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Switch to Forum Live View No desire for children=no marriage?
8 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2009 - 9:14PM #31
angpuppy
Posts: 520

Sep 3, 2009 -- 11:31AM, newsjunkie wrote:

You most certainly did make statements about desiring a child -- go back to your post of Aug. 27, 12:23 and more recently on Aug 28, 2009 -- 6:56AM, for example.



I looked at least one of them over and found I mispoke.  You can't intend to not have children if you plan on validly married because part of your consent to be married includes the consent to accept children.  There is a difference between not wanting children and wanting to not have children.  There is no requirement that a couple has to have a strong emotional attachment to the idea of having children.  They simply cannot be opposed to it.  If they are willfully against having children, they are willfully against marriage.  So, hopefully that is a clarification of my meaning.


Your contentions can be boiled down to: if you go into a marriage without a desire children you aren't really married in the eyes of the church (and therefore God)



I just clarified this above. 


and if you're married and you're contracepting as a result of not desiring children (see your various comments about "rejecting fertility" -- not "openness to children"), your will is in conflict with God's will. I assume you'd exempt out couples using NFP in the latter proposition.



If you are contracept, period, you are sinning, period.  If you periodically abstain during your fertile period to postpone pregnancy without a grave reason to postpone pregnancy, you also sin.  Legimate use of NFP to postpone pregnancy is for grave reasons only - you're unemployed, your too financially tight to have another child at this time, having another child at this time would be physically unhealthy for you, you're emotionally strained to an unhealthy level, you find you're so fertile that if you don't use NFP, you're kids are all only going to be 16 months a part and your body needs a break.  There's no exhautive list and ultimately discerning whether you have a grave reason or not is up to the moral judgment of the husband and wife.  I think the grayer areas deal with abstaining to better prepare for having a larger family and raising them well.  Is it ok to abstain so that you can afford Catholic school tuition?  Is it ok to abstain so that one of the parents is finanally able to stay home with the kids?  I tend to lean that these are where NFP can be used, but where it doesn't have to be so strictly. 


That is what Humanae Vitae taught.  The Catholic Church still considers having a large family a blessing from God.


I do question numerous church teachings. That doesn't mean I am telling others to be a moral relativist -- that does not logically follow. Just because someone questions or disagrees with certain aspects of RC moral teaching, it doesn't make them a moral relativist -- most people, for e.g., do not view contraception as immoral, as the RCC does. That doesn't mean those folks are all moral relativists; many of them likely believe that there is a moral code written in the souls or intellect of all human beings. 



The Church teaches that moral truths are placed on the hearts of men, but that does not mean that their consciences do not need to be formed and that their consciences cannot be in error, even if a large majority of them all follow the same error. 


PS I'm a baptised and confirmed Catholic, and attend Mass most Sundays. I am an active member of my parish, of which I am very fond. I have studied and prayed over the areas of church teaching I question. I have discussed this particular issue while I was in spiritual direction with a religious sister. 



Ok, you're point? 

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8 years ago  ::  Sep 07, 2009 - 6:20PM #32
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,750

Sep 4, 2009 -- 9:14PM, angpuppy wrote:

Ok, you're point? 



I was responding to this comment from you:


I do not know to what extent of knowledge you have of the Catholic faith.  I do not even know if you are baptized Catholic, though may guess since we're discussing this on a Catholic forum. 



That was from your post of 8/28 at 9:49 am (CDT).


Some of what you wrote at the start of your most recent post didn't make sense. Are you saying that if, at the time of marriage, a couple doesn't want children, but feels that if they become pregnant they will accept the child they are not validly married, or are you saying they are validly married in the eyes of the church?


Regarding HV, and saying that in the eyes of the church large families are a blessing from God, I'd point out section II.10 from HV:


With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.



HV made all contraception other than NFP "unlawful" and declared only NFP "lawful." Like many Catholics, and many Bishops at the time, I don't think it was a well-reasoned decision. I have studied it quite extensively, in an effort to inform my conscience, and my views have not changed.

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8 years ago  ::  Sep 08, 2009 - 7:16PM #33
angpuppy
Posts: 520

 I was responding to this comment from you:


I do not know to what extent of knowledge you have of the Catholic faith.  I do not even know if you are baptized Catholic, though may guess since we're discussing this on a Catholic forum. 



That was from your post of 8/28 at 9:49 am (CDT).



That still doesn't answer my question of what is the point of your statement.  Are you asking me to make a judgement on the state of your soul?  Its really none of my business.  I'm just TRYING to clarify what the Church teaches.


Are you saying that if, at the time of marriage, a couple doesn't want children, but feels that if they become pregnant they will accept the child they are not validly married, or are you saying they are validly married in the eyes of the church?



If the couple will accept children begotten from their sexual union, they are validly married.  Overall the attitude should be that children are a gift and the fruit of the sexual union.  You're putting way too much focus on coveting.


Regarding HV, and saying that in the eyes of the church large families are a blessing from God, I'd point out section II.10 from HV:


With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.


 



I see no contradiction here.  The moral question is whether prudence demands that you limit the size of your family, or whether your motivation to limit the size of your family stems from something else.  The typical family who uses NFP prudently, in my experience, has 4 to 8 kids that are well spaced.  The traditionalist Catholic families that don't use NFP tend not to have very spaced out births and get into the double digits with the numer of children they have unless they started much later in life. 


The point is that it is insane to think that prudence demands you have sex only on your infertile days for the majority of your life so that you only permit yourself to have two children.  Often it is the fact that you are giving up an honest expression of love for the sake of having that small number that makes the couple realize they are being selfish in their motivation to limit the size of the family so small.  When they have real reason to space and limit, the sacrifice is worth it.  When they don't, its not worth it.


HV made all contraception other than NFP "unlawful" and declared only NFP "lawful." Like many Catholics, and many Bishops at the time, I don't think it was a well-reasoned decision. I have studied it quite extensively, in an effort to inform my conscience, and my views have not changed.



Here's the thing.  I am engaged.  I know that engaging in sexual activity of any kind with my fiance' is gravely sinful.  The question is why is it gravely sinful?  It certainly seems like an authentic expression of my love and attraction to him, doesn't it?  I've pondered and prayed about it a lot, and I've realized that all the time, I know its not a good thing to become pregnant before I am married.  Marriage is something new and special.  It is not the state of our current relationship.  Right now we're preparing.  And thus the temptation is always to find a way to satisfy the lust in our hearts without putting ourselves at risk to becoming pregnant.  Its basically a way of denying the fullness of meaning of the sexual act, or our sexualities.  Sex is meant to open yourself up to the possibility of pregnancy.  As such, it is immoral to engage in it in a way that denies its procreative nature.


I can't express myself sexually to my fiance' now for the same reason we can't contracept after we are married.  And I must also accept that pregnancy after marriage may not occur at the seemingly ideal times.  For instance, I would love for my fiance' to have a good paying job to allow me to quit working as soon as we had our first baby.  But that may not happen (it probably won't happen).  I may get pregnant on our wedding night.  I may not.


Certainly we need to be prudent.  If we end up in a situation where we're so broke, we have to live temporarily in his parents' basement and we need both our incomes, it would seem prudent to limit our sexual activity to the least fertile times, while still accepting that if we get pregnant yet, it is God's will and God will provide.   The thing is that having sex so frequently and at peak fertilty would be imprudent.  


Contraceptives deny that it is imprudent to be as sexually active when you need to space or limit your children.  It gives the illusion that the yes to sex is not ultimately a yes to the possibility of getting pregnant, however reduced that possibility is.  And it is the reason we start talking about whether or not we want children?  It turns children into commodities rather than gifts.


Certainly sexual sins don't always FEEL sinful, especially after we've engaged in them for a long time.  But perhaps that is because we believe the law has been completely written on our hearts already, rather than something still being written onto our hearts in which our hearts must be softened and converted over.  Do we confuse guilt with our conscience?  Do we confuse how contrite of a conscience we have with our conscience?

Our conscience starts out as the written law, with some of it written on our hearts.  But much of our life is spent allowing our hearts to go through the pain of having to have it written on our hearts.  With sexuality, it starts out with the recognition in the fertile character of sexuality and the beauty of God's design.

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8 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2009 - 1:57PM #34
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,750

Sep 8, 2009 -- 7:16PM, angpuppy wrote:


 I was responding to this comment from you:


I do not know to what extent of knowledge you have of the Catholic faith.  I do not even know if you are baptized Catholic, though may guess since we're discussing this on a Catholic forum. 



That was from your post of 8/28 at 9:49 am (CDT).



That still doesn't answer my question of what is the point of your statement.  Are you asking me to make a judgement on the state of your soul?  Its really none of my business.  I'm just TRYING to clarify what the Church teaches.


I was just responding to what you said, in an effort to let you know that I am familiar with Catholicism and what the church teaches in regards to these issues. Your attempts at "clarifying" are instead confusing and come off as judgementalism. All I'm doing is responding to what you have written here.


Are you saying that if, at the time of marriage, a couple doesn't want children, but feels that if they become pregnant they will accept the child they are not validly married, or are you saying they are validly married in the eyes of the church?



If the couple will accept children begotten from their sexual union, they are validly married.  [snip]


That is the way I understand it as well.


Regarding HV, and saying that in the eyes of the church large families are a blessing from God, I'd point out section II.10 from HV:


With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.


 



I see no contradiction here.  The moral question is whether prudence demands that you limit the size of your family, or whether your motivation to limit the size of your family stems from something else.  The typical family who uses NFP prudently, in my experience, has 4 to 8 kids that are well spaced.  The traditionalist Catholic families that don't use NFP tend not to have very spaced out births and get into the double digits with the numer of children they have unless they started much later in life. 


The point is that it is insane to think that prudence demands you have sex only on your infertile days for the majority of your life so that you only permit yourself to have two children.  Often it is the fact that you are giving up an honest expression of love for the sake of having that small number that makes the couple realize they are being selfish in their motivation to limit the size of the family so small.  When they have real reason to space and limit, the sacrifice is worth it.  When they don't, its not worth it.


HV made all contraception other than NFP "unlawful" and declared only NFP "lawful." Like many Catholics, and many Bishops at the time, I don't think it was a well-reasoned decision. I have studied it quite extensively, in an effort to inform my conscience, and my views have not changed.



Here's the thing.  I am engaged.  I know that engaging in sexual activity of any kind with my fiance' is gravely sinful.  The question is why is it gravely sinful?  It certainly seems like an authentic expression of my love and attraction to him, doesn't it?  I've pondered and prayed about it a lot, and I've realized that all the time, I know its not a good thing to become pregnant before I am married.  Marriage is something new and special.  It is not the state of our current relationship.  Right now we're preparing.  And thus the temptation is always to find a way to satisfy the lust in our hearts without putting ourselves at risk to becoming pregnant.  Its basically a way of denying the fullness of meaning of the sexual act, or our sexualities.  Sex is meant to open yourself up to the possibility of pregnancy.  As such, it is immoral to engage in it in a way that denies its procreative nature.


I can't express myself sexually to my fiance' now for the same reason we can't contracept after we are married.  And I must also accept that pregnancy after marriage may not occur at the seemingly ideal times.  For instance, I would love for my fiance' to have a good paying job to allow me to quit working as soon as we had our first baby.  But that may not happen (it probably won't happen).  I may get pregnant on our wedding night.  I may not.


Certainly we need to be prudent.  If we end up in a situation where we're so broke, we have to live temporarily in his parents' basement and we need both our incomes, it would seem prudent to limit our sexual activity to the least fertile times, while still accepting that if we get pregnant yet, it is God's will and God will provide.   The thing is that having sex so frequently and at peak fertilty would be imprudent.  


Contraceptives deny that it is imprudent to be as sexually active when you need to space or limit your children.  It gives the illusion that the yes to sex is not ultimately a yes to the possibility of getting pregnant, however reduced that possibility is.  And it is the reason we start talking about whether or not we want children?  It turns children into commodities rather than gifts.


Certainly sexual sins don't always FEEL sinful, especially after we've engaged in them for a long time.  But perhaps that is because we believe the law has been completely written on our hearts already, rather than something still being written onto our hearts in which our hearts must be softened and converted over. Do we confuse guilt with our conscience? Do we confuse how contrite of a conscience we have with our conscience? Our conscience starts out as the written law, with some of it written on our hearts. But much of our life is spent allowing our hearts to go through the pain of having to have it written on our hearts. With sexuality, it starts out with the recognition in the fertile character of sexuality and the beauty of God's design.




I don't have problems in the area of "sexual sins," so my conscience is not troubled in that area. I'm not so concerned with all this as you appear to be. Perhaps it has to do with our difference in age and experience, which does often lead to a difference in perspective and where our concerns are focused. I wish you well in your marriage, and many happy years with your future husband.

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 14, 2013 - 11:11PM #35
RoseLouise
Posts: 1

I've been dying to see this question addressed for years and finally found it.  Don't know if anyone will see this after four years, but despite the fact that angpuppy wasn't on board with the sentiment that marrying w/o wanting kids is not a sin, I respected her words and her lack of vitriole.  She always kept an even keel.


I have struggled with this issue for many years now.  When folks cite  "God blessed man and woman with the words: "Be fruitful and multiply.", I have to roll my eyes b/c no one was around to record God's words at the beginning of time.  


Secondly, I have a very hard time believing that the lack of desire for children, yet desire for marriage - and indeed acting on that latter desire, puts me in a category of damnation along the likes of Stalin and Hitler and other truly evil people.  I have a hard time believing that God believes that lack of desire for children in marriage equates me with truly evil people.


Lastly, yes, I still am immature in my spiritual formation b/c there's still a part of me that thinks "well, what if the Church *is* right?".  I hate that.  I am beyond three decades in this life and I'm still feeling this way.  I feel as if I'm twelve years old, but that's the hold the Church has on me.  Although that is slowly changing.




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