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Coptic Orthodox Church
What methods of Birth Control does the Coptic Orthodox Church allow/not allow?
Is the pill acceptable?
Which pill? Some are anti-fertilization pills, some are abortifacient pills.
Technically, the Coptic Church forbids contraception that destroys the fertilized egg (abortifacients). Contraception that prevents fertilization is allowed. Practically, this is an individual matter between the person and their father of confession.
How can the Church's stance on abortion be
left as a pastoral matter at the discretion individual priests? We should not have this divorce between "practical" pastoral care and "technical" theology.
Sorry for the confusion. Let me clarify. No abortifacients are ever allowed. But anti-fertilizations devices are allowed. When I said it is an individual matter, I meant the decision to use contraceptives at all is up to the person under the pastoral advise of the priest.
edited January 2016
Birth control is allowed. In general terms, it's allowed to prevent a pregnancy, not kill a fetus. The Priest is a supportive part of the decision, but does not decide for the person. It is mainly
up to the woman --if she is married, husband and wife -- and I would suggest most notably as a nurse, her physician.
Here is a book from Pope Shenouda III entitled,
Homosexuality and the Ordination of Women
It is answered in
Question 8 on page 32.
The question of contraception is a divisive issue within the Orthodox Church. Whilst the Coptic Church does allow birth Control, other orthodox bishops in the Eastern Orthodox Church have spoken out against it. I myself am flat out against it, and hope the bishops change their decision on the matter. keep in mind though, whilst I am completely against contraception I wouldnt go the latin church route of excommunicating those who do.
The big bother for me isnt that condoms are allowed, but rather that the pill is. I have first hand seen the damage the pill does to a womans hormones and emotions, and there is no way in hell I believe it is appropriate to use it. I would speak to your spiritual director about this, and if you do decide to use contraception, only use condoms rather then chemical contraceptions.
edited February 2016
As I appreciate the need for a spiritual guide in these matters, as a Deacon in our church, and finally as a married man, I would strongly suggest any health-related issues be directed towards a healthcare professional. I also work in the healthcare profession, and it is not best to speak to a Priest about what a medication does to your body and what you should use to prevent pregnancy.
Speak to the Priest about why you would not like to have children, and hopefully it should only be when you're married. Speak to your Priest about how sex is God's gift to the love between a husband and wife. And speak to a Priest if you are having trouble, or have made a mistake in these matters.
There are also hormonal issues with women that are treated with certain medications that can prevent pregnancy. I can tell you are man, and we as men who are not doctors in this specialization should not be making any decisions for women regarding what is best for them based on sweeping statements. And I am hopeful that none of our Bishops would say such an ignorant and uneducated statement regarding a person's personal health. Especially since so many have worked in pharmaceuticals and medical care, even our current Pope.
Please pray for me. Forgive my hard words.
I know. I am just sharing my thoughts on the subject. We must always go to our spiritual directors for guidance