IS NFP “CATHOLIC”
I am writing all the way from Sri Lanka. My daughter
who studies in New Zealand is with us on holiday.
She is doing a degree in Law and Computer Science.
She will be 21 and has a very intelligent mind. She
does not believe in abortion but was debating with
me that natural family planning is another form of
I am afraid that I just could not convince her that
it was not. She seems to have the opinion that
natural family planning is only good in so far as it
helps couples who are trying to have children
understand the best time for pregnancy. But if it
was to avoid pregnancy, it was another form of
contraception. So why can’t other contraceptive
aids, e.g., condoms, be used? Could you help me
enlighten her please?
Love and prayers, Marianne
Greetings! NFP is not "Catholic" contraception. The Church
endorses NFP (as seen in
Humanae Vitae), and condemns contraception as harmful.
Why? Because NFP, when used correctly and for good motives,
is a morally good expression of responsible parenthood. NFP
is one of God's gifts to us in these times to help us space
our children. Everyone knows that there are times when
couples must space, or delay, a new pregnancy.
NFP is always open to the gift of life. Contraception turns
against our fertility and tries to sterilize it. NFP
recognizes God as the Author and Sovereign of all life, and
during the woman's fertile period allows Him to decide if a
new person shall be conceived. Contraception pushes God out
of the picture, and attempts to take complete control over
the possible procreation of a new person who will live
forever. NFP takes advantage of the natural rhythms of
fertility and infertility. Contraception suppresses and
manipulates fertility, and refuses to practice periodic
NFP couples must practice self-mastery and self-possession
for the sake of the other. They understand that real love is
always self-sacrificial. They learn to express their love
with a full repertoire of acts of tenderness, verbal
expression and demonstrate an appreciation for the presence
of the other. Contraception ignores most of these, and
concentrates upon the genital dimension of spousal love.
There is a world of difference between NFP and
I suggest that you read section 32 of Familiaris
Consortio (The Role of the Christian Family in the
Modern World) by Pope John Paul II.
Read Christopher West's Good News about Sex and Marriage.
Go to this website: www.ccli.org.
Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB
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