Ernesto asked:

My wife and I are in NFP classes and I'm wondering why is it morally okay to use the knowledge of how pregnancy occurs to delay a pregnancy instead of using the knowledge of the areas of science to delay a pregnancy? Why isn't the second one morally okay?

Fr. Tad Pacholczyk replied:

"... I think the big difference here is that when you do NFP you are using an infertility that is natural, that's already there. In other words it turns out to be a fact of life that women are not fertile one hundred per cent of the time. In fact they're only fertile for a rather limited portion of their cycle. And that's a natural given ... You're free to have marital relations at any time ... and meanwhile in the case of contraception you are not working with a natural infertility. What you are doing is you are taking the natural fruitfulness that a couple has and at that specific time that the woman is fertile you are going in and you're turning everything upside down and saying, we are going to actively inhibit or prevent the natural process. So we're going to force infertility through chemistry, through various manipulations, through maybe through the use of a condom, upon this marital act and render it infertile even though it is in and of itself at this moment expected to be fertile and should be left open to the transmission of life.

So you're going in and upsetting the machinery as it were because you now have an ulterior motive that says I will even violate the order here that has been given for the transmission of life. You know the order that is part of sex which you know is both procreative and unitive. It's both life giving and love-giving, and I'm only going to take the love-giving piece of it and I'm going to cordon off actively and fluster that life-giving part of it. So that's why that will always be wrong and not acceptable."


Catholic Answers, "Bioethics for the rest of us" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2014)

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of the answer provided. For the complete response download the podcast.

Click icon for archived podcast answering this question in its entirety.

Show air date: March 5, 2014

Name of show: Bioethics for the rest of us

Guest comments by: Fr. Tad Pacholczyk

Question appeared in show: 19:54

Social: Share:

This site is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.

"...and upon this rock I will build My Church..." Matthew 16:18