In His 1968 encyclical on the regulation of births, Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI says: “if we then attend to the relevant physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, those are considered to exercise responsible parenthood who prudently and generously decide to have a large family, or who, for serious reasons and with due respect to the moral law, choose to have no more children for the time being or even for an indeterminate period.” Therefore, it is the formal teaching of the Church that while all couples should be generous in their acceptance of children, the great responsibility of raising those children often necessitates having fewer children than biologically possible.
Understanding this and appreciating the beautiful way in which God has designed a woman’s fertility, the Catholic church holds up Natural Family Planning as the way for couples to effectively plan their families as well as to “recognize the spiritual and corporal character of conjugal communion, and to live personal love with its requirement of fidelity.” (Pope John Paul II’s 1981 encyclical Familiaris Consortio: On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World)
Properly learned and consistently practiced, modern methods of Natural Family Planning are as effective as contraceptives for avoiding pregnancy and can be used by almost all couples regardless of cycle irregularity, breastfeeding, peri-menopause or a host of medical conditions that impact fertility.
The Maronite Youth Service Office offers advice to married couples about Natural Family Planning and the methods that can be used. For more information about Natural Family Planning, please contact the Maronite Youth Service Office on 9740 8274.