Catholic teaching on homosexual, impotent, and infertile people


Ok, I understand that homosexuals are unable to marry because their sexual acts are not open to life…that one is pretty obvious. The same seems to go for impotent people, the Church forbids them to marry since they cannot complete the marital act.

But if the Church defines the morality of sex on the question of whether or not it is open to life, then why have I heard that the Church allows infertile people to marry? This makes no sense, these people are incapable of making babies, as are LGBT unions and impotent unions, so why does the Church allow it? Maybe I have been incorrectly informed, but I have heard many devout and intelligent Catholics say this…and I have always wondered about it…


Maybe because women are infertile much more than they are fertile. There is only a little window per month that healthy women are able to conceive children. You also have to include other infertile periods such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause.
Also, I didn’t find out that I was infertile until I had been married over 2 years.
There are biblical stories of women who couldn’t have children who ended up conceiving.
You can be open to life and infertile. Miracles happen and I would welcome the little munchkin. Just like those who use NFP to try to avoid are still open to the possibility of conceiving.


Without quoting Church teaching or being theological, basically there are plenty of women and couples who conceived a child after supposedly not being able to do so. In regards to the elderly, Elizabeth conceived John the Baptist long afterwards.

Raising children is the primary reason for marrying, but not the sole reason. Married people help each other work out their salvation. Being able to “make love” helps the couple maintain their bond because they don’t have a familiar bond like siblings. That’s why people who cannot have sex cannot marry, but sterile people can.

So in conclusion, if a male and female couple can consummate their marriage and are willing to receive any miracle babies God might grant them, they can marry.


It isn’t whether the act bears fruit-- it might not. No one is guaranteed a child.

It is whether or not the act (a) CAN take place and (b) when it does take place is properly ordered and completed as God designed it.

Infertile couples meet this requirement. Same-sex acts, masturbation, non-vaginal sex acts between a married couple, fornication, adultery, contracepted acts, and those who are impotent do not.

They are not “impotent unions”, same sex acts are disordered uses of the sexual faculties.


Permanently impotent persons and same sex couples can not have conjugal relations.
Infertile opposite sex couples can.


You are mixing apples, oranges **and **pears.

Ok, I understand that homosexuals are unable to marry because their sexual acts are not open to life…that one is pretty obvious.

While it is true that homosexual acts are not open to life, that’s not the REASON why homosexual “marriage” is not true marriage. The construct of one man - one woman has nothing to do with fertility or fecundity. It is based on the biological differences and complementarity of males and females and the value to society of pair-bonds that reflect that complementarity. Marriage codifies those bonds.

The same seems to go for impotent people, the Church forbids them to marry since they cannot complete the marital act.

Again, it is true that impotent people are not allowed to marry but this is for a very different reason. It is because they cannot consummate the marriage. In actuality, an unconsummated marriage is still a valid and even Sacramental marriage. It does not get the protection of indissolubility until consummated.

An infertile couple faces neither of these impediments. The man and woman are complementary in their physical attributes and they are able to consummate the marriage. Neither fertility nor fecundity affects the marriage bond.

The ability to “make babies” is not a **requirement **of marriage. It’s a gift of marriage.


The Catholic church will not marry someone who is “impotent”?
Well, how exactly would they know if someone is impotent or not?
If someone is a virgin and has never had sex…how do they or anyone else know they cannot?



The Church cannot marry a person who is impotent. It is an impediment to valid marriage, therefore it’s not possible for them to marry.

Such a defect is *typically *due to a physical defect, disease, or accident. In most cases, one would know such a barrier to intercourse exists.

If impotence is doubtful, the marriage is not impeded. It must be permanent and antecedent.

If impotence is discovered upon attempt to consummate, the marriage would be invalid if the impotence is found to be permanent.


There is premarital examination were you are asked if there is any reason you know or suspect that you cannot complete the marital act (each person is asked separately and confidentially), among other things, like whether you have been married before. It is a semi formal process with the same questions and you are asked to answer all questions truthfully, like a mini oath.


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