Yet again, Pope Francis is being attacked for reiterating the teaching of the Catholic Church. This time, he made the not-so-revolutionary statement that parents are called to both generosity and prudence in discerning their family size.
However, like always, the media interpretation is quite different. According to them, Pope Francis says "Catholics shouldn't breed like rabbits." Which is, of course, not at all what Pope Francis said.
But I'm not really interested in rehashing what the Pope actually said as opposed to what the media claims he said, as several other bloggers (such as Leila and Simcha) have already done an excellent job doing so. Rather, I'd like to expound upon what the Church means by responsible parenthood, because this seems to be a concept that Catholics on both end of the spectrum don't fully understand.
What is Responsible Parenthood?
Pope Paul VI gave a very clear, concise explanation about w…
Laura Rose Wahlund
7lb 13oz, 20.75 in long
My entire pregnancy with Laura was fraught with anxiety due to our two previous losses. While I felt slightly less anxious with each positive milestone that we passed, I never was really able to settle down. As my pregnancy drew closer to full-term, I began feeling increasing anxiety about labor and delivery. I was worried that my labor would go so fast that we wouldn't make it to the hospital in time, and that we'd have an unplanned home birth or car birth (this fear stemmed from the fact that Peter's birth as very nearly an unplanned car birth). I was worried that I wouldn't be able to handle he the pain of labor, despite having had five unmedicated births. I was worried that something would go wrong during labor -- hemorrhaging, or placental abruption, or a host of other maladies -- and we would lose the baby. And so on.
The difference between 'abortion' and 'miscarriage' is that the first is a medical term and the second is a layman's term.
Technically, this is true. However, "miscarriage" is more often used in medical parlance to refer to a spontaneous abortion, as can be evidenced by the quote in my original post from the National Center for Biotechnology Information: "A miscarriage may also be called a 'spontaneous abortion.' This refers to naturally occurring events, not medical abortions or surgical abortions."
Here is the medical definition as doctors use the term from emedicinehealth.com "Abortion: In medicine, an abortion is the premature exit of the products of conception (the fetus, fetal membran…