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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Is practicing natural family planning with a contraceptive mentality grave matter? If done with full knowledge and consent, would it constitute a mortal sin?

Question:

Is practicing natural family planning with a contraceptive mentality grave matter? If done with full knowledge and consent, would it constitute a mortal sin?

Answer:

For a husband and wife to refuse to have children for selfish reasons is a mortal sin—quite apart from whether they use NFP. NFP is a technique that of itself is morally neutral.

The key word here is selfish. It is possible for a husband and wife to determine not to have children for reasons that are not selfish (e.g., financial or health reasons).

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