Can A Loving Fruitful Marraige Exist Without Sexual Intimacy?


#1

I understand for the most part the Catholic Church position and laws on marriage and in faith I fully support them.

However; speaking hypothetically, if a devote Catholic man and women who loved one another implicitly and came to the Church seeking the holy sacrament of marriage and told the priest or bishop that due to irreparable physical development caused at birth or accident, they were incapable through no fault of their own of being sexually intimate.

How would the Catholic Church view this particular case? Would they prejudge the man and woman as being unable to sincerely love one another as a possible husband and wife in their hearts and spirits given by God? Or would Sexual intimacy alone or the lack of in this case be the over-riding factor that would destroy their desire to become a devote catholic husband and wife before the eyes of God and the Church?


#2

See here for a non-hypothetical situation.


#3

Read what marriage is, and what it is not from the Catechism and Vatican sources on marriage.

Marriage is not about romance and flowers, not that kind of love. Marriage is about sacrificial love. That love must be able to be expressed in sexual intercourse (the marriage may be Josephite, where the couple chooses under Spiritual Direction not to have intercourse, but, they must be able to do so).


#4

[quote="kage_ar, post:3, topic:188438"]
Read what marriage is, and what it is not from the Catechism and Vatican sources on marriage.

Marriage is not about romance and flowers, not that kind of love. Marriage is about sacrificial love. That love must be able to be expressed in sexual intercourse (the marriage may be Josephite, where the couple chooses under Spiritual Direction not to have intercourse, but, they must be able to do so).

[/quote]

*Marriage is not about romance and flowers, not that kind of love. *

I know what marriage is about. Romance and flowers was not the context I put the hypothetical situation in.


#5

Inability to have intercourse is an impediment to marriage.


#6

Inability to perform the marital act is a canonical impediment to marriage which means they would not be able to marry, nothing to stop them from living together as brother and sister though.

Marriage is a very specific thing with very specific purposes, the chief purpose been the creation and education of children, as such if two people are knowingly unable to fulfil the purpose of the sacrament there is no reason for a marriage and indeed there cannot be a marriage.

This is what the previous poster was getting at when they commented its not all about romance and flowers, love wouldn’t come into it.

The fruit of marriage is children, marriage was instituted by God as the way to fulfil His commandment to go forth and multiply.


#7

[quote="Advocatus_Fidei, post:6, topic:188438"]
Inability to perform the marital act is a canonical impediment to marriage which means they would not be able to marry, nothing to stop them from living together as brother and sister though.

[/quote]

Or contracting a civil marriage to ensure succession, property and pension rights, and things of that nature.

[quote="Just_Lurking, post:2, topic:188438"]
See here for a non-hypothetical situation.

[/quote]

Baffling. There are so many successful treatments for impotence these days, that this restriction probably has little force in reality. For someone in a paraplegic's situation there are injections and implants to name a couple.


#8

[quote="OraLabora, post:7, topic:188438"]
Or contracting a civil marriage to ensure succession, property and pension rights, and things of that nature.

[/quote]

Yup that to, good point.


#9

True, that the fruit of marriage is to be children. If they are willing to adopt, could the marriage then be said to be valid? In the vows, you are asked if you will willingly and lovingly accept children, and if willing to adopt can't you still honestly say "yes", despite the sexual intimacy factor?

I guess if I were in a position like that where I want to be married and adopt due to being unable to physically do what's required to conceive, I would be angry that something that is not my fault is what holds the Church back from allowing the marriage.

Good post...!


#10

[quote="Advocatus_Fidei, post:6, topic:188438"]
Inability to perform the marital act is a canonical impediment to marriage which means they would not be able to marry, nothing to stop them from living together as brother and sister though.

[/quote]

Nothing except the sin of scandal and the near occasion of sin... just to name two.


#11

[quote="antimatter84, post:9, topic:188438"]
True, that the fruit of marriage is to be children. If they are willing to adopt, could the marriage then be said to be valid?

[/quote]

No.

Can. 1084 §1. Antecedent and perpetual impotence to have intercourse, whether on the part of the man or the woman, whether absolute or relative, nullifies marriage by its very nature.

§2. If the impediment of impotence is doubtful, whether by a doubt about the law or a doubt about a fact, a marriage must not be impeded nor, while the doubt remains, declared null.

[quote="antimatter84, post:9, topic:188438"]

In the vows, you are asked if you will willingly and lovingly accept children, and if willing to adopt can't you still honestly say "yes", despite the sexual intimacy factor?

[/quote]

No.

Marriage is something very specific. And, in creating the covenant of marriage the couple exchanges a very important right-- the right to sexual intercourse. The person exchanging that right must have the *ability *to fulfill it in order to validly exchange that right. An impotent person does not.


#12

[quote="kage_ar, post:10, topic:188438"]
Nothing except the sin of scandal and the near occasion of sin... just to name two.

[/quote]

Good points Kage I overlooked those.


#13

I think it's bunk, honestly. I don't believe that the inability to have sex should be the deciding factor in a marriage. My father became impotent because of MS, and was paraplegic, then quadriplegic after the disease progressed. They didn't have sex during this time, so would this make their marriage invalid?

Frankly, my mom would probably flip if someone implied this. My mom and dad loved each other fully, and my mom took care of him in his last years, as well as taking care of me and working. Sacrificial love doesn't just include sex.


#14

[quote="Eris_Discordia, post:13, topic:188438"]
I think it's bunk, honestly. I don't believe that the inability to have sex should be the deciding factor in a marriage. My father became impotent because of MS, and was paraplegic, then quadriplegic after the disease progressed. They didn't have sex during this time, so would this make their marriage invalid?

Frankly, my mom would probably flip if someone implied this. My mom and dad loved each other fully, and my mom took care of him in his last years, as well as taking care of me and working. Sacrificial love doesn't just include sex.

[/quote]

No, your parents' marriage was validated by being sacramental and consummated before your father became impotent.

It is an unconsummated marriage that is invalid, and if there's an impediment to consummation that is known prior to the marriage the Church can't marry the couple.

There's nothing preventing a civil marriage. It just wouldn't be a sacramental marriage.


#15

[quote="OraLabora, post:14, topic:188438"]

There's nothing preventing a civil marriage. It just wouldn't be a sacramental marriage.

[/quote]

Or for a Catholic, it would not be a valid marriage.


#16

[quote="OraLabora, post:14, topic:188438"]
No, your parents' marriage was validated by being sacramental and consummated before your father became impotent.

It is an unconsummated marriage that is invalid, and if there's an impediment to consummation that is known prior to the marriage the Church can't marry the couple.

There's nothing preventing a civil marriage. It just wouldn't be a sacramental marriage.

[/quote]

Ah. I got kind of angry about it when I heard it because it would sound like my parent's marriage wasn't valid, which would be an insult because of how much my mother and father loved each other, and how much she sacrificed to give my dad support and love, and to give me some semblance of "Normalcy" in my childhood.

Though I still think that it is wrong to deny for impotence, because there can be treatments for it, though there really wasn't much we could do for my dad, because this was before all of the research on MS. They were married before he was diagnosed, which was about a year or two after they were married. I was born right before the disease got really bad.


#17

**1ke;6333605]No.

Can. 1084 §1. Antecedent and perpetual impotence to have intercourse, whether on the part of the man or the woman, whether absolute or relative, nullifies marriage by its very nature.

§2. If the impediment of impotence is doubtful, whether by a doubt about the law or a doubt about a fact, a marriage must not be impeded nor, while the doubt remains, declared null.

No.

Marriage is something very specific. And, in creating the covenant of marriage the couple exchanges a very important right-- the right to sexual intercourse. The person exchanging that right must have the ability **to fulfill it in order to validly exchange that right. An impotent person does not.

kage_ar:

Inability to have intercourse is an impediment to marriage.

Thank you both for setting this straight


#18

But can you not understand what it would be like to be in a disabled person's position, denied marriage for something that is out of your control?

Longing, love etc does not rest on sex - we love people before we actually have sex with them, and I think it would absolutely be wrong to imply that someone who is in love with another, in a romantic/sexual way could live with them 'as brother and sister' - just because they are impotent does not make them devoid of hormones, or a sexual nature in their mind. Are they not, then, allowed to kiss or anything?


#19

Yes it most certainly can, remember that marriage is a sacrament that is performed by the 2 persons only, >priest are just needed to witness for Church validity. Now the Church may or may not validate it with rightful reasons, but it is still a marriage in the eyes of the 2 persons who are now one, and there for valid in the eyes of God.


#20

[quote="Lethe, post:18, topic:188438"]
But can you not understand what it would be like to be in a disabled person's position, denied marriage for something that is out of your control?

Longing, love etc does not rest on sex - we love people before we actually have sex with them, and I think it would absolutely be wrong to imply that someone who is in love with another, in a romantic/sexual way could live with them 'as brother and sister' - just because they are impotent does not make them devoid of hormones, or a sexual nature in their mind. Are they not, then, allowed to kiss or anything?

[/quote]

*I think it would absolutely be wrong to imply that someone who is in love with another, in a romantic/sexual way could live with them 'as brother and sister' *

You should realized there are different types of love which do not involve passions of the flesh. Romance combined with Sexuality fall under those passions.
A simply kiss does not always involve passion as seen in a brother or sister kissing one another on the cheek. How many think that sex the greatest prominence in marriage? In truth if you were to ask devote Catholic married couple who have grown in the love of their marriage for over 50 years; they would most often say that sex had very very little to do with true love in marriage. That in itself is a fact.


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