is not from the Father, but I call conjugal modesty good which resists the evil of concupiscence lest, when aroused, it draw men to unlawful acts.” (The Fathers Of The Church A New Translation, Vol. 35, pp. 170-171)

Question: What is concupiscence and how does it effect us?

Answer: Concupiscence is an ardent, usually sensual, longing. In Christian theology, concupiscence is the selfish human desire for an object, person, or experience. For Christians, concupiscence is what they understand as the orientation, inclination or innate tendency of human beings to long for fleshly appetites, often associated with a desire to do things which are proscribed.

The husband and wife, joined in the holy Sacrament of Matrimony for the purpose of procreation of children and in order to remedy concupiscence, remain nevertheless in the fallen state. Although baptism entirely wipes away original sin, there remains an effect of original sin in the human person called concupiscence, which is a tendency toward personal sin. The Council of Trent explains this inclination to sin inherent in human persons:

Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session V, Section 5, June 17, 1546: “But this holy council perceives and confesses that in the one baptized there remains concupiscence or an inclination to sin, which, since it is left for us to wrestle with, cannot injure those who do not acquiesce but resist manfully by the grace of Jesus Christ; indeed, he who shall have striven lawfully shall be crowned. This concupiscence, which the Apostle sometimes calls sin, the holy council declares the Catholic Church has never understood to be called sin in the sense that it is truly and properly sin in those born again, but in the sense that it is of sin and inclines to sin.”

Even the holiest of persons, if they were conceived with original sin, have concupiscence. Only Jesus and the Virgin Mary were conceived without original sin, and never had concupiscence. (Adam and Eve were created without original sin, but they later fell from grace, and as a result they had concupiscence.) We mere weak and mortal sinners must always struggle against this tendency toward selfishness, toward valuing lesser goods over greater goods, toward the disorder of values that is the basis for sin.

As The Council of Trent declared, we must “walk not according to the flesh, but, putting off the old man [of sin] and putting on the new one who is created according to God, are made innocent, immaculate, pure, guiltless and beloved of God [through baptism and a holy life], heirs indeed of God, joint heirs with Christ; so that there is nothing whatever to hinder their entrance into heaven.” (Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session V, Section 5)

Therefore, throughout any marriage, both spouses must continually struggle against the misuse of sexuality. For sexuality has great power to do harm within marriage. There is an intrinsic danger to sexuality. The spouses can be pushed apart by this misuse of sexuality, resulting in disunity. Sin of any kind, mortal or venial, does not cooperate with grace and does not benefit any relationship.

CONCLUSION

Hell will be long and excruciatingly painful for all those who practice or promote NFP or contraception.

We implore, beg and entreat all priests and laymen to accept the Church’s teaching on this point and regain their faith in God’s providence.

Couples who have used NFP but who are resolved to change should not despair. NFP is a great evil, but God is merciful and will forgive those who are firmly resolved to change their life and confess their sin. Those who have used NFP need to be sorry for their sin and confess to a validly ordained non-heretical priest (if one is available) that they have practiced birth control (for however long it may have been used). Both the husband and wife who agreed to the use of NFP need to confess. They should then be open to all of the children that God wishes to bestow upon them – without concern or knowledge of charts or cycles, seeking first the kingdom of God and His justice, letting the King of Heaven plan their family.


PART 2.
PART 3.
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PART 5.
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