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Catholic Weddings

Pre-Cana & birth control

Hi ladies,

I'm new to the Catholic boards, but I'm starting to have some questions so I figured I'd ask y'all - the internet guidelines sort of skirt around this issue as far as I can tell.

I'm concerned about birth control coming up during the preliminary interviews with the priest.  FI and I are both Catholic, we want to get married with a mass, and have discussed children and our thoughts on the whole birth control thing at length.  No surprises there.  Our views do conflict with official dogma.  Will this be a problem in terms of a priest agreeing to marry us?  Honestly we're not comfortable talking about it with priests in general - we feel like our decisions regarding families and sexuality are between the two of us - but we assume it will come up given that accepting children is in the vows.  We know that some priests also disagree with church dogma, but I'm fairly sure that the guy at my home parish tends to be more conservaitve in this regard.

Have any of you ladies encountered this during the interviews, and did your priest give you any trouble with it?  FI and my father both tell me I'm worrying for no reason, but I can't help wondering if this is going to be a roadblock.

Thanks!
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Re: Pre-Cana & birth control

  • edited December 2011
    I think a priest can refuse to marry you for that reason, but I also think it is unlikely.

    Most of the regular posters here can give you a laundry list of reasons that NFP is much better than artificial birth control.  My advice would be to go into your meeting with the priest with an open heart and be willing to learn.

    Also, the decision is between you, your FI, and God.
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  • catarntinacatarntina member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Depending on your diocese, you may be required to take a class on NFP.

    So, I'd be prepared to have a birth control discussion with your priest before getting married.  Some diocese don't require NFP classes in order to get married, but you should probably look into the classes anyways if you want to be a "good Catholic" and follow church teaching.

    NFP is a form of birth control, by the way.  Despite any preconceived notions on birth control you may already have, NFP is a very effective method at preventing pregnancy.
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  • chelseamb11chelseamb11 member
    2500 Comments Third Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    I agree with the NFP.  It is just as effective as the pill or condoms when used correctly, however it doesn't have the side effects that the pill would.  I just started charting and I am loving it.  It is so cool to feel so in control of my body and to know what is going on.  I highly recommend it!
  • caitriona87caitriona87 member
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I have never heard of a priest refusing to marry someone for that reason, but it may be possible. The immediate issue I see is receiving sacraments (marriage and the Eucharist) while intending to commit a mortal sin later that day. It's possible that would be sacrilege, but I'm just speculating and don't know for sure; someone better versed in canon law would probably have a more definitive answer.

    Most likely the subject will be broached, and an NFP class may be required, depends on the diocese. If that is the case you will at least need to attend and keeping an open mind would be advisable.

    I would think hard about a decision like that and really study why the Church teaches what She does--I would not be comfortable giving up the Eucharist, personally. As PP's said if you have questions or specific issues posters here may be able to help out.
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  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Pre-Cana & birth control:
    [QUOTE]I think a priest can refuse to marry you for that reason, but I also think it is unlikely. Most of the regular posters here can give you a laundry list of reasons that NFP is much better than artificial birth control.  My advice would be to go into your meeting with the priest with an open heart and be willing to learn. Also, the decision is between you, your FI, and God.
    Posted by professorscience[/QUOTE]


    I would emphasize the thought of going into your meeting with an open heart and be willing to learn.

    The knowledge will never hurt
  • divinemsbeedivinemsbee member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Chels--I want to start but have no idea where to begin. I've been fine on hormonal BC for a while, but in the past year or so, I can't find anything that works without some major side-effects. What books/sites would you recommend?
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  • chelseamb11chelseamb11 member
    2500 Comments Third Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Pre-Cana & birth control:
    [QUOTE]Chels--I want to start but have no idea where to begin. I've been fine on hormonal BC for a while, but in the past year or so, I can't find anything that works without some major side-effects. What books/sites would you recommend?
    Posted by divinemsbee[/QUOTE]

    I had been on hormonal BC for 5 years for varied reasons, so coming off it was an interesting endeavor.  I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility, which was really helpful.  That, coupled with www.fertilityfriend.com , I have been learning so much!  Don't worry about your cycles being weird for awhile.  After coming off it, my cycles have been weird too.
  • catarntinacatarntina member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Pre-Cana & birth control:
    [QUOTE]Chels--I want to start but have no idea where to begin. I've been fine on hormonal BC for a while, but in the past year or so, I can't find anything that works without some major side-effects. What books/sites would you recommend?
    Posted by divinemsbee[/QUOTE]


    www.ccli.org -- to check if there are classes in your area if you're interested in a class.
    www.tcoyf.com -- Get the book "Taking Charge of Your Fertility"
    http://www.creightonmodel.com/ -- another method of NFP.  The other two I listed are sympto-thermal.
    http://onemoresoul.com/
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Pre-Cana & birth control:
    [QUOTE]Chels--I want to start but have no idea where to begin. I've been fine on hormonal BC for a while, but in the past year or so, I can't find anything that works without some major side-effects. What books/sites would you recommend?
    Posted by divinemsbee[/QUOTE]

    I would recommend reading Taking Charge of your Fertility. I think it teaches you a ton of great information, and it is scientific, not religious, so I think that helps build a lot of confidence in the actual, real science behind NFP.

    Then, I would take a class, because having an actual instructor to get help from is invaluable. CCL and others offer sympto-thermal method classes (temping + cervical mucous + option cervix check), while I use a mucous-only method (Creighton; there is also Billings). Creighton is a good choice if you have reason to believe there are underlying reproductive health issues, because it is associated with NaPro technology.

    To the PP -- others have touched on the issue. I just want to chime in that I would encourage you to consider NFP with a prayerful heart, not just a pre-determined objection. You may just be surprised at how beautiful it really is. If you have questions, please know that we are more than happy to answer them.
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  • divinemsbeedivinemsbee member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Thanks so much. I will be placing a book order tonight and looking into some classes.
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  • edited December 2011
    We have vowed to be honest when we go through everything NFP, pre-canna, deacon interview. The priest marrying us is not doing the marraige prep though.

    It will be an interesting process and I will have to be way more open than I normally am regarding my medical history, prescriptions,  and the affects on my body. 

    You should be good on the getting married thing and if not that one ask him to reccomend another priest in the area and see if you can still use the facility.
  • hoffsehoffse member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Thank you ladies - I do know a lot about NFP, and I anticipate we'll have to go to trainings on it as well.  I will continue to keep an open mind.  My FI and I have very carefully considered a number of aspects of this issue, and while I know our current decision may be in the minority on these boards, they are ours to make.  I am on hormonal birth control largely for the side effects, not just the primary purpose it has - it's something my OBGyn has continued to recommend to me given other physical issues I have.  FI and I agree it's currently the best course for us, though I will of course begin charting when we are ready to have children.

    Thank you for putting my mind more at ease on this - My understanding is that priests vary on this issue themselves.  I have never had a discussion with a priest about my personal choice, but I have heard some who say it's never OK and others say it's a choice that needs to be prayerfully considered just like any other life decision. Frankly, I've even heard priests disagree about whether it's a sin that should be brought up during confession, since NFP when done properly usually has the same effect.

    Anyway, I don't mean to start another debate on hormonal birth control versus NFP.  I just wanted to make sure that this probably wasn't going to be a major roadblock in our initial interviews,  Thanks for your help!
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Pre-Cana & birth control:
    [QUOTE]Thank you ladies - I do know a lot about NFP, and I anticipate we'll have to go to trainings on it as well.  I will continue to keep an open mind.  My FI and I have very carefully considered a number of aspects of this issue, and while I know our current decision may be in the minority on these boards, they are ours to make.  I am on hormonal birth control largely for the side effects, not just the primary purpose it has - it's something my OBGyn has continued to recommend to me given other physical issues I have.  FI and I agree it's currently the best course for us, though I will of course begin charting when we are ready to have children. Thank you for putting my mind more at ease on this - My understanding is that priests vary on this issue themselves.  I have never had a discussion with a priest about my personal choice, but I have heard some who say it's never OK and others say it's a choice that needs to be prayerfully considered just like any other life decision. Frankly, I've even heard priests disagree about whether it's a sin that should be brought up during confession, since NFP when done properly usually has the same effect. Anyway, I don't mean to start another debate on hormonal birth control versus NFP.  I just wanted to make sure that this probably wasn't going to be a major roadblock in our initial interviews,  Thanks for your help!
    Posted by hoffse[/QUOTE]

    I wouldn't call it the same effect.  Using artificial birth control actively alters the body's physiological ability to reproduce.  NFP users simply abstain from sex during times when they could conceive if they are trying to avoid a pregnancy.  I'm not trying to stir up an argument, either, but when you marry you vow to be open to children, and when you use barriers or pills, you are not opening yourself to the possibility of children.
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  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    the pill can also cause abortions which is absolutely a sin.  NFP cant cause an abortion.
  • MuddyInsigniaMuddyInsignia member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Hoffse, avoiding the NFP debate, in the interviews, our priest did not drill us about personal BC use. He asked if we understood the church's policy. The only question he demanded an answer to was if we were willing to raise our kids Catholic. I hope this helps!
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  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Priests don't determine morality. The Church is teaching us Christ's teachings. It is up to us to form our conscience in accord with the teachings of the church.

    I recommend "Theology of the body for beginners" and "Good news about sex and marriage" both by Christopher West
  • lisa89760lisa89760 member
    Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I was on artificial birth control when we were going thru of pre-marriage prep.  We were asked do we understand the church's teachings about birth control in our pre-marriage class.  We weren't required to take any NFP classes.  Like others have said, I would just be open and honest and everything should go great!
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