Contraception and Catholic couples

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Proud2bRC

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During my years teaching NFP, I have heard various numbers regarding the percentage of Catholic couples of child-bearing age who contracept or have been sterilized.

Based on your personal observations, what percentage of Catholics are obedient to Humanae Vitae and avoid artificial birth control and/or sterilization.

My personal observation has been that 75 to 85% of Catholic couples of child-bearing age contracept or have been sterilized, but that this number is slowly decreasing, with more younger couples embracing the Church’s teachings in this regard.
 
When that time (getting married) rolls around, definitely plan on following NFP. It makes sense and I have heard positive things about it, course, I don’t have to cross this bridge quite yet.
 
I felt generous and assumed 10 - 20%, but it may well be under 10%.
 
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Katholish:
I felt generous and assumed 10 - 20%, but it may well be under 10%.
I think it may have been under 10% in the late 1970’s and during the 1980’s.

However, Catholic involvement in the pro-life movement has educated many Catholics about the abortifacient effects of all hormonal contraceptives, and studies such as the this one, loyno.edu/~ecbrugge/Loyola_Classes/Theology_Culture/Readings/british_medical_journal_NFP.htm
in the British Medical Journal, titled “Natural family planning”:
Effective Birth Control Supported by the Catholic Church" have somewhat allayed fears about the “unreliable rhythm method.”

Honestly, I’m not aware of any sociological studies that have directly assessed the objective rate of contraception/sterilization among Catholics, but I’m hoping someone may post a link on this thread if they are aware of any.
 
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Proud2bRC:
Based on your personal observations, what percentage of Catholics are obedient to Humanae Vitae and avoid artificial birth control and/or sterilization.

My personal observation has been that 75 to 85% of Catholic couples of child-bearing age contracept or have been sterilized, but that this number is slowly decreasing, with more younger couples embracing the Church’s teachings in this regard.
I would suspect that you are very close. I also suspect that some couples become obedient later if they have not already been sterilized as they mature and get closer to the Church. My wife and I unfortunately have already engaged in reproductive mutilation (might as well call it what it is) otherwise we would not only be using NFP, we would have had more children. When we do marriage prep at church we make it very clear that it was the biggest mistake of our lives and it turned out to be very difficult on our relationship. What an amazing God we have who forgives and heals.
 
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Proud2bRC:
Honestly, I’m not aware of any sociological studies that have directly assessed the objective rate of contraception/sterilization among Catholics, but I’m hoping someone may post a link on this thread if they are aware of any.
Not exaclty what you are looking for but have you ever hear Dr. Janet Smith’s talk entitled “Contraception: Why Not?” It is amazing she quotes a bunch of statistics which may be of interest to you.
 
The man who has the best data on these questions is Dr. Richard Fehring of the College of Nursing at Marquette University. His contact info is readily available online. I have corresponded with him and find him to be first-rate.

Chris C.
 
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Poisson:
I would suspect that you are very close. I also suspect that some couples become obedient later … as they mature and get closer to the Church.

What an amazing God we have who forgives and heals.
:gopray:

My wife and I used the pill for the first year of our marriage. She was still Lutheran then, and I was poorly catechized despite 12 years of “Catholic” schooling. I was shocked when I learned that the pill was abortifacient, and angry that no priest had ever warned us from the pulpit.
 
Chris C.:
The man who has the best data on these questions is Dr. Richard Fehring of the College of Nursing at Marquette University. His contact info is readily available online. I have corresponded with him and find him to be first-rate.

Chris C.
Thanks, I will look him up. 👍
 
I think the answer also depends on one’s definition of “Catholic”. Unfortunately, I know a lot of CINO’s (Catholic In Name Only).

For example, my brother was baptized, confirmed, and had 12 years of parochial school. If a pollster asked him, he would probably identify himself as a Catholic.

But he hasn’t gone to Church in years and has not even baptized his children.

For some people, the label “Catholic” is merely something akin to ethnic pride, as in, “I am an Irish-American Catholic”.
 
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Proud2bRC:
During my years teaching NFP, I have heard various numbers regarding the percentage of Catholic couples of child-bearing age who contracept or have been sterilized.

Based on your personal observations, what percentage of Catholics are obedient to Humanae Vitae and avoid artificial birth control and/or sterilization.

My personal observation has been that 75 to 85% of Catholic couples of child-bearing age contracept or have been sterilized, but that this number is slowly decreasing, with more younger couples embracing the Church’s teachings in this regard.
75-85% seems quite low to me. Considering that only about 40% of Catholics attend Mass on a given Sunday, I find it hard to believe that 15-25% of them (half of church go-ers) are obeying HV. My guess would be about 2-5% of baptized Catholics. Maybe 5-10% of regular church go-ers.
Of course, I am not considering those past reproductive age (or pre-pubescent). I guess if they are included then I could see how one could say that 15-25% of Catholics are ‘obeying’ HV by not using contraception. :rolleyes:
 
Hard to answer . . . in the circles we travel, the percentage of NFP users is very high! We know many wonderful, faithful families. If you asked how many in my parish, that would be a different story!! —KCT
 
I am sad that there are so many Catholics out there that use contraception, and the worst part about it is that many priests don’t preach to their congragation about the sin behind it and in depth.:banghead:
 
I have to admit…that icon of the red head smashing into a brick wall deffinately caught my attention hahahaha! (It’s found in the post above this one.)

I am a Catholic convert and I entered the Church in 1998. I accepted the Church’s teachings about contraception, sex, and marriage purely on FAITH because I really did not understand or even agree with these teachings yet. However, I was willing to submit to the Church’s authority because I figured, “The Church has been around for 2,000 years. I’ll bet She knows far more then me.”

I had continued to accept these teachings on faith while at times grumbling against them (but not falling away from submission to them.) I kept praying, reading, and asking questions about why contraception is wrong. Several people spoke to me at length but they went way over my head. Yesterday I found a free tape at the Cathedral here in town. It was titled, “Contraception: Why not?” I took it home and immediately plopped onto my bed and listened to it. (A written version can be found at:
catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/se0002.html)
You can order tapes of this talk as well.

In the short time that I spent listening to the tape my entire understanding of the Church’s teachings clicked into place and I was flooded with the most intense feelings of peace. I finally “got it” after 6 years. My whole view about sex, marriage, and children was changed in less then two hours. I went from having a relativlly wordly view that was trying to conform to the Church, to having a 100% Catholic understanding and acceptance.
Praise God!!!

I encourage everyone to either print this talk out or order tapes and distribute them to folks that are confused.
 
There is this speaker that is awesome! Christopeher West talks on theology of the body… he is excellent, i have seen him speak a few times now and also have been in a personal audiance with him…👍
 
Good question! I put 0-10% I am encouraged by this forum to see how many posts there are in regards to NFP. Thank you to MichelleTherese for the information on the tape, I am going to try and order one for my daughter and her husband. My husband was married before, this is my first marriage, and he had a vasectomy after his fourth daughter was born because of infidelity on his wife’s part. When we married, after understanding the Church’s teaching on being open to life, he went through a reversal, (all men here go OUCH!:eek: ). I was really proud of him. We were never able to conceive but I’m proud of his choice to be open to it.:love:
 
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops To Reinforce Church Ban on Contraception, Link Contraception and Abortion

Source: Kaiser Network Daily Reproductive Health Report, Nov 13, 2003
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  Members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Wednesday -- the third day of the four-day USCCB annual meeting in Washington, D.C. -- decided to begin new efforts to reinforce the Catholic Church's opposition to contraception, acknowledging that many U.S. Catholics "pay little heed" to the ban, the New York Times reports. The conference voted to approve a proposal introduced by the USCCB Committee for Pro-Life Activities to produce a booklet addressing questions about the church's teachings on marriage and sexuality and explaining why "natural family planning" -- avoiding pregnancy by following a woman's natural fertility cycle -- is acceptable and why artificial family planning is morally wrong under church teaching. The booklet will also examine the alleged link between abortion and failed contraception, adding that some contraceptives have the potential to cause abortion (Wakin, New York Times, 11/13).
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Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput said that the booklet is meant to “stir up new interest and support” for natural family planning, which he said is used by only 4% of Roman Catholic couples of childbearing age (Cooperman, Washington Post, 11/13). One bishop called contraception the “silent killer” of the past 40 years, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press USCCB President Wilton Gregory said that the Catholic Church may be to blame for the fact that so few U.S. Catholics practice natural family planning, adding, “In many respects we haven’t spoken clearly enough, effectively enough, frequently enough. If anything, the actions we are taking today are very much needed and many would say, even late” (Eckstrom, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 11/13). However, some Catholics say there is a risk in reopening the birth control issue and linking contraception to abortion, according to the Times. Such an action among U.S. Catholics – who “generally ignore” teachings on contraception but support teachings on abortion – could “strengthen the sense among many Catholics that the church is out of step with their daily lives,” according to the Times. Rev. Thomas Reese, editor of the Jesuit magazine America, said that linking the two issues could “undermine [the bishops’] public policy goals in terms of opposing abortion.” However, Chaput denied that putting emphasis on family planning could alienate Catholics, saying, “The church teaches us a lot of things we don’t practice. But it’s the constant of the Roman Catholic Church that contraception is wrong, sinful and contrary to the meaning of married life” (New York Times, 11/13) , , ,
 
Is there anyone else who uses no method at all? I mean, after having been taught NFP, I know when I ovulate, but we don’t ever abstain just because we may be fertile. We figure God knows us and our situation better than we do.

I voted 11%-20%, but I have no idea really :eek: Probably because no one ever talks about it. It’s like the big family secret, isn’t it? I know my Mom grieves her sterilization. Although she was 37 when she had it done, she grieves the loss for the baby(ies) she may have had.

Love,
Annie
 
Wow, dts, thanks for the post. Only 4%…how sad 😦 I am glad that the Bishops are addressing it, though. I could not find any info at all at my parish about NFP. After my children are older, I think I am being called to do something about that!

Love,
Annie
 
I put less than 10%, but it makes me sad. HV is such a beautiful work. Everyone who contracepts should read it!!

CCLI also has statistics that put the number at less than 10%, although their data is older than what’s in the post above mine.

That means to me that less than 10% of Catholic couples have a wonderful marriage. 😦
 
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