Friday, March 2, 2018
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 421 – Part I.
(Youcat answer) The Church recommends the refined methods of self-observation and natural family planning (NFP) as methods of deliberately regulating conception. These are in keeping with the dignity of man and woman; they respect the innate laws of the female body; they demand mutual affection and consideration and therefore are a school of love.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 2370 a) Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality (HV 16). These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil (HV 14).
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) The Church pays careful attention to the order of nature and sees in it a deep meaning. For her it is therefore not a matter of indifference whether a couple manipulates the woman’s fertility or instead makes use of the natural alternation of fertile and infertile days. It is no accident that Natural Family Planning is called natural: it is ecological, holistic, healthy, and an exercise in partnership. On the other hand, the Church rejects all artificial means of contraception—namely, chemical methods (the Pill), mechanical methods (for example, condom, intra-uterine device, or iud), and surgical methods (sterilization) — since these attempt to separate the sexual act from its procreative potential and block the total self-giving of husband and wife. Such methods can even endanger the woman’s health, have an abortifacient effect (cause a very early abortion), and in the long run be detrimental to the couple’s love life.
(CCC 2371) "Let all be convinced that human life and the duty of transmitting it are not limited by the horizons of this life only: their true evaluation and full significance can be understood only in reference to man's eternal destiny" (GS 51 § 4). (CCC 2399) The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).