I do not understand at all the Church's teaching on sex


I’m sorry but I’ve struggled with this for years and it is taking a toll on my faith. I do not understand why all sex acts must be open to life. I have never received a good answer explaining to me why sex must be open to life. Can’t sex also be recreational?

IOW I would love to get a good explanation of why the church teaches what it teaches about sex. Why does it view fornication, sodomy, contraception as sinful and even harmful? Please help me. I’m struggling with this issue.


Have you read humanae vitae? Was there something in it you did not understand or struggle with?


Here is the Catechism verses for a start.



God made human beings and told them be fruitful and multiply. God created Adam and Eve for them to be fruitful. Man and woman, complement to each other. That is God’s natural law.

Sodomy is condemned in the Scriptures, both in the Old and in the New Testament. Sodomy is against God’s natural law and violates God’s commandments. That is why sodomy is a grave sin. It sends people to hell.

Advocacy of sodomy is actually a hate crime. Because encouraging people stay in sodomy will bring them to destruction. Keep in mind there is an eternity to face. We cannot only think about our earthly life. Where we spend our time after death is far more important than our earthly life. Whoever chooses to violate God’s law will have to face serious consequences.




I would argue that in most situations between married couples it is primarily “recreational”. Sex was designed by God to feel good. That’s fine. It’s supposed to be fun.

But you’d think there was something wrong with going to a buffet and eating so much you threw up, right? Or for making yourself throw up afterwards so you wouldn’t gain weight? Or saying, “Well, I only like dessert, so no more vegetables.”

Sex has a purpose just like eating does that goes beyond the pleasure we get from engaging in it. In the case of eating, it nourishes our bodies. It’s OK to enjoy eating food or even indulge in a treat, but it would be thwarting the purpose of eating to completely disregard the role hunger plays in it. On a basic level, sex is similar - while it feels good, it’s clearly designed with reproduction in mind. From a natural law perspective, which is what a great deal of Catholic morality is based on, it would be wrong to purposefully use sex organs in a way that deliberately thwarts that purpose.

(The food and sex comparison isn’t perfect and I know there are several posters who can explain why, but as someone who’s struggled with an eating disorder for much of my life it is a comparison that often springs to mind. One huge difference is that contemporary society puts a huge stigma on people who eat in a disordered way, while it celebrates disordered sex.)


No. That’s the point. Sex is not supposed to be recreational at its primary purpose. Otherwise, a human walks away from God and enslaves himself to the urges. A human is supposed to be the master of his body, not vice versa. :getholy:


Odd that the word RE-CREATION is not looked at closer with regards to sex.


I was going to mention that too. “Can’t it be just REcreational?” Absolutely! As long as the married couple are open to re-creating a human life.


How can you think sodomy is not sinful or harmful?:confused:

The dictionary includes bestiality as …sodomy! I believe that would be very harmful to a marriage. :eek:


All right thanks for the help guys. I appreciate it. I’ve sort of formulated this idea as to why the Church teaches what it teaches about sex:

  1. Sex is naturally ordered towards the good of procreation (the good of human life).
  2. Thwarting sex to prevent this good is to go against natural law.
  3. Therefore such acts are unnatural or disordered.

Originally I thought “What does it matter?” I didn’t understand why it was a big deal that non-procreative sex was against natural law. Then I realized that I wasn’t just arguing with the Church, but arguing with the someone who gave us the natural law, namely God.

Is this a good argument?


Ok, now that sounds legit. :thumbsup:

It is restricted to the English language though.


I think the idea is that, simply put, sex is so tied to procreation that to use artificial birth control to prevent pregnancy is equivalent to thwarting God’s will, which is obviously wrong.


As far as I understood Humanae Vitae sex is NOT ONLY created for procreation but also for pleasure. But married couples should always be open to life because that’s one of the main purposes and separating sex and procreation through artificial birth control could cause that you forget the deep meaning of sex. Sex is regarded as holy, because it’s gift from God - so you should honor that gift and be open to life because God wants you to be a part of his plan. However, that doesn’t mean that you may only have sex in order to have a new child. Humanae Vitae strongly recommends NFP, so family planning is OK and having sex in times when you don’t want to have another child is OK, too.


Yes that is perfect. Look the whole world. God made it so that it would be fruitful and multiply. Look at the birds and the animals and even the plant world. Without sex there would be no world. The purpose of sex is to recreate life. It is the natural law of the world.


It is strange though, that for many species, sex/ recreation, is NOT an enjoyable thing, for some, its deadly, and something they ONLY do by instinct, to ensure their kind continues on…Ive always found that very odd, why would God create our type of recreation to be sooo enjoyable, yet with some animal species, its the complete opposite.


Who knows? Sex is isn’t always enjoyable to humans either.


I think this a question many in the Church need to ask themselves. Also, at some point overpopulation of the planet will lead to great suffering. There are only finite resources and humans take a lot more than we put in.


I believe all this is correct. :thumbsup:

Now, if it is a good argument, depends on who are you arguing with, as some don’t/won’t accept Natural Law and God as an argument :stuck_out_tongue:

I usually see sex as any other desire we have (to eat, to sleep, etc). All of them have a purpose (ordered by natural law - to feed, to rest, etc) and, when misused can cause harm (too much food = obesity; only candies = missing nutrients; little food = malnutrition; too much sleep = lost time; too little sleep = too tired to work - you get the idea :rolleyes:).

But, with sex, it gets difficult to explain the harm that **trivializing **it can cause, as people often don’t want to admit they are getting hurt: the teen who just lost his virginity (due to peer pressure), the father who sees his children from illicit relationships growing up without him, the girl who just found out that previous relationships are affecting her marriage, the boy who distanced himself from family and friends due to masturbation addiction… society labels all this as “normal”, and people don’t find it in themselves to say it shouldn’t be. :frowning:


are you suggesting that homosexual sex is the answer to overpopulation?

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