I have read many references both on CAF and elsewhere that contrast the sin of Eve in disobeying God, to the fiat of the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation when she accepted God’s will. Often, such references refer to Eve as a virgin – basically, Eve is the bad virgin who said “No” to God, while Mary is the good virgin who said “Yes” to God.
So, does that mean Catholics believe Adam and Eve didn’t engage in sex until after the Fall? But if there was no such thing as sex until then, then why would God tell Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply? Why would there be a reference to a man leaving his parents, cleaving to his wife, and becoming one flesh with her? Why would he tell Eve after the fall that he would greatly increase her pain in childbearing, which to me indicates God’s plan even before the fall was for Eve to bear children? Was there some other, non-sexual way that God planned for Adam and Eve to procreate, until they messed up? But then, why would He create their bodies with genitals that seem to be optimally designed for sexual intercourse? Unless the genitals didn’t appear until after Fall?
I just find it very confusing, as there seem to be so many contradictions depending on the source, as to what the Church’s view of sex is. Some seem to find it a necessarily evil, at least venially sinful unless the ONLY goal is to produce children, yet some contemporary speakers (such as Christopher West) seem to glamorize sex, compare it to the Holy Trinity, etc. Yet much of the discourse on Mary (such as the insistence that she remained Ever-Virgin) seems to denigrate the sexually active, even if in the context of lawful marriage. Yet, the Church won’t allow an impotent person to marry, even though Josephite marriage is allowed.
Anyway, if someone can help clarify this, I’d appreciate it.