A few questions regarding sex

I returned to the church a year or so ago, and many of my friends have been following suit.
One of my lady friends is starting to learn about the Church’s teachings regarding sex. We have a good discussion today regarding sex within marriage, NFP and ABC, and Theology of the Body.
Her question to me, however, was a bit perplexing. I was not sure how to articulate the answer. I know the answer, but I don’t know how to state it.

Here is her question:
The Church states that sex outside of marriage is wrong. If a couple is engaging in pre-marital intercourse, which is better: the use a condom and not create a life outside of the marital bond, or use NFP and leave all sexual acts open to the creation of life even though the couple is not married.

My answer was: *ABSTAIN! *
But she is fighting her own battle and is finding answers for herself. She is also very new in coming home and trying to put her life back into the Church (if that makes sense). What does the Church teach, however, regarding her question?

Your answer is correct according to Church teaching, but given the choices she gave in her example, NFP would be closest of the two choices to Church teaching

I think the better answer would be to stop using ABC. It’s at least one less sin. But yes, my automatic response is stop the sexin’, sillies. :stuck_out_tongue:

If one is unconcerned about the church’s teaching regarding the immorality of sex outside of the marital covenant, why would they be concerned about the church’s teaching regarding artificial contraception?

I was wondering the same thing. If the OP’s friend can disregard & overlook Church teaching on sex outside of marriage, why then is she even slightly concerned about what the Church teaches concerning ABC vs NFP? She has apparently already concluded that the Church teaches untruths. :frowning:

I’d answer that in the history of revelation, God has not been inlined to give us advice on how to commit sins in ways that are LESS sinful than others.

Use of contraception is sinful because it does violence to the relational aspect of married sexuality by severing the potential for life to result. This isn’t applicable to people having premarital sex because there IS NO appropriate healthy unitive and procreative bond being created.

Look at a similar situation: Would a homosexual couple be committing a worse sin if they used condoms? I don’t think so, but the FIRST sin in either case is serious business!

Yes, if your lady friend actually wants to become a Catholic, she is going to have to abstain from having sex with anyone. Fornication is a deadly sin.

This question is nonsensical.

It is the equivalent of “if you are going to rob a bank, which is better-- a pistol or an uzi?” Robbing a bank is wrong, period. The correct answer is, of course, “do not rob the bank.”

In the case of the question your friend asked, premarital sex is a mortal sin and contraception is a mortal sin.

The Church can only teach the truth about those sins-- the church can never teach anything that is contrary to the moral law.

Therefore, the Church can only teach that it is “better” not to sin that to commit either one or two mortal sins.

She is concerned about all of the Church’s teachings, but she is trying to understand them all.
The Holy Spirit works at his own pace and I am not going to make demands of her. I will tell her what the Church teaches, I will tell her why the Church teaches that- but in the end, she is the one who makes the decision. I can only educate and love her, warts and all.

I think the fact that she is even asking questions is a large step, no matter how odd those questions are.

I never said I agreed with her question.
As I said, I told her to abstain. She understood, but wanted an answer to her current dilemma. I don’t agree with what she is doing, I told her so and I told her why I don’t agree. But she asked, so I answered.

You asked what the Church teaches, and I replied-- the Church teaches that each are mortally sinful and can never be engaged in.

I was giving you an analogy that I thought might help with your desire to explain it to her.

I’m not sure what you were asking for, then, if not assistance with this question.

Basically- (after calling her and asking for clarification)
Of the two mortal sins, which is not quite as bad :rolleyes:
I reminded her that mortal sins don’t have point values and a sin is a sin is a sin. And that abstinence is the best solution to her “dilemma”.

Basically, what I was looking for was further verification for her that I wasn’t just making this up. The poor thing had horrific catechisis and doesn’t know what to do with all the information that the Church provides about our lives. She had no idea that the Church taught anything about sex (other than that it shouldn’t be outside of marriage, but she had no idea it was a mortal sin: “there are different types of sin?”), marriage and birth control.

The encyclical “evangelum vitae” by Pope John Paul 2 is pretty good. Very straight forward, and it helped me to understand the theology behind everything.

Be patient with the new people. I find on these forums we tend to be a little harsh, but i owe that to vagueness, and the tendency for quick 2 sentence sound bites. It sounds like your friend is generally interested in the teaching of the Church.

The teachings on sex are the most controversial in the church. Why? Because our society is sex crazy. Secular society has pounded it into many people’s heads that you cannot resist sex, so you may as well masturbate, look at porn, and have as much sex as you can get, married or not. It is hard do a complete 180 and all of the sudden just reject what one has heard for so many years.

I know because i was there. What’s the matter with condoms if you’re married, i used to think. Not anymore. Give the holy spirit some time, and give her some space.

Offer her a meeting with a priest who teaches the marriage preparation course, they can help.


Both are equal and multiple sins. Fornication is explicit in both cases and the use of NFP in such a manner is also held as a sin. You might consider printing her a copy of Humanae Vitae to allow her the opportunity to explore the answers




I don’t have church teaching on the second degree value of the sin, although I like 1Ke’s general answer line. An uzzi and a pistol don’t exactly correlate here! :slight_smile:

But since I have been reading St. Augustine in another thread … I would note that in his saintly opinion it is worse to perform un-natural sex acts within marriage than without. So, contraception within marriage is more shameful than outside of marriage.

But more importantly, avoiding children within marriage may only be done for a serious (grave) reason, this same logic applies to the gravity of sin outside of marriage as well. Avoiding children intensifies the guilt aspect of fornication because it is what reveals the lustful characteristic of the act.

So it doesn’t matter if one uses a condom or NFP, either of these will intensify the severity of the mortal sin since the use of NFP is only licit for grave reasons in the first place.

I believe the French bishops released a statement on this some years ago – made quite a flap – because they endorsed the condoms (which still intensifies the sin in my opinion too.).
But their reasoning is one is not required to contract the STD’s in a non-marriage situation! ( ick. )

So, fornication is bad – contraceptive fornication is worse – and so is NFP based fornication. – does she really want a child? why not get married? :wink:

No fornicator will see the gates of heaven.

Sex before marriage (in this case) = fornication.

Logical conclusion can be drawn.

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