I posted this in response to A reprinted article at Inside Catholic. Well, not in response to the article as much as in response to some of the comments posted. I'm RE-posting it here (with a few edits.. yey Google spellcheck!), because I run into a lot of Catholics who think that, just because they don't contracept, they haven't bought into the contraception mentality. They're wrong. It slips in everywhere, and it shows, especially in our treatment of Catholic couples with few or no children.
I think our contraceptive culture is one of the reasons why the infertile people ARE getting blown off...
The culture of contraception has definitely leaked into the church... so where once people without children were considered "barren" and were objects of prayer and sympathy, they're now considered selfish, assumed to be using contraception or NFP with a contraceptive mentality, and we heap scorn and derision on them.
Look people, being an Orthodox Catholic does NOT automatically protect you from imbibing our culture's sick attitudes. Do you find yourself thinking that that wealthy, childless couple at Mass is living in mortal sin and has no right to be receiving communion? Maybe they just don't know you well enough to give you the complete history of their long line of miscarriages, or her hysterectomy. Maybe they're struggling to accept that God's will isn't theirs--that they desperately want children, but since they're unwilling to take immoral measures like IVF, they're stuck with parenting 'spiritual children' instead.
You really can't know from the outside. But you've drank deeply enough of the culture's tainted water that deep down, you believe fertility is a mechanism that can be turned on and off at will (either by contraception or NFP) and that if someone is 'off' it must be their will, not God's.
When a couple says "We're not planning on a baby right now," it's true that they could mean they're avoiding pregnancy. But often they mean "It would take a miracle for us to get pregnant right now, so we're trying to follow God's plan for us, and our medical history is none of your business."
I really admire those women. How they can take this constant questioning of their morality and fertility without bursting into tears or smacking someone is beyond me. They're hidden saints, the Sarahs and Elizabeths among us, and most of us treat them like dirt.