Sunday, April 13, 2003

(actually a message board for Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrians, Catholics and others, about all of Eastern Christianity)
About contraception
by anastasios

Dear friends,

The traditional Orthodox position cannot allow for contraception. H. is right that marriage is never for procreation alone, but one cannot separate procreation from other purposes of lovemaking. They go together... in other words, [they are] inseparable.

My opinion is that articifical contraception is wrong under all circumstances. It is not a personal matter between husband and wife (this idea is to me a totally Protestant import into Orthodoxy--I know, because I used to be Protestant and let me tell you when some Orthodox defend contraception they sound just like Protestants) since family life and Church life are inseparable; if contraception is intriniscally bad, it will have bad effects on a marriage; if it has bad effects on a marriage, it will have bad effects on the Church. I do not use contraception with my wife, btw, just for anyone who wanted to know

NFP is an acceptable alternative I believe since it uses the natural knowledge that God gave us about a woman's fertility cycles to make responsible choices if spacing of children is needed for financial reasons, health reasons (i.e. another pregnancy would hurt the woman), etc. Again, I don't even use that at this time but would if my spiritual father, wife, and I decided that it was in our best interest.

Fr. John Schroedel wrote a wonderful thesis on Contraception called "Orthodox Christianity and Contraception". You can order a copy probably from St. Vladimir's Seminary Library for a fair copying price. I have it in front of me right now. To see some of his work online, visit:

The Stephanos Project

[This link is also on my Orthodoxy page.]

Now that being said, I would NEVER judge an Orthodox using contraception (as long as it is not abortifacient such as the pill) since I cannot judge my brother, but I merely felt the need to speak up against the idea that "anything goes" as long as the spiritual father okays it. For instance, if my spiritual father said it was alright to watch erotic movies so that I wouldn't cheat on my wife, I'd have to wonder.... (I am trying to keep this discussion light since it is in actuality so very serious). [End of quotation from anastasios.]

FYI, here is the definitive Catholic statement on the matter, Humanæ Vitæ. The Popes have kept the apostolic faith on this issue - not what the secular world wants to hear.

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