Dealing with my final objections to conversion

I’ve been interested in Catholicism for some time now, and slowly but surely, the issues I have had have been dealt with, like the mass, Mary and such and such. But I still struggle with the contraception issue. Due to my health, my husband had a vasectomy after I got pregnant 6 times in seven years. I was extremely ill and put on medication that can cause birth defects and he thought he was doing the best for us. It’s hard for me to disagree.

I know what the Catholic teaching is - I suppose I am asking what would the consequences be for my marriage if I converted?

There are none.

So we wouldn’t have to abstain or anything like that?

No,

Did someone tell you that you had to?

No.

You would, however, need to understand and believe in the Church’s position on the matter. If you told him to do it, then you’d need to confess that. If you didn’t, then it’s not your sin anyway.

If he is Catholic, then he needs to seek out confession and be sincerely repentant. But once confessed, he is under no obligation to then also attempt a reversal.

And neither of you would be under any obligation to abstain no matter what.

Since it’s all in the past it would affect your marital life no more than natural infertility would. No need for abstention, as others have said.

However, if you played a role in your husband getting a vasectomy that is something you will need to authentically repent of and confess (unless you will be getting baptized, in which case it is only repentance, no need to confess pre-baptismal sins).

That sounds like the real issue here, honestly recognizing that in spite of its practical benefits and even noble motives behind it that it really was a wrong decision, that the procedure really should never have been done, and that you are authentically sorry for whatever role you played in the decision.

This would be something a priest could help you with.

Thank you, that’s helpful. I wondered about abstention because I was told, before he had the operation, that abstaining was the only lawful course of action.

I didn’t want him to get the procedure, it was all his decision, though I confess that a few years after the event, I’m kind of glad he did.

Should I convert, I will of course bring this all up with a priest. These are just practical issues and roadblocks that I kind of need sorted in my own mind before pursuing it further. Thank you for understanding.

I agree with the previous replies. The marital act is not only procreative but also unitive and that’s why it would be incorrect to abstain just because a couple is no longer fertile.

I think you should read HUMANAE VITAE (Pope Paul VI Encyclical) which outlines the Church’s reasons for what she teaches. It’s really quite beautiful.

vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

Good luck and I hope you convert!
John Marie Philomena

Perhaps someone explained it poorly. Yes, if one needs to avoid children for a serious reason, then abstaining is the way we are called to do that. But that does not necessarily mean complete abstaining. Natural family planning involves periodic continence in acordance with the fertility signs of the woman’s cycle each month.

So, whoever told you abstention was the “only lawful course of action” failed to give you some important details regarding what “abstention” actually entails.

This is something I have also wondered about, I see alot of young families in our parish, but it seems most of them only have 1 or 2 kids at the most, seems strange if they not using contraception, that the wife would only ave 1-2 kids after being married 10 or so years…the only other thing I could think of was if they were not having sex that often, in a way to avoid getting pregnant more that they can handle…Could there be some other explanation?

If the OP is concerned about her husbands vasectomy, they can be reversed, it is quite common I believe.

I’d never read Humanae Vitae, thank you John Maria Philomena for linking it, I enjoyed it very much.

1ke, it’s entirely possible I misunderstood what was explained to me. The risks of the medication are such that I would be very loathe to risk conception.

I appreciate vasectomy reversal is a possibility- I seriously doubt my husband would consider it. It’s a done deal as far as he’s concerned.

I understand that it is scary, particularly talking about something in the abstract that you don’t have much information on.

It’s water under the bridge since your husband chose another route, but perhaps if you’d had the information at the time he might have made a different decision. NFP is scientific and reliable, of course it also requires discipline and diligence.

There are several CAF members who post regularly who have used NFP for almost 2 decades now due to serious health reasons to avoid further pregnancy-- Rayne89 and crohnie4life are two of them.

Reversal is in no way required by the Church.

One of those things I suppose. And tbh, I’d be very surprised if my husband became a Catholic, but you never know - I would have said that about myself ten years ago.

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