Feeling frustrated with church teaching on married sexuality


This is going to sound like a rant, so I apologize in advance. I am a 23 yr old single Catholic male, and I recently discovered the list of stuff forbidden to married Catholic couples, which, unless I’m misinterpreting this, basically includes every single sexual act that doesn’t result in a baby.
I’ve got to be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever felt seriously disgruntled by a church teaching. It also came as a bit of a shock, since I always assumed that a married Catholic couple was granted a certain degree of latitude in what they are allowed to do together. Reading the Vatican website, it seems that even many acts of foreplay leading up to natural intercourse are considered “gravely sinful”.

So basically, my options are have a child whether I can afford one at the moment or not, or be celibate within my marriage. I’ve never had anything like a serious crisis of faith, but I gotta be honest that the thought did cross my mind: “man, what kind of a killjoy wrote this?” I was particularly irritated by the stringent rules in light of the scandals that keep bubbling up in the church. Like, I wish our Popes would be half as nosy at squashing bad priests as they are at regulating foreplay between married Catholics.

Anyway, that’s my rant concluded. I’m just really feeling kinda down about this. Any kind of explanation or wise words would be appreciated. I know the Church’s probable response would be “sorry, kid, those are the rules around here; can’t handle being a Catholic, take your business elsewhere.” And I guess I’ll to bow to their authority anyhow. But it’s annoying. Thats all I got say I guess.


why not focus on something different, like the grace of the sacrament. It will sound better.

"Just as of old God encountered his people with a covenant of love and fidelity, so our Savior, the spouse of the Church, now encounters Christian spouses through the sacrament of Matrimony."149 Christ dwells with them, gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him, to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to "be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ,"150 and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love.

Really loving and joining lives together into one sounds positive. :slight_smile:


If you’re not married yet, you’re getting a little ahead of yourself worrying about affording a baby. You shuld be focusing on staying chaste and also meeting/ developing a relationship with a potential wife (I’m not seeing any reference to a girlfriend or fiancee in your post). You can also work on improving your economic position so by the time marriage possibly occurs, you’ll be able to afford a baby. And you and your wife can look into NFP as well.

Doing sexual things other than intercourse in order to avoid having a baby is not a good way to go in marriage, not only because of the morality/sin aspects of the situation, but also because from a practical standpoint, many if not most loving couples have a natural impulse to have intercourse, so it’s likely to happen once things get going.


Yep. That’s where a lot of NFP babies come from.

Do you have a particular reference here? You will find a wide variety of interpretations on this subject (especially here at CAF).


OP…did you start googling and stumble across Ron Conte’s web page?


Sounds to me like you are misinterpreting something.

Please link here to what you actually read, otherwise it’s difficult to see where you’ve gone awry.

Um, no, those are not “basically” your options. They aren’t even in the ballpark. So, again, we have no idea what you’ve read and gotten this strange notion from. You need to help us out here.

And again, ???


Every act is to be ordered toward procreation. I’d suggest you pick up the book “Holy Sex!” This is a forum that is not age restricted, and your discussion seems to want details, so, this book will help you.



Listen to this talk by Catholic Answers apologist Trent Horn. VERY informative and sets a few things straight.



Also this short talk at a Men’s Conference by Father Larry Richards addresses this particular subject. Listen to the whole thing.


Yes, how did you know?


It’s not that hard to venture a guess.

Ignore everything on that site. It’s NOT church teaching. It’s incredibly damaging to naive Catholics who have basic questions but aren’t sure where to go for answers. Just about everything on that site is suspect and is especially damaging for Catholic women.

It’s also one of the first sites that come up when you start googling church teaching on sexuality within marriage.

Google isn’t always your friend…you need to do the hard work. Read the Catechism, ask for advice from your parish. Read books…there are a lot of fantastic ones out there.

Do some research on marriage prep and how Catholics prep couples for marriage. You’ll find out there is a completely different ball game out there on Catholic marriage.

If you find the right girl…marriage can be a wonderful journey…it’s not always an easy one…but, it’s definitely not the end of the world either.


It’s extremely deceptive of the site’s owner to use a domain name that makes it appear it’s the actual Catechism of the Catholic Church or some official Vatican site, which it is most definitely not. Instead he twists and misrepresents actual Church teaching. Stay far away from his “planet”, too.


Ok, mystery solved I guess. What it is, I usually refer to the CCC when I have some sorta religious question. The whole thing is posted up on the Vatican website at Vatican.va. KCMedtech is right; I was looking up a question related to marriage morality, and clicked on some random article on Ron Conte’s site. The thing is though, his site is very similar to the Vatican’s official CCC site. It has a very similar background as the Vatican’s site, a similar format, and the title catechism.cc prominently placed at the top of the article. It’s similar enough that I thought I was on the Vatican website. I guess he talks about who he is on the main page of the site, but the random article that came up looked a lot like the familiar Vatican site I like to read. I feel kinda dumb now. I’m also half wondering if his website’s design is purposely mimicking the Vatican CCC site. I mean, it was similar enough that I thought that’s where I was. Sorry for ranting, everybody, and thank you for all of your replies.


Don’t feel dumb! Those all seem like things strategically done to give the page more legitimacy than it should be granted.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.