Chasity, Adulty, Prematital sex


I had a discussion with a friend we were kind of discussing my vocation to be a deacon or priest. We got on to the issue of the promise to not get married which led to a discussion of chacity as a joke because we can’t have sex outside of marriage however he came back with an argument I disagree with but wasn’t in a position to refute because I never seriously thought about it and now I want to be able to address this situation better when it comes up.

I belive he is a very good catholic man given his faith what he says and his actions however he has had sex outside of marriage with one girl a while ago as well as a girl he is now engaged to. His argument is that God said we should not commit adultery. Now that means to him don’t have sex with with someone else’s wife or girlfriend or to cheat on your girl friend or wife. However if you and a girl are not in a relationship with someone else then it’s probably ok to have sex. He came back also saying that does’t mean we should go sleeping around with a bunch of people but if a man and a woman care for eachother a great deal then it is ok.

I have to say although I think sex should be for marriage only this is one of the few issues I haven’t been able intelligently argue from a scriptural stand point As everything seems to point to a man and a woman in a relationship comitting adultery and not people having premarital sex.

What say you?


We cannot discard the moral law, for Jesus did not come to end the law but to point to its true purpose. I think there’s plenty of evidence in the Old Testament that considers premarital sex immoral. The Church condemns it, and Catholics should be bound by Church teaching on this matter of faith and morals. We are not a Church of the Bible. Scripture is very, very important, but the Bible is not our entire faith. Tradition, and by tradition I mean part of the deposit of faith, not just age old practices, also condemns it.

All that said, I suggest reading 1 Corinthians 7.

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote. It is well for a man not to touch a woman. 2 But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.[a] 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control. 6 I say this by way of concession, not of command. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

Does Paul specifically mention premarital sex? No, he doesn’t use those words. But he does write about the unmarried and keeping “self-control” in regards to something particular to marriage… Hmmm… And keep in mind Paul was writing as a first century Jew. Some things were so widely considered the norm and/or obvious that he may not have felt the need to specifically write “Thou shalt not fornicate outside of marriage.” Again, though, I think it’s very clearly but indirectly forbidden in the verses written above.


I’m sorry, I’m not going to give you any scriptural based advice, just something that got triggered in my brain from your post.

I recently heard this quote (
“Monogamy used to be one person for life, today it’s one person at a time.”

"The times, they are a-changin’’ - Bob D.

Portuguese societal perspective: My wife has been a very nice person, she’s been a catholic, too… being in a traditionally catholic country it was difficult to avoid a nice catholic girl… however, we had sex before marrying. If she had a problem with that, she didn’t share it.
Still, to this day, she attends her Sunday mass and now takes the kids with her, and I have never heard her have any problem with the sex we had before marrying.

I know this doesn’t help, it just confirms what your friend is saying. People are behaving that way and finding little or no religious problem with it. People are happy this way, for the most part, apparently… let them be happy.


I agree and I mentioned Paul said something like that but couldn’t sight the scripture. But to his point that chapter pertains to people in a relationship or who were married and as far as self control go I could say he did have self control as he only had sex with girls he had been in a long relationship with and he is no marrying one.

But yeah for me I had to fall back on church tradition as to why people should wait till marriage as I can’t find anything in the bible.


I read the passage as going beyond just a marital relationships and conjugal rights. He specifically says that people should marry because of the temptation for sexual immorality. (If people want to have sex and can’t help themselves they should marry as that is the proper outlet for it and in marriage it isn’t a sin). He also says that if an unmarried person cannot exercise self-control, then it is better that they marry (than try and live a chaste life only to repeatedly fail). I think it’s self-evident what Paul meant by sexualimmorality (which he repeatedly condemns in his epistles) and self-control. Paul didn’t say “find a steady relationship,” he said get married.

Maybe that’s not convincing. I just wanted to elaborate a little more.

Jesus said in Mark 7:
“What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man.”


The problem is that it is coming at it from a purely ignorant and unholy aspect of what sex and marriage is. But what do we expect from a society that cannot define marraige as even as simple as being between one man and one woman. The Catholic definition of Holy sex is that it is unitive and procreative. Not that one must try to conceive every time one has sex but rather that it is ORDERED that way. What your friend has fallen into is the trap of a hedonistic sex worshiping culture. And frankly I am disappointed that you could not defend this quite easily. Please use Theology of the Body, The CCC. The Bible and well, just plain old logic and this is quite easily dismissed.
What your friend describes is mortal sin. It is quite clear and has been the case through the entirety of the Church.

Ask your friend to defend the holiness of what he is describing. Ask him if when opening his mouth to receive the Lord he really thinks that God approves and wants the type of hedonistic sexual worship and lust he is describing.:rolleyes:

This is quite simple…


Your friend has an improper understanding of the Sixth Commandment. Perhaps read the Catechism together.


Tell.him the catechism is the rulebook of the catholic church, as well as canon law. Both are the current teachings of.the Church. Pope Benediction helped write it and Saint Pope John Paul Ii said “I put my Apostolic Authority on this.”

It states in it, intercourse outside of marriage is grave matter, which under the three conditions is a mortal sin.
It states intercourse is for marriage for a married
married Mum and Dad to experience union and be open to children.
The catechism places this rule of the catholic church under the section of the sixth commandment

Also has in the catechism/ canon law: anyone who disagrees with catholic doctrine is in an automatic.state of excommunication.


Appearances can be deceiving.

My husband and I were not chaste before marrying, either. Some would say, “Oh, but it worked out,” but in hindsight it was definitely not good for us. I have been more verbal about it, but he does agree with me. He’s just not the type to voice his feelings about a lot of stuff (and that’s not just because he’s a man, there’s a lot of women who keep that kind of thing to themselves, too.)

What would be the point of her bringing it up now to you, anyway? Neither of you can go back and change it.

(And from the Christian perspective, “liking it” has very little to do with whether or not something is a sin. People enjoy doing things that cause harm all the time. How we feel about it is not a very good way to measure whether we should do something or not.)


Lets be careful not to overstate our position here.

Can you cite this?


Galatians 5:19-21

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Adultery=Extramarital sex where at least one of the people involved are married to someone else.
Fornication=Consensual sex between two people not married together.
Lasciviousness=Expressing lustfulness, wanton, licentious, or lewd sexual interest.
Licentious= Promiscuous and unprincipled in sexual matters


My understanding is that this is not true.

Canon 1364 prescribes latae sententiae excommunication to heretics, but it is reserved to Formal Heretics.

People who hold opinions not in line with Catholic doctrine, but still call themselves Catholic, are generally regarded to be Material Heretics, and are not punished as severely.


I think that’s kind of like reasoning, “The sign says, ‘25 MPH.’ It doesn’t say I can’t drive on the sidewalk.”

In other words, there’s more to sexual morality than adultery.


spiderweb nailed it.

Your friend is speaking about fornication. I guess he thinks despite what God has said that its just fine and dandy as long as you care for one another a “great deal”. Yet all of God’s laws have a very darn good reason…

Please ask your friend what happens when the lady he’s fornicating with gets pregnant? Does he think monetary child support is actually enough for the child? for the mother? Or does he think he can just settle down if and when that happens without any problems within himself to stay and not cheat when things get boring or he finds a new gal he likes?

First you make the commitment, then you proceed with the sex because sex isn’t just about natural pleasure but about other little dependent humans being created and they need both a mother and a father who is around to bring them up properly. Just because single mothers get by and the kids get by does not mean its ok. The fatherless epidemic in this nation will be the death of it.

Oh and please do not bring up contraception… as if it works all the time. Of my fornicating friends growing up I know **several **that were using protection and got pregnant anyway.

On top of that… you can tell your friend, that sometimes when a woman gets pregnant ‘by accident’ she will not tell the father and just go and have an abortion quietly… So unbeknownst to him, its quite possible since he’s had sex out of wedlock that he might be the father of a deceased child already. It happens…and he would never know. How does he feel about that?

Also, one more thing… it is a form of adultery to fornicate with several people before you get married because this assumes a future wife or husband would have no problems with the fact you shared yourself with several others before they arrived on the scene. Its not at all thoughtful. In fact, considering there are a lot of STD’s one could pick up along the way, its not thoughtful at all to a future loved one to fornicate. Its almost like adultery in that sense. Asking someone you love to deal with the heavy consequences of your mistakes is a big deal. Think about if the tables were turned.


What your friend is describing is the sin of fornication. Sex outside the marriage is a sin because he is profaning the conjugal gift given by God exclusively to married couples. Adultery is a special form of fornication where a spouse not only sins by profaning the sacrament of marriage (if he/she is married at the time) but also drags the other person into sin by betraying their sacred vows as well.

“Caring for each other a great deal” is no excuse for ignoring God’s laws. You could care a great deal for your dog or fish; you wouldn’t have sex with it, would you??? :mad:


I trust you both went to confession.


In our case… I don’t think it would have worked out, if sex was off the menu…
So… which would have been better?.. I don’t know… I know that things turned out as they did and we’re both happy with it.

Talk, I guess… we sometimes talk about the times we had before dating, so that sort of thing could have come up… but never did.

yeah… can’t argue with that…
So many things we like but shouldn’t do…
Ice cream, nutella, condensed milk, crispy grilled bacon, fries (or chips, if you’re from the UK)… hmmmm… donuts!


She’s gone plenty of times since…
I don’t do that sort of thing.


These are very good reasons…further, one might equally add:

  1. If one is shown to be weak with impulse-control prior to marriage, it might be indicative of what to expect afterwards…
  2. It will certainly render difficult the task of suggesting to one’s children to abstain…
  3. It shows a potential disregard for the well-being of one’s future children by allowing the concept of people creation to remain solely within the realm of entertainment rather than restraining it for when said children might have the best possible chance of safely enduring this storm that we call life…



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