Marital Intimacy


Where do I find literature on the conssumation of marriage. My husband believes that intimacy or sex within the marriage is impure.


Theology of the Body for Beginners by Christopher West beautifully explains Catholic teaching on love and marriage, from the works of Pope John Paul II.


CCC 2367 Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God. "Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility.

If we are called to give life its pretty hard to do that if husband and wife don’t have an intimate and sexual relationship!! What is the source of your husband’s strange view?
Some other posters might jog my memory but your husband’s opinion sounds like one of the heresies floating around in the early days of the Church.


From the Catechism:
2335 Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator’s generosity and fecundity: "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."121 All human generations proceed from this union.122

I suggest you go to the Catechism b/c there’s so much it might be too much to post here. You can read the Catechism online at: and you can search it by letter, choose s and find sex and it cross-references it with various other topics.

Sexual intimacy between husband and wife is not only allowed, but encouraged, and part of a loving relationship.

Best wishes! :slight_smile:


The Good News About Sex & Marriage by Christopher West is one of the best books written on this topic. It is a very easy read, setup in a question and answer format.


And what literature does he have to back up his position?


Uhm… Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m thinking a marriage isn’t considered valid until it’s consumated. Each sacrament has both matter and form. Consumation is part of the matter of the sacrament. Just like water is part of the matter for Baptism, Bread and Wine for the Eucharist, etc… The Church wouldn’t require something for a sacrament that is impure.

I’m puzzled. Wasn’t this discussed with you as part of your marriage preparation? Perhaps he should have a discussion about this with your priest. I’ll pray for you.


Certain ascetics held a similar notion. They didn’t hold that the act itself was impure, but that given our fallen nature, it was pretty much impossible not to lust while doing it. Obviously the Church has not received this teaching and made it her own.


Tangential to the OP, but: You are wrong.

Canon 1061 says, in part

Can. 1061 §1 A

valid marriage

between baptised persons is said to be merely ratified, if it is not consummated

The consummation of a ratified marriage is what renders it indissoluable

Can. 1141 A marriage which is ratified and consummated cannot be dissolved by any human power or by any cause other than death.



The sexual consummation of the marriage is the final part of the rite of matrimony. The ritual is not complete without it. Since it is part of the ritual of the sacrament, how can your husband consider it impure?
I am inclined to conclude that you are not married to a Catholic.




I call baloney!

Please substantiate your claim. Quote from the Rituale Romanum.


“part of the rite” indeed,


1 Corinthians
Chapter 7
1 Now in regard to the matters about which you wrote: “It is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman,” 2 but because of cases of immorality every man should have his own wife, and every woman her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his duty toward his wife, and likewise the wife toward her husband.
4 A wife does not have authority over her own body, but rather her husband, and similarly a husband does not have authority over his own body, but rather his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to be free for prayer, but then return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control.


I hereby give my thumbs-up for Christopher West!!! :thumbsup:


Your husband is smart.


Yes, if Smart = Manichean heretic.

Don’t be imprisoning that good spirit in evil matter! Do you know what the word “Bugger” comes from? It refers to the Bulgar heretics, Manicheans who didn’t want to have children and thus avoided conception by using, ahem, other methods.


Ah! I just thought I refered to the, ahem, “other methods”. FOUL-MOUTH ASIDE, we are at war with our flesh, and ANYTHING the flesh likes is INHEARENTLY (I just know I spelt that wrong) bad four our souls. If it feels good, STOP! If they need a child, ADOPT!

And I don’t see what this has to do with Manichean, uh, ism?

This is about Paul! And the DEATH of the flesh, MORTIFICATION!!! Unceasing punishment, for the sould to live, the flesh must die! So if you don’t feel like activly attacking you enemy, you can alternativly starve him to death/besiege him.


Dear Clonereject1138,

Manicheanism is indeed the heresy that condemns the goodness of the body and material world by claiming the material world is evil while only the spiritual world is good.

Your definition of mortification is mistaken, at least from a Catholic perspective. Mortification is “a means of curing bad habits and implanting good ones.” (please see the Catholic Encylopedia at: for more information).

St. Paul and all of the Church Fathers encourage mortification but also speak about each state of life calling for different mortifications.

When a man and a woman freely consent to give themselves to one another in holy matrimony, their bodies become the properties of the spouse, (please refer back to St. Paul quote posted by another poster). Therefore, denying your spouse the marital act of sex is not holy or praiseworthy, but wrong, it goes inherently against the purpose of marriage!

“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring” (Catechism #1601).

Furthermore, the initial poster said that her husband will not have sex with her because he believes sex to be evil. That is certainly not a Christian belief! Sex is good and a very great gift God has chosen to give married couples so that they may share in His gift of creation by actually become “procreators” and building up His human family.

For the poster who began this thread, I will pray for you and your husband. I suggest you pray as well and also go with your husband to seek the advice and guidance from a good Orthodox priest. Reading those books that other posters suggested would be a most beneficial help to awakening your husband to the Truth of the goodness of the human body and his own human sexuality.

God bless!


Dude, you seriously need to read up on the Manicheans, the Cathars, and the Bulgars and why the Catholic Church labled them heretics.

“God likes matter, he created it.” -C.S. Lewis

To set the light-substance free from the pollution of matter was the ultimate aim of all Manichæan life. Those who entirely devoted themselves to this work were the “Elect” or the “Perfect”, the Primates Manichaeorum; those who through human frailty felt unable to abstain from all earthly joys, though they accepted Manichæan tenets, were “the Hearers”, auditores, or catechumens.


Re post #11 from TFM:
The church regards a marriage sacramental only after sexual consummation. In the absence of sexual consummation, there exists a canonical defect rendering it null.
Check with the marriage tribunal in your diocese.
It still sounds to me as though she is married to a non-Catholic.



Nothing you have written supports your claim that consummation is part of the rite of marriage. Additionally:

What do you make of these canons?

Can. 1055 … [A] valid marriage contract cannot exist between baptised persons without its being by that very fact a sacrament.

Can. 1061 §1 A

valid marriage between baptised persons

is said to be merely ratified, if it is not consummated

What about this paragraph from the Catechism?

1640 Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that

a marriage concluded and consummated

between baptized persons can never be dissolved. This bond, which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage, is a reality, henceforth irrevocable, and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God’s fidelity. the Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom.

NB: “a marriage concluded and consummated”, not “concluded by being consummated

Again, I do not believe you can support this statement – But please, quote the canon if you are able. Nothing subsequent to a marriage can render it null – Only conditions existing at the time of the marriage can do so.


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