Only providentialists worry about other Catholics having a ‘contraceptive mentality’. Providentialists don’t avoid pregnancy as a rule. Other Catholics, whether they are avoiding pregnancy or not, do so not as a rule but as a prudential judgement.
For the providentialist, contraception is evil because it involves planning and control over procreation and family, and one should apparently never have any control or do any planning when it comes to these matters. Now Catholics that use NFP are also using it to have some control over their fertility. And they are also ‘guilty’ of planning to avoid or to get pregnant.
Both the NFP user and the contraception user control something having to do with their fertility and procreation. For the providentialist, therefore, they both have the contraceptive mentality.
As often happens with Catholic progressives and traditionalists, they tend to see things the same way. In this case, they both seem to agree that ‘control’ is what all the fuss is about with the contraception issue in the Church. Progressives say ‘if NFP is okay then why not also contraception?’ The traditionalists say ‘if contraception is wrong, then why not also NFP?’ Both are seeing NFP and contraception as the same thing: a way of controlling fertility.
It’s no wonder that the providentialist can barely admit the existence of ‘serious reasons’ for using NFP. If NFP is bad because of it’s ‘control’, you can’t ever not use it with a contraceptive mentality, because it would not serve any purpose if this control were not possible. This puts alot of pressure on the providentialists, on pain of cognitive dissonance, to deny virtually all circumstances when NFP could be used.
This is why the providentialists are always saying, as an objection to NFP, “God never gives you more than you can handle”. If that were literally true, then yeah, NFP is a great cop out. But the Church evidently seems to think that Catholics can have more than they can handle, and so gives them the option to use NFP to help them handle it (it never seems to occur to the providentialist that NFP could be one of the reasons that God never gives us more than we can handle).
That’s what all this business about the ‘contraceptive mentality’ is about. It’s essentially an objection to the fact that most Catholics actually trying to live the Church’s teaching about sexuality and marriage, are supposedly not trusting God’s providence enough.
But this is a very dim view of God’s providence. One that is at odds with the light of reason that is God’s gift to men. Why couldn’t providence be enacted through men’s wisdom and prudence? Is God’s providence really never fulfilled through someone’s using NFP, but only through those that never use NFP?
On the contrary, this superficial view of providence masks a rejection of God’s will as evidenced by man’s very nature as a rational creature made to reason and love. Catholics who use NFP do so because they are being faithful to their duty to serve their spouses and their families.