Thursday, April 10, 2014

Must Good Catholics 'Mindlessly Breed'?

Many times we'll hear people claim that the Catholic Church is against all birth control. The caricature presented of the Church's teaching is that she simply wants Catholics to reproduce at high rates to increase the number of Catholics in the world. It's as if every Catholic was required to be the Duggars to be faithful to the Magisterium.

Of course, this simply isn't the case. The Church doesn't want her children to "mindlessly breed", in fact, 
"The Church is the first to praise and commend the application of human intelligence to an activity in which a rational creature such as man is so closely associated with his Creator. But she affirms that this must be done within the limits of the order of reality established by God." (Humanae Vitae, 16)
Far from mindless reproduction the Church calls the faithful to a greater standard of reason than that demanded of the contracepting world. Indeed, it is contraception that allows for mindless sexual activity, while the Church requires Catholics to think about what they are doing, indeed, to have reasons for spacing births.
If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained." (Humanae Vitae, 16).
Like most things, the Catholic Church, zealous protector of faith and reason, seeks the greatest dignity of her children and calls them to use their reason in deciding to have more children.


  1. EXCELLENT! You worded that perfectly and I 100% agree. We only have six children but where we attend church the majority of the families have eight kids or more and they were ALL well thought out and planned.

    1. Thanks, Sharon for both your kid words and for having such a generous heart in having "only" six children. God bless.

  2. We have five and didn't plan a single one.