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 an objective 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 previous to, during, or after the marital act, 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 with the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and family life that contraception and birth control methods is sinful and forbidden to use for married people up until the year of 1930. 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 particular “ends, 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 unawful 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 “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.”
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 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.
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.