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What is the big deal about Catholics using birth control?

Jenn Giroux

Photo by Vera Kratochvil

It is more vital than ever that Catholics who understand the teaching of the Church on Birth Control be ever so patient with those who do not.

After all, the sad reality is that for 50 years now there have only been a few Cardinals, Bishops, and priests who have given the proper time to this subject matter from the pulpit. Those who addressed this issue often suffered for it. Some were reprimanded by their Superiors, others were moved out to the farthest, most undesirable location in the diocese.

It was so very painful for orthodox Catholics to endure.

When 98% of Catholics and non-Catholic alike have used some form of birth control something has gone terribly wrong. Only Satan, himself, is clever enough to have worked his way into that many bedrooms.

Yet in an amazing turn of events, something quite unexpected has taken hold of the country and the Church.

I write this for those who are inundated by the media screaming against their Church. They do not understand. Many don't even know what Humanae Vitae is. Or they know and just don't really have the time to read an Encyclical Letter.

They wonder internally "What is the big deal about Catholics using birth control? I don't get it."

In order to stand up and defend religious liberty one must first understand what it is that his own church teaches. Young and old alike are hungry for the truth.

When I was growing up my parents always modeled by their example a blind trust in God. In the worst of circumstances they would say, "Trust God, he knows what he is doing."

Now that I am a parent I understand how very difficult it can be to, indeed, unconditionally trust what is happening in our lives to God. I also see that it is the most valuable lesson a parent can teach a child. It has been my lifeline. Likewise, here is what I was taught about Church teaching on sex, marriage and birth control:

Sex was a gift from the Creator intended for couples to enjoy inside the sacrament of marriage only.

There are two elements that must be present with every sexual act. The act must be both 'procreative' (meaning 'open to life') and unitive (meaning 'the actual physical union of man and wife'). Any interruption of these two basic guidelines deliberately takes the Will of God out of it. It steps outside the rules of the Church which are inspired by God Himself.

Every act of sexual intercourse must be open to the transmission of human life. That is why barrier protection (condoms and spermicides), withdrawal before the completion of the act, and all forms of hormonal contraception and abortifacient drugs are forbidden. It also explains why the use of surrogate mothers, sperm banks, egg donation, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and certain fertility practices are forbidden by the Catholic Church as well.

If you apply the two basic elements, "procreative and unitive," to each one of these controversial practices today you will see that none of them exhibit both the Church-required "procreative and unitive" elements.

Additionally, direct sterilization (tubal ligation, vasectomy, and other new procedures that render one of the married partners sterile and unable to have any more children) is also not allowed. The lack of understanding of this teaching has led to the following shocking statistic. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every two couples in the U.S. is sterilized by age 45.

The Church does allow married Catholics (with good reason) to abstain from having sex during the fertile time of the woman's cycle. Those who use birth control often say that natural birth spacing and artificial contraception are the same.

They are not.

With artificial birth control, the couple engages in a unitive act that is frustrated by a contraceptive. In Natural Family Planning, a couple is showing self-restraint and abstinence during a possible procreative time. Natural Family Planning is a prayerful decision by a couple to exercise self-restraint.

In other words, by abstaining the couple does not enjoy the unitive aspect of the marital embrace without the procreative aspect which is what is done when a couple enjoys the unitive part of sex while using birth control.

What the Obama administration fails to see is that defending this teaching is not about choice, it is about salvation. The Catholic Church cannot and will not back away from defending it.

The ramifications are eternal.

It is important to note that there are several natural birth regulation methods approved by the Catholic Church such as Natural Family Planning, the Ovulation Method, the Creighton Model Fertility Care System, as well as the Billings method. These methods also assist couples to achieve pregnancy.

Women have been seduced for 50 years into believing that they should take birth control and become their own god. Some of the bad fruits of this seduction can be seen in the negative physical manifestations of using the Pill and the total rejection of God's supreme rights and authority over our bodies.

It is not too late to re-educate Catholics of all ages.

For anyone who seeks to better understand these difficult issues of our day the Catechism of the Catholic Church provides every answer with full explanation to these hard questions and more. The true teaching of Holy Mother Church on birth control has openly found Her voice and regained Her influence at the pulpits once again. Now, more than ever, the prophetic words of Archbishop Chaput are echoing coast to coast:

"There will be no renewal of America without renewal of the Catholic Church, and no renewal of the Catholic Church without renewal of the Catholic family, and no renewal of the Catholic family without a bold proclamation of the sacred truths regarding the transmission of human life."

Trust God, He knows what He is doing.

Topics: Church teaching , Contraception , Education , Faith , Family , Marriage , Pro-Life , Relationships , Sexuality , Women's Health

Jenn Giroux has been a Registered Nurse for 26 years where she has seen both the physical and spiritual harms of contraception. She also founded the “Speaking of Motherhood” project in an effort to educate women of the harms of birth control and to elevate the profession of motherhood.  She and her husband, Dan, live in Cincinnati, Ohio and have 9 children.

View all articles by Jenn Giroux

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