It is scandalous how poorly and inaccurately NFP is promoted, taught and practiced within the Church today. NFP is a method of birth control permitted by the Church in response to exceptional and unfortunate circumstances in a family's life. The ideal response to such circumstances should be chaste abstinence. All other methods, including NFP, have some risk of failure. It could even be judged irresponsible to risk the health of one's spouse, or the welfare of one's family, by playing "Russian Roulette" with a woman's fertility cycles rather than embracing chaste abstinence.
Conjugal relations with the deliberate intention to avoid conception is permitted, not recommended as a virtuous practice. NFP is an approved exemption from the ordinary obligations of married life. Like missing Mass on Sunday, it is permitted for just reasons, but not for just any reason.
We highly recommend the following resources for any discussion of NFP within Catholic teaching:
Michael Voris, "The Truth About Natural Family Planning," interview with Christopher Gawley, author of "Heroic Parenthood," and Dr. Mike Manhart of the Couple to Couple League. Mic'd Up, August 28, 2013.
Michael Voris, "The Scandal of NFP" The Vortex, September 5, 2013
Fr. John Fisher, Dr. Jay Boyd, Christopher Gawley discuss NFP on Blog Talk Radio program Forward Boldly, October 26, 2013
Anonymous Priest, "The Sanctity of Marriage: The Duty of Motherhood Versus the Abuses of NFP," a sermon preached February 12, 2012, transcribed here and available as audio here.
Dr. Jay Boyd, Natural Family Planning: Trojan Horse in the Catholic Bedroom? (also Kindle format), “Why Are We Pushing NFP,” and “Recovering from NFP”
Christopher Gawley, "Heroic Parenthood"
Kevin Kukla, “NFP: NOT a Way of Life, But a Last Resort” and “Call Me Crazy, As I Make A Case for Providentialism” and “Should NFP Be Required for Every Married Couple? Certainly Not!”
Michael Malone, "The Case Concerning Catholic Contraception" (also Kindle format)
Carey J. Winters, "Natural Family Planning: 'Catholic Contraception'?"