Would it be a mortal sin for a Catholic doctor to prescribe contraceptive pills?


According to strict Catholic teachings, I suspect so.


Depends on why. If you’re prescribing them for their normal use, then yeah, that’s bad. If you’re prescribing them for, say, endometriosis, like a lot of doctors will do, that’s not wrong because you’re doing it for a morally OK reason.


A must read which DailyBread posted for us


Prescribing medicine or treatment or surgery for a diseased state that has a secondary, unintended consequence of temporary or permanent sterility is not sinful, even if this side effect is foreseen.

However, I do not believe that you are asking about secondary effects, you are asking about prescribing items for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.

Prescribing contraceptives is objectively grave matter and always wrong. If done with full knowledge and free will, then yes it is mortally sinful.


Well said. It is important to remember that it is never our job to decide who is in mortal sin. We can discuss the moral principles that constitute grave matter. But we aren’t qualified to judge full knowledge and consent of will.

It’s a darn hard line to walk too. usually that’s a good sign.


From an orthodox Bishop:

In Obedience to Christ:
A Pastoral Letter To Catholic Couples and
Physicians on the Issue of Contraception

Bishop Glennon P. Flavin

Catholic physicians and others who prescribe contraceptives or recommend their use are cooperators with those who use them. Such cooperation is gravely sinful. The same is true for physicians who advise contraceptive sterilization, or perform this procedure or refer a person to another physician for this purpose. In doing so they, too, commit grave sin.


The pill can be taken for medical reasons


That wasn’t the question. The question was whether or not a physician could prescribe contraception.


For contraceptive purposes of course. For endometriosis and menopausal problems there are less potent hormones that do not affect ovulation.

I’ve asked several priests, who I regard as somewhat orthodox, but I’ve got all wishy washy answers. The state of the pastors of the Church makes me sad:(

O God give us priests, many, holy priests.:gopray:


In Humanae Vitae PPVI addressed this on the 14th page he stopped short of the conclusion others have posted here. I would ask you to read it for yourself.


Can you be more specific – does “page” refer to the numbered index in the body of the encyclical for used for referencing, or something else? Can you clarify what conclusion others have posted here that extend beyond the moral imperatives found in HV?


huh? All I did was support/mirror what you posted earlier:

but somehow I am the one who is off topic?

Anyways, the pill is commonly called “oral contraception” or “birth control pill” regardless of whether or not its use is for medical reasons or preventing pregnancy, so I think what I posted is a valid point that may have been part of the OP’s question depending on their terminology and how they view the pill. Even if it wasn’t part of the OP’s concern, it still a question some may have come to while reading this thread.


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