A delicate question


#1

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.


#2

he should follow his conscience.


#3

Has anyone shown him vatican.va where he can find Theology of the Body?
The fact is that the situation is not their fault and the church understands that. The CCC has a whole section on this that he can look up in the back of the book.


#4

[quote=ICXCNIKA]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.
[/quote]

To be honest, I think your friend probably woudn’t like the answer…from what I understand of the role of sex, to conform to the teachings of the Church, he would have to live a celibate life if he didn’t want to engage in the complete act . The pope’s Theology of the Body specifically addresses this question, but it is lengthy because it lays forth the reasoning from creation on.

The question is: why does he want to do this to his wife? If sex is an expression of love, and an expression of the life given us by God that is meant to lift us up to Him in this act of marital union, why does your friend want to lower the act to simple carnal pleasure? And his own selfish pleasure for that matter.
It’s not like the wife has control over her medical condition (although I hope she continues to seek medical remedy).
Is it being “loving” to impose further upon her that she must satisfy his sexual urge? That’s a heavy responsibility. I think love is to desire all that is good for the beloved even at the expense of self–isn’t that what Christ did?

Eph 5: 25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her.”


#5

[quote=Church Militant]Has anyone shown him vatican.va where he can find Theology of the Body?

[/quote]

How about…

ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2TBIND.HTM


#6

[quote=katherine2]he should follow his conscience.
[/quote]

he should make sure his Conscience is formed in accord with Church teaching. (As Vatican II states). One is never free to follow ones conscience if it goes against the Teaching of the Church. Otherwise their following only their fallen nature and a conept that is more of idol worship than anything else.


#7

I don’t have anything to add to some of the answers here, but I think we need to dispense with the idea that the “Church is a little too hung up on what goes on between two married people”. It’s like saying the Church is a little too hung up on what goes on when a Catholic sacrifices a chicken to the moon god.

The reality is that we worship with our bodies as well as our minds and there is an divine objective purpose to sex and the Church teaches it unvarnished. The Church is no more hung up on sex than it is hung up on Christ, the Sacraments, teaching the objective evils of crime, blasphemy, or murder.

Scott


#8

[quote=Scott Waddell]It’s like saying the Church is a little too hung up on what goes on when a Catholic sacrifices a chicken to the moon god.

Scott
[/quote]

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: Oh my!!! I love it!


#9

Thanks. I’ll read “Theology of the Body.” I suspect it is what I’ve told him. However, he is not Catholic. For instance, he believes that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, at least he is pretty sure of it in the Orthodox Church, but he doesn’t believe that beause it is Catholic teaching. Appealing to “The Catholic Church teaches” won’t cut it with him.

He is a good man and from my convo with him understands the dilemma.


#10

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