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Thank you for your wonderful repies on this thread. You’ve managed to explain what I was trying to say with respects to contraception better than I did. One thing, though. I don’t [i:2ns21746]believe[/i:2ns21746] that I have been misled by the RC position on contraception at all, though perhaps it came across that way.

I don’t doubt that contraception is less than the ideal but I do not believe that it is a ‘mortal sin’ as the RCs would suggest, provided it is not abortifacient. Believe me, I have agonised over this issue and I believe that I can defend my view using the Patristic references to ‘contraception’ as abortion that you mentioned, the fact that it is a purely moral and not dogmatic issue (thanks for the reply to UD on the Church being about personal salvation not moral ssues), and the fact that using a barrier contraceptive is [b:2ns21746][i:2ns21746]precisely the same in intent[/i:2ns21746][/b:2ns21746] as using the rhythm method. In the end I will have to answer to God and I can only entrust myself to His mercy, but I’d rather risk my own personal salvation than inflict suffering on others by having more children than we can support. Does that make me bad? I hope not, and I doubt that most Orthodox would say it did. I’m not so sure about the RCs, though.