Conjugal Relations


#1

When the Church says “conjugal relations” does that include contracepted sex?


#2

I think the meaning becomes clear when you look at the context.


#3

Perhaps. Are you suggesting contracepted sex can qualify as conjugal relations?

Maybe I should specify that justified use of contraception is put aside.


#4

I don’t really know what the Church means so that’s why I thought it would be good to look at what the Church says.


#5

Can. 1151 Spouses have the obligation and the right to maintain their common conjugal life, unless a lawful reason excuses them.
Can. 1152 §1 It is earnestly recommended that a spouse, motivated by christian charity and solicitous for the good of the family, should not refuse to pardon an adulterous partner and should not sunder the conjugal life. Nevertheless, if that spouse has not either expressly or tacitly condoned the other’s fault, he or she has the right to sever the common conjugal life, provided he or she has not consented to the adultery, nor been the cause of it, nor also committed adultery.
§2 Tacit condonation occurs if the innocent spouse, after becoming aware of the adultery, has willingly engaged in a marital relationship with the other spouse; it is presumed, however, if the innocent spouse has maintained the common conjugal life for six months, and has not had recourse to ecclesiastical or to civil authority.
§3 Within six months of having spontaneously terminated the common conjugal life, the innocent spouse is to bring a case for separation to the competent ecclesiastical authority. Having examined all the circumstances, this authority is to consider whether the innocent spouse can be brought to condone the fault and not prolong the separation permanently.


#6

(It looks like) That’s about the marital debt. I guess contraception doesn’t necessarily go against the debt, but it is a different sin.


#7

Can a Catholic fulfill their marital debt with using contraception against the will of their spouse?


#8

Can. 1152 It is earnestly recommended that a spouse, motivated by christian charity and solicitous for the good of the family, should not refuse to pardon an adulterous partner and should not sunder the conjugal life. Nevertheless, if that spouse has not either expressly or tacitly condoned the other’s fault, he or she has the right to sever the common conjugal life, provided he or she has not consented to the adultery, nor been the cause of it, nor also committed adultery.

How can one be the cause of their spouses adultery?

And does it matter who commits adultery First? What if one spouse commits a form of adultery partly due to their spouse avoiding conjugal relations with them, then after the hardship of that mistake, the “innocent” spouse resorts to an adulterous relationship?


#9

hiring a prostitute is the first thing that comes to mind . . .


#10

In GENERAL, using contraception during sex is a mortal sin. However, there are exceptions.

  • using the birth control pill or some other medicine which, for a medical reason, has a secondary affect of preventing conception.

  • in mixed marriages (or non mixed marriages) where one spouse insists on using contraception against the wishes of the practicing Catholic spouse, the couple may still engage in conjugal relations as long as the Catholic is not the one using the contraction and the Catholic makes his/her position clear.

I hope this helps.


#11

Lol! Can’t argue that!


#12

Thanks. I’m concerned about two Catholics, and one only engaging in sex with contraception, while the other is expressing a desire to be open to life.


#13

One of these that initially surprised me was the need for a condom during/after chemotherapy . . . (conception hadn’t been a possibility for decades for this couple)


#14

Let’s not get side tracked from the OP.

Does the Church mean only open to life sexual relations when it says “common conjugal relations”?

My second post acknowledged there are some justified uses of contraception. And those situations are not for the intention of preventing pregnancy.


#15

The only official answer I know to this context is that it does not have to be a sin to have relations with your spouse if said spouse insists on, say, wearing a device. There are conditions to that, though…

  1. Special difficulties are presented by cases of cooperation in the sin of a spouse who voluntarily renders the unitive act infecund. In the first place, it is necessary to distinguish cooperation in the proper sense, from violence or unjust imposition on the part of one of the spouses, which the other spouse in fact cannot resist.46, 561).] This cooperation can be licit when the three following conditions are jointly met:

1.when the action of the cooperating spouse is not already illicit in itself; 2. when proportionally grave reasons exist for cooperating in the sin of the other spouse; 3. when one is seeking to help the other spouse to desist from such conduct (patiently, with prayer, charity and dialogue; although not necessarily in that moment, nor on every single occasion).


#16

This is informative. It doesn’t quite address the question specifically, however. It touches on the topic. Thank you.


#17

When the Church refers to conjugal relations, she is referring to Chaste Sex (aka unsinful sex).

While contraception is objectively sinful, there are situations where having sex with contraception isn’t always sinful.


#18

That’s my understanding also.


#19

Ok: let’s use a real life example: wife is using the pill because she doesn’t want to get pregnant and husband wants her off the pill. It’s not sinful for the husband to have sexual relations with his wife, provided that he’s crystal clear that he’s against her using contraception.

On the flip side, if the husband is against the use of contraception, but is using a condom because the wife doesn’t want to get pregnant then no good. The husband can’t do something that is inherently wrong - which wearing a condom to prevent conception is.

So in other words: yes, it is technically possible for a Catholic Married couple to engage in contraceptive sex and only have one spouse committing the sin.

But we also have to remember that we are one flesh when married, so we must be diligent in helping our spouse learn why contraception is sinful.

God Bless


#20

I agree.

But I also think we don’t need to know, specifically why, or even be able to explain why, contraception is wrong in order to reject it.

Now, what if the stress of the contracepting spouse is a valid turn off. Can this be a cause of temptation for the other spouse to commit sexual infidelity?

Not that the unfaithful spouse is justified to cheat, in ways, but that the temptation may not have been as strong if the pro-contraception spouse would have practiced conjugal relations.

Does that question make sense?


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