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  #1  
Old Jan 12, '12, 11:22 am
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WesternBlot WesternBlot is offline
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Default Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

My fiance and I live together and will be married in September. I am a new Catholic (baptized/confirmed 1 year ago) and one of the major problems I've had is understanding the Church's teaching against pre-marital sex and condom use. I support and understand the birth control issue for Plan B/etc. where a fertilized egg is being blocked/destroyed, but I cannot get on board yet with condoms/pre-marital sex in general being sinful.

That being said, I know the Church teaching. I know that pre-marital sex is a sin, that using condoms is a sin, etc. So here is my question...I engage in both of these acts that the Church teaches as being sinful, yet I struggle with agreeing with the teaching (therefore I continue to engage in the acts). I cannot confess these sins because it would be an empty confession if I do not plan on changing my actions yet. I say yet because if through prayer and meditation I do come to understand and follow this teaching then I will change it. However, this means that I should NOT be receiving Communion at Church, correct? Even though I disagree with the teaching I do understand that according to the Church I am in a state of sin and should not receive Communion. I just wanted to verify that my line of thinking is consistent because I'm not sure on whether to confess these sins if I don't plan on changing them, or whether I should be receiving Communion at all during the next 8 months if we continue having pre-marital sex.

Thank you for any advice, does anyone else struggle with this one teaching?
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  #2  
Old Jan 12, '12, 11:42 am
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

You are correct that you should not receive the Eucharist. Confession is not a get out of jail free card, you have to really mean it or the sacrament is a spitting in the face of Jesus.

Using contraceptives goes counter to what God tells us to do, which is unite in marriage and have children! Society says sex is for pleasure only, and to try and subvert the procreation until we think we are ready. Can you understand this is contrary to what God wants for us?

I am sad that you are now a Catholic in dissent of Church teaching, and a brand new one at that. Is your girlfriend also Catholic?
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  #3  
Old Jan 12, '12, 11:45 am
fgh_123 fgh_123 is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealJuliane View Post
You are correct that you should not receive the Eucharist. Confession is not a get out of jail free card, you have to really mean it or the sacrament is a spitting in the face of Jesus.

Using contraceptives goes counter to what God tells us to do, which is unite in marriage and have children! Society says sex is for pleasure only, and to try and subvert the procreation until we think we are ready. Can you understand this is contrary to what God wants for us?

I am sad that you are now a Catholic in dissent of Church teaching, and a brand new one at that. Is your girlfriend also Catholic?
Can you please post the scriptures for the guidelines that Jesus gives us on sex and children. I feel it's important to help people get a view directly so that they can get it from the horses mouth so to speak.

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  #4  
Old Jan 12, '12, 11:49 am
BlueEyedLady BlueEyedLady is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

I don't think that you should receive communion even after you marry, because you will still carry the mortal sin of premarital sex, which marriage will not make you remorseful for.

If you are never going to be able to believe in and live by the church's teachings why did you convert? It seems to be a waste of your time as well as being disrespectful to Catholicism.
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  #5  
Old Jan 12, '12, 11:49 am
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mtbender mtbender is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

Contrition requires "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again." (CCC 1451) I believe the sacrament would be invalid if you enter it with every intent to continue to sin.

Secondly, if you are in a state of mortal sin, you cannot receive Communion. CCC 1385 states: “conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion”

Short answer, should you confess – No, Should you receive, No.

Learn the “why” behind the laws, and continue to pray.
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  #6  
Old Jan 12, '12, 11:50 am
BlueEyedLady BlueEyedLady is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by fgh_123 View Post
Can you please post the scriptures for the guidelines that Jesus gives us on sex and children. I feel it's important to help people get a view directly so that they can get it from the horses mouth so to speak.

Not necessary. Catholics believe that the church speaks with the authority of Jesus.
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  #7  
Old Jan 12, '12, 12:05 pm
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WesternBlot WesternBlot is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealJuliane View Post
You are correct that you should not receive the Eucharist. Confession is not a get out of jail free card, you have to really mean it or the sacrament is a spitting in the face of Jesus.

Using contraceptives goes counter to what God tells us to do, which is unite in marriage and have children! Society says sex is for pleasure only, and to try and subvert the procreation until we think we are ready. Can you understand this is contrary to what God wants for us?

I am sad that you are now a Catholic in dissent of Church teaching, and a brand new one at that. Is your girlfriend also Catholic?
Thank you, and I know I am new but I converted for many reasons, I do love the Church and I believe it is the one Church Christ founded. I am struggling with this one issue but I believe through prayer I will come to abide by this law. I can't just "make" myself agree with it, therefore I can't confess the sin...I think I'm just very conflicted.

My fiancée is not Catholic, but very supportive of my faith. She has already told me that if I need to, she's fine waiting for sex until marriage.
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  #8  
Old Jan 12, '12, 12:09 pm
Ridgerunner Ridgerunner is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternBlot View Post
My fiance and I live together and will be married in September. I am a new Catholic (baptized/confirmed 1 year ago) and one of the major problems I've had is understanding the Church's teaching against pre-marital sex and condom use. I support and understand the birth control issue for Plan B/etc. where a fertilized egg is being blocked/destroyed, but I cannot get on board yet with condoms/pre-marital sex in general being sinful.

That being said, I know the Church teaching. I know that pre-marital sex is a sin, that using condoms is a sin, etc. So here is my question...I engage in both of these acts that the Church teaches as being sinful, yet I struggle with agreeing with the teaching (therefore I continue to engage in the acts). I cannot confess these sins because it would be an empty confession if I do not plan on changing my actions yet. I say yet because if through prayer and meditation I do come to understand and follow this teaching then I will change it. However, this means that I should NOT be receiving Communion at Church, correct? Even though I disagree with the teaching I do understand that according to the Church I am in a state of sin and should not receive Communion. I just wanted to verify that my line of thinking is consistent because I'm not sure on whether to confess these sins if I don't plan on changing them, or whether I should be receiving Communion at all during the next 8 months if we continue having pre-marital sex.

Thank you for any advice, does anyone else struggle with this one teaching?
I struggle with all sorts of things.

There is more than one thing here.

Premarital sex. Sinful. Not supposed to do it.

Artificial birth control in marriage. Sinful. Not supposed to do it.

But the big thing is being in opposition to the teachings of the Church. Every faithful Catholic on earth accepts the teachings of the Church whether he violates them or not. The question is not one of "not being Catholic" if one sins. The question is whether one is living a Catholic life in dissent.

Everybody sins all the time. Jesus said even the just man sins seven times a day. But it is true that we need to accept the teachings as true and acknowledge our sinfulness. In addition, we really do have to have the intention to amend. But that intention is always flawed, because we do sin again. The issue is the present intention and trying. One can at least TRY to follow the teachings of the Church regarding artificial birth control. One can start by educating oneself to NFP with as much of an earnest heart as we can muster in ourselves. We can at least read the literature on why it's wrong; why it's harmful. Even the Popes have written about that.

How about at least taking little steps? That's how we develop ourselves in all ways. You didn't know how to read before you learned. You didn't know how to read major literature while you were in first grade. You didn't know how to do algebra in second grade. You developed yourself by steps all along the way. And, frankly, you need a really good priest-advisor to help you along the way.

I can't advise you spiritually. That's a priest's job. But in my opinion, if you honestly attempt your "baby steps", not necessarily to agree but to obey, and if you confess your latest sins, and at least resolve to take one "baby step", I say you go to Communion as soon as you can thereafter. You'll need the strength it gives.

But rejecting the teachings of the Church because we don't agree with them really is fatal. It's the sin of Lucifer; pride. "I will not serve" he said. Might as well invent your own religion from the ground up if you do that, and you'll never 'grow" in your faith and in your virtue. There isn't a sin on this earth that people can't justify if they set their mind to it.

How about taking some little steps? God does not expect you to become a saint overnight. He does expect you to try within your strength, and to attempt to develop your strength, your trust and your resolve.

And God bless you. I believe you have a good heart.
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  #9  
Old Jan 12, '12, 12:14 pm
Catholic4Christ Catholic4Christ is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternBlot View Post
yet I struggle with agreeing with the teaching (therefore I continue to engage in the acts).
Are you sure it isn't the other way around? i.e. You engage in the acts, so you justify them by deciding that you have difficulty agreeing with the Church?

I don't mean to be critical and make assumptions here, but this is what I used to be like on several issues. I managed to turn it around when I realized that either I agreed with Catholicism or I disagreed, and that there could be no middle ground.

Just something to think about. Praying that you find your way, with God's help of course.
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  #10  
Old Jan 12, '12, 12:17 pm
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Hmgbrd Hmgbrd is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

Thank you Ridgerunner for the terrific post.
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  #11  
Old Jan 12, '12, 12:19 pm
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WesternBlot WesternBlot is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catholic4Christ View Post
Are you sure it isn't the other way around? i.e. You engage in the acts, so you justify them by deciding that you have difficulty agreeing with the Church?

I don't mean to be critical and make assumptions here, but this is what I used to be like on several issues. I managed to turn it around when I realized that either I agreed with Catholicism or I disagreed, and that there could be no middle ground.

Just something to think about. Praying that you find your way, with God's help of course.
No need to worry, I appreciate frank advice! This could be an issue, but I have done quite a bit of research reading up on Theology of the Body, NFP, pro-life issues and I still hit a roadblock with this stuff. I'll be seeking advice from my priest as soon as I can, because as someone already mentioned, it's troubling to be feeling this out-of-step so early in my Catholicism, but maybe that's normal. Converting in my early-mid twenties has already been a difficult 2 years.
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Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. AMEN.
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  #12  
Old Jan 12, '12, 12:29 pm
fgh_123 fgh_123 is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post
I struggle with all sorts of things.

There is more than one thing here.

Premarital sex. Sinful. Not supposed to do it.

Artificial birth control in marriage. Sinful. Not supposed to do it.

But the big thing is being in opposition to the teachings of the Church. Every faithful Catholic on earth accepts the teachings of the Church whether he violates them or not. The question is not one of "not being Catholic" if one sins. The question is whether one is living a Catholic life in dissent.

Everybody sins all the time. Jesus said even the just man sins seven times a day. But it is true that we need to accept the teachings as true and acknowledge our sinfulness. In addition, we really do have to have the intention to amend. But that intention is always flawed, because we do sin again. The issue is the present intention and trying. One can at least TRY to follow the teachings of the Church regarding artificial birth control. One can start by educating oneself to NFP with as much of an earnest heart as we can muster in ourselves. We can at least read the literature on why it's wrong; why it's harmful. Even the Popes have written about that.

How about at least taking little steps? That's how we develop ourselves in all ways. You didn't know how to read before you learned. You didn't know how to read major literature while you were in first grade. You didn't know how to do algebra in second grade. You developed yourself by steps all along the way. And, frankly, you need a really good priest-advisor to help you along the way.

I can't advise you spiritually. That's a priest's job. But in my opinion, if you honestly attempt your "baby steps", not necessarily to agree but to obey, and if you confess your latest sins, and at least resolve to take one "baby step", I say you go to Communion as soon as you can thereafter. You'll need the strength it gives.

But rejecting the teachings of the Church because we don't agree with them really is fatal. It's the sin of Lucifer; pride. "I will not serve" he said. Might as well invent your own religion from the ground up if you do that, and you'll never 'grow" in your faith and in your virtue. There isn't a sin on this earth that people can't justify if they set their mind to it.

How about taking some little steps? God does not expect you to become a saint overnight. He does expect you to try within your strength, and to attempt to develop your strength, your trust and your resolve.

And God bless you. I believe you have a good heart.
Fantastic post, best I've read on my time on these forums.
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  #13  
Old Jan 12, '12, 12:45 pm
Barbkw Barbkw is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

Quote:
However, this means that I should NOT be receiving Communion at Church, correct?
Correct. You're currently in mortal sin (from the premarital sexual acts you've had). Don't receive Eucharist. Do however, discuss your concerns and roadblock with your priest.

I'd suggest looking at it this way. Add 20 years to your current age. You and your wife have a daughter and she's 17 now, just out of highschool.

She tells you she's moving in with a guy she's met from school. She says they've been having sex for awhile now and that he always uses a condom. Premaritial sex, condoms.

You feel that both acts are right for you now. Are both acts also right for your future daughter?

Additionally, how are you and your fiance ever to understand chastity in your marriage when it wasn't understood or practiced in your dating relationship?

You're contracepting now in your dating relationship (having sex with an anti-children mentally). That mentally will not change simply because you're married.
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  #14  
Old Jan 12, '12, 12:51 pm
KCT KCT is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

No advice, but God bless you for searching and wanting to do the right thing.
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  #15  
Old Jan 12, '12, 1:05 pm
1inICXC 1inICXC is offline
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Default Re: Confessing Pre-Marital Sex/Birth Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueEyedLady View Post
I don't think that you should receive communion even after you marry, because you will still carry the mortal sin of premarital sex, which marriage will not make you remorseful for.

If you are never going to be able to believe in and live by the church's teachings why did you convert? It seems to be a waste of your time as well as being disrespectful to Catholicism.
good job BlueEyedLady at giving a Catholic answer!

I'm optimistic however and I do think he will come around but the teaching on sexuality is the hardest one for many to accept.

OP, read "the good news about sex and marriage" by Christopher West. ALL the reasoning is there.
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