Catholics & Contraception


Mrs. Chief and I use the phrase “good Catholic” either of two ways, not at the same time, both of which reek of snark.

When we speak of a person/family who we know is Catholic that has only one or two children after 20 plus years of marriage, we, in the privacy of our own conversation, call them “good Catholics.”  And conversely, when we see a family, known to be Catholic, with ten plus children, we also, privately, call them “good Catholics.”

But that is just an intro to an anecdotal story of a boy who lived in a mixed-religious family.

My mother graduated from an all-girls Catholic high school in 1931 in Waterbury, Connecticut.  My father was a protestant who agreed to raise his children Catholic.  The Great Depression had a deep and lifelong influence on both of my parents.  I am the oldest of the three children they had.

As a curious young lad, one time when my parents were not home, I was going through their dresser drawers, just being nosy, and I found a box of Trojans.  I must have been old enough to know what they were because the significance of the find has stuck in my mind for all of the ensuing decades.

This “find” occurred long before “the pill” was available to women and demonstrates that my mother, for all the strict disciplinarian that she was, realized that she was not going to bring into the world more children than they could afford.

As an adult, I suspect that the vast majority of couples use some form of  ‘birth control’ besides abstinence or the long discredited ‘rhythm method.’

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