I have been talking about Catholicism for several years to a friend who is not Catholic (although he has a brother who is an Orthodox priest). He is a very good, moral Christian and some things he agrees with others he doesn’t. For instance, he believes in the real presence, but he has trouble with venerating Mary and the Saints. He also struggles with the authority of the Pope. Go figure. Once I believed in the real presence, it was all over for me. I took the pearl, field and all.
Anyway, we got to talking about intimate relationships and Church teaching. He thinks the Church is a little too hung up on what goes on between two married people. Because of health reasons, he and his wife are not as intimate as they would like and apparently intercourse is often painful for his wife. From the way I’ve explained it to him he thinks that in order to become Catholic he’d have to become celibate while remaining married since he and his wife cannot be “intimate” in a way that leads to satisfaction without engaging in intercourse. They are unable to have children beause of an hysterectomy and he said he doesn’t see the difference. I tried to explain about the unifying affect of the “intimate act.” I have kids so that didn’t fly with him.
So I don’t know if I’m explaining things wrong, or what to tell him. I’ve searched the catechism but I can’t find an answer and I don’t want to lead him to the wrong idea.