Delicate question about sexual morality within marriage


#1

I understand and embrace the Church’s position with regard to the conjugal act and how it needs to always be ‘open to life’. Specifically, this implies the culmination of the act must occur in a fashion that is open to life.

Here’s my question: is it also necessary for the culmination of this act to be ‘open to life’ when the woman is already pregnant? What is the Church’s position on this?

Thanks.


#2

[quote=Bob1971]I understand and embrace the Church’s position with regard to the conjugal act and how it needs to always be ‘open to life’. Specifically, this implies the culmination of the act must occur in a fashion that is open to life.

Here’s my question: is it also necessary for the culmination of this act to be ‘open to life’ when the woman is already pregnant? What is the Church’s position on this?

Thanks.
[/quote]

What’s the question: Do you have to climax in the vagina? Yes.

Do you have to abstain because your wife cannot get pregnant? No.


#3

[quote=mercygate]What’s the question: Do you have to climax in the vagina? Yes.

Do you have to abstain because your wife cannot get pregnant? No.
[/quote]

Heh, heh, nothing like a to the point response… :wink: I like direct language myself. This “conjugal act” business is rather artificial sounding.


#4

[quote=mercygate]What’s the question: Do you have to climax in the vagina? Yes.

Do you have to abstain because your wife cannot get pregnant? No.
[/quote]

ITA! Very well answered!


#5

[quote=Bob1971]I understand and embrace the Church’s position with regard to the conjugal act and how it needs to always be ‘open to life’. Specifically, this implies the culmination of the act must occur in a fashion that is open to life.

Here’s my question: is it also necessary for the culmination of this act to be ‘open to life’ when the woman is already pregnant? What is the Church’s position on this?

Thanks.
[/quote]

Yes, it is necessary with each cojugal act, pregnant or not.


#6

ok, I recognize this and see how it’s the “rule” (for lack of a better way to say it) but I just don’t understand why, if she’s not fertile, able to conceive, why is it an issue?? How can you remain “open” to something that temporarily doesn’t exist, kwim? I’m really just playing the opposite side of the table trying to figure out what lies beneath “the rule” – where/why it is what it is…


#7

The same question could be asked for using the timing method. If there is no egg, it is impossible to get pregnant. But it’s still O.K. If the man or woman is infertile for some reason, it’s impossible to get pregnant, but sex is still O.K. None of these scenarios are “open to life.” The Church justifies it by the fact that neither the husband or wife intentionally prevented a pregnancy.

However, I think with the timing method, there is an intentional prevention of pregnancy. I don’t know why the Church allows this form of birth control and no other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m Catholic and support the Church and accept all it’s positions. There’s just no way anyone can intelligently defend the timing method as not intentionally preventing life.


#8

[quote=pira114]The same question could be asked for using the timing method. If there is no egg, it is impossible to get pregnant. But it’s still O.K. If the man or woman is infertile for some reason, it’s impossible to get pregnant, but sex is still O.K. None of these scenarios are “open to life.” The Church justifies it by the fact that neither the husband or wife intentionally prevented a pregnancy.
[/quote]

Ok, so say the husband withdraws – there’s no preventing a pregnancy there either, b/c there cannot be a pregnancy where there already is one…you can’t act to prevent that which physically cannot happen, right? Again, I’m really trying to understand this, but can’t quite wrap my brain around it – it just seems illogical to me;


#9

I hate to say this, but I’ve never found anyone who can intelligently defend the Church’s position on this. What I think may have happened is that the Church recognized a real need for birth control and chose the most “natural” form of it. The timing method. It’s not really going to make sense. Pulling out when there is already no chance of pregnancy would seem O.K. but it’s not. The act of love making has to end with what would be “open to life” if there were not any other factors, such as being pregnant already.


#10

Well, thanks for trying pira…lol :tiphat:


#11

[quote=pira114]The same question could be asked for using the timing method. If there is no egg, it is impossible to get pregnant. But it’s still O.K. If the man or woman is infertile for some reason, it’s impossible to get pregnant, but sex is still O.K. None of these scenarios are “open to life.” The Church justifies it by the fact that neither the husband or wife intentionally prevented a pregnancy.

However, I think with the timing method, there is an intentional prevention of pregnancy. I don’t know why the Church allows this form of birth control and no other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m Catholic and support the Church and accept all it’s positions. There’s just no way anyone can intelligently defend the timing method as not intentionally preventing life.
[/quote]

The timing method does not obstruct a natural human act. Think of it this way: The Church agrees that there are serious reasons for spacing children (medical, psychological, financial – read Humanae vitae). Before we understood the biology, the ONLY way to space children (for those SERIOUS reasons) was to abstain COMPLETELY. Now that the biology is understood, we have an opportunity to enjoy our conjugal privileges in a perfectly natural way without conceiving a child. This is a PERMISSION. It is a step towards marital mercy hithertofore unavailable. And it IS different from a CONTRA-ceptive method.

It is not equivalent to chemical or barrier methods. One of the key points is that NFP may also be used in the hope of conceiving a child.

One thing I learned with NFP is that because abstinence occurs during the time a woman is most desirous of sexual relations, you learn how beautiful God’s plan is in linking the pleasure of our sexuality with the possibility of creating life.


#12

Having Not read Theology of the body and lot of the other wonderful material now available , unsure if this answer is quite right …
The way I have understood it , The Church encourage and Bless the sexual union/comunication, and sharing between spouses , as SACRED …
( like that of Christ and The Church …)
Now within that context, the couple are allowed lot of freedom -

  • hugging etc: , always o.k .
    But the completion of the act has to be without a deliberate intent against what its purpose is as ordained by God who is The author and giver of that gift, who gave the partners to each other, who made the whole act of sex possible …
    That kind of revernce and awe in the act is what makes it sacred and mysterious …building up each other…not demeanig or just using each other…( as you know every act release 100 million sperm - for one egg , almost like how God is always pouring out graces but it takes a humble, trusting heart , to be receptive ; now how about sanctifying the act - may these little soldiers be arrows against …well use your holy, imaginative heart :o )
    Now when the nfp ( timing ) is used , it is still cooperating with God , who gives us the freedom within His will - the couple is still open to life - as He is a God of miracles and can allow life whenever He chooses …same for menopausal people …we have the true incidents of Sara, Elisabeth …
    It comes to glorifying God , in our bodies , with the attitude of humility and revernce - this is Your gift and we would use it with gratitude and respect…
    Such an attitude would pervade other , more critical issues of life and marriage , to bring peace and The Kingdom… :o
    God bless!

#13

[quote=leaner]ok, I recognize this and see how it’s the “rule” (for lack of a better way to say it) but I just don’t understand why, if she’s not fertile, able to conceive, why is it an issue?? How can you remain “open” to something that temporarily doesn’t exist, kwim? I’m really just playing the opposite side of the table trying to figure out what lies beneath “the rule” – where/why it is what it is…
[/quote]

It is more than a “rule”. And, in your original post you referenced the idea that each act must be ‘open to life’. This is not framed corrrectly. What the church actually teaches is this:

Each sex act must be **objectively unitive and procreative ** to properly use the faculty as given by God. That means it is a full act, and no action is taken before, during, or after the act to alter it.

Any action before, during, or after that disrupts the objective procreative element or the objective unitive element is against God’s design of the act. Oral and manual stimulation outside intercourse is not unitive or procreative. Neither are any number of “other” activities. They are a perversion of the act.

Whether or not that act is subjectively procreative is irrelevant. Subjectively it may not be procreative b/c the woman or man is sterile, infertile, post-menopausal, pregnant, etc. But, objectively the act must still be complete as God designed and only as God designed. Anything else is a perversion of the act.


#14

[quote=marymol]Having Not read Theology of the body and lot of the other wonderful material now available , unsure if this answer is quite right …
The way I have understood it , The Church encourage and Bless the sexual union/comunication, and sharing between spouses , as SACRED …
( like that of Christ and The Church …)
Now within that context, the couple are allowed lot of freedom -

  • hugging etc: , always o.k .
    But the completion of the act has to be without a deliberate intent against what its purpose is as ordained by God who is The author and giver of that gift, who gave the partners to each other, who made the whole act of sex possible …
    That kind of revernce and awe in the act is what makes it sacred and mysterious …building up each other…not demeanig or just using each other…( as you know every act release 100 million sperm - for one egg , almost like how God is always pouring out graces but it takes a humble, trusting heart , to be receptive ; now how about sanctifying the act - may these little soldiers be arrows against …well use your holy, imaginative heart :o )
    Now when the nfp ( timing ) is used , it is still cooperating with God , who gives us the freedom within His will - the couple is still open to life - as He is a God of miracles and can allow life whenever He chooses …same for menopausal people …we have the true incidents of Sara, Elisabeth …
    It comes to glorifying God , in our bodies , with the attitude of
    humility and revernce - this is Your gift and we would use it with gratitude and respect…
    Such an attitude would pervade other , more critical issues of life and marriage , to bring peace and The Kingdom… :o
    "We are a chosen race, a royal nation, a holy priesthood, called to announce the praises of Him who has called us from darkness to light " God bless!
    [/quote]

#15

[quote=1ke]Oral and manual stimulation outside intercourse is not unitive or procreative. Neither are any number of “other” activities. They are a perversion of the act.
[/quote]

Forgive my ignorance, but aren’t preliminaries OK, including those you mentioned, as long as the climax isn’t reached thusly?

Even Christopher West stated so, supposedly an expert on JPII’s Theology of the Body.

TIA

:blessyou:


#16

[quote=pira114]The same question could be asked for using the timing method. If there is no egg, it is impossible to get pregnant. But it’s still O.K. If the man or woman is infertile for some reason, it’s impossible to get pregnant, but sex is still O.K. None of these scenarios are “open to life.” The Church justifies it by the fact that neither the husband or wife intentionally prevented a pregnancy.

However, I think with the timing method, there is an intentional prevention of pregnancy. I don’t know why the Church allows this form of birth control and no other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m Catholic and support the Church and accept all it’s positions. There’s just no way anyone can intelligently defend the timing method as not intentionally preventing life.
[/quote]

Sperm can live inside a woman for 14 days, so even if there is no egg, there is still a small chance she could get pregnant when one eventually forms.


#17

[quote=siamesecat]Sperm can live inside a woman for 14 days, so even if there is no egg, there is still a small chance she could get pregnant when one eventually forms.
[/quote]

That’s weird, the longest I’ve ever heard of in all my research was 5 day life-span…but that doesn’t answer the question of if she’s already pregnant, where there wouldn’t be an egg at all, kwim? So they could live for a month and it wouldn’t matter, they’d never see an egg in their lifetime


#18

It’s my understanding that foreplay is acceptable as long as the entire act of love making ends the proper way.

My arguement about the timing method still stands. If you are using it as a way to have sex without getting pregnant, then it constitutes birth control. Period. One cannot logically deny that. If sex is intended for procreation only, then the only time you should have sex is when you are attempting to procreate. If birth control is O.K. in one form then why not another?


#19

[quote=pira114]It’s my understanding that foreplay is acceptable as long as the entire act of love making ends the proper way.

My arguement about the timing method still stands. If you are using it as a way to have sex without getting pregnant, then it constitutes birth control. Period. One cannot logically deny that. If sex is intended for procreation only, then the only time you should have sex is when you are attempting to procreate. If birth control is O.K. in one form then why not another?
[/quote]

NFP is acceptable for so many reasons, and it is not for you or I to deem which ones they are - -it is between the couple and God…

It’s clear from the Church’s teaching that frivolous reasons for avoiding children will not do. Nor are spouses required to have a “life and death” situation before they make use of NFP.

  • *In determining family size, Vatican II teaches that parents must “thoughtfully take into account both their own welfare and that of their children, those already born and those which the future may bring.” They must “reckon with both the material and spiritual conditions of the times as well as of their state in life. Finally, they should consult the interests of the family group, of temporal society, and of the Church herself.”[13] In terms of limiting family size, Humanae Vitae teaches that “reasonable grounds for spacing births” might arise “from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances.”[14]

More of the article – a very interesting look at the church’s teachings on family size, NFP, marital relations etc…

christopherwest.com/article4.asp


#20

The question remains unanswered.

If one form of birth control is allowed, why is any other not? What’s the difference? I would be more than happy to reverse my position on this issue if someone could explain it in a logical way.

By the way, I’ve read Scripture over and over. NFP is not mentioned. So it’s not really between me and God. It’s between me and the Church, isn’t it?


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