HELP! with tubal ligation concern

My mom had a tubal ligation after she had her fifth child. She consulted with a priest, and he said it was OK since she had already 5 kids which meant she was open to life and having more children with pose health risks to her and to the babies.

When I was expecting my forth child, my mom advised me to do the same thing under the same circumstances and she assured me that it was morally OK. After all, that was going to be my third C-Section.

I gave it a second taught and decided that it was irresponsible on my part to risk to get pregnant again and die and leave my children orphaned. So I did.

I was raised in a very Catholic family. All my family has been actively involved in Church. I’m even working on a Master’s Degree in Theology. This is what brought me here.

As I was studying Papal Infallibility, I found out that my mom and I acted on the wrong information. I started a deep research about that and found out that in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. there was a missunderstanding and that it was actually believed that tubal ligation was permissible if any future pregnancies would pose a riks to the mother. This was like a SHOCK.

I now feel very bad. Although I don’t really understand, I accept the teaching authority as final but I feel as betrayed by my own Church. I acted in good faith, and so my mom. I would have never done if I had known what I know now. I would be in complete abstinence which will hurt the “unitive” part of my marriage.

I feel I need some healing and some time to “digest” the concept. I know sterilization is approved if it comes as a side effect to cure an illness, called indirect sterilization, but it is not approved to prevent an illness.

Please help! I’m very confused.

Dearest sister, you cannot blame yourself for what you did in good faith. It is done. One sins when one knowingly and willingly consesnts to something which one believes/suspects/knows to be a sin. You didn’t.
I know you’re upset, but please don’t dwell on it. God knows your heart.
Please be at peace.

Warm regards, Trishie

You acted on the best information you had from both a Priest and your Mother. If you are studying Theology then you know for something to be a mortal sin you have to have full knowledge… and you didn’t.

If you feel bad, talk about it in confession. It’s forgiven and forgotten.

Continue to learn and live to serve the Lord.

That is what He wants, not you getting depressed over something that He has already forgotten.


I understand that you feel bad, but I don’t understand exactly why or what you mean when you write that you feel “betrayed by my own Church”. Do you mean you are upset that priests mislead you and your mother? Are you upset that after being Catholic all your life it took until now to learn what the Church really teaches about this? Or are you upset that the Church doesn’t permit direct sterilization?

Jesus gave the Church Sacraments to provide healing and grace. Go to Confession if you haven’t already confessed this. I also suggest you speak to a good priest to help you sort out your feelings of betrayal.

Some sterilized couples choose to reverse the sterilization, but that is not required. Some sterilized couples follow NFP guidelines and abstain periodically from relations (as they would have otherwise done if not sterilized,) but the Church doesn’t required that either.

If you don’t understand why the Church doesn’t permit direct sterilization, then you don’t completely understand other Church teachings on the meaning of human sexuality. The Church teachings are difficult, but they are very beautiful. We can not follow Church teachings on our own–we need the grace of God. I hope you find His grace and come to learn and love everything that the Church teaches. Jesus is the Bridegroom, and the Church is His bride. May Christ fill you with His abundant life and bring you the healing you desire.

Thank you for all your help.

You were right!
I didn’t fully understand the Church teachings.

When I first found out I was in an error, my understanding was that the Church was leaving all of us in my situation left out and in risk of death if natural methods failed. It was like if all of a sudden the Church said that all medical procedures were immoral and that we could only use natural remedies for our ailments even if we could die

Now I understand that the Church offers a method as accurate as the artificial ones. And on top of that, it actually nurtures the husband-wife relationship and glorifies God in many ways.

My desicion now is to get training in the NFP and then provide training services in the Catholic Campus Ministry of my local University. I’m sure I can do a lot by training a lot of girls way ahead the time they plan to get married.

I regret I said that I felt betrayed by my own Church. I knew inside of me that the Church teachings had to be in the benefit of humankind even if I couldn’t understand them. I’m very sowwy. I was in shock.

Thank you very much for helping me recover.

By the way, I read the Papal Encyclical: Evangelium Vitae from the website

Hope the above too helps and in a world where not many seem to care about the truths much , your witness and remorse seems already as the Holy Spirit fruits ! :o

Blessings !

I regret I said that I felt betrayed by my own Church.

Why would you regret it? If you genuinely felt that way, and understandably so it is good that you recognized your feelings. You should not apologize for it. Recognizing these things you can ask the next question: Why did you feel betrayed?

And thats what gardenswithkids was asking:

I understand that you feel bad, but I don’t understand exactly** why or what you mean **when you write that …

God gave you the ability to feel and have emotions. If you are feeling something it might be for a reason.

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