Really good piece over at Real Catholic Love and Sex on the struggle of ultra-traditionalists to accept Natural Family Planning. Here’s a taste.
Ultra-traditionalist Catholics don’t get a pass on this any more than “Catholics for Choice”. “More Catholic than the Pope” is simply another form of protest and yet another way of being “Protestant”.
Taking a closer look at the critiques, those who think promotion of NFP is a deviation from “traditional” Catholic teaching have often misunderstood the actual traditional teaching by reading older documents anachronistically and out of context.
Likewise, just because someone has misunderstood Catholic teaching, past or present, doesn’t make it controversial either. That is why we have pastors, bishops, and the entire magisterium of the Church to help us on our journey of faith. Unlike other traditions, we do not have the burden of every person having to define his or her own doctrines and his or her own understanding of the faith.
Finally, if you are looking for genuine controversy in this area—as in where priests, bishops, and theologians have actual disagreements—it was never over whether NFP is licit, it was over whether contraception is licit. The question of the licitness of NFP was settled by a brief statement from the Holy Office. The question of whether contraception remained illicit given social changes and advancements in scientific knowledge required a Papal Commission that lasted several years. Furthermore, promotion of NFP has always been associated with the more conservative and faithful elements of Catholicism, not the more liberal and dissident ones. GO READ THE REST HERE.
And if you’d like more information on how the Catholic vision of love and sex can make your marriage more passionate, joyful, and intimate, check out Holy Sex! A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind Blowing, Infallible Loving.