"Vomitorium." I like that word.
You misunderstood my comment. First of all, of course NFP is not "doing everything possible" to avoid pregnancy. I meant that NFP is doing everything possible to avoid pregnancy while still obeying the letter of the law in Catholic teaching. In my opinion, it is legalistic. You are technically obeying the
I think it was Malcolm Muggeridge who used the term vomitorium in the context of contraception. He was a brilliant writer from England who converted to the Church back in the 1960's I think and he said that Humane Vitae was not a reason to avoid the Church, but rather evidence that the Church was correct. The ancient Romans had exhausted coming up with anything new regarding sex and had moved on to indulging with food, and to avoid weight gain they would literally visit the vomitorium after dinner to thwart the natural outcome of eating. That was what the Romans called it. His book, A Third Testament, is worth reading.
Agreed that legalism is a pitfall, but it seems that that is why we have a magisterium to clarify such points. And on this topic the magisterium has spoken, and took a lot of heat for it. Counseling couples to carefully and honestly evaluate if they should or should not become pregnant is a good thing, and sure, NFP should not be used to prevent pregnancies for convenience. But the magesterium has clarified that there are appropriate uses for it. If a person wants to go beyond that to be doubly sure, then good for them, but again, I would be very careful about making it out to be the standard for everyone.
I think that some people take their theology from Monty Python's "every sperm is sacred" sketch, which is not what the Church teaches. And saying the the only purpose of martial relations is procreation goes against what St. Paul wrote. A hallmark of the Church is not the protestant either-or binary mentality, but and-also. There is a primary aim, and a secondary one as well. Many theologians believe that marriages are only consummated when non-contraceptive intercourse is engaged in, and no one argues that consummation only occurs when conception actually occurs.
The Church's stance on "ordered towards procreation" has a lot to it. In the 1930's the Anglicans were the first to say that couples could use artificial contraception. Intercourse for them no longer needed to be ordered towards procreation, instead they reduced sexual sin to a list of illicit body part combinations (i.e., forms of sodomy--a concept they developed.) Later on, as more and more married couples engaged in those acts, especially as they were normalized in the 1990's, there seemed to be no rationale against homosexuality since almost everyone was technically engaged in sodomy in one form or another. And an argument was that if it is OK for infertile hertosexuals to have sex, why can not two homosexuals if acts of sodomy were not longer an issue? Because one is ordered towards procreation and the other is not. If protestants had stuck to "ordered towards procreation," the 1930 Anglican Lamberth conference would not have morphed into not only normalizing, but celebrating all things homosexual, gay "marriage", and the whole tranny thing that we had less than a hundred years later.