Is it moral to use a condom for non contraceptive reasons?

I am participating in another thread where a couple posters have said something that has me confused.

I thought the Church taught that using condoms during intercourse is always wrong, even when the intent is not to prevent conception. Even in cases where the wife may be allergic to sperm, etc.

However, they are saying that this is not the case. That the Church does not teach that this is wrong.

So, which is it?

Which posts or posters?..we should read their posts to ensure you did not simply misunderstand.

To the best of my knowledge, the Church has declared contraception, by any means, including condoms, to be immoral. [One might use a condom as a water bomb too - no problem there :)…] I am not aware that the Church has spoken on other scenarios, such as the use of perforated condoms in sexual intercourse, though various theologians may have done so.

In regard to contraception, from the CCC:

Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other

112, 115, 116, 119… etc etc

OK - the poster there posited a woman who was post-menopausal, using a condom to mitigate the woman’s sperm allergy. A fairly similar scenario would be a condom during pregnancy I imagine, and I came across this view on that subject:

NB: All I know about Jimmy Akin is that he is a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers.

I’d be a bit concerned about use of condom during pregnancy, menopause or any other time, on the grounds that such an act is perhaps not a “marital act”, though that is not what the participants are aiming for. It is hard to see how mutual masturbation would be any different. Catholic teaching holds the latter as immoral, regardless of pregnancy, menopause, etc.

You’d like to think their might be medications to address sperm allergy and the like?

An intact condom is always per se contraceptive, it cannot be used. The only area that I know the Church has spoken to this specifically is the use of condoms in intercourse where partners are HIV positive. This cannot be done. Therefore, it seems the Church has judged an intact condom not to meet the criteria of double effect.

A perforated condom used for a medical purpose such as gathering sperm for diagnosis of infertility may fall under the principle of double effect. The Church has not spoken on this subject either way. Therefore, it is a matter of prudential judgment and conscience formation through the application of the moral principles the Church does teach, including double effect.

One cannot use a condom during intercourse without pursuing contraception as the object of their act. This applies even if they are seeking a good end.

Correct. I call this the Everyone Knows What They Are Doing rule. To wit: you can’t go around saying, “I squeezed the trigger which is a neutral act and someone just happened to be in front of the gun and the bullet in his chest was just an unfortunate effect.” and pretend you are doing serious ethical analysis. :slight_smile:

Ok, now we’ve got a couple of posters saying that the Church doesn’t actually teach that using a condom for non contraceptive reasons is wrong so long as the couple is infertile anyway lol.

Soooo, which is it? Does the Church teach this or are all these people above merely giving their opinion without Church authority on the matter??

If anal sex as foreplay between a married couple, where the man will ‘finish’ in The Approved Catholic Manner, is licit, what argument would forbid the couple from using a condom for purely hygienic reasons during the anal sex?

The latter.

That isn’t what is being discussed.

It isn’t.

Sure it is - using condoms for non contraceptive reasons.

Supporting link now in the original post. Sorry, it took me a little while to find it.

“it is neither sodomy nor a sin if intercourse is begun in the rectal manner with the intention of completing it in the natural manner” (Jone “Moral Theology” 757)

I don’t think you understand the OP.

Yes. One can find all manner of Catholic theologians saying x isn’t a sin. That doesn’t make it so. It is simply not the case that as long as the seed gets in the right place, that everything leading up to that is moral.

I feel the same about you. “I thought the Church taught that using condoms during intercourse is always wrong, even when the intent is not to prevent conception” seems pretty clear to me, and using a condom purely for hygiene at a point where conception is not an issue seems a fairly clear case of “when the intent is not to prevent conception” to me. :shrug:

So you feel that I should take your word over that of an accredited theologian of the Magisterium? More to the point, does my question somehow merit ridicule just because you disagree with this theologian?

Sure, if you disagree, my question becomes irrelevant, but that hardly justifies intervening to ridicule, rather than answer the question. Just ignore it, surely? :confused: Or, of course, show where the official position of the church has changed on the issue of foreplay inside marriage.

What I want to know is if and how anyone justifies the stated position of the Church on this issue.

Those who are positing that the Church has no teaching or that disordered sexual acts can be justified if a couple is infertile, pregnant, or post-menopausal are NOT stating Church teaching.

The Church teaches the opposite-- the Church teaches that each act of intercourse must be per se ordered to procreation and unity.

The reason that this scenario arose, was that the OP on another thread was arguing that if a condom is perforated to allow a miniscule amount of semen into the vagina on ejaculation, that that indeed counters the Church objection to a condom. It therefore follows that the same condom used for the purpose of reducing the chance of conception can’t technically qualify as contraception.

The argument is that an intact condom is in and of itself intrinsically evil or a perforated of broken condom is not intrinsically evil.

If anyone remembers any of my years worth of posts, you’ll see that I’ve argued long and hard with the Church without wavering on the evil of contraception. I’ve also never used contraception myself in my 26 year marriage and was a virgin on my wedding night so never had cause to use it prior to marriage. I’ve always completely understood the reasoning behind the Church teaching because to be honest it makes sense. Even an amateur understanding of natural law supports the principle.

For a thing to be contraception, it has to involve an act of the will. The CCC says… 1751 The object chosen is a good toward which the will deliberately directs itself. It is the matter of a human act. The object chosen morally specifies the act of the will, insofar as reason recognizes and judges it to be or not to be in conformity with the true good. Objective norms of morality express the rational order of good and evil, attested to by conscience.

In the scenario proposed, the people an elderly post menopausal couple where the wife has grown allergic to semen. The medical experts in their medical capacity recommend using a condom when having sex. If the couple consults a Church expert or canon lawyer, are they guaranteed to be forbidden this medical advice and advised that the only sin free option is a sexless marriage? Or is the Church more inclined to allow medical advice and prudential judgement considering the circumstances ie. is is not chosen as contraception. It cannot be contraception since they by nature are past fertile functions.

A question that I would ask also is… in what way does the condom differ from products that prevent ovulation or cause miscarriage in the woman thereby preventing the total ‘self giving’ on the womans part in the sex act?

The Church has not addressed that to my knowledge. Various writers and theologians may have, and the views don’t agree.

I can see the view that the condom in use with the post menopausal woman is not a contraceptive act. My concern is that it is not a “marital” act. Is it different , in a meaningful way, to mutual masturbation? Would mutual masturbation in another manner be ok in the circumstances you describe?

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