Below is my comment on Rev. Kelly's post, which is awaiting moderation.
While there are many issues I would like to clarify, I will try to limit myself to the primary point of your post.
“Natural methods of birth control can ‘fail,’ and if in fact a spouse is genuinely concerned about the capacity of the other to care for the children already in the family, there is-like it or not-some consolation in using a method of birth control that has a statistically higher chance of preventing pregnancy.”Of course all methods of family planning can fail, including sterilization. However, NFP is indisputably more reliable than a condom in preventing pregnancy. In fact, a well-done German study of the effectiveness of the sympto-thermal rules associated with NFP, published in 2007, found that NFP has a method effectiveness of 99.6% and a user effectiveness of 98.2%. Condoms are one of the least reliable methods of family planning, having a user effectiveness of only 82-84% (depending on the study). Even the infamous Guttmacher Institute rates NFP as more effective than condoms in preventing pregnancy.
“…a condom can be a gift from God”
Also worth mentioning in this discussion is the option of total abstinence. This certainly should not be taken off the table in difficult cases. No, it definitely is not a perversity to want to have sexual intimacy with one’s spouse. I agree. However, just as one must control other innate hungers and passions, sometimes fasting entirely from certain activities and substances, it is certainly disordered not to adequately control one’s God-instilled human desire to be fruitful and multiply if it would likely do unusual harm to one’s spouse at any point in time.
You wrote: “He tells me that as much as he believes artificial methods of birth control to be wrong, the reality is that his wife cannot adequately care for the children that they have.”
Admitting that artificial methods of birth control are wrong, one must remember that we may not do evil that good may come. (Romans 3:8)
Therefore, the condom is most certainly NOT a gift from God.
Please, let’s also not allow discussions regarding this important issue of morality to be influenced by sensationalistic news reports on extremely rare cases of women who have supposedly been driven to murder and suicide because they had “too many children.”