Broadband NFP

April 24, 2008 § 4 Comments

“But if, according to a rational and just judgement, there are no similar grave reasons of a personal nature or deriving from external circumstances, then the determination to avoid habitually the fecundity of the union while at the same time to continue fully satisfying their sensuality, can be derived only from a false appreciation of life and from reasons having nothing to do with proper ethical laws.” – Pius XII, Apostolate of the Midwife

“Therefore, in our late allocution on conjugal morality, We affirmed the legitimacy, and at the same time, the limits — in truth very wide — of a regulation of offspring, which, unlike so-called ‘birth control,’ is compatible with the law of God.” – Pius XII, Morality in Marriage (emphasis mine), from Papal Pronouncements on Marriage and the Family, Werth and Mihanovich, 1955

So I was wrong, and there is some Magisterial support for the notion that the scope of the moral license to practice NFP is wide. There you go.

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§ 4 Responses to Broadband NFP

  • Dear Zippy,I think you were closer to the point in the post below.From CCC:<>2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality: <> When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart.156 <><>The second paragraph, which is actually a footnote suggests that while latitude may be wide (that is NOT stated in the Catechism) there are objective criteria associated with an evaluation of that latitude.But I also note that the CCC suggests “just” reasons rather than grave, which changes the countenance of things somewhat–because just, it would seem would have even more and better objective criteria than grave, which is somewhat subective.Hence, a just reason, preservation of life, health, family integrity, etc., is readily distinguished from an “unjust” reason such as fear, despair, selfishness.But I do need to again make the point that I lack the credentials and even to some extent the ability to expound on such things and can only relate what the text says to me in my poor ability to comprehend it. (And the above is not false humility–the depths and nuances of a vast majority of Catholic Doctrine are well beyond the scope of this former Baptist boy who wants clear lines in the sand).shalom,Steven

  • zippy says:

    Thanks for the comment Steven. I’m just trying to be fair to opposing views. When Tony M suggested that the Magisterium had definitely licensed the use of NFP in a particular case he described, I opened a few of my books to see if I could find something to support that contention. I didn’t, but I did find this,which directly pertained to the discussion Lydia and I were having below about the ‘bandwidth’ between grave enough and too grave, so I thought it was only fair to post it.

  • De Liliis says:

    I wonder what people will think that ‘wide’ will mean however.It just keeps coming to my mind that they’re like to make it wider than it actually is, given the loose attitude towards everything in Catholicism so prevalent these times.I pray however, not as much as possible.

  • Anonymous says:

    I come to this post late, but if you are really interested in this topic, I urge that you seek some of the things you are citing the “Address to Midwives” etc. in the original language.In particular, the Latin word “gravis” is sometimes translated into English as “serious”, and sometimes as “grave”.This can be misleading, because although “grave” sounds similar, it derives from an Anglo-Saxon word for burial, and so it has taken on strong life-or-death connotations that “gravis” does not imply.It may be helpful to think of “gravis” as “weighty”. In Latin the word is used to describe both important matters and heavy objects.If the original language is Italian, then there may be similar issues of translation, but I couldn’t speculate on any specifics.

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