While I do know many providentalists and many NFPers, Deo Gratias, neither have been the extreme ilk described in the post below. Well not at least within the circle of people I consider my friends and confidantes, just opinions I read on the Internet here and there. I think my main gripe with NFP, both sides will agree is one of the tragedies of NFP in philosophy.
As I mentioned before, I suffered from Post Partum Depression after Berylla. My OB/Gyn (not Catholic, but a kind doctor) asked me the usual questions:
“do you have help?”
“how many small children do you have at home?”
Then he asked if I could get dispensation from the Bishop to use birth control. I actually considered this option, knowing darn well my very liberal Bishop would grant it with no problem without even truly weighing the issue with true Catholic teaching. (Perhaps I shouldn’t have such doubts and trust God’s shepherds more.) There are the other factors though:
~Contraceptives are abortifacient.
~Contraceptives are carcinogenic.
~Contraceptives aren’t good for you.
~It is bad for marriages.
~The pill was funded by Margaret Sanger for eugenic purposes.
So here I am, working out, eating organic brown rice, refraining from drinking and smoking and I would give up all that work for an drug that is not necessary to sustain me or keep me healthy. The Church in all her wisdom simply understand what Truth is, and trying to find a back door is just denying the Truth.
I went home that day and spoke to my mother, the wife of a deacon. I figured with all my parents’ religious training and as a mother of four, she would have a better grip on the intricacies of this delicate situation. Her reply was that since I have tried NFP with earnest many times, that is God giving me the thumbs up to use birth control. That was the spoken part. The non-spoken part has been made obvious numerous times when I was a week or two post partum, and I was struggling to juggle cooking dinner, lessons, mastitis. After I had number four and I was in this situation, I called her and begged for a bit of help to which she replied “it was your choice to have more children; I did my time.” I never asked again. Of course she never volunteered.
You see NFP, even among Catholics who understand the moral and health contraindications of artificial birth control now have NFP to fall back on to allow large families to be labeled “irresponsible”. That means if they have lots of kids that is their responsibility and no one has a Christian duty any longer to help families in need, even their own families, who may be struggling financially or practically. “You got yourself into this mess, and don’t use that ‘being Catholic thing’ as an excuse, it’s your job to get yourself out.” There are no more of those stories from the 50’s about how the Murphy’s had 10 kids and they were dirt poor, so the girls couldn’t afford dancing lessons, but the kids enjoyed each others company, had tons of chores, looked out for one another and grew up to be good Catholics. Remember those stories? Today: “how can you neglect those kids by not giving them dancing lessons?”