Premarital Sex is a Mortal Sin

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Couple holding handsWe live in times in which many call good or “no big deal” what God calls sinful. This is especially true in the area of sexuality, where whole sectors of our society not only tolerate but even celebrate sexual practices that the Scriptures call gravely sinful, and which will lead to Hell if not repented of. Acts of fornication (pre-marital sex) and homosexual acts cannot be considered acceptable by any Catholic or by any person who sincerely accepts the Scripture as the Word of God. And even for those who do not share our faith, acts of fornication and homosexual acts can be plainly seen to cause great harm in the manner in which they spread serious disease, harm marriage and family, lead to abortion, and for the children who do survive abortion, subject them to having single mothers, absent fathers, and a lack of the best environment which they are due.

I want to focus today on the terrible and mortal sin of fornication and present the clear biblical teaching against it. Tomorrow I will do the same regarding homosexual acts. Sadly, many Catholics say their pulpits and classrooms are silent about these issues. The hope in this post today is to present a resounding, biblical trumpet call to purity which leaves no ambiguity as to the sinfulness of sex before marriage. Scripture is clear: fornicators will not inherit the Kingdom of God. That is to say, fornication is a mortal sin and those who do not repent of it will go to Hell.

The usual conditions for mortal sin apply (grave matter (which fornication is), sufficient reflection, and full consent of the will). However, we ought not lightly conclude that these conditions are seldom met. I have met with many couples preparing for marriage who are sexually active and I have never found them to be surprised that I rebuke them for this. They know it is wrong. The voice of God stills echoes in their consciences. And as for consent of the will, it can be admitted that some fall occasionally in a weak moment. But consistent fornicating, with no measures taken to prevent it, is not “weakness”; it is sinful neglect of prudence and common sense.

We are in a sinfully confused cultural setting in which many either celebrate or make little effort to avoid what God calls a very serious sin. The Church cannot lack clarity and pulpits and classrooms have often been silent. Such silence has led to parents themselves being silent. And silence has been taken for approval.

But fornication cannot be approved of. It is sinful and may well exclude many unrepentant sinners from Heaven. Our charity for souls must compel our clarity about the grave sinfulness of premarital sex and cohabitation.

Let us turn our attention to the biblical text.

The following quotes from the New Testament are passages that clearly condemn fornication and other unclean or impure actions. Again, fornication is the most common biblical word for premarital sex. The gravity and clarity of such condemnations are helpful in the sense that they help us to take such matters seriously and steer clear of them. However, the condemnations should not be seen in isolation from God’s mercy, as He never fails to forgive those who come to Him with a humble and contrite heart. God hates sin but He loves sinners and is full of mercy and compassion for them. But this mercy must be accessed through repentance.

With this in mind, read the following passages from the New Testament, which condemn fornication and other forms of sexual impurity:

THAT THERE IS A PRESCRIPTION TO GENERAL SEXUAL PURITY – Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or crude joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No fornicator, no impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with worthless arguments. These are sins that bring God’s wrath down upon the disobedient; therefore, have nothing to do with them (Ephesians 5:3-7).

THAT UNREPENTANT FORNICATORS ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE KINGDOM – 1. The one who sat on the throne said to me, “See I make all things new!” Then he said, “Write these matters down for the words are trustworthy and true!” He went on to say: “These words are already fulfilled! I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. To anyone who thirsts I will give to drink without cost from the spring of life giving water. He who wins the victory shall inherit these gifts and he shall be my son. As for the cowards and traitors to the faith, the depraved and murderers, the fornicators and sorcerers, the idol-worshipers and deceivers of every sort – their lot is the fiery pool of burning sulphur, the second death!” (Revelation 21:5-8)

2. Happy are they who wash their robes so as to have free access to the tree of life and enter the city through its gates! Outside are the dogs and sorcerers, the fornicators and murderers, the idol-worshipers and all who love falsehood. It is I Jesus who have sent my angel to give you this testimony about the Churches (Rev. 22:14-16).

3. No fornicator, no impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph 5:5).

4. I warn you, as I have warned you before: those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God!  (Gal 5:21)

THAT SINS OF THE FLESH CRUSH THE SPIRIT WITHIN US – My point is that you should live in accord with the Spirit and you will not yield to the cravings of the flesh. The Flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh; the two are directly opposed. This is why you do not do what your will intends. If you are guided by the spirit you are not under the law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, bickering jealousy, outbursts of rage, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I have warned you before: those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God! (Galatians 5:16-21)

THAT EVEN OUR THOUGHT LIFE IS SUMMONED TO PURITY – 1. You have heard the commandment “You shall not commit adultery.” What I say you to is, Anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his thoughts. If your right eye is your trouble, gouge it out and throw it away! Better to lose part of your body than to have it all cast into Gehenna. Again, if your right hand is your trouble, cut it off and throw it away! Better to lose part of your body than to have it all cast into Gehenna (Matthew 5:27-30).

2.From the mind stem evil designs – murder, adulterous conduct, fornication, stealing, false witness, blasphemy. These are the things that make a man impure (Matt. 15:19-20).

3. Wicked designs come from the deep recesses of the heart: acts of fornication, theft, murder, adulterous conduct, greed, maliciousness, deceit, sensuality, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, an obtuse spirit. All these evils come from within and render a man impure (Mark 7:21).

THAT SEXUAL IMPURITY IS A FORM OF WORLDLINESS AND IDOLATRY – Put to death whatever in your nature is rooted in earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desires and that lust which is idolatry. These are sins which provoke God’s wrath (Colossians 3:5-6).

THAT MY BODY IS NOT MY OWN TO DO WITH MERELY AS I PLEASE – Can you not realize that the unholy will not fall heir to the Kingdom of God? Do not deceive yourselves: no fornicators, idolaters, or adulterers, no sodomites, thieves, misers, or drunkards, no slanderers or robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you have been washed, consecrated, justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. Do you not see that your bodies are members of Christ? Would you have me take Christ’s members and make them members of a prostitute? God forbid! Can you not see that the man who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? Scripture says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun lewd conduct. Every other sin a man commits is outside of his body, but the fornicator sins against his own body. You must know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is within – the Spirit you have received from God. You are not your own. You have been purchased at a price. So glorify God in your body (I Cor. 6:9-11, 15-20).

THAT THE CALL TO CHRISTIAN PURITY IS NOT MERELY A HUMAN OPINION; IT IS GOD’S DECLARED TRUTH. FURTHER, SEXUAL SIN IS A FORM OF INJUSTICE – Now my brothers, we beg and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, even as you learned from us how to conduct yourselves in a way pleasing to God – which you are indeed doing – so you must learn to make still greater progress. You know the instructions we gave you in the Lord Jesus. It is God’s will that you grow in holiness: that you abstain from sexual immorality, each of you guarding his member in sanctity and honor, not in passionate desire as do the Gentiles who know not God; and that each must refrain from overreaching or cheating his brother in the matter at hand; for the Lord is the avenger of all such things, as we once indicated to you by our testimony. God has not called us to sexual immorality but to holiness; hence whoever rejects these instructions rejects, not man, but God who sends the Holy Spirit upon you (I Thess. 4:1-8).

THAT FORNICATION AND OTHER SEXUAL SINS ARE NUMBERED AMONG THE MORE SERIOUS SINS We know that the Law is good, provided one uses it in the way law is supposed to be used — that is, with the understanding that it is aimed, not at good men but at the lawless and unruly, the irreligious and the sinful, the wicked and the godless, men who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, fornicators, sexual perverts, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and those who in other ways flout the sound teaching that pertains to the glorious gospel of God — blessed be he — with which I have been entrusted (I Timothy 1:8-11).

THAT FORNICATION AND ADULTERY DISHONOR MARRIAGE – Let Marriage be honored in every way and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge fornicators and adulterers (Heb 13:4).

Therefore do not be deceived; fornication is a serious sin. It is a mortal sin. It is a sin that excludes one who does not repent of it from Heaven. It offends God, harms children and the family, spreads disease, encourages abortion, is an injustice against children and society, dishonors marriage, and merits strong punishment, as God’s Word declares.

Do not despair of God’s mercy, but do repent. Mercy is accessed only by repentance.  Little more needs to be said. It is wrong—seriously wrong—to fornicate. Repent at once and without delay.

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33 Responses to Premarital Sex is a Mortal Sin

  1. Feminine But Not Feminist says:

    Re-blogged this!

    Like

  2. toadspittle says:

    Heaven is clearly going to be very sparsely populated indeed, as I believe Augustine tells us.
    Toad who certainly will not be there – will at least have plenty of congenial company amid the everlasting and infinite torments.

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  3. It is SO good to read what Monsignor Pope has to say on this topic. He expresses what many of us learned in Catechism class as we were growing up. THIS is authentic Church teaching. It is not, thank God, the claptrap you can find in what Michael Voris calls “the Church of Nice.”

    And it is only this authentic teaching that we will be left with in the future, either when people return to the truth or when they are FORCED to return after one or more of the catastrophes – military, economic, climate – that many thoughtful individuals believe lie in the not too distant future.

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  4. Tom Fisher says:

    The thing is, Msgr Pope (as usual), preaches in such a way that only those who already vehemently agree with him will pay any attention. What’s really needed is preaching that can communicate the truth to those who aren’t nodding along vigorously as they read CP&S. I doubt many souls have been saved by preaching to the choir.

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  5. mmvc says:

    How can we know who reads Msgr Pope’s posts and who is open to the Truths he communicates so well? By re-posting his teachings here or linking to them from various other sites they are more likely to reach and enlighten many souls who are kept in the dark because they never hear them spoken from the pulpit.

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  6. GC says:

    . . . preaching to the choir.

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  7. GC says:

    . . . preaching to the choir. Depends which choir and I suspect Monsignor Pope may be preaching to the coming Synod of the Family and is quite familiar with the lay-out.

    From something from across the Tasman from you, Tom, and astonishingly called the Catholic View.

    Many practising Catholics do not agree with the official opinions of the Pope on moral rules associated with marriage and sexuality.

    The disagreement list is long:

    No living together before marriage;
    No sexual activity except between a man and a woman officially married in the Church;
    No contraception;
    No masturbation;
    No civil marriages or partnerships;
    No re-marriage after divorce;
    No sexual activity by homosexuals;
    No homosexual partnerships, let alone marriage;
    No IVF;
    No refusal of sex to a reasonable request from a marriage partner;

    Many Catholics would say that they used to believe everything on the list was wrong; but not now. The times have changed. Implicit in this is the judgement that what is right and wrong is determined not by the Church but by the surrounding culture. That’s why it changes.

    It’s just the “culture” apparently.

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  8. kathleen says:

    GC,

    None of the “views” expressed in this article you link to are shared by the thousands of traditional Catholics who abide by the Church’s teachings.

    As soon as I looked into Catholic View all my alarm bells went off. That link is run by a notoriously liberal priest, Fr. Eric Hodgens. He is pally with Hans Kung (that says it all) and quotes from the widely discredited Tablet (nicknamed ‘the Bitter Pill’ by Fr. Z.) I would take anything he says as more than dubious!

    For example, look at this:

    “A retired Australian priest has publicly blasted the Catholic teaching on sexuality, female ordination and clerical celibacy, and what he called the Church’s “salacious preoccupation with sexual mores”.

    Fr. Eric Hodgens, a Melbourne priest ordained in 1960 who served for seven years as the diocese’s Director of Pastoral Formation for Priests, wrote in the April edition of The Swag, the quarterly magazine of the National Council of Priests of Australia that “a large section” of the priesthood is “at odds” with the Church’s “displacement of the main game of spreading a message of life, hope, compassion and forgiveness by overstressing moral issues.”

    In response, in the same edition of The Swag, however, the cardinal archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, has pointed out that it is precisely the generation of the swinging ‘60s, and the ascendancy of their liberal agenda that has damaged the Church and repelled the young.”

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-pell-rips-flawed-rant-of-swinging-60s-era-priest-against-moral-te

    P.S. I believe Fr. Hodgens should be obliged to change the name Catholic View to Dissenting Catholic View. That would be a more accurate title to this treacherous site.

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  9. GC says:

    Yes, kathleen, it was a response to Tom’s comment about “preaching to the choir”. I’m afraid many in the choir are cacophanously out of tune.

    kathleen, Eric is only well into his eighties.

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  10. kathleen says:

    Yup – if Msgr. Pope’s valiant defense of the Church’s timeless teachings of sexual morality reaches just some of those in Hodgens’ camp, all will not have been in vain. 🙂

    I fear that this true Catholic knight for Truth, Msgr. Pope, is putting himself into the hostile limelight of some of those in the Church of a more, er, ‘Catholic lite’ leaning! He has already had one of his previous homilies removed from the Washington Diocese website, as you know.
    Look at what has just been announced for the wonderful Card. Raymond Burke. Ominous to say the least!

    Please let’s all pray that Our Lord will send the Church many more faithful Cardinals, bishops and priests of the mettle of Card. Burke and Msgr. Pope.

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  11. GC says:

    kathleen, it seems our Lord was just a slave to His culture at the time when he discouraged adultery etc and recommended purity, just as we are now slaves to our culture when very friendly gels make decidedly rattling noises from the abdominal region when going for “a great work-out” at the gym. At least, I think that is Eric’s gist.

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  12. toadspittle says:

    “A retired Australian priest has publicly blasted the Catholic teaching on sexuality, female ordination and clerical celibacy, and what he called the Church’s “salacious preoccupation with sexual mores”.
    Neatly put, I think. He’ll be in big trouble.

    “… just as we are now slaves to our culture when very friendly gels make decidedly rattling noises from the abdominal region when going for “a great work-out” at the gym. “
    You interest me strangely, Kathleen. In my younger days, I spent a good deal of time in a gym with very friendly gels, and never once heard such noises.
    You have. What do you make of it?
    Where do they actually come from?
    Is it necessary to put one’s ear against the “abdomen” to hear them?

    “…it seems our Lord was just a slave to His culture..”
    Come, GC – Let’s give Jesus a bit more credit than that!

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  13. toadspittle says:

    “..kathleen, Eric is only well into his eighties.”

    …Doddering old imbecile.

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  14. toadspittle says:

    GC: None of the “views” expressed in this article you link to are shared by the thousands of traditional Catholics who abide by the Church’s teachings.
    Down to thousands, now, are we?
    Used to be millions of ’em.

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  15. toadspittle says:

    I might just (well no, I wouldn’t, really) be prepared to admit that a handful of people who are hideously cruel to their fellow men, and murder them in vast numbers, over differences of opinion, like Stalin and Hitler did – might, just might – deserve to be tormented in Hell for all eternity – illogical as that might be from the point of view of “fairness.”.
    But I do not believe that the very same thing should happen to someone who performs acts of love with their partner, even if he (or she) is not apparently considered “legal” in God’s eyes.
    And I believe that to even think this might happen is insanity.
    And I doubt if I’m alone in this view, even on CP&S.

    In fact I believe that any god who would do, or permit, such an eventuality would be wicked.
    …And I don’t believe God is wicked.

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  16. GC says:

    Todes, you must give lessons in how to form God in one’s own image. Are dogs absolutely essential to the process? I prefer hamsters.

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  17. Brother Burrito says:

    Toad,

    Good is as good does. We must never forget that.

    Even a teenager can understand the basic goodness of Catholic moral teaching, which, ideal as it is, can only be aspired to by we the sinful and imperfect. This aspiring is the thing that saves us, by encouraging repentance, which God loves most in us.

    Moral failure, (sin) always produces pain in the soul, if not immediately. That pain is the warning that something is seriously not right, and needs attention and correction.

    How would you judge a doctor who told you that that painful bleeding lump on/in your body was nothing to worry about, was completely normal, and should be accommodated to, in the interest of continuing ease of life, and solidarity with your similarly afflicted neighbours and friends?

    Misdiagnosis kills. So does calling evil good.

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  18. toadspittle says:

    Don’t get me wrong, people. Not only am I not calling evil good – I’m in full agreement with Msngnrnr. Pope – that if everyone abstained from all sex of any description, not only outside marriage but also inside it – the world would instantly be a far less unpleasant place.
    It’s all a bit “sordid” at the best of times, isn’t it? GBS hated it.
    Moreover, the gratifying, and enormous, increase in available time produced could be gainfully employed by sitting alone, in an unfurnished room on a hard uncomfortable chair – and reciting the rosary for several hours each day for the sake of souls like Toad.

    “Todes, you must give lessons in how to form God in one’s own image.”
    We don’t need lessons for that, GC. An honest God is the noblest work of man. And He comes untaught – natural, like.
    Because, if dogs do have a God, He looks like a dog, not a man. What breed of dog God will resemble depends on which particular dog has God in mind.
    To pugs, God looks like a pug.
    To Northern Europeans God (Christ, that is) looks like a Northern European – not a Middle Eastern Jew.
    To black people, God is black.
    To your hamsters, God is a hamster. And, in The Life to Come, each hamster will have a miraculous wheel of his, (or her,) very own – but only if they have been good.
    …Quite right, too.

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  19. kathleen says:

    Toad… a few points to clear up some of your erroneous ideas:

    Btw, it was not me who mentioned the “stomach rattles” – it was GC. 😉

    “Thousands” was a rhetorical way of referring to a very large number. There may well be millions of traditional Catholics spread all over the globe for all we know, i.e. Catholics faithful to Church teaching (yes, on Catholic moral teachings too) and all the ancient beautiful traditions in liturgy, devotions, practices etc. In fact such a thing is very likely, but as so many of these traditional Catholics hold a low profile, not stridently and publicly opposing Church’s teachings, there’s no way of knowing their real numbers.

    As GC and BB have already pointed out – you are trying to create a ‘god’ in your own image and likeness.
    Telling God what is right and wrong, how some sins cannot possibly be deserving of Hell, reminds me of Our Blessed Lord’s words to Peter when, thinking he knew best, he tried to dissuade Jesus from going up to Calvary to be crucified: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matt 16:23)
    Jesus loved Peter a lot (as He surely loves you too); He had just placed the ‘keys of the kingdom’ in his hands, but He did not mince His words when rebuking Peter for thinking he knew better than God.

    The Church is not anti-sex! Quite the opposite in fact, for sex together with love is all part of God’s Divine Plan for the growth and continuation of Mankind in this ‘vale of soul-making’ (Keats) to fulfill God’s first commandment to Adam and Eve to increase and multiply. The Church sees the enormous value and beauty of sex, how it is something so great and special only marriage between one man and one woman can contain it. When it is misused, debased, trivialised, etc. so many other sins (e.g. lust, selfishness, adultery…) will automatically follow.

    No one pretends it is easy to follow the lofty virtue of Chastity/Purity without ever tripping up. Our physiological make up and our natural attraction for the opposite sex, together with our inherited concupiscence, presents challenges to the holiest of men. Keeping our eyes focused on Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, and frequenting the Sacraments where we receive sanctifying grace, we shall be given all the help we need to reign in our unruly passions and grow in love for Holy Purity.

    This, believe it or not, is where true joy lies!

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  20. toadspittle says:

    Several points:
    1: Sorry about the abdomens, Kathleen. Very sloppy of me.
    2: Are you suggesting that adultery is as deserving of eternal damnation as genocide?

    “As GC and BB have already pointed out – you are trying to create a ‘god’ in your own image and likeness.”
    Well, I’m not. Why would I want to “create” a “god,” anyway?
    Aren’t there enough of them around already?* I have my own opinions about God, just as you do, only different ones. I arrived at mine by examining the evidence and thinking about it – just as you did. So my image of Him can, and has, changed.

    * “Man cannot make a worm – yet he makes gods by the dozen,” (Montaigne.)

    Here are three thicko questions that struck Toad while dogwalking earlier:
    1: If a Catholic man is married to a non-Catholic woman, whom he knows uses contraception, what should he do? Abstain?
    2: If a Catholic woman marries a non-Catholic man who then gets a vasectomy, what should she do? Abstain?
    3: If the sole purpose of sex is to make babies, in what way isn’t the Rhythm Method total hypocrisy?

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  21. toadspittle says:

    “Telling God what is right and wrong, how some sins cannot possibly be deserving of Hell, “
    Fie, Kathleen! I’m not telling God anything.
    Just expressing my personal opinion to fellow-humans. That’s all.

    Like

  22. toadspittle says:

    “How would you judge a doctor who told you that that painful bleeding lump on/in your body was nothing to worry about, was completely normal, and should be accommodated to, in the interest of continuing ease of life, and solidarity with your similarly afflicted neighbours and friends?”

    I see you have been assiduously reading your GKC, Burro. Well done!
    You have employed one of Gil’s standard wheezes. He (or you, in this case) sets up a doctor who says something so preposterous that no doctor ever has – or ever will – say it, and then asks what we would think of such a fellow.
    This is The Straw Man par excellence!

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  23. mkenny114 says:

    Just one small point here Toad – I don’t think this is actually an example of the Straw Man fallacy at all. Strictly speaking, a straw man is the creation of an idea or example which is a misrepresentation of what the opponent stands for. What you are criticising is that the analogy provided by Kathleen is an example of something that would never happen, which is not the same thing.

    In fact, the analogy Kathleen has used does not misrepresent your position at all, as it gives an example of someone in authority knowing that a person or people are continuing in a way of life which is bad for them, and not telling them that there is any problem, or that, if the problem is identified, that it doesn’t need correcting, and this is exactly the position that you would have God take with respect to fornication.

    You can still take issue with the fact that a doctor wouldn’t do such a thing in real life (although I’m not sure even this is true, given that in matters of sexual health – for example – people are not only discouraged from activities that endanger it, but are encouraged to ‘explore’ these activities even more), but an analogy doesn’t need to correspond to real life in order to be illustrative of a general point – it just has to carry enough imaginative power to do so. But, aside from all this, I don’t think accusations of strawman-ism are valid.

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  24. toadspittle says:

    You have done ‘xacly what I did, Michael – it was actually Burron who put up what I described as The Straw Man.
    What is the matter with us all? God only knows.
    Nevertheless, I stand by my original assessment. Very much in the vein of Big Fat Gil.
    Ridiculous analogy, whatever we choose to call it, because nobody ever mentioned sexual health – not even Burro’s utterly mad quack, who raves on about, ‘painful bleeding lumps,’ for God’s sake.
    Although – as always – I might be entirely wrong. And very likely am.

    …However, answers to my three questions, posed at 11.21 am, would be highly appreciated.

    (When Catholics do it, it’s ‘fornication.’ When the rest of us do it, it’s ‘making love.’
    Well, why not?)

    Very enjoyable post, this!

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  25. kathleen says:

    Toad, I shall try to answer your three questions asked at 11:21am to the best of my knowledge. I should point out though that your numbers one and two are problems that really ought to have been discussed and worked out by the husband and wife together before the marriage.

    1: “If a Catholic man is married to a non-Catholic woman, whom he knows uses contraception, what should he do? Abstain?”
    No, I don’t think so. If he is legally and sacramentally married to his non-Catholic wife he need not abstain from sexual relations with her, for the unitive aspect to marital intercourse is also important. However, he should most certainly try to persuade her not to continue contracepting and clearly explain the reasons why. Contraceptives block the procreative aspect of their love-making and he should let her know how this is not only hurtful and offensive to his manhood, but also sinful.

    2: “If a Catholic woman marries a non-Catholic man who then gets a vasectomy, what should she do? Abstain?”
    That is a tragedy, as I believe there is little chance of successfully reversing this operation. If nothing can be done about it, and the marriage is a happy one otherwise, a life of abstinence could possibly harm the unitive aspect of their relationship by making the husband resentful. He should certainly be informed that what he has done is wrong and why this act has prevented the God-given and wonderful life-bearing possibilities for his wife.
    However you had better check with a priest on that one though – just to make sure! 😉

    3: “If the sole purpose of sex is to make babies, in what way isn’t the Rhythm Method total hypocrisy?”
    To “make babies” is a rather crude way of putting it, but pro-creation is a natural and wonderful result of the gift of sex given to a man and woman in marriage. Natural Family Planning (more reliable than the Rhythm Method) is abstaining from love-making during a woman’s fertile period in her cycle. This natural method, used by Catholics who may wish to space out the time between their children, is pretty reliable but in not actually blocking off artificially the possibility of a pregnancy (if you get my meaning) it still leaves the couple open to the possibility of life, should God choose to send the couple the blessing of another child at this time.

    As a little anecdote: I know someone, a faithful Catholic woman, who after having four children in six years felt her family was complete and went on to use NFP. About five years after this she unexpectedly fell pregnant again, and produced a healthy baby boy nine months later. Twenty something years later this young man is now studying to become a priest – a tremendous joy for the whole family, and of course for the whole Church. 🙂

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  26. mkenny114 says:

    Yes, so I have! That is odd, I could have sworn that… well, it does seem something is in the water today yes 🙂

    Nevertheless, I still don’t see what is the problem with the analogy (I presume that you accept the fact that this is not a Straw Man, let alone one that is ‘par excellence’) – as I said earlier, as long as the example given is something that is possible to imagine, and helps to illustrate the point being made, it doesn’t matter whether it is a common everyday occurrence or not. In this particular instance, the point being made is, I think, quite clear.

    I’ll have a quick go at your three questions, though am open to correction on any answers I give:

    1. In this case, I don’t think it is a sin for the Catholic husband to have ‘relations’ with his wife, even though she is using contraception. The husband certainly cannot force his wife to stop contracepting, and as far as I know (and again, I’m open to correction here) the one doing the contraception is the one committing the sin, and the husband would be in the position of someone whose wife is naturally infertile. However, I think the bigger problem here is that, as a Catholic man, he should be trying to a.) help his wife to become a Catholic, and b.) help her to understand the Church’s teaching on contraception and sexual union.

    2. With vasectomies there is definitely no problem – if someone has had one, they are under no obligation to reverse the operation. So definitely no abstinence required there.

    3. Procreation is not the SOLE purpose of sex, though it is the primary one. What is required is that WHEN couples do have sex, that they remain open to life. There is nothing hypocritical about choosing to limit the times one does this, or regulating those times. I.e.; it is fine to plan a family according to these methods; what is not fine is having sex with one’s spouse and definitively closing oneself off to the possibility of life, as it is a holding back of the whole person and so undermines the unitive aspect of the sexual act, as well as the procreative.

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  27. kathleen says:

    Amazing! Michael and I (thousands of miles apart geographically) have replied to Toad at almost exactly the same moment. 😆

    Thanks for clarifying my rather clumsy response of No.2. Michael. Sounds much better than mine. 🙂

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  28. mkenny114 says:

    Sorry Kathleen, must have pressed ‘post comment’ at almost exactly the same time as you! Thankfully I think both sets of answers are actually fairly complementary, though yours give a much fuller explanation. Also, I like the anecdote about your friend – wonderful story 🙂

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  29. mkenny114 says:

    Haha – done it again! No, nothing clumsy about your reply to Number 2 – in fact I think it adds to what I said, insofar as explaining to the husband could help him to see things in a different light and have the operation reversed.

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  30. kathleen says:

    Michael – you are the perfect gentleman! Muaw 🙂

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  31. mkenny114 says:

    Haha – thank you 🙂

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  32. toadspittle says:

    Well, I thank you both very much for your answers.
    Very informative. You are both credits to Catholicism, and your reward will not be on this earth.

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  33. mkenny114 says:

    Thank you Toad 🙂

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