General Question

ibstubro's avatar

What message did the Pope send to Catholics today, regarding birth control?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) January 19th, 2015

As asked.

He is very provocative.

Identifying yourself as Catholic or not would be appreciated/valuable.

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37 Answers

LostInParadise's avatar

I am not Catholic, but I have great respect for Pope Francis. He can’t go against official Church doctrine, but he has done a good job of emphasizing its more progressive aspects – support for the theory of evolution, standing up for the oppressed, encouraging a general attitude of tolerance. He can’t support artificial birth control, but by suggesting that families limit their size, he is opening the door just a crack for the eventual acceptance of condoms and the pill.

jca's avatar

I am not Catholic. I am not really familiar with exactly what the Pope said, other than hearing a bit about it on the news. A good friend of mine is Catholic and conservative, and in discussing it with him, he’s upset that the Pope is going against traditional Catholic doctrine on gay marriage, the environment, etc. I am not one to argue if I can avoid it, and so I didn’t insert my opinion, but I feel that the Pope is doing a good job of trying to be inclusive, not exclusionary. He’s also trying to take the church out of the dark ages. To me, it’s a good thing. I guess some will like it, some will not.

In the early 80’s, I visited Mexico. I saw huge fields of garbage with people standing all over in it, picking through stuff. I saw shacks and people begging on the street. The Pope, whoever was the Pope at that time, had just visited Mexico and told the people to reproduce. My thoughts at the time, after seeing the people picking through garbage, was how could the Pope, in good conscience, tell people to reproduce knowing that they’re starving as it is?

JLeslie's avatar

Do you have a link to the story?

I have always been ok with the Pope being against birth control, because if that is what the religion says then so be it, and people can just break the rules as tons of people break many things written in the bible or interpreted by clergy. The religion is over 2,000 years old, of course there are some things that don’t make sense in modern day.

Practically speaking, if the church cares about ending poverty and providing well for children, they should be pro birth control. If the church is ok with not having sex on ovulation day, how is it any different than having sex with a condom on? Both prevent pregnancy. Both control birth rates. It’s illogical to allow one form of birth control and not another, and the church basically does that.

Look at countries like Haiti, my bet is a lot of women are freaked out when they turn up pregnant. So many live in such poverty and they have the church telling them no birth control? Actually, my bet is a large part of the population doesn’t even know about birth control. There are charities that are there to teach the population about it and provide it. I’m not saying I want the government to force some sort of population control, I’m saying let’s let a woman have control over whether she has a baby or not. Countries that are poor and Catholic don’t help women do that, if anything it’s the opposite. Same with other religions too, not just Catholicism.

The church likes babies, because that means more Catholics. A friend of mine had a Priest tell the congregation that the greatest thing you can give a child is a sibling. More important than having more money, and listed some more things. Her take away was if more kids means less dollars for educating your children and extra perks it’s better to choose the multiple children. For a while she felt out of it where her kids went to school (Catholic school) because she only had two kids and so many people had more than two. Now she is deciding whether she is an atheist or not. I don’t think all Priests think or say things like that.

I’m Jewish.

zenvelo's avatar

The Pope said that while artificial birth control was still not appropriate, Catholics should not breed like rabbits (That’s a quote!)

He told a woman who is pregnant with her 8th after 7 C -sections that she was irresponsible and tempting God.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think he was trying to mesh personal responsibility with the Church’s policy. Seven C-sections? That’s nuts.

jca's avatar

I feel bad for that woman, getting a public dressing down from the Pope. She probably feels ashamed, if she’s a good Catholic. She’s probably also receiving criticism from her community, as a result of the Pope’s comment.

JLeslie's avatar

Thinking about this more, the Pope is against birth control but doesn’t want women to get pregnant. I like this Pope in general, but that is pretty awful.

ragingloli's avatar

Why did he not criticise the man, too?
What a misogynist bastard.

ragingloli's avatar

And this here is gold:
“But he said most importantly, no outside institution should impose its views on regulating family size, blasting what he called the “ideological colonisation” of the developing world.”

African bishops, in particular, have long complained about how progressive, Western ideas about birth control and gay rights are increasingly being imposed on the developing world by groups, institutions or individual nations, often as a condition for development aid.”
Francis said “every people” should be able to conserve its identity without being “ideologically colonised.”

Except of course if that “outside institution” is the catholic church. They can impose their “values” with impunity.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Same old problem.

Male leader of a male dominated religion telling women how to act.

If he had any cojones, he would have said “MEN – Keep it in your pants!” and put the responsibility on them.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

As a “Practicing Catholic” all I can say is I miss Pope John Paul . I don’t care for much of what this Pope says and many other “Practicing Catholics” don’t either. Non Catholic’s opinions don’t really matter to me and have nothing to do with my Religion (unless of course they decide to join the Catholic Church).

My stance on birth control is as it always has been in regard to church doctrine. If I don’t say something about birth control I assume my answer will be pulled. The rules here really suck.

majorrich's avatar

Perhaps his stance on birth control may eventually morph into allowing condoms? I to am not Catholic, but am fascinated by this man who is trying to make bold moves in the Church. Very pragmatic and 20th century.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Well, just like many of his other proclamations, this does nothing important. He may be saying that Catholics should procreate less, but he does not endorse birth control any more than any other pope has. He’s essentially telling them to have less sex. How is that progressive? How is it provocative?

I don’t understand why people are so excited about Francis. He’s not changing anything, he’s just telling people to be nicer to each other. For Pete’s sake, if that’s progressive, the Catholic church was really in trouble before.

@LostInParadise ” He can’t go against official Church doctrine”

Tell that to conservative Catholics who were horrified by Vatican II.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If you referring to the “Don’t breed like rabbits” comment, well, that was particularly useless. I think most Catholic families wanted to limit the number of children they have, but the rhythm method is notoriously unreliable.

I also don’t see how they make a distinction between holding off on having sex at particular times in the woman’s cycle, and birth control. Both are “unnatural.”

Winter_Pariah's avatar

@elbanditoroso oh sure, because only men want to screw (sure, it may be that we want to do it more often than women in general but plenty of women want to bang).

Really, if he had cojones – as you put it – he should have placed responsibility equally upon both men and women, not just specifiy women (I have not see or read what Pope Francis said but from the general jist of this thread…)

I would like to see that what Pope Francis has done and will do will help lay a path for Christians as a whole to throw out most – if not all – of the antiquated bullcrap which is the Old Testament.

JLeslie's avatar

Bull crap isn’t very nice.

@BeenThereSaidThat What does this paragraph mean “My stance on birth control is as it always has been in regard to church doctrine. If I don’t say something about birth control I assume my answer will be pulled. The rules here really suck.”

Do you mean you don’t want to say how you feel about birth control here?

chinchin31's avatar

Why do you care what the pope says. It is between you and God and your husband.

Common sense will tell you :

Don’t have children if you can’t afford to raise them.

Never let a guy cum in you even if you are on birth control if you don’t want to get pregnant.

If a guy cares about you , he will not cum in you if he doesn’t want you to get pregnant.

Every single guy on this earth masturbates, so every single guy on this earth knows when he is going to cum.

I use the pull-out method. I have never gotten pregnant :) ( 4 years now )

My father also a devout catholic told me he used this method for decades and well my parents only had 3 children and no accidents.

IT is all about being skilled :)...x

I was raised Catholic.

I have used birthcontrol but then stopped using it because I just don’t like the way it makes me feel. I think it messes with your body too much .So I actually think the Church saying birth control is wrong doesn’t really bother me because I don’t like it anyways. I dislike birth control for medical and practical reasons.

I have never been really promiscuous so HIV has never been an issue for me. I am married now.

Most people I know that got pregnant by accident. Got pregnant using birth control, especially condoms. So nothing is guaranteed.

It is not that difficult to AVOID getting pregnant for most women that are getting pregnant by accident. I don’t know why people make it out to be such an issue.

I think the church needs to focus more on educating women about how their bodies work from a young age. They also need to inform men about how to master the pull-out method and stop blaming women for everything when the accident happens. You need to work together to avoid it happening.

I think that will help to reduce pregnancies more than giving out birth control or just simply condemning it.

Most women are very ignorant about their own bodies and that is the REAL cause of unwanted pregnancies. Just giving people birth control is not going to solve the problem.

I don’t believe in the the rhythm method for birth control. I do think it is a very good thing to know though if you WANT to get pregnant as you learn the details of your cycle.

JLeslie's avatar

@chinchin31 Just to clarify, when I say rhythm, I mean avoiding sex when I know I am ovulating. I don’t actually chart anything. I always ovulated on day 12 or 14 when I was younger. I just didn’t complete sex, or bother to have intercourse sometimes, starting day 10, and when I ovulated I knew I was in the clear after 2 days.

I’m pretty sure the Catholic church isn’t ok with masturbating or wasting any “seed.” Maybe I’m wrong about that and it’s just old school old wives tales and I’m confusing it. Pulling out would be wasting seed also.

I think education about our bodies is very important, I couldn’t agree more. One of my Catholic friends bought a book when she decided to have children to learn how to get pregnant. Basically, she had never been taught about her cycle and most fertile days. That’s ridiculous to me. She was taught about her digestive system, lymph, brain, etc, but nothing about her sex organs. Forget sex itself, girls and boys should learn how the organs work even if they become nuns and priests. It’s a part of our bodies.

I know plenty of women my parents age (72) and older who are Catholic who knew absolutely nothing about birth control. Nothing. I don’t even think they would have known to have their husband pull out.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@chinchin31 If Coitus interruptus is the only method of birth control you’re using, then you’ve just gotten lucky to have not been impregnated by now. Damn lucky.

JLeslie's avatar

Colitis interruptus is pretty good at preventing pregnancy, but still not good to use if it’s really very important not to get pregnant.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@jleslie – not to nitpick, but Colitis is way different from Coitus


Strauss's avatar

Strictly speaking: Coitus interruptus is not a form of birth control that’s condoned by the Church.

Colitis interruptus is something else altogether!

JLeslie's avatar

Flipping iPhone. Lol.

Strauss's avatar

Yeah, that!

JLeslie's avatar

Some stats on withdrawal.

But, again, technically it’s not ok for Catholics as far as I know.

Strauss's avatar

If I recall correctly from my Catholic upbringing, withdrawal is not a “sanctioned” form of birth control.

An early church theologian, Clement of Alexandria put it this way: Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted. To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature…

Here is some more information from an official Catholic Church website.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So, @Yetanotheruser, Catholics are not allowed to just be horney?

Strauss's avatar

@Dutchess_III It’s one thing to be horny, it’s another thing, according to Church doctrines, to act on it outside of procreation in marriage.

The quote in my previous post also illustrates the Catholic Church’s position on masturbation, at least for males.

majorrich's avatar

Every sperm is sacred, Every sperm is good. Every sperm is needed in your neighbourhood. Etc. Etc.. ala Monte Python. Seriously?! A Catholic boy can’t have an occasional wank?

elbanditoroso's avatar

@majorrich – maybe Catholic doctrine says not to spill seed, but let’s get serious here. Are there really men (even priests, or maybe especially priests) who have never gotten themselves off?

Not that any survey could every collect honest answers, but I’ll bet the percentage of “never wanked” is something like 1/10 of one percent.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@elbanditoroso Sure, they’ll have done it. But they’ve felt shame about it, so it’s all good.

chinchin31's avatar

They also need to stop airing that tv show on teen moms on MTV. IT clearly is not teaching these kids anything. Those same kids that are getting pregnant now on that show were watching that show a few years ago. As far as I know that show has been going on forever and these kids are still getting pregnant.

Sorry I went off course but all these things are interrelated.

Showing shows like that on TV and telling people at the end to use contraception is not helping. If it was why is that show still on on television.

The are glamourising teen pregnancy. This world is just messed up.

ibstubro's avatar

You may be ’just horny’, @Dutchess_III. Even if Rick helped your be ’just horny’, I don’t see how any of the all-important seed would be spilled.

Strauss's avatar

@elbanditoroso Are there really men…who have never gotten themselves off?

There’s always confession!

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