Thanks for posting this thread, Chant. I enjoyed reading this and your points are especially good here.
"For one thing, I know there's a temptation for someone who has read a few books (or been in the seminary for a few months) to want to run out and start teaching people. Especially for someone well-endowed in the zeal department. Raoul is nothing if not zealous. So am I; therefore I can relate to that. But, obviously, it's best for someone in that position to be patient and just keep reading, praying, listening and learning."
I like to think I'm doing both at once. If I can explain why I'm speaking out instead of taking more time to learn -- and I'm aware that my education is spotty -- it's that I feel time might be short before a chastisement. I would love nothing more than to hole myself up, learn Latin and read giant dogmatic and moral theology tomes. But that isn't what God is telling me to do right now.
I might be panicked a little bit. Okay, I am panicked. That isn't the best frame of mind from which to teach, I'll grant you. But I figure that the people here know I am not an authority and can sift the good from the bad. I am not a canonized saint or Doctor but someone who writes on a website. When people see a Raoul76 post they are not seeing a papal bull, even if my writing style sounds papal ( that is quite a compliment ), and they're aware of that. They are grown men and women and they know they aren't obligated to believe what I say. But if something that I say rings true, then maybe we can start exploring uncharted territory.
The way I see this website is that we are all learning and trying to get to the truth, which, like Humpty-Dumpty, lays shattered on the ground. I am not trying to be a Grand Inquisitor or be like Michael Dimond. It does sometimes sound like I'm telling people how to think but I'm actually just trying to get them TO think. I rely on everyone here, if I am in error, to correct me, because believe me, I'm as scared of hell as anyone else.
And recall that many Protestant "reformers" sounded VERY convincing to the ignorant masses -- who saw countless problems in their own day -- they had their very own Crisis in the Church with priests living with concubines, fathering children, being ignorant of basic dogmas, etc.
I am not going to reform anything. I'm a guy who lives with his mom typing all day. I don't even believe our time can be reformed unless God steps in and performs a miracle of some kind or, like I said, there's a chastisement. All I can do is try to rid individual souls of heresies if they're holding onto any.
You ask why I counsel against NFP when the world is going to hell. CM already answered that for the most part ( the law doesn't change based on circumstances ) but I will tell you this; it's not the present-day I have in mind, really. There might be a prophetic element to my anti-NFP writings. Because I believe that after the Minor Chastisement, there will absolutely be no NFP, and that those living in that time will look back at NFP as a scourge. I tend to see NFP as symptomatic of selfish modern man bringing God's wrath down on himself.
"Whatever a man is strong in, he is less likely to be compassionate about."
I'd say my past is worse than anyone's on this board -- I've lived an Augustinian life and have an Augustinian mind. I was even born in Santa Monica ( the city in California in my case, not the woman ). So I'm not "strong in" abstinence. But I do know how God can free you from lust if you do His will and elevate your thoughts. Considering my past, it's easy for me to see how the "doctrine" of NFP keeps minds very earthy.
I remember just a couple months ago when I believed in it I would look around for a girl to marry thinking "It's not like the old days when everything was about children
." I was thinking about sex, purely and primarily. And this showed in my early posts on this website which were sex-obsessed.
To answer why I'm obsessed with NFP when it doesn't personally concern me, it's because of this quote from St. Augustine that Thomas Droleskey loves to repeat.
"St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. "No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic"
The way I understand it from St. Thomas is that if we attend the Mass of a heretical priest we are "sharers in his sin." So if NFP is a heresy, and I believe it certainly goes against the Magisterium as it was known prior to Pius XII, as it has always been known that the obstruction of birth is a mortal sin -- and that modern NFP doesn't obstruct birth is a flagrant lie -- then there is nowhere to go to Mass.
By hammering away at this I am hoping that perhaps those more qualified, priests and bishops, will take another look at NFP. My motive is threefold: ( a ) I want to help save souls ( b ) I want to find a place to go to Mass ( c ) I want to find a bishop who will teach and ordain me. Obviously if I think NFP is a heresy I can't sign up with a Pius XII-loving, NFP-preaching bishop in good conscience.
I think NFP has been ignored for far too long, for many reasons -- but primarily because it is associated with Feeneyism. Since it is Richard Ibranyi and Michael Dimond who have spoken out against NFP, and they are generally considered extremists and fanatics, that NFP may be a heresy is automatically dismissed. But if you read their arguments on this subject, they are very
convincing. My dad is a lawyer and I have it in my blood; I know when someone makes a good case. They are not even remotely convincing when they mangle the Council of Trent to suit their anti-BoD ends; but on NFP they are overpowering.
Then read Father Cekada or Bishop Pivarunas when they defend NFP. They come off as evasive, shifty. They don't refute any of Ibranyi's points but simply call on their authority as priests; "We've had eighteen years of moral theology and you have not," that kind of thing. Well, then what about Cardinal Haye? I'm sure he had lots of training in moral theology and he was against the rhythm method, and that was before it became modern, near-foolproof NFP.
There are lots of unanswered questions about NFP and Pius XII ( just wait til you see the video I'm going to post in the 'Midwife' thread where he makes a blatant Satanic hand sign ). I have yet to see a compelling explanation about how its being "natural" somehow excuses the fact
that it is birth control. Doesn't the use of charts, graphs and mucus indicators take it out of the realm of the "natural" anyway?
Those who want to defend NFP, though, will have to show that it is a legitimate development of doctrine, that God would be pleased by this "natural" means of birth control. It is definitely possible that I have a rigoristic blind spot here and that God sent Ogino the Japanese scientist as a gift to Catholics to be able to cram more sex into their marriages using mucus charts -- anything is possible. But my ears just hear a lot of 2+2=5; "It's non-procreation but not anti-procreation," etc.
Here is what I have concluded though. Even if NFP is not a heresy, and there are occasional times when it can be used -- I don't believe that, but I'm not absolutely sure
yet that it is always against God -- Pius XII went much further. The Allocution to Midwives is absolutely scandalous. He is teaching Nazi/communist eugenics. Saying you can use it for "economic" reasons is communism, since they are all about overpopulation and love handing out condoms to the poor and stuff like that; saying you can use it for "eugenic" reasons is like a subtle form of Nazism; no one kills the sick but they are encouraged to stop procreating.
I think that this was carefully set up over time, the two responses from the Sacred Penitentiary in the 19th century, Casti Connubi, and then "Allocution to Midwives." You went from the laity occasionally using the rhythm method, which was mostly overlooked, to the Church actually TEACHING eugenic spacing of births or even elimination of births using a new souped-up form of the rhythm method. "Rhythm" went from being overlooked to being counselled to being taught from the Throne of Peter itself. This is pure gradualism, people were indoctrinated slowly.
And then when the sedevacantist clergy picked up on it, not only did they totally accept the insane "Allocution to Midwives," but went further -- they actually embraced the term Natural Family Planning which is straight from Vatican II. Why? Am I the only one who smells a big rat? Why do the sedevacantists avoid everything having to do with Vatican II except
Natural Family Planning? Is it C-O-N-S-P-I-R-A-C-Y ( shh! )?
If NFP is such a simple matter then why do so many people have a problem with it, why does it lead to feelings of guilt, why were only half the Catholics in the early days of the Ogino method supportive of it, why did Cardinal Haye go against the Archbishop of Chicago, whither the controversy? Why can't I find just ONE anti-NFP priest or bishop like Cardinal Haye today? Surely I can't be the only person on Earth who isn't a Feeneyite who sees that the NFP doctrine is as full of holes as Swiss cheese!