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  #1  
Old Jul 27, '11, 8:51 pm
Windfish Windfish is offline
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Default French kissing

I have a question on french kissing. Tim Staples received a question on it yesterday, and it prompted some thought.

The Church has not issued any teaching on the sinfulness (or lack thereof) on french kissing. It has, however, taught that one should avoid near occasions of sin. A couple in a relationship should avoid actions or states of affairs which could lead to fornication. Now, the prudential question is Does french kissing qualify as such an action? And can there be legitimate disagreement among Catholics about that?

My thinking is that a total condemnation on french kissing among non-married couples is simply not warranted for several reasons. For one, the Church has not sought to stipulate a teaching on it, so it falls within the realm of prudential judgment, perhaps according to each individual and each situation. Following that, while I definitely think french kissing can lead to near occasions of sin and probably often does, I don't think that is always the case. There are all kinds of factors both on a local level (e.g., intent of the kiss, intensity of the kiss, duration of the kiss, etc.) and on a global level (e.g., culture and cultural attitudes, etc.) which may mitigate the circumstances.

So, do you think there can be legitimate disagreement among Catholics in this regard?

Last edited by Windfish; Jul 27, '11 at 9:05 pm.
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  #2  
Old Jul 27, '11, 9:07 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

Unless you are French..and are kissing in a moderate chaste way (ie not what we term french kissing).....then such is for the married...(for such is usually geared toward directly arousing the parties..)

http://forums.catholic.com/showpost....72&postcount=4
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  #3  
Old Jul 27, '11, 9:32 pm
Windfish Windfish is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookcat View Post
Unless you are French..and are kissing in a moderate chaste way (ie not what we term french kissing).....then such is for the married...(for such is usually geared toward directly arousing the parties..)

http://forums.catholic.com/showpost....72&postcount=4
From the link:

Quote:
(On inappropriate actions.) Some examples of these would be: prolonged and passionate kissing, impure embracing or petting, and sexual intercourse.
"Prolonged" and "passionate" are important qualifiers that I alluded to in my original post - I placed them under the canopy of "local" factors. Tim Staples also included those qualifiers in his answer. What I am suggesting is that french kissing, or when two tongues make contact, is not always "prolonged" or "passionate" enough to place one near an occasion of fornication. And I think that is easily imaginable. And your link acknowledges that, too:

Quote:
Near Occasions of Sin

Since people are different, different things can be for them near occasions of sin. By near occasion of sin we mean anything that “sets the stage” TO sin.
As you can see, your link acknowledges the "local" and "global" factors that I was referring to in my original post. These factors mitigate whether or not this or that instance of french kissing is a near occasion of sin. So it is not a simplistic, unilateral condemnation.

I think that about settles it, but I really do think there is something to be said about the fact that the Church has not stipulated any teaching at all on the matter, which definitely makes it a matter of prudential judgment and not a simplistic condemnation. We have to determine, through reason, if this or that case of french kissing is appropriate. Of course, that is very legalistic, and to anyone reading this, what is more important is developing an attitude of chastity and purity so that you will instinctively avoid such situations.

Still, as I said, I think there can be legitimate disagreement on this matter.
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  #4  
Old Jul 27, '11, 9:38 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

French kissing is pretty much by nature in the "directly stimulating actions" that you will note in he article from EWTN are never to be done by the unmarried.

It does not have to be "prolonged" or "passionate"...it just has to involve the tongue...

such really is to be left to the married..

Directly stimulating things...are not just near occasions ...they are the very matter for sins against the virtue of chastity.

(though deliberately entering or remaining in near occasions can be sins too)

Many things of the moral life do not receive direct detailed teachings from the Magisterium...the Church teaches the virtue of Chasity etc etc..but moral theology often is left to give certain details...

It would seem to me that such kissing is pretty much by nature in the directly stimulating category.

I can not see such as just a chaste sign of affection for the unmarried...it is directly orientated towards arousing....as a form of foreplay in marriage.
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Last edited by Bookcat; Jul 27, '11 at 9:52 pm.
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  #5  
Old Jul 27, '11, 9:54 pm
Windfish Windfish is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookcat View Post
French kissing is pretty much by nature in the "directly stimulating actions" that you will note in he article from EWTN are never to be done by the unmarried.

It does not have to be "prolonged" or "passionate"...it just has to involve the tongue...

such really is to be left to the married..(who desire to kiss that way as part of their marital relations)
"it just has to involve the tongue"

Where does it say that in the link?

I agree that actions that lead one to a stimulation that is specific for sex are a near occasion of sin, but what those actions are is entirely contingent on a whole range of factors, many of which I have stipulated and others which the article in your link has stipulated. Determining what those actions are is a matter of prudential judgment, and so a unilateral condemnation of simple "tongue-to-tongue" contact is arbitrary and misunderstands that we are in the realm of prudential judgment - if simple tongue-to-tongue contact leads you (I am speaking generically in the second-person) to a stimulation that is specific for sex, than that is a near occasion of sin for you. That informs the prudential judgment you must make. For others, that may not at all lead to such an occasion.
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  #6  
Old Jul 27, '11, 10:46 pm
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Aelred Minor Aelred Minor is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

As someone who simply could never find French kissing enjoyable at all (back in the day when I would engaged in such things) I dare say it's not the mere fact of tongue to tongue contact that is inherently wrong outside of marriage (though I can’t think of any legitimate reasons for it either) but in general engaging in activities, whatever they may be, to stimulate sexual feelings.
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  #7  
Old Jul 27, '11, 11:12 pm
Windfish Windfish is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aelred Minor View Post
As someone who simply could never find French kissing enjoyable at all (back in the day when I would engaged in such things) I dare say it's not the mere fact of tongue to tongue contact that is inherently wrong outside of marriage (though I can’t think of any legitimate reasons for it either) but in general engaging in activities, whatever they may be, to stimulate sexual feelings.
Right, as I said, determining what those activities are is not a matter of Catholic Church teaching, so it is a matter of reason. We want to avoid occasions in which we are lead into stimulation that is specific for sex (I say "specific for sex" because there are all kinds of stimulation), but it is not fair to say that tongue-to-tongue contact always and necessarily leads to such an occasion. I think the EWTN article is understanding of that. I do not think there is any objective basis for totally condemning tongue-kissing unless it can be shown that it always results in an occasion for sin. But as the article says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dating - What's Too Far?
Since people are different, different things can be for them near occasions of sin. By near occasion of sin we mean anything that “sets the stage” TO sin.
http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/dating.htm
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  #8  
Old Jul 28, '11, 4:27 am
DaveBj DaveBj is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aelred Minor View Post
As someone who simply could never find French kissing enjoyable at all (back in the day when I would engaged in such things) I dare say it's not the mere fact of tongue to tongue contact that is inherently wrong outside of marriage (though I can’t think of any legitimate reasons for it either) but in general engaging in activities, whatever they may be, to stimulate sexual feelings.
I'm with you. I've been married for 41 years, and the only person I've ever frenched with has been my wife. I have to say that tongue-dueling and trading spit is NOT a turn-on for me.

That said, it app'ly is a turn-on for some, and therefore I fall on the side of those who say that people who are not married to each other should not be practicing their French on each other.
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  #9  
Old Jul 28, '11, 4:37 am
jnewaz jnewaz is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

Culturally, kissing is sometimes not even sexual at all. However, I know that you're referring to French Kissing as the passionate open-mouthed version.

In my mind, there are only two situations where a kiss has been sinful.

One, was the kiss of betrayal by Judas on the Christ.

The second, is when these kisses are a part of a much larger problem. The issue of opening your gift of sexuality to a person you are not married to, in essence, sharing that gift with someone who it doesn't belong to (assuming it belongs to your spouse, or your future spouse.)

However, I do think that kissing, even when it is sexual, can be a precursor to an eventual full marital relationship. The issue is, how sexual is it? Is it so sexual that it can be considered a gateway to the eventual sin of premarital sex? Or is it a single separate act of affection, a "step" along the way of many "steps" we take before finding ourselves married at the Altar.

I think that we as single Catholics can go out and date, and engage in physical contact such as kissing, even when it is of a sexual nature, so long as two conditions are met:

1. It is dating for the purpose of developing a relationship. I'll kiss my girlfriend if I'm seeking to develop this relationship further, I will continue to kiss her as my fiance, and I'll kiss her again (hopefully) after she's my wife. The kisses after marriage, no matter how "French" are never sinful. The kisses before marriage, are dependent upon the situation. On whether or not these kisses are a part of the process of pure courtship, or a precursor to a selfish misuse of sexuality.

2. The kiss is not "just a kiss" but as I stated, a part of a larger relationship. Wether that is the pre-marital relationship that leads to marriage, or the marital bond itself. "Making out" just for the sexual gratification is a sin. But I think saying that you have to save your kisses for marriage, is taking the idea of chastity a bit too far.

But then again I am a teenager, and maybe I'm a bit biased.
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  #10  
Old Jul 28, '11, 5:52 am
Debora123 Debora123 is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

I think it'd be weird to not kiss someone (other than in the way you would your grandma) until you marry them. Especially if you date that person for years and years before getting married.

Can french kissing be a near occasion of sin? Sure it can. But so can hugging, so can holding hands, and so can even SEEING the person you're in love with. Any of these things can ultimately lead to sin if you let them.

If we're going to start making boundaries based on things being "near occasions of sin," then where would it stop? Would we even know the other person well enough to marry them?

French kissing, in itself, is NOT a sin. And that's all you need to know. If you can't handle french kissing without going farther and actually sinning, don't do it. If you can, go for it.

My husband and I could, and we dated for more than 4 years before we were married. Never to cross the boundary.
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  #11  
Old Jul 28, '11, 6:08 am
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windfish View Post
"it just has to involve the tongue"

Where does it say that in the link?
It does not..the link is only giving a few "examples".

But really ..think about it...it is really is not a sign of affection outside of marriage..it is a fire starter.
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  #12  
Old Jul 28, '11, 6:27 am
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windfish View Post
"

I agree that actions that lead one to a stimulation that is specific for sex are a near occasion of sin, but what those actions are is entirely contingent on a whole range of factors, many of which I have stipulated and others which the article in your link has stipulated. Determining what those actions are is a matter of prudential judgment, and so a unilateral condemnation of simple "tongue-to-tongue" contact is arbitrary and misunderstands that we are in the realm of prudential judgment - if simple tongue-to-tongue contact leads you (I am speaking generically in the second-person) to a stimulation that is specific for sex, than that is a near occasion of sin for you. That informs the prudential judgment you must make. For others, that may not at all lead to such an occasion.
Again I would say that French kissing..which by nature involves the tongue to tongue is in then area of the things to not do...by their very nature...until marriage.

You will note that the article divides into two parts...the first part speaks of things that can never be done by those who are unmarried...for they are direct stimulation.

French kissing would be more in that category I would think..... It by its very nature is not an 'affection' sign for those who are not married...it is rather more in the area of direct stimulation.


Now can it happen that there are some that it does not have its usual effects on? Sure.
Does that mean that it is then a good sign of affection for them? I would not argue such. Despite what our culture tells us in the movies....it really is not such for those who are unmarried. I mean why are tongues meeting?? (for the unmarried). The kiss has a meaning in human culture and kissing on the lips has a further meaning...but kissing with ones tongues...seems to have more of a strictly marital meaning.

Now does this mean that one has to "kiss" ones beloved like one does ones Grandma? as some suggest...or not kiss at all? No ...such would not be the case. Chaste and moderate kissing can be a good. Though some have chosen to forgo even a chaste kiss (beyond Grandma).
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Last edited by Bookcat; Jul 28, '11 at 6:42 am.
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  #13  
Old Jul 28, '11, 7:00 am
Debora123 Debora123 is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookcat View Post
Now does this mean that one has to "kiss" ones beloved like one does ones Grandma? as some suggest...or not kiss at all? No ...such would not be the case. Chaste and moderate kissing can be a good. Though some have chosen to forgo even a chaste kiss (beyond Grandma).
To my understanding, a closed mouth kiss = a grandma kiss, while an open mouth kiss = a french kiss. Am I missing something in between?

Please enlighten.
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Old Jul 28, '11, 7:23 am
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debora123 View Post
To my understanding, a closed mouth kiss = a grandma kiss, while an open mouth kiss = a french kiss. Am I missing something in between?

Please enlighten.
Grandma kiss = little peck

French kiss= tongues (called tongue kissing or soul kissing in the past...)
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  #15  
Old Jul 28, '11, 7:28 am
jnewaz jnewaz is offline
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Default Re: French kissing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookcat View Post
Grandma kiss = little peck

French kiss= tongues (called tongue kissing or soul kissing in the past...)
I'd like to get an ex cathedra statement on it before I'm believing any of you.

I'm a teenager, and easily deceived. Papal infallibility or it didn't happen!
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