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 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 [that is, they commit an act equivalent to fornication in their marriage and hence, are guilty of mortal sin]; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame. … 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, and if they were like this from the beginning they come together not joined in matrimony but in seduction [that is, they are like filthy adulterers and fornicators and commit a mortal sin against God, nature and the Holy Sacrament of Marriage]. 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.” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book I, Chapter 17.--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.”
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.