Does contraception make the sin of fornication any worse?

The catholic church says that people aren’t supposed to have premarital relations. It follows that any babies that are born out of wedlock were not supposed to be conceived, at least not at that time. keeping mind the reasons why contraception is evil, if two people fornicate and use contraception, is that worse than two people fornicating and not using contraception?

:hmmm: It seems to me like the answer is no, and that contraception is only sinful within the bounds of valid marriage, but I want to hear your responses.

The following does not reflect my personal views, but my understanding is that yes it does make it worse.

The reasoning behind it is that although sex outside of marriage is a sin, sex using contraception is a sin as well (even if outside of a marriage) because it is intrinsically disordered no matter what. Sex isn’t always sinful–only when it is outside of the bounds of a loving marriage–but contraception is ALWAYS sinful no matter what.

It’s the same argument used (even though I personally disagree) about why masturbation is worse than premarital sex.

I hope this helped. I’m definitely not an expert though so I could be wrong, but based on my talks with people more knowledgable than I this was the understanding I was given.

There is little benefit in parsing out which is “worse”. Both are gravely sinful and, when committed with knowledge and consent, cut a person off from the life of sanctifying grace. And both necessitate that a person be reconciled to God through the Sacrament of Confession.

I mean, I understand the curiosity, and the question does touch on certain interesting moral and theological issues. But I think for most people, they would confuse the answer to mean either that the Church is telling them they are better off having unprotected premarital sex (if the answer is that it makes it worse) or else that contraception isn’t really that much of a sin (if the answer is that it makes no difference). Either way, it ends up fueling someone’s rationalization and/or their skewed view of the Church.

No, the sin of contraception does not just apply to sex within marriage.

If fornication is a sin then contracted fornication is a sin and so is non-contracepted fornication. Using contraception doesn’t make the fornication less (or more) of a sin.

Think about another sin against marriage. Adultery. Is adultery less of a sin if you can do it without telling any lies or is it a worse sin if you have to lie to your spouse in order to visit your mistress? Nope, still a very bad sin.

These are two separate mortal sins. The sin of sex outside marriage and the sin of using contraception. The parents cooperate with God in the creation of a child; He is the one who really makes the choice; all babies conceived are supposed to exist.

Technically you’re compounding one sin with another sin, although this can be a somewhat impoverished way of looking at inequity. The gravity of sins don’t necessarily stack up with neat arithmatic.

If a prostitute uses a condom during sex in order to prevent an STD, the prositute - in his benighted ignorance - might actually be showing some true charity in his actions, because he is considering the welfare of the person. Of course, either way, this is far removed from the orthodox, holy, healthy way of expressing human sexuality, but charity is a thief that weaves its way both among “sinners” and the just, just as Jesus himself does.

Likewise, among drunken debauchery, there may be authentic moments of fellowship among them, even if the overall action is a sinful one.

This is just me, and purely my opinion. My take is that because the teaching against contraception is framed within the marital relationship (which is ordered to the procreation of children and the good of the spouses), contraception in pre- or extra-marital sexual encounter neither compounds the already serious sin of sex outside of marriage, nor constitutes an additional sin (we’re talking pure prevention here, not methods that cause the death of an already-conceived embryo).

My reasoning is that because the extra-marital sexual act is already gravely sinful, and is not the forum for the begetting of children, there is no further obligation for this illicit sexual act to be fruitful (i.e. those engaged in illicit sexual acts, which they should not be doing in the first place are not obligated to also ensure their acts result in children.)

I believe this is still an open question among moral theologians, and that people are free to hold diverging views on this one.

Of course, there is only one morally correct answer to the situation itself. No sex outside of marriage.

Contraception allowed fornication to become mainstream. Instead of viewing fornication as an action that causes pain and consequences, it hides the pain. Most who fornicate experience extreme heart breaks that are overlooked because there is no outward joy to the world of such unions made by sex (children, marriage, family, and assets). However, there are deep biological bonds formed when two people have sex. The first chemical released is dopamine. This is a short term chemical that is found in those in new love, adrenaline rushes, cigarette, alcohal, ect. It is a powerful bond that each sexual parter undertakes. For men it leads to the fantasy of wanting to be a hero, and the woman imprints onto the man as a gosling does to a mother goose. In cases of prostitution and sexual slavery, the woman often imprints on the pimp/ madam who controls her actions.

Contraception has caused a deep decline in sexual respect and freedom. It allows people to seek making sex tapes … Young to send naked pictures of each other … Increase in pedofila, and hardens the hearts of the culture.

That’s how I’d view it also.

ask an Apologist.

in Christ’ love,
tweedlealice

Yes because in that case the person would be committing two sins.

I believe you are wrong. Contraception is banned. It is irrelevant if it is within or without marriage.

That’s an arguable position. I assume you agree there are circumstances where acts to impede conception in a sexual act are permissible (ie. they are not the moral act of contraception) eg. in the course of a rape?

Most who fornicate experience extreme heartbreak? Women imprint on men like goslings to a goose? With all due respect, these are outlandish claims bordering on nonsense. Are there any credible sources for either?

There are absolutely NO circumstances that permit the use of contraceptives to avoid pregnancy, not even in cases of rape.

So the rapist should feel obligated to proceed without a condom, lest he worsen the sinfulness of his sexual assault?

And the victim should do nothing to cause withdrawal prior to the end of the act?

I disagree. There is no unitive act here - just an assault. There is no scope therefore to separate the unitive from the procreative. It is not contraception to repel the assault, including to end the invasion of sperm cells.

The greater the moral disorder, the greater the sin. If a person commits fornication and contraception, he has committed two grave sins, rather than one. The commission of the grave sin of fornication does not EXEMPT the sinner from the moral law, as if whatever else he might do would be blameless.

It’s not an open question.

The Magisterium teaches that contraception is intrinsically evil because it deprives sexual acts of the procreative meaning. The Magisterium has NEVER limited this teaching against contraception to sex within marriage. And in fact the Holy See (CDF) has taught that Catholic hospitals sin by cooperation if they dispense contraception to anyone (Quaecumque Sterilizatio, March 13, 1975, AAS 68).

The Magisterium condemns the distribution and promotion of contraception, regardless of whether it is used in marriage or outside of marriage, as a grave offense: Familiaris Consortio, n. 30; Evangelium Vitae, n. 17; Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, n. 234.

The Magisterium teaches that contraception is immoral because it separates the two meanings (procreative, unitive) “inscribed in the being of man and woman” Familiaris Consortio, n. 32. Contraception is a violation of the unitive and procreative meanings, “which man on his own initiative may not break” (Humanae Vitae, n. 12). Since the immorality of contraception is not based on the marital state, contraception is immoral both in marriage and outside of marriage.

The Church opposes teaching young unmarried persons how to use contraception in sexual education programs. This opposition is not based solely on the possibility that those young persons might eventually marry and use contraception in marriage. Neither is it based solely on the Church’s opposition to the sin of pre-marital sex. The Church opposes teaching the young how to use contraception because contraception is intrinsically evil and therefore always immoral.

The Magisterium has condemned both contraception and sterilization, regardless of marital state:

Pope Paul VI: “Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary.” (Humanae Vitae, n. 14)

Pontifical Council for the Family: “It is not in conformity with God’s design that couples should neutralize or destroy their fertility by artificial contraception or sterilization, and still less that they have recourse to abortion to kill their offspring before birth.” (The Ethical and Pastoral Dimensions of Population Trends, n. 73)

Pontifical Council for the Family: “The artificial methods of birth control as well as sterilization do not respect the human person of a woman and man because they eliminate or impede fertility, which is an integral part of the person.” (The Ethical and Pastoral Dimensions of Population Trends, n. 76)

Again, the Magisterium teaches that the basis for the immorality of contraception is not the marital state of the couple, but the plan of God that is integral to the human person and to human sexuality.

If any rapist were willing to refrain from using contraception because it is immoral, he also would not commit rape.

In any case, when a person commits the grave sin and crime of rape, he does not exempt himself from the eternal moral law. So if he tells a lie in order to get his victim alone, and then commits rape, he has committed two sins (at least). If he commits physical assault and then rape, he has sinned by both types of immoral acts. And if he uses contraception (perhaps because he wishes to have sex without possibility of procreation), it is an additional sin. Certainly, the sin of rape is much more severe. But whatever else he does that is a sin, remains a sin.

If the victim fights off her attacker, or if a by-stander intervenes, their actions are not contraception (of the “withdrawal” type). The fact that the sex act is interrupted is not the moral object of their actions. Similarly, if a husband and wife are having sex and are interrupted by a smoke/fire alarm, they do not commit contraception by withdrawal.

Contraception is immoral because sex is naturally ordered toward procreation. In the case of a rape victim who goes to a Catholic hospital emergency room, the use of contraception is indirect and moral. It is morally an interruption of the rape, since sexual acts are ordered toward conception.

It is immoral to separate the unitive meaning from the procreative meaning – but that is not the only possible way to sin. Depriving sexual acts of any one or more of the marital, unitive, or procreative meanings is sinful. Also, the fact that the sexual act is a grave crime does not imply the absence of the unitive meaning; the unitive meaning is harmed, but not absent (see 1 Cor 6:16).

So you would argue that the woman, should she encourage the condom, in an act she does not choose and cannot otherwise repel, as a means to defend herself from invading semen, also sins? I think not.

If the victim fights off her attacker, or if a by-stander intervenes, their actions are not contraception (of the “withdrawal” type). The fact that the sex act is interrupted is not the moral object of their actions

.correct.

Contraception is immoral because sex is naturally ordered toward procreation. In the case of a rape victim who goes to a Catholic hospital emergency room, the use of contraception is indirect and moral. It is morally an interruption of the rape, since sexual acts are ordered toward conception.

Actions by a hospital to repel invading semen are licit. The treatment used may be medically contraceptive, but the human act is not contraception.

It is immoral to separate the unitive meaning from the procreative meaning – but that is not the only possible way to sin. Depriving sexual acts of any one or more of the marital, unitive, or procreative meanings is sinful. Also, the fact that the sexual act is a grave crime does not imply the absence of the unitive meaning; the unitive meaning is harmed, but not absent (see 1 Cor 6:16).

Rape is devoid of any good.

I don’t quite get this reasoning. I looked through 1 Cor 6:16 and the passages noted in the footnotes on the USCCB website.

My interpretation is that visiting a prostitute is not the same as rape. [Moreover, it sort of places sex with a prostitute as being the same as sex between two married people. It turns sex into something that is purely mechanical, sex that is nothing more than a process of insemination. Further, the USCCB references are focused on marriage, not on sex. Which leads me to believe that the USCCB isn’t interpreting 1 Cor 6:16 as equivalent to married sex. Which makes me wonder why they reference those particular passages. Pardon me for disagreeing with St. Paul, but I think he’s wrong if that’s the point he’s making. However, that’s beside the point.]

I’m not willing to believe that God made sex a one note song, where **all **sex is necessarily unitive and must be ordered toward procreation. That sort of thinking turns God from being a intelligent, sentient being into a logic machine. “All sex is unitive. Rape is sex. Rape is unitive.” God didn’t create the universe, put everything in motion and then stand back to see what happens.

If this is the case, why can a Catholic hospital use the morning after pill to prevent pregnancy, if the unitive meaning is still there?

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