Birth control and sex questions

Hello I have some questions about things in the catholic faith that don’t make sense to me or that I am unsure about.

NFP is considered ok, correct? Thats what I’ve been told when I’ve asked people in the past but more recently while looking online, reading articles, watching videos (these ones by priests, or so they say) are saying that it is a sin.

Birth control as a medicine? If for example, a young girl’s periods are pretty bad and result in them taking time off school, or similar situations. Is birthcontrol ok in those situations?

Sex is more than just a way to make babies right? I’ve always thought that sex was also basically an ultimate way for a married couple to express love and their union, but most anti gay and birth control arguments point to things about how sex is sacred because of it creating life.

Can someone who is “sterile” get married? Can they have sex? I would assume so, but most anti gay arguments I’ve read say things like gays cannot be married because they cannot have children.

If you are reading things online that state natural family planning through periodic abstinence is sinful, then you are not reading authentic Catholic resources.

Hormonal treatments can be legitimate medicine. That is not birth control.

It is both, and neither element (unitive and procreative) can be separated from the other.



I think you misunderstand what is being expressed in such a statement.

A person with same sex attraction is not sterile. They are certainly capable of producing offspring. However, they choose to engage in disordered sex acts that are themselves sterile acts.

Well said. :thumbsup:

Agreed. Everything that 1ke said is absolutely factual (as always).

Just to pick a few nits. :slight_smile:

NFP can be sinful if it is used without serious reasons.

Actually, no, NFP itself it cannot be sinful. NFP is itself only information. Information that can be used to avoid or achieve a pregnancy.

With that information I choose whether or not to have sexual intercourse or not. It is in the choosing that a bad intention can corrupt a morally good or neutral act. Refraining from intercourse itself is not a sin, and choosing to abstain to avoid a pregnancy is not a sin. The sin actually lies elsewhere-- such as in selfishness or in reasons that do not conform to the objective moral order.

Acts are sinful, not information.

1750 The morality of human acts depends on:

  • the object chosen;
  • the end in view or the intention;
  • the circumstances of the action.
    The object, the intention, and the circumstances make up the “sources,” or constitutive elements, of the morality of human acts.

1751 The object chosen is a good toward which the will deliberately directs itself. It is the matter of a human act. the object chosen morally specifies the act of the will, insofar as reason recognizes and judges it to be or not to be in conformity with the true good. Objective norms of morality express the rational order of good and evil, attested to by conscience.

1752 In contrast to the object, the intention resides in the acting subject. Because it lies at the voluntary source of an action and determines it by its end, intention is an element essential to the moral evaluation of an action. the end is the first goal of the intention and indicates the purpose pursued in the action. the intention is a movement of the will toward the end: it is concerned with the goal of the activity. It aims at the good anticipated from the action undertaken. Intention is not limited to directing individual actions, but can guide several actions toward one and the same purpose; it can orient one’s whole life toward its ultimate end. For example, a service done with the end of helping one’s neighbor can at the same time be inspired by the love of God as the ultimate end of all our actions. One and the same action can also be inspired by several intentions, such as performing a service in order to obtain a favor or to boast about it.

1753 A good intention (for example, that of helping one’s neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. the end does not justify the means. Thus the condemnation of an innocent person cannot be justified as a legitimate means of saving the nation. On the other hand, an added bad intention (such as vainglory) makes an act evil that, in and of itself, can be good (such as almsgiving).

Generally, NFP is not a a sin.

However, there are times where the reason you abstain are sins. Like using NFP to deny relations to your spouse when they are not willing wanting to participate in NFP. So, if you use NFP as an excuse to not have relations just because you don’t want to and you deny relations with your spouse it could result in a sin. Not that any single refusal of relations will always be a sin but when the denial becomes a problem in the marriage then it is most certainly a sin.

Practicing NFP is never a sin. Misusing the idea of NFP as a phony excuse to engage in sinful conduct is a sin.

This one is very tricky.
If the two parties are unable to effectively copulate (e.g. due to frigidity, impotence or some biological deformity) then I believe they may not validly marry.

Whether this is simply Positive Church Law (and hence an impediment that may be dispensed) or whether it further reflects considerations of Natural Law (and hence can never be dispensed) I am not sure.

No, it is not tricky at all.

And that was not the question asked.

The impediment of impotence may not be dispensed.

Are you having a bad day or something 1ke :shrug:.

The OP asked “Can someone who is “sterile” get married?”
Do note sterile is in quotation marks … which suggests a loose/colloquial meaning may be intended.
Notice also that the new poster sees this question as related to possible principles re why gays cannot get married (namely procreative potential).

Therefore I very reasonably decided, unlike your good self, that this is a case of “I heard what you said but know what you meant” and that by “sterility” the poster is also intending to mean similar realities such as impotence and other such disabilities associated with procreative functioning.

I say this question is tricky because even though sterility and impotence seem much the same - on this question the answers are opposite. As you appear to agree.

Hence your literal answer was not as helpful to the poster as it could have been.

What’s the difference between sterility and impotence? Thanks.

I disagree with your assessment. Sterile means sterile not impotent.

But you are free to disagree, as this is a message board where people an contribute as they see fit. If you want to include impotence in the discussion, fine.

sterile - unable to conceive due to disease or defect of the reproductive organs

impotent - unable to engage in sexual intercourse

1ke this is not a Maths forum where all words are clear and distinct in meaning (and even that is not always true).

Its a forum where humans ask questions in a human way.
It is less than wise to assume others see things the way we see them. I believe Aquinas noted this himself. Do give this less-pedantic approach a try… I am confident you will connect/help other people even better than you are now managing.

Oh, this is going to be fun. From now on, when I post on this forum, I’m going to assign my own meaning to all the words I use. These meanings will have no similarity to the definitions found in the dictionary, Why am I going to do this? Because I’m human - and I want to ask questions in a human way. True, no one will have the slightest idea what I’m talking about, but I don’t want to be limited by using only the correct meaning for words.

Relativity: First God, now grammar… oh dear :slight_smile:

By the way, what if the man and woman mutually agree to remain chaste? Would the marriage not be valid then? You all know where that question leads…

A couple can do so under spiritual direction and as long as both agree. Both must be able to consummate the marriage. And, they both must be willing to assume the conjugal life should the other request it.

Consent brings into existence a valid marriage. Such a marriage is called ratum tantum (ratified or established only). A marriage that is ratum tantum can be dissolved by the Pope for a just cause.

Upon consummation, the marriage is called ratum et consummatum (ratified and consummated). A marriage between the baptized (sacramental marriage) that is ratum et consummatum cannot be dissolved by any power save death.

Not at all.

Sorry, it lead to Mary and Joseph. However, with that aside I have an actual question; if a person is impotent then they could not claim consent to remain chaste because they don’t have the ability to consummate, even if the man and woman agree to chastity?

Sorry, I suppose I could have just looked it up, but thank you for defining the difference.

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