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7 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2008 - 1:20PM #1
annedavis
Posts: 4
Can one still be an actively practicing Catholic, marry (someone who also doesn't want to have children), and stay Catholic, but not ever have children? I've heard it said that we've essentially procreated enough for a while, as the overabundance of humans on the earth, and as long as one is open to the idea of children, be it through adoption, godparents, or foster care, that suffices. What is everyone else's thoughts on this?
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2008 - 8:43AM #2
Shaner
Posts: 1,596

annedavis wrote:

Can one still be an actively practicing Catholic, marry (someone who also doesn't want to have children), and stay Catholic, but not ever have children? I've heard it said that we've essentially procreated enough for a while, as the overabundance of humans on the earth, and as long as one is open to the idea of children, be it through adoption, godparents, or foster care, that suffices. What is everyone else's thoughts on this?



Hello annedavis,

Welcome to the Forum!

Yes, one can, given the scenario in your post. I'd take issue though with whoever said we've procreated enough, Its a basic universal right for couples to procreate, even China with its limit, realize's this.

Peace
Sandy

"Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the Words of Eternal Life"
"Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2008 - 7:48PM #3
Bob_Bennett
Posts: 916
Dear Annedavis,

Theoretiically, you are supposed to open to having children.  One of the very first commandments from God in Genesis was to be fruitful and multiply.

It is considered selfish, spiritually speaking, if you are refusing to be a conduit thru which other souls could come to Earth and have their necessary  spiritual experience.

As a practical matter, no one is going to call you out on it or demand an explanation of why you don't have any.  They will just assume that there is some physical explanation behind it.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2008 - 7:48PM #4
Bob_Bennett
Posts: 916
Dear Annedavis,

Theoretiically, you are supposed to open to having children.  One of the very first commandments from God in Genesis was to be fruitful and multiply.

It is considered selfish, spiritually speaking, if you are refusing to be a conduit thru which other souls could come to Earth and have their necessary  spiritual experience.

As a practical matter, no one is going to call you out on it or demand an explanation of why you don't have any.  They will just assume that there is some physical explanation behind it.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2008 - 11:25PM #5
Ryan_Braat
Posts: 4
Yes, you can still be faithful and practicing Catholic and not want children. Your decisision is between you and your wife. However, Bob Bennett is correct in his statement it is spiritually selfish. A big question would be on how you avoid having children. If it is by sterelizing yourself or your wife, then that is a mortal sin for desecrating (destroying) the temple of the Holy Spirit. The only real way that I know on how to avoid children that the church accepts is Natural Family Planning were you simply avoid having sexual relations on the days she can become pregnant.
                                                                                                        God Bless,
                                                                                                         Ryan_Braat
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7 years ago  ::  May 06, 2008 - 12:41AM #6
angpuppy
Posts: 520
[QUOTE=annedavis;430694]Can one still be an actively practicing Catholic, marry (someone who also doesn't want to have children), and stay Catholic, but not ever have children? I've heard it said that we've essentially procreated enough for a while, as the overabundance of humans on the earth, and as long as one is open to the idea of children, be it through adoption, godparents, or foster care, that suffices. What is everyone else's thoughts on this?[/QUOTE]

It depends by what you mean and what your intent is.  The Church teaches that a marriage is primarily formed through the exchange of matrimonial consent.  If there is no mutual consent, there is no marriage.

Thus in understanding whether or not you can be married, depends on whether or not you are actually consenting to being married and that depends on what marriage is.

CCC 1652 "By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory."

    Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: "It is not good that man should be alone," and "from the beginning [he] made them male and female"; wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: "Be fruitful and multiply." Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day.

...1654 Spouses to whom God has not granted children can nevertheless have a conjugal life full of meaning, in both human and Christian terms. Their marriage can radiate a fruitfulness of charity, of hospitality, and of sacrifice.



So, if you went through the wedding with the intent of not having children at all, and being closed to having children, you would not in effect actually be marrying each other.  If however, you simply did not want children, but you were open to accepting whatever children God gives you regardless, than you would be validly married.  Whether or not you actually conceived children or not would not matter or deal with the validity since many factors can come into why conceptions never take place.

It should be noted though that rendering yourself artifically infertile is gravely sinful. 

However in another perspective, there is such thing as a Josephite marriage, where the couple marries and thus are given the freedom to consumate their marriage at any time without risking sin, but they intentionally do not consumate.  Typically these types of marriages have been introduced when couples have done missionary work together.  Their marriage still serves to help them minister to the people as if they were their own children, and their marriage prevents them from causing any scandal. 

It should be noted as well that while natural resources are in some capacity limited, the primary problem is difficulties in distribution as well as the standard of living of first world countries constantly rising to the point that if the world lived like we did,  it could not be sustained.  Its only on our insistance as to what the standard of living should be that the world population becomes a problem.  But again, please note that if it wasn't for 3rd world countries that need to have growing populations to survive, the human population would be shrinking.  Moreover we are coming to a problem of an aging population.

Honestly I think small families have the potential of being a bigger threat then large ones.  Larger families tend to use less resources per person out of necessity.

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7 years ago  ::  May 08, 2008 - 10:41AM #7
Evillynnstar
Posts: 531
I'm a non catholic, but I would like to say I think its wonderful you choose to adopt. In America alone there are a half of million children up for adoption, but are rejected by most because of age, race, disability, etc... Also the adoption agencies in the USA are more expensive, however I think its a wonderfully unselfish thing to do this! My husband and his sister are adopted! I think its wonderful. I hope you'll be very open and accepting of any child offered. There is such a need for good and caring adoptive parents!
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7 years ago  ::  May 13, 2008 - 6:43PM #8
NotAnAtheistMama
Posts: 58
I have to admit I've been giving Catholicism a look over.  But children is one place where I am definitely not of the catholic leaning.  I don't like children, have never liked children, can't stand to be around them very long.  So I had my tubes tied figuring 1) if God wanted me to have children, He'd have made me like them in the first place, and 2) if I ever change my mind, there's always adoption (I agree that there's too many unloved children in this world already that need to be taken care of).  Oh, and 3) MAJOR pregnancy complications run on both sides of my family and are genetic.  Even if I liked kids, I'd probably be too scared to have them naturally.  My mother says she's not sure why she didn't die having me and her sister very nearly died having my cousin.  (Needless to say, there's a lot of only children in my family.) 

So, since I sterilized myself on purpose, is that an unforgiveable sin that would preclude me from having a part in a catholic church?  I mean, I'm not going to lie and say I wish I hadn't done it.  The thought of having a child is still terrifying--both the pregnancy and raising one.  Little boys especially send me running for the hills screaming.  I simply have no patience with children.  But I can work with tiny beads for hours on end.   I love to replicate old medieval religious art in beads and thread.  Go figure.
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7 years ago  ::  May 15, 2008 - 10:54AM #9
annedavis
Posts: 4
[QUOTE=NotAnAtheistMama;497308]I have to admit I've been giving Catholicism a look over.  But children is one place where I am definitely not of the catholic leaning.  I don't like children, have never liked children, can't stand to be around them very long.  So I had my tubes tied figuring 1) if God wanted me to have children, He'd have made me like them in the first place, and 2) if I ever change my mind, there's always adoption (I agree that there's too many unloved children in this world already that need to be taken care of).  Oh, and 3) MAJOR pregnancy complications run on both sides of my family and are genetic.  Even if I liked kids, I'd probably be too scared to have them naturally.  My mother says she's not sure why she didn't die having me and her sister very nearly died having my cousin.  (Needless to say, there's a lot of only children in my family.) 

So, since I sterilized myself on purpose, is that an unforgiveable sin that would preclude me from having a part in a catholic church?  I mean, I'm not going to lie and say I wish I hadn't done it.  The thought of having a child is still terrifying--both the pregnancy and raising one.  Little boys especially send me running for the hills screaming.  I simply have no patience with children.  But I can work with tiny beads for hours on end.   I love to replicate old medieval religious art in beads and thread.  Go figure.[/QUOTE]
Thank you, NotAnAtheistMama, that is really exactly how I feel, and what prompted my original question. If I am to have children, wouldn't God have made me like them a teeny, tiny little bit? Even as a child, I never had an urge to play mother with dolls, and I hated it in grade school when we played with our little house and had to be the mother those days.  Its really my biggest issue with the church right now--I can make peace with the other social/moral issues going on right now...but why am I "required" to have children? I don't see why sterilization is such a bad thing.... for one thing, I know many mothers who do get sterilizied after 3, 4, 5 kids.. and nobody hassles them then.. I suppose its because they "did their job", so therefore it isn't a mortal sin.... I just don't see how every person is required to go forth and have children... I've even heard people at church get angry at those who are naturally barren because they never adopted...
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7 years ago  ::  May 15, 2008 - 2:59PM #10
lil_lamb
Posts: 2,898
this is something very personal and it involves, or can involve, medical decisions. and i will say these have to be made by individuals for themselves. i myself am type 1 diabetic. there is A LOT to think about. any good, up-to-date doctor would tell you to get on birth control because you have to align the stars before you get pregnant for a healthy pregnancy.

now i have traditionalist feelings about this, that's my personal preference and choice, and one considered in the light of my own personal physiology. i believe NFP would work for me (and conceiving would be the hard part). but i tell you what, i wouldn't go to a catholic hospital where the real medical info is suppressed. my goddaughter/once-ward has a testosterone imbalance. the treatment for this is straight up the pill. the catholic hospital recommended planned parenthood for a prescription. pathetic.

re. liking kids: just a note, your brain will get re-wired during pregnancy... or actually just being around babies long enough will trigger the neurological changes. that said, my mother - and i love her dearly - just lacks a certain feel for motherhood.

ok. well, people in general. she's a steamroller. mercy. haha.
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